Interested in discovering the top linear switches for your mechanical keyboard in 2024? Linear switches offer a sleek and speedy typing experience. However, their heightened sensitivity may lead to unintentional typos, especially for those who prefer placing their fingers directly on the keycaps. Linear switches are particularly favored among gamers, designed with short pre-travel distances and eliminating the need to overcome a tactile bump. This design facilitates quicker keystroke registration and superior latency performance.
If you play a game that requires quick follow-up input, remember that low pre-travel distance increases return travel distance and generally increases release latency. We tested 101 switches, including 58 linear models. The price of the keyboard switch may vary considerably depending on the quantity you purchase or the website you purchase. Let’s dive into this article to learn the best linear switches for your mechanical keyboard.
Factors to consider when selecting the best linear switches for your mechanical keyboard
Choosing the right switch may seem complicated. Fortunately, there are various options in the market. Whether it’s a high-end switch or a low-budget switch, here are some elements that gamers should consider when choosing the best switches.
Actuation is when a key sends a signal to the keyboard. Gaming switches have various actuation points; the unit is gram. Why is this necessary when selecting a gaming switch? The lighter the weight, the faster the keyboard will react. Therefore, gamers should choose a lightweight switch. It is because it can send inputs faster than heavy ones. On the other hand, typists should choose a heavy switch to avoid typos.
Most users think the working and moving distances are the same. Even with the same concept, these two aspects are entirely different. The working distance is the distance the key moves before sending the input. On the other hand, a moving distance is a distance that must be moved before the switch hits the bottom of the path and is also called a bottom out. The distance of travel varies depending on the switch.In many cases, the travel distance is between 2mm and 4mm. This difference may sound small, but it has a significant meaning in the game experience.
Another essential factor that users should consider is the lifetime of the switch. Gamers tend to use keyboards more than others. Standard and reliable switches can be pressed between 50 and 100 million times. However, some switches can only be pressed 20 million times.
Best Linear Switches for Mechanical Keyboards 
Gateron Red Linear Mechanical Keyboard Switch
Gateron is a top-class switch manufacturer loved by mechanical keyboard users and builders. It is a superior multi-use linear switch comparable to Cherry MX Reds, but cheaper. It provides fast and smooth key inputs without tactile “bumps,” making it the perfect choice for gaming keyboards. The brand produces solid, low-cost keyboard switches with quality comparable to Cherry MX switches. However, many keyboard builders say that Gateron’s products are even smoother.
Indeed, the price is affordable, and its value makes Gateron Reds the best overall gaming keyboard switch. Gateron Red is a linear switch with no tactile “bump” in the critical input. The moderate lightness of 45g enables quick and smooth key input without being too sensitive. It makes it an ideal switch not only for games but also for general typing needs. If you’re looking for the best keyboard gaming switches that are well made, affordable, and versatile enough for everyday use, Gateron Red is a great price and meets most conditions.
Cherry MX Speed Silver
MX Silver is classified as a linear switch. That means quiet, smooth, and consistent for all keystrokes. The working point of this switch is 1.2mm. The operating point of other cherry switches is 2mm, which is why this switch is highly supported. Another reason why this switch is reliable is its durability. So why is Cherry MX Speed Silver one of the most popular switches? It is the fastest switch you can find. It was developed with low spring resistance and phenomenal linear performance.
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Instead, the switching frequency, which is 40% faster than the standard switch, provides a relatively short response time. It is also worth noting that mistakes while using this switch are relatively simple. This switch also has a good feel for use. Very easy to use and comfortable, users can perform many functions before getting tired. In addition, the Cherry MX Speed Silver switch can be customized for its accuracy.
Kailh Box Silent Pink
Mechanical keyboard users and noise-sensitive or peripheral PC gamers should choose a quiet switch like the Kailh Box Silent Pink. Mechanical keyboards generally have more noise than rubber membrane keyboards, and mechanical switches are not entirely silent, but the Kailh Box SIlent Pink switch is close to it. This linear switch operates immediately out of the box, with a working force of 35g and a pre-travel distance of 1.8mm.
Because of its high sensitivity and short springs, it is suitable for fast-tempo games, but getting used to heavy-touch typists is necessary. One of the reasons why Kailh Box Silent Pinks minimizes noise is this smooth operation, but the switch also uses a rubber damper to turn off the sound when the essential bottoms out. It also relieves the feel of the keys turning on the bottom.
Durock POM Linear
These monochrome switches provided by Durock are not as smooth as alpacas but are solid linear. These switches’ POM “self-lubricating” function is considered a gimmick, but the housing becomes smooth over time, and the switch tends to feel soft. However, you will need to lubricate yourself before using it daily. The housing of the Durock POM line is very tight and has little space, so there is no stem wobble.
POM linear is a heavy and satisfying feeling with a solid “Dosun” sound whenever you bottom out. It is a matter of feeling rather than sound; the sound at the bottom is heard a little. The Durock POM line starts at $0.70 per switch and comes in a slightly higher price range. At the same time, there is no conspicuous problem. Pom linear is a solid product as a linear, and you will not regret using it every day.
Gateron Black Ink
Many fans love the Gateron Black Ink switch. However, if you put it out of the box, you may not understand why so many maniacs adore it. The Black Ink is very scratchy in normal conditions, and the housing is unsafe. The bottom out is thin and tight. However, when the film is applied with lubricating oil, this switch completely turns the script over. If you’re looking for a reliable, super creamy linear, Black Inks is that. Regarding acoustics, the Gateron Black Inks shine with special care. Here you can read about How to Play NCAA Football 14 PS4.
If you paint Krytox 205g0 a little, the sound of this switch gets better. Black Inks is a satisfying sound with a low tone. The best thing about Gateron Black Inks is that it’s easy to get. Unlike other lineups, you can easily find them in most online shops. Therefore, it is easy to recommend to beginners and does not require waiting for group purchases.
The return of the alpaca is much better than the original. The Alpaca V2 has been improved in almost all aspects over the previous model and is generally rated as the best linear switch. The bottom feeling is also satisfactory, and the ear touch is smooth. Compared to Alpaca V1, the V2 sound is excellent. The bottom-out power of the Alpaca V2 is 62g, almost identical to the linear mechanical switch.
The pale pink color of the stem is characteristic of the alpaca, giving the switch its personality. Furthermore, since all switches are manually lubricated at the factory, there is little need to re-lubricate themselves like many others. The Alpaca V2 starts at $0.55, the same price the V1 sold. It is an excellent bargain as a set of linear mechanical switches with no wobble and excellent typing.
The optimal linear switches for your mechanical keyboard hinge on your specific requirements, gaming preferences, and budget constraints. With a plethora of switches available catering to diverse user needs, linear switches stand out as a favored choice, given the multitude of manufacturers producing this variant. Among linear switches, the red variant is often deemed most suitable, especially for gamers new to mechanical keyboards.
Cherry MX Red and Gateron Red emerge as leading choices for mechanical gaming keyboards, praised for their exceptional sensitivity, stability, and accuracy equilibrium. Notably, Gateron Red gains an edge as it not only delivers reliable performance and durability but also proves to be a more economical and smoother option. For many gamers seeking the finest mechanical switches, Gateron Red manages to hit the sweet spots effectively.