The perfect tactile switch can be tough to find.
We’re going to help you pick out a tactile switch by laying out a list of our favorites based on sound, feel, and performance.
We have tested dozens and dozens of different switches to pin down that perfect tactile switch. Perfect for typing.
Here’s a quick overview of the best tactile switches.
- Glorious Panda Switches
- Durock T1 Switches
- Boba U4 Tactile Switches
- Boba U4T Switch
- Halo Clear Switches
- Cherry MX Brown Switch
- Cherry MX Clear Switch
- Kailh Speed Copper Switch
- Topre Tactile Switch
- Outemu Brown Switches
We’ll dive deeper into why we chose each tactile switch and ranked them the way we did.
We will also go over their specifications, how long they last, and include our opinions on the way they feel and sound.
1. Glorious Panda: The Snappiest Tactile Switch
Glorious Pandas are a switch that was created out of controversy as a way to jump onto the Holy Panda switch bandwagon.
By offering a very similar switch at a much more affordable price, Glorious gives you a truly unique feeling switch that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The tactile bump on the Glorious Panda is unlike any other tactile switch I’ve used (except the Holy Pandas), it is incredibly snappy and makes a very unique sound.
You can check out a sound test of the keyboard here.
I highly recommend this switch to those that want a very strong tactile bump that is more defined than other switches on the list.
You can get the Glorious Panda on the official website for a good price.
2. Durock T1 Switches: All-Around Tactile Switch
Durock switches are an excellent pick if you’re looking for a tactile switch with a nice round and heavy bump.
Compared to Glorious switches, the Durock switches will tend to feel less snappy and should produce less noise overall. If you’re looking for a pronounce tactile bump that doesn’t feel too crazy, the Durock T1’s may find their way into your keyboard.
This switch is quite affordable for what you get.
We’ve found that applying a little bit of lubricant and switch films greatly improves the feel. The switch films can reduce wobbling significantly while the lubricant eliminates scratchiness and improves the sound.
3. Boba U4 Tactile Switches: The Silent Option
If you’re looking for a silent switch option that is super stealthy, look no further than the Boba U4. The silicone dampeners attached to the stem significantly reduce the sound output of this switch.
Just beware, the silent feature does come with a downside. The switches won’t feel quite as satisfying without the hard bottom-out and may feel mushy on impact.
A benefit of silent switches is the added ergonomic bonus of a softened impact on your fingers when typing. You can expect to feel less finger pain during long typing sessions.
But overall, if you’re looking for a silent switch, this is the option we recommend.
4. Boba U4T Switches: The Thocciest
Boba U4T switches are all about producing a nice “thocc” sound on impact.
Without the silicone dampeners found on the original Boba U4 switch, you should get a much more satisfying typing experience, however you don’t get the benefits of a quiet switch.
The tactile bump is very pronounced, in fact, it’s one of the most tactile feeling switches on the market.
For this reason, the Boba U4T’s take a high place in the tactile switch ranking.
5. Halo Clear: A Long Smooth Bump
Halo Clears are another great tactile switch. The Clears have a focus on a “pre-loaded” spring.
The pre-loaded spring puts the tactile bump at the start of the keystroke, so you can rest your fingers on the keys without the switches actuating.
Once you get past the tactile bump, the resistance lowers and then increases towards the end of the keystroke.
Compared to other tactile switches, the Halo Clears have a heavier feel to them with a 65g tactile force and a 78g bottom-out force.
The Halo Clears have a long lifespan of 80 million keystrokes and a travel distance of 4mm, which is pretty standard for a mechanical keyboard switch.
You can either buy the Halo Clear switch separately on Amazon or included in the Drop ALT which is one of our favorite mechanical keyboards.
6. Cherry MX Brown: A Small Bump
The Cherry MX Brown are the most standard tactile switch you can buy.
While many complain the tactile bump is almost non-existent, most will enjoy the typing experience as it feels very familiar.
Being one of the most common switches available, you should be able to find them on quite a few different pre-built keyboards.
Cherry MX switches are the king when it comes to durability and reliability. They are rated for up to 100 million keystrokes and go through rigorous quality testing before reaching the customer.
Cherry MX switches have a travel distance of 4mm which will give a very normal feeling keystroke.
You can find the Cherry MX Brown on the Kebo Store for a low price.
7. Cherry MX Clear: Heavy and Bumpy
The Cherry MX Clear is the little sister to the Cherry MX Brown, except it comes much heavier and has a more pronounced bump. The tactility feels very rounded and not sharp by any means.
