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Switches (The Switch Meta)

For personal switch recommendations, please refer to the spreadsheet that milo and I have put together.

Guidance on switch lubing is here, and filming is here


Base switches named after colors tend to match spring weight/actuation feeling of equivalent Cherry switches, except that their Clears are light linears instead of Cherry MX Clears, which are heavy tactiles. A lot of options with some winners and some stinkers.

  • Their Pro series, offered in Silver (45g long spring), Red (55g spring), and Yellow (~63.5g spring), as well as in KS-9 (PC top, Nylon bottom, SMD compatible) or Full Milky housings are known to be decent with their factory lube and stem retool to reduce wobble.
  • Their Cap series of switches are known to be decent enough, and supposedly immune to “switch farts” if the pole/post are lubed.
  • Full Milky Housing material switches are known to be a bit scratchier than their other offerings.
  • Their Milk Top Black Bottom captures the slightly lower pitched topping out sound from the Milk Top while retaining a tolerable amount of smoothness from the nylon bottom. If you want a premium version of this, consider the Gateron X.


Popular among YouTubers for providing a low pitch sound, infamous among enthusiasts for a history of QC issues, between leaves falling out of the V1 housings, or certain batches of V2’s being significantly scratchy. Reports are mixed; the QC on these can be a crapshoot, and you can come out a winner, or risk the small possibility of coming out a loser. Still good switches, just somewhat risky.


Gateron makes Zeal switches. The general gist on these is that they are not bad at what they are marketed for, but much cheaper alternatives that provide an experience of comparable quality exist. That said, I cannot discredit people whose preference is for Zeal switches, since they’ve heard the same schpiel about how they were wasting their money and blah blah blah blah; these people knew exactly what they were getting into when they dropped $1.10/switch (probably more for the silents, clickies, or UHMWPE mix things) on them.


Starting off by selling fake Tealios with Gateron top housing molds, JWK produces some of the smoothest linears available on the market, and a respectable range of tactile options. Famous for producing the budget switch commonly referred to as “JWICK”s, and infamous for producing recolors of their base linear or tactile frequently for vendors who understand how much people like to color-coordinate their switches with the rest of their board. Their major flaw is that their tops tend to lend a particular “thin” topping out sound, and some enthusiasts mitigate against this by replacing the tops with nylon tops from Cherry MX switches.

Everglide Aqua King/Water King

Tolerance issues and overapplication of thick factory lube prevented earlier revisions from having consistent stem return. After degreasing them and re-applying thinner lube these things turn out alright, but that is much more work than you deserve to put into a jank switch. Consider Tecsee Ice Candies/Snow Globes or get over not having RGB shine completely through your switch.


Outemu switches have a bad rap for prominent leaf ping on occasion, and the fact that their switches appear in the cheapest of boards (Tecware, Redragon, etc.) does little to help their reputation. If you can lube the leaf and spring, you can get some bargain basement cheap switches that are pretty decent.

Gazzew x Outemu “Boba” Switches

These are good, you don’t need to ask. Leaf ping solved. Smooth stock. Bottoms and non-clear tops use some mystery material (generally referred to as “boba housing” or something like that) Housings are extremely tight, to the point where hard films (polycarbonate), or any films for that matter, are not recommended, and not recommended to be used for franken-switching with non-Outemu stems. Can’t really go wrong with these otherwise. Slightly hard to source, but not impossible if you’re willing to shop at MKZealots on AliExpress. Check for vendor listings.


Purportedly affiliated with BSUN (YOK Panda manufacturer) in the past, Tecsee makes interesting switches with tight housings that are occasionally plagued by one inscrutable issue or another. The sound of their nylon housings are pretty nice. Leaves (especially on their tactiles, like Salmons, Neapolitans, Glorious Pandas, etc.) are prone to some small amount of leaf ping across the board (just lube the side of the leaf, you’ll be fine).

PME Housings

New plastic used exclusively by Tecsee. Fairly low in pitch, but also muted with lack of reverb. Nothing wrong with it as a material, but it is prone to flaking - no reports have claimed that it disrupts switch functionality, but to prevent you from freaking out, this is something you should know before you purchase something like Purple Pandas, Carrots, Giant v5’s, or Kingfishers.

UHMWPE/PE Mix materials

Diamond tops fly off a little bit too easily. Lychee and Ruby/Sapphire stems (UHMWPE mix) shrink too much, and are subject to prominent amounts of stem wobble. The PE mix used in Naevy, Raed, and Snag switches is prone to creating a brittle product that has had occasional reports of it snapping off into keycaps. The UPE housings might not be as cursed, but are on the loud and high-pitched side.


