The Actual Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches!
Previously we have talked about what are some general types of switches, what characteristics do they have, and what are they best suited for. In that article though, we have not compiled an actual list since that was more of an introductory article.
This time however we will talk about the best tactile and linear switches you should be buying if you want to build a custom keyboard.
What is important to note is that this will NOT be the usual comparison just between Cherry MX switches and Cherry clones like Gateron and Kailh. This article will deal with only original switches that are actually worth buying and we can wholeheartedly endorse them.
Recap Regarding Mechanical Keyboard Switches
Before we go into listing which are the best keyboard switches, in our opinion, it is important to understand that in the end this entire topic is built on personal preference. We can rate a switch 10/10 while in your practical use the switch might not be as impressive.
This is simply because as with everything else we all have personal tastes and preferences which cannot entirely match. Nevertheless, the switches we selected have been approved by the overall enthusiast keyboard community and can be called the best mechanical keyboard switches to date.
Overall you should understand that linear mechanical switches are made for smoothness while tactile mechanical switches are all about the crisp tactile bump.
You will need to try both types of switches to truly understand what you prefer therefore we would once again suggest you buy your own custom hot-swap keyboard that will allow you to change the type of keyboard switches you use.
We are also going into this discussion expecting that you WILL lube the switches we are talking about since that is the most basic switch mod you can do to truly experience what a custom keyboard is.
With these basics out of the way let us proceed to our recommendations.
The Best Linear Mechanical Keyboard Switches
When discussing linear switches it is important to mention that these are the best keyboard switches for gaming because they are easily actuated which is a desirable thing in games.
Even if you play only FPS games and only use your WASD keys, these are still the best keyboard switches for FPS since your inputs will be crisp.
The first recommended linear switch is also a budget switch that comes around at 0.25$ per switch – we are talking about the Gateron Milky Yellow switches. These switches are very popular because they do not cost a lot, but after lubing these offer a very smooth linear experience which is what you should be looking forward to.
The next important linear switch is the C3 Tangerines – you cannot make a list of linear switches without what is arguably one of the best keyboard switches. They are known for being extremely smooth after lubing and are basically the gold standard for linear switches currently.
If you have no clue what to get, just get the Tangerines!
The next switch is the grandfather of all linear switches, the Cherry MX Black switch. Although we said this article will not be about Cherry, this switch is a legendary linear switch that once lubed gives you a textbook experience of linear goodness.
The Black switches, although linears, are definitely not the best keyboard switches for gaming because they have an 80g bottom out, which means the springs inside are pretty heavy, therefore, not very good for gaming.
The next switch worth looking into is the Alpaca switches, and although they might look and sound cute, these switches are no joke. Once lubed these switches are one of the best keyboard switches that money can buy you.
The last switch we want to mention is the Tealio linear switches from ZealPC working with Gateron. Once again these switches take very well to lubing and provide an incredibly smooth typing experience.
Out of all of these switches, on a regular budget keyboard, you will most likely only find the Black switches, so for the rest, you will need a custom board.
Overall any of the switches mentioned above will be nice for your custom keyboard once lubed and filmed!
The Best Tactile Mechanical Keyboard Switches
When it comes to the best keyboard switches for typing you need to talk about tactile switches with their nice and crisp tactile bump. This does not mean that linear switches are not good for typing, but usually, people that type a lot prefer the feel of tactile switches.
In this category, we will start with the C3 Kiwi switches, the brother of the C3 Tangerine switch. As you would expect, considering the performance of the Tangerine switch, the Kiwi switch is one of the most beloved tactile switches on the market currently because of its excellent tactility and good build quality.
The second switch that we need to mention is the Glorious Panda switch, the successor to the famous Holy Pandas. The Holy Pandas were a rare commodity but not anymore since Glorious did what it does best and made the switches widely available.
The Glorious take on the Holy Panda switches is even considered to be somewhat better than the original Holy Pandas since they are less scratchy and smoother!
The next switch worth looking out for is the Zealio tactile switch from ZealPC. These are the brothers of the Tealio switches mentioned above and like their linear brother they perform very well, offering crisp tactility.
Next on the list of best mechanical keyboard switches is the Outemu Sky switch, with its blue housing and 62g actuation force. These switches are very tactile and are similar to the Cherry MX Clear switches, but smoother and overall a better buy.
Last but not least we would recommend the NovelKeys Blueberry switch, which uses the same housing material as the linear Cream switches. Unlike their very squishy name, the Blueberry switches are very crisp and tactile and will provide you with a very good typing experience.
Any of the switches mentioned above will serve you well, and once lubed these switches will be extremely tactile and make typing a true pleasure!
Overall the switches you should be looking for when searching for the best linear keyboard switches are: Gateron Milky Yellow switches, C3 Tangerines, Cherry MX Black, Alpaca switches, Tealio linear switches.
The custom keyboard market is pretty expensive so do not expect to spend money like on a budget board, but there are also budget-friendly options that will not go above 100-120$, so do not be afraid to take your first steps into the custom world of keyboard building!
No matter if you are a fan of super smooth switches or very tactile crisp switches there are always enough options for everyone!
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