A Guide To Choosing Switches For Your Budget Silent Keyboards

In order to learn more about assembling keyboards, I’ve been buying a series of budget keyboard equipment. In a previous post, I had talked about buying a barebones TKL keyboard in the mid twenty range and filling it with switches and keycaps. More recently, I found myself stumbling across these $20 hefty barebones 75% keyboards, which I’d share the link to if it hadn’t sold out and been delisted rather quickly. It seems to be older stock someone was clearing out, which is a lesson that you can get some reasonable deals if you hunt around Amazon. Some people prefer something like Aliexpress, because certainly you can get some good deals drop-shipped from China, but I find Amazon has a bit more payment protection.

The switches I tried in my previous post were silent linear switches, but there are also silent tactile. Tactile switches provide a bump through the keystroke, which many individuals prefer, especially those who type a lot.

To evaluate switches of the same type, we need a few more terms. Actuation or operating force is the amount of force needed to activate the switch. Lighter switches may allow for fast registering of keypresses, but they can also increase mistakes due accidental triggering of a key. Heavier switches may reduce accidental keypresses, and can also cause fatigue after long typing sessions. The pre-travel is the distance the switch travels before it is pressed.

I explored a few switches. The Gamakay Pegasus Silent Pegasus Switches, which has a 50g actuation force and 2mm pre-travel. It is reasonably priced at well. Then I checked out the Outemu Silent Yellow Jade Switch, which is even less expensive, and also has a 50g actuation force, but a 3.3mm travel. There are also ones that require less force, for example, the Outemu Lime. Force is a matter of preference. I’ve found the Silent Yellows feel better to me.

Trying out switches is an endless road of preference. There are multiple vendors, multiple types(we didn’t even get into clicky as they aren’t silent deliberately), and a variety of opinions. Today, I’m enjoying the Silent Yellow Jades, tomorrow, I may try something different.


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