Author Topic: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?  (Read 1667 times)

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Offline Learis

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Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« on: Fri, 28 August 2020, 23:36:19 »
I just saw on this site there a springs as low as 10g actuation! The bottom out is 15g here, and the actuation is 10.
https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=6068

I currently have gateron reds. They're 45g actuation. I've begun typing more and the resistance in them is causing fatigue now. I tried out a gateron clear which is a 35g actuation and the lightest commercially available switch I know of. It was a definite improvement. But now I see that you can just choose whatever spring you want and I was curious about going even lighter.

The one thing that worries me as that the bounce back might be really sluggish for ultralight weight springs, but that's just a guess. But does anyone have any experience using ultralightweight springs (under 35g)?
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Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 30 August 2020, 11:37:41 »
I have 39g Novelkeys springs and I tried them in one switch , I  Don't know if I like them or not.

They are super super super duper light!!

I will put them in my retool black

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 30 August 2020, 20:57:16 »
You can't just choose any spring.
At some point they get sluggish and may not fully return and that point is different for different types, different brands and if it's stabilized or not.

I have 39g in Zealios, Zilents, Cherry blues and Kailh Puple Pros.
On tactile switches this is realistically about the lowest you can go, you start running into them being sluggish and that's on non-stabilized switches. I have never consistently gone below 40-45g without issues on tactiles, there's always a few that need tweaking or breaking in. Even just a teeny bit too much lube will make them sluggish. Sometimes it seems the switch tolerances are an issue as well. I can usually get them to work, but you can't just throw in the springs and expect perfect every time, this is especially true on stabilized switches. Linear can go lower since the tactile bump adds a few grams to activation pressure but at some point lube and stabs will make then the same way, but I don't use linear so I can't say where. My guess is around the 25-30g range is where it becomes inconsistent.

Keep in mind, I'm using a krytox 205 equivalent (Finish Line Flouro Extreme), if you want to go lower you will need Krytox 103 or an similar (Super Lube Syncolon). I only just got some to mess with so I'm not sure the limits on that yet.


I would also take head...
Too soft can be an issue, I had to put stiffer springs back in a few because I had one switch that was simply too sensitive and just brushing the switch would cause it to activate, a few I did until I can get around to messing with them. Ultra light is fine, but it's not as easy as just installing different springs. If you really want to push it, get two sets, one for non-stabilized and a set 5-10g higher for stabs. Then if you have something higher or stock, use that for the spacebar.
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Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 31 August 2020, 11:00:31 »
I've tried gateron clears and i've made too many mistakes on them. Sounds like i need something heavier

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 31 August 2020, 23:21:40 »
By the way, Learis...
Too stiff of springs will cause fatigue but rarely if you are already accustomed to that switch, so unless this is a new keyboard that shouldn't be an issue.

The alternative is either something may be going on:
Have you been using another keyboard more, changed your typing habits, R.S.I.?  The other possibility is something with the keyboard itself, lube may have dried out or worn away and the keys may be binding if you hit them just slightly off. There's probably more, but this is a good start.

If it's any of these things, a spring swap may not help at all with your problem.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | GMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Learis

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 04 September 2020, 01:23:03 »
By the way, Learis...
Too stiff of springs will cause fatigue but rarely if you are already accustomed to that switch, so unless this is a new keyboard that shouldn't be an issue.

The alternative is either something may be going on:
Have you been using another keyboard more, changed your typing habits, R.S.I.?  The other possibility is something with the keyboard itself, lube may have dried out or worn away and the keys may be binding if you hit them just slightly off. There's probably more, but this is a good start.

If it's any of these things, a spring swap may not help at all with your problem.

The thing is, I have begun typing a TON more compared to what I typically type. In my freetime I've taken up just leisurely typing, and am seriously working on form and speed. So I've started noticing things a lot more, namely pains appearing in my weaker digits, but worse in my outer wrist areas. I'm in a mood to experiment so I've ordered some gateron ink yellows which have lower travel, as well as sprit springs with a 20g actuation force and 30g bottom out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the force will be enough to allow at least the 1u keys to return to normal easily. I think the outer wrist pain is caused by wrist deviation while hitting the shifts, enter, and backspace. I'm working on better form. We'll see what happens.

This was a great article about someone who pursued ultralight and low travel key modification:

https://medium.com/@alexjacobs/how-to-set-up-a-mechanical-keyboard-with-super-light-touch-switches-not-paywall-58ecf2702311

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Offline mokeyjoe

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 10 September 2020, 16:36:47 »
I just saw on this site there a springs as low as 10g actuation! The bottom out is 15g here, and the actuation is 10.
https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=6068

I currently have gateron reds. They're 45g actuation. I've begun typing more and the resistance in them is causing fatigue now. I tried out a gateron clear which is a 35g actuation and the lightest commercially available switch I know of. It was a definite improvement. But now I see that you can just choose whatever spring you want and I was curious about going even lighter.

The one thing that worries me as that the bounce back might be really sluggish for ultralight weight springs, but that's just a guess. But does anyone have any experience using ultralightweight springs (under 35g)?

I've had problems with fatigue in the past and I usually use Gateron Reds without issue. Recently I bought a keyboard with 35g electrocapacitive switches but initially found it more fatiguing, although that doesn't appear to be the case now I have adapted to it.

I know you're already on clears and found them an improvement, but I think that there is more to fatigue than just spring weight. Things like bottoming our more often, and the springs helping return your fingers to the right position - as well as general typing technique and way it varies when you use different switches - all make difference too. For instance linears are less fatiguing to me than clickies at the same weight, which I presume is because of the difference in typing style I adopt on linear.


Offline rxc92

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 11 September 2020, 15:14:59 »
The way to reduce fatigue isnít in switch weighting, though certainly heavy switches will be a pain if you type a lot. Using a healthy posture and a non-QWERTY layout will make a huge difference.

Offline Polymer

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 11 September 2020, 15:43:57 »
Well I do believe changing the outer switches to something lighter can help with fatigue.  From experience, variable weighted keyboards are more comfortable to use if you're typing a lot. 

But poor form is probably a bigger issue...especially if the OP is getting wrist pain..that's a form problem. 

There is the possibility too light of a switch will create other problems..more force bottoming out potentially...and other issues such as return time....

But if I were the OP I'd definitely explore some lighter springs in the pinky keys..and if you want to do even more, on the ring fingers..so basically like a variable RF layout.  45g middle/index, 40g ring, 35g pinky....or something similar. 

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Has anyone tried ultralight springs (sub 35 actuation)?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 21 September 2020, 11:21:11 »
Ok, I need to stress the importance of getting good tolerance springs. Usually when you buy random springs they will be at least +-5g in tolerance, which causes inconsistent feel.

I'd recommend Tx spring (+-1) or Novelkeys spring (+-2) because they have good tolerance and good weight choice as well.