Do BOX switches stretch PBT and break ABS keycaps?

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Wintermute1974
Tessier-Ashpool S.A.

26 Jul 2018, 21:29

There's a new video on YouTube. The author's argument is that after putting his PBT keycaps on his BOX switches, that the keycap mounts have stretched, making them useless on any other type of switch.

The video is here:
Has anyone ever heard of this problem? I love my double-shot ABS caps and my Kailh BOX whites, but I don't want one of them to ruin the other.

P.S. The author doesn't demonstrate the problem with ABS keycaps, but he does mention in a comment that there have been reports of ABS switches splitting or breaking after being attached to BOX switches.
Last edited by Wintermute1974 on 27 Jul 2018, 17:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Zaphir

26 Jul 2018, 22:32

I've seen 2 or 3 posts on Reddit and another thread on GeekHack mentioning this same issue with the Kailh BOX switches.

I have a TINA-A with Box Royals that had a GMK Yuri set installed. Took out the keycaps today and I can confirm that a few keycap mounts are a little stretched. I can see tiny white stress marks on a few keycaps, it's most noticeable on the modifiers. No broken mounts but some caps have those stress marks and it worries me.

I don't want any of my keysets ruined from this... specially my GMK sets which weren't cheap.

This really is a bummer because I have a new keyboard coming soon with Box Jades and now I'm fairly sure they'll have the same problem as the Royals. :(

Kailh really dropped the ball on this. The switches are pretty good though, no complains on the weight and feel of them.

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Myoth

26 Jul 2018, 22:49

hmmm .... oh well, I wasn't going to remove my HAU caps from those BOX Navies anyway :lol:

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Wintermute1974
Tessier-Ashpool S.A.

26 Jul 2018, 23:08

I've seen 2 or 3 posts on Reddit and another thread on GeekHack mentioning this same issue with the Kailh BOX switches.
Well, I am willing to be a guinea pig. If my Miami doubleshots drop off my BOX whites, I will post in this thread. For now (about a month, maybe six weeks), it's so far, so good.

Maybe the trick is to keep the keycaps attached to the BOX switches? Maybe it is during removal that the damage is done.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

26 Jul 2018, 23:10

:lol:

Chinese QC at work ...

I wonder what is left of the box switch hype in 3-5 years :)

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mark201200

26 Jul 2018, 23:17

I tried putting some brand new g710 keycaps (don't want to ruin good caps) on the box navies I have laying around. First off, they're way harder to install and remove, compared to Cherry(tried both vint black and brown). And yes, the stems start to show stress marks and cracks pretty fast. Keep in mind that logitech keycaps are trash, and tend to crack even when mounted on Cherrys.
TBH, I'm planning to build a tada with navies and put some nice SA caps on it, and this is not discouraging me, I'll just try to keep the caps on the switches, without removing them.
Wodan wrote: :lol:

Chinese QC at work ...

I wonder what is left of the box switch hype in 3-5 years :)
they're still awesome switches, and this will probably be fixed

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chuckdee

27 Jul 2018, 00:09


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ag36

27 Jul 2018, 03:28

My OG cherry set is with box navy :(

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abrahamstechnology

27 Jul 2018, 04:47

Yes. They cracked a few of my Wy-60's caps. (The worst affected one was the "Break" key, lol)
I believe the problem is the stems are deformed, the sides of the cross mount bow out slightly, if you look at a close up of a Box switch.

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Elrick

27 Jul 2018, 08:48

This is like some dystopian, parallel world of HORROR (not talking about the Democrats here).

This is my FAVE switch built in modern times yet it destroys ALL key-caps with glee, how can this be?

I love them way too much to abandon them in any way, this is something truly disturbing and quite unreal.

Like some demented 'Flat-Earther' I refuse to believe this :? .

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hansichen

27 Jul 2018, 09:46

That happens when you play early adopter for a company which was known (and isnow known again) for their shit switches :lol:

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scottc

27 Jul 2018, 10:10

Image

just saying

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Wintermute1974
Tessier-Ashpool S.A.

27 Jul 2018, 10:27

scottc wrote: just saying
What are you saying? Your image shows a yellow non-BOX stem broken off inside a keycap. How is this an indictment against the quality of Kailh BOX switches?

@Everyone
When I think back to the installation of my doubleshot ABS keycaps on my Kailh BOX whites, I remember thinking that it seemed to be requiring more force than usual to attach them on to the keyswitch stems. My guess is if there is any plastic deformation on the keycaps, then this deformation is made when the keycaps are first attached to the keyswitch stems.

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Elrick

27 Jul 2018, 10:32

Wintermute1974 wrote:
scottc wrote: just saying
What are you saying? Your image shows a yellow non-BOX stem broken off inside a keycap. How is this an indictment against the quality of Kailh BOX switches?
100% correct.

Nice when someone is trying to lump in another MX design into this so-called claim of "Stretching and Breaking" Key-caps revelation :( .

Suspect this is another 'Russia-gate' claim being made here as FACT and you all know the consequences of that laughable effort.

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Muirium
µ

27 Jul 2018, 11:24

Cracks are intricate beasts. They have a microscopic life of their own. They rarely develop at the moment you notice the snap. They’re usually slowly growing, through repetitive fatigue:

Image
http://www.leancrew.com/all-this/2014/0 ... e-failure/

Sure, seating and pulling caps will give them the most strain. But just gentle typing use adds up, too. Can’t say without a similar microscope picture as this, but I wouldn’t gamble with anything nicer than junker caps until this is proven fixed.

andrewjoy

27 Jul 2018, 12:16

Thats a total bummer if this is true, the sound and feel of the box switch is suposed to be very nice.

