Choosing your keyswitches?

Keyswitches are one of the most important aspects of a mechanical keyboard. Getting to know your options will help you get the most out of your keyboard.

What are mechanical keyswitches?

Each key on a mechanical keyboard hides an actual physical switch under it. Typing on these mechanical switches is a very different experience from typing on regular ones. The keys have more travel and are much more tactile; you don’t have to press a key all the way down to get it to register, which makes typing easier on the fingers; and of course, mechanical keyboards have their own unique sound. They sound like a keyboard.

What are your options?

When buying one of our keyboards, you get to choose from many keyswitch types. When choosing your switches, there are several things you should consider:

  • How much noise do you want your keyboard to make? Do you want a clicky switch or a non-clicky switch?
  • Do you prefer a smoother typing experience, or do you want to feel a slight bump when the key is actuated? Do you want a linear (“no bump”) or a tactile switch?
  • How much force do you want to use when typing on your keyboard? Measured in grams of pressure.

If you can find some friends with mechanical keyboards, try out different keyswitches to see what feels best under your fingers.

Finally, remember: This decision is not forever. You can swap out the keyswitches on our keyboard anytime, no soldering required.

Our keyswitches

Here are the keyswitches we currently offer.

Cherry MX brown

Cherry MX brown

Our most popular switch. Cherry MX Brown switches are tactile and quiet. Excellent for office use. These are a preferred choice for developers, writers, and anyone who works long hours in front of the computer.

Actuation force
45±20gf
Pre-travel
2.0±0.6mm

Cherry MX blue

Cherry MX blue

Almost as popular as the Browns, MX Blue are everyone's favorite "clicky" switch. Easily recognizable by their signature audible clicking sound. Ideal for people who work from home, or have colleagues who appreciate old-school mechanical keyboards.

Actuation force
50±15gf
Pre-travel
2.0±0.6mm

Kailh bronze [SpeedSwitch]

Kailh bronze [SpeedSwitch]

Popcorn in keyboard form. These are clicky in a way we’ve never experienced before: Clicks once on the downstroke, and clicks again on the upstroke. A high-pitched, crisp click. Light, precise, and utterly unique — this keyswitch is addictive.

These switches actuate before the audible click. This means you can tap them very lightly and still get a character on your screen.

Actuation force
50±10gf
Pre-travel
1.4±0.3mm

Kailh gold [SpeedSwitch]

Kailh gold [SpeedSwitch]

An extremely fun keyswitch — we would almost say it’s exciting to type on. Its click is crisp and precise, and its actuation is smooth. Just typing on this switch would make you feel productive.

These switches actuate before the audible click. This means you can tap them very lightly and still get a character on your screen.

Actuation force
60±10gf
Pre-travel
1.4±0.3mm

Kailh silver [SpeedSwitch]

Kailh silver [SpeedSwitch]

This is an extremely smooth keyswitch. Light enough not to tire your fingers, and quiet, too. You can feel the linear resistance, but it’s not too much — just springy enough so that you feel you’re actually pressing something. Ideal for soft typing in an office environment.

These switches actuate before the audible click. This means you can tap them very lightly and still get a character on your screen.

Actuation force
40±10gf
Pre-travel
1.1±0.3mm

Kailh copper [SpeedSwitch]

Kailh copper [SpeedSwitch]

Quite similar to the Kailh Silver, only these are tactile. So even though it’s specced the same in terms of actuation force, to our fingers these switches felt heavier than the Silver. Just as smooth as the Silver, but louder and a bit more muscular. Think “Brown lite”.

These switches actuate before the audible click. This means you can tap them very lightly and still get a character on your screen.

Actuation force
40±10gf
Pre-travel
1.1±0.3mm

Kailh box brown

Kailh box brown

As we've come to expect from a switch labeled Brown, the tactile bump is gentle. These feel solid, right between a loud clicky switch and a smooth linear. Actuated slowly, you'd feel an almost buckling effect as the switch reaches its tactile point.

Actuation force
50±15gf
Pre-travel
1.8±0.3mm

Kailh box red

Kailh box red

These are very civil switches. Typing on them is a pleasant, gentle experience. The linear action is easy on the fingers, and the sound is a little muted. Like other Kailh switches, actuation is beautifully smooth and fluid.

Actuation force
45±15gf
Pre-travel
1.8±0.3mm

Kailh box white

Kailh box white

Slightly lower in pitch than the Kailh Gold, these are clicky to the point of being crunchy. Actuation is a smidge lighter, and it feels as though the box design might result in a slightly more resonant click.

Actuation force
45±10gf
Pre-travel
1.8±0.3mm

Kailh box black

Kailh box black

Oh, such springy smoothness. We often think of Black switches as somewhat firm due to the high actuation force, but the buttery smooth action of the Box Black makes them feel lighter somehow. These switches still push back, but they don't feel tiresome.

Actuation force
60±10gf
Pre-travel
1.8±0.3mm

A summary

Finally, here’s a quick table comparing all of our keyswitches:

SwitchForcePre-TravelFeelNotes
Cherry MX brown45±20gf2.0±0.6mmtactileTactile and quiet. A preferred choice for developers, writers, and anyone who works long hours in front of the computer.
Cherry MX blue50±15gf2.0±0.6mmclickyEveryone's favorite "clicky" switch. Easily recognizable by their signature audible clicking sound.
Kailh bronze50±10gf1.4±0.3mmclickyClicks once on the downstroke, and clicks again on the upstroke. A high-pitched, crisp click. Light, precise, and utterly unique - this keyswitch is addictive.
Kailh gold60±10gf1.4±0.3mmclickyIts click is crisp and precise, and its actuation is smooth.
Kailh silver40±10gf1.1±0.3mmlinearThis is an extremely smooth keyswitch. Light enough not to tire your fingers, and quiet, too. Ideal for soft typing in an office environment.
Kailh copper40±10gf1.1±0.3mmtactileQuite similar to the Kailh Silver, only these are tactile. Think “Brown lite”.
Kailh box brown50±15gf1.8±0.3mmtactileAs we've come to expect from a switch labeled Brown, the tactile bump is gentle. These feel solid, right between a loud clicky switch and a smooth linear.
Kailh box red45±15gf1.8±0.3mmlinearThese are very civil switches. Typing on them is a pleasant, gentle experience. The linear action is easy on the fingers, and the sound is a little muted. Like other Kailh switches, actuation is beautifully smooth and fluid.
Kailh box white45±10gf1.8±0.3mmclickySlightly lower in pitch than the Kailh Gold, these are clicky to the point of being crunchy. Actuation is a smidge lighter, and it feels as though the box design might result in a slightly more resonant click.
Kailh box black60±10gf1.8±0.3mmlinearOh, such springy smoothness. We often think of Black switches as somewhat firm due to the high actuation force, but the buttery smooth action of the Box Black makes them feel lighter somehow. These switches still push back, but they don't feel tiresome.
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