I’m on a mission to find my favorite switch configuration. My journey so far:
- Drop Alt High Profile keyboard ordered with Kailh speed silvers. Too heavy.
- Spring swap Speed Silvers with Sprit 40s springs (30cn activation). Too light, and high activation point meant many typos.
- Swap switches out to Gateron Clears (35cn activation)
The Gateron Clears were way better than the modded Silvers. Far fewer typos but still very light feel. After a few days however, I noticed my hands getting tired. The Clears, while better than the modded silvers, are still easy to accidentally activate if you rest your fingers on them. If you use a wrist wrest, you have tense your fingers enough so that they’re not fully resting on keycaps. This gets tiring if you’re doing it all day.
I really love the light switch feel, but it’s no use if it tires my hands out. The whole point of light switches was to reduce the wear on my fingers. Time to increase the spring weight one more notch.
In terms of pre-built switches, the next step up from Gateron Clears are basically red switches: Gateron Red, Cherry Red, Cherry Silent Red, etc. These are all 45cn activation. However the Cherry Red I have in a tester feels way heavier than a Gateron Clear. 10cn seems like a big difference.
So instead of new switches, I ordered Sprit 55s springs1. According to Sprit’s page, these have a 40cn activation force — exactly between the Clears and the Reds. I swapped out the springs in the Gateron Clears, and verified that they do activate somewhere around 40g (about 8 US nickels of weight). Interestingly, unmodded Gat Clears consistently activate at 6 nickels.. closer to 30g rather than the spec’ed 35g. Not sure what’s going on there, but perhaps that explains the large difference in feel between clears and reds.
I will live with these for several days before I try out heavier switches. Another path may also be to explore modded tactile switches. The initial tactile bump in these switches may be enough to support resting figures, while still allowing the use of super light springs.
1When exploring weights of switches, it’s also a lot cheaper to buy springs than to keep buying new switches. Switches tend to be 0.50-1.00$ a piece, where as a 100 pack of springs is usually $15. It is a bit more work, but for a 65% keyboard it is not too bad.