I have a nice retro looking MX board to throw them in and it will be a shame if they damage the caps.

Lets hope its just the early ones and its sorted on later runs. It is posible.

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hansichen

27 Jul 2018, 13:01

So far it looks like all switches are affected by that. And I'm not sure who would want to be early adopter for a fixed batch. Muirium has written a perfect summary about how the constant usage will add up and crack the stems in the long run. I wouldn't wanna test that with my keycaps...

andrewjoy

27 Jul 2018, 13:12

I would do it on a board that is never going to have the kecaps taken off.

So if your getting your WYSE 50 and modding it to box and leaving it like that then its fine

But you wont catch me putting my round 4 or my IMSTO grey PBT on them.

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Bass

27 Jul 2018, 14:25

Yikes. I had a board with BOX Navies and SA Dasher keycaps sitting in storage for several months, and upon seeing this video I immediately went ahead and pulled them all off. I then attempted to fit them on another board I had lying around with MX Blues and noticed that they fit very loosely. Not as bad as in that video but very noticeable, especially when compared to another SA keycap I had that has never been mounted on BOX switches.

If this is a consistent problem with all BOX switches, that would be a shame since I too agree with many others that they are some of my favorite modern switches.

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Muirium
µ

27 Jul 2018, 14:37

I wasn’t around for their hype phase. What’s meant to be so good about them? Stability? Smoothness?

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Wintermute1974
Tessier-Ashpool S.A.

27 Jul 2018, 14:38

Muirium wrote: I wasn’t around for their hype phase. What’s meant to be so good about them? Stability? Smoothness?
BOX switches have a nice, sharp click.

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Nuum

27 Jul 2018, 14:57

They are quite smooth as well, the BOX Black switches I habe are probably on par with my Nixdorf switches, although I haven't tested them in a keyboard yet. The BOX White switches are nice as well, smooth and clicky!
I had an IMSTO PBT keycap sitting on a BOX Black switch for several weeks and it doesn't seem to be loose on regular Cherry MX switches, but maybe that is different across different batches.

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Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

27 Jul 2018, 15:00

Elrick wrote: Suspect this is another 'Russia-gate' claim being made here as FACT and you all know the consequences of that laughable effort.
Image

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Muirium
µ

27 Jul 2018, 15:11

It’s called motivated reasoning. It’s what we do when we need to adjust reality to conform to our beliefs.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivated_reasoning

I’d love a widely available, well priced, reliable and safe MX clone line with the superior properties mentioned abou these box switches. Switch innovation is good. But problems are problems.

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TheInverseKey

27 Jul 2018, 15:12

Muirium wrote: I wasn’t around for their hype phase. What’s meant to be so good about them? Stability? Smoothness?
They are the best clicky cherry based switch that is around and they are very stable. Also the work with LEDs so that is another big thing that a lot of people look for in a switch. Finally the force curve is one of the best that I have found for a cherry switch as well.

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chuckdee

27 Jul 2018, 15:14

Muirium wrote: I wasn’t around for their hype phase. What’s meant to be so good about them? Stability? Smoothness?
The tactility is supposed to be good also. I'm just glad I never got around to getting them. Those measurements are pretty concerning as in they'd explain the cracking, but there's been no official response. Mike at NovelKeys is a cool guy that worked with Kailh on these and he's built his business off of that relationship. Sucks to see this happening.

And if you haven't been keeping up, Kailh is now one of the best switch companies, with the other companies not really innovating as much as they have. Their speed switches are great!

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TheInverseKey

27 Jul 2018, 15:24

chuckdee wrote:
Muirium wrote: I wasn’t around for their hype phase. What’s meant to be so good about them? Stability? Smoothness?
The tactility is supposed to be good also. I'm just glad I never got around to getting them. Those measurements are pretty concerning as in they'd explain the cracking, but there's been no official response. Mike at NovelKeys is a cool guy that worked with Kailh on these and he's built his business off of that relationship. Sucks to see this happening.

And if you haven't been keeping up, Kailh is now one of the best switch companies, with the other companies not really innovating as much as they have. Their speed switches are great!

I would never really put that much money into a unknown switch good thing that I only bought cheap caps that I knew I didn't care about. But from the start you could tell that there was something off with the amount of force needed to put the caps on.

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hansichen

27 Jul 2018, 16:24

Nuum wrote: They are quite smooth as well, the BOX Black switches I habe are probably on par with my Nixdorf switches, although I haven't tested them in a keyboard yet. The BOX White switches are nice as well, smooth and clicky!
I had an IMSTO PBT keycap sitting on a BOX Black switch for several weeks and it doesn't seem to be loose on regular Cherry MX switches, but maybe that is different across different batches.
Instead of linear box switches I would always recommend retooled Cherry mx black switches, they are smooth and as we know for over 30 years now they are designed perfectly. And with 20ct per switch they are also the cheapest option out there: https://www.arrow.com/en/products/mx1a- ... ericas-llc

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Sup

27 Jul 2018, 16:28

scottc wrote: Image

just saying
dude the stem broke of the switch not the stem of the keycap, I don't see the connection. Box switches indeed do strecht key caps/break. Rip TMX Bro caps artisan got gaped to oblivion to the point it just flies off on non box switches. One of the reasons i don't use box switches anymore.

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Muirium
µ

27 Jul 2018, 16:34

hansichen wrote:
Instead of linear box switches I would always recommend retooled Cherry mx black switches, they are smooth and as we know for over 30 years now they are designed perfectly. And with 20ct per switch they are also the cheapest option out there: https://www.arrow.com/en/products/mx1a- ... ericas-llc
Retooled, eh?

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