Should I try Topre?

I am finally slowing down my purchases and there are no group buys on the immediate horizon that I want to get it on. It feels good to not spend money and ease out of Alps and MX boards.

Before I give the hobby a short break, should I try Topre? I always meant to try it at a meetup, but then COVID hit and I could never make it out to one. I tried 35g Niz and it felt like a joke. I like super smooth linears or VERY tactile tactile switches. The Niz board was like light tactile linear and I hated it. I am still tempted to order a Realforce or something just to try them out.


Topre with BKE domes sounds like something you would enjoy.


Maybe I will look on /mm for a pre-modded one.

I don’t think Topre is for you. Niz isn’t the best representation of the Topre experience, but it isn’t super far off.

Aftermarket domes will increase tactility sharply, but the bottom out experience is far more harsh and makes it very…unTopre-like.

IMO, outside of just personal enlightenment and curiosity, Topre is likely a poor investment for you.

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Very tactile tactiles is actually a Topre speciality.

I’m a big tactile fan myself and I have both a Realforce R2 TKL, and Leopold FC660C. They’re both great, but I always tell people between them, I REALLY like typing on the Leopold. It’s a little lighter than the Realforce (45g for Leopold, 55g for Realforce), but it just feels great to type on.

The Realforce though is extremely tactile.


I have Niz 45g, it is not very tactile. I imagine 35g would feel almost linear. Topre are more tactile than Niz but not super tactile. Thus I am not confident enough to suggest topre after reading your preferences.
But I would tell you this: in my opinion, it is better investment to try a new switch type than getting another MX board or a new gmk keyset. That’s why my first priority during my mechanical keyboards journey so far was to try different switches, so I can stop wondering. After getting MX, Alps, buckling spring, Niz and topre boards now I know better what I like and investments from now on are a lot safer. The board rotation is also more diverse and whenever I have an urge for a switch type I can satisfy it simply by breaking out the corresponding board.

Chyrosran22 has some great videos on Topre.
In this video, starting at the 1:47 mark, he explains about Topre’s unique feel:

I recommend getting a Realforce before making your decision yay or nay on Topre. They sell them at 30g, 45g or 55g weightings. Sounds like you’ll prefer 45g or 55g. The HHKB, what I use, is a lot of fun as well. But I think you’ll know once you try a Realforce what Topre is all about!

Just to weight in on buying pre-modded or not: I’d recommend getting a stock Topre board, not a pre-modded one. Topre mods take a light hand, like a little lube on the slider rails and stabilizer wires is really all you need, (unless you get into dome swapping, but that can come later) anyway, there’s a decent chance whatever pre-modded board you may buy got modded badly, which would give an inaccurate impression of what Topre feels like.

As @Alien said, you want to try a bunch of different stuff so you know what you like, and you want to try it at its best to give yourself a real opportunity to know what it is!

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Couldn’t you buy a Realforce off of Amazon and return it for free if you don’t like it?

30g Topre feels almost linear to me, but I like it. Definitely not a strong tactile.

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I never think of doing that. I almost definitely will now.

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It sounds like @pixelpusher has the right idea :wink:

My experience with Topre has been from purchasing in the aftermarket with deep discounts. I would say that they’re worth it if you get a good price for them, and they might seem too expensive at their retail price. Especially when you’ve had extensive experience with other types of boards.

My brother’s strongly in the clicky territory, describing the crispness, tactility and sound as a “crunch”. With such a preference, he’s found linears, tactiles and Topre to be very underwhelming/unsatisfying. also sometimes has Topre boards that were returned for less.

If you were gonna try one, my favorite, most tactile and enjoyable stock domes have been 45g Leopold 660c (I like the silenced version). You’d think all 45g are made the same, but not so in my experience. These have been the best.

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Definitely try topre and resell / return it if you don’t like it.

My only experience is with Realforce R2 PFU (the silenced one with purple slider) 45g. The bottom-out feel and sound is great and I like it a lot. However I ended up selling it because the 45g is too tactile for me coming from MX Brown. Something to do with the tactility starts at the beginning of keypress instead of a pre-travel before the tactile bump tiring my fingers. But that bottom-out feels great!

I also found 45g Topre to be too much coming from MX Brown @Paitupai! 30g Topre is just right for me

That’s what I’ve been thinking too, thanks @topre_user ! Definitely gonna try 30g in the future.

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This is what I struggle with as well. I love the HHKB layout but you get what you get with the stock domes: 45g or not at all. I worry that I’m just not going to enjoy that tactility as I tend to prefer linear or light tactile. I suppose my most realistic option is to try something like a 980c and see if I can get along with that.

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Domes tend to get more tactile with age and use. I type on a set of variable domes from 2007 and they are more tactile than my 2016 domes, which are more tactile than my 2021 domes.


@leemu i’m with you. I love the HHKB layout, so I got a 30g Realforce and opened up the Realforce and opened up my HHKB and swapped the domes. So now my HHKB has 30g domes and its just what I want.

It wasn’t too difficult to do, and there’s nothing like the HHKB layout. I definitely recommend this over trying to settle for another board!


Yes, try it @Paitupai! 30g Topre is a really nice and really unique experience. Its the only thing I use now.

I gave up on Topre, giving away what I had to my niece. Still have a pile of BKE domes and keycaps somewhere.

Firstly, limited choice was frustrating. Secondly, I just couldn’t get it to be as smooth as MX switches and the signature tub tub bathtub sound gets tiring after awhile. In comparison, I have not yet gotten tired of Cherry black’s sound and feel.

Yes, Topre feel and sound are distinct and enjoyable so, to make up for occasional need to revisit Topre experience, I built a Tealios board tuned to get as close to as HHKB. What I couldn’t replicate was Topre’s collapsing dome tactility which I didn’t miss as much as I thought I might.

What MX switch world offers is I think under appreciated. Sure, people say ALPS is the best. Try spending a lot of money only to discover how shitty its stabs are. MX stabilizers rulez.