What would be your ideal tactile switch?

Forget about “what is.” Think about “what should be.”

What would your ideal tactile switch be like?

I think mine would have a crisp, definite, but not-too-strong tactile barrier early in the keypress [before 2.0mm] that is (ideally) tied to actuation and the switch mechanism.

The sound would be muted or silent, or a silenced click. Bottom-out would either follow immediately after actuation, cushioned by padding, or after another 1.6-2mm of travel, ending on a rubber-dome style cushion.

I don’t mind rubber-dome bottom-out, but I like my tactile event to be clear and crisp! If it’s a small tactile event, then it can be sharp, too.

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Personally, tactile switches are my favourite switch type.

If there was a BOX Royal like switch without the associated clicking that comes with them, that would be my ideal tactile switch. I already like the feel and the bottom out, the sound just needs some work. The quieter, the better.

Also, it seems like you’ve just described NMB dome with sliders – a really good rubber dome based tactile switch imo :slight_smile:

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Yeah, it seems as if a silent clicky rubber-dome is my ideal switch!

I remember typing at a meetup on some Japanese-looking sort-of clicky rubber-dome that I enjoyed.

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For everyday use I now use linears.

Tactiles are for me to have fun if I want some (linears are boring sometimes), and prefer big and rounded tactile feeling (have a board with Zelios v2) with a light spring.
Recently ordered Bobas U4T 62g for a friend, curious to see how I like them.

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I think you’ll find the U4T an interesting basis of comparison for the Zealio V2.

U4T are probably more rounded, larger overall bump.

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Smooth, tight tolerances, black housing, with tactility similar to gateron/outemu browns and long pole stem with pole bottom out. either that or jet axis stem-style.

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Hmmm. You almost have that with SP Star Meteor Orange.

Similar tactility to Gateron Brown, smoother than Cherry and better-built than Gateron. But it isn’t Durock-tight, unfortunately.

I don’t think it’s a long-pole stem, but it sounds like one because the housing is clacky. Durock could basically improve the switch into what you are suggesting if they tried.

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For me it would be a completely faithful recreation of SKCM browns. SKCM browns are easily my fav tactile switch, the plastic dummy plate with an extra actuation leaf they use for tactility makes for a wholly unique feel & sound even among other tactile complicated ALPS switches. Then if someone were to go as far as having the tooling needed to produce faithful recreation of SKCM browns made. They might as well give recreating SKCM Neon Greens a try too. Those use a full metal tactile leaf, but I’d love to see what would come out of using a leaf with the same bends & angles as SKCM Neon Green’s tactile leaf with a plastic dummy plate like SKCM browns use!

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Prominent round bump, deep sounding bottom out, smooth travel, no ping.

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That’s almost a U4T, except that the tactile event is so large it takes up most of the keypress, being less distinct than a simple large round bump.

It’s thocky, but that’s in part because of the long-stem, which I consider cheating. Doesn’t naturally have a deep-sounding bottom-out without the stem.

Doesn’t ping though.

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I like the tactility of Moyu and the sound profile of Koalas. Maybe Glorious Kiwis/Holy T1s come close.

I would like a silent buckling spring :upside_down_face:

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I basically want a tactile switch that tells my fingers that I’ve actuated, and then stops me from bottoming out. To meet that goal, I like switches with:

  • Big, sharp bumps - this combo sends a strong message to my fingers, and I’ve found sharp bumps hold their tactility better with higher spring weights.
  • Pretravel - I’ve found a tactile bump at the very top doesn’t tell my fingers much about actuation (it just goes down), while a lower tactile bump closer to the actuation point is a lot more helpful.
  • Short, heavy springs. A short spring has a lower actuation weight for a given bottom out weight, so a short heavy spring can have a fairly normal actuation weight but a very high bottom out weight to stop you from bottoming out once you actuate. You basically go past the bump, and let the spring bring you to a stop before you get to the bottom. The heavy bottom out force also gets you a snappy return.
  • Lots of post-travel. This gives you more room to decelerate to avoid bottoming out.

Unfortunately this is against virtually every trend in tactile switches - round, HP-like bumps, minimal pretravel, very long springs, and reduced travel. Not bottoming out is also an uncommon typing style these days and a rare taste to cater to these days (rather, pole-bottom out is popular for sound reasons, which also result in extremely harsh bottom outs)

Right now my daily driver uses Cherry MX Clear stems in Cherry MX Blue housings (MX Blues have a more tactile leaf and ups the tactility a good amount), with the 90g MX Clear spring (at ~12mm, the shortest springs I am aware of, and a nice weight for me). I’m pretty happy with this frankenswitch, and the combo, being all-Cherry, sounds great after lubing and applying Deskey films. However, something smoother and with less stem wobble would definitely be nice.

JWK Twilights with 90g springs got close to what I want (and is a lot smoother than the above Cherry frankenswitch), but they’re slightly more rounded than the MX Clears, and the slight reduction in travel (down to 3.8mm, from 4mm) was actually very noticeable for me and resulted in me bottoming out a lot more. So I’m back on the Cherries. With the current trends I don’t see any switch likely to cater to what I want, so I’ll probably be typing on these for a long time.

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I agree with a lot of your assertions. I tried Twilight, but it was too rounded for my preference. Have you tried MX Clear stems in the T1 housing? You could use a Clear spring, or maybe a heavy Progressive spring.

I enjoy Ergo Clears with 68 G Progressive springs, because they actuate around 45 G like an MX Brown, but have enough force at the bottom of the spring to operate the Clear stem with lubing.

Topre, SKCM Brown, Copre (ask me about this if curious :face_with_monocle:), U4T is an easy replacement for these options if not wanting to put in the effort/money.

I also really liked some lubed Razer Orange switches I tried recently. Surprising sound from those.

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This might be weird but I would like a tactile that mimics a clicky switch, without the click noise. Basically a little pretravel, like half a mm, and then a very sharp tactile event in the middle.

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Off the top of my head, these are what I’d want:

  • A quite round tactile event that takes up most, if not all of the key press. It reminds me of vintage boards that I used to own and I think that’s what draws me to that style. Bluish Whites and Salmons have become two of my favorites.

  • Spring weight-wise it’d be a slow spring somewhere in the 50-58g range. I’ve been liking lighter spring weights lately. I feel like I type faster, it’s less tiring to type, and flatter spring curve minimizes accidental keystrokes.

  • Sound profile would be slightly lower in pitch than the Salmons and uniform, unlike the half-silenced Bluish Whites (which I quite like in their own way).

I think essentially I’m looking for a Bluish White-Salmon-U4T hybrid that’s less fatiguing to type on than a stand-alone U4T.

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I think that’s coming out soon, basically a jailhouse BOX Jade. Novelkeys will have these ‘silenced’ Jades soon.

That could be an ideal switch for me as well, although I’d like a lighter and less-intense clicky. Like a silent version of those Gaote(?) blues that used to come with the Teamwolf Zhuque.

@MrWaffleCats the Bluish Whites have indeed become a favourite switch on KeebTalk. I can understand the appeal, because they are a more reasonable rounded switch, although I am no longer accustomed to typing on switches with tactile events that take up most of the keypress.

But what you’re talking about could be interesting, and I’ve always wanted a lighter tactile in the Boba family.

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Wow now this I’m really pumped for!

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