Alpaca Switches: Review and Guide {Better than Cherry MX?}

Skyloong Switches

Last Updated on February 4th, 2022

If you are searching for silent switches for your mechanical keyboard, your searching may come to an end on Alpaca Switches.

Alpaca switches are called the smoothest and quietest linear switch on the market as of now.

All Alpacas are commonly referred to as ‘V2’ housing.

Do you know? these switches are not as famous as Gateron or Tangerines but now Alpaca linear switches are coming out in limelight among keyboard enthusiasts.

Alpaca v1 was quite successful and sold out as soon as it was released on the market.

Being a silent switch, these v2 switches are considered ideal by many professionals for day-to-day and office usage.

So the question is– would it be able to compete with the most dominating Cherry MX Switches and can it be used as their alternatives.

In this article, every single question will be covered regarding Alpaca Switches along with their review and in-depth guide.

Let’s get dive in!

What are Alpaca switches?

alpaca linear switches in-hand feel

Alpaca switches are advanced linear types of switches that are constructed by A well-known mechanical switch manufacturer brand ‘JWK’ and designed by PrimeKb.

Alpacas color is derived from the SA Bliss colorways that are re-color of Durock’s incredibly smooth linear switch.

These Alpaca switches are made of the following significant components:

  • Polycarbonate for top Dark Grey housing
  • Nylon for bottom housing
  • POM stem

These switches are consist of a Pink Stem that is made with a POM.

Alpacas come with a Gold Plated spring with a bottom actuation of 62-gram which makes them sturdy and allows them easy to type on it.

These switches are PCB Mounted that support 5 Pin type and usually work on most of the mechanical keyboards.

If you want to use it on a 3-Pin hot-swap PCB board, you will need to mount 2 Plastic Pins extra to make it work smoothly. This clipping process can be easily done.

You don’t need to be concerned about its compatibility as it is compatible with almost all mechanical keyboard brands.

Alpaca Switches Specifications

Alpaca switches consist of several advanced specifications and functionality which makes these switches run on the competition of mechanical switches, even it performed quite better than many other switches too.

These switches come with a pre-light factory lubed with thin oil to provide extra smoothness while typing.

Take a look at this specification table to get more information about Alpaca switches:

Name

Alpaca Switches

Manufactured by

JWK

Designed by

Primekb

Components

Polycarbonate for top Dark Grey housing

Nylon for bottom housing

Spring Coating

Gold Spring Coated

Stem Material

POM Stem

Actuation Force

62-gram (bottom-out)

Lubing

Pre-Lubed (From factory)

Sound Profile

Very Silent

Smooth Profile

Super Smooth

Alpaca Switches Review

Due to having many similarties, Alpaca switches are usually compared with Cherry Mx switches or most hyped Banana Split switches.

So is it much better than these cherry or banana switches or there is something that is overhyped by the users?

You should read this complete review so you will get the conclusion for sure.

1. Alpaca Switches Sound Test

In the Alpaca switches sound test I found that these switches are very silent or can be called free from noise if not wonders.

What can you expect from a Linear switch? They should be slightly silent with a deeper noise from the bottom. right!!

So  Alpacas are well stood out on your expectations as it produces deeper and richer bottoming out noise along with a silent sound profile.

From the top out noise, they are not as deep as from the bottom but overall it’s a satisfying and pleasing sound with justified balance.

Here is the video I’m embedding for you to get the real feel of the Alpaca switches sound:

Source: KlickyClack

 

2. Alpaca Switches Actuation Force

alpaca switches with gold plated spring

Actuation force is the most significant part of a switch that is responsible for gaming, fast fingers movement as well as error-free typing.

Alpacas are smooth linear switches that have gold-plated 62g springs (bottom out).

In other words, Alpaca Switches actuation force is 62-gram which is for bottoming out and can be considered slightly higher compared to some other switches like cherry red but it is quite adjustable even you will not strongly feel while typing.

Having a little higher actuation will force users to put some extra pressure on keys when registering a keypress although it is noticeable if you have a habit of using heavy switches for your keyboard.

The probability of typing errors would be less due to successful keystrokes being done with slightly heavy pressure.

Some users love heavy actuation, trust me!!

Overall, these Alpaca switches have a great feel with decent feedback and some heavy actuation.

3. Durability

Alpaca switches are made of very good quality materials which are- ‘Polycarbonate for top housing and Nylon for bottom housing’.

Both materials provide excellent durability to these switches. 

Apart from quality materials these switches generally have two times thicker Pins to mount on the PCB which makes them more durable than any other mechanical keyboard in the same price segment.

They are designed to offer more feasibility and optimization to the user.

It can survive up to 50 million keystrokes which are 5 times more than the Cherry Mx switches.

So in terms of durability Alpaca switches are undoubtedly way more durable and have a little edge over any other mechanical switches in the market.

4. Lubing

Lubing is a common practice a user does to improve the sound and the feel of their keyboard, it impacts instantly to get rid of the keyboard’s rattling sound and scratchy feel.

These Alpaca switches are lubed with the thin oil from the factory that’s called the pre-lubing process which forces these switches to provide extra smoothness during typing.

Pre-lubing also impacts the sound profile that’s why the sound produced by these switches is quieter.

