So, my attempts at trying tactile switches has been largely a failure. I haven’t found one that I could actually use, and I’ve tried a few out (MX Brown’s, CS Lavender Purple’s, Box Royal’s, Knight Gaming, etc.) And, I have another few here that I am going to try, like the Akko Jelly Sponge, that I don’t have any real hope for liking.
Why do I say that I don’t have any hope for the switches I have on hand? It’s because I’ve come to realize there are two properties that most tactile switches just don’t have:
I want a well defined tactile event. The Lavender Purple’s (IIRC) have a pretty well defined event. But, the more defined the better. And, that event needs to be combined with item two…
I want the event to happen in the middle of the travel, preferably within 0.3mm of the actuation event. This is much more of a clicky switch style tactility event.
These two things are indicative of what I want a tactile switch to be: a clicky switch without the click, but still tactile. Up until yesterday I didn’t think I was going to find this in a tactile switch, but now I’ve encountered two that seem like they might fit the bill:
I think Everglide Dark Jade Blacks may fit the definition of a tactile with pre-travel and a strong tactile event. The pre-travel is not something I like so I avoided these, but they sound like they may be your cup of tea?
I was gonna suggest the same. I have these switches and the most notable thing about them is how defined the tactile event is. They’re pretty loud switches though. I’m no switch expert by any means, but imo they have a pretty sharp tactile event at the beginning of the key press. Very satisfying.
Same here. Used to like tactiles but fell hard into linears and now having a hard time finding a tactile I can appreciate.
Most promising one I found is clipped Halo stem in Cherry Blue housing. With Halo’s long-pole clipped, there is no harsh bottom out to distract the long curve feel. What it lacks is a spring that feels light yet strong enough at the bottom to bounce.
Feel in the tester is good enough for me to trash a Holy Panda board from my tactile days just to find out how this weirdo switch feels in use.
Great! I’ll add these to the list… I’m getting the sense that I will be spending hundred’s on switches again…
Linears will be my next challenge…but I don’t think it will be all that difficult because I already like the Kaihl Box switches, so it will mostly be a matter of trying out some of them that have a force curve that is close to what I already like in the 50-65g range, and has a sound profile that I like… I see linears for me being primarily a switch for gaming…and I’m not all that intense of a gamer (no AAA FPS’s here).
Wait… I though Moyu Black/Dark Jade Black are similar to T1 (no pretravel) but with long pole stem (correct me if I’m wrong).
There aren’t many tactile with bump in the middle of the travel so the only possible options are limited to Ergo Clears, Zealios V1/Redux, Durock Medium Tactile (with slightly less pretravel compared to the former and RARA, Penguin, Cerulean, Mode Signals…etc are based off DMT ), Twilights (Durock Medium Tactile stem in T1 housing), Outemu Silent Forest, Ergo Boba (Silent Forest stem in Boba housing and has strongest tactile feel compared to all the previous mentioned).
I did received one Chosfox Arctic Fox Switch in one of the my chosfox mystery switch box. I like the tactile feel and its very satisfying but the click is REEEEEEAAAAALLY LOUD. Haha…
Yep. Moya blacks don’t have any pre-travel (I have them). Other than that, I can’t really comment on what the OP is looking for since I don’t like tactiles that have pre-travel. Zelios redux and durock medium tactiles are the only ones that I have read that have pre-travel.
I’m a light switch user but how can people use super heavy switches? I see sound test videos and people look like they’re punching every keystroke.
Anyway check out Zeals new clicky switch, modded to tactile they’re pretty extreme.
Other than that maybe try the twilight switches, it’s a Durock medium tactile stem in a T1 housing, like a super Ergo Clear, maybe it’s possible to even try lower weighted springs to make the tactile event more defined.
IIRC Zeals V1 Redux are just a comeback of the V1 Zeals, which where supposed to mimic the Ergo Clears, which for itself is fine but if BOX Royals are too light for you those wouldn’t be much of an improvment.
You wouldn’t find a silent clicky, NKs tried but weren’t successful it seems, no switch is going to mimic that feeling, the closest are the BOX Royals which were invented to mimic that feeling.
Okay, consider them removed from my list of switches to check out.
Zealios were alreday on my list, but obviously I’ll want to check out the Ergo Clears and DMT’s then.
I don’t really want to dive into Franken-switching just yet…so Twilights and Ergo Boba sound like something I would keep for later if/when I get curious enough, and feel like I have some spare time (like that will happen anytime soon).
