Omron switches are the common by far used in mice, however the naming scheme and rumors abound about what each does and is. Here I'll try and document as much as I can and dispel some of the mysteries. This took hours to compile, reading websites, pdf's and more, it contains all you should need to know.Note:
Omron uses two naming methods. While I have not confirmed it, I suspect the numbers are different simply because one number is meant for a machine to install while the others are meant for individual sale/retail. The machine ones probably come assembled in trays or strips so the machine can feed them in quickly. This is backed up by the Asus ROG Spatha mouse which uses a machine numbers on the switches inside the mouse, but retail naming on the two switches included (this mouse allows the user to change them).
This guide covers both, but right or wrong about naming reasons, this is how they will be referred to in order to distinguish them. D2F Switches:
The switches by Omron are all designated D2F, from there it gets a bit more complex. We'll discuss retail switches first, as once you understand them, you can more easily understand the machine switches.D2F vs D2FC
indicates origin and more. (Important!)
D2F = Japanese (always has Japan molded into top along with Omron label)D2F vs D2F -01
D2FC = China (may have China painted on side or top, or just a “C” in the model #)
Chinese models are mass produced and are considered to be a bit sloppy in tolerances, so one may have an actuation point a bit higher than another. Tolerances on these are pretty small so you wouldn't notice, but just know that they are more sloppy than the Japanese models.
Japanese models have much nicer internals, better tolerances, better metals,a stronger frame and are better sealed from dirt and moisture. They are also slightly taller and have a shorter actuation distance, it's for this reason they are not always interchangeable with Chinese models.
Which is better?
No question, the Japanese switch is better made, but unless you use it in a harsh environment, or plan on your mouse lasting 10 years or more it may not be worth the added expense or hassle to install them.
Warning: If your mouse has Chinese models, the Japanese models may not fit (unless there is a teeny bit of slop between button and switch itself, which is common). Most Logitech can probably handle it, but if not you can always file actuator. Just remember if you don't like it and try to go back to the Japanese version things will be very sloppy.
(can be with or without the dash)
The next batch of numbers or lack of them is usually an 01, this indicates the spring material.
D2FC Indicates a “silver alloy spring” Spring rates (-F)
D2FC -01 Indicates a “gold alloy spring”
I put them in quotes because I suspect it means they are plated spring steel, not an actual alloy of the two materials as implied by Omron.
Which is better?
Gold is better at fighting corrosion, however it doesn't conduct as well and needs a bit more power to start conduction. In our situation, it doesn't matter much and given time and corrosion (tarnish), the gold will maintain it's level of resistance better. So unless you need the added conductivity for higher amps, gold is the better choice here as evidenced by the act that better mice almost universally use the 01.
The next important indicator you want to know is the -FLifespan
D2FC =150g actuating force
D2FC -F = 75g actuation force
Which is better?
Now before you rush out and look for a -F, there are considerations here and it's really not that simple.
-F will obviously be easier to push and likely will last longer (irrelevant, you'll see). A non -F will have a much more solid click to it and a faster return. This is important if you play FPS and need to rapid fire. Most people tend to prefer the non -f, especially in gaming mice, but if you don't game the -f may be your favorite and I can see some of you already drooling, but...
Warning: I told you this wasn't that simple…
Switches have a max force rating which happens to be based on the switch and is typically 10x the actuation force. So if you tend to abuse your mice, the non -f can actually last much longer. Just another reason for gamers to consider the non -F. As you start pounding the button for rapid fire, you can easily exceed the -F's force limits which is only a little over a pound. This becomes more relevant in the next section.
Will be labeled as D2F -01 (10M)
Other random numbers and letters in the switch part number
Remember I said lifespan on the -F was irrelevant, now you learn why.