There is no need to lube it at home but still, if you want to lube it later you can do it easily by following this complete lubing guide.

4. Price

Price is always played the most important role in any product whether it became a deal-breaker or a deal-maker for a user.

So keeping this point in mind JWK always launch their mechanical switch at a very aggressive price and draw the attention of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.

These Alpaca switches are being sold at $0.55 which is absolutely user’s pocket-friendly.

These Switches are generally sold as a pack of 10.

You can buy these switches according to requirements.

For instance:

10 switches = $5.55

1 switch = $0.55

Compared with other switches these Alpacas switches are the most budget-friendly and economical among the mechanical switches that deliver excellent performance in all sectors.

Alpaca V1 vs V2 Comparison

Both Alpaca V1 vs V2 is constructed by JWK and have a slight difference between them which cant be noticed by a user unless he finds it intentionally.

  • Both V1 and V2 switches use different molds.
  • In terms of smoothness, Alpaca V2 switches are much smoother than V1.
  • Sound Profile is also much quieter with higher pitch stock.
  • Alpaca V2 switches are updated versions to V1 so obviously, it has the edge in many different aspects.

Overall, the difference between these two versions can’t be noticeably felt by a user unless you use both switches simultaneously.

Here is the comparison table to better understand the differences:

Name

Alpaca v2 Switches

Alpaca v1 Switches

Produced By

JWK

JWK

Switch Type

Linear

Linear

Sound Profile

Extremely Silent

Silent

Smoothness

Super Smooth

Smooth

Lubing

Pre-lubed

Pre-lubed

Are alpacas good switches?

Yes, Alpacas switches are considered to be excellent switches among the mechanical keyboard community because of their super smoothness, silent sound profile along with beast performance within a very economical price which is $0.55 for a switch.

It comes with Light Pre-lubing that gives extra smoothness to these switches.

I will recommend you to 0.125mm films for these and you have an option to swap their spring if you want.

Alpacas come with comparatively good actuation and ideal travel distance between switches to provide better and error-free typing without causing hand fatigue.

Being a linear switch with having impressive properties like super smooth, very quiet, and good actuation make these Alpaca switches the best option to replace your current switches.

I will highly recommend these switches!

Are alpaca switches 3 pin or 5 pin?

Alpacas switches come with 5 pin support.

These pins are 2 times thicker than any conventional switch pins which give more durability and sturdiness to these switches.

It is less likely to be bend while hot-swapping, so overall 5 pin support is good thing for any mechanical switch.

Do you need to lube alpaca switches?

Initially, you don’t need to lube Alpaca switches because they already come with Pre-lubing with a thin oil from the factory so you get a very smooth typing experience and have a great feel on it.

Later using these switches for a couple of months or when you start to hear a rattling sound and scratchy feel from the keyboard during typing then it’s a perfect time to Lube them.

Lubing totally comes down to a user’s preference, some users like to lube their switches when they bought to get extra smoothness while some users are totally comfortable with the factory’s Pre-lubing.

If you are a Hardcore gamer and heavy user, Lubing switches of your keyboard are a good idea to go.

Are Alpaca Switches are better than Cherry MX Switches?

Alpacas switches are mostly compared with Cherry Mx switches and Tangerine switches because of their same characters and specifications and both are used for the same purpose.

In my meticulous study and analysis, I found that Alpacas are slightly better than Cherry Mx switches because they are lighter, more smooth, more silent with higher pitch stock, easy to type, and feel magnificent on hand.

They are specially designed to last 50 million keystrokes which are 5 times more than Cherry Mx Switches.

So the conclusion is, Alpacas are more durable too and have some edge over Cherry switches.

Where to buy Alpaca Switches?

There are several online stores where you can buy these switches but I will suggest you buy from trusted websites so you may get the original products.

Here is the following trusted source you can check it out:

  1. Primekb.com
  2. Amazon

I would request you to check these switches’ availability and prices before purchase.

Bestseller No. 1

Alpaca Switches amazon
  • ✅Polycarbonate top housing
  • ✅Nylon bottom housing
  • POM stem
  • ✅5-pin PCB mount

Conclusion

Let’s conclude this article!

As we have come to know how these Alpaca switches are exceptionally good in all technical aspects and provide a great value for what we pay, even more.

JWK is best known to make excellent and successful switches at a very economical price such as Banana Split and Durocks Switches, all are fulfilling users’ requirements very well.

Alpaca switches are definitely one of them.

Many people came out to be happily surprised after using Alpacas.

I’m impressed too with both sound and feel.

I will highly recommend you to try Alpaca switches once for your current mechanical keyboard.

Trust me you’ll fall in love with it!!.

I hope you like this article.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers!!

Alpaca Switches FAQs

What type of switch are alpacas?

Alpaca switches are advanced smooth linear type of switch having gold plated spring for consistence actuation and that are made by well-known switch brand JWK.

What are the alpaca switches made from?

Alpaca switches are made from high-quality polycarbonate for top housing and nylon for bottom housing along with POM Stem.

Do alpaca switches come lubed?

Yes, alpaca switches are lubed with the thin oil from the factory, and that process called the pre-lubing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *