Keyboard switches are an important component of a keyboard that determines the feel and sound of the keyboard while typing. There are various types of keyboard switches available in the market, each with their own unique characteristics. In this article, we will discuss how to know what keyboard switches you have and the various types of switches that are available.
To determine the type of keyboard switches you have, you can follow these steps:
- Look at the specifications of your keyboard: Many keyboard manufacturers list the type of switches used in their keyboards in the product specifications. You can check the manufacturer’s website or the product manual to find this information.
- Check the switch manufacturer: Keyboard switches are usually made by one of a few major manufacturers, such as Cherry, Kailh, or Gateron. You can often find the switch manufacturer printed on the switch itself, or you can remove a keycap and look for a logo or brand name on the switch.
- Inspect the switches visually: Keyboard switches can often be identified by their appearance. For example, Cherry MX switches have a cross-shaped stem, while Kailh switches have a plus-shaped stem. You can also identify the type of switch by the color of the stem – Cherry MX switches are often color-coded to indicate the type of switch (e.g. Cherry MX Red switches are red).
Once you have identified the type of switch you have, you can learn more about the characteristics of that switch. Here are some of the most common types of keyboard switches:
- Cherry MX switches: Cherry MX switches are some of the most popular keyboard switches on the market. They are known for their high quality and durability, and are available in a variety of colors that correspond to different switch types. For example, Cherry MX Red switches are linear switches with a smooth, linear actuation, while Cherry MX Brown switches are tactile switches with a bump halfway through the actuation.
- Kailh switches: Kailh switches are a popular alternative to Cherry MX switches. They are available in a wide range of colors and styles, including linear, tactile, and clicky switches. Kailh switches are generally less expensive than Cherry MX switches, but are not quite as durable.
- Gateron switches: Gateron switches are another popular alternative to Cherry MX switches. They are known for their smooth actuation and are available in a variety of colors and styles, including linear, tactile, and clicky switches. Gateron switches are generally less expensive than Cherry MX switches, but are still high quality.
- Razer Green switches: Razer Green switches are a proprietary switch made by Razer for their gaming keyboards. They are similar to Cherry MX Blue switches, but with a slightly shorter actuation distance and a slightly heavier actuation force. Razer Green switches are known for their loud, clicky sound and tactile feedback.
- Romer-G switches: Romer-G switches are a proprietary switch made by Logitech for their gaming keyboards. They are linear switches with a smooth actuation and a shorter actuation distance than Cherry MX switches. Romer-G switches are known for their fast actuation and low profile design.
- Topre switches: Topre switches are a type of electrostatic capacitive switch that are known for their smooth, linear actuation and high quality. They are generally more expensive than other types of switches, but are also very durable.
Additionally, knowing the type of keyboard switches you have can be helpful when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. Different types of switches may require different cleaning methods or tools. For example, some switches may be more sensitive to certain types of lubricants, or may require special tools for disassembly.
It is also important to note that not all keyboard switches are created equal. Some switches may be more durable, smooth, or responsive than others. Some may be better suited for gaming, while others may be better for typing. There are also switches that are designed specifically for certain types of users, such as switches with low actuation forces for people with lighter touch, or switches with high actuation forces for people with a heavy touch.
When it comes to choosing the right keyboard switches, it is important to consider your own personal preferences and needs. Some people may prefer the smooth, linear actuation of a Cherry MX Red switch, while others may prefer the tactile feedback of a Cherry MX Brown switch. It is a matter of personal preference and what feels most comfortable and natural to you.
In conclusion, knowing what keyboard switches you have can help you understand the feel and sound of your keyboard while typing, as well as the characteristics of the switch. To determine the type of switch you have, you can check the manufacturer’s website or product manual, look for a logo or brand name on the switch, or inspect the switch visually. There are many different types of keyboard switches available, each with their own unique characteristics. Some of the most common types of switches include Cherry MX, Kailh, Gateron, Razer Green, Romer-G, and Topre. Understanding the type of switch you have can help you make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing a new keyboard or replacing switches. It can also help you understand the pros and cons of different switch types and choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.