1.2 Switch Types

“What switches should I get?” Is by far one of the most dreaded questions I get asked about. Honestly this question alone is a big reason I decided to create this 15+ article series LOL (don’t worry you don’t have to read them all). It’s too much to explain every single time so the next time someone asks me this, I will just send this website to them so chances are if you’re reading this you may have asked someone what switches to get.

Okay there are three types of switches, linear, tactile and clicky.

Image by Matthew Wilson of kitguru,net

Linear switches

So linear switches are simple, they just go straight down and that’s it. They are commonly known as red switches and have many variations from different brands like Cherry, Gateron and Kailh and the same can be said for the other types too.

Tactile switches

Tactile switches are popular for their bump that happens when you press down the switch midway, it provides physical feedback that confirms the key press for you.

A little fun fact: cherry mx browns and their clones are a meme to hate on because of how light the tactile bump is compared to other tactile switches that have a much harder and obvious bump.

Clicky switches

Don’t lie you already know what these are. They are super common in gaming keyboards and make a loud CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK noise when bring used. So these have the same physical bump when u press it to confirm your keypress and now there’s also a click sound to double confirm it.

Don’t stop reading here there is more you should know.

Red, browns and blues are the most common switches out there but in reality, there are almost 1000 different types of switches. u/theremingoat, who has their own website is one of the most notable switch collectors in the community.

There is a switch for everybody, and when I say everybody, I mean EVERYBODY.

Every type of switch comes in different spring weight, meaning it can be lighter or harder to press. Some enthusiasts like to open up their switches and put in springs of different weight and feel.

When it comes to linears, there are enthusiast grade switches that are smoother than reds.
When it comes to tactiles, there are enthusiast grade switches that are bumpier than browns.
When it comes to clicky, there are enthusiast grade switches that click even louder than blues.

Here are some videos by Shoobs, who compared the sound and feel of various linear and tactile switches (if you like clicky, just search “Kailh box jade” on YouTube). As of writing, this is the golden standard to learn and compare switches of the same type.

Shoobs I love you.

Click here to return to the home page of the guide
Click here to proceed to learn about different tiers of keyboards (not a serious article lol just my opinions)

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