Author Topic: Best Tactile Switch?  (Read 1158 times)

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Offline vsquz

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Best Tactile Switch?
« on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 05:49:44 »
Hi,
I am new to the world of Mechanical Keyboards and new to the geekhack community.
So i've been looking for a Tactile Keyboard Switch because i find typing on linear is a bit boring and i want a feedback.
It can also be cliky, but it shouldnt sound bad like MX Blues.
i also live in Austria so import taxes from china can become expensive.

I'm Interested in the Kailh BOX whites and the T1, since they are fairly cheap and not sold out everywhere. But i am still unshure if i am gonna go cliky, and the T1 dont have much branding i and i dont want to end up with a cheap bad manufactured switch.
I also looked into Holy Pandas and Zealios v2 but they are too expensive and are beyond my budget.

Online Rob27shred

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 06:27:17 »
Honestly it's like everything else in this hobby, personal preference should dictate what your fav tactile is. Nobody can tell you specifically if you'll like a certain switch or not. That said Durock T1s seem popular enough to justify trying IMO. They will most likely suffer from the thin, loose tops durock/jwk are known for. Although that is nothing films or a top swap can't fix.
« Last Edit: Fri, 20 November 2020, 12:48:05 by Rob27shred »

Online yui

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 07:02:39 »
for clicky maybe look at the kailh click bar switches (there are quite a few, bronze and navy being my favorites) or a model M.
for tactile, my favorite is the kailh/NK box royal, but nothing beats the tactility of a clicky switch.
those are my preferences, that mean that it is very subjective and may not be yours... the only way to know is to try.
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Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 08:00:39 »
Hi,
I am new to the world of Mechanical Keyboards and new to the geekhack community.
So i've been looking for a Tactile Keyboard Switch because i find typing on linear is a bit boring and i want a feedback.
It can also be cliky, but it shouldnt sound bad like MX Blues.
i also live in Austria so import taxes from china can become expensive.

I'm Interested in the Kailh BOX whites and the T1, since they are fairly cheap and not sold out everywhere. But i am still unshure if i am gonna go cliky, and the T1 dont have much branding i and i dont want to end up with a cheap bad manufactured switch.
I also looked into Holy Pandas and Zealios v2 but they are too expensive and are beyond my budget.

Clears might be better.. anything 67 g tactile is the golden ratio

Offline vsquz

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 08:29:34 »
alright will check them out

cheers

Offline Blacksmyth

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 11:41:58 »
I was taking a look at some EG Dark Jade switches for my board.

Not sure how they compare to others but from the times I typed on them it was a mesmerizing sound and feel.
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Offline nathanchere

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 16 November 2020, 15:09:01 »
Defintely vintage Cherry browns

Offline Jinyoung

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 12:57:49 »
In my opinion, either Glorious Pandas or Halo Clears.

Offline King Icewind

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 13:25:17 »
Cherry Clears aren't bad but I like Greys. The heavier the better in my opinion.

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 13:36:53 »
Honestly, ordinary rubber domes can beat out Cherry MX switches for tactile sensation.

However, the strength of Cherry tactiles is that you don't need to bottom-out to actuate. So you can lift your finger upon hitting the tactile event [which is tied to actuation], and move on to the next switch. So it can be faster and more ergonomic than rubber domes.

With this philosophy, light tactiles like Browns are ideal. I like Everglide Jades, myself. They're not priced too high [only available at KPRepublic right now, though], but you need to lube them. 3204 works fine.

You can also go with Pro Purple or BOX Browns, if following the light tactile philosophy. OxBlood are coming up, but they won't be that cheap.

If you find that you need a little more tactile sensation, something approaching a rubber dome, you can go with MX Clear, as suggested earlier. Stock MX Clear switches aren't great, especially these days. But you can put in a lighter spring. Someone suggested 67 G, which is fine, but I find that 65 TX is pretty good. Even 60 G TX will function correctly, if you want to go that low. Just be sure to lube with 3204 or 205g0.

The best MX-compatible tactiles might be clickies, especially BOX clicky switches. Favoured ones are BOX White and BOX Jade. There are also BOX Pink and BOX Pale Blue for variations of this, and the heaviest commonly available is BOX Navy.

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 13:42:18 »
A few words about the heavier tactiles:

The OP mentioned T1 switches. These are actually fairly decent to type on. Some people have said that they get fatiguing in the long-term, but it depends how much resistance you want. It's a higher level of tactility than Browns or Clears.

I tested a few, and I found them pretty enjoyable in the short-term. These were standard T1s, 65 G weight. I think that 65 G is a good weight for them, although 67 is also very popular. 62 G is less-common, and a bit iffy. They may not return properly at that weight. So go 65 G or higher.

The T1 housing is also a good basis for customization. It is a very tactile housing. You can put Aliaz or RARA or other stems in there, and get interesting results. The overall manufacturing quality of T1 switches is a little spotty in terms of individual variation, and noise, however. So it is important to lube them to smooth / even things out a bit. You don't have to use much lube if you want to preserve tactility.

Another interesting contender that arrived recently at the U4 Boba switches. These are a bit like Holy Pandas and T1s in terms of tactility, but they don't cost as much. Unfortunately, they are primarily available in the United States right now, and most China sellers don't have them, so it may not be the best option for Austria. T1 is much more common.


Offline garciawork

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 18:04:22 »
I just received 10 box white's, box jade's, and box navy's to throw in my board, and after a few minutes, it was clear that the white's were the winners, so I have enough for the full board coming, and will throw the jade's and navy's in on specific keys. I REALLY like them all, but the white's I think will be the best mix of not too loud, with great click and tactility. My board is hot swap though, so there is no way to guarantee I won't try the others at some point as well...

