As some what of an amateur to the hobby, I always wonder what my next board will contain. I figured it’d be nice to hear some argumentative statements from people with experience.
cherry mx browns
they’re the most popular and best tactile switch in the market.
(jk, team clicky rise up)
I’m a big fan of the Boba U4 right now but since I’ve put together a Kailh box navy board I think my next favorite might be Jades once I try.
Cherry MX Black when smooth. Sounds perfect and feels right.
Tealios for a long time now, big smooth with a nice sound
Kailh choc white.
Low-profile switches is what brought me back to the mechanical keyboard hobby — I just can’t stand the vertigo with box switches, and wrist rests are crutches. There are other low-profile switches out there, but those are the easiest to get and clicky, what else does one need.
I don’t have one favorite since I kind of miss the feel of other switch type when I stick to one.
- For linear, gotta add to Cherry blacks(vintage and/or when smooth) too but with lighter spring than stock.
- For non silent tactile - Holy yok panda since I’m too tired and broke to collect all clones/revisions/iterations with minimal to no difference and some known tactiles are too tactle for my liking and expensive)
- For silent tactile - Boba U4. Most silent tactile I’ve tried (other quality silent tactiles are too tactile for my liking and expensive)
I’m all about linears.
Favourite at the moment - alpacas, both regular and silent.
All with lighter springs
Im a simple man. I like what I like.
This changes with my mood, but I definitely have some standbys I always seem to enjoy:
Clicky: Box Whites - pretty light with a mild but super-crisp and affirmative tactility. One of my fastest-typing switches, but obviously loud AF.
Tactile: Kiwis - on the stronger side of tactility, but very well-balanced and smooth making it a very easy switch to use. Kiwis aren’t always available; T1s and their siblings are very similar, using the same stem but different housings.
Silent Tactile: Silent Box Browns - Probably my favorite overall daily-driver; a good balance of work-friendly and snappy operation. I probably wouldn’t put them on a high-end custom, though - they aren’t super consistent under close scrutiny, in any aspect.
Linear: Tough for me to decide between Ink Blacks and Ink Yellows; both exceptionally smooth, with the latter having a shorter travel. Pricy, though. Two other linears great out of the box are Tangerines and Silks, each having pretty good factory lube. Learning and doing it yourself can give you better results, but these are great ways to try very smooth switches before doing that.
Silent Linear: Silent Inks all day for me. There are plenty of really good ones now, but I’m partial to the sound and feel of these guys; a good balance between quiet and crisp.
Tactile: Heisenbergs - Halo stem in an Ink Blue. Crazy snappy, very smooth, bump takes up the whole of its short travel; probably my favorite switch overall at the moment.
Silent Tactile: Lemon Lushes - Gazzew U4 stem in an Ink Yellow w/ a donut-dipped 68g ThicThock MP spring; that last bit is critical to the recipe. Bump is a little on the wide side for me generally, but so far I’ve really not tried anything else like it - the interesting mix being a pretty strong bump with a very soft, bouncy bottom-out. Prohibitively expensive to fill a whole board with, but I do plan on using these for a numpad at work.
Linear: Creamy Inks - Cream stem in an Ink Black. Smooth, shorter travel, and has a sound I prefer to either Inks or Creams.
Silent Linear: Pretty much anything with a Gazzew linear stem in it. (Made by Outemu; you might find them under their own name depending on the market.) I still prefer Ink Blacks overall, but they aren’t half as quiet.
While I generally prefer my small number of favorite frankenswitches to stock, I’ve yet to try a clicky one that’s worth putting together. I’ve heard of good ones, but apparently the bits are hard to come by. If you’re interested in reading more about modded switches, here is a thread with lots of discussion on tactiles specifically, and here is one with a handful of various recipes.
Inks! Glorious Pandas! POM Holy Pandas! Brown Alps! Topre!
Inks - By far the best and most consistent linear switch I’ve used so far with a great sound when lubed, and a great smooth switch feel.
Glorious Pandas - I like them a lot, they aren’t as harsh as a typical HP while still retaining a large bump; I’ll have a video review out later in the week probably. Probably the best HP-like.
POM Holy Pandas - Similar to the Glorious Pandas. I think if you want something Holy Panda in name, these are among the best so far.
