The Most Satisfying Clicky Mechanical Keyboard Switch
As many of you may already know, I love mechanical keyboards for writing and I urge you to try one yourself in 2020. For writing I by far prefer “clicky” switches. Linear ones (i.e. Cherry MX Red, Black) just don’t give enough feedback, except you plan to bottom them out by smashing into the keys anyways and tactiles ones (i.e. Cherry MX Brown) feel “scratchy” and unpleasent to me.
I like the snappy response of clicky switches.
Cherry MX Blue and Green
The most obvious and readily available choice for clicky switches are, of course, Cherry MX Blues. You can get those in most commercially available, pre-built keyboards. Cherry MX Greens are a bit rarer and mostly used for the larger keys on a keyboard, like the spacebar. They are essentially “heavier” Blues. It takes a bit more force and the resulting click feels a bit more satisfying.
So is the Cherry MX Green switch “clickier” than the Blue switch? Technically, no, but it certainly feels this way. Still, for me as a true “clicky switch enthusiast” this isn’t enough. I want something “snappier” something “stiffer”, something “crisper”. By the choice of my words you might already realize that the feeling of a keyboard key switch is highly subjective. Despite graphs and data on different switches being available the quest in finding “your perfect mechanical keyboard key switch” is a matter of individual perception. The differences within the same category of switch are usually subtle, especially for newcomers.
Kailh Box Switches
The scene for modding and building your own mechanical keyboards is huge and growing by the minute. It’s a fun hobby to pickup for gamers, programmers and of course writers. Heck, even pure collectors can pick it up and enjoy themselves. Once you look outside the realm of the mainstream Cherry MX switches, you realize that there is a plethora of different switches available. Like literally hundreds, many of them rare and obscure. If you decide to build your own mechanical keyboard or buy one with hot-swappable key switches (like the GMMK, Drop CRTL, Drop ALT and Logitech G PRO X) I really urge you to try the Kailh Box White, Jade and Navy switches.
The Kailh Box White switch is very smooth, easily activated and feels lighter than the Cherry MX Blue, yet has a more satsifying click to me. The Jade has a stronger recoil spring and also stronger clickbar and the Navy is even stronger in both categories. It’s harder to press, but clicks loud and audible in a deeper frequency. So if you don’t want to fully go explore the obscure realm of rare mechanical keyboard key switches yet, Kailh is your way to go. That Kailh Box Navy switch has a sweet satisfying click but will give your fingers plenty of workout. Also I feel that they are a bit more stabilized with less wobble than Cherrys.
A fresh new take on a clicky switch by NovelKeys and oh it sounds so sweet. It’s clingy, metallicy click is oh so satisfying to me. They’re not exceptionally hard to press down and give great feedback. Usually they are sold out or on pre-order though. Not easy to get your hands on. Also, you won’t find them in any readily available keyboards. It’s a true enthusiast’s mechanical keyboard key switch and especially recommended for avid typists and keyboard modders.
This, at the moment, is my favorite mechanical keyboard clicky switch. They may not sound as thunderous as the Kailh Box Navys, but to me they’re more satisfying to click, especially if you type really fast.
As I mentioned above, if you don’t want to go full build-my-own-mechanical-keyboard yet, get a GMMK, Drop CRTL, Drop ALT and Logitech G PRO X, as you can easily swap the key switches (and of course the caps too) on them.
With clicky switches I can reach my highest WPM ratings and make the least typos, I had the feeling that with the Sherbets I even improved in both categories a bit. But again, this was very subjective. They sound lovely and feel great though.
Make sure, that the keyboard is available in your keyboard layout. I usually buy my keyboards in ISO-DE layout (which is the standard layout for my country), but it is a pain, because the most obscure, rare and especially awesome options are not available for that layout. If you’re working with ANSI-US, you literally have the most options in creating, customizing and mixing and matching your mechanical keyboard to your very own, individual standards.
Also, this holds true for myself and many I know who are into mechanical keyboards: tastes change. You might chase after the perfect mechanical keyboard and once you think you found it, youre tastes might change. This is totally okay. Many of us use different keyboards in rotation just to keep things fresh. After all, typing a lot each day is easier done when every single key-stroke is pure fun, a haptic and audible pleasure.
No matter if you’re the “linear” or “tactile” or “clicky” kind of typist, there’s the perfect mechanical keyboard key switch out there for you (for a while). Maybe, you’re fine with Cherry MX key switches and that’s perfectly reasonable because there is not that much of a difference between all the key switches to be honest, except those which are exceptionally bad.
Moving forward I will explore tactile and linear switches for typing too, but my experiences so far have left me loving the clicky ones. But you know, gotta keep experimenting!
Speaking of experimenting, if you’re interested in the subject but don’t want to spend too much money up front, a good thing to do is getting a keyboard key switch tester. They’re available on Aliexpress, eBay and even on Amazon. Basically it’s an acryllic frame with as many as over 100 (depending on which size you choose) different mechanical keyboard key switches mounted onto them. Those are really a great place to start so see for yourself, how much effort you’re willing to invest just to get “that one” keyboard key switch. Just be sure to compare prices, as they vary wildly even for the same model of keyboard switch tester.
This article does not contain any affiliate links and is purely based on my personal opinion and experience. I hope you enjoyed reading it, thank you if you did !I’m not associated in any way to the Youtubers I linked to. All images and videos are strictly used under fair use for demonstration and commentary in a transformative matter.