a brief review of silent linears

silent switches aren't that good

Posted by zhol - February 6, 2023

i typed this up before and then my page got eaten by permissions issues and now i have to re-type this and i'm not very happy about it. i've never tried cherry silents, and i don't know if i want to pony up the money to try cherry silents


  • if you need the quietest thing around, outemu is the way to go
  • also the mushiest bottom out
    • or softest, if you want to describe their bottom out in a positive way
    • i think some people are into this
  • i got bobagums and lubed them and i was excited to run them and then i ran them for a week and was underwhelmed and thought something was wrong with my batch or the housings and so i bought a bunch of outemu silent linear stems from 3dkeebs (r.i.p.) and threw them into gat ks9 housings and lo and behold they still felt kinda crummy in the exact same way
    • bump in boba u4 is large enough to make me ignore the soft/mush bottom out, go figure


  • maybe least quiet in the game, and maybe scratchiest in the game, but they've got the firmest bottom out next to kailh midnights, and that's why they're my personal fave
  • i bought 110 geckos and cherry picked out 70 for my praxis im. cherry picking ones that are smoother than others is annoying, but i have no regrets
    • too lazy to re-do factory lube. it's probably fine tbh
    • in spite of some of these needing to be cherry picked out, it's still my go-to. i don't need the quietest switch possible, i just need something quiet enough to not annoy a hypothetical person sitting next to me
  • after lubing 70 silent gat yellow, i came out with 55 that were smooth enough, 10 that were passable, and 5 that were sitll kinda scratchy after lubing. i think gateron just has kinda scratchy stems or the dampening material is on the scratchy side or something, but i think that hit rate of "some of these don't feel fantastic" tracks with my experiences with the geckos
  • my preference in silent linears places firmness before everything, and these things have a solid and firm bottom out, so i'm probably gonna stick with these for a while, until something new and shiny comes out and i'm drawn to it like a sucker again
  • there's no way in hell zeal silents (barring zilents) are going to be worth the dollar a piece if they require lubing like these do
  • supposedly these have even louder off-center presses. not the ones i've got, maybe some in the past have


  • kailh midnight pro v2 grey seems to be similar in end-user experience to gateron for me: not the quietest bottom-out, but definitely some of the firmest bottom outs, making it second favorite silent linear for me, with a frustrating annoyance
    • the top of the press has some inexplicable tug to it that you need to overcome before getting a smooth press. you can see this in the theremingoat force curve for pro v2 grey, seems less present for pro v2 yellow (tactile)
    • years after the box switches' stems cracking/stretching caps due to kailh adjusting their stems outside of cherry spec to keep a keycap manufacturer happy, i'm left with a distrust of their tolerances. the midnights didn't seem to stretch my gmk wob katakana, so i guess they're safe
    • also the factory lube on mine seem to be applied exclusively to one side of the stem and not the other. i just brushed the lube around and it was fine enough i guess. no biggie, at least they/vendors/content creators don't claim they have perfect factory lube that turns out to be absolute bush league bullshit
    • stock springs are lubed! i replaced these with worse springs because the stock ones were too light for me
    • also where the heck do you buy these things outside of china. chosfox is a good vendor with fast shipping from china, but there's only so much you can do about your package starting off on the other side of the world, if you're based outside of asia
  • i have not tried their other options, which appear to have dampening material based in the stem, unlike midnights, which have dampener based in the top housing and bottom housing. not really interested in those tbh


  • smooth enough to run stock (decent enough factory lube job helps), bottom out feels like in an in-between area of the firmness of kailh midnight/gateron and plushy softness of outemu.
  • hard to argue with these being only 38 cents USD a switch
  • silencing mechanism is kinda neat but that doesn't matter for an end user
  • the silent tactiles are not that silent tbh

jwk (dolphin/daybreak/silent alpaca variant)

  • same deal with haimu (smooth stock, moderately firm) for the silent lienars with like three catches
    • the downstroke on two separate batches of dolphins seemed to generate this very faint high pitched noise on the downstroke that wasn't fixed by lubing, is not spring noise, is not leaf tick. i don't know what makes it and i wasted an entire day trying to figure it out. but tbh you might not care or notice and if not more power to you
      • this noise probably has something to do with the stem, since i had the exact same slight noise being made after i swapped dolphin stems into milky top gat housings.
    • the dampener is this o ring that wraps around the slider rail of the stem. this can get pushed around by a brush if you're lubing, and can even fall off. it's kind of an annoyance to put back on, since you'll probably get lube on your fingers when you do
      • jwick half silents are the exception and have dampener built into the stem, but i probably don't want to shell out for these
    • these things cost 70 cents USD a piece. bro haimu costs nearly half, may have better factory lube, and doesn't have a weird slight noise that's going to drive me crazy forever
  • haven't tried their silent tactiles but i expect a similar deal (smooth enough) but with more leaf ping