Stuck in the middle with you: Middle profile switches

Not full size, but not quite low profile, middle or medium profile switches have always been interesting to me, especially when they are MX footprint compatible. Folks might know about the Tecsee Middle switch (and accompanying stabilizers), but I’ve managed to find a few others from Outemu and Kailh I wanted to share.

  1. Tecsee Medium: Squished down MX style switch. Everything below the “waist” is MX compatible, it’s just the top housing and slider that have been shrunk. Uses traditional MX style spring leaf contacts.
  2. Outemu Medium/Middle Profile: Very similar to Tecsee Mediums, tho the slider is different enough that they’re not compatible between each other. The Outemu Medium has a protrusion on the south side, along with slightly wider rails. In the tactile versions I have, the protrusion doesn’t seem to do anything. In the Clicky version, however, it’s being used to make the click noise in a la Outemu Snap switches. The tactile version has the holes in the housing where this click leaf would go. For the key mounting post, it’s flush with the dust jacket.
  3. Outemu GTMX Half-height: Very similar to the Outemu Mediums, the GTMX has a octagonal top housing. The clicky version has a similar click leaf thing as with the Outemu Medium clickies, but the tactile GTMX doesn’t have the protrusion the clicky one has. The key mounting post slightly protrudes beyond the dust jacket for these.
  4. Kailh Half Height Switch: The discovery that prompted me to post, these are smaller both in height AND width/length. Initially, they seemed completely MX incompatible, but after some examination I realized that it’s just the plastic boss pins that don’t match up – the contacts and center pole still match the MX footprint. Some flush cutter snipping later and yup, they definitely fit in a MX switch footprint. The sliders resemble traditional sliders, with the clicky being a click-jacket mechanism. Also, these have a tiiiiiiiny lens/diffuser built-in to the top housing.

Does anyone know of any other middle profile switches?

And now, pix!

Kailh Half-Height, Tactile (brown) and Clicky (blue) variants. WS Silent Tactile normal sized switch for comparison.

From left to right: Tecsee Middle Tactile, Outemu Medium Tactile, Outemu GTMX Tactile, and Kailh Half-Height Tactile.


Close up of Kailh Half-Height to show snipping off the legs.

Close up of Kailh Half-Height showing that they fit in a MX footprint only when the legs are removed.

Comparison of Outemu Medium (left) vs. GTMX (right) sliders.

Sliders from all the switches discussed.

Links for where I got them from:
Kailh Mid-height Mechanical Switch (“Mechanical Switch Store”)
Kailh Half Height Switch (Kailh Switch Official Store)
OUTEMU Half Height Dwarf GTMX (XIYOU Switch Store)
Outemu Medium-Low Profile Switches (Amazon)
Tecsee Medium Switch (KPRepublic via Amazon)

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There’s this switch from Hiori

Link to and photo from Switch Oddities

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Thanks for this!

Previous discussions I’ve seen about this type of switch suggest that the clicky mechanism is nicer than your average click jacket. Would you tend to agree?

Also, stab compatibility always seemed to be an issue. Did you look into that at all?

I’m not sure about the others, but Tecsee makes stabilizers for their medium switches. They’re actually pretty nice stabilizers, too.

I’m a big fan of Tecsee Medium Linear switches. In a bizarre matter of chance, I’m typing on them right now. I love the feel and sound they have with a low angled board and DSA keycaps.

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I like the tecsee switches a lot, but I was disappointed to find out that they make contact with most popular keycap profiles. I use mine with DSA keycaps for the best overall feel.

Do any of these others offer better compatibility?

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Not much. There’s the Tecsee stabs as @pixelpusher mentioned, but I’ve not run into anything besides those.

If I have any of the Tecsee stabs left, I might try throwing them in a tester to see if the heights work at all for either of the Outemus.

Not that I can tell, and some like the Kailh half heights might be worse.

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I personally really like the snap spring mechanism of the Outemus a lot.
But i clearly prefer the original Outemu Medium over the GTMX.

I built a complete board with the original Outemu Medium switches and the Tecsee stabilizers.
Height is a small issue, in a way…
The housing of the stabs is slightly higher than the housing of the switches.
So, the stem receptible in the cap would hit the stab housing before the switch completely bottoms out.
But if one finds that a problem, it’s very easy to avoid when building a soldered board with plate.
Just solder the switches slightly above the pcb, the plate will hold them in position anyway.

I can take a picture later if you like, showing the way I’ve done it.

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I dunno why, but this post makes me want to start looking deeper into these weird middle child middle profile switches to do a small 60% build with

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Yeah that’s kinda why I was looking at them. I’ve built one with the Tecsee ones before but feel like I could do better now that I know a bit more.

Did some playing around with Outemus and Tecsee stabilizers, and seems to work okay.

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