Zealio V1 Redux Switch Review

Hey all,

Since I’ve officially just now passed two years since writing my first review, I figured it was about time to go ahead and check a true Zeal switch review off of my to-do list. This week, a look at the revival of the OG Zealios V1 stems in the new Zealio V1 Redux switches. The big question on all of our minds though is whether or not these really stack up as a true representation of the original switches that kicked off the entire modern switch scene, or if they fall short by the thinnest of margins…

Website Link: https://www.theremingoat.com/
Article Link: Zealio V1 Redux Switch Review — ThereminGoat's Switches
Scorecard Repository: ThereminGoat (ThereminGoat) / Repositories · GitHub
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theremingoat

As always, thanks for the continued love and support everyone! :heart: I look forward to seeing you all next week for Scorecard Sunday so long as this week of classes doesn’t kill me first.

Goat :goat:


C3 Kiwi’s FTW!


I may be seeking a confirmation bias. Or something.

Thanks for your devotion to this topic! Super helpful as always.

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Thanks for reviewing a switch that a good number of us have been waiting for :slight_smile: regarding the preface/disclaimer you’ve added - it seems rather unfortunate that it’s even required to be mentioned that it’s not a one-stop ultimate authoritative source :confused:

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Tactiles must have grown very heavy since 2018 if T1 is considered a ‘medium tactile.’ It used to be considered on the low-end of heavy, a sort of toned-down Zealio V2.

Then again, it was always dubious that MX Clear would be considered a “medium tactile,” as it isn’t much more than a Brown. So much of the ‘tactility’ is just the spring.

I would say that a good standard for a medium tactile might be SP Star Purple. It feels to me like a toned-down T1, and doesn’t feel at all extreme. SP Star Magic Girl may be similar, maybe even Kailh Polia.

T1 was supposed to be an alternative to Zealio V2, I think. And Kiwis feel heavier than T1, to me. I would classify Kiwi as a heavy-tactile, on the lower-end. Zealio V2 and Holy Panda being standard heavy tactiles. Something like Zykos or Neapolitan being on the high-end of heavy tactile. Any frankenswitches greater than that should be considered super-heavy.

BOX Brown might be the low-end entry-point to medium-tactiles, as it’s noticeably more tactile than MX Brown. MX Clear, Ergo Clear, and Zealio V1 could be considered light-medium.


Also, I have to say, a Zilent V1 Redux based on this switch would be great. In 62 G.

Most of the silent tactiles are heavy or medium-tactiles, very few light tactiles. So these would fill a real hole in the market.

Zealio V1R 62 G slam down a bit on bottom-out, but Zilent would solve that.

Pylon’s data suggests that when JWK/Durock revised the T1 mold to the new V2/B housing they also updated the leaves to be stronger:

I’m glad that low-medium tactility is making a resurgence lately, the heavy and super-heavy tactiles as referred to earlier have always struck me as switches that operate akin to mechanical rubber domes; bump that collapses right to bottom out but without the inherent softness of a rubber dome.

I do think that the light-medium tactiles are paired best with a spring shorter than 15mm for more of a bounce to avoid bottoming out, preferably with a slightly stronger bottom out weight than the equivalent 15mm length. 65g 14.5mm SK “Classic” springs from Swagkeys (I sourced mine from Minokeys) are a good midway point between 14mm and standard cherry length springs for me in Durock Medium Tactiles.

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Yes. Exactly.

I enjoyed Zilent V2, but it’s partly because I was using a tactile Dell rubberdome, previously. So it was an easy transition.

The one strength of Cherry light-tactiles is that you can just glide over them, consistently, without much effort. They can beat rubber-domes in ergonomics and sustainability. So why replicate the shortcomings of domes (answer: because it feels good, and I’m okay with that).

I was just thinking about springs. I prefer 14mm springs like TX (S) because they seem to be slightly progressive. Maximizing tactility at the top, and return impulse. Using 63.5 G and 68 G Progressives for Ergo Clears [actuate like 55 G and 60 G 15mm springs respectively].

