The switch is a bit scratchy in stock form, much like Cherry and Gateron silent switches are. A light application of lube makes them feel smooth enough for my tastes, I would say comparable to a Cherry silent red.
These switches use an unusual silencing method. There is a rubbery “collar” on the stem which hits the switch top at top-out, silencing the upstroke. The downstroke, however, is silenced by a rubbery cushion inside the center post hole of the switch bottom housing. If you are familiar with the “trampoline mod”, it works like that, except the cushion is flat and doesn’t compress as easily, so the bottom-out doesn’t feel as squishy as the trampoline mod.
This silencing method works OK, but these switches are plagued by the same problem Gateron, Aliaz, and Zeal Zilent switches suffer from: Inconsistent silencing on the downstroke. Take the Cherry silent implementation for comparison: Cherry silent switches always feel cushioned at bottom-out, even if you hit them at different angles, hit them harder, etc. The other silent switches, this TTC included, are only silent most of the time, but if you hit the switch at an odd angle or hit it too hard, you hear the harsh plastic-on-plastic sound of the switch stem striking the switch housing, which is ideally supposed to be avoided with a silent switch.
Overall I would rate these as better than Gateron silent linears and worse than Cherry silent linears.
Hmm, seems like TTC is stepping their game up. The only TTC switches I have experience with are the all orange ones which I would not put in a board at all. The stems of the orange ones may make for good modding material but the housings are pretty flimsy. Since I’ve seen you with a few different types of TTC switches what do think of the quality of their normal & silent lineups @Walkerstop?
The TTC golds are pretty bad IMO.
I do like the TTC blacks, I think they feel better in one way than retooled Cherry blacks and worse in another way. Let me explain the 2 aspects from my perspective.
Most linears have some amount of roughness or scratch to them before lubing. If I liken this roughness to sandpaper, for some switches it’s like fine-grit sandpaper and for others it’s like coarser-grit sandpaper. Then on top of that, there is the uniformity of the scratch, as in, does it feel like consistently fine-grained sandpaper, or does it feel like there are some bigger grains of sand mixed in? So in terms of consistency, the scratch in the TTC feels less consistent than the scratch in Cherry retooled blacks. Milky gateron are another switch that feels like it has a more consistent and fine-grained scratch. In this aspect they are worse than milky Gateron or Cherry retooled blacks, IMO.
The second aspect is how much overall resistance I feel coming from this scratch or friction. To put it another way, imagine you are dragging something across sandpaper vs. dragging something across a washboard. The washboard of course is going to feel rougher and more uneven, less consistent, but if the actual metal that the washboard is made of is smooth, you may not feel much resistance to dragging the object. On the other hand, dragging it across sandpaper, the surface feels more consistent and regular, but the object will “grab” or stick more, and you would probably feel more overall resistance. In this aspect I think the TTC do better than Cherry retooled blacks or Gateron milky linears; They feel overall more slippery to me even though there is some scratch or irregularity there. I wonder if maybe the TTC black housings are using a slightly different plastic that has a slightly lower coefficient of friction, but their manufacturing isn’t as good as Cherry so there are more surface imperfections? That’s how it feels to me, anyway.
The main reason I like the TTC blacks though is that I like how they sound. It’s hard to put my finger on what it is, but they have an interesting sound to them once lubed.
I don’t feel like I need to say too much about the TTC silents beyond what I wrote in my first post, I would say they lie somewhere between Cherry silent and Gateron silent, maybe about as good as Gateron silent. If I was in the market for some silent linears I would skip the TTC to be honest.
Thanks for the write up. This is interesting.
I’m currently working on my silent showdown of Silent Gat (linears), TTC Silent, and cherry silent switches. I’ve noticed quite a few interesting similarities and differences between all three and for the most part, I think they all have something interesting to offer.
About your current assessment of
TTC Silent < Gateron Silent < Cherry Silent,
I think I’d mostly agree. I’ve found there to be an interesting amount of inconsistency between gateron silents, but of course that’s something I can talk about another time.
I think TTC Silents have potential, but stock they’re… eh. I’ve also noticed the inconsistent silencing on the downstroke. I theorize that dropping a tiny dab of lube down’ the ol’ center post hole might help.
I hope they plan on improving these switches because I kinda like the collar for the upstroke silencing.
Thanks for the detailed reply! It sounds like the regular TTC switches (especially the blacks) are worth a shot. I get where you’re coming from with the silent switches, kinda hard to recommend them when Gat silents are readily available & very affordable. Think I’m gonna see about picking up a sample pack of the regular & silent TTC lineup just to give them a shot. I’ve been slowly picking up samples of the lesser known brands to see how they are by themselves & their modding potential, but have largely ignored TTC up to this point. Gonna have to change that!
I agree TTC might be on to something with their design for silent switches. Definitely a pretty interesting way to go about it, but juding from your & Walkerstop’s thoughts on them they still need some refining. Here’s to hoping TTC does keep up on them!
I’m looking forward to the silent switch showdown!