Thocks Keyboard: The Best Thock Switches, Ranked 2024 Guide


Updated: 04/11/2023

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A mechanical keyboard with thock keyboard switches installed. The switches are visible through the transparent keycaps, and they are arranged in a staggered layout. The keyboard has a black case and white keycaps.
This image shows a variety of thock keyboard switches known for their deep, resonant sound.

Experience the satisfying thock of a mechanical keyboard with the best thock switches in 2023!

If you’re a fan of mechanical keyboards, then you’ve probably heard of thock switches. Thock switches are known for their deep, resonant sound that is often described as more pleasant and satisfying to type on than mechanical keyboards’ traditional “clicky” sound.

In this article, we will explain what thock switches are, why they are so popular, and what factors contribute to the thocky sound of a keyboard. We will also compare different types of thock switches and recommend the best ones for gaming, typing, programming, and general use.

What is a Thock Keyboard Switch?

Six different thock keyboard switches: Gateron Milky Yellow, NovelKeys Cream, Alpacas, Gazzew Boba U4, and Durock POM Linears. The switches are arranged in a row, and each switch is labeled with its name.

A thock keyboard switch is a mechanical keyboard switch that produces a deep, resonant sound when pressed. The sound is often described as more pleasant and satisfying to type on than mechanical keyboards‘ traditional “clicky” sound.

Thock keyboard switches are popular for several reasons:

  1. They produce a sound that many people find more pleasant and satisfying to type on.
  2. Thock switches are often more comfortable to type on than clicky ones, requiring less force to actuate.
  3. Thock switches can create a more customized typing experience, as they are available in various weights and actuation forces.

What Different Factors Contribute to the Thocky Sound of a Keyboard?

image of Gateron G Yellow Pro 3.0 switch, a popular thock linear switch with a smooth typing experience
Gateron G Yellow Pro 3.0 switch, a popular thock linear switch with a smooth typing experience

The thocky sound of a keyboard is caused by some factors, including the type of switch being used, the keycaps being used, and the plate and case of the keyboard.

  • Switches: Thock switches are typically linear, meaning they do not produce a tactile bump or click when pressed. Linear switches are known for their smooth, consistent typing experience and deep, resonant sound.
  • Keycaps: Keycaps can also affect the sound of a keyboard. Thicker keycaps, such as those made of PBT plastic, will produce a deeper and more resonant sound than thinner keycaps, such as those made of ABS plastic.
  • Plate and case: The plate and case of the keyboard can also affect the sound of the keyboard. A plate made of aluminum or brass will produce a deeper and more resonant sound than a plate made of plastic. A case with a lot of sound-dampening material will have a quieter sound. A case with less sound-dampening material will produce a louder sound.

In addition to these factors, the thocky sound of a keyboard can also be affected by the way the keyboard is assembled and the type of lubricant used on the switches.

Types of Thock Keyboard Switches

Many types of thock keyboard switches are available, each with its unique sound and feel. Some of the most popular thock keyboard switches include:

1. Linear Switches

A Gateron Milky Yellow linear keyboard switch, used in thick keyboards. The switch is yellow and has a Cherry MX-style stem. The switch is shown in a close-up view, with the spring and housing visible.

Linear switches are mechanical keyboard switches with a smooth and consistent typing experience with no tactile bump or click. When a key is pressed on a linear switch, the switch stem travels smoothly and evenly down until it bottoms out. This results in a very smooth and consistent typing experience. They are often preferred by gamers and typists who appreciate a fast and responsive typing experience.     

