Best Linear Switches for A Mechanical Keyboard {Must Buy No. 3}

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2022)

A switch that is less noisy, noticeably quiet, fast, and comes with no bump.

Being yourself a Mechanical Keyboard lover I hope you will guess it right, which switches I am talking about.

It’s not other than the ‘Linear switches’!!

The Linear switches are the most preferred switch among the Gaming community due to their quick and smooth keypresses which help to perform quick responses in fast-paced games.

But there are many numerous linear switches on the market which have their own specialty.

So choosing one is literally a challenging task.

I know you landed here searching for the best linear switches that should be smooth as butter, make less noise, or maybe quietude to your ears. 

That’s why I have sorted the best linear switches list after investing many hours of study and research with the Keyboard Mouse Galaxy, which will help you to disembarrass yourself from the confusion.

So make sure to read the complete article to get the best possible conclusion.

Before diving into the details Here are some questions that need to be answered before opting best linear switches.

What are Linear Switches?

Best Linear Switches-2

Linear switches are a type of mechanical switch that aims to provide silent and smooth keystrokes along with excellent actuation.

There is no bump on these switches, as a result no tactile feedback during keypresses.

Linear switches are considered to be the best linear switches for gaming purposes as well as professional typing because of their quick response time, fast actuation, and very smooth profile.

Where silence is the topmost priority, these linear switches are best suitable for this kind of scenario.

These switches are not going to distract you with their sound unlike tactile switches although, as long as the concentration is needed, these switches make you feel comfortable while working on the keyboard.

Identifying The Best Linear Switches

If you are coming from tactile switches or clicky switches or never used linear switches before, then there might be a little problem identifying linear switches.

But you don’t need to concern about it.

I am going to tell you what technical factors you should look at and how to grab the best linear switches among all options available on the market.

Here are the following technical benchmarks:

Sound

The sound is the main distinguish technical factor that will help you to recognize what kind of switches they are? 

Linear switches have a very silent sound profile that is too negligible comparing Clicky switches which have a loud sound profile and have bumps on the top.

However Tactile switches are a little bit quiet and have a bump that produces tactile feedback during typing on it.

First of all, when choosing a switch, you have to give attention to their sound, if it is almost inaudible after registering each click then you may quite assure the switch would be linear type.

But you can’t rely only on sound there are various factors and specifications apart from the sound, so you have to look at it deeply.

Smoothness

As I mentioned earlier, linear switches are the smoothest switches out there in the market.

Did you ever think why they are so smooth?

These switches usually have a low actuation, in simple words- ‘The very less amount of pressure a user needs to put on the switch to register a keystroke’.

This process automatically increases the smoothness as well as typing speed too which makes playing and typing more efficient with good optimization.

So you should make sure to check this parameter well before buying and choosing the best linear switches.

Tactility

Tactility or Tactile bump is the important technical factor to distinguish between a clicky, tactile, and linear switch as they have their unique identification characters.

When you feel tactile bump and feedback during registration of a keystroke, it’s most probably to be a Clicky or Tactile switch as both have the same tactility bump on the top.

The thickness of the spring and the actuation point bump are the things that are responsible for triggering a bump.

However, Linear switches works on different mechanism because they do not produce an audible clicking sound due to lack of tactile bump along with bottoming out force does not allow to do so.

No tactile feedback in a switch means a smooth and fast typing experience.

These are all significant factors you should keep in mind while choosing the best linear switches for your keyboard.

List of Best Linear Switches: Top 7 Picks

After considering all the above technical factors, I am sharing a well shortlist of the best linear switches on the market which you can purchase for your mechanical keyboard.

Here is the List of best linear switches:

Linear Switch Name

Best for Segment

1. Gateron Yellow Switches

Best Budget Switches

2. NovelKeys Cream Switches

The Best Sound

3. Gateron Ink Black

Best Smoothest Switches

4. Cherry MX Black

Best Durable Switches

5. Cherry MX Speed Silver 

Best Gaming Switches

6. Durock Linear Switches

Best Switches with Solid Firm Feel

7. Outemu Red Switches

Best Economical Red Switches

Please note that this list is prepared after indulging many hours of study and research so you can completely rely on it.