If you enjoy a heavy typing experience, the Cherry MX Clear could be a great option for you. And with the Cherry MX name backing it, you know the durability is going to be excellent.
Being less common than the Cherry Brown, you’ll usually have to buy the switch separately and install them into a keyboard yourself.
8. Kailh Speed Copper: Light-Actuating Switch
For those of you looking for a lighter, faster actuating tactile switch, the Kailh Speed Copper could be an awesome pick for you.
The tactile bump is slightly less pronounced, but it still offers some great tactile feedback.
These would be an excellent option for someone who does a lot of gaming, as the Speed Copper switch has a slightly shorter travel distance which can save you milliseconds in competitive games that require a lightning-fast reaction time.
The total travel distance is 3.5mm as compared to the 4mm travel distance of the Cherry MX switches.
The 0.5mm difference may not seem like a big deal, but the actual point at which it registers the keystroke is 1.1mm.
So, there is a big difference in the distance traveled before activating the key.
The Kailh Speed switches are rated for 70 million keystrokes, so while not at durable as Cherry MX, they are still quite long-lasting. You can find the Kailh Speed Copper for sale on the Kono Store.
9. Topre Switch: Electro-Capacitive Design
Topre switches are a little different than the normal tactile switch, instead they are electrostatic, capacitive keyboard switches that have the feel of a rubber dome keyboard with all the benefits of a mechanical switch such as more tactility, less noise, and a non-mushy bottom-out.
They are available on a limited number of keyboards. Topre switches are similar to Cherry MX Browns with more “thonk” and crispier tactile feedback.
Topre switches can be a lot of fun to use and offer a very unique typing experience.
You can find them on keyboards such as the Happy Hacking keyboard. If you’re interested, you can read more about them though this post.
10. Outemu Brown Switch: A Super Budget Option
If you’re on a low budget, the cheapest switches on the market are usually from Outemu.
The Outemu Brown switch was able to sneak into this list at the very end due to the fact that the switch is super affordable. And although the price is low, the feel is not too bad compared to other popular options.
The main downside to Outemu Brown switches, is the build quality tends to be a little lacking. You can expect the switches to feel inconsistent switch-to-switch and the lifespan may not get you very far.
But if the name of the game is to save money, Outemu can be a great option.
Should You Get a Tactile Switch?
Tactile switches are fun to use and offer great feedback whilst typing, but there are some factors you should consider before purchasing a keyboard with tactile switches.
Tactile switches are a great switch for beginners or anyone new to mechanical keyboards. They will be undoubtedly and upgrade from your normal laptop keyboard or membrane style keyboard.
Anyone can pick up a keyboard with tactile switches and enjoy the satisfying bumps on each keystroke.
When typing tactile switches produce a bump of varying sizes (depending on the switch) and emit a small clicky sound.
The tactile switches are not quite as loud as a clicky switch, so you should be able to use them in a public setting without drawing too much attention to yourself with the noise.
We highly recommend a tactile switch for someone getting a mechanical keyboard the first time.
What Are Tactile Switches?
I’ll briefly explain some of the lingo commonly thrown around in the mechanical keyboard world because if you’re totally new it can get quite confusing.
A mechanical keyboard switch refers to the switch under each key that supports your finger through the keystroke and registers each entry.
On mechanical keyboards, each key has its own dedicated switch, which makes for some high quality and extremely durable keyboards that have some fancy features such as N-key rollover (being able to press multiple keys and once and everything will register).
Tactile switches are a type of switch that focus on producing a tactile bump and a relatively quiet audible click with each keystroke.
There are other switch types as well (linear and clicky) but for now, we will focus primarily on tactile.
Tactile switches offer great feedback when typing, so you know by the sound and feel everything is working properly and all of your keystrokes are getting logged. Not to mention they are incredibly satisfying and fun to use.
All right, that does it for our list of favorite tactile mechanical keyboard switches. We went over what exactly a tactile switch is, what you should look for in a tactile switch and our picks.
Our favorite tactile switch is the Glorious Panda for the reason that it’s quite affordable, easy to purchase, and offers a unique typing experience.
Picking the right tactile switch can be difficult as there are just so many different options out there.
We recommend ordering a switch tester and testing out several different switches at once because you don’t want to get stuck with a switch you don’t enjoy.
You want a switch that feels amazing, sounds great, and doesn’t break your budget.
Thanks for reading and happy typing!