OTOH the 14mm 57 G and 60 G springs seem respectively too light / heavy for Durock Light Tactile and Meteor Orange, so I am investigating 15mm 57 G next. Sometimes, a normal linear spring is the solution, like 63.5 G [linear Spirit] Ergo Clears.

The big heavy tactiles are a ‘binary’ type of tactility like rubber-domes, whereas the light-tactiles are more unique to mechanical designs. Cherry found its way to an ergonomic design with its ‘pre+post-travel’ stems. If I instead have to use a heavy MX tactile, I like to give it a ‘rubber-dome’ like Zilent V2 or U4.


Agreed on rubber domes feeling good, I have a GK21s as a numpad alongside my GMMK Pro and I prefer to have T1s in it just to have that snappy collapse feeling. Satisfying on a numpad but too fatiguing for constant typing.

I quite like shorter springs for that reason, the return force can be increased while keeping the actuation and peak tactile force more reasonable. Right now the Durock Medium Tactiles have a pleasant bounce to them on the bottom out since the peak tactile force is lowered a little from the slightly shorter than stock spring. I have some Durock Light Tactiles (which appear to feature the latest JWK molds with the tapered stem rails) which I intend on L+F with 3203, Deskeys and spring swapping to the same 65g 14.5mm SK spring. Not sure which I’d rather use as a daily driver yet but I’m satisfied currently with the Medium Tactiles with the same spring, lube and film combination.

I think you’d like the 14.5mm springs, the product page on Swagkeys.com states:

The length was specifically designed for people who want to add “Great amount” of bouncy feeling to the switches

And in my personal use compared to 15mm TX they do feel more bouncy at the bottom compared to the more “linear” sensation of stock cherry length. Minokeys carries all of the weight varieties SK offers but the weights are only 55g, 58g, and 62g at the low end.

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Yeah, T1s are fun to type on, but I wouldn’t want to do it all day.

My favourite DMT is filmed Mode Signals, lubed with 3203. They are great on polycarb plate setup like KBD67 Lite / MK870, but even good on a Tester68.

These 14.5mm springs sound like just the ticket. The 58 G could be perfect for Meteor Orange / DLT. Which, may I ask, do you think would most closely replicate and improve upon the stock Durock 63.5 spring?

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The 63.5g Durock springs I purchased separately (my DMTs are from AliExpress since I originally wanted the 67g spring) measure in at about 14mm, so I’d say perhaps 62g if you’re trying to match the actuation weight/peak tactile force, and the 63.5g if you want that little bit more tactile force/upstroke bounce while retaining the same bottom out weight. Hard to give an exact recommendation here since the only weight for the SK springs I have is the 65g in the 14.5mm length, and if you match the bottom out weight then the peak tactile force will increase from that slight 0.5mm increase in length.

I wouldn’t go lower than 62g for concerns with return issues on DMTs, and I think that’s the lowest spring weight Durock offers on their AliExpress page.

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My current daily driver is Ikki68 Aurora Mizu with DMTs(Cerulean) lubed with 3204 + TX 60g long spring and I haven’t encountered any return issues so far. Personally I feel that the down stroke with TX 62g long spring is a little bit on the heavier side but probably this is because of the higher initial weight coming from the extra initial compression. It’s doable with long spring but I completely agree with you if shorter spring is used.


Good to know! I know Kinetic Labs don’t recommend below a 63.5g spring for their Penguins (a DMT recolor with some UMHWPE in the housing) but they never stated what the spring length was.

I’m not too big a fan of longer springs nowadays, I find that the increased weight at the top and less steep spring constant results in me bottoming out more and having less of that floaty bounce of the keys itself. I have DMT in the 14.5mm 65g spring as discussed earlier and was originally planning on building DLT with the same, but I think I might use the Durock 63.5g and 62g springs I have instead now (both 14mm). I’m getting forearm fatigue from constantly typing nowadays and weaker springs should help with that. The only thing I’m not too big a fan of is the “empty” feeling in the travel that occurs right after you clear the bump on DMT w the 63.5g 14mm springs, but I’m sure I’ll get used to that.

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Thanks. This overall discussion has been helpful.

