The Ultimate Guide to Buying Keyboard Switches

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Whether you’re a seasoned typist, a gamer, or just someone who spends a lot of time at a computer, the type of keyboard switch you use can significantly impact your typing experience. Keyboard switches come in a variety of types, each with its own unique feel and characteristics. In this ultimate guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about where to buy keyboard switches so you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

Understanding Keyboard Switch Basics

Before delving into the various types of keyboard switches, it’s essential to understand the fundamental components of a switch and how they work. A keyboard switch is a mechanical or membrane-based mechanism beneath each keycap that registers a keypress when pressed and releases when you let go. The main components of a mechanical switch include:

  • Keycap: The visible top part of the key that you press.
  • Switch housing: The enclosure that holds all the components of the switch.
  • Stem: The part of the switch that moves up and down when you press a key.
  • Spring: A crucial component that provides resistance and helps the key return to its original position after pressing.
  • Contacts: The electrical components that make the connection when the key is pressed.

Mechanical switches are favored by many enthusiasts for their tactile feedback, durability, and precise actuation. Membrane switches are found in most standard rubber-dome keyboards and offer a quieter, softer typing experience.

Types of Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Mechanical keyboard switches come in various types, each offering a unique typing experience. The three primary categories of mechanical switches are:

1. Tactile Switches

Tactile switches provide feedback with a noticeable bump when you press the key. This feedback helps typists know when a keypress has registered without bottoming out the key. Popular tactile switches include:

  • Cherry MX Brown: Offers a soft tactile bump with a light actuation force, making it ideal for typists and gamers who want a balance between typing and gaming performance.
  • Logitech Romer-G: Known for its quick actuation and quiet typing experience, making it suitable for office environments.

2. Clicky Switches

Clicky switches, as the name suggests, produce an audible click sound when pressed. These switches provide both tactile feedback and audible confirmation. Popular clicky switches include:

  • Cherry MX Blue: Known for its distinctive click sound and pronounced tactile bump, making it a favorite among typists who enjoy the audible feedback.
  • Razer Green: Offers a similar clicky experience to Cherry MX Blue switches but with a slightly shorter actuation distance.

3. Linear Switches

Linear switches lack the tactile bump and audible click found in tactile and clicky switches. They provide a smooth keystroke from top to bottom. Popular linear switches include:

  • Cherry MX Red: Requires minimal force to actuate and doesn’t provide tactile feedback, making it popular among gamers who prefer fast keypresses.
  • Gateron Red: Similar to Cherry MX Red but often smoother and more affordable.

Factors to Consider When Buying Keyboard Switches

Choosing the right keyboard switch involves considering several factors, including:

1. Typing Preference

Your typing style and preference play a significant role in selecting the right switch. If you prefer tactile feedback, opt for tactile switches. Gamers who want quick, quiet keypresses may prefer linear switches.

2. Noise Level

Consider the noise level of the switch. Clicky switches can be quite noisy, which may not be suitable for a shared workspace or a quiet environment.

3. Actuation Force

Different switches have varying actuation forces. Some require a lighter touch, while others need more force to register a keypress. Choose one that matches your comfort level.

4. Durability

Mechanical switches are known for their durability, but some are more robust than others. Check the switch’s rated lifespan in keypresses.

5. Brand and Compatibility

There are various switch manufacturers, including Cherry, Gateron, and Romer-G. Make sure the switches you choose are compatible with your keyboard.

6. Budget

Mechanical keyboards with high-quality switches can be expensive. Consider your budget and prioritize the features that matter most to you.


Selecting the right keyboard switch is a personal choice that depends on your typing style, preferences, and needs. Whether you’re a typist, gamer, or just someone who spends hours at the computer, the right switch can enhance your typing experience. Take your time to test different switches if possible and consider the factors mentioned in this guide to make an informed decision. With the perfect keyboard switch, you can type and game with comfort and precision.


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