Author Topic: Switch Reviews  (Read 7177 times)

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Offline nsrexler

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Switch Reviews
« on: Tue, 15 January 2013, 11:14:18 »
ITT, post all the different key switches you have tried and a short review of each one. You can omit rubber domes unless you've tried a particularly exceptional one, and obviously omit anything that you don't remember well enough to give a fair review. Feel free to recommend switches to other users based on their preferences.

Scissor Switch (Apple Aluminum Keyboard, various laptops): Surprisingly good feel, considering low price and compactness. Doesn't measure up to a real mechanical switch, but definitely better than most rubber domes.

Membrane Buckling Spring (Unicomp Model M): Very satisfying to type on, the tactile bump is very precise and is perfectly synchronized with the click and actuation. Requires relatively large force to press so is a bit tiring at first, but feels fine after you adjust to it. Click is very loud and can get annoying, e.g. when trying to watch a video while typing.

Cherry MX Brown (Filco): Didn't like this one very much. Tactile bump was barely noticeable and actuation force was too light, so it just felt too much like a rubber dome for me.

Cherry MX Blue (Leopold): Liked this one better than the Brown, but still not quite right. Click isn't synchronized with actuation, so that was annoying to me. Actuation force and tactile bump were still pretty light, so it felt like I had to "pull my punches" too much, if that makes sense.

Matias Quiet Click: Current all-round favorite. Tactile bump isn't quite as sharp or precise as the Buckling Spring, but the quietness and slightly lighter feel makes up for it. My only complaint is that the actuation force is just slightly heavier than I'd like, but it's not a big deal.

Offline nathaniel_h

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 15 January 2013, 11:41:39 »
My favorite keyboard used to be the Apple Aluminum model, until I found out about proper mechanical keyboards. My first, is the Leopold FC200RT/KB with MX Browns. I wrote a full review of it on my blog ( http://rhino.im/1w ) if you're interested, but I love the feel of MX Browns and I've used this keyboard for a year now. I've also tried MX Blacks and MX Blues, but I don't like them quite as much. The weight of the Brown switch seems perfect for me.

Granted, I've also picked up a IBM Model M to play around with, and while good for typing, isn't as versatile as the MX Browns. No way would you want to game with buckling springs.

The best rubber dome I've tried is IBM KB-8923. However it's loud, so it defeats the purpose of having a rubber dome keyboard anyway.

edit: I find it funny how we all have different preferences, as you don't like the MX Browns. I have a lighter hand when typing though. I feel like the MX Browns don't get in my way, when some other switches like Blacks or Blues are too distracting / heavy. Buckling Spring is very fun, though, I have to admit. Even if I do have a lighter hand.
« Last Edit: Tue, 15 January 2013, 11:44:23 by nathaniel_h »

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Offline vun

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 15 January 2013, 12:09:21 »
Cherry MX Brown: I've got a Filco with these, and plate mounted browns are the best switches I've tried so far. I'll often pull this out when I know I won't bother gaming for a while as I don't really like using browns for gaming.

Cherry MX Red: My QFR with reds and POM caps is my daily driver both due to better caps than the Filco, although I'm getting PBT soon, and the fact that reds suit me better as I will often pop in and out of games. I've found that I'm more comfortable with reds for mixed use.

Cherry MX Blue: I usually pull out my Filco with blues if I know I'll be doing a lot of typing and want to have some fun, but overall I find blues to be too loud for my use, the only games where I prefer blues are RTS games, and I don't play a lot of those, and I don't type enough to bother using blues as daily driver.

Vintage blacks: I have a WYSE board with vintage blacks, or at least I think they are, and they feel great. I can't use it with my computer but I have tried typing on it, and I really wish I could get it to work over PS/2 or USB, but afaik that involves making my own converter. Still, they're pretty good and I'd love to put them in a board where I can actually use them.

Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 15 January 2013, 13:58:29 »
I'll stick to commenting on switches that I've actually owned for a while, rather than just tried out.

Ducky Green XM (1008XM): Fun to press when you're not actually doing anything, but otherwise terrible. Wobble-tastic + high activation point + relatively light spring = 4932062345 extra letters/accidental commands.

Black ALPS (tactile, non-clicky, in MicroConnectors D07-135TNG): Leagues better than the green XMs; less wobbly and more forgiving of accidental contact, with a substantive tactile bump, but not so heavy as to be stressful. Actually quite a nice switch.

Buckling spring (in Model M): I don't actually have a problem with the weight of these, but I find the tactile point and click sound to be too harsh for my tastes. Also, I found the long travel and fairly slow return (and lack of rollover) sub-optimal for gaming.

