Favorite standard-pole linears? (light tactiles welcome)

There are alternatives to MX Brown from other manufacturers. It depends what you are looking for.

For example, check out AKKO POM Brown:

It’s basically an MX Brown, but said to be smoother and less-scratchy from factory. Probably doesn’t sound as good, lacking Nylon Cherry housings, but it is a smoother material.

On the expensive side, there exist things like Blueberry Chiffon and Durock Light Tactile/Pewter/Cotton Candy, which are supposed to be new spins on light tactiles.

On the cheaper side, there are still some KTT Mallo, which can be found for $2.40/10 in some places. They are almost a linear, but use an MX Brown stem and smooth materials. There’s discussion of it on this forum.


Have you tried the Blueberry Chiffons? Any sense how the factory lubing is on these?

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Funny you ask.

I’m about to receive some, because of the BF sale.

But I haven’t yet. Accounts say that the factory lubing (lubed variant) is pretty decent, but won’t be as consistent and complete as hand-lubing.

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I tried a few experiments and have some information for you;


  • I don’t think it’s likely you’ll run into springs that are too short to use. TX’s “short” springs are actually a pretty normal length.

  • Sprit Multi-stage springs are quite nice, but seem to behave more like a typical longboi / slow-curve, and don’t seem to discourage bottoming-out or take the edge off a harsh long-pole clack in any particular way.

  • Halo True springs do tho

  • Re: too-short springs; One of the shortest-travel long-pole combos I’ve tried so far is a U4T stem in a JWK housing (a Dragonfruit in this case); I put a stubby Halo True stem in there and it works just fine, managing healthy preload once closed. I suppose it’s possible to run into a spring / stem / housing combo that won’t return the stem all the way home, but I feel like it’s pretty darn unlikely. Halo True springs are 12mm long; 2mm shorter than TX’s “short” springs - so I think you should be good there.

  • Re: multi-stage springs; I do have some 68g Sprit Multi-stage M1 springs, and I tried those in a long-pole linear (MM P3 stem in a JWICK black). Purely in terms of weighting throughout travel, they’re remarkably similar to the stock JWICK black spring - however they start heavier while bottoming-out slightly lighter - so probably not the effect you’re looking for.

    That said, something I didn’t expect: the Sprit springs somehow make the switch feel more stable, less wobbly. I suppose this is because the Sprits are a bit longer (17mm vs stock 14mm) and thus have more preload, but I’m only guessing. The biggest difference I felt between those and the stock springs was that the Sprits felt more stable and clean - but I honestly couldn’t detect any point in the travel where weight increased in a non-linear fashion, and the overall increase is pretty normal seeming. I’m gonna say these are really nice springs totally worth using, but not necessarily for their novel-looking two-stage business.

  • Compared with fast-curve Halo True spring; I tried the same stem & housing combo with a Halo True spring; now that I could tell a difference with, and I do think they could take the edge off depending on typing style. If I go straight from a long-spring / slow-curve linear (which I basically always bottom-out on) to these things, they feel quite heavy - but if I adjust my typing style to focus on actuation rather than bottom-out and consciously type more lightly, they’re actually quite comfortable.

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Thanks. Looking forward to trying those True springs and may grab some TX short springs next time I’m making an order. Speaking of JWICK Blacks, it’s rather tempting to pick some up for the price.

I honestly don’t feel any difference in feel with long-pole switches ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Even with short travel, it must be really extreme to have me notice it, BCP for example, I do notice the sound difference but even then, BTW the Durock POMs have a full 4mm travel, along with the NK Creams and Akko CS line.

About the JWICKs, they’re punch way above their weight, I have some V2 full black nylon JWICKs and they’re very smooth, housing are tight, and stem wobble is decent, and they’re dirt cheap.


Yah, I realized they do run the full 4mm. They definitely feel abrupt to me, though. It’s not harsh, as I don’t type very hard, but more of an interruption. Maybe I don’t understand how these are designed, but would some aspect of the long pole still produce that feeling at 4mm?

It’s very possible you’re feeling the difference.

Long pole switches are a phenomenon caused by using switches with longer than usual poles, resulting in the stem bottoming out on the pole (yellow) rather than bottoming out on the stem rails bottom (blue) like it should.

