Favorite standard-pole linears? (light tactiles welcome)

Does anyone want to reply with their favorite linears that can at least periodically be gotten and have a standard length pole?

I know of some, like the CJs and maybe Gateron X, but more often than not the switches I hear about are long-pole when I look them up.

Longer version:
After spending a lot of time with Durock POMs in multiple keyboards, I don’t think I like really like long-pole linears. This is nothing against the POMs in particular. I just find the early bottom out jarring now.

I’ve thought about spring swapping for a heavier spring to make it less abrupt, but I have some RSI and have had some issues with springs above a nominal 60g bottom out and don’t super want to play around with that.

Background re: long-pole experience:
At first, I loved them due to the assertive sound and the ergonomics of a shorter travel and lighter weight feel, compared to the lubed KS-3s I’d been used to, which aggravated my ulnar nerve.

However, being fairly new, I then discovered the “magic” of spring swapping to deal with spring weights that are slightly too heavy for my pinkies. I also switched to Gateron CJs, which are also super smooth, sound great in the right board, and have a stock spring weight that is equally non-aggravating to RSI (60g, give or take). On top of that, they don’t need to be lubed. But I’d love more options.


It’s a rather boring answer, and they need lube/films, but I’ve never been disappointed with spring swapped cherry blacks/reds. For something that doesn’t need modding, I love KTT strawberries. They’re technically long-pole, but they have full 4mm travel. Their stock spring weight is perfect, 43 g actuation. Also having some RSI issues, they’re lovely.


Good question!

Lately my favorite 4mm travel linear has been the Gateron North Pole - aside from looking like a wet cube of ice, it’s glassy-smooth with a relatively mild bottom-out. It’s more or less a Pro 2.0 Yellow with a thicker polycarb bottom housing, slightly heavier weighting in practice, and a stem made of Ink plastic. I have a full review of that switch here.

Here’s a recording of those in my Portico with some Cherry profile PBT caps:

Another of my favorite full-travel linears is the TTC Ace, which at one point was my favorite switch. These days factory lube has gotten pretty darn competent, but these were the first factory linear I tried that I thought was totally solid out of the box. Not outstanding in any one area per se, but outstanding in that I found no significant caveats - nothing about it sucks, ha. These are pretty normal in a lot of ways, but feel above-average in terms of stability and solidness to me. That said, of those I’m listing here today it does have the most hard bottom-out, being in pretty standard territory there.

Here’s a recording of those in the same Portico with a different set of Cherry profile PBT caps on:

Another worth listing is NovelKeys’ Silk series of switches; JWK linears pre-lubed with 205g0. They’re probably the most standard of the bunch, but quite well-executed at that. If you just want a no-messing-around smooth MX-pattern linear, you could do a whole lot worse than these. Compared with the Aces, I’d say these are a bit more smooth if a bit less stable.

Here’s a recording of them in a Portico68 BL with ABS Cherry profile caps - actually a very different board from the previous two recordings, having a flex-cut polycarb plate and aluminum case:

One more I’ll mention is the Momoka Frog - it’s not as grain-free as the NP or free-sliding as the Ace or Silk, but is still a notably low-grain switch. Sort of like the NP and a few other all-clear switches such as the Aqua King, Frogs have a sort of smooth resistance in the travel - perhaps a very mild gumminess, for lack of better words. Unlike Aqua Kings, however, this aspect is reasonably consistent between switches. Probably the most notable thing about these is now not harsh they are despite having no dampening. That, and the fact that they actuate somewhere past 2mm, closer to bottom-out. Overall I think the NPs are my favorite of these four and might represent the best overall balance of features - but if you want to prioritize being kind to sensitive fingers without crossing-over into the land of mush, these Froggos might be the best bet I know of. ThereminGoat has a full review of that switch here.

Here’s a recording of them in an NK65EE with ABS MT3 high-profile caps:


Ah yes, silks! I forgot to mention those, but I put them in my partners work build and they’re great stock.


C3 tangerine switches are also an excellent linear option. These are extremely smooth and I believe have a 4mm travel.


Oh, didn’t realize those were full travel. Thanks!

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m interested in all of these.

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After posting, I saw you mention a few of these on another thread and am intrigued about them all. Thanks for the detail.

Another that I’ve noticed is Aqua Kings, which you mentioned. Any further thoughts on those?

Any sense whether swapping in a two-stage spring, even a heavier one, might make the bottom out of a long-pole feel less abrupt?

That’s another thought I had for the POMs, and I have some two-stage Tecsee springs from Kinetic Labs around. It occurs to me that most people seem to use a slightly heavier weight than I do, so they may be experiencing long-stems differently.

The Strawberries have looked interesting to me! The POMs also have 4mm travel, though, so I’m not sure if I’d have the same perception of them.

Also, I just realized that each of these replies basically spams the thread. Sorry, first time making my own thread vs. one-off replies.

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Yes. Good ones are good in that they are very smooth and exceptionally stable… but both runs I’ve tested suffered from significant inconsistency. Being generous, I’d say one can expect maybe 2/3 of a bag to be good. I think Akko (KTT) and Gateron have both done it better. :stuck_out_tongue:

Perhaps counterintuitively, I’d say longer springs may actually make a long pole feel more abrupt because of the slow spring curve - that is, a smaller delta between the force required to start moving the stem, and the force required to bottom-out. Comparing a long and normal spring that both bottom out at the same weight, you’ll be closer to that amount of force when the long spring starts to give than you would be with the normal one, so you’ll be more likely to bottom out and with more force, all other things being equal.