MX Black (in Noppoo Tank): My favorite switch, and the one I use on a daily basis. I like the MX Black for all purposes, even though it is known as a gaming switch; the smoothness of the linear action is very pleasant, and the relatively high activation force means that I can type quickly and comfortably instead of having to tense up to be more precise to avoid accidental presses.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 15 January 2013, 16:36:10 »
Blues are great to type on, but not so great for gaming.
If you mash keys, it won't matter, but if you use a light touch and double tap, it will lead to missed keystrokes due to the design. The click is not at the actuation point, but it is fairly close. This isn't an issue in gaming or typing really, however on the return stroke, the release point is not only in a different spot, but you have no way to feel when it does it. This makes it pretty bad for gaming if you use a light touch as you simply are unaware of what the actual switch is doing. You feel disconnected.

Clears are like blues, minus the click.
A much better key if you are a typist who games a lot. Unfortunately this switch is difficult to get and these are a bit stiffer than blues.

Browns are a great compromise.
They offer some tactility (not much though), light springs, and relatively easy to find. If you are unsure what switch to get, this is probably the best option. Some describe the tactile feeling as scratchy, which is appropriate in my opinion. It doesn't feel so much as a click or bump so much as a slightly rough spot in the key stroke. It's not the best at typing, or feel, or for gaming, but it's a hodgepodge that works as a good compromise. It's likely that you will later decide you want more feel, or less, but this is a good spot to start.

Reds and blacks are good for gamers and those who just mash keys.
The other switches are better for those who type a lot, however these are still a HUGE upgrade over a rubber dome keyboard and really are still a joy to type on. Red has a light spring, black is a bit heavier. I expected to dislike these for typing, but they are actually quite nice. I think I may actually come to prefer these over browns.

Buckling springs are fantastic for typing.
However they have high spring pressure, and a lot of noise. The click is at the actuation point, but on return it is a bit higher in the keystroke. It differs here compared to the blue switch though, in that you still have control of the return speed and you can feel when it lifts. Still not great for light touch gamers, but better than blues.

Customs I have used:
Ergo Clear (light springs, clear stems), fantastic switch. Personally, this is the best switch made from off the shelf parts.
Jailhouse Blues, these take some hand fabrication, but results in an Ergo Clear, with a very short travel. My personal favorite.
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Offline Polymer

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 15 January 2013, 22:48:21 »

Cherry MX Brown (Filco): Didn't like this one very much. Tactile bump was barely noticeable and actuation force was too light, so it just felt too much like a rubber dome for me.

Cherry MX Blue (Leopold): Liked this one better than the Brown, but still not quite right. Click isn't synchronized with actuation, so that was annoying to me. Actuation force and tactile bump were still pretty light, so it felt like I had to "pull my punches" too much, if that makes sense.

Matias Quiet Click: Current all-round favorite. Tactile bump isn't quite as sharp or precise as the Buckling Spring, but the quietness and slightly lighter feel makes up for it. My only complaint is that the actuation force is just slightly heavier than I'd like, but it's not a big deal.

Do you find the Matias Quiet to require significantly more than the blues?  I haven't tried them yet but they're not supposed to be much more than Blue MX's....60ish grams of force vs. 55.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone describe browns as rubber dome like...unless you mean a very low tactile rubber dome (so you don't really feel the collapse)..in which case you'll hate reds/blacks even more.   

Offline nsrexler

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 16 January 2013, 10:14:47 »
Do you find the Matias Quiet to require significantly more than the blues?  I haven't tried them yet but they're not supposed to be much more than Blue MX's....60ish grams of force vs. 55.
Yes, blues require about 50 cN whereas the Matias switches require about 60-65. It doesn't sound like a significant difference, but the key feel is noticeably heavier (in a good way, at least for me.)

I don't think I've ever seen anyone describe browns as rubber dome like...unless you mean a very low tactile rubber dome (so you don't really feel the collapse)..in which case you'll hate reds/blacks even more.   
Most of the rubber domes I've used have been very light and nearly linear with very little tactile feedback, so that's what I was comparing to.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 16 January 2013, 16:58:38 »
Personally, I don't notice spring pressures for short typing runs, however, given an hour or so, my fingers can sure tell a difference.
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Offline nsrexler

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 08:38:24 »
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I wanted to give a bit of an update.

After using the Matias board for a few weeks, I noticed that my fingers were getting tired and sore after I'd used the keyboard for an hour or so. I think the combination of the high, heavy actuation point and the lack of resistance to bottoming out is what was doing it.

I switched back to the Cherry Blue board and I like it a bit better than I did before, though I'm still not entirely happy with it for the reasons I stated in the OP.

I really want to try Clears next, but I can't stand the look of the Deck boards. Currently waiting for a non-hideous board with Clears to hit the market. Ducky and WASD are looking like my best hopes right now, so we'll see what happens.

