Author Topic: Looking for Ultra-Low 1mm Travel Mechanical (MX) Switches  (Read 4546 times)

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Offline Cr8zy_Ivan

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Looking for Ultra-Low 1mm Travel Mechanical (MX) Switches
« on: Sun, 20 August 2023, 14:27:25 »
I'm used to typing on Laptop Keyboards and on my Logitech MX Keys, which both have Scissor Switches. I also purchased a Keychron Q3 a year ago, with Akko CS Silver Switches (1.0mm Actuation, 3.0mm total Travel). To be honest, I don't care if the Switches I use are Mechanical or Scissors. What's important for me is total Travel. From my research, I've found that Scissor Switches have a total Travel that range between 1.0mm to 2.0mm. Mechanical Switches have a total Travel between 3.0mm and 4.0mm.

I tried reducing the Travel of my Akko Switches. This worked up to a point. I placed small ball bearings in the shaft of my Switches and I think my total Travel is around 2.0~2.5mm. Even if the Actuation point is at 1.0mm, I can't go beyond my modification because of the way these Switches are built. I've noticed the Actuation Point is the minimum distance the Switch can Activate if the Key is pressed at exactly the right angle. The extra 2.0mm is to make sure the Switch is fully Activated if, for example, the Key is pressed from the "bottom" edge of the Keycap (not straight down, at 90). I tested this on my Akko Switches. I've come to the conclusion that if I want even less Travel, I need Switches that are specifically designed for that.

My Akko Switches' Actuation point work this way only because of the way they are designed. I can easily imagine a design where, no matter at what angle the Key is pressed, the Switch will Activate at 0.7mm for example, for a total Travel of 1.0mm (this is just me spit-balling).

In a world where some of us are obsessed (let's be honest) with efficiency and speed, does anyone know of any Ultra-Low Travel (MX) Mechanical Switches?

Other things I've looked into that don't quite cut it:
  • Low Profile Mechanical Switches: The overall height of the Switches is lower than a "normal" Mechanical Switch (measuring the Switches from top to bottom), but the Travel Distances of these Switches remain the same: 3.0~4.0mm.
  • Scissor Switches: They seem like what I'm aiming for, but they can only be used on specific PCB's that designed for them. I haven't found any that can be installed on a "normal" Mechanical Keyboard PCB (for MX Switches).
  • Hall Effect Switches: Same as with the Scissor Switches. They go with only specific PCBs.

Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: Sun, 20 August 2023, 14:29:58 by Cr8zy_Ivan »

Offline Budman

  • Posts: 18
  • Location: USA
Re: Looking for Ultra-Low 1mm Travel Mechanical (MX) Switches
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 25 August 2023, 15:24:20 »
CHERRY MX Ultra Low Profile switches?

Only keyboard I know of that uses them are some gaming laptops and the Corsair K100 Air

https://www.corsair.com/us/en/p/keyboards/ch-913a01u-na/k100-air-wireless-rgb-ultra-thin-mechanical-gaming-keyboard-cherry-mx-ultra-low-profile-tactile-ch-913a01u-na


Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 1385
Re: Looking for Ultra-Low 1mm Travel Mechanical (MX) Switches
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 26 August 2023, 20:53:16 »
We've finally found a target customer for Cherry low-profile switches!

No, seriously, I would have gone for that had they existed when I started buying.

Has the OP physically tried Kailh low-profile switches, though? I tried them, and they did seem noticeably lower-travel, while still being OK. There are sample packs you can buy, or buy them 10 at a time from AliExpress. I wouldn't discount Kailh low-profile. Try a Kailh Sunset switch, if you can:

https://switchoddities.com/products/sunset-tactile-choc

It will cost you $2-3 + shipping.

Offline juliday

  • Posts: 26
  • Location: South Korea
  • Synth, Controller, and Keyboard
    • SagakLabs
Re: Looking for Ultra-Low 1mm Travel Mechanical (MX) Switches
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 26 August 2023, 21:05:04 »
Lowprofile switches are awesome and all,
but there's a pain finding keycaps.
For Low Profile MXes it's better because you can use mx keycaps, sometimes with the o-ring.
But if not, you might have to go for the choc, but situation's not so different.
On top of that, the PCB can be not compatible between choc v1, v2..
I cannot imagine how hard it is to find a keycap sets if you go with the ultra-low profile switches.

However, if you're just trying to minimize the travel distance,
How about using rubber rings that goes under the keycaps? They are pretty thick and you can stack them.
Might feel uncomfortable, but it worked for me.

Offline Exquite

  • Posts: 100
  • Location: USA-MA
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Re: Looking for Ultra-Low 1mm Travel Mechanical (MX) Switches
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 10 March 2024, 15:18:12 »
I have never heard of it before! This is interesting!
I'm a Color lover and a designer.