You may know that mechanical keyboards can be used with linear, tactile, or clicky switches, among other switch types.

Some key switches are virtually silent, while others generate a slight clicking sound. But which one is best for both typing and gaming? You have undoubtedly been wondering about this for a time.

For those of you who wish to type quietly and smoothly, the linear type switch is the ideal choice.

In this post, we’ve included some recommendations for the best linear switches for your mechanical keyboard available on the market so that it will make it easy for you to choose the linear switch that best suits your interests.

What are Linear Switches?

Linear switches | Youtube
Linear switches | Youtube

Linear switches are a mechanical switch type that aims to offer silent and smooth keystrokes with excellent actuation.

They are typically silent, quick, smooth, and do not have mechanical clicks, making them ideal for typing and gaming. They are quite simple to use and do not have any bumps.

They rank among the most widely used mechanical switches on the market. It is almost unheard of for the linear switch to click, which is particularly advantageous for people who easily become distracted.

If you are interested in other switch types, we’ve written a post all about them for you –  The Secret of Mechanical Keyboard Switches, check it out!

Why should you get a Linear Switch?

Why should You get a Linear Switch? | Geekhack
Why should You get a Linear Switch? | Geekhack

Linear switches are rated to be the best switches for gamers or professional typists thanks to their speedy response time, quick actuation, and extremely smooth profile.

These linear switches are ideally suited for situations like this, where silence is of utmost importance.

Unlike tactile switches, linear switches won’t not only draw your attention away from the sound but also make you feel at ease in an environment that needs high concentration.

Additionally, using linear switches can be incredibly helpful for gaming because they enable quick responses and activities in-game.

That’s why linear switches are well-liked in the gaming industry.

How to identify the best linear switches?

There may be some trouble recognizing linear switches if you are used to tactile or clicky switches or if you have never used them previously.

Or you might also be wondering how to recognize the best linear switches apart from other switches. Those who have no experience with the eye and ear may find this to be complicated.

With that in mind, we’ll explain the technical considerations you should make and how to choose the best linear switches from the variety of choices on the market.

How to identify the best linear switches? | HippoKeys
How to identify the best linear switches? | HippoKeys

Sound test

The sound is an important feature for identifying the type of switches you’re using.

Clicky switches feature a loud sound profile and bump on the top. Tactile switches have a hump that generates tactile feedback when you type on them and are a little bit quieter.

On the other hand, linear switches feature a very low sound profile.

When selecting a switch, you must first pay attention to its sound; if it is nearly unnoticeable after hearing each click, the switch is likely to be of the linear type.

Here we have a real sound test of Cherry MX Speed Silver for you:

However, you cannot rely solely on sound; there are other aspects and criteria that must be taken into consideration.

Smooth feel

As mentioned above, linear switches are considered to be the smoothest switches available in the market.

Ever wonder why they’re so smooth?

The reason is that these switches typically require very little pressure to register a keystroke.

And then, this automatically boosts the smoothness and typing speed, which improves the efficiency of both gaming and typing.

Therefore, before making a purchase or selecting the best linear switches, be sure to thoroughly check this factor.

Tactility

The key technical difference between the three switch types (clicky, tactile, and linear switch) is their tactile or tactile bump quality because each has its own distinctive identification features.

If you experience a tactile bump and feedback while registering a keystroke, it’s most likely the clicky or tactile switches that feature a similar tactility bump on the top,

The factors that cause a bump are the spring’s thickness and the bump at the actuation point.

Nevertheless, linear switches function differently since they lack a tactile bump and a bottoming out force that would allow them to produce an audible clicking sound.

Thus, a smooth and quick typing experience results from the lack of tactile feedback in switches.

After all, when selecting the best linear switches for your keyboard, you should keep all of these important considerations in mind.

Best Linear Switches: Our Top Picks

Before reviewing each of the best linear switches, let’s check their price!

