Favorite switches and why?

Did you have to sacrifice silent u4-s, or is there any other way to get boba housings?


In my case, I did use Boba U4’s to start with. I actually like those stems better in Ink housings, so it worked out.

I think you can get the housings from Gazzew himself, but I don’t recall any vendor offering them without the stems & springs. I do think there’s been at least one group-buy.

It also sounds like Gazzew’s own take on this will be coming out soon - even though this is easily one of my favorite frankenswitches, I wouldn’t mind one bit to see it made redundant by something you can just buy as a complete one at a lower total cost. As-is, these and my other favorite frankenswitches (the U4 stems in Ink housings) are almost goofy expensive if you’re buying complete switches just to make them.


But would/do a Ink stems work well in the Boba houseing?

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a Ink stem in boba housing would be a linear switch and not a holy boba (tactile switch with halo stem).

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already made now some experience with lubing? I still can’t decide between 3203 and 3204.


Afraid not. Many stems just won’t fit / move freely in the top part of the Boba housing with its unusually tight tolerance. I’ve tried Silent Inks and Ink Yellows with Bobas; the silents don’t function at all, and the Yellows are almost there but still have too much friction for me. (The tiniest bit more tolerance would make them amazingly stable linears.)

For silents, the Gazzew / Outemu ones fit, of course - but so do Cherry silent stems. For non-silents, Kailh Pro stems work well with them (likely other Kailhs as well, but I haven’t confirmed this explicitly).

@Scriba - At some point next year, I’ll be systematically documenting the sound and feel of my collection, which is mostly un-lubed right now. Once I have all that information collected, I’ll be going back through to lube and re-document most of them. That’s likely months away, though - so I’ll go ahead and say that between the two, I’d probably go for 3203 for Holy Bobas.

Here is a great comparison by @cijanzen covering the two lubricants and why a person might choose one or the other as well as over-viewing some technique, with some good discussion in the thread about others’ experiences with the lubes.


Linear: Ink Blacks - just great stock switch in terms of smoothness, wobble, sound (and therefore) overall feel. I haven’t tried all linear switches, but honestly my first gateron black ink board was so good I don’t feel I need to continue searching.

This is a revealing switch. What I mean by that is that it showed me how wobbly and un-smooth my other linears were. I’ve stopped looking for other linear switches. That’s how good I think these are.

Tactile: Classic cherry ergo-clears and Zealio V1 (discontinued, such a shame).

Ergo-clears (and clears in general) have the best force curve for tactile switches in my opinion. Many mechboard enthusiasts, especially newcomers, don’t mind bottoming out when typing. But until you’ve typed extensively without bottoming out, you won’t realise how great that feel is. I’m convinced this obsession the community has over the Holy Panda force curve is because it’s easier to feel what’s going on in the press. It takes longer to appreciate the clear/ergo-clear feel, and so fewer people ‘get it’ - a little like the difference between loud, hard-hitting rock vs considered, delicate jazz.

I think it is a testament to how truly compelling ergo-clears feel that despite the obvious flaw (tight af stem) they are still an extremely popular modded switch.

Zealio v1s were an attempt at a pre-modded ergo-clear. I still actually prefer the feel of ergo-clears, but the stem tightness just bothers me, so the original Zealios were a great alternative. On a pedantic side note, it bothers me that ZealPC has adopted the classic quote (zealios are the way to your feelios) into a marketing slogun, when that quote was originally about the original V1 switch, which is a completely different switch.

Clicky: Matias Clicky! Not the quiet, dampened ones, the full-on clicky Matias switches. What’s great about them is how the sound and feel coordinate in such a tactile way. The actuation and click don’t coordinate at exactly the same time, like in Model M buckling spring switches, but it’s pretty close and the typing experience is great as a result: I make fewer typing mistakes on these switches as a result. If I knew I was going to type an extended essay on the weekend, this is the board I’d want to take with me. Shame that more new PCBs don’t support Matias/ALPS.

Matias clickies are your favorite? Have you tried blue alps?

I have not @ddrfraser1 - loudness is one of many reasons why I don’t use clicky switches, so even if I found something much better than Matias Clicky (eg Blue ALPS), I wouldn’t be motivated to build a second board out of them (I hardly get to use this clicky board due to their loudness).

Having said that, I would love to try blue ALPS at some point - hopefully when social gatherings become a thing again…

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I don’t think that people didn’t get ergo clears; I mean, they were essentially the Holy Panda of their time. In fact the Holy Panda followed the same progression that the MX Clear did (Brown -> Clear), from less tactility to more. Honestly though the popularity with both probably had more to do with them being different from the norm. Now that V2 Zealios are the norm, people pine for the V1’s even though they were quicky discarded for their successors. The hobby’s trends are highly cyclical (mostly due to our love of consumption and fickle nature). My money is on rigid plates and light tactiles being in the spotlight by 2022.