Might I ask how is your Aurora and what plate you are using? I have the base model, which I’m going to use for silent switches, but it seems as if the Aurora with polycarb could be well-adapted for Zealio V1 / DMT.

The Cerulean is something I was interested in, as it was marketed as a kind of Ergo Clear. But it’s just DMT with a 65 G spring, right? That’s an effective spring for DMT, although I prefer 63.5.

Nice to know 60 G TX L will work with DMT.

I agree also with Alphadecay that Long springs are not ideal for light-tactiles, because their higher initial force and lack of gradient encourages bottom-out. DMT does have that “empty” feeling with 63.5, though. You might be interested to know that so far, the 3203-lubed Mode Signals are the best-feeling switch on my polycarb MK870. So there are very viable combinations with that switch.

I’m using POM plate + KBDFan switch pads + silicon gaskets + all silicon pads with the both left and right gaskets removed at the moment. The switch pad does dampen the classic high pitched JWK signature bottom out sound so it’s now even more muted than ever.

Cerulean with TX 60g long spring does give it a slightly heavier linear down stroke and snappier up stroke (closer/similar to my favorite 63.5g ergo clears).

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Did some further testing of the Zealio V1 redux switches today.

I was using the 67 G dark purple variant.

Tried OUTEMU Silent Sky / Forest stems in 3 different weights. Unfortunately, in all cases, the switches were too noisy. The stems and springs made noise, including a ‘plunger’ type noise.

So the Silent Sky Zealio V1 is a no-go for me. I had lubed the stems and springs, but to no avail.

Next, I tried spring replacement for stock Zealios.

The weights were 52 G OUTEMU, 55 G Spirit (linear), and 63.5 G Spirit (linear).

The 52 G OUTEMU was impressive. It’s a noisy spring, so you have to lube the stem and spring. But the feel was great.

They were responsive, and fairly strong on the upstroke. Maybe a little easier to press than stock 62 G Zealio V1, they’re a little too easy to bottom-out on. Something like a 53.5 G or 54 G OUTEMU spring could be good here.

But these 52 G were my favourite of the bunch, they seemed fluid like Zealio V1 is supposed to be. Except somewhat harsh because of the easy bottom-out.

55 G Spirit wasn’t very good and not worth writing about. They felt heavier at the top than they should have, and just didn’t function as well as the other two variants.

63.5 G Spirit is more-than-adequate as a spring for Zealio V1 Redux. They are weighty [but not obnoxious] at the top, and very strong on the upstroke. They’re really stronger than is necessary for the switch, but definitely provide a very functional experience.

If I can, I will try 63.5 G Progressive Spirit. These springs often feel too light, they are borderline with Ergo Clears, but this suggests a comparison with Zealio V1R.


Okay, so I tried both 63.5 and 68 G Progressive Spirit springs.

They both function, they both feel a little heavier than you would expect.

With Ergo Clears, the 63.5 G P spring is very light, and the round Cherry bump absorbs much of its strength. But the spring doesn’t seem to lose as much energy with Zealio V1R, so it’s more vigorous. Ends up feeling like a Brown instead of a Red like it does with MX Clear.

I don’t think the Zealio V1R hangs as much on the upstroke with 63.5 P as with Ergo Clear. It’s a smaller and cleaner bump, most likely. [the spring is weak in that area, though, both with Ergo Clears and Zealio V1R]

With the 68 G Progressive spring, there is more push on the upstroke. The top of the keypress is heavier than I would like it to be, you feel that full 45-46 G 15mm weight. Despite the greater energy of the spring, the tactile bump is still distinct. However, I think that the 68 G Progressive spring is better-suited to more tactile stems, such as MX Clear and especially the Halo stem.

Both Progressive springs don’t sound as great as the linear springs, although the 68 is a little deeper. I think that the 52 G OUTEMU might actually be deeper. They do benefit somewhat from lubing the spring and stem when using P springs.

My conclusion from all this? The 52 G OUTEMU springs are worth testing on Zealio V1 Redux. They are snappier and ‘shorter’ feeling than stock 62G, though, and certainly don’t feel as ‘relaxed.’ But if you want a snappier Zealio V1, these are a candidate.