How to choose the best switch for you
With a dizzying amount of switches on the market today, choosing the best switch for you can be difficult.
In fact, 83% of surveyed keyboard hobbyists are uncertain they'll be happy with the switches they buy, which means they waste hundreds of dollars on switches they don't love.
The thing is, this does not have to be the case.
Let's walk through this simple 3 step process to discover the best switch for you.
A fun shortcut: take a switch quiz
You can simply take a switch quiz and get switch recommendations. The quiz condenses the readings below in a fun and interactive manner, making it a good way to find the best switch for you.
What's your preferred feel
The first thing we need to find out is what type feel you prefer.
Some switches have a seamless glide when pressing down. If you like that, look for linear switches.
The second aspect of switch feel is weight.
If you prefer a heavier typing experience, look for switches with a heavier bottom-out force (we consider 65 grams and above to be heavy). If you prefer a lighter typing experience, look for switches with a lighter bottom-out force (we consider 50g and lower to be light).
Once you've decided what switch feel you prefer, it's time to move onto sound.
What's your preferred sound
To begin with, there's no correlation between switch feel and switch sound: how a switch feels does not determine what it sounds like. So, keep in mind your preferences for feel as you discover your favorite switch sound profile.
We'll be dividing switch sounds into three categories to help you determine your preferred sound signature. For each category, we'll provide some links to switches that are representative of the category's sound profile so you can take a listen yourself.
For one, there are thocks and clacks.
Thocks sound like bassy raindrops; clacks sound like a spray paint can being shaken. Thocks are lower pitched; clacks are higher pitched.
Selected switches in this category:
- Thock: Gateron Oil King (linear switch)
- Clack: Gateron Ink Box Black (linear switch), Durock POM T1 Sunflower (tactile switch)
For two, there is silence.
If you prefer more subdued, pillowy sound feedback, then silenced switches are for you.
Selected switches in this category:
For three, there are clicks.
The sound signature reminds us of stepping on crunchy, autumn leaves. The clicky sound comes from a specific kind of tactile switch (the kind of switch with a bump) called clicky switches.
Selected switch in this category:
- Kailh Box White (clicky switch)
When thinking about sound, take into account preference, but also the context you'll be using them in. For example, if you are using keyboards in a public space such as in school or in the office, we recommend you go for a silent switch over a clicky one.
Try switches at home before buying
Now that you have an idea of what you like, you have to find the best switch amongst many that suits all your preferences.
However, there are differences between switches in the same categories. For example, not all tactile switches feel alike and not all linear switches feel alike. Similarly, not all thocks and clacks sound alike. As such, you need to find the best expression of each particular category for you.
This seems overwhelming, but trying switches yourself makes discovering these differences incredibly easy.
Our try at-home program makes it really easy for you to find your favorite switch. Here's how it works: simply choose 5 switches to add to your try at-home cart, we'll ship them, you try them, then you ship them back. Only after discovering a switch you love do you buy them.