PCB-mount or Plate-mount when paired with Linear vs Tactile switches?

Linear vs Tactile with PCB-mount or Plate-mount?

Plate-mount all the way (for both Tactile switches & Linear switches)
PCB-mount all the way (for both Tactile switches & Linear switches)
Plate-mount for Linear switches, and PCB-mount for Tactile switches
No votes
Plate-mount for Tactile switches, and PCB-mount for Linear switches
No votes
I don't care, they feel almost all the same to me
Total votes: 11


05 Jan 2019, 13:35

There are two main ways of mounting switches:
PCB-mount (i.e. without plate)
Plate-mount (either on a tray-mount design with anchored PCB or top-mount design with the plate itself anchored)

However, opinions vary in terms of whether it is nicer to pair tactile-switches with PCB-mount style or Plate-mount style, and the same goes for linear-switches.

Amidst all the half-plate designs popping up recently, what is your take and your favourite approach to pairing mount style and types of switches? I know... it can primarily be a manner of taste.

Please share your thoughts in the comments, and perhaps also the reasoning behind such pairings.

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05 Jan 2019, 13:38

we are talking Cherry MX exclusively?


05 Jan 2019, 13:44

matt3o wrote: we are talking Cherry MX exclusively?
Yes, only MX is in my mind when I was formulating this survey.

For me Alps switches must be plate-mounted, and there aren't too many other switch design genres out there to build keyboards apart from MX-based and Alps-based.


05 Jan 2019, 13:47

Ah, and I can /should add clicky switches too, just that they aren't my favourite and I think they have similar properties to tactile switches for the mounting preference.

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05 Jan 2019, 14:57

generally speaking if the case is done right I see no reason not to have a plate


05 Jan 2019, 17:53

matt3o wrote: generally speaking if the case is done right I see no reason not to have a plate
I kind of agree - I don't see that I enjoy typing on a Surface Pro cover-type keyboard because it is "springy"; but I really have to ask people around who has been longer in the game.
For example, the guy from Fartech shop (forgot his username sorry...) swears by linear switches on PCB mount and tactile switches on Plate. And many talked about the opposite of going for stability while using linear and therefore prefer plates.

Well, I am typing on a Topre right now, and the last MX board I typed on is a Tipro so they're both not built by me. Yet I have to see those who built and tried out many combinations what they settled on eventually.

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05 Jan 2019, 18:24

PCB mount softens out hard landings, so it can be a nice idea with linear switches. Indeed, it makes them sound and feel quite a bit like they are damped, like MX silents. There are PCB mount keyboards out there you can try. The one I have in rotation is my Cherry G80-3000, with PCB mounted MX blacks. It's surprisingly passable, besides for the stabilisers which dive well beyond soft and into mushy. I should clip those stabs, I know…


One significant upside from being plateless is saving an enormous amount of weight. That full-size G80 feels as light to carry as a keyboard half its size. The HHKB is similar: no metal plate weighing it down, so it feels like a feather in the hand compared to a Realforce. I'm definitely a fan of plateless travel keyboards. In fact, the HHKB is my best and most used keyboard of all.

As for tactility, the HHKB feels about right. My other Topre is a 55g Realforce, which is more tactile by design, but not lightyears away, plus it's (comparatively) huge and heavy too. Can't say I've tried tactile MX in a plate-less keyboard. But my daily Topre experience suggests it's nothing to be feared.


09 Jan 2019, 18:29

Good things about DT:
Elders are active and competent and helpful :ugeek:

Now I'm further puzzled - some swear by PCB-mount and some swear by Plate-mount. But I also developed some (BS) theory.

My thinking is, it depends on the style of typing of the person, and the personality.
  • bashing typing style and love the bottoming out feelings of collision at the finger joints and are basically people with strong fingers --- Plate-mounters
    [Barbarian class typers]
  • bashing typing style but do not like the feelings of bottoming out so much --- PCB-mounters
    [Paladin class typers]
  • swift typing style (not Taylor Swift) and have basically mastered not to bottom out to a certain level --- Plate-mounters
    [Sorcerer class typers]
  • swift typing style and love to type as light as possible but still bottom out in --- PCB-mounters
    [Druid class typers]

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09 Jan 2019, 19:23

Amusing type classification system. Guess I’m a Druid! Which makes altogether too much sense for me in general, come to think…

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