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Keyboard switch guide

There are probably hundreds of keyswitches you can choose from. People embrace new models every now and then, they change springs and lube stems. However, just like most enthusiasts, you will most likely settle on one of the three main types of switches.

This page is under construction.

MX stems

If you are reading a basic switch guide like this you most likely need MX style switches with the +-shaped stem. Most switches come with these MX stems and most caps available are made for these type of switches. But there are other stems (eg. Kailh low profile) so make sure what you order.

Linear, tactile, clicky

While the number of switches offered grows day by day, they fit into three basic categories:

General rule:

  • If you're a gamer, you most likely need linear switches.
  • If you have people around you (at home or at work) linears or silent tactiles can work best.
  • If you are mostly alone in your room feel free to enjoy clickies.

Linear switches

Linear switches like Cherry reds don't have a clicky or tactile feedback (bump). They are good for gamers or in office environment. For typing I missed the feedback and had to bottom out all the time. Even rubberdome keyboards have some click or bump which helps to tell if a keypress was registered. You may or may not like this lack of feedback.

Tactile switches

Tactile switches like Cherry browns have a small bump when pressed, but they don't make a click sound. They are a good compromise between linears and tactiles.

Clicky switches

Clicky switches like Cherry blues have a click sound when pressed. This sound is pleasing for some people but can drive your family/coworkers crazy. Choose them accordingly.

Low profile

There are some low profile variants like Kailh Chocks. They allow a significantly lower keyboard hight, but having different stems they are not compatible with MX caps, regular hot-swap sockets or PCBs.