Author Topic: What are some good budget tactile switches?  (Read 13146 times)

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Offline pmdbt

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What are some good budget tactile switches?
« on: Thu, 07 January 2021, 13:33:51 »
Hi guys, from my perspective, it looks like there is a lot of talk and guides on budget linear switches, but when it comes to tactiles, most discussions tend to center around the more premium switches. So, I'm curious if you guys have any suggestions or thoughts on good budget tactile switches. The cheap tactiles that I can think of off the top of my head are Kailh Speed Coppers, Gateron Milky Browns, and Cherry Mx Browns. There are lots of memes about the Mx Browns, but the other two are rarely talked about, so just curious what you guys think.
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Offline Reimu_64

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 07 January 2021, 17:41:09 »
Personally haven't tried Kailh Speed Coppers, however Gateron Browns are essentially Cherry MX Browns, but smoother. The tactile bump is practically identical.

I've found Greetech Browns to be pretty decent switches price to performance wise. It's smoother, (generally) cheaper and more tactile than than MX Browns. Force curve: https://chart-studio.plotly.com/~haata/113/greetech-brown/#/
BOX Royals are also great if you want even more tactility. Though, some have been reported to make a clicking sound after a short period of time. Not to mention that earlier switches broke keycaps :( Force curve: https://chart-studio.plotly.com/~haata/508/novelkeys-box-royal/#/

Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 07 January 2021, 20:52:00 »
Thanks for the info, I'll definitely look into Greentech Browns. This is the first time I've heard them being mentioned. But, overall, it still seems like there aren't a lot of options for budget tactiles as there are for budget linears.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 07 January 2021, 23:08:46 »
I find it odd that while we dis browns for what they are, it's the very switch we tell people to start with, they're perfectly good middle of the road option. If you like browns, enjoy them.

Contrary to what many will tell you, ignoring the personal preference for tactility and where the bump sits, almost any switch will perform right up with the best switches if you lube and do a spring swap. Cheap springs ping, especially lighter springs (looking at you Cherry and Kailh), just note that not all springs are the same size, for example BOX switches cannot use Cherry and Cherry compatible) springs. Lube is the great equalizer, cheap switches do not have enough of it.
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Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 08 January 2021, 17:24:44 »
Yeah that's exactly what I'm arriving at through my own experimentation. I've been lubing cheap and premium switches including the springs that come with them and the more I do this, the more I realize I don't notice too much of a difference post lubing. So maybe the point of premium switches is in how they sound and feel stock and not after lubing.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 08 January 2021, 21:34:43 »
So maybe the point of premium switches is in how they sound and feel stock and not after lubing.
When they started there was less choice and they had better pre-lube and custom profiles (Zeal deserves a lot of credit for this) but these days we have so many profiles that a lot of premium switches are simply pre-lube and a color change. I've said it before, not all switches benefit from lube, so why do people do it on every high end custom? Because if you're building that high end of a board it's better safe than sorry. You don't cut corners when you spend that much on a board.

I'm waiting for a mainstream line where they just start adding more pre-lube, like Gateron Premium or something and just charge an extra nickle per switch or something. This could trigger a whole industry shift and would greatly narrow the gap between off-the-shelf and customs. Multiple companies have figured out stabs, the ones on my NK65 were lubed pretty close to what I would do myself so I didn't even bother adding more, combine that with pre-installed premium switch and you would have an off-the-shelf board that is 99% what you get lubing and building by hand as opposed to sounding like a rattle can. So companies are figuring it out, we just need that last step, we know they can do it, we've seen it, they just need to do it.

I would love it for people to be able to buy a completely pre-lubed Ducky for like $10 more that puts a current high end to shame or rivals a $700 hand built custom (obviously minus aluminum case), there's no reason it can't happen, they just need to actually do it.
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Offline CosminOance

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 08 January 2021, 22:03:16 »
Interesting last few posts. I do believe there are minor differences, like the mini rattle between the switch top/bottom (vibration -> sound), or the tolerance between stem and housing (friction - >sound). 
In terms of sound, I do agree, you can make switches sound premium (lube, film), but by sacrificing how it feels. On camera it makes no difference, but it does for the user.

But there are mix and match fests going on :)

Offline Leslieann

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 02:41:30 »
Interesting last few posts. I do believe there are minor differences, like the mini rattle between the switch top/bottom (vibration -> sound), or the tolerance between stem and housing (friction - >sound). 
Honestly, I think a lot of this is hype and BS.

