Tactile vs linear vs clicky is the topic that is usually discussed in the community of computer users. You should know that each type of keyboard switch can be ideal for the one who is fond of the features of the same.
So, if you are stuck in choosing the switch that fits your requirements and needs best, then this article is for you. Continue reading to gather complete details regarding all types of mechanical switches and make a wise decision.
- 1 Comparison Table for Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches
- 2 What Are the Differences Between Tactile, Linear, and Clicky Switches?
- 3 What Is Tactile Switch Best For?
- 4 What Is Linear Switch Best For?
- 5 What Is Clicky Switch Best For?
- 6 FAQ
- 6.1 1. How Much Spring Force Is Preferable?
- 6.2 2. Should You Consider Longevity Before Buying a Keyboard and Why?
- 6.3 3. What Is Travel Distance?
- 6.4 4. Is Tactile or Linear Switch a Better Option for Gaming?
- 6.5 5. What Do You Mean By Actuation Point?
- 6.6 6. Does Using Any Mechanical Keyboard Feel Similar To Working on a Mechanical Typewriter?
- 7 Conclusion
Comparison Table for Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches
|Red, Yellow, Black, Silver
|Quite audible feedback
|Very loud feedback
|Best for fast-paced games
|Great for tournament type games
|Best for silent typists
|Best for the typewriter lovers
What Are the Differences Between Tactile, Linear, and Clicky Switches?
The main difference between tactile, linear, and clicky is that a tactile switch produces a little sound, a linear switch stays quiet, while a clicky switch is super noisy. Also, a tactile and clicky switch feels bumpy as compared to the linear buttery smooth switch.
– Different Color Switches
Moreover, the different switch types are available in different colors, including the red, yellow, black, brown, clear, green, and blue switches. The different colors of the Cherry MX switches point toward the features of the given switches. Note that the stated company was the first to start the trend of assigning a particular color name to a specific type of switch. You can read the descriptions of the given colors under the following subheads:
- Blue switch
A blue-colored switch represents a switch with medium resistance. The Cherry MX blue produces a loud, clicky sound and requires an average pressing force.
- Green switch
A green-colored switch indicates a switch with high resistance. The MX green produces a loud clicky sound and requires a hard pressing force to enter a key.
- Red switch
A red-colored switch points toward a linear switch with low resistance. The Cherry MX red doesn’t produce any sound, is consistent, and requires a little push to enter a key.
- Yellow switch
A yellow-colored switch represents a linear switch with average resistance. The said yellow switch produces zero sound, is smooth-to-touch, and requires an average amount of pressing force to enter a key.
- Black switch
A black-colored switch indicates a high-resistance linear switch.
The given black “mechanical keyboard” switch remains silent, is consistent, and requires you to push it a bit harder than the yellow and red switches.
- Brown switch
A brown-colored switch indicates a tactile switch with average resistance. The Cherry MX brown switch gives back a small clicky sound and requires a medium push. Also, the browns feel the best while typing because they make you feel that the mechanical keyboard is under your control and it isn’t running without notifying you. Another name for the said switch is “middle ground switch.”
- Clear switch
A clear or transparent switch is a tactile switch that comes with high resistance. The given clear mechanical keyboard switch returns an audible click sound and requires a hard push to enter a key.
- Cherry MX Speed silver switches
The silver speed switches come under the category of the linear type of switches. You’ll find the given switches faster and smoother than the red ones because the former has a shorter “actuation” point than the latter.
Along with this, a tactile keyboard provides good and noticeable feedback while typing. However, you won’t get any feedback from a linear keyboard. On the other hand, a clicky keyboard provides you with quite loud feedback that can be heard easily.
– Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky for Gaming
If you are an average player and prefer to hear a sound at each keystroke, then go for the tactile type of switches. However, if you spend more time playing fast-paced games and want to have a consistent key pressing experience, then the linear type of switches are your thing. On the other hand, if you like the concept of loud keystrokes and often play tournaments and matches on your PC, then it would be a great idea to choose the clicky type of switch.
What Is Tactile Switch Best For?
A tactile switch is best for typing and programming. Plus, many people prefer the given switches for gaming as per their personal choice.
– Tactile Switch Review
A beginner should definitely go for tactile switches. It is because a noticeable amount of feedback is important for all beginners.
The tactile switches come with a longevity of 20 million keystrokes. It’s quite a long lifetime. Thus, you won’t be disappointed after opting for a “tactile” keyboard.
The “tactile” switches can be a great choice if you are looking for office keyboards. You will find its clicky sound noticeably quite satisfactory while you type the documents or code for your next program. The clicky feedback provided by the said type of switches helps the users to keep track of their work without disturbing the people around them.
If you are an avid gamer and are wondering if tactile switches can be a good choice for gaming, the answer is yes. But note that it depends more on your personal preference and the type of the game. If you neither play fast-paced games nor like the clicky switches loud noise, then tactile switches can be perfect for you. The tactile bumps will notify you of every action that you take in the game while giving you a satisfying gaming experience.