Let’s break down these switches into complete in-depth details so you will get a better perception and the best possible review.

1. Gateron Yellow Switches

Gateron yellow switches-1

A switch that comes with a very low actuation force which is 50cN with the 2mm travel distance between switches and offers an excellent typing experience.

The switch which I am talking about is no other than the ‘Gateron Yellow Switches’.

Gateron Yellow switches are considered the best linear budget king.

These Gateron Yellow switches are one of the most preferred mechanical switches in Gateron’s family due to their excellent actuation force, medium resistance, and very silent sound profile.

In terms of build and design, Gateron’s Yellow is very similar to Gateron Red switches except for a 5-gram bottom-out actuation. Red’s have 45cN whereas Yellow’s have 50cN (Unit In force).

These yellow switches are made of high-quality material and a small Soft Plastic Stem, which makes these switches super smooth to type on it.

In the Gateron switches lineup, Yellow switches have clear rebounds appearing with a more rough texture and rigid hold.

All Gateron’s linear switches like Red, Yellow, Black, and their special version including Milky and Ink all have a signature to provide a buttery-smooth typing experience with a satisfactory sound profile.

Gateron Yellow switches are the best ideal for daily usage, gaming, and Office work.

If you are interested, read our in-depth guide on Gateron Yellow switches. 

PROS

CONS

Excellent Low Actuation Force (50cN)

Some users may not comfortable with low actuation.

Smooth Typing Experience

Less Expensive

Bestseller No. 1

Gateron yellow linear switch
  • ✅【Optical axis principle】
  • ✅Gateron Optical Switches: 68pcs
  • ✅Gateron Optical Switches Compatible SMD optical keyboard…
  • ✅4.6 out of 5 stars

2. NovelKeys Cream Switches

Novelkeys cream-1

I’ve put these NovelKeys Cream Switches on 2nd spot but it can give competition to the Gateron yellow too, both are very close in the mechanical switching battle.

Let’s talk about NovelKeys Cream’s technical functionality.

These switches can be your best linear switches because of their bassy sound profile which makes them different from the crowd (I mean switch), creamy white color, and POM Plastic design will surely make NovelKeys very exceptional.

The Creamy white color aesthetic definitely provides a beautiful appearance from the inside as well as an ideal travel distance that will push you to consider it.

If we talk about their compatibility, these NovelKeys are compatible with most of the keyboards.

But they do not come with pre-installation on the keyboard like other mechanical switches instead you will have to purchase these switches separately along you’ll need to install them by yourself.

Initially, Novelkeys are not as smooth as Gateron’s but due to having a self-lubricating design, these switches will obtain more smoothness with respect to time.

Overall, occupied with some impressive functionalities and specs, NovelKeys Cream Switches are the best linear switches under a very economical budget.

PROS

CONS

Bassy Sound Profile

Do not come with Pre-installation

POM Plastic Design

Self Lubricating Design

Become more smooth with the time

Bestseller No. 1

NovelKeys Cream amazon
  • ✅Manufacturer KPREPUBLIC
  • ✅Unit Count-10 Count
  • ✅Color-Cream Switch x10
  • ✅4.5 out of 5 stars

3. Gateron Ink Black

Gateron Ink Black Switches

Gateron Ink switches are best known for being very premium switches among Gateron’s lineup.

Among Ink switches, Gateron Ink Blacks are the most popular switches that are constructed with a different, premium, and high-quality plastic material.

The Smoky top and bottom housing along with the production of lower pitch sound put these switches in a premium category.

As a result, Ink Blacks achieved top-level smoothness and grabbed the title of best smoothest switches among all the mechanical switches available on the market.

As you know regular Gateron switches are already super smooth thereafter Ink switches beautified the smoothness to top-level and grabbed their own place in a highly competitive market.

The elegant top and bottom color housing, satisfying lower pitching sound with a decent build quality make these switches phenomenal and give the best option for people who are looking for the best linear switches for their keyboard.

Likely NovelKeys Creams, these Gateron Ink Black switches also need to be installed separately by yourself to build a fully customized mechanical keyboard.

If you are interested you can read our Complete Guide and {The Expert Review} on Gateron Switches.

PROS

CONS

Top-Level Smoothness

Being a Premium Switch it is a Little bit expensive.

