How To Choose The Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches For Me?
Choosing the best mechanical keyboard switches depends on your personal preferences and typing style. Here are some factors to consider when selecting switches.
How To Choose The Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
- Tactility: Some switches have a tactile bump that provides feedback when the key is actuated, while others are linear and have a smooth keystroke without any tactile feedback. Decide if you prefer a tactile or linear switch.
- Actuation Force: Consider the amount of force required to actuate the switch. Lighter switches (e.g., Cherry MX Red) require less force, while heavier switches (e.g., Cherry MX Black) require more force. Choose a switch that suits your typing style and comfort.
- Noise Level: Mechanical switches can be clicky (audible click sound), tactile (silent tactile feedback), or linear (smooth and silent). If you’re in an environment where noise is a concern, you may prefer switches with lower noise levels.
- Typing Speed: Switches with a lighter actuation force and linear characteristics may be more suitable for faster typists, as they require less force and offer smoother keystrokes.
- Personal Preference: Ultimately, it’s important to consider your personal preference and try out different switches if possible. Some people prefer the satisfying click of a tactile switch, while others prefer the smoothness of a linear switch.
If you have the opportunity, try out keyboards with different switch types or consider purchasing a switch tester to get a feel for the different options before making a decision. Ultimately, the best switch for you is the one that feels comfortable and enjoyable to use during your typing sessions.
Mechanical Keyboard Switches That You Should Try At Least Once
The Cherry firm manufactures the majority of switches. This firm is the most well-known name on the market since it has been producing mechanical switches for three decades. Some businesses employ handmade or alternative switches. There are switches from Kailh or the Romer G, for instance. The fundamental characteristics of the various hues are the same regardless of the brand you select. The three most common switches—red, blue, and brown—as well as the newest optical switches will be discussed in this article.
Cherry MX Red (gamers)
Linear switches are those that are red. Since you can’t feel or hear when the key is registered, the keys require less force to push. The red switch is well-liked by gamers because it responds quickly and requires less pressure to hold down a button.
Cherry MX Blue (typing and programing)
Clicky switches are those that are blue. You may hear a click when a keystroke is recognized on blue switches. This is helpful while programming, typing, and playing strategic games. You don’t need to fully press a key because you can feel when it registers. Your fingers won’t become as fatigued from typing as a result.
Cherry MX Brown (all-round)
Red and blue switches have essentially been replaced by brown tactile switches. When you get to the actuation point, brown switches make a subtle but audible bump. The brown switch also provides resistance when fully depressed. This makes it a wise pick if you spend a lot of time typing and gaming.
Cherry MX Speed
One of the mechanical switches that is most delicate. When pressed, these switches rarely provide any feedback and register around 40% more quickly than red switches.
Cherry MX Silent
When you press these mechanical switches, nothing happens. This means that while you type, you don’t hear any clicking sounds.
Optical mechanical (gamers)
How can gamers react even faster? The answer is optical mechanical switches. Although these switches have the same tactile and audible mechanics as a typical mechanical keyboard, the actual actuation—the registering of the keystroke—has been altered. Since the mechanism has been replaced by a light signal, the keyboard now actually “sees” when a key is immediately pressed.
Where To Buy Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
There are several places where you can buy mechanical keyboard switches. Here are some popular options:
- Online Retailers: Websites like Amazon, Newegg, and mechanical keyboard specialty stores such as Keycapscustom.com and NovelKeys offer a wide range of mechanical keyboard switches. They provide a convenient way to browse and compare different options, read reviews, and make purchases online.
- Local Electronics Stores: Check with local electronics stores, computer stores, or gaming stores in your area. Some of them may carry mechanical keyboard switches or even have keyboards with different switches on display for you to try out before making a purchase.
- Mechanical Keyboard Enthusiast Communities: Online communities such as r/mechanicalkeyboards on Reddit or Geekhack forums often have group buys and community-run online stores where you can purchase unique or specialty switches.
- Manufacturer Websites: Visit the websites of mechanical keyboard switch manufacturers like Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, and others. They often have official online stores where you can buy switches directly from them.
- Keycap and Switch Specialty Stores: Some stores focus on keycaps and switches specifically. They may carry a selection of mechanical keyboard switches and related accessories. Examples include sites like KBDfans, Drop (formerly Massdrop), and 1upkeyboards.
When purchasing switches, make sure to check compatibility with your keyboard. Different keyboards use different switch mount types, such as Cherry MX, Gateron, or Kailh, so ensure that the switches you choose are compatible with your keyboard’s switch mount.
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