That said, there is a spring type that I recommend for mellowing-out bottom impact. Fast-curve springs aren’t nearly as popular, but they are out there, and I think they’re great for taking the edge off of a harsh switch. They’re also good for encouraging a non-bottoming-out typing style. The ones that actually succeed at this in a noticeable way do tend to be quite heavy at the bottom, but are light enough at the top so that actuation itself doesn’t take any unusual amount of force.

The easiest to find significantly fast-curve springs (which tend to be short and stubby) that I know of are Halo True springs. They ping something awful in the dry stock switches, but oiled-up in a linear they’re basically silent. In fact, one of the most quiet switches I have is just a bunch of lubed and filmed Halo Trues with random linear stems in them:


Thanks. I found Cherry Clears to be way too heavy for me and didn’t really like the no-bottom-out style after trying it for a while (first mk I owned), but perhaps with a long pole my fingers wouldn’t have to push them so far…

TX makes some short springs as well, but would they possibly be too short for a long pole to…work?

How about SPRiT two-stage springs, where the initial stage is supposed be light but with a steep ramp followed by a heavier linear “below”?

That’s definitely possible - I haven’t run into this yet specifically, but at least seems like a feasible pitfall. I haven’t tried any of TX’s shorter springs yet so I don’t have any definitive info there. It does give me an idea for an experiment to try when I get home if I can remember; I have some super-short-travel frankens that would be a perfect test-of-limits for stubby springs…

At least in theory, yes - depending on how different the beginning, middle, and end of the curve are from each-other. I might actually have some of these to test with; I’ll get back with you this evening with some experiment results if I don’t forget. :stuck_out_tongue:

Regardless of which “style” the curve is (whether it’s called fast, progressive, complex, or something else), as long as there’s enough delta between the bottom-out and the rest (and relative to your own typing force) it should help to take the edge off. The more steep the curve / larger the difference between actuation and bottom-out, the more you’ll notice that effect.

For example, I barely notice it on Marshmallows, but they’re technically progressive springs. I start to notice it clearly on Cream Arcs; they also have progressive springs that ramp-up more near the end. In linears with Halo True springs it’s super-noticeable to the point of being the defining trait of the switch.

I actually have quite a few spare Halo True springs various people gave me from their Holy Panda leftovers; I’d be glad to send you a handful to try out for yourself. They’re pretty much at the extreme end of their style, so I think they’d be good to feel it out and see if it’s something you’d like.

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This is all super interesting.

I’m happy to take you up on that offer and any other observations you make from further experiments :wink:

If you feel like it, let me know and I’ll DM you my address, or I can send you a stamped envelope.

Thanks so much!

Starting off as a long-pole, big spring enjoyer, I’ve been more or less only using SP or Cherry switches now.

Like @M_er_sun said, MX Blacks are great. Also, if we’re counting light tactiles (cough bumpy linear cough) MX Browns, with some work, are really amazing as well. Just takes a ton of time and effort.


I have some non-Hyperglide Browns that I lubed and filmed. They still did not feel good to me. I assume the newer tooling can become much better. But I would be interested in trying another light tactile.

IME the new Gateron Pro all milky switches, Gat X, & good smooth MX blacks (kina gotta cherry pick for these again now till they refresh the molds again) are all great switches that have standard length stems & won’t break the bank. If you want to spend a little more I really like Gat Oil Kings, Gat Inks (V2 non box stem), JWK Snow Whites, JWK FFFF linears, Everglide Aqua Kings (well ones that aren’t overlubed from the factory, this is another cherry pick switch TBH), & broken in NK Creams (you can get Dreams from NK now which are factory broken in Creams). Off the top of my head that would be murderers row of good linears with standard size stems & standard actuation/bottom out heights.


I don’t have a huge experience with a lot of switches, but Ink switches (red/black) or any JWK linear are a great choice, I tend to vote JWK due to their better tolerances which results in less stabilizer ticking.

Also a thing a lot of people tend to overlook it off-center presses, sure a switch can be smooth but if the off-center presses aren’t as smooth, the typing experience can be very jarring.

My current favorites are the Durock (JWK) EV-01 linears, no factory lube, I’ve used them dry for quite a bit of time and lubed them, very smooth with great tolerances and off-center presses.


How are JWK switches overall in terms of leaf tic? The Durock POMs have some that’s tough to completely get rid of, and I’ve heard maybe that it’s common with JWK despite them otherwise being great. Not necessarily a “dealbreaker” but something I find myself considering.

The Durock POMs I have do have a weird tic, not sure if it’s a leaf ping or a spring crunch, but it is noticeable even after lubing, shame, it’s a phenomenal switch otherwise.

I don’t think it’s JWK thing as the EV-01 switches I have don’t have any noticeable leaf tic, and IIRC what I have is a standard JWK linear (pre-V2 mold, whatever if they’re actually relevant).

Edit: I did start to have some sort of ticking in some of the switches, probably related to the leaf as re-lubing the spring doesn’t solve it.

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Yah, aside from my current feeling about long-pole, I totally agree with this.

Thanks, good to know.