Mechanical switches are becoming immensely popular nowadays. They provide a smooth experience, which is the ultimate aim of any gaming enthusiast. On the contrary, we use Linear switches because of their ability to actuate easily.
A good keyboard switch helps you witness an immersive gaming experience which you will find missing in their absence. Therefore, it is crucial to select the best keyboard switches according to your needs and requirements.
Today’s blog is about the details you need to know regarding mechanical switches. We will discuss some of the best mechanical switches available for grabs. Furthermore, we will also provide you with a list of some of the best linear switches or mechanical switches to balance the table.
So, wasting no further time, let’s just dive straight into the information.
What are Mechanical Keyboards?
Before we provide you with the list of the best mechanical switches, it is crucial to gain some basic knowledge about mechanical keyboards, which will help to make your decision much quicker.
In simple terms, mechanical keyboards have a keyboard switch under each key in exchange for rubber membranes, commonly seen in traditional keyboards at mechanical switches.
These keyboard switches are less mushy to use and provide you with a sense of assurance with their clicking sounds, making them accurate and precise in their movements. Switches, especially mechanical switches, are very famous among gaming professionals.
About Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
Mechanical switches determine the activation of a press through its assuring clicking sound. These switches are also further categorized into three subcategories.
- Linear Switches
- Tactile Switches
- Clicky Switches
The decision to choose the best keyboard switch depends upon individual preference and is totally subjective. The manufacturers equip the best linear switch with the simplest mechanisms, while the tactile switches are complex in design and build.
Understanding The Characteristics of Mechanical Switches?
Apart from feeling the keystrokes precisely, several characteristics are associated with a mechanical switch. The choice to calculate values for different parameters depends upon your technique and the general purpose of using a good keyboard switch and mechanical switches.
1. Operation Force
This is related to the settings regarding how hard you want the keys to be. They measured it in the centinewton (CN) or gram force (GF). However, there is almost no difference in their values.
1 gram force is equal to 0.98 centinewtons, which does not make much of a difference in using any measuring unit.
2. Activation Point
We consider the point where the key pressings are recognized as the activation point. We measure this in millimeters. Some players like to call it an operations position or actuation point.
This point ensures that the input provided by the user is taken as a response, further processed by the brain of the computer.
3. Total Travel Distance
The distance covered by the keycaps to hit the upper housing of the switch is called total travel distance.
It can be referred to as the distance until you bottle out in simple terms. Like the activation point, we also measured this in millimeters.
4. Tactile Position
We can witness this in the best tactile mechanical switches found in the market with the clicky ones. We do not find a tactile position in linear switches even though they too are mechanical switches.
5. Reset Point
The reset point is the point where the key becomes inactive when released. This is the point where the keycaps retract and bounce back to produce the satisfying clicky sound which is preferred by most gaming enthusiasts.
5 Best Linear Switches
After learning about the terms, which might bore some casual gamers, it is time to move to the exciting stuff. We have picked out some of the best linear switches that money can buy. A good linear switch can be a boon for your keyboard in mechanical switches.
These best linear switches would be able to enhance and amplify your gaming experience with the convenience they offer.
1. Gateron Yellow Switches: Best Budget Option
If you are on a tight budget and do not want to spend a fortune on picking the best linear switch, then Gateron yellow switches are the best mechanical switches option for you.
These switches offer medium resistance, which would be great for beginners who are not used to keyboard switches. They also provide a good typing experience, owing to their smaller stem size.
Apart from all these good deeds, the thing which makes it most tempting is the price at which these are available. They are affordable and come with various color options like yellow, red, and black to pick from.
It is also important to note that different colors offer different types of resistance. So make sure to choose one according to your need.
2. NovelKeys Cream: The Best Sound
If you are a big fan of clicking sounds produced by the mechanical switches and would love to proceed with a linear switch, novelkeys switches are here.
These best linear switches produce the most satisfying sound a gamer could hear. Apart from this, this linear switch offers a plastic design decorated in white which looks aesthetically pleasing.
The only drawback is no keyboard offers these switches pre-installed. Therefore, you would have to purchase them and separately install them on your keyboard.
If you like to have customized mechanical keyboards, you won’t mind the drawback of this switch. The linear switch becomes more smooth as the usage becomes more intense.
3. Cherry MX Black: Most Durable
It is also good to opt for a linear switch which is more durable. Our next pick also considers the durability thus, it helped this best linear switch to make a way in our list.
The Cherry MX switches are most notably known in the gaming market. This switch is to be considered for overall general usage.