Offline poxeclipse

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 08:53:02 »
IBM Capacitive Buckling Springs: for me, they are the best; found in IBM Model F (terminals, PC AT, PC XT); all I have are pretty old, ~30 years, but they keep well their qualities, which are: ~60gf, very crisp, nice sound

Cherry MX Browns: lots of people like them and several descriptions are available on GH; what I like is the low actuation force, ~60gf and a reduced sound, people mention them as 'tactile', not 'clicky'

Monterey: these are similar to Alps, but have a different construction; excelent switches for typing, but unfortunately are found in not such a high quality keyboards; a solid, metal plate, board with these switches would be top notch; a history investigation w.r.t. their origin/manufacturer could be found on Deskthority
« Last Edit: Wed, 30 January 2013, 09:04:08 by poxeclipse »

Offline 1839cc

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 14:45:06 »
BTC foam/foil capacitive: linear with a mushy bottom and medium spring. Not altogether unpleasant, but far from my favorite.

Vintage Cherry MX black (plate mount): linear (obviously) and very smooth. Quite pleasant. These are the ones that cause me the most finger fatigue.

Vintage Cherry MX brown (PCB mount): Good all-rounder. I find them too light and not tactile enough though they can be fun. Also, if I use them for a while (weeks) I can start to get used to the limited feedback and like them better.

Well used (POS) Cherry MX clear (PCB mount): The best switch for me. Perfefct weight and plenty of tactility. I like them so much I put up with the footprint of a G80-8113 on my corner desk for about a year.

New Cherry MX clear (plate mount): Same as the old ones, but crisper. I love the feel of these. I have to say the old ones were better because with the new ones I get occasional double firing of random keys. Space is the most likely to do it. This may or may not be a switch related issue.

Black ALPS: another medium weight. I don't like the trigger point and tactile bump on the celing with NO resistance underneath. These are good for slamming keys to the floor with considerable force, and not much else.

White XM: similar to black ALPS, but slightly heavier and clicky. It seems like it might be a little easier to avoid bottoming out because of the click. I've had some fun playing with these, but it's still not a switch I want to use.

I have not yet tried Cherry MX blue, red, green, Topre, complicated white ALPS, or buckling springs.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 14:48:28 »
Best switches ever are the following...

Cherry MX-Blue.... it's the color of the sky for god sake... you live under it......

Cherry MX-Green.... perfect space bar needs a little more than 55g, and this is where you'd find it....


the PROBLEM with Black and Red is that they are smooth if you hit them "just right"... If you hit them WRONG, or if your fingers sticks a little bit, then the shaft grinds against the housing, and you can feel that grind..

While even if the BLUE grinds against the housing, the tactile bump overpowers the grind feeling... so you get a false sensation of smoothness.....

Nonetheless... I'd rather have this veil of slipperiness rather than the friction-y truth.


Best switch by "mechanical" superiority  would be MX BLACK, because they are the quickest to respond... lifts faster, giving you the tightest control on quick key shifts and double taps.

Offline nsrexler

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 18:12:29 »
Matias Quiet Pro:  I didn't care for it.  I would probably approve of a Linear Matias switch.

One thing you might try is taking apart the switches and removing the tactile leaf. I don't know how well it would work, but it would be interesting to try.

Offline Finwens

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 18:35:00 »
Cherry MX Black - those are really nice switches. Smooth and pleasent to type. It's superb for playing games, but not so good for typing. I find it tiring after a couple hours typing on it.

Cherry MX Blue - Hate it. The tactile is similar to the browns (IMO), but it's bad for double typing and the noise is so annoying.

Cherry MX Browns - The best out of the three. The tactility feels just right, it's very light and quiet. Awesome for typing and really good for gaming.

Still have to try MX Reds, Topres, etc etc.

Offline nathaniel_h

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 14:12:20 »
Has anyone tried MX Clears?

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Offline nsrexler

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 15:22:38 »
I wanted to ask about Clears too, actually. I'm a bit worried because I've heard they feel kind of mushy like rubber domes, can anyone comment on that?

Offline Finwens

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 15:25:31 »
Some people say that MX Browns feels mushy and just like rubber domes, but that's not true. Although I have never used clears, that shouldn't be true either. IMO, any cherry mx switch is better than rubber domes.

Offline JPG

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 15:37:58 »
I only tried browns yet, but I can say that they do NOT feel like a rubber dome. Like I said, I can't compare them to other switches, but I like them a lot. They are quite light, the tactile bump is very light too, but since I have not tried reds I can't say how much of a difference it makes. Some say they feel "scratchy" and I think so too, but it's light.

