Mechanical keyboards have seen a huge resurgence in popularity among gamers, programmers, and typing enthusiasts in recent years. A big part of what makes mechanical keyboards so satisfying to use comes down to the mechanical switches under each key. The type of switch used can have a dramatic impact on the overall feel, performance, and sound profile of a mechanical keyboard like GMK67. Here’s a deeper look at why mechanical switches are so crucial to a high performing mechanical keyboard.
What Are Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
The switches in a mechanical keyboard are spring-loaded mechanisms under each keycap that provide tactile feedback and an audible click when actuated. This contrasts with rubber dome membrane keyboards often found on consumer laptops and keyboards which use pressure pads, contacts, and rubber domes that collapse to register a keystroke.
Mechanical switches on the other hand have separate moving pieces and a spring which provides a precise feel. There are several types of mechanical switches on the market from brands like Cherry, Kailh, Logitech, Razer, and more. The most common switch types are linear switches which have a smooth press, tactile switches which have a noticeable bump during the keypress, and clicky switches which have an audible click.
Why Mechanical Switches Matter
The type of mechanical switch used in a keyboard can have major implications on performance and the overall user experience. Here are some of the key reasons mechanical switches are so important for a high performing keyboard like monsgeek m2:
Precision – Mechanical switches register key presses right at the actuation point for consistent, precise typing. The audible and tactile feedback improves accuracy.
Speed – Mechanical keyboards have less travel distance to actuate so keys can be pressed faster. The springs also provide faster reset for quick repeated keystrokes.
Durability – Quality mechanical switches are designed for tens of millions of key presses. The moving parts tend to hold up better over years of use compared to rubber domes.
Customization – Switches allow users to customize actuation distance, feedback style, and sound profile by choosing linear, tactile or clicky switches.
Satisfaction – The physical keypress of mechanical switches is simply more satisfying to many users and improves the overall typing experience.
Considering Switch Types
With so many mechanical switch types on the market, it’s important to understand the differences to find the right switch for your needs:
- Linear – Linear switches like Cherry MX Red have a smooth press from top to bottom with no bump. They are popular for gaming due to the rapid presses.
- Tactile – Tactile switches like Cherry MX Brown provide a noticeable bump during the press without an audible click. The feedback allows for faster, more accurate typing.
- Clicky – Clicky switches like Cherry MX Blue provide both a tactile bump and audible click. The sound can be satisfying but noisy.
- Silent – Silent switches reduce noise either with rubber dampeners or by dampening the upstroke click. Useful in shared spaces.
- Light/Heavy – Switches also differ in actuation force with light switches requiring less force and heavy switches having higher actuation force.
- Fast/Slow – Some specialty switches optimize for faster actuation like Kailh Speed switches or slower actuation to reduce errors.
Considering Your Usage
Ultimately, the ideal switch type for you depends heavily on your intended use case:
- For gaming, linear red switches allow rapid tapping without noise. Tactile switches also work well.
- For typing, tactile or clicky blue switches provide the best feedback for touch typists.
- For coding, tactile switches offer feedback to reduce errors while avoiding noisy clicking.
- For general use, brown tactile switches provide a nice middle ground of feedback without excessive noise.
- For data entry, fast light linear switches can improve workflow and reduce fatigue.
Testing switches firsthand at a local retailer can help determine personal preference. The sounds samples of typing on different switches found online can also help buyers decide.
The Advantage of Mechanical Switches
At the end of the day, quality mechanical switches offer noticeable advantages in feel, performance, and satisfaction over non-mechanical alternatives – especially for intensive typing and gaming uses. The level of precision, speed, durability, and customization provided by the wide range of mechanical switch options allows buyers to truly optimize their keyboard experience making mechanical switches one of the most important factors when choosing a high performing keyboard.