Mechanical keyboards have come a long way, and creating a custom keyboard these days is as simple as ordering a kit. You get your own base plate, switches and keycaps, put everything together, and you’re good to go.
When it comes to switches, though, everyone has their own preferences. And while previously there were only red, blue and brown switches to choose from, these days, users have a lot of choices for the kind of switch they want to use. With hot-swappable keyboards becoming more common (and accessible), the freedom to experiment with switches and chose the one you like really can take your typing experience to the next level.
In this article, we’re talking about the insanely popular Banana Split mechanical switches created in collaboration by C³Equalz and TheKey.Company.
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What are the Banana Split Switches?
The Banana Split switches are the first entry in the “Snack Time Switch Line” series created by C3 Equalz and TKC and manufactured by JWK. They’re 62-gram linear switches made using new, proprietary moulds made from a blend of nylon and polycarbonate with the stems made from a higher quality plastic called Polyoxymethylene (POM).
Thanks to the proprietary tooling and in-factory lubing, the switches have a deeper sound profile and a smoother stock experience, two of the biggest factors contributing to its popularity.
As the name suggests, they use a typical 62-gram spring, similar to other JWK-produced switches. The actuation force is similar to Cherry MX Blue switches, so if you like slightly heavier, tactile switches, you’ll love these.
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Where can you buy these?
The switches are sold in packs of 10, 70, 90 and 110 and are usually sold in batches. Thanks to their immense popularity, the switches are pretty much always sold out. However, you can pre-order them at the TKC’s website.
If you’d rather not wait for the next switch shipment to drop, you can also find them being sold on other platforms by people who’ve brought them beforehand, but chances are you might end up paying as much as $1 per switch, quite a high price compared to what TKC is offering.
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What are the alternatives?
As mentioned above, a good alternative for these switches are Cherry MX Blue switches, which have the same actuation force. You can also try out Cherry MX Blacks if the Blues are too noisy for you.
Alpaca V2 are also another good option. Also made by JWK, these switches share the same actuation force and come pre-lubed from the factory (only slightly, though, you can add more if you want). The only major difference between the switches is the sound profile. The Alpacas are much quieter than the Banana Splits. They’re also quite a bit cheaper.
Another good choice, if you’re looking for linear switches, is Gateron. Their generic switches, Inks and ZealPC’s Tealio v2s are all good linear switches and are available in plenty.
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