Cherry is a good case study in how injection plastic molds do wear out over time - we see cycles of Cherry retooling their switch molds, leading them to become significantly smoother than previous batches, then newly produced switches gradually becoming scratchier and scratchier until they’re back to meeting their reputation as a manufacturer of scratchy switches.


Late 2020 retool that applied to Reds, Browns, and Blacks. Early batches were reported to be unexpectedly smooth (for Cherry). Later batches to date are starting to get scratchy again. The plate mount (3 pin) housings felt scratchier than the PCB mount (5 pin) between two batches purchased between DangKeebs and Divinikey around September-October 2021.

Non-Hyperglide “Retool”

Retool that occurred sometime around 2017 for most switches except for Clears. Again, smooth at first, but the longer time went on and the molds were used, the scratchier the housings produced became.


Popular in China, less popular in the West. Known to be smooth, medium priced. Can’t go wrong with these!


A big manufacturer that produces all sorts of sensor equipment, not just limited to MX switch clones. Not awful, just less popular in the switch meta currently for not generating anything particularly interesting, although they do have some funky options. Generally, their switches are of “winglatch” style, which requires an opener different from your regular 4-pin opener, or a flathead.

Full POM Housing (Creams, Blueberries, etc.)

Infamous for being scratchy as all hell. Claims about POM being a self-lubricating plastic are marketing miscommunications of the material’s science. Someone’s going to tell you that you can “break these in” and they’re “good after they’re broken in”, but it’s generally not worth it. These have been used to make frankenswitches made popular by YouTube videos, but you can use other Kailh linear stems as stand-ins for these. Otherwise, it’s probably better to avoid them in lieu of some other POM housing switch, such as a Durock POM, or Infinitykey Cow. Reports of improvements for Kailh Box Cream Pros are coming in from China, but I’m hesitant on them still.

Box Tactile

A flaw in the design of how Kailh Box switches generate a tactile event means that after the lube has worn off between the stem leg and leaf, a small click sound can be heard from these switches when pressed, per this Geekhack thread.


Manufactures Akko CS line of switches, as well as Akko Jelly (probably)/Akko CS/Akko Jelly. Smooth linears with fairly light (generally 62g and below) springs at cheap prices. Tactiles are decent. A lot of spring variants for their linears. They’re good switches, you’re fine.


They’re fine, pretty smooth. Their nylon is a bit high-pitched/”clacky”. I have nothing more to report.


Known mostly for the making of the original panda and now infamously the Drop Holy Panda.

Drop x Invyr Holy Panda

Made somewhat famous by a certain internet video, some praise it as a “thock” and tactile king. Made up of the housing of a panda and an Halo stem, the combination of leaves and stems creates a large rounded tactile bump. Drop notoriously has lied about its past in terms of materials, factory lubrication, and the original destroyed molds of the Invyr panda being somehow mysteriously found in the back. At this moment, these are severely overpriced for other competing switches on the market that fill its certain role. Too many clones and mold variations have passed for us to really say if this is a true holy panda anymore, if you really want one, some recommend buying YOK pandas to assemble yourself. Boba U4Ts and JWK/Durock T1s are a great alternative. Also beware of such clones that promise to be a Holy Panda such as Fekers or Holy Toms.


Formerly transliterated as “Homoo”, new player to the West, already making some switches for some OEM. Decent factory lube with occasional spring ping or spring crunch. Otherwise, they’re pretty nice stock! They have an interesting sound dampening technique where instead of using some silicone or foam gasket to dampen the impact of switch hitting plastic, part of the stem on the top and bottom has some bendy piece of plastic that bends when it absorbs the impact of colliding with the top or bottom housing. For the most part, based on pricing with Geon, CannonKeys, and whoever sells Haimu Sea Salt Lemons on AliExpress, you should not pay much more than 30 cents USD per switch.


Polycarbonate top, nylon bottom, long pole. I’ve seen how this movie ends. The factory lube job is supposed to be decent, at least.

Other players

The switch market is constantly expanding, and I don’t know less about the less prominent manufacturers than I’d be comfortable with writing about. Leobog and Haimu have recently come to my attention, Aflion’s growing popular as a manufacturer among vendors who love to do the whole “switch-named-after-food-from-low-MOQ-manufacturer” thing, LCET