As the saying goes, "The world of mechanical keyboards is a world of preferences.” I'm a touch typist, and I use linear switches because they make me faster (hitting 80+ WPM on a complex test and with a tactile about >90).
Yes, linear switches are silent assassins perfectly balanced for typing and belong to the three most environment-friendly types of mechanical key switches. Their simple design enables you to get a remarkable typing experience.
Please don’t take that as a general assumption because my colleague can do the same with the tactile switches.
Psst! if you are looking for the best linear switches, check out our article on the 6 Best Linear Switches For Typing
If you are wondering what the heck linear switches are and how they differ from any other mechanical keyboard switches, stick around, and I will disclose every piece of information necessary for you to make a decision.
In short, roller switches are better than membrane switches (both are types of linear switches) as they are cheaper and offer longer life spans but slower than membrane switches.
How does a linear keyboard switch work?
The saying goes, "The linear switches are the Swiss army knife of switches - perfectly balanced." It's also called the beginner's switch.
The LKS (linear keyboard switch) is designed in a way to allow the switch to push toward the center of the keyboard, increasing the resistance of the keys to providing tactile feedback to you.
Its smooth and faster typing enables you to press multiple keys simultaneously, and these switches feature the latest ergonomic design for mechanical keyboards.
The unique features of liner switches make some "hurray!" and for some, its design is just "nope!".
Linear switches make the movement of individual keys quicker and don't have any audible clicks or tactile bumps. You can say whatever you like, but linear are one of the fastest in the mechanical keyboard switches history.
As they allow a lot of flexibility in your typing, you can use right-handed switches (if you are left-handed) or left-handed switches (if you are right-handed) to get better accuracy and speed.
Psst! looking for a new keyboard to improve you typing? than you might want to check my article on Which Mechanical Keyboard Is Good For Typing Practice?
Is it harder to type on linear switches?
No, it's not. The liner switches are smooth on click, but you may find it challenging to click as they have completely different operating characteristics.
Some believe heavier switches are better than light switches and tactile switches are better than linear switches. However, you may notice far fewer errors with the linear switches having tactility in your typing.
The liner switches have a tactile bump that can "shock" your finger, and you might not like them when you first try them, as some adaptation is usually necessary.
My advice as a friend is to always trust the switch and not fight it.
Never fight against the weight of the switch to get the feedback and trust that even if you let the spring catch you before the end of the travel, you've activated the linear switch.
In my experience, you cannot even clearly say when a key is activated, and that's how much smooth linear switches are. It's not for me to recommend linear switches to you, but to judge how effective such a technique is, and oh boy, they are effective.
If the volume of work is your priority and if you are someone who can be easily bothered by the click sound, linear switches are something you need to consider.
Psst! Read more about the softest & smoothest switches in my article on: Which Mechanical Keyboard Switches Are The Softest?
Are linear switches good for fast typing?
The quick and precise actuation of pressing linear switches creates a smooth, unimpeded glide that makes them the ideal switches for high-intensity gaming or fast-paced typing. It creates less resistance means faster reaction time which leads to effortless and fast typing.
Typing fast is a rhythm, and with balanced tactile feedback and audible click, the typist can immerse themselves in typing fast and achieve extreme accuracy.
However, accuracy and speed come with experience, and it can take some time to develop momentum for beginners when experiencing new mechanical keyboards.
Linear switches don't have an audible click sound, but it doesn't mean they are unable to enhance your typing experience and achieve the desired acceleration.
"Type fast with less noise" has always been the selling point of linear switches.
However, I sometimes feel confused because no perceptible actuation leads to unnecessarily pressing the button all the way down, which leads to lengthening the distance my finger has to be traveled, producing a negative effect on the writing speed.
Don't panic just yet, because the slight pressure the linear switches needed for activation leads to accidentally pressing a button and making a typo. What! Were you expecting a great punchline?
