Swapping Springs Question

So, I am messing around with some Tactile switches and tried some switches that have surprised me a bit (Akko Jelly Blue). I like the switches, but they are a bit light at 40gf.

As I was looking around the other night I saw that Novel Keys has two stage springs that offer higher weights (50-60gf), and started thinking about swapping the springs. However, as I considered this I noticed something that made me stop for a minute: the springs on NovelKey’s website are listed as 23mm in length, whereas the Akko specifications state their springs are 22mm.

Does this make a difference? Would being 1mm longer cause a problem? I know I tried swapping springs at another point (I took a spring from a Kaihl Box switch and tried to swap it into a Cherry MX clone, which didn’t work – too different), but I wasn’t certain if there were other things that I needed to pay attention to?

As a separate comment: the funny thing about all of this is that I was just playing with these switches because of their two-stage spring. I think it was @Reimu64 was critical of the two stage springs as being a gimmick, and I agree that most of the extract tactility does get covered up when they are actually installed – but I still can feel it a bit. I just thought I would give them a try after the Clickiez, and with the intent really of testing out the Yong Qiu key caps I got a while back.

All of this is leading me to refining some of the traits that I like in switches. For example, the big problem fro me with the Clickiez was the force drop after the tactile event. The Kaihl switches, and now these Akko switches haven’t been as pronounced with the plateau effect, as @Deadeye has described it.

Steep drop offs / bottom outs is an issue for me. I have some nerve damage in a couple fingers, and when the bottom out becomes too sharp, those fingers start to hurt. That’s something that I’ve known for a while, but now I am able to refine the attributes of switches that work better for handling that problem a bit more.

Nah, 2-stage are great and I will probably never use something else besides 3-stage.

I have limited exposure to many different spring types. I think just normal and progressive springs, and now two-stage springs. I see some possibilities for two/three stage springs, especially the possibility of moving the position of the stages. I would love it if these Akko switches had the stage closer to the tactile event, but as it stands they are still pretty good… Just a bit light.

The part that makes a difference imo is that I can have relatively light spring but still have a snappy return.

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That’s a solid use case bud. As a heavy spring user, I think I overlooked how cool that setup would be. I’ll need to give those a go.

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There’s also Extreme Slows which feel pretty amazing with linears. I dig how you can tweak the starting weights while keeping the bottom out per usual. I’d wager such flexibility might come in handy when dialing in an appropriate weight for certain tactiles.

That’s what i am getting a feeling for. The thing is, since this is new territory (both multi-stage springs, and spring swapping) I’m trying to get an idea of what I need to be concerned with. Like is there a good, general guideline on spring lengths? Or are there different circumferences of springs? And so on…

So, I noticed I misspoke above… The springs I’m looking at are on Cannon Keys, the TECSEE Slow Springs. (I also see they have Wugue Studios springs, but I don’t think I’m interested in 3 stage springs at this point.)

I would say 3-stage is more like a slow spring than the 2-stage.

My recommendation is to test springs in-use for a day at least. With slow springs, overly heavy top weight can stress out your finger even though bottom weight hasn’t changed.

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Yes, but a difference of 1mm out of 20-something will be pretty slight.

No, not at all.

In the most extreme cases of a spring being too darn tall for a given housing, you might bottom-out on the spring coils by fully compressing the spring - but I doubt that will happen here.

It seems like these might wiggle around less than their single-stage counterparts of equal length, but I haven’t tested this conclusively. I don’t think they have any impact on the force-curve, unless maybe the springs are very near full compression. I think what I’m trying to say here is that as an element in a spring, they won’t necessarily mean [x] about a spring every time, but may very well be part of how the intended properties are executed.

I feel you on this one; I also have nerve damage in my hands. Mostly just numbness and such these days but I had something like what you describe here for a while.

Have you tried TTC Bluish Whites or Boba U4s? They’re both pretty strong tactiles with a dampened bottom-out.

I think it’s a great descriptor for sharp, snappy tactile events - especially if their peak force is equal to or higher than the spring’s bottom-out weight.

In the case of Jelly Blues (and Blueberries), though, it’s a bit more literal on top of that; the tactile bump is shaped like a plateau:

(That’s a Monochrome Onyx stem; same as the Jelly Blue paired with a different leaf and spring.)


[ actual plateu ]


Yeah, I try to give things at least a week (the Clickiez I used for two weeks before writing about them) unless I literally cannot for some reason.

That’s what I was hoping for. I think the case that I tried was like that: the spring was fully compressed before I even got the housing totally closed. So, it’s probably some more then 3-5mm longer springs would be likely to encounter that type of issue.

Well, I am going from a spring that is rated for 40gf, to a spring that is rated at 58gf. So, I would think there would be a difference in the force curve. If it was only 2-3gf difference, yeah, it’d be unlikely to have significant impact on the force curve.

I don’t get to blame anyone but myself on this one. Apparently I was putting pressure on my left hand during my sleep that caused the damage to two fingers. Most of the time it’s not a big deal, but with some switches / key caps I find that the fingers can get numb and/or painful in pretty quick order.

I haven’t. I have Azure Dragons and Zealio V1 Redux switches here based on the initial thought that I wanted the tactile event and actuation to occur within a close proximity (as opposed to the tactile event happening at the beginning of the stroke).

The funny thing about all of this is I started down this path because I found that several of the pre-built keyboards (with things like MX Browns) were not to my taste. So, I tried Akko CS Purple Lavendar switches for comething heavier / more refined, and hated them… So that lead me to get recommendations for the Zealio and another switch. I ordered the V1 Redux at the same time I ordered the Clickiez, but still have tried them yet.,

Yeah, I was referring to your extensive tactile switch discussion post when I mentioned that. :grin: