Comparing Different Types of Mechanical Keyboard Switches: Exploring Pros and Cons
Guide Difficulty: Beginner; 3 min read
Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity for their tactile feedback, durability, and customization options. When it comes to selecting a mechanical keyboard, one of the most crucial decisions is choosing the right switch type. Different switch types offer unique characteristics that significantly impact the typing experience. In this article, we will compare the pros and cons of popular mechanical keyboard switch types, helping you make an informed decision based on your preferences and needs.
1. Clicky Switches:
Clicky switches provide an audible “click” sound and tactile feedback with each keystroke. They are favoured by typists who appreciate the satisfying feedback and want a distinct tactile feel.
– Satisfying typing experience with tactile feedback.
– Audible click provides an auditory confirmation of each keystroke.
– Tactile bump aids in typing accuracy.
– The audible click can be noisy and may disturb others in quiet environments.
– The tactile feedback may require slightly more force, leading to potential fatigue during extended typing sessions.
– Not suitable for environments where noise is a concern, such as offices or shared spaces.
Popular examples: Cherry MX Blue, Kailh BOX White.
Kailh BOX White Switches
2. Tactile Switches:
Tactile switches offer a tactile bump without the audible click, striking a balance between comfort and feedback. They are suitable for users who desire a tactile typing experience without the noise associated with clicky switches.
– Tactile bump provides feedback without the audible click, making it more suitable for quieter environments.
– Comfortable for prolonged typing sessions.
– Offers a good compromise between typing comfort and feedback.
– Lack of audible feedback may require some adjustment if coming from a clicky switch.
– Tactile bump may vary in intensity among different switch models, which can affect the typing experience.
– Less suitable for users who prefer a completely linear keystroke.
Popular examples: Cherry MX Brown, Kailh BOX Brown.
Kailh BOX Brown Switches
3. Linear Switches:
Linear switches provide a smooth keystroke without any tactile bump or audible feedback. They are favoured by gamers due to their consistent and rapid actuation.
– Smooth and consistent keystrokes allow for rapid actuation.
– Minimal resistance enhances the typing speed and reduces finger fatigue.
– Suitable for gamers who require quick and effortless key presses.
– Lack of tactile feedback may feel less satisfying for typists who prefer a tactile bump.
– Users may bottom out keys more frequently due to the absence of a tactile bump.
– Can be less suitable for typists who rely on tactile feedback for accuracy.
Popular examples: Cherry MX Red, BerserKeys Wolf Warrior.
BerserKeys Wolf Warrior Switches – Ultra-fast gaming switches
4. Silent Switches:
Silent switches are designed to minimize typing noise, making them suitable for quiet environments or shared spaces. They often incorporate mechanisms to reduce both bottoming out and upstroke noise.
– Reduced noise during typing, making them suitable for quiet environments.
– Retain the tactile feedback or linear feel of their non-silent counterparts.
– Provide a satisfying typing experience without causing disturbance.
– Slightly increased actuation force compared to their non-silent counterparts.
– Not as widely available as other switch types, limiting options for customization.
– May require adjustment if transitioning from non-silent switches.
Popular examples: Cherry MX Silent Red, TTC Bluish White.
TTC Bluish White Tactile Switches
Choosing the right mechanical keyboard switch type is a personal decision based on individual preferences and requirements. Clicky switches provide a satisfying tactile experience with audible feedback, tactile switches offer tactile feedback without the noise, linear switches provide smooth keystrokes for rapid actuation, and silent switches minimize typing noise. Consider factors such as your typing style, environment, and desired feedback when selecting a switch type. It is recommended to try out different switch types yourself by typing or listening to the sounds to get an intuitive feel for them, before making a purchase decision.
Ordinary Keyboards vs. Mechanical Keyboards: 5 Major Differences Unveiled
Guide Difficulty: Beginner; 3 min read
Keyboards are essential tools for our daily computing needs, but not all keyboards are created equal. When it comes to choosing a keyboard, you are often faced with a decision between an ordinary keyboard and a mechanical keyboard. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two, highlighting the unique features and advantages of mechanical keyboards over their ordinary counterparts.
Traditional Membrane Keyboard
1. Typing Experience:
One of the key distinctions between ordinary keyboards and mechanical keyboards lies in the typing experience they offer. Ordinary keyboards, often membrane-based, have a softer and mushier feel when typing.
On the other hand, mechanical keyboards employ individual mechanical switches for each key, providing a more tactile and satisfying typing experience. For example, Cherry MX Blue switches offer a clicky feel with an audible “click” sound, providing a tactile response with each keystroke.
In addition, Topre switches are known for their smooth and cushioned typing experience, combining the benefits of mechanical and rubber dome keyboards.
Cherry MX RGB Blue Switches
2. Durability and Lifespan:
Mechanical keyboards are built to last, thanks to their robust construction and individual switch design. Ordinary keyboards, particularly those with membrane-based technology, may experience key failures or degraded performance over time.
On the contrary, mechanical keyboards typically have a longer lifespan compared to ordinary keyboards. As you may already know, keyboards with switches such as Cherry MX or Gateron are known for their durability and longevity, with each switch capable of lasting for millions of keystrokes.
Not to mention, high-end mechanical keyboards often feature an aluminium or steel frame, adding an extra layer of durability.
3. Customisation Options:
Mechanical keyboards offer a wide range of customisation options, allowing users to tailor their typing experience to their preferences. From switch choices to keycap designs, mechanical keyboards provide a higher level of personalisation compared to ordinary keyboards. Nowadays, most of mechanical keyboards have hot-swappable switches, enabling users to easily swap out switches without soldering, providing further customisation possibilities.
Besides, keycap sets are available in various materials, profiles, and designs, allowing users to Customise the look and feel of their keyboard.
One of the most popular keycap sets sold on BerserKeys.
4. Gaming Performance:
Mechanical keyboards are highly regarded in the gaming community for their superior performance and responsiveness. The distinct linear quick response or tactile feedback of mechanical switches allows for precise key presses, making them ideal for gamers who require quick and accurate inputs. Noticeably, linear switches like Cherry MX Red or Gateron Black are popular among gamers due to their smooth keystrokes and rapid actuation.
Moreover, switches with shorter actuation distances, such as Cherry MX Speed Silver or Kailh Speed switches, are favoured by gamers for their increased responsiveness.
Kailh Speed Switches
5. Sound and Aesthetics:
The sound produced by mechanical keyboards is another characteristic that sets them apart from ordinary keyboards. Some users enjoy the audible feedback and distinctive sound profiles produced by mechanical switches. For example, typing on a keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches provides a tactile feel without the loud click, making it suitable for office environments or quieter settings.
Last but not least, mechanical keyboards often feature a more premium and aesthetically pleasing design compared to ordinary keyboards. Custom mechanical keyboards allow users to choose from various keycap sets, case materials, and RGB lighting options to create a visually appealing and personalized keyboard.
Cherry MX Brown Switches
While ordinary keyboards have their place in the computing world, mechanical keyboards offer a host of advantages that make them stand out. With their linear or tactile typing experience, durability, customisation options, gaming performance, unique sound profiles, and aesthetic appeal, mechanical keyboards are a preferred choice for many enthusiasts and professionals alike. When it comes to investing in a keyboard that enhances your typing experience and provides long-term satisfaction, mechanical keyboards are undoubtedly a worthy option.