How do I choose a keyboard with linear switches?
Mechanical keyboards can be of different types, colors from ones that use rubber domes and others that use membrane switches made of aluminum.
You may come across low-profile options for shorter linear switches that reflect a sleek, thin look, alleviation of wrist pain, and the shorter switch stem for a quicker actuation.
low-profile mechanical keyboard
A low-profile mechanical keyboard with linear switches can improve accuracy while gaming or improving your typing speed. Keep in mind that switches have different lifetimes, and linear switches can wear fast.
The durability of switches is another factor you should consider before making a decision. Most linear switches have a longevity of 50+ million keystrokes, and you can extend it to 100 million keystrokes depending on your usage.
The spring force is something you may be interested in as heavy typists like higher spring force to type faster and maintain optimal accuracy. An average linear switch feels smooth with no bumps and requires 45g of actuation force.
The total travel distance of linear switch activation is 4mm, and it feels light with an actuation point of 2.2±0.6 mm. If you don't know what these number means, learn English.
The core properties I think every linear switch must have are smoothness, consistency, bump-free, and noiseless keystrokes so that you can compare each linear switch to find the best one which has the perfect balance.
The actuation point, travel, debounce time, reset point, and hysteresis of a linear switch determine its performance, and it would be great if you find out what you prefer the most and want to make a decision around it.
How to type fast on a linear switch?
It’s an interesting question to which I don’t know the answer, and for a good reason. Each person requires something unique to maximize their typing potential, which is why thousands of options are available.
I experimented and learned a lot before finally getting the one mechanical keyboard that completed me.
Typing fast depends on your subjective preferences, and the selection of the right switches is an individual matter.
I'm here to the rescue and let me tell you that the different operating characteristics of linear switches make it difficult to adapt and achieve speed because the resistance is the same all the way through the button, and we cannot clearly say when the button was activated.
It leaves some dissatisfaction behind for users addicted to tactile switches and clicks sound to develop a sense of successful button press.
When it comes to typing fast on linear switches, I recommend you adopt the following:
- Get comfortable with your keyboard, and the best way to do so is with practice.
- Use a word processor that allows you to use a linear switch keyboard.
- Choose the right software for your mechanical keyboard to customize its functionality.
- Typing fast is all about maintaining a rhythm, remembering the keys, and which figures to assign specific keys.
- The space bar is your pause key, and uses it to type faster.
- Go "barbarian" on your keyboard while maintaining accuracy, and eventually, with practice, you will type faster.
Most of the linear switches allow you to type faster, but they can also slow you down if you are not comfortable with them. In general, you can achieve 80+ WPM with patience which is more than my IQ by the way.
The better quality of mechanical keyboards encourages us to type faster. You can also use MonkyType, LiveChat, 10FastFingers, and many other websites to test and increase your typing speed with in-depth analysis of your typing.
The last tip I want to give you is that be comfortable with your keyboard, customize it, and have patience and analyze your progress over time to see what works best for you.
I said it before, and I'm going to say it again what truly determines your typing speed aside from your raw typing skill is the quality of your switches and keyboard!
Choosing the right mechanical keyboard that perfectly suits your typing style can unlock your true potential to be a typing beast around the keyboard.
For gaming, linear switches are your best bet, with smooth and consistent actuation for a reliable gaming experience. Switches like Cherry MX Speed Silver takes the great aspects of a linear switch and improves it even more for gaming. I've told you the secret, and now it's on you what decision you make to improve your speed.
Ever experienced a trigger? Ask an American if you haven't because they have a rich history with them. If you are someone who enjoys that satisfactory sound of the "job done!" linear switches can be difficult for you to adopt and develop your typing speed and skills around.
The linear, tactile, and clicky switches have their pros and cons that make the selection of the perfect one a tough decision to make. The decision for the recommended switch boils down to how you will be using your mechanical keyboard, the environment you will be using it in, and your personal preference.
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