Looking to get the finest stock linear switches? Well, you are exactly where you need to be! In this article, I will talk about the best stock linear switches on the market.
Linear switches are highly recommended for gamers and typists who love smoothness and speed. The Akko CS Silver switches are the most suitable stock linear switches for gaming. On the other hand, if you have a tight budget, you should go for the Gateron Milky Yellows.
After a brief review of the 7 best stock linear switches, there will be a FAQ section at the end to answer more of your queries.
Some common frustrations with Linear switches
If you love the tactile feedback and the satisfying clicky sound, then linear switches are not your perfect match. Linear switches are meant to be fast, smooth, and consistent, hence not providing much feedback.
Difficulty choosing the best linear switch
When it comes to linear switches, you just have too many options! It’s like standing at a buffet with lots of dishes. On one hand, you feel excited about the abundance of choices and the potential to try new flavors. On the other hand, you may also feel overwhelmed and indecisive.
Each switch has its pros and cons; you can decide which one is the most optimal pick for you by thoroughly checking the reviews and comments on the switch and then reconsidering it with your preference.
After extensive research on the market and reading user reviews, I have shortlisted 7 of the best, time-tested, and most popularly demanded stock linear switches along with my top 3 picks.
Best Stock Linear Switches
Akko CS Silver
Gateron Milky Yellow
Cherry MX Red
Shortlisting linear switches out of hundreds of options is a pretty hectic task. Find the list of the best stock linear switches below.
Cherry MX Red
Talking about linear switches and not talking about the Cherry MX? Well, that’s not possible. Made in Germany, Cherry MX Reds are effortlessly one of the most widely used and positively reviewed linear switches.
They are 3-pin switches and are compatible with a vast number of mechanical keyboards from all renowned and popular keyboard manufacturers.
MX Red switches are loved by fans because they are highly durable and faster in-game. The key presses are more instantaneous, without any fatiguing elements or feedback.
Cherry MX Reds are really smooth and feel satisfying to play and type on. They produce a lighter sound than tactile key switches, making them suitable for use in office environments as well.
The MX Red features a travel distance of 2mm, a bottom distance of 4mm, an actuating force of 45 g, and a bottom force of 75g. Their rated life span is more than 100 million keystrokes.
Buyers love the low noise, smooth ‘thick and buttery’ feel without any tactile feedback, and super-fast actuation of these switches. These switches are often lubed to make them smoother and more consistent.
Moreover, these 5-pin PCB-mounted switches are compatible with a huge variety of keyboards.
They have an actuating force of 35 grams, which makes them faster to actuate. Besides, they have a bottom-out force of 50 g, a pre-travel distance of 2mm, and a total travel of 4mm.
Like every other linear switch, they have low noise levels, making them suitable for use in open surroundings.
Gateron Ink Black V2
Whenever the Gateron Milky Yellow is discussed, you can't resist the mention of its companion, the Ink Black V2. Along with Milky Yellow, the Ink Blacks are considered the best linear switches by Gateron.
The Ink Black V2 comes in two variants: the normal one and the silent one.
These switches come slightly lubed and are positively regarded by buyers because of their stability, super smooth typing experience, and great compatibility with 5-pin MX keyboards.
Their design, inspired by ancient Chinese ink bottles, allows better light transmission and offers a slight spring crunch.
The Ink Black switches actuate at a force of 60 g and are completely bottomed at a force of 70 g. They have a travel distance of 4.0 mm and an actuation distance of 2 mm.
Their rated lifespan is more than 50 million presses, making them highly durable.
The normal Ink Black does produce a slightly more pronounced sound than the Gateron Milky Yellows and other linear switches. But the silent variant produces almost no sound, making them optimal for office use.
Akko CS Crystal Silver
Are you a gamer, and does your response time matter to you? The Akko CS Crystal Silver switches are the perfect pick for you! Having a lesser actuation force and a shorter pre-travel distance makes these switches as fast as light.
Compatible with almost all mechanical keyboards, these uniquely backlit switches are highly commended by their users for having a buttery smooth feel, easy actuation, and a relaxed typing experience.
The Akko CS Silver has an actuation force of 43 g, a bottom-out force of 48 g, an actuation distance of just 1 mm, and a total travel distance of 3.0 mm.
These switches are believed to work even better after being lubed, but they are still very smooth without them. Well, that’s something to consider after you buy them.
NovelKeys x Kailh Cream
There were mixed opinions about NK Kailh Cream all over the internet. However, there was one shared opinion among all the critiques: that proper lubrication makes them an excellent linear switch choice.
These 5-pin switches are compatible with all mechanical keyboards, and it is pretty easy to attach them to your keyboard.
These keys are known to be a bit scratchy for new users, as they have an entirely different and slightly heavier feel.
However, those who use these switches avidly absolutely love them. Moreover, these keys are known to show their actual smoothness after properly lubing them.
The NovelKeys x Kailh Cream has an actuating force of 55 g, a bottom-out force of 70 g, an operating distance of 2mm, and a complete travel distance of 4mm.
These keys are typically louder relative to other linear switches.
Cherry MX Black
Cherry is a brand known for its top-notch linear switches, and the MX Black is one of their best, like the MX Red. They are known for their supreme precision, smooth experience, a little heavier weight, and excellent responsiveness.
The MX Black is a 3-pin switch available in two variants: Cherry MX Black and Cherry MX Silent Black. Both switches only differ in their sound. While both share a smooth, consistent typing and gaming experience.
They operate at a force of 60 g and have a bottom-out force of 80 g. Their operating distance is 2 mm, while their complete traveling distance is 4 mm. And like every other Cherry MX switch, they can last up to 100 million keystrokes.
Cherry MX Speed Silver
The MX Speed Silver is yet another fine-quality and widely popular linear switch by Cherry! As the name suggests, the Speed Silver is known for its almost instantaneous response and is the fastest in the Cherry MX family.
These switches have a minimal pre-travel distance of 1.2mm and an actuating force of 45 g. The total travel distance is 3.4 mm, and the bottom-out force is up to 60 g.
The MX Speed Silver is an excellent choice for you if you're a pro gamer who plays competitive tournaments. The Speed Silvers will surely improve your reflexes, movement, and timing.
What linear switches are best for gaming?
The “Akko CS Crystal Silver” is hands down the ultimate king when it comes to linear switches for gaming. The lightning-fast speed, buttery feeling, and lesser actuation force are what make them unique for an excellent gaming experience.
Other great choices are the Cherry MX Speed Silver and Cherry MX Red.
What is the best linear switch of 2023?
It is extremely complicated to decide which switch is the best. However, we can narrow it down under different criteria such that,
The Best Linear Switch for Gaming: Akko CS Silver Switches
The Best Budget-Friendly Switch: Gateron Milky Yellow Switches
The Smoothest Feel: Gateron Ink Black V2 switches
What is the most silent linear switch?
The Cherry MX Silent Reds are considered the optimal choice when quietness is preferred. They offer an impressive decrease of 78% in total noise output. Moreover, because of their 45 g actuation force and fast speed, they are quite popular for competitive gaming.
Linear switches provide little feedback on typing and are rapidly responsive; this makes them an excellent choice for both gaming and typing.
The 7 best linear stock switches each have a unique specialty. It depends on you and your preferences as to which linear switch is best for you.
I hope that I was of huge help to you in finding your perfect match of linear switches.
Happy typing and gaming!