You can get the Bobas in parts from u/hbheroinbob on reddit. Here is his pinned post where he has his current inventory stated.


sweats nervously in 55g boba U4 with alu plate


Lol. I think I’m going to put my Bobas in my HMKB 75 when it arrives to soften that steel plate. It’s o-ring mounted, but I doubt that will matter at all.

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Lol. This is pretty much me, except light tactiles in plastic plates. I dug out my Zealios V1s and have been enjoying them quite a bit.


Going to bump this because I was trying to think about my list today. Of course, this is an ever-changing assessment that I’ll one day look back on and scoff. Also, I mostly prefer linear switches, so that section gets biased attention. Deal with it :sunglasses:


:orange_square: Epsilon (205g0 and films)

  • Some of the smoothest and best sounding switches I’ve ever tried. The slightly longer stem against the nylon housing is perfection. Thud thud thud.

:black_large_square: Durock POM - Piano black (205g0 and filmed)

  • Very similar to the Epsilon. If epsilon gets a 10/10 these are a 9/10

:green_square: TTC Wild (205g0)

  • Uniquely stable stems. Very smooth even at off-center press. More clacky than others on the list, even when lubed.

:yellow_square: Gateron KS-3 Nylon (205g0 and filmed)

  • Capable of best in class sound, but more texture than other switches. These are keyboard dependent, in my opinion. They can sound thocky and smooth OR scratchy and dead, depending on the mount and accoustics of the board.

:rainbow: The Similar Gang

  • Most JWKs with lube and films go here. Lavenders, Moss, Snow White, Alpacs, etc… I will lump in Tangerines and Gateron Inks as well. All of these switches are all very smooth and decent sounding with films added (especially the nylon variety). I tend to experiement with springs in these switches since otherwise I find them all very similar.

Honorable Mentions

  • :strawberry: KTT Strawberry are very smooth, but damned if their housings aren’t a son of a bitch to open. I think they would sound good lubed, but I don’t have the will to open them.
  • :purple_square: Gazzew LT. I wish they had a bit less wobble, but I like their extended stem and the housings don’t need films.


:1st_place_medal: Boba U4T

  • Definitively tactile without being harsh. Sound great, smooth stock, don’t need any modifications.

:orange_heart: Orange Alps

  • Intuitite tactility. What do I mean by that? Not overly strong, not just a grain of sand in the middle. It’s what you imagine tactile to be. Not as smooth as MX tactiles.

:purple_circle: Taro Ball (lightly lubed with films)

  • Medium tactile and fairly smooth. If someone could make this switch with tighter top housings and zero leaf noise, I’d buy 1000 or so.

:purple_heart: Lilac Tactile (filmed)

  • Similar in feel to Taro ball, with a slightly smaller bump. These are particularly terrific with thick caps like SA and ABS MT3.


:white_large_square: Pine White Alps

  • Nice short tactile bump with a crisp click. Not heavy, not light. Perfect. I truly like these better than Blue Alps.

:sparkling_heart: Kailh Box Pink

  • Better sounding than their brother, the Box White. Slightly more tactile as well. I like these because of the medium-heavy spring weight and lower pitch.


:blue_square: Kailh Deep Sea

  • Unique dampening method achieves a quiet switch that still has positive feedback on bottoming out. Does not feel mushy. No squeaks or rattles or stickyness.

:shushing_face: MX Zilent (205g0 and filmed)

  • Cherry silent stem in a PC Gateron housing. These take so much money and time to make, I don’t know if I can recommend. But if you have the time and parts, it’s a very nice silent switch. Much more wobble than the Deep Sea switch.

Other switches that I respect but didn't make the list

  • Cherry Clear stock - A nice, heavy switch with a big bump. It’s rough and bumpy like driving down a dirt road.
  • Cherry Black - With lube and films, these do everything at a 8/10. If you are working with a plate that has tight switch cutouts that other switches aren’t snapping into properly, these are a must-have.
  • Novelkeys Cream - Especially fond of the newer, blue creams. Smooth and thocky.
  • Gateron FEI switches - Something about this switch is different for other varieties. Maybe my sets were from fresh molds, but they are decidely smoother than other Gaterons of this style.