Switches

Price

Cherry MX Speed Silver

Sold with mechanical keyboard
NovelKeys x Kailh Cream

$9.80 (1 pack of 10 pcs)

Gateron Yellow

$24.00 (1 pack of 70 pcs)

Gateron Ink Black

$59.99 (1 pack of 70 pcs)

Cherry MX Black

$44.99 (1 pack of 65 pcs)
Alpaca V2 switch

$0.55 per switch

Tangerine Switches

$79.99 (1 pack of 90 pcs)

Outemu Red Switches

$9.99 (1 pack of 20 pcs)

Zeal Tealios V2

$11.00 (1 pack of 10 pcs)

Durock Linear Switches

$9.72 (1 pack of 18 pcs)

Cherry MX Speed Silver

Cherry MX Speed Silver Youtube
Cherry MX Speed Silver Youtube

Actuation Point

1.2 mm

Actuation Force

45g
Total Travel

3.4mm

Lifespan

50 million strokes

Are you the type of person who makes a living off of playing video games nonstop? If so, you probably want a switch that is made specifically for gaming.

These switches, which go by the name “Cherry MX Speed Silver,” are entirely devoted to the gaming community.

Cherry MX Speed Silver switches are fully functional and more than capable of dealing with any requirement.

They are silent, simple to use, and require minimal pressure. Besides, with the quick and consistent actuation, exceptionally good response time, and smooth and fast typing, a superb gaming experience is thus created.

With all the factors above, Cherry MX Speed Silver switches are the best linear switches for gaming at the top of this list.

Pros

  • Most durable and stable
  • Easy to press and quick reaction time
  • Best for gaming

Cons

  • A bit expensive switches compared to others

Besides Cherry MX Speed Silver, Cherry Brand also offers a variety of switches for all purposes of usage. To learn more, check out this post: Cherry MX Switches: A Complete Color Review.

NovelKeys x Kailh Cream

Novelkeys x Kailh cream switches | Reddit
Novelkeys x Kailh cream switches | Reddit

Actuation Point

2mm

Actuation Force

55g
Total Travel

4mm

Lifespan

20 million presses

NovelKeys x Kailh Cream can be your best linear switches with the best bassy sound profile making them stand out from the crowd. Additionally, the creamy white color, as well as the POM Plastic design will undoubtedly be very remarkable.

The interior appearance and ideal travel distance offered by the cream-colored color scheme will encourage you to give it a second thought.

In terms of compatibility, the majority of keyboards are compatible with these NovelKeys. Yet, unlike other mechanical switches, they are not pre-installed on the keyboard. Therefore, you must buy these switches separately and perform the installation yourself.

In fact, Novelkey switches are not as smooth as Gateron switches, but due to their self-lubricating design, they will get smoother over time.

Furthermore, a soft typing sound is also generated by these switches, making typing experience more relaxing.

Overall, NovelKeys Cream Switches are the best linear switches for a very reasonable price, including some remarkable functions and characteristics.

Pros

  • Best sounding linear switches
  • Self-lubricating design
  • Getting more smooth over time

Cons

  • Do not come with Pre-installation
  • Little expansive compared to other switches.

Gateron Yellow

Gateron Yellow switches | Hacom
Gateron Yellow switches | Hacom

Actuation Point

2mm

Actuation Force

50g
Total Travel

4.0mm

Lifespan

100 million keystrokes

The Gateron Yellow should be one of the best linear switches if you’re searching for a switch that is both economical and of great quality.

Yellow switches in the Gateron family have distinct rebounds that seem with a rougher texture and a rigid grasp.

Moreover, you don’t need to apply as much pressure before it activates with an actuation force of 50g. It provides you with quiet, smudge-free clicks, making typing with it a satisfying experience.

In addition, these yellow switches are also made of high-quality materials and have a little Soft Plastic Stem, serving as a bonus to help typing much more smoothly.