How many molds for tops and bottoms do you think these companies have? They re-use a lot of the same molds to save on costs. Even when they do use a new mold, they aren't going to machine the mold all that different if at all. And if they do find a better way, odds are it would get incorporated into their own line. Why would they not. When using different plastics, yes that might change, but when using the same plastics I find it very hard to believe that all these companies make different molds for all these various parts. Not only is it not cheap but defeats the whole point of them being interchangeable.

Stems, okay, in some cases maybe, however many of these boutique switches are just lube and color, they use the same molds the others use.
I just don't buy it that these companies are going through all of this for one time small production runs.
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
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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
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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
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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
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Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
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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 CosminOance

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 07:28:50 »
I don't deal with hype and BS :).
As for the molds, they're made in CN, they can have unlimited numbers, as long as we buy every one of them.

But the wobble has more to do with quality control, rather than design, cause no one designs inexact fitting tops/bottoms, right?


Offline phinix

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 09 January 2021, 09:11:44 »
Glorious holy pandas
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Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 23 January 2021, 01:08:35 »
Glorious holy pandas

Haha, I might very well get a ton of hate for this, but I just ordered a batch from Drop, which arrived 2 days ago. I really wanted to see the difference between what's considered a high-end tactile to a budget tactile (Gateron Milky Browns). I haven't lubed the Holy Pandas yet, but so far, I've yet to feel much difference between the sound and feel of a stock Holy Panda vs Lubed Gateron Milky Brown.

With that said, I'm going to try out a few more things. Right now, I'm only comparing 1 switch at a time, just swapped my j key with the new Holy Panda. I'm going to try it with a full set of holy pandas vs browns on the same board. Then I'm going to lube the Holy Pandas and compare them then. I'm hoping I'll finally feel enough difference to justify being more than double the cost.
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Offline phinix

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 23 January 2021, 06:14:08 »
Glorious holy pandas

Haha, I might very well get a ton of hate for this, but I just ordered a batch from Drop, which arrived 2 days ago. I really wanted to see the difference between what's considered a high-end tactile to a budget tactile (Gateron Milky Browns). I haven't lubed the Holy Pandas yet, but so far, I've yet to feel much difference between the sound and feel of a stock Holy Panda vs Lubed Gateron Milky Brown.

With that said, I'm going to try out a few more things. Right now, I'm only comparing 1 switch at a time, just swapped my j key with the new Holy Panda. I'm going to try it with a full set of holy pandas vs browns on the same board. Then I'm going to lube the Holy Pandas and compare them then. I'm hoping I'll finally feel enough difference to justify being more than double the cost.

I meant GLORIOUS Holy Pandas, not Holy Pandas from Drop.
Glorious (Holy) Pandas are considered budget swicthes as they cost a lot less than Holy Pandas.
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Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 23 January 2021, 16:55:27 »
Quote
I meant GLORIOUS Holy Pandas, not Holy Pandas from Drop.

Ah gotcha, I'll make sure to check those out. I heard that people really like them too and said they were just as good if not better than Drop's holy pandas. If it's true and they're much cheaper, then it's a game-changer!
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Offline funkmon

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 27 January 2021, 02:00:19 »
Glorious holy pandas

Haha, I might very well get a ton of hate for this, but I just ordered a batch from Drop, which arrived 2 days ago. I really wanted to see the difference between what's considered a high-end tactile to a budget tactile (Gateron Milky Browns). I haven't lubed the Holy Pandas yet, but so far, I've yet to feel much difference between the sound and feel of a stock Holy Panda vs Lubed Gateron Milky Brown.

With that said, I'm going to try out a few more things. Right now, I'm only comparing 1 switch at a time, just swapped my j key with the new Holy Panda. I'm going to try it with a full set of holy pandas vs browns on the same board. Then I'm going to lube the Holy Pandas and compare them then. I'm hoping I'll finally feel enough difference to justify being more than double the cost.

Psst. That's because they're barely different because the MX style of tactility bump is so limited; there's roughly zero point to buying different versions of the same switch.

[/old fogey]

Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 29 January 2021, 22:16:02 »
Quote
Psst. That's because they're barely different because the MX style of tactility bump is so limited; there's roughly zero point to buying different versions of the same switch.

