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Definitive Omron Switch Guide for Mice

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Leslieann:
Omron switches
While it's by far the most commonly used switch in in mice (more than 80%) there's a lot of questions about the numbers and letter designations. I myself have spent many many hours over many days scouring for information to figure this out. Since publishing this guide also helped bring in others who brought more info (thanks guys!). At this point I think it's safe to assume we have a good grasp on these switches.


Important warning TL/DR:
The  D2FC-F-K is NOT the same as a standard D2F and D2FC, it is a dedicated switch made and marketed specifically for mice.  See -K designation below for more.

Quick info:
D2F-F or D2F-01-F (in that order) if you want the better sealed Japanese switch which happens to be 75gram (yes, it's stiffer) or if you still want a 60gram switch stick with the D2FC-F-K. Avoid every other D2FC, they just don't work well in modern mice. All are out of the recommended operating range but they are a lot closer than then the common D2FC (the K may or may not be as good as the Japanese D2F).



Updated for 2020
More info has come in, particularly regarding the D2FC-F-K thanks to chrisdewit  and Keebon and some personal testing. This has also been re-formatted a little and new info added and corrected. It's still not perfect, we still do not know everything but it's fairly complete at this point. Recommendations are ^ up there.

Info breakdown (older info)
D2F vs D2FC indicates origin. [/b]
MoreD2F = Japanese (always has Japan molded into top along with Omron label)
D2FC = China (may have China painted on side or top, or just a “C” in the model #)

Chinese models are mass produced and are considered to be a bit sloppy in tolerances, so one may have an actuation point a bit higher than another. Tolerances on these are pretty small so you probably wouldn't notice, but just know that they are more sloppy than the Japanese models.

Japanese models have much nicer internals, better tolerances, better metals,a stronger frame and are better sealed from dirt and moisture. They are also slightly taller (0.08mm)  and have a shorter actuation distance but it’s close enough to be a drop in replacement.

Warning.
While you can use a normal D2FC in a modern mouse, it will be inconsistent and fail very early. See the -K designation below.


-01 (can be with or without the dash)
The first batch of batch of numbers or lack of them is usually an 01, this indicates the spring material.
More-01 Indicates a “gold alloy spring”
lack of -01  Indicates a “silver alloy spring”
I put them in quotes because I suspect it means they are plated spring steel, not an actual alloy of the two materials as implied by Omron.

Which is better?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I have 01's in my G900 and they seem stable for the moment, and gold lasts, the problem is silver *should* work better with lower amperage and amperage is the problem and precisely why you should not use a common D2FC. My advice, get silver if you can but don't put in a lot of effort until we know more.

Spring rates (-F)
MoreThe next important indicator you want to know is the -F
-F Japanese – 75grams.
-F Chinese – 60grams.
Others – 120 or 150gram

Some listings will just tell the spring rate, others use the -F designation.

Beware, Omron or maybe it's the sellers, have a habit of listing some Chinese models as 75gram. It's still not known if there s a 60 and a 75gram Chinese spring or if they are all just 60gram and being confused by Omrons literature. Translation is at ties an art so things can get lost.

Which is better?
It’s up to you really.

Warning.
While you can use a normal D2FC in a modern mouse, it will be inconsistent and fail very early. See the -K designation below.

-K designation (-K)
This is only for the Chinese model and indicates a mouse specific switch.
MoreModern mice use such low amounts of energy that a normal D2FC no longer functions consistently. The Japanese D2f functions better but the Chinese D2FC has problems, it's suspected this is sort of a hybrid.   Regardless it;s aimed directly at mice.

The standard D2FC will work, it’s just inconsistent and will be rather short lived. When I put them in my G900 the right click became inconsistent within a month or two and got progressively worse from there. For comparison I usually get 12-14 months out of a -K, keep in mind that is a sample size of only 2, but it worked pretty much as expected (bad), so I’d say it was enough of a sample size in that regard.

If you want to retain a 60gram spring in your mouse you will need to use the D2FC-F-K as it’s the only 60gram spring model available from Omron that i can verify.



Lifespan Labeled as (10M)
MoreThere is a rumor that Japanese switches start with a lower lifespan and that the -F has a longer lifespan. This doesn't seem to really hold much water when you consider that Omron themselves labels them for you. Sometimes.

Why? These lifespan numbers are for ZERO load, and they really do mean ANY load. If the mouse button rests on the switch button or your finger causes it to, then the lifespan will be shortened.  Anything touching that button shortens the lifespan. Many mice actually may have some slop to prevent this when your fingers are off the mouse, but as soon as you put them on it, the lifespan is probably starting to drop as the weight of your fingers remove that slop. Personally, 10M last longer than 20M for me, see my note here.

Omron has multiple ratings:
(1M) = 1million presses
(3m) = 3million presses
(5m) = 5million presses
(10M) = 10million presses
(20M) = 20million presses

Unfortunately, the only surefire way to know for certain is with the part number as shown above as they didn't always mark them.  However they often coincided with the button color or a painted dot on top.

Some of the lower numbers the details are sketchy, but we don't really care about them anyhow.
Black  – no dot – (1M) = 1million presses (not verified)
Red or Yellow button or dot (3m) = 3million (not verified)
Red or Yellow button or dot (5m) = 5million (not verified)
Gray button and/or dot - (10M) = 10million
White button and/or dot - (20M) = 20million

The colors are also referred to as tops, so when someone says a “white top” Omron, they mean it's a switch rated for 20mil. Presses.

