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.