11 Best Linear Switches for Mechanical Keyboards (2023)

If you are a gamer, you will find the best linear switches to be one of the most important options that you would find quite exciting. The switches do provide you with an enhanced degree of experience when you look at the responsiveness, durability, and versatility of one of the unique options in every manner whatsoever.

And if you are a typist, even then, you would find the best experience offered by the mechanical keyboards one of the unique options ever. For the sake of this post, we will list out the best linear key switches that have proved their essence.

What is a Linear switch?

A linear switch is a noiseless switch that would provide a very smoother actuation process. You would work with a smoother actuation without the need for any tactile feedback. If you are looking to actuate the linear switches, you need to push them down rather forcefully.

If you are someone who is not comfortable with the loud noise and clicky environment, the linear switches should definitely be the best one that you would want to go with. You will be able to get access to a quiet, smooth, and seamless typing or gaming experience.

11 best Linear Switches for mechanical keyboards

Having understood the basics of a linear switch used on a mechanical keyboard, let us now check out the best linear key switches.

Cherry MX Red

Cherry MX has been a clear leader when it comes to enjoying a wide range of switches across different genres. The Cherry MX Red is one of the most popular and widely used linear switch options. The switch requires 45 grams of actuation force.

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One of the advantages that you stand to gain with the Cherry MX Red switches lies in the fact that they are quite cheaper in comparison to the other Cherry MX counterparts. The durability redefined by the 100 million key presses is what would further make it one of the unique options for practically every need that you may have. You can also check out a silent variant for the Cherry MX Red switches.

Outemu Red

The next linear switch in our list is yet another Red switch variant, and this time you get a switch from Outemu. A clone switch option, it should be your best bet for the budget switch variant. That is, in fact, the lowest priced Red switch ever. Likewise, you may find the quality too a little on the lower edge.

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It can be your best option for the responsive switch and an excellent alternative to the Cherry MX red switch. The switch does offer you a 50 grams actuation force which may be a little moderate in the genre. The Outemu Red switches come with a travel distance of 4 mm. The high-quality inaudible clicks can be the strongest points in its favour.

Kailh Red

The Kailh range of switches has created a huge niche and name for themselves. An actuation force of 50cN, and a travel distance of 2 mm are a couple of features that would make it one of the excellent options ever. The brand has dramatically improved its switches over the years and has come a long way in impressing you.

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The Kailh Red switches have been rated to be a perfect option for almost every need that you may have in terms of getting access to a complete gaming and typing experiences ever.

Gateron Ink Black

In case you are looking for the smoothest ever feel on your keyboard, the Gateron Ink Black should be a great option that you would find quite exciting. It has been one of the super-popular switches ever and has been used in a wide range of application areas. It is designed as part of the premium lineup of switches from Gateron.

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The switch is manufactured using a different type of plastic and thus produces a unique level of smoothness. The extra smoothness is one of the factors that makes it a great option and makes the switch a stronger competitor to the standard Gateron Black switches.

Cherry MX Black

Now that we are discussing the Black variants of switches, the Cherry MX Black can be a great option for the most durable experience in terms of an enhanced degree of efficiency. A well-known switch, it has been known to be highly durable, consistent, and an all-rounder switch ever. They may appear to b a little scratchy, and that can be an issue for some of you.

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The switch is rated for a high degree of durability and has been tested for 100 million key presses. Considered to be vintage switches, they are definitely one of the premium and prominent linear switches that you would want to go with.

(Video) I Ranked Every Linear Switch

NovelKeys Cream

The NovelKeys Cream can be your best bet for the linear switches with the best sound. The incredible bassy sound provided by the switch is what has made it stand out of the rest. This switch is designed with the POM plastic design and offers you a creamy white color design.

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The color aesthetic offered by the switch definitely makes it one of the unique options that you would want to go with. But, the switch is not installed by default on any keyboard per se. You will need to buy them separately and install them on your keyboard.

Cherry MX Speed Silver

If you are looking for the best linear switch for gaming, this is what you would find to be one of the preferred choices. The smoother and consistent actuation can be what would provide you one of the high-end functionality with effective gaming ever.

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The fastest reaction speed provided by the Cherry MX Speed Silver should be what would make it one of the most unique switches for efficient gaming. The shorter actuation distance makes it a relatively faster switch and a suitable option for efficient gaming.

