Just like our world, the world of keyboard switches is a diverse and exciting one. Switches come in all different price tags, and the high-quality mechanical switches of brands like Cherry are not very budget-friendly.
Worry not if you have a tight budget; there is a more wallet-friendly and suitable alternative, the Outemu switches!
But Are Outemu Switches Good?
Outemu switches are an excellent alternative if you want a mechanical keyboard with a low budget. They are budget-friendly clones of the Cherry MX switches, providing users with a similar experience. However, they don't last as long, are not as precisely designed, and may tend to rattle a bit more.
In this article, I will delve deep into everything about the Outemu switches. We will see what all the hype is about with the Outemu switches. Are they even good? And are they the right pick for you?
What are Outemu Switches?
Simply put, Outemu switches are clones of Cherry switches manufactured in China. But to know better about the Outemu switches, you need to know a little background.
However, when the patent expired, numerous companies such as Outemu, Gateron, and Kaih started making more budget-friendly clones of Cherry mechanical switches.
Outemu tops the list for being the most economical of all the clone switches, and they are loved by fans for what they offer. Outemu is available in four variants: Outemu Blue, Outemu Red, Outemu Brown, and Outemu Black.
So, if you want to experience the feel and touch of Cherry MX switches but don't have enough money, Outemu switches are exactly what you need!
Are Outemu Switches Good?
Yes, Outemu switches are great considering that they are extremely pocket-friendly and are recommended if you have a low budget. Outemu switches are available in clicky, tactile, and linear variants, providing their users with a satisfying gaming and typing experience.
This also means that mechanical keyboards with these tactile or clicky Outemu switches will give pleasing auditory and haptic feedback.
However, Outemu switches are not built with the same precision as Cherry MX. They might rattle and feel shaky due to the extra wiggle room available. In short, they are not as durable as Cherry switches.
But if you're going for a budget mechanical board, you will have to compromise on one thing or another. In this case, it could be getting these switches instead of the expensive ones.
What is the best Outemu switch keyboard?
Many budget mechanical keyboard manufacturers are shifting towards Outemu switches. You will find hundreds of boards equipped with them. Well, still, none of them outperforms the K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard from Red Dragon.
Redragon K552 Keyboard
I have personally used this one, and it has amazing features for a minimal price. It is fast, aesthetically pleasing, and comes equipped with customizable RGB backlighting support and an N-key rollover feature.
Besides, the switches are anti-dust and fade-proof and rated for up to 50 million keystrokes. Furthermore, the keyboard has a great ergonomic design and a very sturdy and durable build quality.
The keystrokes produce moderate click noise, making this keyboard suitable for gaming, personal, and office use as well.
But if you don't like clicky or tactile switches, there's also an option for linear ones.
One downside of this keyboard is that it is only compatible with the Windows operating system. The support for macOS is very limited.
The Outemu Switch Lineup
The Outemu Switches Lineup comprises four switches:
- Outemu Red
- Outemu Blue
- Outemu Brown
- Outemu Black
They each differ in their nature and operating force, but all of them have the same actuating distance of 2.0mm and bottom-out distance of 4.0mm.
Let's discuss in detail what makes each key unique and special.
1. Outemu Blue Switch
The Outemu Blue switch is heavier with an actuation force of 60 cN, it is clicky in nature, and it produces louder auditory feedback on key presses, making it optimal to prevent accidental keystrokes.
Due to its louder noise, it is better suited to personal spaces and is not an ideal choice for offices.
It also has formidable spring resistance and is more suited to people with larger hands as compared to people with smaller hands and a gentler touch.
The Outemu Blue switch, with its clicky keys, provides a satisfying typing experience and prevents you from making typos. Overall, it is an excellent choice for typing.
Lastly, as you know, the heavy actuation force and clicky nature of blue switches make them difficult to use for gaming.
2. Outemu Red Switch
These budget-friendly keys provide you with an excellent replica of the Cherry MX Red. These linear switches are super-fast and accurate. And, with an actuation force of 50 cN, they are an excellent choice for those with a lighter touch.
Moreover, these switches are quieter and smoother than the other variants, making them suitable for office use as well.
People shifting from tactile or clicky keys can also adapt to the use of these switches pretty easily, and they are compatible with people of all hand sizes.
They are an excellent pick for gamers, as they are fast and have almost instantaneous responsiveness. This can substantially enhance your gaming experience.
However, typing using these switches is a little hassle if you are not very used to the linear actuation. Don't get these if you're not a professional typist, as you might make many typos using the reds.
3. Outemu Brown Switches
Love the slight bump on pressing the key? The Outemu Brown switches are just right for you! These tactile keys provide just the right amount of feedback when actuated.
They are a popular choice used by both gamers and typists. They have a slightly higher actuation force of 55 cN than the Outemu Red and require a little more pressure to actuate.
These keys have a less prominent sound than the Outemu Blue, but still, they do make a considerable noise. I won't recommend using them in workplaces if you don't have a separate room or office.
Anyway, the tactile nature of the keys indicates when a key is pressed, making this switch an excellent choice for typing. You won't be making many typos or making accidental key presses.
The Outemu Brown is also a great pick for gamers who like tactile feedback and enjoy a little heavier touch.
Overall, these switches are easy to use and work well for most people.
4. Outemu Black Switch
This switch is pretty similar to the Outemu Red switch. Why? Well, it is also linear and has the same pre-travel and bottom-out distance. However, it has a higher actuation force of 65 cN, making it a tad bit heavier.
