I was looking into building custom keyboard, as I’ve been using a membrane dell keyboard that comes w/ your PC. But I think I want tactile, as I like the feel of a clicky switch but hate the sound. I am a heavy typer so bottoming out is in the picture. I heard Zealios is really tactile and nice when bottoming out, but all of Zeal’s switches are out of my budget, which is >50 for a pack of 60 (can be more, just giving a baseline). I don’t want to ask "what’s your favorite switch, as I know it’s all preference, but I would like to know what you guy’s default advice for tactile?
I don’t think anyone can really talk about tactile switches without trying out moyu blacks or everglide dark jade black switches. I’m borrowing from someone else’s description, but it’s like small bombs going off at the tip of your fingers. Now, all tactiles that lean on the heavy side are referenced from how far they are from moyu blacks for me, at least.
You should try out light tactiles too. There aren’t that many new switches in this area, but I think gateron cap browns are a really good light tactile as a default, and then pewters are in-stock right now on parallel’s website. I just bought a pack of cotton candy switches, which is today’s newcomer. MX Browns hyperglides are really good once you learn how to lube and film to your preference.
Cant give much advice about switches but Ill give my 2 cents on lubing. Try out different lubing styles, dont be afraid to lube the legs. I find some tactiles have lots of leaf ping and lubing the legs or center leaf area can reduce that ping, some people say this reduces tactile which Ive never really experienced but this is kinda debatable.
If we’re purely sticking with the MX platform, then the Durock T1 (in my opinion) is the best tactile switch in the price to performance category if you’re looking for something that is substantially more tactile than the Cherry MX Brown.
Similarly, the SP Star Polaris Purple is also a good choice if you’re looking for something a little more tactile than the MX Brown, but not much more. They’re also very lightly lubed from factory (at least my sample was). Although, they’re quite a bit more expensive than the T1s.
For me? Definitely Moyu Black/Everglide Dark Jade Black (like p4kemine3goro mentioned) or Boba U4T. I feel like the former is a bit more extreme though. U4T might be the sweet spot for most imo!
U4T for me, it’s in most of my builds now I like it for the sound and the feel (I also do some builds with boba LT but that’s off topic), it’s like I found my endgame. I am not a middle tactility guy though. I can also buy them pre lubed for a decent price. I have a bunch of weights and colors they’re awesome. there’s a lot of switches coming out these days from tecsee and other brands but it’s overwhelming and I have no idea what to try, I should create a topic.
I wish I could like this twice lol. I haven’t done a ton of builds recently and researching all the switches that have come out in the past 2 years is such a chore.
The most recent ones I’ve tried were Kiwis (T1 clones) and they’re pretty nice. My favorite tactile switches are “Heisenberg” frankenswitches (blue ink housing with halo stem) that @Deadeye posted about a couple of years ago, but if zeals are out of your budget then just forget I even wrote that.
All of the suggestions in this thread are good.
But to answer your original question for something that is like Zealio V2 but cheaper, that would be either Durock T1 [already mentioned], or OUTEMU / GAZZEW U4T.
I personally recommend U4T for beginners. It has a smooth housing and is tight, so it doesn’t need to be lubed or filmed. Just use as is! [You can still lube it, though, and springs almost always benefit from being spring-lubed.] 62 G version should be fine.
The Durock T1 is cheap, the feel is alright, sound is pretty mediocre. It’s overall pretty mediocre, and should probably be lubed and filmed for best results. Meaning, more effort by the end-user. T1 has some variants like Amber and Sunflower, if you want different colours. Kiwis are probably the highest-quality T1.
Those are all considered ‘heavy tactiles’ by the old metrics, and so are Holy Panda and variants. People mentioned the Moyu Black and Everglide Jade Black. They are like Pandas, IIRC. The issue here is that these Panda-like switches, while great to type on, tend to be nearly as expensive as Zealio V2. Also, they need to be L + F.
If you go all-in on U4T, which uses the Boba housing, you can experiment later and put Halo / Polia stems in the Boba housing, which gives you ‘Holy Bobas.’ It’s like Holy Pandas, but the Boba housing is smoother + more stable IMHO.
So U4T could be a starting point for also, later getting into U4 [Silent] Boba and Holy Bobas. While still having a ready-to-go switch with the U4T. Unfortunately, they are very popular and so suffer from supply issues.
With regard to Zealio, please keep in mind that this is Zealio V2 we are talking about - it is the heavy tactile that resembles tactile rubber-dome keyboards that you are familiar with. The original Zealio V1, which has made a return as V1 Redux, is a medium-tactile, so you don’t want to get the two confused.
