Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
We've recently launched keyboard switches! Read the launch R&D Article to learn more

The 5 Best Clicky Mechanical Switches - Fall 2023 Reviews

Best Clicky Switches

True to their name, clicky switches make clicky noises. They look like other mechanical switches but have small mechanisms that produce this signature sound for each keystroke. Clicky switches are also known for being loud. Some are quieter than others—but more often than not, coworkers, pets, family members, or fellow coffee shop patrons will probably find the sound of clicky keyboards distracting in closed environments.

But when you're in your own space, working, gaming, or just browsing—clicky switches offer a more stable, pronounced tactile feel and signature sound profile that even the best Tactile or Linear switches don't quite match.

We've tested 101 switches. Below are our recommendations for the best clicky switches you can buy. Pricing of keyboard switches can vary quite a bit depending on the quantity you purchase and the website you purchase them from. It might be worth shopping around a little!

If you're interested in the differences between click jacket and click bar designs referenced in this article, see the Additional Details section below, near the end. Or, if you're looking for more options, see our recommendations for the best keyboard switches, the best linear switches, the best tactile switches, and the best gaming switches.

  1. Best Clicky Switch

    Keyboard switch preferences are extremely subjective—but we recommend the Kailh Box Jade as the best clicky switch for most people. These switches feel snappy and tactile, and their click bar design produces a loud, resonant sound signature click on both the downstroke and upstroke that's widely loved among clicky enthusiasts. Like all box-design switches, these switches are also dustproof and a bit more resilient to minor spills, lending them impressive long-term durability compared to non-box designs. While some prefer the sound and feel of these switches stock, you can lube them yourself to dampen some of the harsher, metallic pinging notes that some like to minimize.

    Also, note that these switches are a bit on the heavier side. They're a bit heavier than the Kailh White Owl Box switches, which are our recommendation for the best typing click switches below—so keep that in mind if you tend to use your keyboard for really long stretches, as your fingers may tire out. On the other hand, if you're looking for an even heavier, more tactile, and crunchy-sounding alternative with the same box design, check out the Kailh Box Thick Clicky Navy switches instead.

    See our review

  2. Best Clicky Switch For Typing

    While the Box Jade above is our all-around best pick for typing, gaming, or just browsing—if you're looking for a clicky switch exclusively for typing, we recommend the Kailh White Owl Box. These switches have the same box design that features a click bar as the Kailh Box Jade switches above. However, these switches aren't quite as loud, and the sound they produce isn't as deep, but they carry a pleasant 'ticking' sound when you get typing at a steady pace.

    These switches are not only quieter than the Box Jades, but they're noticeably lighter to actuate, and their spring tension provides a much more immediate force drop once you've passed the tactile bump. This makes these switches a favorite among typists, as once you get a feel for these switches, you can more comfortably avoid bottoming out on each keypress.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Clicky Switch For Typing

    For a more affordable typing alternative, we recommend Kailh Box White V2 switches, which have a crisp, stable actuation and are much admired for the tactile feedback they provide. They're also significantly lighter than many clicky switches and have an unusually long and responsive return spring, so they're a great choice if you love a click bar sound profile but are concerned about the heavier feel many clicky switches are known for.

    Due to their more budget price point, you may find the actuation feel to be less consistent between switches compared to higher-priced options on this list. That said, these switches do come pre-lubed from the factory, so they're also a great pick right out of the box if you aren't interested in opening and lubing your switches yourself.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Clicky Switch For Typing

    If you're working on a cheaper build and looking for the best clicky option, we recommend Outemu Blue switches. These switches have a more affordable and mechanically simple click jacket design, meaning they produce their signature sound only on the downstroke. Speaking of that sound, these switches are loud, even compared to most clicky options. That said, these are also among the lightest actuating clicky switches available, so they're a great pick if you're more a fan of the sound profile rather than the heavier feel of most clicky switches.

    However, their comparatively simple design means they're a bit less durable and stable-feeling than a premium box switch like our best pick, the Kailh Box Jade. Some enthusiasts find these switches also feel fairly scratchy and produce a bit of a rattling sound. At the end of the day, these switches offer reasonable smoothness, good tactility, and an ultra-lightweight feel at a price that's difficult to match compared to other clicky options—making them a solid entry-level choice.

    See our review

  5. Best Clicky Switch For Gaming

    For gaming, we recommend Kailh Speed Bronze switches. As their name suggests, these switches are all about reaction speed. They're lightweight and have a very short pre-travel distance, but you still get strong tactile feedback on actuation and a surprisingly clean clicking sound. Altogether, these switches are well-suited for fast-paced or competitive games when input speed is crucial.

    Keep in mind that a short pre-travel means comparatively longer reset travel, so a faster initial reaction speed comes at the price of repeated input speed, which can be an issue if you play FPS games heavily reliant on tap strafing, for example. That said, these switches are a great choice for any clicky enthusiast gamer as they provide excellent latency performance that many clicky switches lack, coupled with light actuation and reasonable smoothness from the factory that you can upgrade yourself with a bit of home lubing. Note that these switches typically aren't available from major retailers, but you can get them directly from Kailh's website here.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Gateron G Pro 2.0 Blue: Gateron G Pro 2.0 Blue switches offer a moderate weight, a satisfying tactile bump, and a reasonably smooth out-of-box feel since they come pre-lubed from the factory. That said, they're typically a bit more expensive than Outemu Blue switches, and while they're often cheaper than the Kailh Box White V2 switches, they don't offer the same durability and premium feel. See our review

Additional Details

If you're new to keyboard switches or maybe just dipping into clicky switches for the first time, we've included some extra information below that can help you decide on the switches that are right for you.

While most clicky switches look similar, they generally fall into one of two camps determined by the small mechanism that makes their signature sound.

Click Jackets vs Click Bars

Click Jackets

Click Jackets are the original design. First introduced by the Cherry company in the early '80s. Cherry's original MX Blue switch was and often still is the standard against which most clicky switches are measured.

All-in-all, clicky switches with a click jacket design are typically more lightweight and are often described as 'tappy' sounding. Click Jacket switches are also a bit less mechanically complex, making them easier to manufacture and typically a bit more affordable. Cherry continues to make various clicky versions of their classic MX switches, and other major switch manufacturers, such as Gateron and Outemu, produce similar versions of their own.

Click Bars

Click Bar designs are the new kids on the block. They have a double-action travel that makes a clicking noise on both key press and key release.

Many enthusiasts appreciate this newer design for feeling heavier, more 'mechanical', or even 'crunchy'. Many of the qualities people like about click jackets are doubled down on with a click bar design. Because this design is a bit more mechanically complex, they tend to be more expensive. Kailh Box switches fall into this category, as well as some designs from NovelKeys, GLORIOUS, and other manufacturers.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best clicky switches for most people. While no switch is perfect for every person and every use, most will perform adequately in any role.

When choosing our recommendations, we factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability. If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's a list of all the tactile keyboard switches we've tested below.