Author Topic: How actually durable switches are?  (Read 775 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Leopard223

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 141
How actually durable switches are?
« on: Sat, 08 May 2021, 20:04:02 »
Let's say I'm using an MX tactile switch such as Kailh BOX Jade switch or a tactile switch such as the panda variant Boba U4T, I know this switches are rated for millions of keystrokes (usually 50m), but would they feel the same after 50 million presses? 
People get a backup board, but do they get backup switch packs?
« Last Edit: Sat, 08 May 2021, 20:11:31 by Leopard223 »

Offline MIGHTY CHICKEN

  • Posts: 403
  • buck buck, cluck cluck, squawk squawk
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 08 May 2021, 23:07:14 »
Would def not feel the same.

I'm not an expert anything, but I assume the spring would be the first to give? This means bork, and if you replaced it, the switch would probably feel much smoother after millions of breaking in presses. I also do have backup boards, switches not really as I don't think I would ever use a switch that much to the point of needing more, I would likely have already changed boards/switches.

Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 08 May 2021, 23:19:41 »
At 50m key presses, if you had 10,000 key presses a day, your switch would last for about 13.5 years. The spring or the copper leaf is what would likely wear out. Most of the packs I get I have a few extra than what the board uses.

Offline Leopard223

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 141
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 09 May 2021, 20:20:02 »
I'm wondering if those tests also include switch feel, 50m is well above and beyond, but I wonder if the switches will feel the same after couple of years, assuming my boards will survive that long.
I was thinking more about the stems wearing out, the BOX stem notch and the tactile MX bump, thinking about getting backup packs.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3860
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 09 May 2021, 20:24:25 »
Switches rarely feel the same at 1000 presses compared to what they do at 1 or 2.
By 1mil they should have smoothed out on the plastic a bit.

I buy spare switches in case they get damaged being assembled, I don't buy them with the intention of replacing them at 50mil strokes. I have backup boards because sometimes you just need a second keyboard or one may have a feature making something I'm working on easier. My 65% can be a hassle if I have a system being a pain getting into bios, a macro helps when working with numbers.

Spares for Models Fs make sense, there is nothing really to replace it, same for an older ALPS board, but MX is constantly changing, usually for the better. Even if I can't get my favorite switch in 10 years chances are I'll be able to get something equally as good or better, or we won't even be using keyboards, either way it's not an issue. Chances are you will get bored of this keyboard long before then anyhow.
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
More
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
More
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
More
w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
More
Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
More
MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
More
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
More
Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 13378
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 10 May 2021, 20:06:02 »
You'll be using Neuralink before the switches wear out.   Don't worry about it.


Offline ItIsWritten

  • Posts: 15
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 11 May 2021, 18:08:36 »
You'll be using Neuralink before the switches wear out.   Don't worry about it.

Show Image

But do you think Neuralink will be clicky? As I really do like clicky...

Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G950F met Tapatalk


Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 4810
  • Location: Koriko
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 11 May 2021, 19:13:09 »
I think Cherry MX Clear and Brown can become more linear with use but I dunno how much that is the bump wearing down and how much it is the leaf-spring getting softer.

Plastic deteriorates with time, and can break. This happened to a vintage Cherry MX Blue:

The keyboard had been pretty much unused for 15 years or so before I got it, and then I used it for a year before one switch broke. (Please excuse the dust, and the white-balance making them look green)
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline TK0

  • Posts: 38
  • Location: Brazil
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 11 May 2021, 20:28:22 »
I'm wondering if those tests also include switch feel, 50m is well above and beyond, but I wonder if the switches will feel the same after couple of years, assuming my boards will survive that long.
I was thinking more about the stems wearing out, the BOX stem notch and the tactile MX bump, thinking about getting backup packs.

For linears, there are people who prefer heavily used switches, i. e., all the fuzz around vintage MX Blacks and "well broken in" ​NovelKeys Creams. Apparently, they become smoother, which makes sense, in theory, as the constant use would wear out the friction points. Personally, I'd rather lube them (reducing the friction), than use scratchy switches for months/years until they are smooth.

I think Cherry MX Clear and Brown can become more linear with use but I dunno how much that is the bump wearing down and how much it is the leaf-spring getting softer.

Plastic deteriorates with time, and can break. This happened to a vintage Cherry MX Blue:
(Attachment Link)
The keyboard had been pretty much unused for 15 years or so before I got it, and then I used it for a year before one switch broke. (Please excuse the dust, and the white-balance making them look green)

For tactiles, I imagine there must be A LOT of usage to completely wear out the bump/leaf. Even for low tactility switches (like MX Browns and Clears), I think it wouldn't be possible to turn them into linears with "normal" use. Before going deep in this rabbit hole, I've used a kb with MX Browns for 6 years at home, and another with MX Clears for 4 years at work (yes, I was a noob and hadn't seen the world yet). They are definitely smoother than stock, but there is still a tactile bump.