Anyway, I have used them for a few months and when I need to type on a rubber dome it's a PAIN! One thing that makes a HUGE difference is the travel. You get used to this travel and it gives you more feedback.

Cant wait to try other switches tought.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 16:56:38 »
I wanted to ask about Clears too, actually. I'm a bit worried because I've heard they feel kind of mushy like rubber domes, can anyone comment on that?

If you have never used another mechanical, they are good because it gives you some tactile feel, however once you use one with none or a lot of tactile feel, you realize that browns fee scratchy. Almost like grain of sand is sitting at the actuation point.

Not mushy, just scratchy.

Some people say that MX Browns feels mushy and just like rubber domes, but that's not true. Although I have never used clears, that shouldn't be true either. IMO, any cherry mx switch is better than rubber domes.

Clears feel like slightly stiffer blues, but without the noise and floaty feel.
The bump is the same shape as blues. Browns have a very small bump, only enough to add friction.
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Offline rootwyrm

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 17:23:12 »
Cherry MX Black (new): they're CRASHTASTIC! Seriously, I have never crashed keycaps into plates as hard as I have with the new MX Blacks. Good luck finding that activation bump! Tactile my !#$&*. Me + new MX Blacks is louder than an IBM Model M. By far. Whoever made them featherlight should be beaten with a hammer. I volunteer.

Cherry MX Black (old, heavy type): THESE are what MX Blacks are supposed to be. Between MX Blue and Buckling Spring force, butter smooth operation, clearly defined bump point, dead silent. The only non-audibles I can stand. If you can get your hands on them, never let them go. Do whatever it takes to keep them exactly as they are. And yes, I have actually typed on a real honest to god Wyse PCET with these. I typed a lot - about 100K-200K words easily. It was fantastic.

Cherry MX Brown: No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

Cherry MX Blue (new): They're not Alps but they're okay. Still feel too light for my tastes, but they're click and tactile, so I don't bottom out nearly as hard. Could use a smidge more throw - about 0.25mm worth. (Without O-rings. Blues for O-rings should have an even longer throw of +0.5mm.) I'm the exact opposite of impressed by the quality - two 87 key keyboards, 10 switches with no-click or losing click inside of a week. What the hell? Old MX Blues were never this bad.

Cherry MX Blue (old): YOU WILL PRY THESE FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS IF I CAN FIND ANOTHER KEYBOARD WITH THEM. Actually, I will probably grab a Model M and beat you with it if you try to touch one of these. Seriously. I miss them.

Alps White Complicated (Alps Electric): Oh, if only they weren't so wobble prone.. and the activation force was consistent.. and the failure rate wasn't so high...

Alps White Simplified: Meh.

SMK (Cherry keycap compatible): Me likey. Clicky, consistent actuation points, consistent actuation force, very little wobble, very snappy response, and remarkably little spring noise. These are more like what Cherry MX Blues should be. Seriously.

Buckling Spring: Anyone who does not acknowledge buckling spring as the god of switches shall be burned at the stake for heresy. 50 million operations? Buckling spring laughs at your puny numbers. 55cN? Buckling spring laughs at your weakness.
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Offline 1839cc

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 06 February 2013, 23:44:36 »
Has anyone tried MX Clears?

I wanted to ask about Clears too, actually. I'm a bit worried because I've heard they feel kind of mushy like rubber domes, can anyone comment on that?

The force diagram says it all. Progressive increase of resistance up to the drop for the tactile point and activation, then a fast increase of resistance to prevent bottom out.

Rubber domes and ALPS tend to have all their resistance at the top. This causes them to crash to the bottom with much force.
« Last Edit: Wed, 06 February 2013, 23:46:56 by 1839cc »
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Offline Reomero

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 07 February 2013, 02:40:15 »
MX Brown:
These vaguely remind me of rubber-domes for some reason, just that these are much lighter and feels a whole lot better to type on by not giving me that "mushy" feel. This switch it took me a while to get used to the feel as I previously had Blacks. Being accustomed to the smooth, linear Blacks over exaggerated the sense of the switch feeling "scratchy".

MX Black:
These are my favourite keys for gaming, and doing fast double taps and the like are very easy to do. As for typing, I very much prefer the Browns because of the bump which helps tell me when the key has registered. I also tend to bottom out a lot for obvious reasons.

