Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Mechanical keyboard switches are quite famous for providing numerous benefits and increase the productivity of computer gamers, programmers, and content writers. This article will introduce you to the market-leading options available and inform you of the possible advantages and disadvantages proposed by mechanical switches. So, without any further delay, let’s dig into the article.

Comparison Chart of the Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches

PRODUCTDETAILS
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OUTEMU (Gaote) Black Switch

  • Makes changing keys much easier
  • Keys are smooth and very quiet
  • Offers more comfortable experience
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ZugGear T1 Tactile Keyboard Switch

  • Offers a unique and 'tactile' feel
  • Durable and high-quality
  • Keys are very responsive to touch
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Cherry MX Red Key Switches

  • Best for the Money
  • Best suited to typists and gamers
  • There is no audible clicking when typing
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Cherry MX Brown Key Switches

  • Quietest Mechanical Keyboard Switches
  • Made to be quiet and last a long time
  • Compatible with most mechanical keyboards
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Cherry MX Blue Keyswitch - MX1AE1NN

  • Loudest Mechanical Keyboard Switches
  • Comes with LED option
  • Well-packaged for better delivery
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Pros and Cons of Upgrading Your Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Every single thing in this universe entails both pros and cons. Likewise, mechanical switches are beneficial and disadvantageous at the same time. In this section, we will try our best to make you aware of all the pros and cons of using one of these.

Pros

The following aspects make the mechanical switches useful.

Durable

As far as durability is concerned, mechanical keyboard switches are more trustworthy than membrane keyboard switches. Mechanical switches offer more lifespan and claim to live for up to 50 to 70 million keystrokes, which is quite good for heavy use.

Anti-Tear and Anti-Ghosting

They remain intact after several uses. Apart from that, they don’t send wrong or inaccurate signals to the PC if various keypresses take place simultaneously. Hence, you will always observe the right input, even on multiple keystrokes.

Less Actuation Required

Another advantage of choosing mechanical switches is that you will have to exert less pressure for pressing the keys since it requires a medium actuation force.

Cons

Mechanical keyboard switches come with some limitations, which are as follows.

Loud

Mechanical switches create click sounds on every keypress. These sounds are displeasing to some programmers. Those that claim to be quieter are not totally silent but make relatively least distracting sounds.

Pricey

These are costly, perhaps on account of great sturdiness. Whatever the reason, they can affect your budget heavily.

ZugGear T1 Tactile Keyboard Switch

Quick Take - Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Just looking for the three best mechanical keyboard switches? Here they are:

  1. OUTEMU (Gaote) Black Switch
  2. ZugGear T1 Tactile Keyboard Switch
  3. Cherry MX Red Key Switches

Review of the Best Mechanical Keyboard Switches

To help you pick out the best units, we have chosen some that are quite easy-to-use and beneficial to the majority of the target audience. For a better understanding of the product, cons, and customer feedback are also included in the review.

PROS

  • These are linear and quiet 
  • Installation does not require soldering
  • Actuation point is pretty close, only 2mm away
  • Compatible with a large number of branded keyboards
  • Long-running switches guarantee 50 million keystrokes life

CONS

  • Pins bend easily
  • These seem to be heavier than most
  • Switch puller, included in the package, is fragile

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers reported that these mechanical switches are pretty up to the mark except for the pins that bend even on shipping. Most gamers gave positive feedback and said nice words about them. According to them, these are perfect for their endless gaming. All the customers approved the credibility of this unit.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

Well, this unit is worth recommending for a lot of reasons. The most interesting capability is that they are hot-swappable, meaning the installation procedure is free from the effort of soldering or desoldering the iron. Next comes the type of these switches. These are linear switches that are bound to make no sound on key clicks.

Who Will Use This Most

Gaming enthusiasts can use these for precise keypresses. Moreover, being linear, they contribute to the silent performance of the keyboard. Office workers and bankers always prefer quieter switches in order to maintain a peaceful environment. Keeping this mind, we would recommend these to the aforementioned people.

Bottom Line

These, being linear, silent, and hot-swappable, are going to meet the expectations of all customers. Moreover, the actuation point is pretty close to the keycap. Thus, the keyclick will be registered immediately. Install these mechanical keyboard switches, and enjoy relaxing, untroubled, and soundless typing and gaming.