Premium Switches

Express fast and consistence

Excellent Performance in every benchmark

Bestseller No. 1

Gateron Ink Black Switches Amazon
  • ✅Optical axis principle
  • ✅Gateron Optical Switches: 68pcs
  • ✅Gateron Optical Switches Compatible SMD optical keyboard…
  • ✅4.6 out of 5 stars

4. Cherry MX Black

Cherry MX Black

As far as the durability of a switch is concerned, you will find Cherry MX Black always on the top list due to its consistency and extreme durability which they provide to users.

Cherry MX Black is famous as an all-rounder switch in between the mechanical keyboard community.

You will be happily surprised to know that these switches are designed to survive 100 million keystrokes in their lifespan that’s why it is declared top-rated switches in terms of durability benchmark.

The bottom-out actuation force is 60-gram which is slightly higher and needs a little bit more pressure for keystrokes.

Some users may feel it scratchy while typing, it is slightly possible if you are coming from the smoothest linear switches. Otherwise, these switches are good to go with.

One of the major upsides for Cherry Black switches is they are considered to be the Vintage Switches.

Vintage Switches simply means that the old switches were constructed with the help of original tooling at the Cherry Factory.

If you are the kind of user who uses any tech device for a long period of time without changing, there are Cherry black Switches that will be best suitable for you.

PROS

CONS

Most Durable among our list.

Required excessive pressure (60-gram) for actuation.

All-rounder Switch

Not ideal for Fast-paced Gaming

Considered to be The Vintage Switches

Stability with Studier Build

Bestseller No. 1

Cherry MX Black Amazon
  • ✅Originally 100% Made in Germany By Cherry
  • ✅1 Puller tool is included in Package. 12 month Warranty
  • ✅Compatible with most Mechanical Keyboards keyboard…
  • ✅Redragon,MechanicalEagle,Havit,Aukey, Huo Ji, corsair.

5. Cherry MX Speed Silver

Cherry MX Speed Silver

Are you a Hardcore Gamer?

Or are you the kind of user who perpetually plays games as a profession? If yes, then probably you are looking for a switch that is specially made for gaming.

Here I would suggest you the name ‘Cherry MX Speed Silver’, these switches are totally dedicated to the gaming community.

With the fast and consistent actuation, smooth and fast typing, and exceptionally good response time, all technical benchmarks are highly required to achieve an excellent gaming experience.

These Cherry MX Speed Silver switches are equipped with all the functionality and are very much capable to handle all the requests.

These switches consist of shorter actuation and have an ideal travel distance that makes it expressively fast for gaming and gives a broad edge over other switches on our list.

It can easily survive with aggressively typing too, even up to 100 million keystrokes because of having extreme durability.

The fastest reaction time plays a significant role in fast-paced gaming and these switches are completely dominant in this benchmark too.

Considering all the above factors, It can be concluded that Cherry MX speed Silver switches are the best linear switches for gaming.

You can enjoy every bit of gaming with these switches.

PROS

CONS

Best for Gaming

Expensive switches compared to others. (May not be a Con for some users)

Fast and Consistence Actuation (45-gram)

Easy to press and Fast Reaction Time

Ideal Travel Distance

Durable and Stable

Bestseller No. 1

Cherry MX Speed Keyboard
  • Aura Sync RGB Lighting
  • Customizable Badge
  • ✅USB Pass-Through
  • Media Controls

6. Durock Linear Switches

Durock Linear Switches

The mechanical switches from Durock maybe sound new and it is not as famous as the Gateron or Cherry but when comes to performance, these Durock Linear switches are preferred by many keyboard enthusiasts.

Durock linear switches offer impressive and exceptional performance along with precise efficiency.

The thing which makes these switches unique is their solid and decent firm feel which not only provides a sturdier build to it but also is responsible for a smooth and express fast typing experience.

You may noticeably feel spring wobble and ping while doing fast typing on it.

These Durock switches arrive at you without a pre-lubing but at the same time, they are completely equal to the pre-lubing switches so this is not going to be a problem for you.

The POM stem and its construction materials enhance the overall smoothness, typing speed, and hold over it. 

Overall, It’s entirely splendid switches that’s why it grabbed a position in our list of the best linear switches.

