I love Blender, but one of the hands down most irritating things is the default hotkey for switching between Vertex,Edge and Face editing modes. CTRL + TAB + 1/2/3 is just too many keys for something common. Fortunately Blender 2.5x adds the ability to define hotkeys, but it isn’t as easy as you might expect.
Press CTRL + ALT + U to bring up user preferences.
Select the Input Tab
Scroll down and expand 3D View –> Mesh, like such:
Click the Add New button:
Add the following three entries:
In my case I am using a Mac keyboard, which has an F16, F17 and F18 key above the numberpad. You can use whatever value you want ( that aren’t used in Mesh mode already).
The value entered in Context Attrib is “tool_settings.mesh_select_mode”. The Value: fields represent what modes to enable, vertices, edges and faces in that order. So True, False, False says to enable Vertices, but not Faces or Edges.
Now, voila. I click “Save as Default” and now I have a single hotkey for toggling between the editing modes. I really should have done this ages ago. In the meanwhile I learned the Blender customization is downright amazing.