There is a rumor that Japanese switches start with a lower lifespan and that the -F has a longer lifespan. This doesn't seem to really hold much water when you consider that Omron themselves labels them for you. Sometimes.Warning:
Keep in mind that these numbers are without any load, and they really do mean ANY load. If the mouse button rests on the switch button or your finger causes it to, then the lifespan will be shortened. Anything touching that button shortens the lifespan. Your mouse may have some slop to prevent this when your fingers are off the mouse, but as soon as you put them on it, the lifespan is probably starting to drop as the weight of your fingers remove that slop. Personally, 10M last longer than 20M for me, see my note here
.Omron has multiple ratings:(1M)
= 1million presses(3m)
= 3million presses(5m)
= 5million presses (10M)
= 10million presses(20M)
= 20million pressesUnfortunately, the only surefire way to know for certain is with the part number as shown above as they didn't always mark them. However they often coincided with the button color or a painted dot on top.
Some of the lower numbers the details are sketchy, but we don't really care about them anyhow.Black
– no dot – (1M) = 1million presses (not verified)Red or Yellow
button or dot (3m) = 3million (not verified)Red or Yellow button
or dot (5m) = 5million (not verified)Gray
button and/or dot - (10M) = 10millionWhite
button and/or dot - (20M) = 20millionThe colors are also referred to as tops
, so when someone says a “white top” Omron, they mean it's a switch rated for 20mil. Presses. Caution:
I don't recommend relying on the button color. MS has custom switches made for them (labeled MS) which can be different and I have seen white and gray botton Omrons with no (XXM) stamped on them. These are usually older models, but it's something to keep in mind. Dots and labeling is the only surefire way to know and a while lower numbers may not say it, you can bet a 20M is going to let you know it's a 20M.
I'll put a chart at the bottom showing what is using what that I know of and if others post I will try and add them.
Example D2F L3 -T
Frankly, you do not want any of these on your switch, as they pertain to the soldering terminals and different ways to actuate the button, almost none of which are useful to use. Note: Levers can be removed, so if you want a specific switch in a hurry and can only find it with a lever, you can always remove it from the switch and use it without problems, just be careful removing it.Machine switch Numbers
L = Hinge lever
L2 = Roller lever
L3 = simulated roller
L30 = larger simulated roller
-T = self clinching terminals (this can still work in a mouse)
-A = right angled terminals
-A1 = left angled terminals
-D3 = big solder terminals
-D = compact terminals
D2F-F-7N is Comparable to D2F-01F (Japanese)Other Switch Brands
D2FC-F-7N is Comparable to D2FC-01F (Chinese)
D2F-3-7 is reportedly comparable to D2F-01F (but I suspect it's closer to D2F-01 due to lack of the N) (Japanese)
D2FC-3-7 is probably comparable to D2FC-01F (but I suspect it's closer to D2F-01 due to lack of the N) (Chinese)
Note: I do not know if the D2FC-3-7 exists, but I believe it might since the 7N has a Japanese and Chinese counterpart. A quick Google search turned up nothing.
Yes, there are others that can be used. Lots in fact. Most agree that the Omrons are the best and by far the most common in quality mice, which begs the question, if they are the norm, why do people and manufacturers make such a big deal over Omrons. “Look, I have the same as everyone else!”Popular Mice and what switches they use:
Kinzu, Kana, Himake, Panasonic, Huanos (loud according to TP4Tissue), Zippy, Qiaoh and TTF
TTF is considered quietest
Zippy uses a coil spring so may be more durable
Almost all use a D2FC-F-7N the difference is the lifespan.Sources
Rog Gladius = 20M (user replaceable)
ROG Spatha = 20M (user replaceable)
Storm = 10M
Logitech - Typically uses Omron 10Ms in most of their mice, however some gaming have used 20 lately.
G302 = 20M
G303 = 20M
G500 = ? (Note: double deck pcb makes it harder to replace switches)
G500S = 20M (Note: double deck pcb makes it harder to replace switches)
G502 = unlabeled
G600 = 20M
G700 =10M (Note: double deck pcb makes it harder to replace switches)
G700S = 20M (Note: double deck pcb makes it harder to replace switches)
G9 = 10M
G9X = 10M
G900 = 20M (possibly 10)
M705 Marathon = Himake switches
Master = 10M
MX Revolution = 10M
MX Performance = 10M
Deathadder 2013 = 10M
Sensei = 20M
Not all Steelseries use Omrons!