The heart of any mechanical keyboard is a switch – aka a switch. We have collected the most popular options and figured out how they differ.
A quick tour of switches in mechanical keyboards
Initially, there were three types of switches: Cherry MX switches were the most famous. Not so long ago, a fourth option appeared, becoming more and more popular.
Linear switches: This switch has a linear effect on pressing the button. It is understood that when clicked, the stroke of the button is the same from start to finish. Linear switches provide neither tactile nor audible feedback when the trip point is reached.
Tactile Switches: Tactile switches have noticeable resistance when reaching the actuation point. You will feel tactile feedback after pressing a key with such a keyboard.
Clicky switches: This type of switch provides tactile and audible feedback when a button is pressed. You will feel slight resistance on mechanical keyboards with clicky switches when you press a key and hear a click sound.
Optical Switches: Optical switches have a structure similar to mechanical switch types. The difference is that metal contacts can be omitted on these keyboards. In conventional mechanical switches, these contacts send an electrical signal as soon as the switch reaches the contact; the button is pressed.
Optical switches, like mechanical switches, have a movable rod and a small spring that returns the button to its original position. Also, in optical versions, pressing the button interrupts the infrared beam. A light sensor on the board detects this and registers the keystroke.