PROS

  • Minimum travel distance, about 4mm
  • Comes with through-hole for housing LED lights
  • These smokey colored switches do not block RGB lights
  • Enhanced tactile bump due to the involvement of 67g gold plated stem
  • Tactile switches consist of five pins, suitable for both PCB and plate mount keyboards

CONS

  • Advertised as Holy Panda clones, but tactility is not that strong
  • Not as properly lubed as the company claimed and may require further lubrication after some time

What Recent Buyers Report

The customers of these switches are happy with their purchase. Few buyers did not find the tactility performance up to the level of Holy Panda switches. Still, they love this product for a cost-effective price. What the majority of the buyers loved the most is the hollow space provided for the accommodation of LED lights.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These are equipped with a round tactile bump, which gives the users distinct feedback that the key is pressed and the input has been registered successfully. Furthermore, these transparent-colored switches possess a hollow space to allow the installation of LED or RGB lights. What a fantastic switch!

Who Will Use This Most

Some professional gamers lose control of the games if the keys are light to press, which is why they look for keyboards that accompany heavy tactile switches. These are a perfect match for the mechanical keyboards of those gamers, as they are a little heavy and help the gamers avoid accidental keystrokes.

Bottom Line

These ensure long keyclick life, up to 50 million keystrokes. This means you can spend months of heavy typing with them. In addition to that, these transparent switches are also compatible with your RGB backlit keyboards. Upgrade your gaming experience by using these and get rid of mistaken key clicks.

Best for the Money:
Cherry MX Red Key Switches

PROS

  • Linear in nature
  • Ensures silent performance
  • Travel distance is only 2mm
  • Boasts exceptionally low actuation force, 0.45 N
  • Offers compatibility with nearly every mechanical keyboard

CONS

  • Pins are of inferior quality

What Recent Buyers Report

All the buyers delightfully reported that these are not only light to touch but are also quieter than many other mechanical keyboard switches. No negative feedback was received regarding their functionality. More than half of the positive comments came from expert gamers who liked these for minimal actuation force.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stands out in the crowd for three main reasons. First of all, this linear switch requires minimal actuation force of 0.45 N, indicating that the user does not have to apply much pressure to press the keys.

Secondly, it is compatible with a broad range of keyboards, including Havitm, Redragon, Mechanical eagle, Corsair, Aukey, and Huo Ji. Last but not least, this all-benefits-in-one unit comes at affordable prices.

Who Will Use This Most

Well, the usability of mechanical switches is solely a matter of personal requirements and desires. Some typists, who work in environments where clicky sounds can disturb the coworkers or other staff, can make the most of these. Similarly, nimble gamers can opt for these since it will be beneficial for them to press the key halfway and execute the game controls at a faster rate.

Bottom Line

The life of most typists and programmers, who not only prefer responsive switches but also dislike the clicky noises, has become easier due to the availability of this switch. It is already winning the hearts of its buyers. Therefore, we also recommend you to add this product to your cart and make a decent purchase.

Quietest Mechanical Keyboard Switches:
Cherry MX Brown Key Switches

PROS

  • Reset timings are shorter
  • Silent keypresses take place
  • Made of plastic polymer which is quite durable
  • Only 45gm of force is needed for the key to record
  • Tactile switches applicable to many mechanical keyboards

CONS

  • Pins lack robustness

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers appreciated the tendency of the spring of the switch that instantly comes back to its original position after every keypress. People consider this to be the intermediary switch between Cherry MX blues and Cherry MX reds. After acknowledging customers’ remarks, it was easier for us to include this product in our top recommendations.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This switch is, no doubt, a wonderful combination of Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX blue switches. It boasts a tactile bump distinct enough for anyone to determine the completion of a keypress. Besides that, it releases no audible sound for the keypresses so that the end-users can type their lengthy documents or play games at peace.

Who Will Use This Most

We believe that these are ideal for every type of use, including general purpose use, programming, content writing, and gaming. If somebody wants to acquire peace during typing or gaming, this quiet switch is best for him. 

Plus, gamers and typists who want the perfect balance of stiffness and lightness should try these switches as they require medium actuation force.

Bottom Line

With so many extraordinary capabilities like quietness, detectable tactility, and durability, this switch is undeniably a marvel. The ‘no audible sound’ feature makes it appropriate for offices so that the comfort zone of other colleagues is not compromised. The far-ranging compatibility enables you to seat these switches in almost every mechanical keyboard.

Loudest Mechanical Keyboard Switches:
Cherry MX Blue Keyswitch - MX1AE1NN

PROS

  • Actuation force is 50g
  • Tactile bump feels great
  • Boasts sturdy construction
  • Creates a loud, clicky sound on every keypress
  • 50 million keystrokes are claimed to be the switch’s lifespan

CONS

  • Too loud for office use
  • Not suitable for RGB keyboards due to opaque casing

What Recent Buyers Report

People have gone crazy for the clicky sound of Cherry MX blue switches. Some of the buyers felt irritated due to these sounds. On the other hand, the majority of the customers reported that the audible sound keeps the typing session entertaining and lively. These are pretty versatile in the users’ opinion.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This mechanical keyboard switch boasts many phenomenal qualities, one of which is a loud click sound that confirms the registration of keystrokes. The second one is the special feel and bumpy feedback on each keystroke, which enables the user to type faster, and the gamer to take full control of the game.

