Linear switches are a popular choice for mechanical keyboards due to their smooth, consistent actuation and lack of tactile feedback. These characteristics make them well-suited for fast typing and gaming, as there is no need to overcome a tactile bump in order to register a keystroke.
When it comes to choosing the best linear switch, there are a few key factors to consider. First, consider the actuation force and travel distance of the switch. Actuation force refers to the amount of force required to register a keystroke, while travel distance refers to the distance the switch travels from its resting position to its actuated position.
A switch with a lower actuation force and shorter travel distance will generally be faster and more responsive, but may require more effort to press down. On the other hand, a switch with a higher actuation force and longer travel distance may be easier to press but may not be as responsive.
Another factor to consider is the switch stem. The stem is the part of the switch that the keycap sits on, and different stem shapes and sizes can affect the feel of the switch. For example, a switch with a taller stem may require more force to press down, while a switch with a shorter stem may be easier to press but may feel less stable.
One of the most popular linear switches on the market is the Cherry MX Red. These switches have a low actuation force of 45 grams and a short travel distance of 4mm, making them fast and responsive. They are also widely available and compatible with a variety of keycaps, making them a good choice for those looking to customize their keyboard.
Another popular linear switch is the Gateron Red. These switches have a slightly higher actuation force of 50 grams and a slightly longer travel distance of 4.5mm, but are still considered fast and responsive. They are also less expensive than Cherry MX switches and have a smooth, consistent feel.
The Kailh Speed Silver is another linear switch that is popular among gamers. These switches have a very low actuation force of 35 grams and a short travel distance of 3.5mm, making them extremely fast and responsive. They are also available in a variety of stem sizes and shapes, allowing users to customize the feel of their keyboard.
There are also a number of other linear switches on the market, including the Razer Yellow, Logitech Romer-G, and SteelSeries QX2. Each of these switches has its own unique characteristics, so it’s important to try out a few different options before making a decision.
In addition to choosing the right linear switch, it’s also important to consider the build quality and durability of the keyboard itself. Look for keyboards with a high-quality PCB (printed circuit board) and robust, reliable switches that will stand up to heavy use.
Overall, the best linear switch will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Consider the actuation force, travel distance, and stem shape and size of different switches, as well as the build quality of the keyboard, when making your decision. With so many options on the market, there is sure to be a linear switch that meets your needs.