The long-pole meta, love it or hate it, is here to stay. This is easily one of the most far-reaching ripples through the keeb switch market to have come out of frankenswitches, and itself can be traced back to the granddaddy Holy Panda.
“Long-pole” refers to the lower middle part of the stem, which bottoms-out on the switch housing - contrary to the normal of that pole never reaching the bottom in traditional MX style switches.
Originally, this came from putting Kailh stems, which tend to be longer than other mfr’s, into other mfr’s housings. This produced a novel sound and feel that itself is now a marketable feature of many commercial switches.
This is a thread to talk about the long-pole meta, related science, and related switches.
I’ll start with a comparison of four Kailh stems;
OG Cream (old tooling)
Launch Cream (new tooling)
Not long ago it came up in discussion whether or not Kailh Black stems are meaningfully different than Creams - that inspired me to pick up some digital calipers, and some Kailh Blacks.
I took measurements of each stem, and here’s how they read:
Kailh Black: 13.3mm
Kailh Pro Burgundy: 13.65mm
Kailh NK_ Cream original: 13.42mm
Kailh NK_ Launch Cream: 13.48mm
So, I think I had it backwards - I thought the Black stems were longer than Creams, but it’s the other way around. Still - the point stands that the difference is tiny: 0.12mm, according to the calipers.
The Pro is longer still; 0.35mm taller than the Black. Small, but you may very well feel it.
If I understand correctly, the only one of these that bottoms-out on the pole in its own housing is the Pro, but I might be wrong about that.
Edit: I’d previously written that old and updated Cream stems are the same length; I think this was a fluke; after measuring quite a few samples I discovered that Launch (and Arc) Cream stems are 13.48mm long, approx. 0.07mm longer than the classic ones.
Anywho - what kind of long-pole shenanigans do you folks want to talk about?