Author Topic: What are some good budget tactile switches?  (Read 1025 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.
ID80, Rama M65-A, Black Inks V2

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.
ID80, Rama M65-A, Black Inks V2

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.
Novelkeys NK65 Aluminum 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
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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
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w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| 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
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| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

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.
ID80, Rama M65-A, Black Inks V2

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.
Novelkeys NK65 Aluminum 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
| 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 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 NK65 Aluminum 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
| 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 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 »
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