The ones I just can't use

  • Zealio V2, Zykos, Box Jade, Box Navy, Gateron silent, Dragonfruit, Speed ANYTHING, Silent Sky, Tacit switches, Zilents V1. I can’t use these switches. I’ve tried time and time again, but I don’t understand how they get attention. :face_vomiting:

Troof. Reminds me of an r/mk meme I saw years ago; the small-brain → enlightenment format:

  • Smol brane: MX Blue good, crunch crunch satisfy
  • Smort brane: MX brown good, best of bof worls
  • Bigg brane: Holy Pandas good, clakk clakk maximum feels
  • Enlightenment: [ lubed linear gang ]

I scoffed with a chuckle when I first saw it, thinking I understood and had already chosen my path.

lol nope there are many

Scroll up and you’ll see me simping for Holy Bobas - no love lost for that beautiful revolution - but damn if my whole keeb worldview didn’t change after I spent some time with a well-balanced set of linears.

So - as of FEB RUE AIRY first 2022, my list looks a bit different than it did in the past:


  • TTC ACE: Smooth and stable as heck. The exceptional thing about this switch is that nothing about it sucks. Many of my favorites are “awesome, but…” - not this one. It’s just good to go.

  • TTC Wild: Beautifully stable like the ACE, but trades a little slickness for a more resounding, sharp clack and a bit of texture.

  • Durock Cobalt: The spring needs some love, but that’s about it. Smooth, crisp, and possessing a percussive element few other switches can match; deep clax.

  • Boba LT: When I’m in the mood for some short-travel clacky business, it’s either these or Creamy Inks - and in [ current year ] where you can get the former more easily and for significantly less currency, well - the choice is clear.


  • TTC Matrix Tactile: Can you see a theme emerging? TTC’s shrouded-stem switches are the tits and this one is no exception. The all-Nylon housing imparts plenty of texture to the feel, which I find quite pleasant in context of the exceptional stability and well-balanced tactile bump. Slap!

  • Tecsee dk Saru: I didn’t expect to like these as much as I did, but I do. JWK medium-stronk long-pole tactile with some very snappy clack action. Switches like this make nearly-redundant many of my favorite tactile frankens, and that’s a good thing.

  • Lilac Tactile: Might be my favorite T1 variant; needs tuning for full potential like most JWKs, but dang are they off to a good start right from the bag and that color


  • Speed Gravy: Kind of a joke, but also really not. Speed Navy click-bar paired with Speed Bronze spring (stems are the same). Has the tactile strength of something like a BOX Jade while adding a gradient to the otherwise sheer-cliff drop-off. Also - hey, click-bars sans sketchy stems.

  • BOX White: For me, a fantastic balance of click-bar-to-spring ratio, and were it not for the slightly but inescapably flawed BOX stems, would easily be my favorite clicky switch so far. In my experience, all of the BOX switches suffer from some degree of inconsistent resting position, twist, and slightly-too-thicc stems. (Nevermind the now dwindling shadow of “stem-breaker” first-run BOX switches…) This means I’m not likely to ever mount these on anything but a utilitarian build, but in that context these switches facilitate fast and accurate typing for me like no other so far.

  • SwitchMaster Blue: Decidedly sounds and feels like butt in context of my current sensibilities - but I have to show respect to my gateway into the world of keyboards that don’t suck. Everyone’s first is special, in its own way.


Yeah, it’s best to go with light lubing on Durock Medium Tactile variants like the Taro Ball, in my experience. Even using 3203. Light-lubing (and sometimes films) are what they need.

Taro Ball is a good DMT variant, but I think the 65 G springs are overpowered for the 1U keys. 63.5 G Durock springs are a good weight for the lighter keys.

The Lilacs and other quasi-T1 switches like SP Star Purple are impressive stock. I also found them to be good with large keycaps such as MT3.

@Deadeye I vaguely remember there being a GB for TTC Matrix, but didn’t pay it much attention. Checking Youtube now, they sound great, even stock. Are they a heavy tactile or a medium? E.g. could you tell us how they compare to T1?


In terms of what’s out there these days, I’d say they’re a medium. (In 2016 I’d have called them heavy.) The closest thing I have to a vanilla T1 readily accessible is a Kiwi, and it terms of tactility I’d put them adjacent on the shelf. They are similar indeed, but in direct comparison:

  • The Kiwi: has a slightly more firm bump, a deeper sound, and more metallic character

  • The Matrix Tactile: feels more stable, has a more flat spring-curve; stronger rebound, slightly shorter bump

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Haha, puts me in a hard position. There are Canadian extras available now. Tempting to pick up.

But while I find T1 fun to type on, I prefer lighter tactiles. So it might be the same with this Matrix Tactile. Sounds like a good design, though. Maybe one with a Brown-sized bump and spring would be more to my liking.

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If you have the patience, oiled Gold Brown V3s are quite lovely, despite how cheap they sound and feel stock.

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