Best Tactile Switch?

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THATGUY69

29 Apr 2017, 04:45

I'm on a quest to find the best tactile switch. Right now my favorite is mx clears, but it is also the only tactile switch i've tried besides Mx browns and Alps blacks(Two of my least favorite switches). Let me know what your favorite tactile switch is, that way I know what I'm missing.

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Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

29 Apr 2017, 04:48

MX clear, with spring replaced by a lighter, 62-65g version. Light touch and huge tactile bump--ergo clears are great.

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Invisius

29 Apr 2017, 05:08

I also like the MX clears much more than browns, tried the Gaterons and thought they were pretty similar. I've since moved onto using SKCM browns when I'm not in the mood for something clicky. Nice smooth and pronounced bump without being too stiff.

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zslane

29 Apr 2017, 05:54

Topre (45g) is currently my favorite.

Matias tactiles are pretty decent, but I'm itching to try a board with Kaihua coppers (they look like MX browns but are designed differently and feel way, way better).

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taylorswiftttttt

29 Apr 2017, 05:57

I prefer dirty MX Blacks, also called MX Browns.

Thank you,
Taylor A. Swift

g3rain1

29 Apr 2017, 06:37

MY hierarchy of tactile switches:
Matias Quiet Click > Zealios > MODs > MX Clear > Kaihua coppers > > > > Browns

Haven't felt Topres yet.

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subcat

29 Apr 2017, 07:12

BKE domeswapped Topre.

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Madhias
BS TORPE

29 Apr 2017, 08:09

I'd say for most tactile feel Topre, may it be a rubber dome. It just feels great.

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dokyun

29 Apr 2017, 09:26

Mine looks like this:

Orange Alps > BKE dome Topre > 45g Topre > Matias QC = 62g Zealio > Brown Alps > MX Brown > Black Alps > MX Clear > Alps Common Mount Low Profile > Cherry ML

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Chyros

29 Apr 2017, 09:31

My favourite is orange Alps, which are nothing like black Alps.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

29 Apr 2017, 10:05

SKCM brown >>>> SKCM orange > buckling springs (that counts as tactility, right?)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> garbage >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SKCM black

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emdude
Model M Apologist

29 Apr 2017, 10:32

I think Alps offers the best (and the most) in the way of tactile switches. My hierarchy of switches I've tried in full keyboards:

Orange Alps >= Brown Alps > Salmon Alps > Cream Damped Alps == White Damped Alps > Black Alps >= NMB Dome w/ Slider >= Tactile SMK 2nd Gen == Tactile Space Invaders == Cherry MX Brown > Typical Rubber Dome

I'd like to try Cherry MX Clears, Ergo Clears, and Topre at some point.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

29 Apr 2017, 11:27

Looking for the best switch quickly turns into a hypothetical discussion including the weirdest switch types.

If you want to build a keyboard kit, you might be primarily interested in finding the best MX compatible switch. There's also alps compatible kit and retail boards but they aren't only very hard to find but also hard to find good keycaps for.

If tactility is your thing and you want the best tactile switch, look for a nice early Alps switch like SKCM Orange, clean them well and tune the tactile leaf to your taste. If there's one thing Alps are best at, it's ageing terribly offering great tactility. They went through the trouble of putting a dedicated parts into the switch for tactility and you can actually bend it a little to fine-tune the tactility to your taste!

If you want to go the easy route and build something MX compatible, the enthusiast choice is usually fine-tuning MX Clears to their taste or look at zealio switches. I'm personally not a fan and think they are overpriced and overhyped but 4 million redditors can't be wrong!

davkol

29 Apr 2017, 11:40

There are different kinds of tactility, that aren't quite comparable.
  • The travel can be linear, then there's a bump, and it's linear again.
  • Or it can be linear initially, then it "breaks", then there's pretty much nothing and then you bottom out.
  • And some switches don't even have a bump/break, but aren't linear either.