Pictured: Kailh Halo true stem with the long pole, the stem of the OG long pole switch, the Holy Panda

Originally it was made using Kailh stem (Kailh housings had deeper well) in a non Kailh housing, later companies produced switches with just enough length to hit the housing before the rails, without sacraficing travel.


Thanks, that’s a very clear explanation. Maybe this will have a salutary placebo effect of causing me to feel they’re cutting me short no longer.

With the right spring, these are more than decent. One of my favorites actually. You’ll need to cherry-pick, but the effort pays off for sure. Those Gateron KS-9 Pros aren’t too shabby either.

I’m still thinking Alpacas are a really decent place for anyone to start who’s looking for some above par standard-pole linear action. They’re a bit boring, but the overall consistency of the v2 molds makes up for any sound profile shortcomings, plus the pitch and acoustic undertones they do offer-up don’t overshadow what the plate and keycaps are bringing to the table. Sometimes all I can hear are the switches, so it’s nice when that subtle keycap percussion is the dominant sound.


Sorry if this was discussed, (I am still making my way through the thread), but Blueberry Chiffons are long er pole.

I went with the non-factory lube myself but heard a lot of good things on the factory lubing on Ivokeys’ other offerings (Matcha etc.). In hindsight, I wish I would have just gone factory lube since they really don’t need films.


Though the tactile bump is reportedly really subtle on these, I am still curious despite the long pole because maybe it’s enough to offset that abrupt feeling of the pole bottom-out. Like a little sugar in a dark roast? Errr…maybe. It may have been Maker Mods vid that suggested the factory lubing could make them feel perhaps a little too linear. Dunno!

I don’t know if I would say subtle. The bump I think is pretty in-line with Browns. I just compared them to my Pewters. I think Pewters feel a little smaller, but that could be due to the long pole on the Chiffons. I think the Chiffons my bottom out higher on the bump if you know what I mean, so it feels larger.

A really subtle brown like bump is the KTT Mallos. They are almost linear. I really didn’t like them at first since I am not into linears, but they have grown on me.

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Gotta give’em a try. Ever tried Corsas? I have not. They seem great, but then I noticed the short (3.5mm) travel + long pole, again.

Since we’re adding light-tactiles to the discussion, I enjoy SP Star Meteor Orange.

They are like an Ergo-Brown. Spring a little lighter than MX Brown. Tactile bump same size give or take. Smoother.

So you get something that hits about as hard as a Brown, but with a more distinct bump [less gritty, at least for me], and maybe feels a little lighter.

I have a built board with these.

My favourite regular linear is the Round 1 H1s [HHHH]. It’s basically an Alpaca with MX Black colours, with a 78 G spring that feels like 72.

It’s heavier than typing on Browns or a 65 G linear, but not obnoxiously so. Very definite keypresses for platformers. I could even type on it, if I wanted to. I heard that the newer H1s aren’t as good. But there’s a switch out there like R1 H1s, but a different weight. I forget what it’s called. Anyway, H1s were super-smooth, and felt like a “classic” switch.

[Like what MX Blacks should have been, but lighter. MX Black sounds better, though.]

My favourite cheap linear is Momoka Frogs. Those actually went real cheap at some sellers this year. Like 30-35 cents each or less. Despite being cheap, they are really smooth and sound-okay. I would want them in a cheap board, low-effort. I like the stock spring weight, too.

SP Star linears are pretty good to use in stock form, though lube would help sound. The SP Star Nana was just pleasant to type on. So are Durock Mauves and Lilacs. But Nana has a nice colour scheme. [Mauves and Lilacs will need L + F to shine.]

I am probably in the minority here, but I also like BOX Creams. They are weighted just right. They have a slight tactility to them because the stem is grainy. They remind me of worn-in pre-tooled Browns. I keep calling for a light-tactile version of this. Pre-worn Browns.

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Some how those switches really flew under my radar. I found out about them again through the Youtuber Shoobs. I got into Pewters and Cotton Candy switches through him as well.

Ultimately I haven’t jumped into the Corsas yet. At this point I am not sure I will.

I really like the Blueberry Chiffons, but I don’t think I want to go deep into long pole switches. I read a comment on this site a while back that really caused me to have an epiphany. The poster was kind of making fun of users that put long pole stem switches on POM and PC plates since the switch brings back a harsh bottom out that those plate materials tend to take away. I typically like to run those plate materials, so it kind of hit like a ton of bricks.