Offline Pylon

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 18:46:09 »
There's no right answer here. As other people said, taste in tactile switches is a personal preference. There's a lot of different tactile switches, and a lot of different tastes in tactile switches.

Some parameters by which tactile switches vary include the following. A lot of these you can ascertain from looking at the force curve of a switch. ThereminGoat has a good write up on how to read a force curve here.

  • Size of bump. The level of tactility ("more tactile" vs "less tactile") of a switch refers to this, and is the height of the bump on a switch's force curve. More tactility means that it takes more force to get past a tactile bump, and results in a more intense "collapse" after the bump. On one side, you have a switch like MX Browns which has a relatively small bump (about 10gf), and on the other side, you have say, a Kailh Box Jade, which has a ~30gf tactile bump. A lot of the popular tactile switches in the community these days (e.g. JWK T1's and Holy Pandas) feature ~20gf bumps.
  • Location of bump. Tactile switches usually place their bumps either at the very top of the stroke (e.g. T1), or towards the middle of the stroke (e.g. MX Clear). Some switches like the Boba U4 and NK Blueberries have the bump occur over the entirely of the stroke, but the peak on those switches is usually in the middle.
  • Rounded versus sharp bump. This is hard to describe, but the transition from "build up" to "collapse" is more sudden on a sharper switch and a bit more spread out over the stroke on a more rounded switch. Switches like Boba U4's and NK Blueberries that spread the bump out can be described.
  • Spring weight. This is generally measured in the force it takes to bottom out, but that doesn't tell you the whole story, since springs have different initial force (which tends to be described as "slow" springs for springs that have high initial force at the top of the stroke, and "fast" for  springs that have low initial force). A "slower" spring is heavier over the course of the stroke than a "faster" spring even though they may take the same bottom out force. Generally 60-70gf tactiles are most popular, and most poplar tactile switches are around that range, though there are heavier ones (e.g. MX Clear is 90gf bottom-out), and many tactiles work fine with lighter springs. This is a personal preference - people that prefer lighter springs tend to find that they type faster on lighter springs, or don't mind (or even enjoy) bottoming out, or find typing on heavy springs fatiguing and tiring. People that type on heavier springs often type harder naturally and want to avoid a harsh bottom out, or want to avoid bottoming out, or may find that they type faster on heavier springs because they "boost' you on the return stroke.

You also have silenced tactiles (e.g. Zilents, Boba U4's) which have soft dampeners on the stems to quiet the bottoming out and return, and switches also vary in terms of smoothness and sound. Generally, nylon is associated with a deeper, "thockier" sound, while polycarbonate results in a higher pitched, more "clacky" sound. Polycarb is also generally transparent (good for backlights) and often smoother, so there's a lot of tradeoffs here.

In terms of some switches to try that are generally considered good:
  • T1's - these have a slightly rounded bump at the top of the stroke, are pretty tactile, and come in 62g and 67g usually. Pretty smooth too stock. Kind of clacky sounding though.
  • Holy Pandas - I haven't tried these personally, but they're widely recommended. They're quite tactile, and have a bump at the top.
  • Kailh Box Royal - I also haven't tried these personally, but these have a sharp tactile bump at the top.
  • Cherry MX Clears. These have a relatively sharp bump towards the middle, and have medium tactility. They're often considered heavy, and are basically designed to prevent you from bottoming out, and have a medium-heavy actuation force (~65gf) and a very heavy bottom out (~90gf). Kind of scratchy stock. A lot of people swap in lighters into these.
  • Boba U4's - these are silenced switches with a large tactile bump that's spread out over the course entire stroke. Come in 62g and 68g. Very low wobble. I'm personally not a huge fan of these (it's basically impossible to not bottom out in these), but they are nice switches.
A lot of these switches you can buy in fairly low volumes to try out. I personally like to buy 4-10 switches, clip them into a plate, and put keycaps over it and try it with 4 fingers so I can get a feel for them.

For clicky switches Kailh's clickbar Box switches are still generally considered the best, and they all have very sharp tactile bumps in the middle of their bump. Box White/Pale Blue has the smallest tactile bump, Box Pink kind of in the middle, and Box Jade/Navy has the largest tactile bump.

I have the same views on HungerMechanic in terms of (good) rubber domes (e.g. Dell Quietkey RT7D5JTW, Lenovo KB1021) actually being quite tactile, and the main advantage of mechanical switches being that they do not require bottoming out to actuate. However, I reach the opposite conclusion in terms of what switches I want. Since I don't need to bottom out, I want a relatively heavy switch with the goal of avoiding bottoming out or cushioning it (as I tend to find bottoming out harsh and unpleasant), and want a fairly large tactile bump to let my fingers know that I've actuated and move on as soon as possible. My current favorite switches are Cherry MX Clear switches with an MX Blue bottom housing swapped in, which increases the tactility, and the stock 90gf MX Clear springs, with lube applied to increase smoothness and switch films applied to reduce the wobble on the top housing and to improve the sound. I'm also going try MX Clear stems in Boba U4 bottom housings and Outemu Sky top housings, though I'm still waiting on those parts to come in.

Online tp4tissue

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 19 November 2020, 20:03:19 »
Cherry MX BLUE is the best switch PERIOD.

A marvel of engineer,  has the least amount of friction among all the switches, yes it's less fricative than linear due to the moving inner sleeve.

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 20 November 2020, 12:46:07 »
Preference
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Online yui

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Re: Best Tactile Switch?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 21 November 2020, 12:48:17 »
Cherry MX BLUE is the best switch PERIOD.

A marvel of engineer,  has the least amount of friction among all the switches, yes it's less fricative than linear due to the moving inner sleeve.


Model F > Model M > green > blue :)
and not even talking click bars
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