In the world of mechanical keyboards, linear switches are widely considered to be the gold standard. They offer a smooth, consistent typing experience perfect for gaming and long work sessions.
While they may not have the same flashy features as some of the other switch types, they more than make up for them in terms of reliability and performance. If you’re in the market for a new set of linear switches, check out our list of the 10 best linear switches currently available. You won’t be disappointed.
Top 10 Linear Switches Comparison Table
|Number of Keys
|1. OUTEMU (Gaote) Red Switches
|2. Cherry MX Red Keyswitch
|3. NovelKeys x Kailh Cream Switch
|4. Gateron KS-9 RGB Mechanical MX Type Key Switch
|5. Gateron KS Switches
|6. Gateron Optical Switches
|7. Gateron Patch Switch
|8. Gateron MX SMD Gateron Switches
|9. Gateron KS-9 RGB Mechanical MX Type Key Switch
|10. Cherry MX Speed Silver RGB Switches
What are Linear Switches?
Linear switches, in short, are switches that don’t have a tactile ‘bump’ when you press them. They go down smoothly, and that’s it. Some of the linear switches feel like “butter” when you press them because they’re extremely smooth.
There are two main types of linear switches – Black (linear) and Red (linear). There are subtle differences between them, but basically, they are the same thing – linear switches. You will find the main difference in the actuation force (how much force you need to press the switch).
- Black linear switches are more popular. They’re used for gaming because they require less resistance and quicker ‘presses.’ And this lets gamers be faster when playing their favorite games.
- Linear switches are designed to have a smooth, uninterrupted motion when you press them down. And they are called linear because the feel of the key is not interrupted by a tactile ‘bump’ as you press them down.
- Red linear switches are a variation of black linear switches. They’re designed to have a lower actuation force, and that’s why they’re used by gamers as well.
Since you are a first-timer in the switch world, you might wonder why this is such a big deal. As we mentioned earlier – it comes down to your comfort and efficiency. If you press your buttons with force and resistance, over time, this can cause major discomfort in the hands and wrists.
That’s exactly where linear switches come in – they require less force, and you’ll feel way more comfortable playing games or typing emails.
How to Identify the Best Linear Switches?
That’s not a big deal. All you need to do is check the specification of the switch. If it’s called linear, then it’s a linear switch. Below are some key points that will help you recognize linear switches.
|Designed to Require Less Resistance
|These switches are designed to not have a tactile bump when pressuring them. It doesn’t matter if it’s black (the most popular) or red. They’re both the same thing
|Linear Switches are Smooth
|You need to look at the switch’s specifications (you can find them online). You’re good to go if they’re called “linear,” and the manufacturer claims they provide comfort and efficiency.
|Used in High-Quality Keyboards
|Mostly in mechanical keyboards, you will find the best linear switches. And it’s not surprising because they can provide great comfort over time
|Designed for Efficiency and Comfort
|These switches are designed not to have a tactile bump when pressuring them. It doesn’t matter if it’s black (the most popular) or red. They’re both the same thing
You need to look at the specifications of the switch. You’re good to go if they’re called “linear” and the manufacturer claims they provide comfort and efficiency.
Linear switches are just simply the best. They are extremely comfortable to use, making your work way more efficient. And what’s great about them is that you can also find them in high-quality gaming keypads.
That’s also why you would find linear switches in some of the best gaming keyboards. Since they are designed for comfort and efficiency, using them in high-quality keypads makes perfect sense.
Why You Should Use Linear Switches?
Well, it all comes down to your personal preferences. Some people don’t like tactile ‘bump’ when they press buttons, and that’s where linear switches play a major role. They are designed to be smooth, and there’s no interruption as you press them down.
And if you’re working on something that requires a lot of typing (like this article) or playing games, then linear switches can make your experience more comfortable and efficient.
The Following Points will help you find the best linear switches.
I have mentioned some key points to help you choose the best linear switches. But first, let’s take a look at their benefits.
|Comfortable to Use
|If you are a rough gamer or need to write tons of emails daily, linear switches are for you. You will never press them too hard or feel uncomfortable with them after a while.
|Designed for Efficiency
|Linear switches don’t have a tactile bump; that’s why their keycaps look more or less the same. There are some small differences between high-quality ones, but you will never find a real difference.
|High-Quality Gaming Keyboards
|Linear switches work great in high-quality mechanical keypads because they are designed to provide comfort over time. And high-quality gaming keypads are designed to provide great efficiency and durability (if you’re a gamer, you’ll love them).
|Linear switches are exactly what the name suggests (they are smooth, and there’s no interruption when you press them). Other types of switches have a tactile bump which is way different. You can find linear switches in red, black, and blue colors.
|This is a crucial point that will help you identify linear switches. You will need to press them with less than 40g of force (measured in centinewton). If they are less, then you’ve found linear switches.
|Any high-quality gaming keypad will include linear switches (if you’re looking for one, don’t forget to check the specifications). The reason why they are used in high-quality keypads is that gamers need a lot of comfort when they’re playing games, especially in multiplayer scenarios.
|Linear switches don’t have a tactile bump that’s why their keycaps look more or less the same. There are some small differences between high-quality ones, but you will never find a real difference.
