Outemu Lime vs. Cherry MX Black

An in-depth look at the Outemu Lime and the Cherry MX Black switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Outemu Lime and the Cherry MX Black are two popular options to consider. The Lime switches are known for their unique characteristics, as they are lightweight and offer an approachable tactility. Additionally, these switches are silenced, making them perfect for those who appreciate a feathery light typing experience with just a touch of tactility. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Black switches have been further perfected by Cherry. With their new Hyperglide tooling, these switches provide a classic textured smoothness that many users find satisfying. Furthermore, typing on the MX Black switches elicits a familiar deep sound profile. While these general pointers can give you a good idea of the differences between the switches, it's important to dive in a bit deeper to determine the best switch for your individual preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

35g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

45g

Bottom-out force

80g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.30 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Outemu Lime and Cherry MX Black switches both feature nylon top and bottom housings, making them similar in terms of their housing materials. Nylon is a classic switch housing material known for creating a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. This is because nylon is a relatively softer plastic that absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, both the Lime and MX Black switches will provide a similar typing experience in terms of sound.

However, despite their similarities, it is important to note that if the top and bottom housings differ in a switch, the qualities of each housing material will be divided. When pressing down on a switch, the bottom housing will have a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. In contrast, the top housing will play a larger role in the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, while the housing materials may be the same for both switches, the distribution of these materials within the switch can still result in subtle differences in sound and tactile feedback.

Overall, both the Outemu Lime and Cherry MX Black switches provide a similar typing experience due to their nylon housing materials. Typing on switches with these housings will elicit a deeper and fuller sound, with nylon's ability to absorb sound contributing to a duller and rounder tone. However, the impact of the housing materials may vary depending on how they are distributed within the switch. While the bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel, the top housing has more influence on the key release sound. Therefore, users can expect comparable results from both switches, while potentially experiencing slight variations in sound and tactile feedback.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Outemu Lime tactile switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, there are notable differences. The Lime switch has a lighter actuation force of 35 grams, making it easier to trigger a keystroke with less effort. In contrast, the MX Black switch has a heavier actuation force of 60 grams, requiring a firmer push to register a keystroke. Similarly, the Lime switch has a lighter bottom out force of 45 grams, allowing for a smoother typing experience when pressing all the way down. On the other hand, the MX Black switch has a heavier bottom out force of 80 grams, providing a more substantial and forceful typing experience. In terms of weight, the Lime switch is lighter overall, making it suitable for those who prefer a lighter touch for extended typing or gaming sessions. Meanwhile, the MX Black switch is heavier, appealing to those who desire a stronger push feel for a more impactful typing experience. Overall, individuals can choose between these switches based on their preference for lighter or heavier forces.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Outemu Lime tactile switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, it is clear that the MX Black has a longer travel distance at 4 mm, while the Lime has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.3 mm. The MX Black follows the more traditional 4.0 mm travel distance, while the Lime falls on the shorter end of the spectrum. This shorter travel distance is often favored by gamers seeking faster response times. On the other hand, some individuals may find the abruptness of a shorter travel distance to be uncomfortable, preferring the deeper feel provided by a longer travel distance. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference, whether one values responsiveness or a more substantial key press experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the Outemu Lime comes in at $3.40, whereas the Cherry MX Black comes in at $4.00.

Here at Milktooth, we offer the best prices on switches (on average, 27% lower the competition). In addition, we offer free shipping on orders over $49.00. We also offer free returns and exchanges, so you can shop with guaranteed satisfaction.

That said, while price is an important piece of the puzzle, our opinion is that you should ultimately pick the option that most suits your unique preferences since you’ll be using these switches for years to come. In other words, finding something perfect for you is, in our view, the most important criteria.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Outemu Lime tactile switch provides a neutral sound profile with muted characteristics. This means that it offers a moderate level of sound, which is quieter and softer compared to regular mechanical switches. It produces a gentle and quiet typing experience, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users in various environments, such as home or work. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Black linear switch is known for its low-pitched sound. It gives off a bass-heavy and mellow tone, providing a deep and satisfying sound profile when typing on it. However, it is important to note that the sound produced by a switch can also be influenced by other factors like the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Outemu Lime tactile switch offers a mild and feathery typing experience. It has a light actuation force requirement, reducing finger fatigue and making it comfortable for extended typing sessions. The switch's qualities stand in a safe middle-ground zone, providing a gentle resistance and a subtle sound signature suitable for shared spaces. Additionally, the Lime switch is polished, resulting in a smooth and refined finish that ensures reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Cherry MX Black linear switch is described as textured and stiff. It has noticeable friction when pressed, appealing to users who prefer a switch with more noticeable resistance. It requires a higher amount of force to actuate and bottom out, providing a typing experience that requires more forceful key presses.

In summary, the Outemu Lime tactile switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch offer different subjective qualities. The Lime switch provides a lightweight and approachable tactility with a feathery light typing experience. It offers a muted sound profile, making it suitable for those seeking a quieter typing experience. On the other hand, the MX Black switch from Cherry MX offers a textured and stiff feel, with a low-pitched sound profile that adds a deeper and mellow tone to typing. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on the individual's preference for lighter, quieter typing or a heavier, textured typing experience.

Conclusion

In closing, if you are looking for a unique and lightweight tactile experience with a touch of tactility and a muted sound profile, the Outemu Lime switches are the perfect choice for you. These switches offer a feathery light typing experience, making them comfortable for extended typing sessions such as gaming, school, or work. Additionally, the Lime switches are silenced, minimizing the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. On the other hand, if you prefer a classic textured smoothness with a low-pitched sound profile, the Cherry MX Black switches with their deep sound profile and Cherry's new Hyperglide tooling are the ideal option. These switches offer a more bass-heavy and mellow tone and provide a familiar typing experience. Ultimately, the decision between the Outemu Lime tactile switches and the Cherry MX Black linear switches comes down to personal preference for typing feel and sound profile.

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