Gateron Yellow Switches

The Gateron Yellow Switches have been considered to be one of the excellent options for the budget option. The switch does come with medium resistance, and that should be an excellent option for those of you who may be new to the linear switches.

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The smaller stem size can be yet another great feature that would offer you a buttery smooth performance. In fact, you would find the entire suite of Gateron’s linear switches provide you with a smoother performance.

Durock Linear Switches

The Durock range of switches has been quite new and lesser-known, but when it comes to performance, you will find them providing you access to very decent efficiency and performance.

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The switches do provide you with a solid and firm feel. That would also provide you with a faster typing speed which can take your experience a few steps ahead. The almost pre-lubed quality of the switches can make them a great option in almost every respect. You may, however, notice a slight wobble and spring ping in some cases.

Zeal Tealios V2

Yet another great variety of linear switches, though again lesser known, the Zeal Tealios V2 switches should ideally provide you access to one of the smoothest linear switch options ever. The transparent housing and a teal system that is unique to it can make the switches stand apart from the rest.

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With the actuation force of just 67 grams, the switches do sound quite great, even without any lubing. If you lube them properly, you should get access to a decent performance in terms of smoothness. They are, however, pricier than the regular or standard switches.

Alpacas

The Alpaca V2 switch is a clone of the Durock linear switch. With gold plated springs, they are designed to be quite smoother options for your typing and gaming requirements. The top of the switches has a polycarbonate construction, and the bottom is made of nylon.

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The switches come with a lighter factory lubed construction. That would make them provide you with a smoother typing experience. If you lube them after you get them, you can be assured of a scratch-free performance ever.

Ensure that you lube your new switches before using them

The new linear switches can sometimes feel scratchy. This is due to the friction between the housing and the stem. Lubricating your switches instead of using them right from the factory can be a good idea to ensure better smoothness.

Lubing your switches can be an elaborate process. It may be necessary to invest enough time and effort in achieving the right type and the right degree of smoothness. You may also need to go with the best lubricant and other tools for proper lubrication.

The Concluding Thoughts

In case you are checking out the best possible smoother typing experience, the linear switches are what you should aim for. The list of the best linear switches outlined in this compilation should definitely prove to be an excellent option for ensuring one of the high-end options for practically every requirement that you can think of.

(Video) Which Mechanical Keyboard Switches are BEST? Blind Test!

When choosing the best linear switch for your mechanical keyboards, do take care to pick them after due research. It may be advisable to go with the switches with a minimum wobble, not much of a noise, and pre-lubed condition so that you can be assured of good typing and gaming performance ever.

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FAQs

What is the most Thocky linear switch? ›

The Gateron Milky Yellow switches are one of the best linear switches of all time and a community favorite for a reason. They're smooth & medium-heavy to type on, with the best “thocky” sound of any linear switch I've tried. And at $0.25 or so a switch, they're super affordable.

What are the best switches for a mechanical keyboard? ›

Here is a guide to the most popular.
  • Cherry MX Switches. The crème de la crème for most, Cherry (specifically, the Cherry MX line) is the most popular brand of keyboard switches—and for good reason. ...
  • Kailh (Kaihua) Switches. ...
  • Gateron Switches. ...
  • Razer and Logitech Switches. ...
  • SteelSeries and Roccat Switches.
29 Apr 2022

What is the best Thocky switch? ›

The best switch for a “thocky” keyboard. An improvement on the venerable Gateron Black Ink, the Gateron Box Ink V2 switches slightly alter the sound profile and greatly improve stability, but still benefit from switch film and lube to bring out their full potential.

Which switch has the deepest sound? ›

Gat Black Inks are one of the deepest sounding linear switches, and are relatively smooth stock.
...
  • The silent variant of the Gat Ink Black, Silent Inks are similarly a great stock switch.
  • The limited sound they produce tends to be deeper/thockier than other silent switches.
26 Sept 2020

What are the fastest linear switches? ›

If you want a switch that's really fast for gaming, the Razer Red Optical switch or Cherry Speed Silver are your best bets. But if you need a well rounded switch, for typing/gaming, the Cherry MX or Gateron linear switches are great options.

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