Muted Jades vs Box Jades

I finally did it: I built my other Feker keyboard with the NK Muted Jades:

And, I have to say this: it’s waaayyy worse than I thought when I was playing with the switches in my hands.

These two keyboards are pretty equal, obviously the same case, PCB, plate. The key caps on both of these boards are PBT, the same quality and the same thickness (as far as I can tell without a caliper to measure).

And, I couldn’t have been more stunned and disappointed when I tried out the Muted Jades. In fact, I thought that I was hallucinating, I couldn’t believe it. To me, the Muted Jades feel and sound like Cherry MX Browns. I’m not saying that for the meme, I mean that literally the tactility is so diminished on the Muted Jades that I can barely feel it.

So, my first thought was: well maybe these key caps just different enough that it’s changing / masking the tactility of the switches. So, I swap the h, j, k, and l caps between the keyboards. Nope, the tactility is still there on the keyboard with the Box Jades, while it’s almost non-existent on the keyboard with the Muted Jades.

So, then I grabbed one of my cheap keyboards that has actual Brown switches (I think they are clones, and not real MX Browns). And, side by side, the Muted Jades have a little more tactility than a Brown clone, but not by much. I’d in fact have to recommend these as a replacement for MX Browns.

So…has anyone else actually done a side by side comparison of Box jades and Muted Jades in a build? If so, what were your results?

Addendum: I’m still going to try to use these switches for a few days to see if I can get used to them. But knowing how I feel about MX Browns, I don’t have any real hope that I will enjoy or come to appreciate the experience. Personally, I’d rather use CS Lavender Purple’s if I want tactile switches (or maybe the Jelly Sponge’s - I still have to test those.)

After I’ve finished with this test, I’ll probably re-build this keyboard with the Box Blue or Box Dark Blue switches to compare to the Box Jades.


I haven’t put them in a build yet, but I’ve honestly had the same impression of them in terms of tactility.

I called them a “better Box Brown” in another post; side-by-side they feel very similar if a bit more crisp to me. (Box Browns being just a bit more tactile than MX Browns.) While “Jade” was definitely the attention-getting name choice, I think it set the wrong expectation for what the switches actually are.

You can put the top-housings with the dampeners from the Muted Jades on regular Jades, and it will change the sound (and travel feel), but they won’t be all that muted.

How do they compare to the BOX White? Or the BOX pale blue?

Well, wait until you put them in a build… The crispness will be totally gone.

I’ve got other words for it: deceptive and misleading.

I just confirmed something else that I suspected, but didn’t mention above. These vary so far from the force curve of the Box Jade that they shouldn’t have claimed to be related. These have a bottom out of 82g, whereas Jades bottom out at 65g. That’s nearly 20g of difference - not some small amount.

That would be an interesting experiment for later… I certainly have enough regular Jades now that I could convert a batch of these. I also have another idea on how to reduce the sound without changing the force curves as much. They wouldn’t be “mute” but I think it could leave most of the tactility in place while significantly reducing the sound.

I can’t directly compare yet as I haven’t put Whites / Pinks / Pale Blues / etc. in a build. But I wouldn’t hold your breath for them being comparable to anything else… Maybe the Pale Blue are at least close in the force curve (looking at the specs).

I had a similar experience, really didn’t like the mute jade typing experience

Plain old box whites feel much better to me

Shame about the execution, it was a good concept though

So, I’ve had a bit of a partial epiphany about these Muted switches…

Up until now I’ve been saying that these switches feel like browns, and don’t have any resemblance to Jades. Because of this drastic difference I couldn’t understand how these could be called Jades. To compound the issue, the force curve is completely different, and Kaihl actually certified these as Jades. (NovelKeys didn’t create the spec docs, Kaihl did, so they are acutely aware of the properties of these switches, and still allowed them to be called Jades.) These factors make the whole thing even more confusing to me.

My partial epiphany came as I was moving my actual Jade keyboard back into the driver’s seat (yeah, I can’t use the muted switches for even a whole day). I accidentally pressed a key on the muted keyboard slowly, and much to my surprise, I felt the tactile event. I felt it more than I had felt it at any time while using the keyboard.

I sat here for a minute slowly pressing keys on both the Muted Jade and Box Jade keyboards… And this is when I started to understand something. The Muted Jades do have a resemblance to Box Jades when compared in this manner: there is a some pre-travel, a tactile event, and an actuation event, all at similar (but slightly different) intervals.

And that’s when it struck me: this is how switches are tested and certified. They use a machine that applies a constant force that is enough to overcome the force needed at various points in the travel. It doesn’t actually simulate typing, it’s a strictly measurement device.

On paper there are similarities between the switches: the amount of pre-travel, the distance between the tactile event and the actuation event, etc. It’s just the forces and sound that are completely different. However, this doesn’t take into account the amount of force that a typist is going to use when typing. It doesn’t take into account the change in feel of the tactile event relative to the amount of force being applied.

And that, I think, is where the explanation lies between the confusion over naming and the user experience, versus the published specs.

A concept that looks goods when tested in a lab, but fails miserably in real-world usage.


Isn’t the clickbar the same thickness? I thought it was the same except it struck a rubber dampener.
If it feels like MX Brown then there’s no point in getting them and I should stick with my I-rocks slient browns for quiet tactile builds.

Different click bar for sure - not as strong as a regular Jade.

Why? Why not call it “silent white?” if it is barely tactile? Another massive oversight from Kailh.

Did you try using a lighter spring? Perhaps a spring from BOX Whites or Jades?

