Choosing switches is reminiscent of picking your starter Pokémon. The three main choices, linear, tactile, and clicky, all have their pros and cons that make it a tough decision to make. It boils down to how you will be using your keyboard, the environment you will be using it in, and finally, personal preference. In this article, we will break down why you should use linear switches in your mechanical keyboard! For those serious gamers or fast typers, this may be the perfect switch for you.
Why You Should Be Using Linear Switches in Your Mechanical Keyboard
June 24, 2021
Unlike its tactile counterparts, linear mechanical switches provide a seamless operation; pressing down creates a smooth, unimpeded glide until it reaches the keyboard. This quick and precise actuation is ideal for those users who use their mechanical keyboards for high-intensity gaming or fast-paced typing. Less resistance equates to a faster reaction time, allowing your fingers to glide effortlessly across your board.
Of course, some linears are quicker than others. Switches with higher spring or actuation weights can take more force and time to press down completely. Some users prefer "bottoming out" their switches, letting them strike the keyboard's plate, while others prefer the more pillow-like nature of heavier switches.
Unlike their clicky cousins, linear switches produce no audible sound when pressed. If you regularly bottom out your keys, there may be a sound made when the cap strikes the plate. However, installing O-rings to reduce a bottom out's harshness can make the keyboards of even the heaviest typers whisper quiet. A quieter keyboard is helpful for office or school situations where loud sounds can be distracting. The click and clack of a mechanical keyboard can be grating to others in a confined space, so they'll be thanking you for not using a tactile or clicky switch!
The Beginner's Switch
When transitioning from the usual membrane keyboard to a mechanical alternative, the wide variety of switch types, manufacturers, materials, and more can become overwhelming. Linears are the swiss army knife of switches - perfectly balanced for typing and gaming. As previously mentioned, their quiet nature makes them suited for all sorts of environments. Finally, if you get into modding switches and decide to lube your linears, the process is a little less complex and precise than lubing tactile or clicky switches.
Linears come in a range of flavors, but we have compiled the popular options that we are sure you'll be satisfied with, depending on your preferences.
Kailh/Gateron Reds: A medium spring weight and standard key travel make these two linears ideal for beginners looking for the Honda Civic of mechanical keyboard switches: reliable, easy to operate, and affordable.
Kailh Speed Silver: Speed switches come with light springs and shorter key travel distances. This speedier operation makes them incredibly quick to press in rapid succession - perfect for fast-paced games like shooters and MOBAs.
Gateron Black: A heavier switch than the two previously listed, Gateron Blacks provide more resistance while typing. Users have commented on the incredible smoothness and enjoy the heavier spring weight when typing for extended periods. Some users may experience finger fatigue when using heavier switches; it all comes down to preference!
To purchase these switches, visit our web store!
Do you like linear switches? What was the deciding factor for you when ordering them? Let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear from you!