Types of Mechanical Keyswitches
The above picture notes the three ‘blanket’ categories of mechanical keyswitches, including Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. Keyboard manufacturer’s will usually build their mechanical keyswitches under any of these types, or a combination thereof. An important concept to understand is the actuation point of keyboards. The actuation point denotes where in a key’s press it will actually register. Depending on the keyswitch, this point is usually somewhere in the middle of the press.
This is one of the more popular varieties of keyswitches. A linear keyswitch will have an actuation point near the bottom of the press, meaning you need to press it pretty far down before it registers. These keyswitches usually have no resistance points to indicate when they’re pressed, other than seeing your input register on the screen. They don’t usually require much force to actuate in the first place relative to other keyswitches, which can be beneficial if you don’t want a finger workout while typing essays.
Personally, tactile keyswitches are my bread and butter. These keyswitches have clearly defined actuation points which will provide you with feedback once you’ve hit it. This feedback is usually in the form of additional resistance to let you know once you hit that point.
Some keyswitches have a ‘clicking’ feature which provides additional audio feedback in the form of a click. This feedback usually occurs when you hit the actuation point, and I’m not a big fan of it. I find that the clicks can be very loud and distracting, above and beyond the loud volume of a mechanical keyboard in the first place.