Buckling springs:
The best switch for typing, IMHO. I don't mind the weight that much, and the main bit that I like is that the click is precisely the point of actuation unlike the Blues. The only thing that I don't really like about it is the sheer noise you can make with it. :p

Offline nsrexler

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 08:34:56 »
Reviving this thread because I finally got my hands on a decent board with MX Clears (a Ducky Shine II.)
So far I'm really liking these switches. They're not quite the magic bullet I thought they'd be, but they're definitely a great switch for typing. The top of the switch feels sort of similar to the Matias switches, but more "solid", if that makes sense. Then the force quickly increases after the actuation point, which is great for me because it helps me avoid bottoming out without even having to try. It feels almost like a short-travel switch (e.g. scissor) in that sense, but with a springy landing instead of a hard bottom. I don't even need O-rings on these keys because I'm bottoming out so infrequently, and not very hard when I do.
My only complaint about these switches so far is that they do feel quite heavy, more so than I was expecting. I'll see how I feel after using this keyboard for a bit longer, maybe I'll get more used to it.

Not quite sure what type of switch I should try next. I'm thinking Greens, since they should maybe solve my problem with Blues being too light. "Ergo Clears" also sound nice, but I think I'm going to wait until there is a production keyboard available with them.

Offline Tarzan

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 09:50:25 »
Reviving this thread because I finally got my hands on a decent board with MX Clears (a Ducky Shine II.)
So far I'm really liking these switches. They're not quite the magic bullet I thought they'd be, but they're definitely a great switch for typing. The top of the switch feels sort of similar to the Matias switches, but more "solid", if that makes sense. Then the force quickly increases after the actuation point, which is great for me because it helps me avoid bottoming out without even having to try. It feels almost like a short-travel switch (e.g. scissor) in that sense, but with a springy landing instead of a hard bottom. I don't even need O-rings on these keys because I'm bottoming out so infrequently, and not very hard when I do.
My only complaint about these switches so far is that they do feel quite heavy, more so than I was expecting. I'll see how I feel after using this keyboard for a bit longer, maybe I'll get more used to it.

Not quite sure what type of switch I should try next. I'm thinking Greens, since they should maybe solve my problem with Blues being too light. "Ergo Clears" also sound nice, but I think I'm going to wait until there is a production keyboard available with them.

So far, of all the switches I've tried, MX Greens are my favorite switch.  I got one of the full-size CM Storm Trigger boards with Greens, and I like it a lot.  Be aware, though, if you're concerned about the "heavy" feel of MX Clears, Greens have a very strong key feel. 

I just got a board with mixed Clears (or Whites?  not sure...) and Blues, the SkiData whopper with integrated track ball, but I haven't spent a lot of time typing on it yet to compare with the Greens.  My initial take is that the MX Greens are still heavier, but some of that may be due to the different boards - the CM Trigger is a really massive board, very solid when typing.

Other switches I've tried;

1. MX Browns - Noppoo Choc Mini - very light, nicely tactile, good for work productivity.  Better for me after I installed red o-rings.

2. Alps Black - Dell AT101 - light key feel, I'm not a huge fan of these.  Too easy to bottom out.

3. Alps White - Majitronic FK2001 - clicky, medium stiff, most of the boards I've tried have been pretty flimsy so I haven't spent much time typing on this one. 

4. Buckling spring - Unicomp Ultra Classic/IBM Model M/Unicomp 5250 (122-key) - verrrry nice.  Snappy key feel, cool audible feedback, my favorite for a daily driver at work.  Toss-up between these models and the CM Trigger as my favorite board.

I'll post more reviews once I've had a chance to try the Blues/Whites on the new acquisition!

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 10:16:45 »
Shameless plug incoming:

I got my hands on a Mr. Interface Switch Try Bag. I wrote a review here if anyone is interested in my thoughts on many different switches.

MX Blues are still my favorite :D

Offline nsrexler

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 11:44:28 »
I've thought about signing up for one of the try bags, but I decided against it. Playing with a few loose switches just doesn't properly convey the feeling of typing on an entire board of a switch, at least for me.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 11:47:05 »
I've thought about signing up for one of the try bags, but I decided against it. Playing with a few loose switches just doesn't properly convey the feeling of typing on an entire board of a switch, at least for me.

I'll be starting a tour soon. It's at least SOMETHING to expose yourself to what it might feel like. Better than reading what others think and trying to figure out if your fingers feel the same way theirs do.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 12:25:32 »
Every little bit helps, but the entire experience has to go together.

Scavenging keyboards from friends, co-workers, yard sales, thrift stores, and dumpsters is the easiest and cheapest way to get started.

Buying "real" keyboards, new or used, gets into wallet-hack pretty quickly.

Hashbaz has been great with his tester tours. Last year, he sent around a number pad with the main switch types, and it allowed the fingers to do a side-by-side comparison, which was very helpful.

Now, there is an entire keyboard with "zones" of several each of several types all around. It makes for a more varied experience, although quite disorienting - imagine typing a single word on 5 or more different switch types!

You really can't know what is really happening until you sit down with an entire keyboard, with one type of switch, for a significant amount of time. That might be 20 minutes or 3 weeks, I don't know, but to pass judgment too soon is a big mistake.