What Is Linear Switch Best For?
A linear switch is best for fast-paced gaming and typing or programming silently. The buttery smooth feeling provided by the same to the users is very satisfying.
Also, if you don’t want to be notified for pressing every keystroke, then the consistent linear switches keyboard can be the best option for you.
– Linear Switches Review
The linear switches usually have a longevity of 50 million keystrokes. The long lifetime of linear switches paired with the consistent typing and gaming experience makes them an exceptional choice.
You can use the given switches in your office, library, home, or any place where you are required to be silent. Pick up your linear switch keyboard wherever the signboard says “Please Maintain Silence.” It won’t disturb your colleagues, friends, or even your family if you are working from home.
Expert programmers or typists, and gamers should opt for linear switches due to the consistent experience offered by the same. Also, the computer experts often don’t require feedback because they are confident enough to carry out their tasks without continuously being informed about their actions. So, it won’t be wrong to say that a quiet working or gaming environment is their priority which is fulfilled by the “linear” switches efficiently.
Although silver switches are new and faster than red, the red mechanical switches are the best choice for gaming. Also, the silver switches are the best in the entire linear category.
What Is Clicky Switch Best For?
A clicky switch is best for typing, especially for professional typewriters. Plus, it’s a quite satisfactory option for competing in tournaments or matches as it makes the game enjoyable.
– Clicky Switches Review
A beginner should buy a keyboard with clicky switches. It is because proper and easily audible feedback is necessary for a beginner.
The razer clicky optical switches have a longevity of 100 million keystrokes. However, the standard clicky mechanical switches come with a lifetime of 50 million keystrokes. In both cases, you will have the maximum number of keystrokes as compared to other switch types.
But be aware that you can’t use these switches in your office. It is because the loud feedback provided by the same switches will disturb your colleagues and the office staff. Remember that clicky switches can only be a great option when you are working alone or from home.
So, if you like the clicky sound and want it to be louder than the one produced by the tactile, then choose this option. You won’t regret your decision.
1. How Much Spring Force Is Preferable?
The spring force can be either high or low, depending on the type of the keyboard switch. The given types of spring force favor the people with both heavy and light hands. Plus, the amount of the said force should align with the heaviness or lightness of your hands.
If you can’t figure out how much spring force would be good enough for you, then read the paragraph below.
Think about the time when you touched your friend lightly, and he complained about getting a hard hit by you. No doubt, it wasn’t your bad intention, but you have just got a heavy hand. So, you must go for a high spring force keyboard.
Continuing the same scenario, if you feel hand pain after frankly hitting your friend, then choose a low spring force keyboard.
2. Should You Consider Longevity Before Buying a Keyboard and Why?
Yes, you should consider the longevity of the mechanical keyboard switches before buying the same. It is because neither you buy a keyboard every other day nor you would like to spend your hard-earned money on a product that wears out in a few days. So, it would be best to check out the possible lifetime of a keyboard before purchasing it to not waste your money on something that will not serve you for an adequate time span.
3. What Is Travel Distance?
The space that your finger covers with every next keystroke is termed travel distance. Interestingly, different keyboards come with different travel distances that depend on the switch type and model.
You can find the best one for you by testing them yourself and trying to type on a variety of keyboards.
4. Is Tactile or Linear Switch a Better Option for Gaming?
A simple answer to the above question is that it depends on your gaming needs and the experience that you would appreciate. Thus, if you don’t want to get notified for every action, like to play fast-paced games, and would appreciate a smooth gaming experience, then a linear switch is a better option for you. On the other hand, if the sound of the tactile bump gives you pleasure and you want to hear it every time you press the keys while playing the game, then you can give a chance to the tactile switches.
5. What Do You Mean By Actuation Point?
An “actuation” point can be defined as the distance covered by the switch for registering as input and being recognized by the keyboard. The said distance is measured from the key cap to the point that registers the pressed key.
6. Does Using Any Mechanical Keyboard Feel Similar To Working on a Mechanical Typewriter?
No, there isn’t any modern keyboard that gives the same feeling like a mechanical typewriter. The modern keyboards are quite easier to use, and the clicky ones provide good feedback. So, you can have a keyboard that gives you a better experience than the typewriter, but the feeling and experience will never be the same.
The above article informed you about the difference and similarities among the various types of switches. Here, the main difference between the tactile, linear, and clicky switches is the amount of noise made by the same. The tactile switches produce a little sound, the linear type of switches don’t make any noise at all, while the clicky switches are super loud.
Thus, you can make a choice for the switch type depending on the preferred amount of feedback, level of sound, and the type of the tasks performed. Also, you can try using all kinds of keyboards and see which one matches your preference and purpose the best. Please feel free to read this article any time you get confused about the different types of key switches.