Use caution: I don't recommend relying on the button color. MS has custom switches made for them (labeled MS) as does another company, which can be different and I have seen white and gray botton Omrons with no (XXM) stamped on them. These are usually older models, but it's something to keep in mind. Dots and labeling is the only surefire way to know and a while lower numbers may not say it, you can bet a 50M is going to let you know it's a 50M as it’s a selling point.

I'll put a chart at the bottom showing what is using what that I know of and if others post I will try and add them.

Other random numbers and letters in the switch part number  Example D2F L3 -T
MoreFrankly, you do not want any of these on your switch, as they pertain to the soldering terminals and different ways to actuate the button, almost none of which are useful to use. Note: Levers can be removed, so if you want a specific switch in a hurry and can only find it with a lever, you can always remove it from the switch and use it without problems, just be careful removing it.

L = Hinge lever
L2 = Roller lever
L3 = simulated roller
L30 = larger simulated roller
-T = self clinching terminals (this can still work in a mouse)
-A = right angled terminals
-A1 = left angled terminals
-D3 = big solder terminals
-D = compact terminals

Other odballs
It's probably these are an older naming convention Omron used, as we know they switched lifespan indicators a while back.
MoreTake much of this with a grain of salt as we have no hard evidence on any of this.
D2F-F-7N  is Comparable to D2F-01F  (Japanese)  (Confirmed this is a 75g switch!)
D2FC-F-7N  is Comparable to D2FC-01F (Chinese)

D2F-3-7 is reportedly comparable to D2F-01F (but I suspect it's closer to D2F-01 due to lack of the N) (Japanese)
D2FC-3-7 is probably comparable to D2FC-01F (but I suspect it's closer to D2F-01 due to lack of the N) (Chinese)

Note: I do not know if the D2FC-3-7 exists, but I believe it might since the 7N has a Japanese and Chinese counterpart. A quick Google search turned up nothing.

Beware with any of these, as they may not function properly in a modern mouse due to the low amperage. See -K designation.


Other Switch Brands
MoreYes, there are others that can be used, lots in fact. Most agree that the Omrons are the best and by far the most common in quality mice, which begs the question, if they are the norm, why do people and manufacturers make such a big deal over Omrons. “Look, I have the same as everyone else!”

WARNING!!!
While there are others that will go in, they are often slightly different sizes, and some are not designed for the low amperages we currently use in mice. So while they may fit and work for a bit, go back and read the -K designation before actually buying any.

Various brands:
Kinzu, Kana, Himake, Panasonic, Huanos (loud according to TP4Tissue), Zippy, Qiaoh and TTF
Interesting ones:
TTF  is considered quietest
Zippy uses a coil spring so may be more durable

Popular Mice and what switches they use:
80% or more of all mice use them, and it's even more common at the high end.
MoreKnown to use alternatives:
Corsair
Razer
Steelseries

Exclusively use Omrons or almost exclusively:
Asus
Logitech
Cooler Master
Roccat

With Logitech, the newer and more expensive the mouse, the higher the lifespan rating as well.


Sources
MoreOmron pdf - https://www.omron.com/ecb/products/pdf/en-d2f.pdf
Omron -f pdf - https://www.omron.com/ecb/products/sw/13/d2f.html
Overclock.net - http://www.overclock.net/t/1152386/what-is-the-best-main-model-of-microswitch
Eteknix for Asus info - http://www.eteknix.com/asus-announces-rog-spatha-gaming-mouse/
Japanese vs China info (Korean) - http://www.kbdmania.net/xe/tipandtech/2861723
Omron marketing material - http://en.chanlin-ele.com/Uploads/201601/568ce2c9eeda4.pdf
Omorn switch failures by Alex Kenis - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=v5BhECVlKJA&feature=emb_title
Various teardown images and videos on Google, Youtube, etc

Updated June 2020

infiniti:
Very informative.  Thanks, Leslieann! :thumb:

tp4tissue:
I'm in the 01F camp because it is the Japan switch with the Thin-est spring.

I prefer as light a switch as possible..


The D2F-F should be more rigid, because that spring needs to be thicker to handle the higher amp rating.

Therefore it behaves less like a spring, and more like a lever..



In the end ,,  preference..


MX-Blue >> Topre 

Leslieann:

--- Quote from: tp4tissue on Sat, 30 April 2016, 03:56:08 ---The D2F-F should be more rigid, because that spring needs to be thicker to handle the higher amp rating.

--- End quote ---
No, as per Omron, current has to do with type of spring type or spring coating (01), not spring pressure (-F).

tp4tissue:

--- Quote from: Leslieann on Sat, 30 April 2016, 04:36:18 ---
--- Quote from: tp4tissue on Sat, 30 April 2016, 03:56:08 ---The D2F-F should be more rigid, because that spring needs to be thicker to handle the higher amp rating.

--- End quote ---
No, as per Omron, current has to do with type of spring type or spring coating (01), not spring pressure (-F).

--- End quote ---

Hrrrmmm.....


I know that silver tarnishes which is why it wouldn't be good for low voltage applications.

It seems to be consistent with their choice of gold-alloy for the 01F..

But you're saying this whole thing doesn't influence the thickness of that spring ?


The majority of the metal here is still copper though..  I don't see why they even need to plate it..

Silver tarnishes just like copper..



Well, maybe next time I'll buy some D2F-F, and take it apart to check.

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