Watch this video to understand linear switches and how to identify them:
Now you know everything you need to know about linear switches. If you’re looking for them or want to purchase a high-quality keypad, check out some of the best linear switches below that I recommend as a gaming enthusiast.
Top 5 Best Linear Switches
- Brand: Granvela
- Model Name: 3-pin soldering-free
- Number of Keys: 20
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 3.54 x 3.54 x 1.18 inches
- Keyboard Description: Gaming
If you want a set of red switches, then OUTEMU (Gaote) Red Switches is the best option. It’s made by one of the most trusted brands in the mechanical keyboard industry, offering great value for its price.
These red linear switches are designed to offer high-quality performance and durability over time. They have a smooth motion (no tactile bump) and an actuation force of 60g (minimum).
And as I mentioned, they have a high-quality red color that stands out from the crowd. They’re also fully interchangeable and hot-swappable (you won’t need to open your keyboard to re-positioning them).
And the best thing is these linear switches fit onto your fingers perfectly. They are ideal for gamers looking to get the most out of their gaming experience.
- Brand: Cherry
- Dimensions: 3.98 x 2.68 x 0.63 inches
- Weight: 0.634 ounces
- Number of Keys: 10
- Color: Red
A trusted name sells the Cherry MX Red Keyswitch in the market, and it has everything you need to get started. It also includes ten key switches, so it’s the best value for money.
Most of these switches are sold in pairs, but this set includes ten (the best value for money). They are fully compatible with most Cherry MX keyboards and have a low trigger level.
In addition, these key switches fit perfectly into your fingers, and they are high-quality. They are designed to offer you maximum performance over time, and they will serve you well for a long period. Cherry is a big name in the industry and manufactures some of the best linear switches.
- Brand: KPREPUBLIC
- Model Number: Cream
- Dimensions: 6.06 x 3.98 x 1.26 inches
- Number of Keys: 70
If you are looking for fast, linear switches for gaming, NovelKeys x Kailh Cream Switch is exactly what you need. They are also perfect for people who don’t want tactile switches, and they have smooth motion.
In addition, these key switches are very durable and long-lasting. They’re made from high-quality materials, and they have a linear motion. And as I mentioned, they are the best option for gamers looking to get the most out of their game.
The switches are also very responsive and accurate (perfect for gaming). And finally, they have pretty good keycap compatibility features; including 4mm travel distance, 5-pin socket compatibility, and 2mm operating distance.
From my experience, this is one of the best linear switches on the market. They are the right choice for gamers who don’t want to deal with too many switches.
- Brand: Gateron
- Switch Type: Pushbutton Switch
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches
- Number of Keys: 90
- Lifetime: 50 million cycles
Let’s talk about the Gateron KS-9 RGB Mechanical MX Type Key Switch. These switches are designed for RGB backlighting and have a transparent switch. In addition, these key switches are built for high-quality LEDs and have smooth linear motion.
And the best thing is you get to choose from multiple colors (red, black, brown, blue). They are also high-quality and durable. This means you’ll get to use them for a long time and they’ll never let you down.
In addition, the switches have a medium switching force and a low operating distance of 2mm. They are also plate-mounted and they have very good keycap compatibility.
- Brand: Gateron
- Model: Patch Switch
- Dimensions: 6.06 x 3.98 x 1.26 inches
- Number of Keys: 90
The Gateron KS Switches is a very interesting switch keyboard with a dedicated shaft body. First, they are very easy to install and remove (compatible with Cherry MX). In addition, they have a low profile and are made from high-quality materials.
These key switches have a very durable life cycle of 50 million. They are also very responsive, and the best part is that they have a linear motion, making them perfect for gaming sessions. It has a center and fixed columns, so it is compatible with most keyboards.
The switches have a very small bottom, making the buttons easier to use. In addition, they are very smooth and precise in your hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Get A Linear Switch?
Yes, you should. If you’re looking for a more consistent experience with your gaming, then linear switches might be what the doctor ordered. They provide smooth and quiet keystrokes allowing gamers of all levels to play their favorite games without interruption or distraction.
How To Improve Your Linear Switches?
Well, many products on the market will help you with that. Try a linear switch stabilizer or add some lubricant to the keycap (recommended for Gateron KS-9).
Are Linear Switches Better?
If you don’t like the noise or bump from tactile switches, then linear ones might be for your typing needs. They generally don’t make any extra sounds and have a consistent feel throughout their entire range of travel distances.
Is Linear or Clicky Better For Gaming?
Linear mechanical keyboards are better for gamers who want to type fast and accurately. The lack of noise from these types makes playing games with friends on the mic or over-chat easier.
They also typically don’t have hysteresis, so you can easily tell if your key has been pressed without waiting in anticipation or wondering what happened.
Getting a linear switch is very useful if you want to be precise. But keep in mind that there are many good options on the market. So, make sure you choose the best linear switch for yourself. The NovelKeys x Kailh Cream Switch is perfect and can provide a great time.
Also, they are very good for gaming if you want to win more games than lose them. So, my advice is to go for it and see the difference. That’s it for this article, and I hope you learned something.