Mechanical Keyboards

Wiki for mechanical keyboards.

General Discussion - @Cavemanthe0ne’s keyboard corner

Talk Page



WIP section, correct as needed. May feature incomplete information.

Mechanical keyboards differ from rubber dome keyboards in how they work. Mechanical keyboards have inidividual switches for each key on the board where rubber domes have typically 4 sheets that compirse the entire mechanism of the board, a sheet of rubber domes that collapse when you press them down, a top sheet of contacts, a seperator layer with holes under each key and a bottom contact layer, pressing they key collapses the rubber dome pressing the two contact layers together through the seperator layer.
The avantage of the mechanical approach over the rubber domes is that they mechanical switches have a longer life span than rubber domes and when a mechanical switch breaks you can replace the one broken switch, with a rubber done you need to replace the entire board.

Common types of mechanical switches include, Cherry MX and its clones, ALPS, Topre and Romer-G. There are other switch types as well but they are far less common, the wiki may expand later to include them too.

Cherry MX and its clones:


These will be by far the most common mechanical keyboard switch encountered. They work by utilising a slider that pushed two contacts together to complete the circuit and trigger the key press. That is the basic opperation which almost all MX style switches follow the differences come into the type of slider shape used and the strength of the spring under the slider. They are all named after the colour of the stem in the switch to differentiate them.

Linear Switches: So called because the travel feel of the slider is linear (straight up and down no interuptions). These commonly come in the form of Red and Black switches with other colours from some of the clones.

MX Red Switches:

Insert Image here

MX red switches, from almost all makers, are soft linear switches ith spring weights around 40g though there is some variation between switches and makers weights. these are commonly aimed at gemers due to how easy they are to press and rapid tap on the keys.

MX Black Switches:

Insert Image Here

Very similar to the MX Red Switch, the MX black switches are linear but with a heavier spring (55-60g) under the slider providing a little more resistance to being pressed, this can help with mistakenaly pressing keys and provides a more substantial typing feel. These are slo regularly aimed at gamers for similar reasons to the MX Reds.

Other Linear Switches:
These are less common version of linear MX switches and include the likes of Gateron Yellow (55-60g), Gateron Clear (35g) and Zeal PC/Gateron Tealios (teal coloured 67g) switches. All of the above descriptions apply just the spring weights change.

Tactile Switches: So called because the travel feel of the slider features a bump mid way through the key press. The bump allows users to press the key enough to register the press without having to “bottom out” the switch, resulting in slightly faster and quieter typing. These commonly come in the form of Cherry MX Brown, MX Clear and Zeal PC/Gateron Zealios switches with other colours from some of the clones.

MX Brown Switches:

Insert Image Here

The Brown switch is the lowest level of tactility available for a tactile switch. It features a soft spring like the MX Reds (40g) and a small bump at the actuation point on the slider for tactile feedback to the user that the key has been pressed. They are very popular switches amongst gamers and typists for its ease of pressing and its minimal tactile feedback making it good for fast repetitive presses for games and editing documents for typists. Sometimes referred to as a “dirty red” due to it feeling like a linear with some grit or dirt on the slider.

MX Clear Switches:

Insert Image Here

MX Clear switches are the original “proper” tactile switch featuring a reasonably large bump on the slider and a hard spring (90g). The larger tactile bump provides a much more posotive response to the key presses making it one of the most popular switches available. used havily by typists and keyboard enthusiasts alike. Frequently these switches were modified to “ergo clears” my replacing the heavy original spring with a mighter 68g spring. these made them much easier on the fingers and nicer all round to type on.

Zealios Switches:

Insert Image Here

Zealios switches are the combining of many upgrades and tewaks to the original MX Clear. Commissioned by Zeal PC for their store and made by Gateron they feature a purple slider with a sharper tactile bump than the Clears and a range or lighter spring to choose from (62g, 65g, 67g and 78g). They also feature a fully clear switch housing making them very suitable for LEDs. They are regarded as one of the best switches available at the moment.

Clicky switches: So called because they make an audible click when pressed. This can be achieved through a few different methods. A click jacket: A seperate piece of the slider that is loose and gets fired down once the switch passes its actuation point providing a tactile and audible feedback as the jacket hits the bottom of the switch. A click bar: instead of a loose jacket around the stem instead there is a small metal bar that is lifted and dropped with each press and return of the slider resulting in two clicks per press.

MX Blue Switches:

Insert Image Here

MX blue switches feature the click jacket style stem and a soft (40-45g) spring. The slider shape taken as a whole is close to an MX Clear stem but the part with the tactile bump on the Blue switch is free floating from the rest of the stem so that once the bump is passed the click jacket is shot down and hits the bottom of the switch housing.

MX Green Switches:

Insert Image Here

MX Greens are very similar to the MX Blues but with a heavier spring (80g).

Khail BOX Switches:

Insert Image here

Khail have come up with a different click method, the click bar. This works by Being raised when pressing the switch down and then being released as you pass the actuation point and letting it snap back and click against the switch housing. This also happen on the return stroke so you end up with two clicks per press where regular MX clicky switches onle have one on the down stroke.
They also come in a rage of colours for various weights (Note to editor: Fill in more information later on the colours and their weights)

Silenced Switches: So called becasue they have rubber built into the stem to help make the switches very quiet on both the up and down stroke. This was previously achieved through modifying the switches but has now been incorporated into the switches. Un like the other types of switches covered above SIlenced switches can cover both Linear and Tactile switches with Clicky being left out becasue making noise it the poin of those.

Cherry MX Silent Linears:

Insert Image here

Exactly the same as the regular MX Reds and Blacks but with the built in rubber in the stem that helps silence the switches at the sacrifice of a little mushyness.

Zealencio Switches

Insert Image here

Like the original Zealios switches, Zilencios are silenced versions of the Zealios tactile switches made by Gateron. They feature blue stems ranging from Teal to Navy depending on the spring weight ordered, as with Zealios switches they come in 62g, 65g, 67g and 78g weights.

Aliaz Switches:

Insert Image here

Aliaz Switches are commisioned by KBDfans for their store and made by Gateron. They are a brown style tactile switch with built in silencing. They come in a wine colour, (spring information to be filled in later)

END OF EDITING; Note for next time next time research ALPS switches and add information and correct and complete above information.