PS - rubber domes actuate early and collapse into a mess. there is no comparison to any mechanical switch, and they are most certainly not "linear"
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline iri

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 27 March 2013, 12:46:00 »
PS - rubber domes actuate early and collapse into a mess. there is no comparison to any mechanical switch, and they are most certainly not "linear"
rubber dome keyboards generally have two types of switches: membrane, which actuate at the bottom and topre, which actuate halfway bottom.
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline DamienG

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 29 March 2013, 23:47:37 »
My 2 cents:

Cherry MX Blue - Nice and snappy but the click doesn't feel solid. It's more of a ping. Good for typing and okay for gaming. Things improve a little with a plate. (I own 2)

Cherry MX Brown - I don't understand why people like these at all. I can't feel a tactile bump unless I really try, certainly not while I'm typing. Have to agree it feels like a rubber dome. Don't like them for anything even though I thought these were going to be "the one". (Don't own any but have tried models several times)

Buckling spring - Loud and clunky. Pretty good for typing, awful for gaming. The rattle and ping on my Model M isn't a good sound. Haven't yet tried the floss.

Topre - Despite being technically a rubber dome they are far better to me than the Cherry brown. Real nice feeling, snap back and sound. Good for typing and gaming. Would be even better if they had some kind of deep tactile bump on the way down.

I also have the Mr Interface switch bag. A couple of the Alps feel good (Black, White, Pink, Orange, Grey, Mattias clicky) as does the Cherry clear.

[)amien

Offline Macsmasher

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 30 March 2013, 04:44:49 »
Topre - Despite being technically a rubber dome they are far better to me than the Cherry brown. Real nice feeling, snap back and sound. Good for typing and gaming. Would be even better if they had some kind of deep tactile bump on the way down.

I have a Realforce variable, which is 30g and 45g weights. I also have an HHKB with 45g uniform. I've noticed the 45g key weights have a more pronounced bump than the 30g. I would imagine the 55g switches have even more pronounced tactility. Maybe somebody who has had both the 45g and 55g variants could comment on that. With that said, I don't have a problem with the 30g keys. They are tactile enough for me. Just to give you an idea of my preferences, my favorite Cherry switch was brown for both typing and gaming.

And Until Cherry comes out with something new, I've found the Holy Grail key switch with Topre. I haven't pulled a Cherry board out in months and have no plans to.
« Last Edit: Sat, 30 March 2013, 17:30:41 by Macsmasher »

Offline DamienG

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #31 on: Sat, 30 March 2013, 14:24:05 »
Yeah mine is a 45g - it's definitely a nice feel and sound.

[)amien

Offline daerid

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 30 March 2013, 14:36:40 »
The 55g definitely has more tactility than the 45g (used to have a 45g RF, but sold it to get another 55g).

However, they aren't really all that stiff. Much easier on the fingers than say Cherry Blacks.

Offline Macsmasher

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 30 March 2013, 17:48:00 »
The 55g definitely has more tactility than the 45g (used to have a 45g RF, but sold it to get another 55g).

However, they aren't really all that stiff. Much easier on the fingers than say Cherry Blacks.

All you 55g guys are giving me the itch. Good thing these things are tax deductible!   :p

I've never considered the 55g switches as an option. EK even has a warning on the page for the 55g board...

"55gram weighted switches are very stiff and snappy. We do not recommend this keyboard to people with arthritis, RSI, or any state of health or physical inability that would prevent them from using, or building the strength to use, these heavy switches!"

http://www.elitekeyboards.com/products.php?sub=topre_keyboards,rftenkeyless&pid=rf_se1800

So my question is, what do you like about the 55g board over the 45g? I would think it would be fatiguing on extended typing sessions. Please explain to me why it's not. Explain any benefits of the 55g over the 45g.

Offline Rule16

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 30 March 2013, 20:52:48 »
*Cherry MX Blues (Razer): Personally I hate this one, it feels linear to me and makes an annoying high pitch sound.
[3 stars, better than rubber dome and scissor switch, but not by much because of the noise and linear feel.]

*Cherry MX Brown (Das): Great feeling, a bit jittery at first, then there's a bump, then a really smooth ride the rest of the way down. After a while, however (about 10 months) it feels a little linear if its the only switch you've been using, but in no way as linear feeling as blues.
[4 stars]

*Cherry MX Black (WASD Switch Tester): Not as heavy as people make it out to be, actually feels pretty good, about the same force is required the whole way down. Also feels like its "on rails" or never going anywhere.
[4 stars]

*Cherry MX Red (WASD Switch Tester): Same as blacks, but lighter and much more jittery.
[3 stars]

*Green Alps (Packard Bell from the 80's): Personally my favourite (a shame it doesn't work on my computer  :( ). Its considered linear, but at the same time it really isn't. At first its a bit heavy, then it slowly gets lighter and lighter and then you hit the bottom. Its smooth the whole way down, no jitters or wobbles, despite what some say.
[4.8 stars, because nothings perfect, although I'm not sure whats wrong with it.]