You may know that these are among the best linear switches in the Gateron family and are well-liked by many keyboard enthusiasts.

After all, if you’ve just dug your toe into the switches world, don’t go further than the Gateron yellow.

Pros

  • Affordable yet high-quality linear switch
  • Inaudible clicks

Cons

  • Low actuation may not be suitable for many users

Gateron Ink Black

Gateron Ink Black switches | Zkeebs
Gateron Ink Black switches | Zkeebs

Actuation Point

2mm

Actuation Force

60g
Total Travel

4mm

Lifespan

50 million keystrokes

Among Gateron’s lineup, Gateron Ink switches are the most well-known for being pricey switches.

Gateron Ink switches, which are made of a distinctive, high-end plastic substance, are also common in the lineup of In switches.

Their smoky top and bottom housing, as well as their lower pitch sound output, make them an excellent choice for a switch.

As you are aware, standard Gateron switches are already incredibly smooth. Ink switches elevated the smoothness to a new level and cemented their position in a market that is extremely competitive.

Moreover, Gateron Ink Blacks are robust and long-lasting. It is coated in black, as the name suggests. The internal spring has a black coating to match the switch casing.

What would be better to hold in your hand premium stuff? When it comes to Gateron Ink switches, you get what you pay for.

Pros

  • The smoothest feel
  • Easy clicks with no sound
  • Premium switch

Cons

  • A little bit expensive (may not be a con for some)

We’ve just reviewed two jewels of the Gateron family. Here are some more things about this big player in the switches industry: Master Guide To Gateron Switches.

Cherry MX Black

Cherry MX Black switches Switches.mx
Cherry MX Black switches Switches.mx

Actuation Point

2mm

Actuation Force

60g
Total Travel

4mm

Lifespan

100 million keystrokes

Because of its excellent stability and durability, the Cherry MX Black switch is always at the top of the list in terms of quality.

As an all-purpose switch, Cherry MX Black is well-known among mechanical keyboard users.

You’ll be pleasantly delighted to discover that these switches are made to withstand 100 million keystrokes over the course of their existence, making them the most durable switches.

In terms of design, Cherry MX Black comes with a black design with completely opaque black housing and stem.

However, this switch is not suitable for keyboards with RGB lighting since the bulky black switch housing will obstruct your RGB lights.

Although Cherry MX Black offers 60g of actuation force (which is not really ideal for fast-paced gaming), you still get a pleasant typing experience with a quiet typing sound as well as smooth and flat typing feedback.

Pros

  • The most durable switches
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Low trigger level
  • Not the best for furious gaming

Alpaca V2 switch

Alpaca V2 switch | Theremingoat
Alpaca V2 switch | Theremingoat

Actuation Point

2mm

Actuation Force

62g

Total Travel

4mm

The linear switch by Durock has been recolored as the Alpaca V2 switch. These switches have 62g gold-plated springs and are smooth linear switches.

Alpaca V2 switch has pink stems inspired by Minterly’s SA Bliss. Durock uses nylon housing for the bottom switches and using polycarbonate for the top ones. They also use POM to construct the stem.

As a result of its little factory lubrication, typing is buttery smooth. Instead of only the legs, the makers lubricate the stem on three sides as well. You can nearly always expect a scratch-free switch if you lubricate them after purchasing them.

The pink Alpaca stem can also be found in the quiet version, which has a dark smoky transparent housing.

Pros

  • Free from noise in scratch

Cons

  • Not really ideal for gaming

Tangerine Switches

Tangerine Switches | Carousell
Tangerine Switches | Carousell

Actuation Force

62g – 67g
Total Travel

4mm

The C3Equalz X TKC Tangerine Switches are frequently referred to be the smoothest switches in the game, and they are not far away from the truth. The tangerine switches are produced in two shades of green: light green and dark green.

The spring weights for the light green stem weigh 62g, while they are 67g for the dark green stem. As a result, there shouldn’t be any crunches or pings.

