If you want switches with the most ideal typing experience out of the box without needing to mod them, then read on.
In this article, we'll start by covering what modding is and why you might not want to mod. Then, we'll talk about the best 5 switches to use stock, or without mods.
What is modding?
Modding is common in the keyboard community to create a more ideal typing experience.
Specific to switches, common mods are lubing and filming. Lubing a switch is done to increase smoothness. Filming a switch by putting a piece of plastic between a switch’s top and bottom housings enhances its acoustics.
Modding isn’t always essential
However, modding is far from necessary to get a typing experience you enjoy—especially if you get the right switches.
Here are some reasons why you might not want to mod:
- Time: Modding can be a timesink. For example, lubing your switches can take a few hours of tedious work.
- Uncertainty: For beginners, it can be a little daunting to mod your switches. You have to open take apart all the switches. Switch springs might get tangled up. You might over lube and make your switches feel mushy.
- Cost: You don’t know if it’s justified to spend the time and energy and additional money to modify your switches.
Now, we will be sharing our top 5 picks for switches that you can use out of the box and love typing on.
Best linear switches to use stock
Gateron Oil Kings
We love using these Gateron Oil Kings stock.
While most factory-lubed switches aren't stellar, Gateron has done an excellent job factory lubing these Oil Kings. When using these switches, you get a creamy sound signature with a substantial and smooth typing feel. With the Oil Kings, you get the best of a modded switch while doing away with the tedium involved.
Ink Box Pink
On the other hand, with a clackier sound profile, there are the Gateron Ink Box Pinks.
They are also linear, but are different from the Oil Kings. They are lighter to type on and have a higher-pitched sound signature. In addition, they are buttery smooth. So, if you like smoothness, want a lighter typing experience, and prefer clacks over thocks, these linear switches are for you.
Best tactile switches to use stock
Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp)
These silenced Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) switches come great out of the box. If you want a quiet tactile switch with a comfortable level of tactility, these are the perfect switches for you.
The Shrimps are known for their super subdued sound profile: they sound almost pillowy. At the same time, you feel a gentle tactility while typing on them. They feel super cushy. We cannot recommend them enough.
Durock POM T1 (Sunflower)
On the other end of the tactile switch spectrum are the Durock POM T1s, also known as the Sunflowers.
To get a little technical, we have to talk about the Sunflower's POM stem. They make switches super smooth. The reduced friction of a POM stem means that you will do perfectly fine without having to lube switches.
Now let's talk about the POM T1s themselves. They have a light switch-like tactility. So, if you love a massive tactile bump, these switches are for you. Their sound signature is also very poppy. We'd describe these switches as clacky. As such, if you want a sharp tactility and a bright sound signature, go for these Sunflowers.
Best clicky switches to use stock
Kailh Box White
Clicky switches usually are not modified at all. This is to preserve the switches’ clickiness and tactility. So, if you are a clicky fan and don't want to mod your switches, you are in luck.
In other words, any clicky switches will be great unmodded.
However, to provide you with a recommendation, we have to go with the Kailh Box Whites. We think they are by default the best of all worlds clicky switch. These clicky switches are on the lighter side so your fingers won’t get fatigued with longer typing sessions.
But, to explore explore all clicky options, click here.
If you’re building a custom keyboard and just want to install everything and get typing, now you know our recommendations.
If you want more refined recommendations based on your preferences, take our switch quiz. Then, try switches at home to discover the best switch option for you.