Remember back when there were 5 switches to choose between?
But ever since the 1984 Cherry MX patent expired, we’ve seen no shortage of new switches. Before brands started to garner a stronger reputation with quality switches, they were known as “cherry clones” for a duration. Eventually the switches improved and solidified the brands known today as Gateron and Kailh.
Both Kailh and Gateron work heavily with OEMs, but often they’ll work with vendors within the Mechanical Keyboard community like Kailh working with Massdrop/Input Club on the Halo switches, with Input Club on their new Silo Switches, and with Novelkeys on the Cream Switches
Gateron is similar in this regard, but has also been more willing to fulfill different order quantities for customer specifications that have made it much easier for enthusiast level vendors and even individual GB runners. Consider the Fei Switches, FF Cheese switches, tangerine switches, zealios, inks, and countless others. In fact, I’ve basically lost track of all the different gateron switch variants due to how many have run with minor differences like a spring swap or colored stem/housings from different vendors and GB runners.
I am starting to see JWK and Durock fall into the same boat as gateron once was. Gateron opened the floodgates for low MOQ (comparative to Kailh and Cherry) customization that allowed many people to have different spring weights and colors. Now it looks like JWK and Durock are doing the same and I think we’re on the cusp of seeing a lot of different JWK/Durock linear and silent linear recolors this year.
So do you keep track of all of these varied linears that are coming out? Are you like me and start to feel a certain switch fatigue accumulate when most of these changes are just a spring swap and a new color? Whether they are tactile or linear, do you find new varieties of switches exciting or exhausting?
There are also other brands like Outemu and Bsun, but at the moment they haven’t been doing as much in the enthusiast sphere. Outemu has been working a lot with hbheroinbob/gazzew and bsun has been making panda switches, their clones, and the like. Past these, I currently do not see a lasting impact in those brands for the time being but I hope they can prove me wrong for the benefit of everyone