Last update: 9/26/2020
Linear switches have no discernible a "bump" or "click". They are the quietest (non-silent) of the bunch, and don't feature any sort of feedback when the switch is actuated. Though the force-profile tends to be similar across linears, the sound and "feel" of linears varies heavily.
I prefer to lube all linears with Krytox 205g0, unless otherwise stated.
Vintage Black, NOS Vintage Black, Retooled Blacks, Hyperglide Blacks
- Vintage Cherry Blacks date to pre-1994. Around 1994-1995, Cherry made tooling changes to the switch that reportedly decreased its smoothness.
- Regular Vintage Blacks have seen significant wear and usage, adding to their smoothness. NOS (new-old stock) Vintage Blacks, while dated to pre-1994, have seen little to no usage and must be broken in to reach their full potential.
- Around 2017, Cherry retooled Blacks again, and users reported the fresh batch of retooled Blacks felt great again. The quality of the retooled Blacks steadily declined through 2018, and switches from around/after that timeframe went back to being considered "regular", scratchy Blacks.
- Hyperglide Blacks feature another retooling of the switch, this time with modifications made to the stem. The modifications make the switch feel more or less the same as a NOS Black, at least in my experience. They still benefit from heavy usage.
Gateron KS3 Yellow
- Gateron's KS3 series switch, featuring a black bottom and milky top.
- Milky top housings are popular within the switch-modder community for their smoothness and sound profile.
- Though I'd personally consider the KS3 series an "entry level" switch, they are surprisingly smooth stock, and with modification can be a great part of any build.
- Dubbed "butter on a budget" by Glarses.
Gateron Ink Black V2
- Gat Black Inks are one of the deepest sounding linear switches, and are relatively smooth stock.
- Comparable in feel to Tealios, at a much more affordable price point.
- Inks have significantly less stem wobble than other linears.
Gateron Silent Ink V2 (Silent)
- 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.
- This is one of the few linear switches that I prefer something other than 205g0 - since they are particularly smooth and quiet stock, I prefer Krytox 3203 to help maintain the switch's speed.
Zeal Roselios, Sakurios, Healios (Silent)
- Zeal's silent linear switch.
- The bottom out isn't as soft as the MX Zilent frankenswitch, but they are a fine stock silent otherwise.
- I've recently noticed an issue with the metal contact - a very large portion of every recent batch I've received has an audible click that makes them useless. I have not been able to fix this issue, regardless of what modifications I make.
Zeal Tealios V2, Turquoise Tealios
- Zeal's flagship linear - similar to Roselios/Sakurios, these are particularly smooth stock.
- Turquoise Tealios, similar to Aqua Zilents, feature a slightly modified bottom housing for increased smoothness.
- Similar in pitch to the Gat Ink V2
C3 Equalz Banana Split
- Another linear by C3 Equalz, featuring Polycarbonate Housing and a POM stem.
- This seemingly uses the same molds as Tangerines, and the only identifiable difference is the material and spring weight (62g).
- Sound wise, they also feel about the same as Tangerines, maybe slightly higher pitched.
- Lube recommendation would be 205g0, for increased smoothness and sound dampening.
C3 Equalz Tangerine
- One of the smoothest stock switches available, the C3 Equalz Tangerine is available in two weight variants: 67g (dark green stem), and 62g (light green stem).
- Less wobble than other Durock linears, but seemingly the highest pitched of the currently reviewed linear switches.
- Though Tangerines are very viable stock, they still benefit greatly from 205g0 do help dampen some of the sound.
Everglide Tourmaline V2.5
- Everglide's newest variant of the Tourmaline switch.
- Tourmaline v2.5 feels, in my opinion, more or less as smooth as Tangerines.
- Though they are marginally higher pitched, the sound is a lot "cleaner" (less spring rattle, less sound variation, etc).
- Due to language barriers and lack of accessibility to western markets, it's hard to determine what exactly the materials used are, but my guess is POM stem and UHMWPE housing.
- Durock's linear switch color-matched to Minterly's Bliss Keycap Set.
- These tend to be high pitched, and greatly benefit from switch films.
- What you experience with this linear is indicative of what you'll experience with every Durock linear, with the primary differences being color and spring weight. Sound will sometimes slightly vary between the various recolors, primarily due to material differences.
- The Alpaca in particular is slightly higher pitched than Gat Ink V2, or Tealios.
PrimeKB Silent Alpaca (Silent)
- This is the silent variant of the Alpaca, featuring a smokey housing.
- Similarly to their non-silent counterpart, they heavily benefit from switch films.
- Bottom out is less soft than the Roselios.
Thic Thock Marshmallow
- Thic Thock Marshmallows feature Thic Thock's MP (Magically Progressive) spring. The progressive spring gives the switches a bouncy feel, and help reduce the frequency of bottom outs.
- Despite being a 68g spring, the variable "tightness" of the coils makes the initial press feel significantly lighter than the bottom out.
- Outside of the unique spring and feel, they are generally comparable to other JWK linears.
- Like their tactile counterpart (NK Blueberry), NK Creams need to be broken in, in my opinion.
- They are bit scratchy stock, but after being broken in and a light application of lube, they are one of if not the thockiest linear available.
- Cream housing is seemingly sized slightly differently than other housings, and as a result Cream housing switches can be difficult to modify - namely, they don't take most switch films. I've only found success filming Kailh Cream housing switches with Deskeys Films.