Choose the switches of its mechanical keyboard

How to choose your keyboard switches?

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How to choose the right switches for your keyboard?

If you already have an interest in customizing mechanical keyboards mechanical keyboardsyou probably know that the choice of switches is important! But how to choose them ? What are the criteria to remember to order the ones that will suit you really ?

Here are some valuable tips on how to do this. Don't hesitate to follow them, because a too hasty or inappropriate selection could, at least partially, spoil your experience as a user.

Choosing the switches for your mechanical keyboard

1. An essential criterion: the issue of noise

Some people are more discreet than others.

And the same can be said for keyboards !

This is easily explained. According to the structure of the switch and its components, a more pronounced sound will be emitted by the key when you hit it.

This is directly linked to to choices made at the time of manufactureconsisting in particular in installing a particular element at the level of the actuation point. You know, this crucial area that allows you to detect your strike!

One might ask why a designer of switches would want to make his peripherals more noisy.

In reality, the word nuisance is a bit unfair. If you've ever tried it, you probably know: clicky keyboardsIf you've ever tried it, you'll know: clicky keyboards, the ones that get noticed, offer a special experience. In a way, they contribute to the comfort of use, marking and underlining the pressures in an exhilarating way.

That said, not everyone wants to make their run sound. You may live with a roommate, for example, and a noisy keyboard could become a source of conflict. In that case, you should prefer tactile switcheswhich are more discreet. Pressing them may be less "satisfying", more "subtle", but you will also be able to focus better on your task and avoid disturbing others.


When you choose your keycaps and the switches that go with them, make sure to check which category they belong to. The famous cherry GXrange, for example, offers both "clicky" and "touch" variants. The more nostalgic will stick to the intermediate variants.

How to choose the switches of its keyboard CHERRY MX RED

2. Consider the activation distance

Depending on the choices you make, the activation distance will be more or less large.

In other words, and even if this is measured in milliseconds, there is a small delay between the moment when your finger meets the key and the moment when the pressure activates the famous actuation point.

A typical user will probably not notice any difference in this respect, regardless of the keyboard, unless the device is defective of course. On the other hand, a gameror someone who uses his keyboard in a very specific way in a professional contextwill benefit from looking into the matter.

Attention instinctively, one could think that the faster you typethe more a switch that requires a high level of reactivity is indicated. But the reality is more subtle. If your running speed you might prefer a moderate sensitivity to the moderateIf your speed is high, you might prefer a moderate sensitivity to avoid typos caused by the frantic pace of your pressing.

In any case, it is not an exact science. Experience will allow you to gauge what is best suited to your profile as a player or writer.


Logically, the activation distance is calculated in millimeters. When choosing your switches, consider that those with 1.5mm, for example, imply a higher reactivity than those with 2.0mm.

Once again, the margin is not immediately and concretely perceptible, the margin is not immediately and concretely perceptible. But in the medium and long term, in the "heat of the moment", the difference can influence your operations.

You should know that the Razer Yellow require a activation distance very low: it goes down to 1.2mm!

How to choose the switches for your custom keyboard

3. Actuating force 

No, you will never build up your fingers by typing on a keyboard, for a simple reason: fingers are not composed of any muscle.

Now that this myth has been shattered, let's get back to our switches. Depending on your choice, it will be necessary to hit more or less hard to get the desired result. And because technicians never do things by halves, another unit of measurement is used here: grams.

More precisely, we define the " maximum force "necessary to reach the point of actuation. The Cherry MX Blue are particularly demanding in this respect, since they require a force of about 60g.

Once again, the distinction is subtle. You will not come out more exhausted from a keyboarding sequence if the force is 45g or 60g. But experienced experienced gamers generally look for the most the most comfortable devicedepending on the games they are passionate about and the gameplay of the latter.

Therefore, do not hesitate to ask for information on forums, for example, to discover what could be the most adapted to your profile. The most reliable indicator, in this kind of case, is indeed experienceThe most reliable indicator in this case is experience, since the differences in measurements are too subtle to establish precise correlations.

Warning: this does not mean that you should choose your switches lightly! Those who do competitionfor example, make a very precise selection.

Swicths blue mechanical keyboard

Choosing your switches: our assessment

As you can see, there are many possibilities on the market. Some keyboard switch offer an intermediate experience. They don't make too much noise, but they make enough noise that you can feel the result of the pressure. Others are particularly quiet or specifically noisyOthers are particularly quiet or specifically noisy, for an intense working sensation.

At the level of activation of the keysthere are models extremely reactiveand others that require a more marked pressure.

The important thing, and this is the beauty of customizationis that you can choose the material that you need. Feel free to browse our catalog considering the criteria we have just presented! We want to provide you with quality elementsadapted to all profiles and all tastes.

1 comment

  • Jérémie

    Very interesting article!
    Thank you

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