Who Will Use This Most

Some typists and gamers appreciate the sound of clicks. Thus, this mechanical keyboard switch will be a great option for such typists and gamers. The actuation force is slightly bigger in magnitude. Hence, those who often make keystrokes by mistake should give it a try as these switches require long presses.

Bottom Line

In all, these are no less than a surprise to the fans of audible switches. Combined with a more pronounced tactile bump, these intend to enhance the performance of mechanical keyboards. Whether you are a heavy typist or a professional, fast-paced gamer, these will attract you for sure.

How To Change Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Changing mechanical keyboard switches is not as much difficult or tedious as it is assumed to be. Below are the simple steps that we want you to follow for easy-going replacement:.

Before beginning with the procedure, make sure you have all the required tools such as a screwdriver, keycap puller, pliers, soldering iron, cleaning sponge, and iron sucking pump, placed beside you.

  1.     Unscrew the keyboard case and take the circuit board out.

  2.     Turn on the soldering station.

  3.      Meanwhile, pull out the keycaps using a keycap puller. Unscrew the keyboard case and take the circuit board out.

  4.     As soon as the soldering iron reaches the high temperature (minimum required 350 degrees C), keep the sponge close to you for quick access.

  5.     Start desoldering the electrical prongs of the switches, present at the backside of the PCB. Remove the melted iron through the sucking pump before it resolidifies. Make sure you wipe away the residue from the tip of the soldering iron with the help of a sponge.

  6.     If your keyboard has LEDs below the switches, then follow the same desoldering instructions to take the LEDs apart.

  7.    Now, remove the switches and LED lights. If you feel that the switch still stands firm, then desolder it again.

  8.    Once all the switches are pulled apart, it’s time to install the new ones. Place the new switches in their positions. In the case of plate mount keyboards, it is necessary to snip off the plastic legs entailed by the switch.

  9.    Then, resolder the iron on the electrical contact. The LEDs will be resoldered in the same way, but be careful about the right alignment of anodes and cathodes.

  10.    After completing the resoldering of all electrical contacts, check if all the keys are working or not. If any switch does not respond, it means you have to resolder the electrical contact of the particular switch properly.

  11.    After being satisfied with the status of all the switches, close the keyboard and attach the keycaps to their respective positions. That’s it!

If further assistance is required, be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of what was just described.

Conclusion

All the above-mentioned mechanical keyboard switches are phenomenal and own a perfect blend of capabilities like optimum actuation force, clicky sounds, non-clicky keystrokes, durability, and significant tactility. Hopefully, purchasing one on our recommendation will provide you the utmost contentment, and next-level gaming, and typing experience.

People Also Ask

Many people are found to ask questions regarding the credibility and maintenance of mechanical keyboard switches. Here is the proper answer to some common queries.

What Are the Different Types of Switches?

Mechanical keyboard switches come in three different types, linear, tactile, and clicky. These types differ from each other on the basis of keypress performance.

Linear switches are quieter with no bump feeling. Tactile switches provide a distinguishable impact in the middle of the keystroke as an indication that the input signal has been recognized. Clicky switches produce a noticeable crisp sound every time the key is depressed.

What is the Difference Between Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

These products are different from membrane keyboard switches. When the former is depressed, it completes the circuit beneath the switch housing, and as a result, the signals are sent to PC.

Meanwhile, in membrane keyboards, a rubber dome is responsible for bridging the gap between the key and circuit. Mechanical keyboard switches give a nice tactile response, whereas membrane keyboard switches don’t do that.

How to Clean Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Remove the keycaps. Suck the contaminants present in or around the switch using a vacuum cleaner. Use a discarded toothbrush to clean the dirt accumulated in the uneven surface of the switch.

Then, with a wipe damped with cleaning solution, remove all the dirt. Put the keycaps back into their places. Heavy typists are advised to maintain the cleanliness of their keyboards once a week for boosted performance.

What Are Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Switches seated on mechanical keyboards are called mechanical keyboard switches. These send input by connecting the circuit mechanically. They are louder but more efficient than membrane keyboard switches. They are easily replaceable and offer a variety of models. Gaming enthusiasts, students, and professional typists prefer mechanical keyboard switches.