You should try it once and you will love it later I assured you.

PROS

CONS

Solid Firm Film

Spring Wobble

Good Performance and Build

Do not come with Pre-lubing

Quiet Economical

7. Outemu Red Switches

Outemu Red Switches

These Red Switches from Outemu are one of the best budgets Red switches you can get on the mechanical switch market.

A budget switch doesn’t mean low performance or low quality instead Outemu Red switches are powered by many advanced functionalities and provide excellent performance to the users as well.

These Red switches can compete with any other premium Red switches available in the keyboard market.

keeping in mind Cherry’s Red switch performance, Outemu Red switches are specially designed to inherit all the properties and character of Cherry’s Red.

Frankly speaking, they are complete clones of Cherry’s Red switches except for the price which is very economical.

Talking about the performance of Outemu Red, they come with 50-gram actuation and a travel distance of 4mm which is considered to be good.

You can register keystrokes with a little amount of pressure due to low actuation as a result, these red switches are easy to press.

Durability can be a downside for these switches because they are not as stable as the other above switches which I’ve listed, despite it can work smoothly for a couple of years, even longer without any problem.

The strongest point which forced me to select these linear switches is their High-quality clicks with an inaudible sound that makes Outemu Red is stand out from the crowd.

So if you can’t afford Cherry Red switches due to their expensive cost and still want the same performance as it, you should check out Outemu Red Switches without a single doubt.

PROS

CONS

Clone of Cherry Red Switches

Not Stable and Sturdier

Cheapest Red Switch

Feel very mediocre

High Quality Clicks with Inaudible Sound

Overall Good Performance

Bestseller No. 1

Outemu Red Switches Amazon
  • ✅Works with Granvela,MechanicalEagle, Eagletec,redragon
  • ✅life 50 million operations Trigger
  • ✅sense of the paragraph Key sound
  • ✅Very Economical

Best Switches For Gaming

‘Gaming’ A segment that boosts the sell and made a mechanical keyboard widely popular among users.

But Dou you Know? A mechanical switch that is generally mounted on PCB plays a vital role to get a fast and efficient gaming experience.

So there are certain technical benchmarks a switch has to be equipped with so a user may get the best gaming performance with a mechanical keyboard.

A switch that offers fast response time, fast and certain actuation and fast typing is considered the best switch for gaming.

So for this, I would highly recommend Cherry MX Speed Silver switches for gaming as these switches have all the specs and functionality as well as capable to handle these all tasks easily.

I can conclude that these Cherry Speed Silver are the best linear switches which especially made for the gaming community.

How To Lube Your Switches

Lubing a switch is the most significant factor to achieve extra smoothness, while some users are comfortable with Pre-lubing which comes from the factory.

if you want to lube your keyboard switches, Here is the complete guide on how you can easily lube any mechanical switches:

Source: Keybored

 

Conclusion

Well, This is the best linear switches list I have shorted which is completely based on proper research and deep study. It took lots of time so you can appreciate it by commenting down!

Come to the conclusive part, Linear Switches are the most suitable for those who are willing to enjoy a fast, smooth, and silent typing experience with a non-clicky feel and no tactile bump.

You can get these linear switches for any kind of environments like your office space, professional gaming, day-to-day usage, and a place where silence is a priority.

It is highly advisable that every switch I listed have its own specialty and different purpose so first make sure to read complete information about them and then finally take a step to buy.

These linear switches will beautify your mechanical keyboard. Believe me!!

I hope this best linear switches post was helpful to you.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers!!

Best Linear Switches FAQs

Are linear switches better?

Linear switches are better for those people who don't want a tactile bump or no clicking sound from their keyboard switch indeed they love a very fast, smooth, and silent typing experience that's why they mostly prefer linear switches.

What is the best Cherry MX linear switch?

Cherry MX Speed Silver Switches are considered the best linear switches in Cherry's family because they are most stable, highly durable, have consistency and fast actuation with ideal travel distance, and are very easy to press. These all specifications make them the best switches on the market.

What is the smoothest mechanical switch?

Gateron Ink Black is the smoothest mechanical switch due to their high-quality plastic material from which they are built along with the smoky top and bottom housing to enhance smoothness to peak level.

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