Choosing The Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches For Gaming or Typing.
Have you looked at the cost of a cool new model mechanical keyboard and been like.. what?! Have you pondered what makes a mechanical keyboard any better than your regular keyboard? Other than the great looks of course. You may be tempted to think that mechanical keyboards are nothing but keyboards that are from the 70’s, aka overly glorified. You are not entirely wrong, mechanical keyboards have come a long way and were actually the first keyboards before they invented a cheaper to fabricate membrane keyboard. But the joy of a mechanical keyboard surpasses anything you can experience on a cheap membrane keyboard by far. The secret that is no longer much of a secret is to look under the hood. Today, we present the mechanical keyboard switch, a marvel of engineering and the basis of the entire revolution of the age of ones and zeros, on and off!
Choosing the best mechanical switches for gaming
So how do you pick the right mechanical keyboard for you? Well there are many products out there that claim to be the best mechanical keyboard for this or the other. Both typists and gamers are in need of some mechanical goodness, although the choice of mechanical keyboard switches between the two is mostly different. The most comfortable feel, speed and accuracy accompanied by the right kind of feedback is what cheap keyboards just can’t satisfy them with. Also of much importance is the durability of the entire construction.
So we have established that gamers and typists often want different feedback from a keyboard. But perhaps the most important factor of all is the design and construction of the switch. There are several common switch types and designs and additional variants customized by their various manufacturers. There are quite a lot of “best mechanical switches” considered for different tasks by enthusiasts. Find yours today!
Common types of key switches- Cherry MX Switches
Mechanical keyboards are not born equal and their difference comes with the construction of the underlying switch mechanisms that register a key press. Some of these switches are no longer manufactured and are quite rare but you can still salvage a functioning mechanical keyboard from your basement if you do have such a place for nostalgia. Unfortunately, the one thing that can tell you the worth of a keyboard is hidden from the eye and the only way to know for sure is to take it apart which might also damage the keyboard. Otherwise, it takes amazing skill to be able to determine what type of mechanical keyboard switch is used by pressing the keyboard. Do keep in mind that while some switches are preferred by many for different tasks, that it does not mean that you would prefer another one instead. In the end, it’s all about what feels the best for you!
Cherry MX black
The black MX switch is a subtle efficient keyboard for high speed typing featuring low sound and a 1.5mm distance which is highly adopted for high speed typing. They are linear (non-tactile) giving users a smooth feel. It makes it easier to double tap on keys because of the short distance of travel. Blacks are heavier meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally trigger a key by resting your finger on it. You don’t exactly have to be a master typing guru to adopt this keyboard for efficient typing. The short distance of travel makes it very efficient for gaming when you are required to make fast paced presses to effectively tackle opponents. It has a higher actuation force which many consider suitable for FPS gaming.
Cherry MX red
Cherry MX red switches are quite similar to blacks because they are both linear switches with non-tactile key press. Reds are much easier to actuate with only a mere 45cN actuation force. They are lighter and faster than blacks giving you a smoother transition to the world of mechanical keyboards if you are upgrading from membranes. Reds still enjoy much of the benefits of speed, accuracy and durability as other mechanical keyboards and are thus no lesser switches.
Cherry MX brown
These switches are the midpoint between typing and gaming switches. They are tactile with a soft bump halfway through the key press.
These tactile switches are not all the way tactile as they are still easy to double tap but also offer that desirable tactile feedback though not as noticeable as with blue switches. Browns are easy to actuate with minimal force.
Cherry MX blue
If you love typing or you type a lot you will love this click switch with an awesome tactile feedback. They are similar to typewriters and can be quite click when typing rapidly. If you type or game alone that shouldn’t present a problem.
With an actuation force greater than 60g and a distance of about 2.4 mm the blues are loudest and would give you the most mechanical feeling.
Cherry MX clear
The MC clear switch is one of the rare kinds that you will not find in most mechanical keyboards. They are proclaimed by many as more silent than blue switches but also more mechanical than brown switches. By definition, they have a more pronounced bump than brown ones. Simply put, the clear version is a stiffer brown switch.
Cherry MX green
The green switch is yet another rare MX switch which is nothing but a stiffer blue. With a staggering 80cN weight and an even more pronounced tactile bump, it doesn’t get any more mechanical than this. Yeah, it’s hard to imagine why someone would like to have it so hard pressing their keyboard but once you get the hang of it, you will see the beauty of gaming with a gaming keyboard tough as nuts.
Final thoughts on the switch
If you are a serious gamer or typing enthusiast, or you just love to collect cool devices, you will appreciate the benefits of a good mechanical keyboard. But your guess is right, not all mechanical keyboards you can buy on the internet today are worthy the name or even your money, time and effort. That is because of one factor, the same that separates the mechanical Keyboard from membrane keyboard – pretty much every other cheap keyboards you can buy – the mechanical keyboard switch.
The above are not the entire set of best mechanical keyboard switches for gaming on the market, there are other branded switches like Topres, Logitech, Razer, etc and each of them has a unique genius behind it.
More on switching mechanisms and the most value for the money are available in our other mechanical keyboard blogs. You will find that there so many more exciting facts why you should buy a mechanical today!