What is the best type of switch for speed typing? How much does switch weight matter?
Here are my thoughts on switch weight.
Lighter switches require less work to actuate, are less fatiguing to type on over extended periods of time, and are more nimble and easier to use. Stenographers use the lightest spring weights possible for their switches. While they are pressing more keys at a time than QWERTY typists, I imagine the lighter spring weight must also be for speed and ease of use.
Honestly, while I can share with you my personal preferences, this is something you have to figure out for yourself. Experiment and find out what kind of switch you are most comfortable speedtyping on.
For me, these are the main switches I’ve used and how I’ve felt typing on them.
MX Blues- the first board I raced with. A fairly light switch with a little click that is heard, but not really felt while speed typing. Basically a linear switch with a click in the middle of it. My fingers were able to fly on these switches, I think because of the basically non-existent weight while typing fast.
67g Zealios- When I fell in love with 67g Zealios, I got myself a board of them and pretty much shelved my MX Blues. I found I could type equally quickly on these Zealios switches.
Topre 55g- I noticed I couldn’t type as quickly on these- about a 15% speed decrease. I think there’s something about the force curve that throws me off while typing for speed. It’s not necessarily a mechanical limitation, but it feels like there’s a greater disconnect between the action of the switch and the registration of the keystroke.
Topre 45g- These are easier than the 55g to speed type on, but that strange feeling of disconnect is still there. Don’t get me wrong, apart from typing for speed, these two Topre domes are two of my favorite switches to type on. They’re a favorite leisure typing switch, just not a speed typing switch. 😀
Holy Pandas- When I first started using these, their very tactile nature reminded me of Topre domes in a sense, with their early action and steep dropoff, so I didn’t expect to be able to type quickly on them. However, typing more on them proved otherwise. They’ve become my favorite switch for leisure, and for speed. Something about their snappiness, particularly the snappy return, makes the fingers feel so alive and engaged, while retaining that feeling of flitting around that I talked about in my earlier post about minimizing travel distance and having a light touch.
I haven’t used linears in any of my boards yet, but it’s going to happen soon! I’ll report about those when I get to use them.
With all this talk about switches, I think the most important thing is that you are in tune with the switch you are using. Know it inside and out. Know how much force is required to actuate it, and type accordingly. Don’t waste time and energy being heavy-handed (heavy-fingered?) and slamming down on the keys. Type quickly and gently- think more like tapping and less like punching.
What about you guys? What switches do you type fastest on?