What type of mechanical keyboard switch should I get?

Switch Captain

The best approach, in our mind, is to first decide on what general type of switch you want. Mechanical keyboard switches come in three basic flavors, Clicky, Tactile and Linear.

Below, in our SwitchCaptain Guide to Mechanical Keyboard Switch Types we'll dive into each, but first, let's review the basics!

The Types of Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Switch Chart

Linear Switches

Linear switches are a highly popular switch type and one that's generally preferred by gamers for their smooth (no bump!) and fast (again, no bump!) operation!

Plenty of other users like them as well though, particularly those looking for the benefits of a mechanical keyboard but without interest in switches that give you noticeable and active feedback (or noise, as while linears aren't silent they do tend, in general, to be quieter than the alternatives).

The lack of tactile feedback doesn't mean there aren't any differences between linear switches as there's a lot that can influence the feel, speed, and even sound of a switch. Some are pre-lubed while some require a heavier or lighter application of force in order to register a keypress or bottom out while typing.

Some popular linear switches are Gateron Yellows and Kailh BOX Silent Pinks.

Tactile Switches

Tactile switches are, let's face it, the cool kids of the switch world. They're beloved by a cross-section of gamers and typists and widely suggested for general use.

They're also the most open for subjective opinion because there can be large differences between brands and models of switches. Tactiles come in a variety of flavors from slightly tactile to highly tactile, from silent to loud, and from light to heavy. Some are bumpy, some are sharp, and if you find the right one, they're a pleasure to type on!

Tactile switches currently giving us feels include Kailh BOX Silent Browns and Outemu Box Browns.

Clicky Switches

Fancy yourself a bit of a rock star? Like to play loud? Clicky switches may be for you! They deliver noticeable sound feedback, sometimes along with noticeable tactility as well.

Clicky switches are great for those who want to feel fully confident that they've pressed a key and that it's registered and as a result are super popular amongst those who value accurate and consistent typing.

When looking at a clicky switch you may just want the loudest possible (though, to be honest, we don't fully endorse that in an office environment) or you may want a switch that provides both strong sound and physical feedback.

Some of our current picks for the clicky crowd include NovelKeys x Kailh BOX Jades and Outemu Box Blues!

Still have questions?

We're here to help! Write to us at support@switchcaptain.com!

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