Anyway, you can get Zealio V2 at a discount sometimes. Before purchasing a bunch of things, you might want to wait until Dec 25 or 26 Boxing Day-sale, as they often go down by 15-20% in price. Too bad you missed the Black Friday sale, which lasted an entire week.
Zealio V2 used to be the default recommendation for heavy tactile, along with Holy Pandas, until U4T and T1 came along.
Interesting stuff here. I want to try the Pewters, now that the factory is lubing them correctly, but man are they expensive to import into Canada.
Looks like a pre-order, though. Not sure Parallel actually has them in-stock.
The Cotton Candy switches sound interesting. Can you tell us about them?
The pewters are almost about to ship – and will be in-stock for a while. I think they were originally supposed to ship in November.
As to the cotton candy switches, I just ordered them 2 days ago, so I’m happy to update once they arrive Shoobs has a sponsored review of them on YouTube – that’s where I found out.
If your focus is on inexpensive then it is hard to pass up Kailh Pro Purples. They may need lube on the spring. They aren’t the most tactile switch, but for the price they can feel and sound very good. You an often find them between 25-35 cents a switch, which is half of a T1 or a third of a Zealio.
Glorious Pandas are also cheap, but definitely require filming and lubing - so it all depends on whether or not you count your time as money.
I like Pro Purples, and they are cheap. But they’re only slightly more tactile than MX Brown, more of an Ergo Clear. [and they need lube]
A more modern version of Pro Purple might be the AKKO CS Ocean Blue and Purple. They seem to be ‘lesser Pandas.’ Have a top-mounted bump. But they are less-tactile and lighter than Panda switches, so they’re like a medium tactile. + Even cheaper than Pro Purple.
But yes, OP should try Pro Purples one day. I think they go well with 63.5 G Spirit springs.
Anyone know if it’s possible to order Pewters from AliExpress or TaoBao? I get hit by customs bigtime when ordering those from the U.S.
Also, are they basically identical to Durock Light Tactile? I’m still trying to find the right spring-weight for those. Gonna try 15mm 57 G TX soon, and maybe 58 G 14.5mm.
Checking out the Shoobs video now.
“Essentially, these are a full-nylon version of the Pewters”
I almost broke my keyboard in the hurry to order these. But it’s too expensive to bring into Canada. But full nylon though…
Got to wait until something like this becomes available on AliExpress.
My favorite are the Akko Lavender Purple, they’re pretty cheap, light, but have a pronounced and great bump, btw their sound is “poppy” or “clacky” if that makes sense.
- I have tried the U4T 62g, that switch is solid quality, I find it too heavy for me.
- T1 is garbage, the tactile profile is great, similar to the U4T, but the housing quality is awful and must be modded, also has a very rattly leaf ping.
- Weird that SP Star Purple are mentioned as being a little more than MX Brown, I found them to be almost the same as the T1.
- I wouldn’t recommend the Moyu Black / Dark Jade, aside for the much heavier and sharper tactility than say, the U4T or the T1, they’re very expensive.
- Tecsee’s Purple Tactiles are nice, they’re also inexpensive, they have a similar profile but the bump is less pronounced, not explosive, light, but nice.
- Ocean Blues are similar to the Lavender Purples but with a progressive spring, but they have a noticable leaf ping.
Seems like Durock improved their housing, the housing is not flimsy anymore requiring films to not rattle but it seems they become sluggish with plastic-y resistance, the contact leaf still pings hard.
This is an honest assessment. AKKO CS Ocean Blue is similar to those Lavender Purple, I think.
U4T is great, but it is on the heavy end of the classic spectrum. T1 has a good bump but the housing is very noisy and needs modding.
When I say Pro Purple is a little more tactile than MX Brown, I’m referring to Kailh Pro Purple. SP Star Purple is an entirely different switch that feels to me like a slightly gentler T1. I would classify SP Star Purple as a medium-tactile.
Adding a link here for others - Cotton Candy Switches | LoobedSwitches
I missed the discussion around these earlier, but I am now super interested in them. Spec-wise they seem super similar to Pewters (which I really enjoy) but with slight different materials.
I love my Boba U4T switches. For a quiet version there is the Boba U4
Surprised no one has mentioned these yet, but TTC bluish whites are a damn good tactile for the money. I highly recommend them, almost feel like what a medium tactile should be imo. Just throwing another option out there.
Agreed and from my experience they improve significantly with heavy use (for whatever reason).