Smith Corona Leaf Springs aren't actually that bad

User avatar
Karmel

29 Jul 2021, 23:28

Yesterday I found this Smith Corona DX 3600 typewriter at a Goodwill, although unlike most of the ones that I find that come with Mitsumi KKR switches, this one had the infamously bad leaf spring switches.
Spoiler:
SC_DX3600.png
SC_DX3600.png (515.26 KiB) Viewed 324 times
SC_leafspring.png
SC_leafspring.png (546.24 KiB) Viewed 324 times
Strangely, it doesn't have any of the traits that I remember them having. I had found another one like a year ago that I didn't buy, from what I can remember it was super scratchy and most of the larger keys would get stuck when pressed off-axis. This one by contrast is very smooth and all of the keys go down perfectly no matter where they are pressed.

As for the key feel, it's very unique. It is exponential, the travel starts off very light but then gets super stiff half way through, it's probably due to the leaf pressing down on the dome. It gets so stiff that bottoming out wares my hands out almost immediately. The actuation occurs right as it gets stiffer though, making it really easy to not bottom while typing, I could probably write an entire book on this thing without bottoming out once.

I'm not sure what causes the difference in key feel between these keyboards, it might have something to do with condition but I'm not sure. One useful thing that I've used to identify what switches are in these is the colour of the sub legends, if it's blue it most likely has Mitsumi KKR, if it's red then it's probably leaf springs, this one has purple-ish subs and an italicized font, I don't know if that means that this has a different variant of the switches or not.

These Smith Corona keyboards aren't well documented, so there's probably more to it that nobody knows about. I don't think it goes beyond leaf springs and Mitsumis, but you never know.

User avatar
Jesseg

30 Jul 2021, 03:20

Karmel wrote:
29 Jul 2021, 23:28
Yesterday I found this Smith Corona DX 3600 typewriter at a Goodwill, although unlike most of the ones that I find that come with Mitsumi KKR switches, this one had the infamously bad leaf spring switches.
Spoiler:
SC_DX3600.png
SC_leafspring.png
Strangely, it doesn't have any of the traits that I remember them having. I had found another one like a year ago that I didn't buy, from what I can remember it was super scratchy and most of the larger keys would get stuck when pressed off-axis. This one by contrast is very smooth and all of the keys go down perfectly no matter where they are pressed.

As for the key feel, it's very unique. It is exponential, the travel starts off very light but then gets super stiff half way through, it's probably due to the leaf pressing down on the dome. It gets so stiff that bottoming out wares my hands out almost immediately. The actuation occurs right as it gets stiffer though, making it really easy to not bottom while typing, I could probably write an entire book on this thing without bottoming out once.

I'm not sure what causes the difference in key feel between these keyboards, it might have something to do with condition but I'm not sure. One useful thing that I've used to identify what switches are in these is the colour of the sub legends, if it's blue it most likely has Mitsumi KKR, if it's red then it's probably leaf springs, this one has purple-ish subs and an italicized font, I don't know if that means that this has a different variant of the switches or not.

These Smith Corona keyboards aren't well documented, so there's probably more to it that nobody knows about. I don't think it goes beyond leaf springs and Mitsumis, but you never know.
I had one of these too, it was in good condition and the switches were actually really smooth, they binded a tiny bit but not too bad, but yeah the weighting is horrible, its like infinitely stiff and you can never actually tell when you've bottomed out...

User avatar
Bitteneite

30 Jul 2021, 04:53

Someone should put them into those switch testers, so that we can all bask in the utmost Honor & Glory of Pinnacle Keyboard Engineering.

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