They are also some of the most highly rated switches in terms of durability, making them a perfect choice for long-term users. They can last up to 100 million keystrokes.
If you are looking for the most reliable and best linear switch overall, be ready to shed some money over the MX switches.
4. Cherry MX Speed Silver: Best Linear Switch for Gaming
Most gamers would recommend you go with the best linear switches when it comes to gaming. The reason is quite simple as they offer a mesmerizing experience.
Bypassing all the other linear switches featured on our list concerning raw speed, Cherry MX speed silver becomes a good choice for some intense gaming.
The fast reaction time makes it one of the most popular choices for anyone looking for the best linear switch. However, apart from all the prominent features, the switches also have several drawbacks associated.
This switch would not be suitable if you think or want to use this for other productivity uses, like typing. The short traveling distance would make it uncomfortable during the long typing sessions.
You will have to settle for a trade-off if you want to get a switch built for ultimate gaming. If you want the best linear switch for gaming, go with it.
5. Gateron Ink Black: The Smoothest Feel
It is always great to have a linear switch offering a smooth feel. The last l best linear switch on our list needs no introduction. They crafted these switches out from a different type of plastic, offering a smoother experience. Thus, if you are looking for a mechanical switches smooth linear switch, go with this one.
Furthermore, the black housing and a jet black stem make it visually appealing. Like NovelKeys, which we discussed earlier, you would require to install them on your own to enjoy the smooth feeling while gliding through your gameplays.
5 Best Tactile Mechanical Keyboard Switches
After picking some of the best linear switches, it is time to move towards some of the very best tactile mechanical switches prevailing in the market.
1. Glorious Panda Switches
If you are looking for the best tactile switches, you would love to lay your hands on Glorious panda switches, which are available at an affordable price. The tactile bump is different from other tactile switches.
It produces a very satisfying clicking sound, which is unique. If you are looking for the best tactile switches with a decent tactile bump, search no more and buy the glorious panda switches.
These switches are the snappiest tactile switches you would find in the market.
2. Boba U4 Tactile Switches
If you are looking for the best tactile switch with little or no sound, Boba switches are a good option. The silicone dampeners attached to the stem of this mechanical switches significantly reduce the sound output and make it silent.
However, having a silent tactile switch h have its own downside. The switches would not be satisfying as the hard bottom is missing. This could make the switch mushy in some scenarios.
It is also crucial to state that silent switches are more ergonomic and soften your impact. This is useful for typing while communicating with your friends via game chat.
3. Durock T1 Switches
Durcok T1 switches are a decent option to consider if you are looking for a tactile switch offering a heavy bump. Comparing them with the glorious panda switches, these switches feel less snappy.
This switch is an affordable pick. We would suggest you apply lubricant and switch films to enhance your experience with these switches. The lubricant helps you improve the sound and reduces scratchiness.
On the other hand, switching films can help to remove wobbling by leaps and bounds.
4. Halo Clear Switches
Halo switches are another great choice as the best tactile switches. These switches focus on a pre-loaded spring, which helps it to be quicker than other tactile switches featured in the list.
Once you get past the tactile bump, the resistance tends to increase towards the keystroke at the end. These switches are also heavier than compared to the other tactile switches.
Apart from all these features, these switches offer durability, which is impressive to witness at this price point. They have a travel distance of 4mm, which is almost similar to the traditional mechanical keyboards.
5. Boba U4T Switch
If you love to listen to a decent ‘thocc’ sound while you smash the keyboard in excitement, Boba U4T switches would be the obvious choice for you.
The switches also offer silicon dampeners, which help with typing purposes. You would not be able to enjoy the silent working of these switches like Boba U4.
It is also one of the switches in which you can feel the tactile nature of the switch. For this reason, we have decided to include these in our list of the best mechanical switches.
Suggestion To Make the Perfect Pick
You would never want to replace the switches every two months. To think of these switches as long-term products, we recommend you order a switch tester and try out different switches at once to find the most optimum switch for you.
You would never want to get stuck with switches you don’t enjoy working on.
These were some of our top picks for the best tactile switches and the best linear switches you can find on the market. While smoother linear switches provide you with satisfaction, consider the discussed factors while making the final decision.
Best linear switches would allow you to get an edge over your opponents, particularly in competitive games like valorant. If gaming is your primary aim, these mechanical switches would be a good option for you.
On the other hand, the best tactile switches offer you a great responsive feel. Tactile switches are also fun to use. Sometimes you would have to resist the temptation to pick up your keyboard to enjoy bumps and clicking sounds with each press.
We hope you liked the article. Hope it helped you to choose the best mechanical switch for you.