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Ultimate Guide To Different Mechanical Keyboard Switch Types

Which keyboard brand do you often use? Is it membrane keyboard ? or mechanical keyboard? You’ll learn about the feel of various switches in this article. You must read this article if you’re just beginning to become interested in mechanical keyboards or don’t know why they are so expensive.

What is a mechanical keyboard?

A spring and a switch make up the mechanical keyboard’s physical mechanism. The key will be considered to have been depressed when it contacts the physical switch underneath and registers as such. Since the keycaps are elevated from the board itself and appear to be floating in midair, it is simple to recognize by sight. This distinctive design feature delivers a typing feedback sensation that many people frequently refer to as “springiness.” Modern mechanical keyboards are available in a wide range of styles, sizes, and features. Many even offer opulent RGB lighting for gamers.

What is a membrane keyboard?

On the other end of the spectrum, the typical consumer probably knows and uses membrane keyboards more. Compared to a mechanical keyboard, the keys on a membrane keyboard lay flat by design. A rubber “button” or plunger-type device that registers a keypress when it has been fully depressed often sits beneath the keys.

Today’s common laptop keyboards are a great example of how they feel and appear when typing. Since it provides far less tangible feedback than a mechanical one, many people would characterize this experience as “mushy.”

Types of mechanical keyboard switches

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has an independent switch. Different keyboard can have different types of switch. The structure of different switch differs, which will have an impact on the “trigger weight” and “press feel.” The trigger weight is simply the weight of the finger press, and most of the switch falls between 45-60 cN. The heavier switch can be up to 80 cN.

Cherry, a reputable German switch manufacturer, is the leading manufacturer of switch on the market. There are numerous keyboard manufacturers who use Cherry MX switches. There are many distinct types of Cherry MX switches, including green, brown, red, and other colors. These switches may all be divided into three categories. We’ll discuss the three primary switch types and what to anticipate in the sections below.

Linear switches

When fully pressed, this switch type provides no tactile feedback, making for a comfortable typing experience. You experience roughly the same level of force from start to finish as you would with a membrane keyboard. As a result, compared to the other two switch options, this also means that keypresses are much quieter. One of the most popular options for modern linear mechanical keyboards is Cherry MX Red switch. MX Black switch is also a linear switches, but it is “heavire” than the red one. Some users compare MX Black’s typing experience to that of playing the piano. 

If you would prefer to use a keyboard that is quiter. Cherry MX Silent Red will be your choice. In addition to the sound difference between the red switch and the silent red switch, I believe the silent red switch is just as enjoyable and light as the red switch, but it feels softer than the red shaft.

Tactile switches

This switch type will provide some tactile feedback when completely pressed, as the name implies. A tiny bump is produced when the key is depressed, giving the user a more engaging typing experience. The keypresses will be louder than in the linear version as a result, but it’s a good compromise that isn’t too loud. For typing, many users favor tactile switches because they improve input accuracy while lowering unintentional key presses. One of the most used options for tactile mechanical keyboards nowadays is Cherry MX Brown switches. ​​​​​​

Clicky switches

This type of switch is similar to the tactile option in many ways, but it gives an extra level of physical feedback. As their name suggests, they give the most clicky satisfaction of the three options. They are well-known for making that loud sound of typing on a keyboard, which makes them very easy to spot. On the other hand, you won’t have to press a key all the way down for it to work. One of the most popular choices for clicky mechanical keyboards today is Cherry MX Blue switches. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Final words

For beginners, you can consider the red switch and the brown switch. The main reason is that the trigger weight is not that heavy and is easier to use.

The ranking of the sound level is listed for your reference: MX Silent Red switch< Black switch< Red switch< Brown switch< Green switch. If you mainly use it in the office or dormitory, the MX Silent Red switch, Black switch, and Red switch will be more suitable. Because it makes a loud noise, the green switch is appropriate for use at home.

The switches listed above are relatively common and interesting ones, but all kinds of switches have their supporters. As for the feel, there are really different opinions. Some people like the quiet mechanical keyboard, while others just like the loud one. I strongly advise everyone to go to the store and try them on to see which one is best suited to you.

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