*Rubberdome: Terrible.
[0.5 stars]

*Scissor switch: Decent, much better than a rubber dome, but still not very good.
[2 stars]
« Last Edit: Sat, 30 March 2013, 21:00:04 by Rule16 »
| KB Paradise V60 Maias Quiet Click | Realforce 55gram 87U | MiniTouch (Ivory Hua-Jie) | Poker II | IBM Model F | Unicomp Ultraclassic | Dell AT101W (Black Alps) | WASD Code (Clear) |
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Offline Ninjerk

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 07 May 2013, 21:32:25 »
Spent a few months on the Razer Blackwidow, and just spend 2 weeks using an IBM Model M keyboard.

I can definitely say that I prefer the IBM Model M for typing: I make less errors and it feels good for long typing sessions to me.

I prefer the Blackwidow's Cherry MX blues for gaming though because of the lower actuation force.

Offline davkol

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #36 on: Sat, 01 June 2013, 08:41:00 »
I've been contemplating to post here for a while, so here we go. I'll skip most switches that I haven't used for a lot of time.

Clicky switches: Cherry MX Blue, buckling spring and complicated white ALPS
I'm not a fan of noisy keyboards, but at least it's consistent with clicky mechanical switches (compared to squeaky cheap rubber domes). Typing on buckling springs sounds like a machine gun, maybe a typewriter. Luckily, there's barely any clack from bottoming out. On the other hand, MX Blue and white ALPS have high-pitched click, usually followed by an annoying clack of bottoming out. Therefore, I prefer them with (EK's) soft-landing pads (yes, it's possible to install this sort of dampeners on ALPS). It doesn't even ruin the experience for me by feeling mushy—in fact, it masks the weird bump of blues right after their sharp tactile point, and also eliminates harsh bottoming out in general. Unfortunately, I'm not able to ride the actuation point on any of these switches, they're too stiff (including blues!) for me, hence I have to smash them (thus bottoming out).
In the end, I somehow wish there was a light-touch, quiet buckling spring. I probably wouldn't go with ALPS, because of almost non-existent availability of PBT keycaps, or Cherry MX Blue—there're plenty of other Cherry switches.

Tactile non-clicky switches: Cherry ML, Cherry MX Clear etc.
This is a sort of a grey area for me. I rather briefly used black ALPS and Cherry MX Brown, but didn't like them, because they felt very gritty to me, at least compared to linear Cherry MX and clicky switches mentioned above. Maybe lubing would help. I had used Cherry ML before that, they felt less scratchy and had more pronounced bump (possibly due to shorter key travel). However, I didn't like them either, because of kind of sticky impression when pressed off-centre... again, it could be solved by application of some lube, though. Once I learned to type on them without bottoming out, they were quite similar to Cherry MX Clear switches: hard to bottom out. Clears are probably my favorite tactile switch. They have a very pronounced bump followed by some sort of a barrier that makes it hard to bottom out. I love that. Stock springs are too stiff for me, thus ergo clears. Unfortunately, I haven't formed an opinion on optimal configuration of ergo clears yet.
I feel like I should experiment with clears more. Or try to lube browns and MLs. Or get some Matias ALPS. (Or go the Topre route, but I guess it's not worth it for me, because Topre price/value ratio and layouts don't work for me. I could get sufficient experience from old high-quality rubber domes, e.g. BTC 5169 or KeyTronic.)

Linear switches: Cherry MX Black, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MY
Long story short, I love smoothness of linear Cherry MX switches. There isn't much to add, only a complaints. It's mostly about stiffness. I barely apply enough force to actuate the black switches (which also means I don't bottom out, which is irrelevant if I miss keystrokes), but usuallly bottom out reds. Therefore, typing isn't silent. Actually, it can't be, due to sound produced by upstroke (obviously louder than on tactile switches), but I can live with that. However, I'd at least appreciate dampened bottoming out... which is almost impossible to solve, because soft-landing pads on linear switches feel unpleasantly mushy to me, and stiffer o-rings (50A) make key travel too short when used with thick Cherry/SP-profile keycaps. Surprisingly, this isn't much of an issue on Cherry MY switches—they get very stiff after actuation (which is a bit similar to Cherry MX Clears), so it's almost impossible to bottom out. On the other hand, they're ridiculously mushy. That makes them very annoying for non-industrial use... with one exception: if you remove springs from Cherry MY switches (BTW it doesn't require any soldering), they become extremely light (like 25 cN to actuate), thus suitable for (a) people with some health issues, or (b) learning to touch type (you can't even rest your fingers on keys).
Finally, a keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches is my daily driver. I'd love to try both stiffer and lighter springs inside it, but I guess I'm quite happy even without that.