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Daniel Beardsmore

29 Apr 2017, 14:07

dokyun wrote: Mine looks like this:

Orange Alps > BKE dome Topre > 45g Topre > Matias QC = 62g Zealio > Brown Alps > MX Brown > Black Alps > MX Clear > Alps Common Mount Low Profile > Cherry ML
(Emphasis mine)

Are you saying that these have an unintentionally tactile feel, or have you actually found the tactile version of these?

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mike52787
Alps Aficionado

29 Apr 2017, 16:04

Ergo clears, Alps SKCM Cream (Undampened) and vintage cherry mx browns are my 3 picks. Alps SKCM Salmon and Orange are awesome tactile switches as well, however the weightings are not ideal for me.

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zslane

29 Apr 2017, 17:30

Wodan makes a critical point, at least for me. If I can't put my SA (and eventually, MT3) keycaps on a switch, it is useless to me. Consequently, Alps switches (vintage or otherwise) might as well not exist. And since Cherry MX tactiles don't really feel like tactiles to me, but rather like linears that are broken inside, I have to look elsewhere.

Therefore: 45g Topre (TMX) > Kailh Copper > everything else.

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dokyun

29 Apr 2017, 18:22

Daniel Beardsmore wrote:
dokyun wrote: Mine looks like this:

Orange Alps > BKE dome Topre > 45g Topre > Matias QC = 62g Zealio > Brown Alps > MX Brown > Black Alps > MX Clear > Alps Common Mount Low Profile > Cherry ML
(Emphasis mine)

Are you saying that these have an unintentionally tactile feel, or have you actually found the tactile version of these?
The ones I have absolutely have a pronounced tactile bump.

...

*looks at the wiki again*

Well, what do ya' know?
20170429_162043321_iOS.jpg
20170429_162043321_iOS.jpg (1.57 MiB) Viewed 11773 times

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Daniel Beardsmore

29 Apr 2017, 19:12

Curious — I see that they're described as "tactile" on the Acer 6083 page, but the page about the switch doesn't give any details.

It seems to be the same approach as SKFR/SKFS (click leaf with nothing behind it for it to hit), but the slider colours are reversed.

So now it must be a pair of series, possibly SKFN/SKFO or SKFM/SKFN.

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Menuhin

29 Apr 2017, 20:11

If keyboard looking good or not doesn't concern you and you can do some DIY cleaning and restoring work: Alps Oranges (from AEK I) or Matias Quiet-'Click'

If you want max compatibility and have cap sets to play with, while not as tactile is fine: MX Clear or Zealios

If you want to pay for an over-priced Rubber-dome keyboard with a sense of privilege and some not as sharp rounded tactility and cushioned bottoming out: one of those Topre boards

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zslane

29 Apr 2017, 20:54

If you can afford to pay for a quality rubber dome keyboard with a sense of refined taste and smooth, even tactility with a soft bottoming out and a beautiful thock sound: one of those Topre boards.

(There, fixed that for you.)

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wobbled

29 Apr 2017, 21:26

Is BKE Topre domes the new hottest meme? There honestly isn't a significant difference that makes an entire dome-swap worthwhile.

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Daniel Beardsmore

29 Apr 2017, 22:14

dokyun wrote: The ones I have absolutely have a pronounced tactile bump.

...

*looks at the wiki again*

Well, what do ya' know?
And here's the patent for it:

https://www.google.com/patents/US5004880

The patent describes it as a "click-type" switch, so is there a clicky version of this too? SKFS has an empty space behind the click leaf to prevent any sound (creating tactility only) but the patent drawing shows a clicky design. I've never seen inside the tactile version of this switch to see whether it takes measures to prevent sound.

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dokyun

30 Apr 2017, 19:32

I need to get some better pictures of the innards - I had been planning to fully document the numpad it came in for the Wiki but that's fallen a bit by the wayside recently.

