What switch is right for me?

So, you want a Wooting but you don’t know what switch is right for you? Worry no more, we are here to help you decide on what switch you might prefer.

What is feedback?

When it comes to mechanical switches, the term “feedback” will come up a lot, feedback is the clicky feel you get from switches that are non-linear, for example blue switches have a clicky feel and bump to them at a specific point when pressing down. Clicky is the most popular form of feedback used by mechanical keyboard users, originally used in “Blue switches” when pressing down, at a certain point there would be a click. (Refer to the Gif below demonstrating this).

Bump is feedback usually found on brown switches, when pressing down, at a certain point there will be a bump, this is to cater to people who prefer feedback but also prefer a more silent board, the bump however can be more aggressive also. Some switches do have a bump and click such as Cherry, Gateron etc.

Linear vs Non-Linear

When buying a mechanical feel you will always hear the term “Linear” and “Non-Linear”, these are two different switch type and can be very important when buying a mechanical keyboard. A linear switch is consistent and requires you to press all the way down with no feedback or bump. However, Non-Linear (tactile/clicky) usually has feedback half way down which can either be a “bump” or “click” or both. (However with the Wooting, you can change your actuation point)

Colors, colors, so many colors, what do they mean?

Cherry switches are the first to manufacture mechanical switches after IBMs unsuccessful use of them, when Cherry started to re introduce mechanical switches there was only “Red” and “Blue” switches, they were named this because the switch itself was Red or Blue, later Cherry MX added more switches such as brown, blacks etc. Basically colors are used to identify the typing experience that can be expected from the switch regardless of brand, for example, a blue switch will give both tactile and an audible click when pressed and Red Linear switches have no tactile feedback or bump, Flaretech being one of them. 

It’s all about personal preference

At the end of the day, mechanical switches are different for everyone, some people don’t like blues so they opt in for reds but some people like blues however opt in for red because they are smoother for gaming. When asking anyone in any community you will always get a different answer. Everything wrote here is based off what the community have said on Discord, Reddit and other social platforms.If you’re still unsure about what switches you want, most local tech shops will have keyboards on display for you to try, in the UK Scan, Maplin, Overclockers, Aria and shops like Currys/PCWorld usually have some on display. This may vary in other countries.

Flaretech

So what makes flaretech different? Flaretech switches are different in a few ways, for example flaretech switches are built to be hot swappable, this gives you the opportunity to swap out switches whenever you want at ease and use different switches at the same time. Flaretech switches are also optical switches which allows the Wooting to see how far down the key is pressed, provide a more accurate readings and allow faster response times.

Flaretech switches have a much greater life span than other switches because of less parts inside the switch, this is another result of the use of optical switches,.

Linear55 “Red”  

These are the most commonly used mechanical switches when buying a keyboard for gaming, they are sensitive and fast, unlike blue (Clicky55) switches Reds (Linear55) do not have any feedback when pressing. Reds (Linear55) is one of two switches we offer that are Linear. Unlike other switches, the color inside the flaretech switch itself is completely clear.

Pros (Based on a community discussion)

  • Perfect for gaming
  • Very sensitive with the ability to adjust the actuation point  
  • No feedback (if you don’t like feedback)
  • Very light
  • Like cherry but a lot lighter
  • Easier to control Analog

Cons (Based on a community discussion)

  • Sensitive but actuation point can be changed in Wootility
  • Not perfect for typing (More or less depends on the user also)

Specs

  • 55cN
  • Linear
  • No Feedback
  • 100,000,000 clicks
  • Analog input
  • Currently 1.5 to 3.6mm

Clicky55 “Blue”

Blue’s (Clicky55) are commonly used by people who prefer to have superior typing speed and love the feedback, they are currently the only switches we offer that have feedback. Though normally blue’s (Clicky55) switches are not considered good for gaming, Flaretech blue’s (Clicky55) have 55cN however like reds (Linear55) the actuation point can be adjusted. Unlike other switches, the color inside the flaretech switch itself is actually orange.

Pros (Based on a community discussion)

  • Provides tactile feedback for typing
  • Can be used for gaming by adjusting the actuation point
  • Feel like Cherry Reds but with tactile feedback, they are not as heavy as Cherry Blues
  • Quieter than most Blue switches

Cons (Based on a community discussion)

  • Loud, just like all blue switches they are louder than all other switches, however not as loud as other blues their other cherry counter parts
  • Difficult to control Analog.

Specs

  • 55cN
  • Non-Linear
  • Clicky and tactile feedback
  • 100,000,000 clicks
  • Analog input
  • Currently 1.5 to 3.6mm

Linear80 “Black”

Black (Linear80) switches are known as heavier reds (Linear55), they require a lot more force when pressing, these are useful in many cases but more importantly, they are less sensitive and help with controlling Analog.Black (Linear80) switches require 80cN.

Pros (Based on a testing)

  • Perfect for Analog
  • Less sensitive
  • Great for gaming
  • Quiet

Cons (Based on testing)

  • Because of the increase in weight it can take some time getting used to the extra force.

Specs

  • 80cN
  • Linear
  • No Feedback
  • 100,000,000 clicks
  • Analog input
  • Currently 1.5 to 3.6mm

Conclusion

In the end it comes down to personal preference however if you’re to use Blue (Clicky55) for typing, but wanting Black (Linear80) or Red (Linear55) for controlling Analog, you can buy a small switch pack from our store here ( https://wooting.store/) which you can then use to replace WASD, or any other keys you may desire with Black (Linear80) or Red (Linear55) as with the Wooting you can use different switches at the same time. If you’re still unsure, you can usually visit your local hardware shop and try out cherry mx keyboards on display.

Here are a few videos showcasing flaretech switches…

References 

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/mechanical-keyboard-switches,review-4154.html

https://www.pcgamer.com/best-mechanical-switches-for-gaming/

https://www.keyboardco.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/an-introduction-to-cherry-mx-mechanical-switches/

Please contact MrPleasant_exe#6457 for any amendments 

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