Offline davkol

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 01 December 2013, 13:59:20 »
A bit of a necro... and a small update to my last post.

Half a year later, my favorite switches are stock MX Clear and vintage MX Black switches. I started to exercise and my fingers have become stronger. I don't have issues with those slightly stiffer switches anymore: I've learned to apply the right amount of force to just actuate them without bottoming out—rising/constant required force (unlike on blues) definitely helps here. Surprisingly, I can do the same even on reds.

My only complaint is that stock clears need to break in. They feel a bit sticky otherwise. For whatever reason, I'm still unable to use them for gaming though, but I don't see any reason to do so to be honest. Maybe they're not that "fast"... Lube would probably help (haven't had time for that yet). It would dampen the upstroke as well, which is something I'd appreciate, although nobody has complained even during lectures.

Offline czarek

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #38 on: Sun, 01 December 2013, 15:40:37 »
Here goes my list then:

1. Cherry MX Blue - Perfect balance between weight, tactility and sound (although this can be an issue for some). It may feel a bit cheap compared to Buckling Spring at first but in time you appreciate the lighter feel. They're also not as scratchy as the other Cherry switches for some reason.
2. Cherry MX Brown: Very light, not much tactile (but it's actually enough when you get used to it) but a bit scratchy and it doesn't have much character really. Good all rounder though.
3. Cherry MX Red - Very light, and linear but a little scratchy. It is a fun little switch for gaming, although it is annoying when trying to use it for work (accidental key presses, typos etc.)
4. Cherry MX Black (Vintage) - Not light, but not as heavy as some people say. Very smooth action and while linear it's actually very usable at work - it's easy to avoid typos and it's hard to bottom out which makes it quite ergonomic I think.

Now a quick note about all MX switches: They have very consistent feel, and I like wide availability of high quality keycaps.

5. Buckling Spring - Legendary sound and feel, can't be beaten by anything. I don't mind the heavy springs or tactility either. What I do mind though is the fact that they're very inconsistent in terms of feel and sound (sound/feel changes with the distance from the closest rivet/bolt, and with each row).
6. Topre - It's very unique, doesn't feel mechanical at all, rather than that it feels like a very high quality rubber dome (which it technically is) with nice, light and smooth action. Although inconsistency between keys bothers me a lot, so does ABS space bar, not that good reliability (it wears out quick, and it's hard to replace individual switches/domes).
7. Alps Black - Feels very mechanical, each key press feels like moving whole set of machinery. It's fun to play around, but it's not the best switch for either working or gaming.
8. Acer Clicky - Feels very similar to MX Blues, only with slightly bigger bump.
9. NMB Space Invaders - I only have experience with linear version and it's probably my favourite linear switch. Feels very similar to vintage MX Blacks, only with shorter action (similar to Alps) and I think even smoother. Perfect for old Amiga games, but also general computing.

Currently use MX Blues pretty much exclusively (I'm the most accurate and fastest on them - currently 102-107 wpm with 100% accuracy). Over the years I mostly used MX Blues and black Alps (at work), at home I used MX Browns, Buckling Springs (all possible options: IBM Model Fs, Ms, Unicomps) and Topre (HHKB for travelling).
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Offline Tony

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Re: Switch Reviews
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 02:00:32 »
Blue: Noisy, very good typing feel. There is a small delay when tapping, not good for FPS.

Brown: My favorite. Not noisy but still have the bump. I am typing on a Filco brown now. For typing it is excellent, for gaming it is also decent. The best for all-round newbies and experts.

Red: very light with no bump at all. I can type very fast, but it is also very easy to make typing mistakes with this switch. For FPS gaming, this is heaven.

Black: quite heavy, takes some time to get used to. For typing it is so so, for gaming it is tough.

Topre: very similar to brown, though much quieter. Can't justify the big difference in price, so I don't buy any.

Buckling spring: Very sturdy, got quite a distinct and retro feel. For typing it is very good but a bit too heavy. Noisy as hell.

White Alps: Similar to blue but with different sound and require a heavier force to press.

ML switch: Very much like Apple keyboard but comes with a clicky sound.
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 December 2013, 02:10:41 by Tony »
Keyboard: Filco MJ1 104 brown, Filco MJ2 87 brown, Compaq MX11800, Noppoo Choc Brown/Blue/Red, IBM Model M 1996, CMStorm Quickfire Rapid Black
Layout: Colemak experience, speed of 67wpm