Should You use Split Backspace?
Typically, a split backspace takes your standard 2U backspace button and splits it in half (i.e., into two separate keys). You can usually choose to whatever keys you want for these two keys. I (and many others) prefer
pipe and backslash for one and
tilde and accent for the other. You can then take the standard 1.5u
pipe and slash and convert that to backspace.
Is there a functional reason to do this? Not really. I used a Rama M60-A as my daily driver for about three months and got hooked on the layout. I like the aesthetics of it, and I find it easier to switch between boards if there is some consistency.
Other things to consider:
- For smaller layouts (60%) every extra key helps, but with QMK and VIA being so readily available these days, it is quite easy to make up for one less key
- Typically your laptop will not support split backspace. So there will be mental overhead jumping back and forth if you work directly on a laptop keyboard at times.
- Most hot-swap PCBs do not support split backspace, so you can expect to solder.
- Cheaper keycap sets (ie, the ones on Amazon) will likely not have proper legend support for split backspace. That does not mean you can't use it, but it may not look as nice.
That is generally it. Like everything else in this hobby, it is preference. If you can and want to experiment, give it a try. I think you will like it. But do not do it because you think you have to or that is necessary, or even because it is better (I mean, well, it is better 😛). You do you!
Generally, this is what it will look like (although the backspace key is still on two switches in the photo).