A Helpful Guide of How to Choose Switches
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A Helpful Guide of How to Choose Switches

by Phoebe Wang on Jan 19, 2024

As the soul of a customized keyboard, the choice of switches has always been the most important factor when purchasing a mechanical keyboard. However, there are so many keyboard switches available in the market. How should we choose?

Switches can be categorized based on their structure into tactile switches and linear switches.

Tactile: Features a slight bump with each keystroke and generates moderate noise.

  1. Depending on the design, tactile switches can produce different levels of sound when pressed. Some people enjoy the audible feedback as it provides a satisfying typing experience, and the click sound can help in confirming key presses. For example, the Gateron Blue switch (15 Pieces-$14.99) gives a tactile sensation and sound, with a noticeable bump with each press to ensure every keystroke is on point. They are great switches for some users who enjoy the audible feedback while typing. They will be undoubtedly an upgrade from normal laptop keyboard or membrane style keyboard.

Other recommended switches:

Wisteria Tactile Switches (30 Pieces-$11.99)

Actuation force: 46gf

Pre Travel: 2mm

Total Travel: 3.1mm

KTT Baby Blue Switches (45 Pieces-$13.99)

Material: POM, PC, and PA

Pressure Point Force: 53 ± 5 gf

Operating force: 38 ± 5 gf

Tactile Position: 0.5 ± 0.3mm

Pre-Travel: 2.00 ± 0.3 mm

Total Travel: 3.50 ± 0.5 mm

Spring length:18 mm

  1. On the other hand, some users prefer quieter switchesbut still want to retain tactile feedback, especially in shared or quiet environments, to reduce noise and potential distractions. We highly recommend the Gateron Brown switch. It is a tactile switch like the Gateron Blue switch, but with a much quieter sound for sound-sensitive environments. Many see the Brown switch as an in-between of the Blue and Red switches. 
  2. Compared to typical tactile switches, which have resistance midway through the Keystroke, there are switches that offer a pre-actuation tactile feel, such as Leobog Icesoul switch. It has a 1.7mm travel distance, resulting in a shorter response time compared to normal tactile switches. Additionally, with a light actuation force of 30g, as opposed to the 60g required for Gateron Blue Switch, the Leobog Icesoul Switch is well-suited for both gamers and typists who require prolonged keyboard usage.

LEOBOG Icesoul Mechanical Switches (100 Pieces-$25.99)

Material: POM stem, PC housing

Pin: 5 Pins

Pre-travel: 1.7mm

Total Travel: 3.6mm

Initial Force: 49gf Min

Actuation Force: 30±3 gf

Bottom Force: 45gf

Life Span: 60 million times

Linear: Offers a smooth and consistent keystroke while producing minimal noise.

  1. Linear switches are a type of switch that focuses on delivering a smooth and consistent actuation without any tactile feedback. They are ideal for those who don't prefer the slight bump of tactile switches or the loud noise associated with clicky switches. They are especially favored by gamers, as tactile feedback can sometimes slightly hinder speed and increase response time, and linear switches allow for higher precision in competitive gaming situations. Epomaker's website offers many budget-friendly and reliable linear switches.

LEOBOG Graywood V3 Mechanical Switches (100 Pieces-$25.99)

Material: POM stem, PC top and Nylon Bottom housing

Pin: 3 Pins

Pre-travel: 1.5±0.3mm

Total Travel: 3.6±0.3mm

Initial Force: 30gf Min

Operating Force: 40±3 gf

Bottom Force: 53gf±3g

Life Span: 60 million times

EPOMAKER Peace Lily Switches (100 Pieces-$25.99)

Initial force: 30gf

Actuation force: 42±3gf

Bottom force: 47±5gf

Pre-travel: 2.0mm±0.3mm

Total-travel: 3.6mm±0.3mm

Spring: 20mm

Lifespan: 50 million times

EPOMAKER Jade Blossom Switches (30 Pieces-$14.99)

HousingPOM: housings

Stem: LY

Pin: 5 Pins

Initial force: 35 / 45 gf

Actuation force: 43 / 53 gf

Pre Travel: 2.0mm

Total Travel: 3.6mm

Lifespan: 100,000,000 keystrokes

Spring: Dual spring

  1. Linear switches already have a relatively low sound profile, but it can be further minimized by adding a silicone dampener on top of the guide rail, stem, or bottom housing. This results in a soft contact during bottoming out and rebounding to the top, effectively reducing the sound to a minimum. This is what we call linear silent switches. It’s perfect for places with sound restrictions and gamers that don’t want to disturb others at night. Epomaker Sea Salt Switch (35 Pieces-$16.99) would be a good choice.

 

3 comments

  • Womp Womp
    May 31, 2024 at 00:39

    Agree

    Reply

  • walkur1
    Mar 30, 2024 at 00:14

    I agree with aek, this is a nice write up, but more info on each of the Epomaker switches would be nice :)

    Reply

  • aek
    Feb 04, 2024 at 02:38

    Hi, interesting option.

    Still, should write full review of every switch.
    Especially ones your own brand.

    Reply

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