Are vint blacks a myth?

I bought a G80-1000 recently with an intent to harvest vint blacks and keycaps from it. Now that it has arrived it turns out it’s one of the older ones (1990), says ‘made in west germany’ and I am now unsure if I should just gut the board for switches.

What should I do?

Option 1 – I could harvest vint blacks from it, retrobright the caps and use them on a TKL that is about to ship from GB. I don’t care much for ISO/QWERTZ, but the board was 40 euros, so it’s a great deal overall.

Option 2 – Keep the board and try to use it. I must admit it has a certain charm, but it’s too huge for me (I currently use a 60%). I either need to turn whole body left to type, or have my mouse alll the way to the right and extend my arm in a weird way. I’m sure it’s just a matter of a week to break a habit though. Even if I do get used to the layout I would have to figure out a way to clean the PCB right under the swithces because it’s filthy and smells terrible (isopropyl on a toothbrush maybe?). I would also have to stpring swap, because the way the switches are right now is a no go for me. Some are light, some are heavy, and all are pingy as hell. This would then require me to open switches in place (soldered in), springswap, lube, re-assemble. Or I would have to desolder and resolder them. I would also need to clip the stabs because they sould like ass. And probably will have to mod the case to get a decent sound out of it, right now it’s really resonant which I do not like.

Option 3 – sell the board and re-invest into something else, like hyperglides?

Now this whole thing rests on one question — are vint blacks worth it?

I already have them, but is there going to be any real difference to hyperglides? I saw every youtube video comparing the two, and they all have a terrible audio quality to be able to discern what is happening there.

There are youtubers, like Andy V Nguyen that say vint blacks are very different and sound better, and that they use a slightly different blend of nylon that is slightly less scratchy, and even if you break the hyperglides in, there will still be a difference.

Did anyone here actually compare the two in person to be able to draw conclusions?


Vint Blacks are just normal Mx Blacks that have been broken in through years/decades of use, roughly speaking. Nothing special about them besides that and the novelty of having them. If you want the flex then i’d use them in a board. If you want to use Cherry switches then i’d go for hyperglides or even ultraglides (broken in/polished hyperglides), and if you want actually good switches then i’d go for something not from cherry. But to each his own, that’s just my opinion after all.


@ventamora hit the nail on the head. People can use all the copium they want, there is very little difference between vint, pre tooled, re-tooled, & hyperglide blacks. I’ve tried them all & with every variation there is good & bad batches, just luck of the draw whether you get a good or bad batch. The big advantage to vint blacks is that they are already heavily broken in which will make them feel much smoother than non broken in MX black. Which is a crapshoot cause you have no way of knowing how much a board was used before you got it. The different nylon blend thing is way overthinking them. At best the plastic used in vints is of a slightly higher quality because it was cheaper back in the day & might have been provided by a different supplier than they use now.

IME the only switches that are truly better than others is switches that were made at the very beginning of the molds life. That goes for every switch out there, the less the molds have been used the smoother the finish on the plastics molded with them. Which again puts us mostly in crap shoot territory cause unless they are switch that just came out we have no way to know what batch number they came from.

If it were me & the G80-1000 is in good shape I’d keep it together even if just for a show piece. If it’s not in great shape I’d harvest the switches & caps for use on future projects.


Thank you.

So as far as I udnerstand there are two ways of thinking about this – some people say vints are smooth because of break-in, some say they are smooth because Cherry used to make them better (molds/nylon blend).

There is this post that eliminates the first variable – someone compared the NOS vint desoldered from a boxed keyboard to a new retooled black

According to this person, vints are smoother stock, without break in.

But again, hyperglides were slightly redesigned so no idea if this would hold true for vint vs. hyperglide.

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That post is still subject to where in the molds lifetime the switches were made. For the retools we can safely assume they were made in one of the earlier batches from the molds. For the vints we can never know, but if they are feeling smoother they were also most likely made close to the molds beginning of use. I’m not trying to say vint blacks are a complete myth as I myself have felt some super smooth vint blacks (broken in & NOS), I’m just trying to reinforce the ideal that they are a huge crapshoot. You won’t know how good the vint blacks are before you get them regardless of their source or pedigree. Then considering the very limited number of what we’d call good batches that are produced before the molds start to wear some & the huge number of switches Cherry produces the odds are heavily against someone trying to find vint blacks that fit their mythical status in the community especially if you’re chasing NOS vint blacks. That’s why the heavily worn ones are a better bet, since at the very least they are broken in, even if they came from a batch towards the end of the lifetime of the molds in use at the time.