[insert a joke here about MX Browns being scratchy linears]
« Last Edit: Tue, 11 May 2021, 20:36:27 by TK0 »

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1830
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 15:53:27 »

People get a backup board, but do they get backup switch packs?

I do neither, unless I like a board so much that I want one everywhere I may be using a keyboard. ;D I keep bags of box jades and navies around just because they're box jades and navies and I often swap them into random boards on a whim.

I think that 50 million rating is usually a minimum these days. Cherry chose it so it became the standard threshold. People test to 50 million (and maybe just copy Cherry's rating without testing for MX clones) and stop testing because it takes forever to even reach that number to begin with, much less reach one that's a big enough difference to convince people to purchase their product instead of others.

I have bought so many random old battered boards from the bottom of gaylords at recycling facilities or the most abused auctions on Ebay and they have all worked with only a few notable exceptions. I have had some minor problems like broken solder joints, but otherwise even boards that look like they spent time at the bottom of the Atlantic just work if there's not something like diodes with legs that have become nothing but rust. I imagine if any switch in a whole board fails, it will be that one switch and the rest will be fine for years after that. There's always the possibility of people killing their own boards by spilling beverages on them, but I don't understand how that ever even happens. Even then, if you disconnect it right away and know how to clean it, there should be 0 permanent damage.

If you're actually worried about switches wearing out some day, in the distant future, you probably want something like capacitive, optical or hall effect sensing where there are no contacts rubbing against each other.

Spares for Models Fs make sense, there is nothing really to replace it, same for an older ALPS board, but MX is constantly changing, usually for the better. Even if I can't get my favorite switch in 10 years chances are I'll be able to get something equally as good or better, or we won't even be using keyboards, either way it's not an issue. Chances are you will get bored of this keyboard long before then anyhow.

I don't know that anything can completely wear out on a Model F. The foam deteriorates ... and that's about it. I still say I'll be using most of the boards I like now for the rest of my life ... and even MX red if I never feel like updating my original K70 to something better.

You'll be using Neuralink before the switches wear out.   Don't worry about it.

Show Image


Never. Keyboards forever.

Offline N8N

  • Posts: 787
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 15:58:57 »
At 50m key presses, if you had 10,000 key presses a day, your switch would last for about 13.5 years. The spring or the copper leaf is what would likely wear out. Most of the packs I get I have a few extra than what the board uses.

I dunno if that's a reasonable estimate for how many key presses one has a day, maybe for all switches together?  In any case I put used Cherry MX Clears in a Filco about 10 years ago and it's been in hard use at work ever since, I can't tell you if it feels any different today than back then, but it is still working, every key switch is basically functional.  They really are good in that regard, we just obsess over minutiae of feel, sound, and wobble.
Filco Majestouch-2 with Cherry Corp. doubleshot keys - Leopold Tenkeyless Tactile Force with Wyse doubleshots - Silicon Graphics 9500900 - WASD V1 - IBM Model M 52G9658 - Noppoo Choc Pro with Cherry lasered PBT keycaps - Wyse 900866-01 - Cherry G80-8200LPBUS/07 - Dell AT101W - several Cherry G81s (future doubleshot donors) (order of current preference) (dang I have too many keyboards, I really only need two)

Offline ItIsWritten

  • Posts: 15
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 18:57:42 »
At 50m key presses, if you had 10,000 key presses a day, your switch would last for about 13.5 years. The spring or the copper leaf is what would likely wear out. Most of the packs I get I have a few extra than what the board uses.

I dunno if that's a reasonable estimate for how many key presses one has a day, maybe for all switches together?  In any case I put used Cherry MX Clears in a Filco about 10 years ago and it's been in hard use at work ever since, I can't tell you if it feels any different today than back then, but it is still working, every key switch is basically functional.  They really are good in that regard, we just obsess over minutiae of feel, sound, and wobble.
Personally I would have  more per day on a board, but for a single switch it's a bit much.

Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G950F met Tapatalk


Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1830
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 20:33:49 »
At 50m key presses, if you had 10,000 key presses a day, your switch would last for about 13.5 years. The spring or the copper leaf is what would likely wear out. Most of the packs I get I have a few extra than what the board uses.

I dunno if that's a reasonable estimate for how many key presses one has a day, maybe for all switches together?  In any case I put used Cherry MX Clears in a Filco about 10 years ago and it's been in hard use at work ever since, I can't tell you if it feels any different today than back then, but it is still working, every key switch is basically functional.  They really are good in that regard, we just obsess over minutiae of feel, sound, and wobble.
Personally I would have  more per day on a board, but for a single switch it's a bit much.

Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G950F met Tapatalk

I think the intent was just to put 50 million into perspective. It is kind of nebulous otherwise, because it is such a huge number.

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 13378
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: How actually durable switches are?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 13 May 2021, 06:46:23 »
You'll be using Neuralink before the switches wear out.   Don't worry about it.

Show Image

But do you think Neuralink will be clicky? As I really do like clicky...

Of course Neuralink will be clicky, it can make you feel whatever lvl of tactile feedback you want as it types for you, once they install the full i/o boards