What is a Keyboard Rotary Encoder Knob and How to Use It!

What is a Keyboard Rotary Encoder Knob and How to Use It!

Rotary Encoders are a popular modern addition to mechanical keyboards. But what exactly are they? What can rotary encoder knobs be used for? Whether you’re using a keyboard for productivity or for gaming, here’s everything you need to know.

MAXFIT81 MK910 Customizable Function OLED Display what rotary encoder knob
Some keyboards like our MAXFIT81 have both a Rotary Encoder AND OLED Display!

What are Rotary Encoder Knobs on a Mechanical Keyboard, and How Are They Used?

In a general sense, a rotary encoder is a knob that you can twist to perform actions. When twisting it either clockwise or counter-clockwise, the encoder will convert the physical turn into a digital signal that the keyboard can read. Many encoders in today’s market can be pressed like a button as well for another input.

Rotary encoder knobs are growing in popularity due to the good feeling that comes from using an analog component such as a volume wheel while gaming or typing. Nostalgia and productivity are the key reasons they’re being added to keyboards from various brands.

Common uses of Rotary Encoder Knobs

  • Adjusting audio volume
  • Scrolling a web page or document
  • Scrolling horizontally for ease of movement of a web page, photo editors, etc
  • Undo / Redo history in text or photo editors
  • Zoom In / Zoom Out in web pages, photo editors, etc
  • Windows controls such as ALT + TAB
  • Anything you can think of!


Looking to Boost Your Productivity with a Rotary Encoder Knob?

If you’re looking for a keyboard with a built-in rotary encoder knob, then you should check out our award-winning MAXFIT67!


  • Highly Recommended by TechPowerUp!
  • 65% Form Factor
  • South Facing PCB
  • Rotary Encoder Knob
  • Wireless (BT + 2.4ghz) & Wired
  • Gateron Hotswap Sockets
  • Kailh Box White / Pre-Lubed Gateron Milky Yellow Switches
  • DYE-SUB PBT Keycaps
  • Includes plate foam & tray foam