When you purchased a mechanical keyboard for the first time did you ever notice which type of switches your mechanical keyboard consists of?
If you didn’t, you should know which type of mechanical switch will perfectly suit your keyboard.
Whether it is for typing, gaming, editing, or any specific task.
Mechanical Keyboard became very important for all kinds of scenario and must be having product on your computer desk.
And mechanical switches play a vital role to make the keyboard very special and unique.
Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches Comparison
These mechanical switches come in different colors like Blue, Brown, Red, Black, and Yellow, and each color denotes their switch profile.
Here is the elaborated comparison table for Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky switches:
Loud but not like Clicky
Strong Tactile Bump
No Tactille Bump
Slightly lower Actuation than Clicky switches
Good for typing having tactile feedback with moderate noise.
Silent and smooth typing experience.
Excellent for typing having tactile feedback with very loud noise.
Tactile switches are quite moderate in terms of gaming experience.
Linear switches are considered good for fast paced gaming because they are expressely fast and responsive.
Many proffessionals consider Clicky switches best for gaming as they are fast and heavy switches.
I am embedding a video for you to get a real feel of all these three Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches, so don’t forget to watch it.
Source: hXc Hector
What are Tactile Switches?
Tactile switches are kind of mechanical switches that are quite popular with the name of ‘Bumpy switches’ among keyboard lovers due to their bumpy feedback while typing.
Tactile switches mainly aim to produce a tactile bump over top of it so users may get strong tactile feedback when they register a keystroke.
Tactile feedback can be an indication of a successful key logged in.
These tactile switches deliver balanced sound as they are not so loud or not so silent. As a result, you will get a balanced sound profile.
These switches can be a good choice for office work because of their balanced sound profile, accurate clicks, and precise responses.
Should You Get Tactile Switches?
There are some factors associated with the tactile switches that need to be concerned before buying them.
These tactile switches have some higher actuation force which means you have to press them attentively along with a little bit more pressure to register a keystroke.
That is the main reason tactile switches allow error-free typing and a little bump to ensure everything is working fine and smooth and you can go forward.
However, the sound is not so loud and annoying and leaves a clicky sound with it.
Tactile switches are an excellent option for day-to-day usage, typing, office usage but for fast-paced gaming, I will not suggest you buy them.
If you are upgrading from a membrane keyboard to a mechanical keyboard for the first time, I can highly recommend you to buy a mechanical keyboard having tactile switches.
What are Linear Switches?
As far as the smoothness and silence of a switch are concerned, these linear switches are always on the top.
Linear switches are well known to provide extra buttery smoothness along with a silent typing experience to the users.
These switches produce consistent actuation throughout the typing on it.
The main significant difference between linear and tactile switches is the linear switches do not come with a tactile bump so you may not feel tactile feedback during keystrokes.
These linear switches are the most preferred and widely used switches in the gaming community due to their low and consistent actuation, fast response, and super smoothness profile.
Apart from gaming, these switches are also best suited for fast typing, programming, as well as for office work and central apartments where silence is the topmost priority.
No one is going to disturb a bit by their typing sound.
If you prefer a butter-smooth typing experience with a silent sound profile, Linear switches are made for you.
Should You Get Linear Switches?
There is no doubt linear switches are many users’ favorite switches due to many characteristics like their smoothness and excellent feel on them.
So the question is should I buy linear switches?
I would say if you are already using a mechanical keyboard and coming from it and want to replace it with a new mechanical keyboard having linear switches, then you should buy it without too much thinking.
But if you have never used a mechanical keyboard before then you might get some difficulties using it initially because a bottom-out force can create some discomfort and pain on your hand.
It is just the possibilities so it depends on the individuals too.
For gaming, these switches are considered the best speed switches for any mechanical keyboard.
Gradually when you become used to it, you will enjoy it more while typing and gaming on these switches.
What are Clicky Switches?
Clicky switches are the type of mechanical keyboard switches that aims to generate a tactile bump and a clicky sound when it is pressed.
You can hear the clicky audible sound with each keystroke.
Clicky switches offer tactile feedback while typing on them, as a result, users can ensure that all keypresses are being successfully logged in and their clicking sounds do stamps on keystrokes.
Clicky switches are the loudest switches among all three switch profiles.
I assured you will be well aware of the most popular Blue switches which come in the clicky switches category.
These Blue switches are many people’s hot favorite due to their loud and clicking sound as well as a tactile bump so users have a fun and satisfying experience while typing on them.
Should You Get Clicky Switches?
Well if you asked me should I get clicky switches for my keyboard?
I will directly answer you that it totally depends on your surrounding circumstances so you should keep in mind before buying them.
There is no second thought to say these clicky switches are fun to type but as long as you are inside a private space.
If you work or live in a public place or central apartments where silence is a priority or even you usually talk through a microphone then you can not use these clicky switches a bit due to their very loud sound profile.
People may get disturbed surrounding you while using clicky switches.
If you have a private space or living room where no one is close to you, you are definitely free to use clicky switches or even you can enjoy typing on them.
Other Switch Features You Should Look
As we have discussed above mechanical switch types, their characteristics like sound, speed, tactile bump as well as which are the best for your keyboard.
But do you know?
Apart from that, there are some significant factors too, which you should look at before buying mechanical switches.
These main features are durability, longevity, actuation, and travel distance.
I will explain how these features play a vital role and affect the performance of mechanical switches.
Longevity And Durability
Mechanical keyboards are usually more expensive than most membrane keyboards, so if you are ready to pay some extra money for a good switch.
You must check their durability as how long these switches will last in regular use.
In terms of durability, Cherry Mx Switches are designed sturdy and best known to survive up to 100 million keystrokes.