Characteristics:

Linear switches are typically characterized by smooth, consistent typing experience and low actuation force. Actuation force is required to press a key down and register a keystroke. Linear switches typically have a low actuation force, making them easy to type on for long periods.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Linear Switches

Benefits of Linear Switches
  • Smooth and consistent typing experience
  • Low actuation force
  • Fast and responsive typing experience
  • Quiet operation
  • Suitable for a variety of applications, including gaming, typing, and programming
Drawbacks of Linear Switches
  • Lack of tactile feedback
  • Can be difficult to type accurately at first
  • Not as satisfying to type on as tactile or clicky switches for some users
  • Can be more expensive than other types of switches
  • May not be suitable for users with limited hand mobility

2. Tactile Switches

A NovelKeys Cream tactile keyboard switch, used in thock keyboards. The switch is white and has a Cherry MX-style stem. The switch is shown in a close-up view, with the spring and housing visible.

Tactile switches are mechanical keyboard switches that provide feedback to the user with a slight bump when a key is pressed. This helps to ensure accurate typing and makes tactile switches a popular choice for programmers and other users who need to be precise with their typing. Tactile switches are also often used in thocky keyboards because they can produce a satisfying sound when pressed. The tactile bump can add depth and complexity to the sound of the keyboard, which some users find enjoyable.

Characteristics:

Tactile switches are typically characterized by their small tactile bump and relatively high actuation force. Actuation force is required to press a key down and register a keystroke. Tactile switches typically have a higher actuation force than linear switches, which makes them less suitable for long periods of typing.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Tactile Switches

Benefits of Tactile Switches
  • Tactile feedback
  • Improved typing accuracy
  • Satisfying sound when pressed
  • Responsive typing experience
  • Suitable for a variety of applications, including programming, gaming, and typing
Drawbacks of Tactile Switches
  • Higher actuation force than linear switches
  • Can be more tiring to type for long periods
  • Not as quiet as linear switches
  • Can be more expensive than other types of switches
  • May not be suitable for users with limited hand mobility

3. Clicky Switches

A Gazzew Boba U4 clicky keyboard switch, used in thick keyboards.

Clicky switches produce an audible click and tactile bump when pressed, making them ideal for users who enjoy the sound and feel of a mechanical keyboard. Clicky switches are frequently utilized in thocky keyboards to create a satisfying sound. Additionally, clicky switches can be quite responsive, essential for gamers and other users who require a keyboard to keep up with their fast-paced typing.

Characteristics:

Clicky switches are typically characterized by tactile bumps, audible clicks, and relatively high actuation force. Actuation force is required to press a key down and register a keystroke. Clicky switches typically have a higher actuation force than linear switches, which makes them less suitable for long periods of typing.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Clicky Switches

Benefits of Clicky Switches
  • Tactile feedback
  • Audible click
  • Satisfying sound when pressed
  • Responsive typing experience
  • Suitable for a variety of applications, including gaming, typing, and programming
Drawbacks of Clicky Switches
  • Higher actuation force than linear switches
  • Can be more tiring to type for long periods
  • Not as quiet as linear switches
  • Can be more expensive than other types of switches
  • May not be suitable for users with limited hand mobility

4. Hybrid Switches

A Jwick Black RGB V2 hybrid linear switch with a black nylon housing, POM stem, and 63.5g actuation force.

Hybrid switches are mechanical keyboard switches that combine the characteristics of two or more different types of switches. For example, a hybrid switch might connect the tactile feedback of a tactile switch with the smooth travel of a linear switch or the audible click of a clicky switch with the low actuation force of a linear switch.

Characteristics

Hybrid switches typically have a combination of the following characteristics:

  • Tactile feedback
  • Audible click
  • Smooth travel
  • Low actuation force
  • The deep and resonant sound

Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Switches

Benefits of Hybrid Switches
  • Unique and satisfying sound
  • Responsive typing experience
  • Suitable for a variety of applications, including gaming, typing, and programming
  • It can be customized to the user’s preferences.
  • Offer a variety of different sound and feel options.
Drawbacks of Hybrid Switches
  • Can be more expensive than other types of switches
  • May not be as widely available as other types of switches
  • Can be more difficult to find the right combination of switch characteristics for the user’s preferences
  • May not be suitable for users with limited hand mobility