The Chiffons are light enough that I they don’t hurt when bottoming out, but I think I have used them enough now to noticed that along with a clacky sound, they bring back a bottom out that I typically don’t enjoy.

Currently I have a realm of light tactiles in all my boards that keep me in a range I like but with enough variation that is interesting.
From small bump to big bump (my personal rough estimate):
KTT Mallo → Pewter & Cotton Candy (hard to differentiate between the two) → Blueberry Chiffon → JWK Rara → Ergo Clears


I’m close.

I use Mallos (previously), Browns, Meteor Orange, Ergo Clears [63.5 G Progressive], Everglide Jade, CAP Brown [hotswap], Ergo Clears [62 G], Ergo Clears [65 G].

[I also have some L + F RARA V2 just lying around. The 63.5 G ThiccThocc springs are a little heavy for a medium-tactile.]

Are you saying that Blueberry Chiffons bottom-out harsh enough that you might as well put them on an aluminium / CF plate? I thought I might try to get some into a polycarb plate if I like them, but now it seems as if that might be redundant.


I think Shoobs has led several people toward light tactiles with his love of MX Browns. He’s one of my favs, cursed hands and all.

Anyway, it makes sense to me to talk about light tactiles alongside regular length poles since they both seem off-trend but with devoted enjoyers, and maybe both are slowly gaining traction as people seek something different or discover the downsides of their opposites with extended use.

While I like the feel, though less than linears, I personally cannot handle the popular Holy Panda-level large tactile bump from an ergonomic standpoint. Even with a sub-60g spring, the bump itself seems too much for my left ulnar nerve. So these are super interesting if I ever want to experience a tactile (which I do).

Until the topic comes up, it can seem like everyone wants big tactiles, 63.5-65g springs, extra long stems, but the reality is far more diverse, as you all are demonstrating. I’m coming away with more options than I knew existed.

Regarding this realization, that is interesting, and it rings true, but I feel like not everyone is seeking a softer bottom out necessarily in using a plastic plate? I just mean that in some cases the potential for a softer feel from POM or PC may be secondary or corollary to seeking a certain sound or aesthetic from the switch/plate combination. You may just like the combo on its own terms.

Lacking the history of the hobby having developed plastic plates for comfort when stiffer mounts were more common, say, someone like me comes in, in the past year or two, and just sees 5-6 common plate options and thinks “I’m gonna try the lot of them.” They all become equal material for experimentation, which I guess is the march of time and experience.

In the last year, my first board was PC plate, and I actually gravitated toward long poles because they thwacked really nicely in a muted build. Now, that sounded like a keyboard to me.

Then came FR4, and now I realize I actually just like aluminum and was ready for a board with better acoustics (though I still like those others, too)!

What’s old is new. Part of the fun for me is then learning from people like yourself how, for example, brass got so popular as a plate material partially because it’s durable and was easier to make when manufacturing expertise was still developing. Maybe this last part is off topic.

Ever see how Keybored (Scott?) creates ranking charts like this at the end of his switch videos?


People decided years ago that they wanted smoother linears, clickier clickies, and more tactile tactiles.

The problem was, they interpreted “tactile” as heavy tactile, and developed that end of the spectrum. So that’s how we ended up with Holy Panda, Zealio V2, T1s, and U4.

If “light tactile” had been chosen as a category for development, then I guess people would have been looking for “smoother, crisper, more clearly defined light-tactiles.” Since “light” [i.e. close to linear] and “tactile” [keypress indication] are what define the group.

In fact, this latter trend had been set early on, with Zealio V1, but the success of Holy Pandas pulled much attention towards the “heavy” category.

The situation is much better today. There have never been so many light-tactiles on offer. BTW Zealio V1 hasn’t come up much, but can be built very successfully as a light-tactile, if desired. It is a smooth switch with a more mellow, relaxed bump than Ergo Clears. Like a super-Mallo. Normal stem and does well with polycarb. So that’s a near-linear option if you want to lube them and use lighter springs.


What you’re saying is very reasonable and I had the same thought, keyboard terminology is a mess.

Akko Lavender Purples are pretty light (at least the early versions), yet their tactile bump is very defined and clear.

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