The drawback is that they remain to have stock noises that resemble a click. A minor vibration on the bottom-out and top-out would also be noticeable.

In terms of appearance, the color of tangerine switches is quite aesthetically attractive. Additionally, they attach to switch plates correctly, but not so securely that removal is impossible.

Besides, the housing is made from highly durable plastic. They have gold springs and a PCB mount.

Tangerine switches are lightly pre-lubricated in the factory. So, if you desire an even smoother gaming and typing experience, you can still lubricate them before installing them.

Pros

  • Cool design
  • The smoothest switches in gaming

Cons

  • Stock noises

Outemu Red Switches

Outemu Red Switches | Zion Studios
Outemu Red Switches | Zion Studios

Actuation Point

2.1 mm

Actuation Force

50g
Total Travel

4mm

Lifespan

50 million keystrokes

One of the greatest Red switches for a low price in this list is Outemu Red Switches

Budgeting does not imply poor performance or worse quality. Outemu Red switches offer exceptional performance to consumers and are driven by a variety of cutting-edge features.

Unsurprisingly, these excellent Red switches can hold their own against any other Red switches on the keyboard market.

They are, in fact, budget-friendly clones of Cherry’s Red switches. Nonetheless, these switches can last for several years or even longer.

The best feature that may compel you to choose these linear switches was their high-quality clicks with an unnoticeable sound that set Outemu Red apart from the competition.

Therefore, you should without a doubt look for Outemu Red Switches if you desire the same functionality as Cherry Red switches but can’t afford them due to their high price.

Pros

  • The best economical red switches
  • Unnoticeable sound

Cons

  • Feel quite mediocre

Outemu, Cherry, Gateron, and Kailh? Are you still confused when choosing from these brands? So, don’t miss out on this post to have a better understanding of them.

Zeal Tealios V2

Zeal Tealios V2
Zeal Tealios V2

Actuation Force

67g
Total Travel

4mm

Zeal Tealios V2 is ideal for keyboard fans thanks to its transparent housing and distinctive teal system.

The switches sound fantastic without any lubricant. They can offer a comfortable sensation if lubricated. However, they are more expensive than standard switches, but not as expensive as certain other linear switches.

These switches are PCB-mounted. The Zeal Tealios V2 switches have been upgraded with less wobble and more smoothness by the manufacturers.

Pros

  • Sound great without any lube

Cons

  • A bit pricey

Durock Linear Switches

Durock Linear Switches | Ali express
Durock Linear Switches | Ali express

Actuation Force

55-78g

The Durock linear switches are fairly smooth as if they have been pre-lubed. 

Even when bottoming out at higher typing speeds, the switches feel quite sturdy and firm. Nonetheless, you might hear a little spring ping and a wobble when typing more quickly.

Pros

  • Overall good performance

Cons

  • Spring ping and a wobble when quick typing

Improving Your Linear Switches

Linear switches, like the majority of mechanical keyboard switches, can benefit from certain switch lubricants.

While pre-lubing that is applied at the factory is acceptable to some users, lubing a switch is the most essential part to get extra smoothness.

It is a do-it-yourself project that requires some supplies and your time.

If you want to lube the switches, here is the full guide for you: How to lube your keyboard switches?

Final Thoughts

To sum up, linear switches are the best choice for those who want to type quickly, silently, without experiencing any tactile bumps.

When finding the best linear switches for your mechanical keyboards, remember to test them all out to determine which one you prefer.

And, don’t go further than our top picks! You will definitely get the best linear switches to level up your mechanical keyboards.

Best Linear Switches FAQs

What is the best linear switch?

  • Cherry MX Speed Silver
  • Gateron Yellow
  • Kailh Cream
  • Gateron Ink Black

Which linear switch is the best for gaming?

The Cherry MX Speed Silver is the best linear switch for the purpose of gaming.

What is the best Cherry MX linear switch?

Cherry MX Speed Silver.

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