Well, I would say that really loud doesn’t bother me (I mean, Box Jades are my daily driver switches after all, and I’m waiting to test out Clickiez…), but I do actually want these to be more quiet so they would be suitable for using in a recording situation (ie, recording a podcast / video streaming . etc.).
Not a bad idea… I do have some Blues sitting around I’ve removed from other keyboards. I haven’t seen this mod, but I’ll look it up.
Yeah, I have them on order…but I suspect they might be too much for me. I tend to stay in the 50-65g range, with the tactile event around 70-75g. If I recall correctly, the force curve on those switches with the tactile mod make them substantially heavier.
Well, yeah, the definition of Redux is “brought back” so yeah they are V1’s. I don’t recall Box Royal’s being too light, my issue with most tactile switches has centered on the placement of the tactile event relative to the actuation.
Based on my experience with the Muted Jades I’m leaning towards the idea that a “silent clicky” is really just a tactile switch with the tactile event placed correctly. It’s one of the reasons I decided to re-visit this topic.
No problem… TBH, I’m not a big fan of Drop in the first place (I have issues with places that want you to hand over personal information before selling you a product… Imagine walking into WalMart and having to give them your mailing address before you could see the price tags on the shelves…) so there was a chance I wouldn’t have gotten them anyway (unless they were on someplace like Amazon, which I haven’t found).
I feel similar sense of “WAIT. You like this??” when I see people typing on very light switches.
I think that I’m just a naturally heavy typist, because switches in the 65-75g range feel solid but not heavy to me. Less than that and I have to spend extra effort keeping my fingers from accidental key presses.
Not to derail the conversation about tactile switches but…
I think a lot of the weight of spring you prefer depends on factors beyond on our keyboard usage. For example, I grew up playing piano (started with I was 5 or 6), so I developed decent finger muscles early,. And, I have spent much of my life either (a) writing, or (b) coding, so my keyboard usage has been more intense than quite a few people… So I tend towards the higher end of the spring weights, typically around 65g… Once you go much higher the weight of the spring tends to counter the touch-sensitivity to me.
I think other people have different experiences and backgrounds that require a different or more nuanced motor skills. And the motor skill needs they have are reflected in the weight of springs and touch sensitivity that they enjoy using, or feel the need to use.
I too used to like tactiles, but then I had the chance to daily no-MX based tactiles (Topre and Alps) and that was it, the MX tactile experience was ruined for me. I’ve tried numerous other MX tactile boards since, whatever the current FotM and new hotness, but nothing has come close to the experience of Alps and Topre. So I gave up on MX tactiles, and went full linear.
Once I had accepted in my heart that MX tactiles aren’t good, I was much happier.
I don’t think they quite fit what you’re looking for in that they have little to no pre-travel (not entirely unlike a ‘speed’ switch) but I think that the tactile event might be to your liking. As a fellow daily user of Box Jades, I was pleasantly surprised at how tactile jail-modded blues are. Not the sort of thing I would buy blues for necessarily, but if you have them already its a good way to put them to use. J Spacers (I got mine from SwitchCaptain) make it easier and more consistent of a mod than the o-ring method, and lube definitely helps.
Are you going to look at the Clickiez when they come out? The ability to convert them into tactiles easily seems to be one of the selling points. For me I have a feeling they are going to be too heavy.
I’ve tried a few tactiles, and I’m pretty convinced the reason I don’t like them is the pre-travel issue. I think the reason I am convinced that this is the case is my history: I’ve used various forms of clicky keyboards for the majority of my computer use time, from the Model M to the MX Blues in my Das Keyboard. Given that I spent decades with those keyboards it’s rather difficult to break my habits.
But, I still think Jailhouse Blues sound interesting, so I’m thinking it would be fun to mess around with some, especially since I have some switches laying around that I can experiment with. It’s just a matter of deciding where it goes on the list of things that I want to play around with.
Yes, playing an instrument will definitely teach you touch sensitivity.
Same here, but computers weren’t all that widespread in my case. There was only one Apple ][ in the whole school. It was a couple years later that I got to mess around with an IMSAI 8080 and a PDP 11/04 computer.
Did you try Mute Jades actually ? I’m in your case (cant bring myself to like MX-style tactiles, the friction style bump is jarring to me) and started to really like clickbar switches, because of that well defined, crisp tactile event. Box Navies and Box Pale Blue are really to my taste, but of course you can vary spring weight to your liking.