Brown Alps - One of my vintage tactile lovers with its excessively snappy tactility.
Topre - There still has yet to be a feel like Topre. It’s definitely a love it or hate it kind of switch
Tactile switch - Cherry vintage brown
Linear switch - Gateron linear, black top black bottom (red/black/yellow/clear doesn’t matter because I will spring swap)
Clicky switch - Gazzew Phoenix
I would put Alps but I don’t think they are good value - Alps “linear” green are my favorite
I don’t like buckling spring M version or F version, I think it’s too heavy and pingy
Linear: MX Blacks, simple and always good enough to work well, and they sound amazing. Best switch to use to test the sound of a new board.
Tactile: MX Browns are actually really nice if treated well
Also Topre, its really such a nice switch and has a great feel to it, though I hate the layouts of the boards that use it other than the 84u because WKL is so good looking.
Clicky: Amber Alps, they were my first alps board and I love them to death, nothing could have been better to get me really into this stuff than that. (Until the undamped creams I had came in, since those are so rare and weird that nothing could have beat them.)
Linear: Nothing. I keep trying to give these a shot, and they just don’t do it for me.
Tactile: Right now I am liking Zeal V1s, spring swapped to 64g. Better than browns, but not the crazy tactility of that has been so popular lately (HPs, T1s, etc.) I am in a couple GBs to get some more medium tactility type switches, as I have really been enjoying them. I am looking to make some “Sky Pandas” (Sky stem in YOK housing) and then I got in on the RARA switch. Medium tactility, with 63.5 spring.
Other tactiles that I enjoy: 62g Koala switches. You can still get these on AliExpress. Nice sound and nice bump. I even lubed the legs, and they still are really tactile. Like others have mentioned: U4 Boba stem (silent Holy Panda) in a Okomochi housing. Pink housing, but the important part is the Punchy 67.5g spring. The spring really kicks back on the upstroke. It is pretty interesting. Finally, classic Silent Zeal V2s. Great switch although price-y. I think the U4 stem/Boba switch might top this just because of the price.
Click-y: Really not interested in these. I like being able to type while in a meeting and not having to constantly mute my mic. Even some of my non-silent switches can be too loud for this.
Might be controversial, but I actually am convinced durock linears are my favorite switches. As opposed to the traditional linears like gats and vintage or retooled blacks, they’re much more clacky, and not muted like the others. I think I prefer that tbh. You also are 100% sure that they will be incredibly smooth, where you might not get the best batch of gats, or you might get a barely used set of blacks.
Unpopular opinion, but I’m still chasing the feel and tactility of MX Blues on a plastic plate. Coolermaster Masterkeys Pro S was my first nice board and something about the feel of writings tens of essays on it makes me miss it (spilled tea on it earlier this year doing a lab report, sadly did not recover).
Still trying to find a good switch without the click that matches that feel. Just got some clears to make ergo clears, but just trying them stock it’s still not quite the same. If anyone can help please do lol.
Linears: Creams lubed with 205g0
- the sound is just too pleasant, I haven’t been able to find a switch that sounds quite as nice as this. After lubing and some breaking in they are pretty smooth, but I have yet to try some of the jwk variants so I cannot compare to those.
Tactile: Holy Bobas, lubed with 205g0 on the sliders & gat yellow spring-swapped.
- Really snappy switch with a great sound signature. Very little stem wobble (if any at all) and a treat to use on a brass-plate tkl.
Love clicky switches
Heavy Pale Blue
All three are so enjoyable but enjoying the jade a lot
Early Drop Pandas. When lubed and installed in a copper plate with plate foam, the feel and sound is really hard to beat!
I haven’t done much research into it, but there is a mod you can do to blue switches that involves holding the click jacket in place thereby not allowing it to “click”. I think they are called jailhouse blues.
Not too sure if it would retain the feel and tactility of unmodded blues but I think it would be worth looking into regardless.
Right now it’s Kailh Speed Silvers lubed with GPL 205.
I’ve got Banana Splits, Tangerines, and Alpacas on my radar though. I really like the early actuation of the Kailh Speed Silvers, but it’s hard to beat all these new JWK linears on smoothness. Plus the cute housings are amazing.