Comparison of Thock Keyboard Switches

SwitchSwitch TypeActuation Force(cN)Travel Distance (mm)Sound ProfilePriceAvailabilityCompatibilityOverall Rating
Gateron YellowLinear504Deep and resonant$0.10Widely availableCompatible with most keyboards4.5 stars
Cherry MX BrownTactile554Satisfying with a tactile bump$0.20Widely availableCompatible with most keyboards4.5 stars
Cherry MX BlueClicky604High-pitched with a tactile bump and audible click$0.25Widely availableCompatible with most keyboards4.5 stars
Kailh Speed Heavy GoldHybrid673.6Thocky with a tactile bump$0.30Not as widely availableCompatible with most keyboards4 stars

1. For Gaming

Linear and tactile thock keyboard switches are the two best types of switches for gaming. Linear switches offer a smooth and consistent typing experience, while tactile switches provide a small tactile bump when the key is pressed.

In this comparison, we will compare two of the best thock keyboard switches for gaming: Gateron Yellow and Cherry MX Brown.

A close-up photo of a Gateron Yellow mechanical keyboard switch. The switch has a yellow top and a black housing. It is a linear switch with a 60g actuation force.

Switch Type: Gateron Yellow

Actuation Force: Linear

Travel Distance: 50 cN

Sound Profile: 4 mm

Gateron Yellow is like a high-performance

Formula 1 racing car with a smooth and

powerful engine and responsive suspension.

It’s perfect for gamers with the fastest

typing speed and a responsive feel

without sacrificing comfort or durability.

A Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard switch used in a thocky keyboard. The switch has a brown top and a black housing. It is a tactile switch with a 55g actuation force.

Switch Type: Cherry MX Brown

Actuation Force: Tactile

Travel Distance: 55 cN

Sound Profile: 4 mm

Cherry MX Brown is like a luxury Land Cruiser

SUV with a balance of power, comfort, and

features. It’s perfect for gamers who want

more feedback when they type and a switch

that can handle long gaming sessions

without sacrificing performance or reliability.

2. For Typing

Linear-thock keyboard switches offer a smooth and consistent typing experience, which is ideal for typists who need to be able to press keys quickly and accurately. Tactile thock keyboard switches provide a small tactile bump when pressed, which can help improve typing accuracy and reduce fatigue.

This table will compare two of the best thock keyboard switches for typing: Gateron Milky Yellow and Cherry MX Tactile Grey.

A Gateron Milky Yellow mechanical keyboard switch. The switch has a yellow top and a white housing. It is a linear switch with a 50g actuation force.

Switch Type: Gateron Yellow

Actuation Force: Linear

Travel Distance: 50 cN

Sound Profile: 4 mm

Pros: Deep and resonant

Cons: No tactile feedback

Gateron Milky Yellow is a quiet, smooth

flowing river that is perfect for kayakers

who want the fastest possible speed and

a responsive feel.

A Cherry MX Tactile Grey mechanical keyboard switch. The switch has a gray top and a black housing. It is a tactile switch with a 50g actuation force and a 65g tactile bump.

Switch Type: Cherry MX Tactile Grey

Actuation Force: Tactile

Travel Distance: 50 cN

Sound Profile: 4 mm

Pros: Satisfying tactile bump

Cons: Not as quiet for a long period

Cherry MX Tactile Grey is a gentle breeze

that rustles through the leaves of a forest,

providing satisfying feedback for hikers who

want to enjoy the journey and the destination.

3. For Programming

Linear-thock keyboard switches offer a smooth and consistent typing experience, which is ideal for programmers who need to be able to press keys quickly and accurately. Tactile thock keyboard switches provide a small tactile bump when pressed, which can help improve typing accuracy and reduce fatigue.

This table will compare two of the best thock keyboard switches for programming: NovelKeys Cream and Alpacas.

A NovelKeys Cream mechanical keyboard switch. The switch has a cream-colored top and a white housing. It is a linear switch with a 63.5g actuation force.

