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.