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Wingklip

01 May 2017, 00:01

Thocc

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Daniel Beardsmore

01 May 2017, 00:25

emdude wrote: Orange Alps >= Brown Alps > Salmon Alps > Cream Damped Alps == White Damped Alps > Black Alps >= NMB Dome w/ Slider >= Tactile SMK 2nd Gen == Tactile Space Invaders == Cherry MX Brown > Typical Rubber Dome
Tactile SMK has well-defined tactility and is (in my case, at least) comparatively light in weight — it's like Matias quiet but smoother and more refined. It's also got a softer tone than Alps switches. My SMK keyboard does have a nasty problem with binding on the modifier keys, but since nobody else has ever reported it, it may be that the switches are out-of-condition.

The feeling is that of lightweight white Alps — it's got that same subtle balkiness of good condition white Alps and of OA2 clones, but lighter in feel.

I don't know how you could rate it below NMB domes.

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emdude
Model M Apologist

01 May 2017, 01:22

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: Tactile SMK has well-defined tactility and is (in my case, at least) comparatively light in weight — it's like Matias quiet but smoother and more refined. It's also got a softer tone than Alps switches. My SMK keyboard does have a nasty problem with binding on the modifier keys, but since nobody else has ever reported it, it may be that the switches are out-of-condition.

The feeling is that of lightweight white Alps — it's got that same subtle balkiness of good condition white Alps and of OA2 clones, but lighter in feel.

I don't know how you could rate it below NMB domes.
I have long since sold off my tactile SMK board (an Apple ADB A9M0330 Keyboard) but I do recall the switches feeling rather tactile. Still, switch travel felt rather bumpy (which irked me a lot) and not smooth like that of Orange or Salmon Alps. The switches also seemed to have trouble returning.

I know Jacobolus believed this was a common issue with these SMK A9M0330s. I don't know, maybe I was just unlucky!

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Menuhin

01 May 2017, 01:45

zslane wrote: If you can afford to pay for a quality rubber dome keyboard with a sense of refined taste and smooth, even tactility with a soft bottoming out and a beautiful thock sound: one of those Topre boards.

(There, fixed that for you.)
I agree that Topre boards are quality keyboards, and have nice features (e.g. PBT dyesub caps, NKRO - don't they?), but they can do much better than just keeping such a high price with their relatively flimsy construction - how many years did they take to add some more effective non-slip rubber pads for the HHKB?? They didn't even add that back onto pro2 after they have updated the rubber pads for HHKB BT. I hope I can say that their development team has done a lot and therefore most invisible resources have gone to their department, but no... most users don't know what they have done.
I bet they can sell at 60% or below of their current price and still make decent profit. Perhaps they have a lot of staff, and their locations and facilities have really high rent/maintenance cost though.

At a similar price range, I think UNIQEY is doing a much more proper job.
https://uniqey.net/en/
Unfortunately, I don't like full size keyboard and stock Cherry MX switches and I need a split backspace - thanks to HHKB, I am now a sucker for its layout and the 'thock'...

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Daniel Beardsmore

01 May 2017, 02:31

emdude wrote:
Daniel Beardsmore wrote: I know Jacobolus believed this was a common issue with these SMK A9M0330s. I don't know, maybe I was just unlucky!
That was due to the keycap mounting stem causing the slider to bulge outwards, as I recall; putting proper Alps keycaps onto the keyboard would cure that. In my case, the key return is fine and the switches feel smooth and I think you'd revise your rating if you had a properly-made keyboard.

SMK is an odd one, because it feels good and seems to have good longevity, but the switches are a nightmare to work on. I don't know how easy it would be to replicate the feel but with a more amenable design.

I'm still waiting on getting a second switch part number. KKM series is at least part of 2nd generation, but there may be other series, from what I've seen of SMK's naming system.

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PollandAkuma

02 May 2017, 20:13

Since I haven't really tried much, I quite like MX Clears, but the stock weight is just a tad heavy for me. Zealios would be perfect, since it's smoother (and memer). I've gotta topre incoming, so excited!

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