Overall, mechanical switches need to be sturdy and stable so they can be able to work efficiently for a long period of time.
You should verify it before buying any mechanical switches.
Actuation can be defined as the amount of pressure that needs to be put to successfully register a keystroke.
There are slight variations in every different purpose of using these mechanical switches.
You can simply understand by ‘For Gaming light actuation forces are considered ideal whereas For typing a moderate or heavy actuation are considered good to avoid mistyping.’
Linear switches (Red and Black Switches) generally have low actuation.
Tactile switches (Brown and Clear switches) have moderate actuation and noise.
Whereas Clicky (Blue and Green switches) have a high actuation with a high clicky sound.
The variation in actuation forces creates a major difference between Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches.
First of all, find out your purpose for using these switches then buy them accordingly for best results.
Travel distance simply means how your fingers move during each keystroke on the keyboard.
Every switch has a different travel distance based on its structure and build.
Fast and Speedy switches tend to have a shorter travel distance like (Low-Profile switches) so users may be able to type as fast as they can.
Most mechanical switches have a 4mm travel distance which is considered ideal for conventional usage.
What Are the Different Mechanical Switch Colors?
Image Source: dreamstime
While going through mechanical switches you have observed there are different no. of color associated with these switches.
Do you know what does all mean? which color refer to which switch type?
Well, mechanical switches come in various colors based on their switch type and every switch color has its own characters and specialty.
The switch colors associated with mechanical keyboards are Blue, Black, Brown, Red, and in some cases, Green and Yellow switches also come with mechanical keyboards.
Here are the brief summary and explanations about these all switches and their colors:
1. Blue Switches
Blue switches are the most popular and most preferred switches among teenagers as well as keyboard lovers because of their loud clicky sound.
These Blue switches are a clicky type of switch that has a tactile bump to produce a bumpy feel along with producing a loud clicky sound profile to ensure successful keystrokes.
Many users love this clicky sound from the Blue switches and enjoy typing on it while some users don’t like loud noise.
Overall Blue switches are well durable and can last for many years.
You can buy these Blue switches if you have a private space where no one is there to get disturbed by these switches’ loud sound.
You will gonna love typing on these switches.
Check out our best-picked Blue switches mechanical keyboard including a gaming mouse and gaming pad for a very economical price.
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2. Red Switches
Red switches are linear types of switches that are widely used by gaming enthusiasts due to their express fast and smooth typing experience.
Red switches have the lowest actuation and silent sound profile among all switch types, as a result, you will get the smoothest, fastest, and quieter typing experience.
The fingers gliding across the keyboard are very feasible and you will definitely love to type constantly on this keyboard compared to Tactile and Clicky switch keyboards.
If you are very new and never used a mechanical keyboard, you may get some strain and fatigue in your fingers in the beginning, but gradually when you’ll become used to it, the typing experience will be more enjoyable and satisfying.
I would say if you don’t like a noisy switch and looking to buy a switch from a gaming perspective then Red switches are best suited and you should put your hands on it.
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3. Brown Switches
Brown switches usually fall down between the blue and red switches because of their silent sound profile but higher actuation force.
These brown switches are silent switches but they have noticeably bump to give some sort of tactile feedback when pressed.
Brown switches grab the title of ‘Silent version of Blue switches’ due to the silent sound profile with the bumpy feel and slightly higher actuation force from the bottom.
Counter-Force is a significant character of these switches as they offer counter-force when they are pressed all the way.
You may like to type on these as they are not that noisy not much silent as well as not much comparatively smooth like linear switches, but it is a user-specific choice what kind of character they like.
If you are the kind of user who loves some scratchy feel with less noise, you can look for these Brown switches.
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Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky For Gaming
This is the million dollars question ‘tactile vs linear vs clicky which switch is the best for gaming purpose’?
I said million dollars question just because gaming is the main reason that boosted mechanical keyboards sell exponentially and take this keyboard into the limelight.
If you are looking for a switch that is most suitable for gaming, I would say these specifications and features you should pay attention to:
- The gaming switch must be as fast as the bullet train so you may dominate the entire game.
- The gaming switch must be equipped with a fast response time.
- They should provide a Smooth typing experience.
These are all the specifications that should be there in a gaming switch.
I will suggest ‘Red Linear Switches‘ for gaming purposes due to their express fast typing, super smoothness, silent sound profile, and very fast response time.
These linear switches all have enough capabilities to fulfill the above requirements and can give you a broad edge on gaming.
If budget is not your primary concern, I will highly recommend you to go for Cherry MX Speed Silver Switches for fast-paced gaming as speed silver are the fastest switch in the entire key switches market.
This was the in-depth comparison between tactile vs linear vs clicky switches based on every technical benchmark from their speed to their actuation force.
I hope I was able to solve your all queries related to these switches.
Mechanical switches are excellent switches having impressive typing experience and great durability as well these keyboards allow full customization according to user’s needs and purposes.
Whether you want a smooth and silent switch, tactile and bumpy switch, or bumpy or loud switch, every kind of switch is out there for you.
You have to pick out the best switches by analyzing their durability, actuation force, and longevity and what suits best to your requirements.
I hope, after reading this complete post you are now able to pick the perfect mechanical switch for your keyboard.
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Thanks for reading.
Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches FAQs
What is better tactile or linear or clicky?
It depends for which purpose you are going to use these switches as linear switches are smooth, fast, and consistent while tactile switches have strong tactile feedback and Clicky switches produce very unique loud clicky sound when pressed.
Is Linear best for gaming?
Yes, linear switches are best known to provide a fast and smooth typing experience with consistent accuracy which is highly required for fast-paced gaming.
what do linear switches feel like?
Linear switches feel very smooth and have a silent sound profile while typing on them.