The black switch is known to make pretty low noise; hence, it is excellent for office use. Secondly, due to its larger operating force, it is recommended for all those with a heavy-handed typing style.
The heavy nature and spring resistance of these keys provide a great typing experience and also prevent accidental keystrokes.
These keys also have a fast response time and are great if you are a gamer with a heavy touch.
Which is better Gateron or Outemu?
Both Outemu switches and Gateron switches are popular for making rich-featured switches modeled after the Cherry MX switches. Both switches have their pros and cons. However, the latter (Gateron) is a more recommended and better choice than the Outemu.
The Outemu switches are the winner when it comes to budget-friendliness. On the other hand, Gateron switches have gained considerable popularity for their speed and durability and are believed by many to have the same experience as Cherry MX.
Gateron switches provide a very fast execution time, are exceptionally smooth, are rated for high durability, and have a strong build.
They are highly regarded by gamers because they have lower actuation forces. Besides, they have a higher number of variants as compared to Outemu switches.
Outemu switches are comparatively cheaper than Gateron switches, but their experience is also a bit subpar. And as expected, they don't last as long as the Gateron switches.
In conclusion, except for their budget-friendliness, Gateron switches surpass Outemu switches in almost all aspects. They are more durable, long-lasting, fast, and compatible with gaming and typing.
Are Outemu switches compatible with Cherry keycaps?
Since Outemu switches are clones of the Cherry MX, these switches are easily compatible with Cherry keycaps.
Switches can have wear and tear, and replacing them every few years is obviously a pretty expensive thing to do and a luxury that not everyone can afford.
If you have a tight budget, it is an excellent idea to buy Outemu switches with Cherry keycaps. This will give off the same aesthetic and premium look of Cherry switches in a far more budget-friendly way.
Outemu Switches FAQs
Can you use Cherry MX Keycaps on Outemu Switches?
Absolutely yes! As Outemu switches have a pretty similar underlying design to Cherry MX switches, this means you can use Cherry MX keycaps that will fit with Outemu switches without much hassle.
However, it's worth noting that there can be slight variations in the dimensions and tolerances between different switch manufacturers.
In some cases, this can result in an imperfect fit, which means a slightly tighter or looser fit between the keycap and the switch. This can cause users to face considerable problems with regular keyboard use as well.
While most Cherry keycaps will fit well on Outemu switches, it's always a good idea to double-check Outemu switches compatibility with specific keycap sets or consult user experiences in online communities to ensure a proper fit.
Are Outemu Blue switches good for gaming?
Outemu Blue switches are clicky and have a high actuation force of 60 cN. Despite the fact that these switches are an excellent choice for typing, they do not provide a very exciting gaming experience.
The heavier actuation force of clicky switches requires more pressure on each key press. Some gamers like it as it provides a greater sense of control, but it can eventually slow down your gaming performance.
Also, it may lead to finger pain and RSI after an extensive and intense gaming session.
Moreover, Outemu Blue switches have a very prominent and loud noise. Which can be a distraction for gaming in shared and competitive environments.
Can Akko Switch fit Outemu?
Akko is another extremely popular switch manufacturing company, very much appreciated by the gaming community for the speed and responsiveness of their switches. However, Outemu switches are not compatible with Akko switches directly.
Both switches have distinct stem designs and dimensions, meaning that Akko switches are not interchangeable with Outemu switches.
Akko switches are primarily designed for Akko keyboards. They will not fit properly if used in keyboards or keycap sets specifically designed for Outemu switches.
In such cases, it is recommended to use Outemu switches or another compatible keycap set, such as the Cherry MX keycaps.
How many clicks do Outemu switches have?
The number of clicks that a switch can withstand in its lifespan is guaranteed by the manufacturer. It is used widely as an indicator of keyboard durability and build quality. The Outemu switches are rated for 40–50 million keystrokes.
Even though 40 million is a big number, the rated durability of Outemu switches is far smaller as compared to other leading manufacturers.
For instance, Cherry MX has a lifespan of 100 million actuations, and Gateron switches are rated with a lifespan of almost 80–100 million keystrokes.
Well, in my opinion, the durability of Outemu switches is actually pretty fair in comparison to their budget-friendly price.
Do Razer keycaps work on Outemu Switches?
Razer also manufactures switches with an underlying stem design pretty similar to Cherry MX, and so does Outemu. This means that Razer keycaps are generally compatible with Outemu switches and should fit precisely without any major issues.
It is still recommended to thoroughly check the compatibility and skim through user experiences in online communities before buying the keycap set.
Remember, there is always a possibility for slight variations in the dimensions and designs of different manufacturers.
How many pins do Outemu switches have?
Outemu switches are known for their excellent compatibility and are available in a 3-pin design, following a similar configuration to Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh keys.
This 3-pin design makes Outemu switches compatible with all the keyboards that are compatible with switches such as Cherry MX.
Outemu doesn't manufacture 5-pin switches at the moment. Be that as it may, we might see them competing in the 5-pin market in the future as well.
So, the Outemu switches have got you covered if you want a mechanical board with budget-friendly key switches. Since these switches are clones of Cherry MX, you won't feel that you're using anything cheap or low-quality.
They may rattle or shake a little, but it won't be too bad considering their price range. If you're a gamer, though, I'd recommend investing a little more and getting Gaterons or Kailhs if you can't afford Cherry MX. Both of these switches perform considerably better than Outemu.