I'm curious what you would recommend that isn't an MX style switch that's pretty accessible (easy to obtain and not wallet breaking)?
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Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 30 January 2021, 00:32:26 »
You know what? After all the hype has settled, here's what I recommend:

-Ergo Clears. Just buy MX Clears for like .35 cents each and put 60-67 [or 68P] springs in them. Lube with 3204, or 205g0 if using a hard plate.

-Kailh Pro Purples. Stock they are too heavy and scratchy. Use something like 105 for lube, somewhere around 62-65 G for spring.

-Everglide Jade [not Dark Jade]. They are fine stock except for the sound, so lube with 3204 until it sounds good. You can go up to 62 G springs.

Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 12 February 2021, 22:02:56 »
You know what? After all the hype has settled, here's what I recommend:

-Ergo Clears. Just buy MX Clears for like .35 cents each and put 60-67 [or 68P] springs in them. Lube with 3204, or 205g0 if using a hard plate.

-Kailh Pro Purples. Stock they are too heavy and scratchy. Use something like 105 for lube, somewhere around 62-65 G for spring.

-Everglide Jade [not Dark Jade]. They are fine stock except for the sound, so lube with 3204 until it sounds good. You can go up to 62 G springs.

Oh thanks for the recommendations! I'll definitely check out Ergo Clears, they sound super interesting!
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Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 12 February 2021, 23:00:04 »
Clears are selling out because a popular streamer promoted them recently!

But you can still find them at a few stores, and Novelkeys will restock in Q2.

Some good combos:

-65 G TX springs, film, and 205g0, use on alum / steel plate

-68 G (Progressive) Spirit springs and heavy use of 3204, use on alum with SS2-profile keycaps [Leopold.]

-60 G TX and 3204. Use with MT3 profile keycaps.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 13 February 2021, 00:34:04 »
If you can't get clears and you plan on spring swapping and lube anyway, look at Kailh Purple Pros.

Some of them demand lube (it appears to be inconsistent batch to batch or maybe I'm more sensitive to it) and the stock springs are garbage (insane ping) but if you plan on changing both it doesn't matter and you end up with an almost identical end result.
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 pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 13 February 2021, 11:11:39 »
If you can't get clears and you plan on spring swapping and lube anyway, look at Kailh Purple Pros.

Some of them demand lube (it appears to be inconsistent batch to batch or maybe I'm more sensitive to it) and the stock springs are garbage (insane ping) but if you plan on changing both it doesn't matter and you end up with an almost identical end result.

Hehe I'm also a vendor myself, so I'm pretty confident I can get my hands on some  :cool:
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Offline funkmon

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 16 February 2021, 00:35:37 »
You could look into the Matias switches if you want something new. They have a tactile switch without a click. Mostly it's vintage stuff if you want a non clicky switch that isn't based on a Cherry MX. I understand some of the opto-electric switches have implemented some kind of tactility, but I don't know how it works.

I'm not ****ting on MX by the way, I just think that a heavy tactile and a light tactile are pretty much the only variations you're really going to feel, it's all too samey. I like Cherry switches, and I have some clones and some of the weird artisan switches, and they're all just the same stuff to me.

Offline pmdbt

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 24 February 2021, 19:43:03 »
You could look into the Matias switches if you want something new. They have a tactile switch without a click. Mostly it's vintage stuff if you want a non clicky switch that isn't based on a Cherry MX. I understand some of the opto-electric switches have implemented some kind of tactility, but I don't know how it works.

You're right about tactiles for MX variants. The more I try out different variants, the more they all just feel the same, but at different weights, which is mostly just dependent on the spring force. I've been getting into Topre switches recently and I've really enjoyed them so far. I think I'm starting to see why a lot of enthusiasts really love topre switches :)
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Offline jamster

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Re: What are some good budget tactile switches?
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 24 February 2021, 20:06:43 »
I just think that a heavy tactile and a light tactile are pretty much the only variations you're really going to feel, it's all too samey. I like Cherry switches, and I have some clones and some of the weird artisan switches, and they're all just the same stuff to me.

I have to agree with this.

Last year I got in a slew of different tactile switches to try. When really concentrating, I could tell some differences (Aliaz with the bump midstroke instead of near the top), but decided that at normal typing levels of attention and speeds, they were all quite similar. The big differences came down to silenced/non, heavy/light.