Switch recommendations for a Piano Player

Newbie so be kind. I am moding a basic model mechanical keyboard with new switches and OEM PBT keycaps for my brother.

My brother lives across the country and can’t try switches beforehand, but he wants to feel to be as close to a piano as possible. I do not play the piano. I have a few switches.

Gateron Creamy Yellows

Outemo Black Linear

Gateron Oil Kings

Fake Pandas (bought b4 I learned I shouldn’t buy them)

Any thoughts on which one appoximates the piano feel best? Or is there another one entirely I should use? If it’s the Gateron Oil King please suggest a cheaper alternative as I may want to keep those for my build. Thank in advance for being patient with a newbie. And yes, I know this is subjective, but hey, I want to base my decision on something.

And yes, my user name is stupid, but its the only name I’ll remember because I created it a long time ago.

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I say oil kings for their heavier linear spring

Most pianos I’ve used have a decently heavy action


In my mind, the way to approximate the feel of velvet-dampened heavy piano keys would be to use a thick grease on a linear; high-frequency vibrations absorbed without being soft and mushy.

From your list I think the Yellows are a fine bet. I think they feel closer to a piano than Durock Pianos. :man_shrugging:

Overall I think Momoka Frogs might have something of a piano-like feel - they have a decidedly not-harsh bottom-out without actually using any dampening.

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I play piano. There’s no switch that’s going to feel anything like playing piano. For one, the travel of a piano key is like 3x the amount in a mechanical keyboard switch. In theory linear switches will do, but I doubt there will be any correlation between piano playing and switch preferences.

He could give Milktooth a shot. We offer a try-before-you-buy program for switches; I think he’d benefit from it a lot. If he wants more personalized recs have him e-mail me, I’m always happy to help out.


I also play piano and was just thinking the other day that 60g springs in the CJs or TX standard length approximate the push feel for me of an upright (not grand) like an old Baldwin Acrosonic or the weighted keyboard keys of a Casio Privia. That’s highly subjective for me. I think it really just means those are smooth switches but still with some character at about the weight I’m used to from those instruments. Any pretty smooth linear with a weight that matches his playing style should get you there. I agree it won’t really feel like a piano, but a linear at the right weight will satisfy. Something like a 63-65g spring. The bottom out of a piano is felt dampened but I wouldn’t recommend that…switches with a silenced bottom out could do it though. You might just try regular switches and maybe a POM plate.

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