The muted Jades are Kailh’s second most heavy clicky switch after the navies, heavier spring can make a weak clickbar feel even lighter.

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I haven’t gotten into swapping springs or making frenkenswitches yet.

Yes! This question popped into my mind: if they wanted these switches to be Jades, why didn’t they go with a lighter spring? Why not try to keep the force curve closer to the Jade switches they were being named after? Or if they couldn’t change the spring, why not call them Mute Navy instead?

Honestly, a this point it almost feels like the only reason for the Jade name on these switches is trade on the popularity of actual Jade switches.

Honestly I think this is accurate; that they chose to call these Mute Jades to draw upon the Jade’s reputation. I’m not sure who made that decision, but I don’t think they realized the expectation that would set for these.

From a certain perspective, the name is accurate if “mute” refers to the entirety of the switch, not just the sound - but I think the most natural customer expectation there is to think “like a Jade, but not as loud” - which is to say, very tactile - specifically, with a peak tactile force higher than the bottom-out weight of the spring. That’s what makes Jades stand-out from almost every other click-bar switch Kailh makes - and that definitive quality does not translate to the muted grey-stemmed switch.

I can see where you are going with this… Not certain that I agree. I don’t really have the impression that the rest of the travel is any quieter than that of a normal box switch. But I haven’t listened that closely to the full travel.

I think the important part (from a customer expectation pov) is the very tactile event. I’m not certain that too many customers are going to worry about the bottom-out force, as long as it is reasonable. But 82g for a bottom out is quite unreasonable when compared to a standard Box Jade, IMO.

After typing on them for a few hours I started to get finger fatigue - that’s what lead me to looking at the force curve again. I’ve only had finger fatigue from one other switch (so far - I’m sure I’ll find others eventually): Cherry MX Blacks. So, seeing that bottom out force tells me that the force required is what caused the issue.

Hey! There’s a new name for these switches: Mute Black-n-Brown’s! :laughing:

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You got me in the mood for some shenanigans. I put the Mute Jade’s click bar in a Deep Sea bottom housing. I’ll keep you posted.

Pardon the grosserino dust; here’s a quick look comparing a Midnight Jade and Mute Jade click bar:

The kinked one is the Mute Jade bar.

Note also the different angle of the “hammer” bend at the end.

Resuming shenanigannery

I installed a Midnight Jade click bar into the Deep Sea bottom housing, put in a Midnight Jade spring, and then put the Mute Jade stem and top housing on those. (I also shaved a bit of material from the back of the stem’s contact ramp, like can be seen on the Deep Sea stem - otherwise that ramp has some weird interaction with the bottom dampener.) It’s nearly as loud as a regular Midnight Jade despite the dampeners - trying one more thing for the heck of it after this.

Alright last update for tonight:

I wrapped the Midnight Jade click bar in PTFE tape. It’s a bit messy, but this is just a proof-of-concept.

Complete with realistic background noise, here’s a comparison between the Midnight Jade and Muted-er Jade:

It kinda works.

Worth the effort? Likely not - but an industrial approach to this could potentially bear fruit.


The PTFE tape mod on the Jade is exactly what I was expecting with Mute Jades. Same clickbar and overall same tactility, with a dampened sound. I agree that it’s likely not worth the effort to do this mod for a full board; I’d rather just experience the standard Jades in all their ear-splitting glory and just switch to some non-clicky tactile or even silenced tactile when I need something quieter.

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totally unrelated to the topic but, what boards are those?

That’s a mode I hadn’t heard of for the Jades, and it sounds like what I was hoping for too. Do you have a link to a reference?

I would do this, but as I was about to post, I haven’t found a tactile switch that I like… Well, that may not be the case anymore, I read the description of a switch that sounds like what I am looking for, but it’s pricey. I was going to post (either in another thread, or a new topic) looking for recommendations of something similar but less expensive.

This is the Feker Dopokey, 2020 Edition. It’s a cast aluminum case, top-mount, steel plate, north LEDs, hot-swappable keyboard. It appears to have borrowed heavily from a keyboard called the Canoe that came out in 2018 or 2019. I’ve been searching long and hard for keyboards with this style of 71-key layout (I’ve found 8 or 9 now), and this is the only one that has an aluminum case. I found it on Banggood: Feker 70% Keyboard.

EDIT: I should add, I have found one glaring issue with this keyboard: the screws. For some reason they really cheaped out on the screws in these keyboards, and it’s kind of stopped me from taking mine apart to add sound-dampening. The problem is: the heads of these screws are so soft that It’s easy to strip them. And once stripped, I don’t know if it’s possible to tap them - they might be too tiny. Which would leave drilling them out and installing new screw sockets - something that I’m not that good with.


Just the experiment I tried there in the photo / video; Namely taking some PTFE thread tape (like you might buy when installing a new shower head) and wrapping a few layers on the click bar.

To make the switch like I have it in the video is something of a pain but could be a template for Kailh to consider;

  • Deep Sea bottom; has silicone dampening on the “floor”

  • Muted Jade top with its little dampener

  • Muted Jade stem with the back portion of the stem’s contact-leg shaved down, like the Deep Sea stem*

  • Click bar from regular, Crystal, or Midnight Jade installed into Deep Sea bottom with PTFE tape around the end

  • Regular / Crystal / Midnight Jade spring

*quick and dirty photo of the stem after using flush cutters to nibble the back of the leg (so it slots-in the Deep Sea dampener):

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Yeah, that’s a very extensive process… Definitely something that would be difficult to make 71 (much less 86 or 104) of by hand. You should work for NovelKeys or Kaihl. :rofl:

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