Low-Profile vs Normal Profile Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Low-Profile vs Normal Profile Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Are you a gamer, a typist, or just someone who spends a lot of time on the computer? Maybe you’ve heard about low-profile and normal profile mechanical switches but aren’t sure what the fuss is about. Well, In this blog, we'll explore the key differences between low-profile and normal-profile mechanical keyboard switches to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Before we delve into the differences between low-profile and normal-profile mechanical switches, let's understand what mechanical keyboard switches are.

Mechanical switches are the individual mechanisms beneath each keycap on a keyboard. When you press a key, the switch activates, registering your keystroke. Unlike membrane keyboards, which use a rubber dome to register key presses, mechanical switches offer a more tactile and audible typing experience.

Low-Profile vs Normal Profile Mechanical Keyboard Switches: Understanding the Difference

Now, let’s compare low-profile and normal-profile mechanical switches based on a few key factors:

1. Height of the Switches

Low-Profile Switches: In keyboards with low-profile mechanical keyboard switches, the switches are shorter in height. This makes the keyboard look sleeker and smaller. The shorter switches mean that when you press a key, you don't have to press it down as far as you would with normal-profile keyboard switches. This can make typing feel faster and more responsive. Low-profile keyboards are great for people who like a quick typing experience and want a keyboard that doesn't take up too much space.

Normal-Profile Switches: On the other hand, normal-profile keyboards have taller switches. This makes the keyboard taller overall. When you press a key on a normal-profile keyboard switch, you usually have to press it down a bit more. This can give you a deeper feeling when typing and more noticeable feedback. Normal-profile keyboards are more like the classic mechanical keyboards that many people are used to. They often use switches like Cherry MX switches, which are well-known for their satisfying typing experience.

2. Travel Distance

Low-Profile Switches: Keyboards with low-profile mechanical keyboard switches have shorter travel distances. That means you don't have to press them down as much to make them work. When you press a key on a low-profile keyboard, it registers the input sooner, which means you don't need to use as much force. Low-profile Switches often have a lower actuation point where key input registers. This can be really helpful if you type a lot or play games where you need to press keys quickly. It's also easier on your hands because you don't have to press down as hard.

Normal-Profile Switches: Imagine your fingers taking a longer journey when you type on these keyboards. These switches usually have a longer travel distance and need to be pressed down a bit farther to work. This longer travel distance can give you a more noticeable feeling when you press the keys. Some people really like this feeling—it's like the keyboard is talking back to you. These switches have a higher actuation point, meaning you'll have to exert a bit more pressure when typing. Some people like this feeling because it gives them more feedback while typing. It's like pressing the keys on an old typewriter, which some people find satisfying.

3. Sound Level of the Switches

Low-Profile Switches: Low-profile mechanical keyboard switches produce quieter typing sounds compared to normal-profile keyboards due to their shorter key travel. This feature can be advantageous in shared or quiet environments where a softer typing noise is preferred. This quietness can be helpful in places where you need to be quiet, like an office or a library. So, if you're looking for a keyboard that won't disturb others around you, a low-profile keyboard might be a good choice.

Normal Profile Switches: Normal profile mechanical switches, featuring longer key travel, often generate a more audible click sound with each keystroke, which can be satisfying for users who enjoy hearing tactile responses while typing. This click can feel good for people who like to hear and feel when they press a key. It gives them feedback, so they know they've pressed the key properly. This sound can be satisfying and can help some people type faster and more accurately. 

4. Typing Experience

Low-Profile Switches: Low-profile mechanical keyboard switches are often favored by those who prefer a more lightweight and responsive typing experience. They're great for quick and precise typing, especially if they're typing on a laptop or prefer a slim keyboard. The keys are usually shallower, which means you don't have to press them down as far to register a keystroke.

Normal Profile Switches: Normal-profile switches appeal to those who enjoy a more substantial and tactile feel when typing. The longer travel distance and actuation point can provide a satisfying "click" or "clack" with each keystroke, enhancing the overall typing experience. Normal profile switches offer a deeper keystroke, which some users find more comfortable, especially for long typing sessions.

5. Switch Varieties

Low-Profile Switches: When it comes to choosing the type of switches, there might be fewer options available. Unlike normal-profile keyboards, which have a wide range of switches with different feels and strengths, low-profile keyboards may not offer as many choices. This means users might have less flexibility in finding the perfect switch for them.

For people who care about how their keyboard feels when they type, having fewer switch options could be a downside. It might be harder to find a switch that matches their preferred typing style. So, while low-profile keyboards can be sleek and modern, users need to consider whether the available switch options meet their typing needs before making a choice.

Popular examples of low-profile mechanical keyboard switches include Cherry MX Low Profile Red, Cherry MX Low Profile Speed, and Kailh Choc switches. These switches are often found in slim and compact keyboards, making them popular choices for users who prioritize portability and space-saving.

Normal Profile Switches: Normal-profile mechanical keyboards have a bunch of switch options to choose from. These switches come in three main types: linear, tactile, and clicky.

  • Linear Switches: These switches are smooth and quiet. When you press the key, it goes down without any bumps or clicks. It's like gliding your finger on a smooth surface.
  • Tactile Switches: Tactile switches give you a little bump when you press the key. It's like a gentle reminder that you've pressed the key, which can be helpful if you like to feel each keystroke.
  • Clicky Switches: Clicky switches make a sound when you press the key. It's like a tiny click noise that some people find satisfying. It's a bit louder than the other types of switches, so it might not be the best choice if you need a quiet keyboard.

Normal-profile mechanical switches come in different colors such as red, blue, and brown. Each color highlights a different type of switch. Red switches are smooth and quiet, making them great for fast typists or gamers who don't want a lot of noise. Blue switches, on the other hand, are clicky and loud, giving users a satisfying click sound with each keystroke. Brown switches offer a middle ground with a slight bump, providing tactile feedback without being too loud.

Brands like Cherry MX, Kailh, and Gateron offer a wide range of switch options for users to choose from. This variety allows users to customize their typing experience based on their preferences and needs. Some popular examples of normal-profile switches include Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Brown, and Kailh switches. Each of these switches offers a unique typing experience, with varying levels of tactile feedback and actuation force. Whether you prefer a smooth and quiet typing experience, a satisfying click with each keystroke, or subtle tactile feedback, there's a switch out there for you.

Choosing the Right Mechanical Keyboard Switch

So, which type of mechanical keyboard switch is right for you? Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and typing habits.

If you're a heavy typist or gamer who values durability and tactile feedback, normal profile switches might be the way to go. They offer a classic typing experience with a satisfying click and robust build quality.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a sleek and modern keyboard with a shorter travel distance and a more comfortable typing experience, low-profile mechanical keyboard switches could be the perfect fit. They're great for people who type quickly and want a more ergonomic keyboard setup.


In conclusion, both low-profile and normal-profile mechanical keyboard switches have their own unique characteristics and advantages. The final decision between the two options boils down to individual preference and typing habits.

Whichever type of switch you choose, investing in a mechanical keyboard can greatly enhance your typing experience and productivity. So, consider your preferences and requirements carefully before making a decision, and happy typing!

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