Key switches are one of the most important aspects of a mechanical keyboard. Getting to know your options will help you get the most out of your ErgoDox EZ.
Each key on a mechanical keyboard hides an actual physical switch under it, unlike the squishy rubber membrane you'd find on most keyboards. Typing on these mechanical switches is a very different experience from typing on regular ones. The keys have more travel, and are much more tactile; you don't have to press the keys all the way down to get them to register, which makes typing easier on the fingers; and of course, mechanical keyboards have their own unique sound. They sound like a keyboard.
When buying an ErgoDox EZ, you get to choose from seven different key switches. When choosing your switches, there are several things you should consider:
If you can find some friends with mechanical keyboards, try out different key switches to see what feels best under your fingers.
Here are the Gateron key switches we currently offer.
Being the most popular choice, Gateron brown switches are tactile and quiet and are great for office use. These are a great choice for programmers, writers, and anyone who works long hours in front of the computer.
Almost as popular as Browns, Gateron Blue switches are everyone's favorite "clicky" switch. Also a great choice for anyone who types for hours, these might not make your co-workers very happy. Gateron blue switches are pretty loud, so go for these if you work from home or have some very geeky co-workers.
The lightest key of them all, White switches are linear and require just a feather touch to actuate.
The linear Gateron Red switches are popular among gamers for their relatively light weight. Mash these for all they've got.
Very similar to Reds, Gateron Yellow switches are just a tad heavier.
The stiffest linear key switch. If you don't like clicky switches but are looking for something with a fairly hefty feel to it, Black is the keyswitch for you.
These heavy, clicky and tactile switches offer a satisfying yet stiff typing experience that will feel a lot like older mechanical keyboards. Beware: The heaviest keyswitch by far.
Finally, here's a quick table comparing all of our keyswitches:
|Switch||Force (±15gf)||Pre-Travel (±0.6mm)||Feel||Notes|
|Brown||55g||2.0mm||Tactile||Quiet, great for office use. Most people go for this. Corresponds to Cherry MX Brown.|
|Blue||60g||2.3mm||Clicky||The most popular "clicky" key. Corresponds to Cherry MX Blue.|
|White||35g||2.0mm||Linear||Think Cherry MX Red, but lighter.|
|Red||45g||2.0mm||Linear||A gamer favorite. Corresponds to Cherry MX Red.|
|Yellow||50g||2.0mm||Linear||… think Cherry MX Red, but heavier.|
|Black||60g||2.0mm||Linear||Corresponds to Cherry MX Black.|
|Green||80g||2.3mm||Clicky||A very heavy clicky switch, corresponds to Cherry MX Green.|
The ErgoDox EZ comes with Gateron Brown switches by default. If you're new to mechanical keyboards or just not sure what to choose, these switches are a popular and safe choice you're bound to enjoy.
If you're still unsure, feel free to contact us with questions and we'll help you choose the switch that's perfect for you.