Switch Type: NovelKeys Cream

Actuation Force: Linear

Travel Distance: 45 cN

Sound Profile: 4 mm

Pros: Smooth and creamy typing experience

Cons: May lead to Accidental key press

NovelKeys Cream is like a well-oiled machine

that runs smoothly and quietly. It’s the perfect

switch for programmers who must be able

to type quickly and accurately without

making mistakes.

A close-up photo of an Alpaca V2 linear mechanical keyboard switch. The switch has a black top and housing, with a pink stem. It is a linear switch with a 63.5g actuation force.

Switch Type: Alpacas

Actuation Force: Tactile

Travel Distance: 55 cN

Sound Profile: 4 mm

Pros: Pronounced tactile bump, quiet sound

Cons: Reduces fatigue

Alpacas are like gentle giants that provide

satisfying feedback when they move. They’re

the perfect switch for programmers who want

to be able to enjoy the journey of coding while

also getting the job done efficiently.

Conclusion:

When choosing thock keyboard switches, it is essential to consider the type of switch, the actuation force, the travel distance, the sound profile, and the price. Linear switches are generally considered to be the best for gaming and typing. In contrast, tactile switches are usually considered the best for programming and general use. Hybrid switches can be a good option for users who want a combination of the characteristics of two or more different types of switches.

Try our keyboard tester tool to find the perfect thock keyboard switches!

What is Thock in a Mechanical Keyboard?

Thock is a deep, resonant sound that is produced by certain types of mechanical keyboard switches. It is often described as being more satisfying to type on than the traditional “clicky” sound of mechanical keyboards.

What does “Thock” mean?

The word “thock” is onomatopoeia, meaning it represents the sound it describes. In mechanical keyboards, thock describes the deep, resonant sound produced by certain switches.

What’s the thockiest keyboard switch?

The thockiest keyboard switch is a matter of personal preference, but some popular options include:

  • Gatereon Milky Yellow
  • NovelKeys Cream
  • Alpacas
  • Gazzew Boba U4
  • Durock POM Linears
What are the best switches for a thock keyboard?

The best switches for a thock keyboard are linear and tactile switches. Linear switches have a smooth and consistent typing experience, while tactile switches have a small tactile bump when the key is pressed.

What makes the thock sound in a keyboard?

The thock sound in a keyboard is produced by a combination of factors, including the type of switch, the keycap material, and the plate and case material.

What are the different types of thock keyboard switches?

Three main types of thock keyboard switches are linear, tactile, and clicky.

  • Linear switches: Linear switches have a smooth and consistent typing experience. They are popular with gamers and typists who appreciate a fast and responsive typing experience.
  • Tactile switches: Tactile switches have a small tactile bump when the key is pressed. This can help to improve typing accuracy and reduce fatigue.
  • Clicky switches: Clicky switches have both a tactile bump and an audible click when the key is pressed. They are popular with users who enjoy the sound and feel of a mechanical keyboard.
How do I choose the right thock keyboard switches for me?

When choosing thock keyboard switches, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Type of switch: Do you prefer linear, tactile, or clicky switches?
  • Actuation force: How much force are you required to press a key?
  • Travel distance: How far do you want a key to travel before registering a keystroke?
  • Sound profile: How loud do you want the switches to be, and what kind of sound do you want them to make?
  • Price: How much are you willing to spend on keyboard switches?

Shifa Tariq

Shifa Tariq

Hi, I'm Shifa, the CEO and Co-founder of Best Keyboard Tester, the go-to website for comprehensive keyboard guides, in-depth reviews, and top recommendations. As a huge keyboard enthusiast and tech lover, I created this website to help everyone find the perfect keyboard, whether you're a casual typist or a hardcore gamer. Our unique online keyboard tester tool lets you virtually try different switches and layouts before buying. I'm passionate about helping people discover the joy of an excellent keyboard and always looking for ways to improve our website.

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