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AnsweredHot!Switch replacement options? Z15

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Wy8840
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2021/10/20 12:19:07 (permalink)
I just got the Z15 and out of curiosity what could I swap out the switches with if I wanted to replace them in the future? 
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Waermeleitpaste
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/21 05:19:30 (permalink)
What switches aare you currently using in your Z15? The linear or tactile?
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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/21 10:30:57 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby Wy8840 2021/11/03 00:04:49
Just make sure you get 3 pin switches that support SMD LED like the one shown on the right. 
Ultimately you can also use 5 pins switches that support SMD LED (which is that gap on top) and clip off the 2 extra plastic legs. 
 
Most of Kailh made switches are compatible. Akko CS switches are a great budget option as well. 
 
 

I also strongly recommend pick up a proper key switch and keycap puller like the ones below

post edited by EVGA_James - 2021/10/21 10:41:09


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Wy8840
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/21 11:36:30 (permalink)
Thanks for the suggestions as I was just curious as I have the bronze clicky type of switches and I was just wondering what types I could replace them with should I look at replacing them but for the time being I will keep using them until I have a reason to replace them. 
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Waermeleitpaste
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/22 01:12:18 (permalink)
You are lucky. The Z15 is sold in my country only with the silver switches.
I think I would have prefered the bronze switches.
Are Outemu switches also compatible? I have heard they have thinner pins.
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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/22 09:08:59 (permalink)
Waermeleitpaste
You are lucky. The Z15 is sold in my country only with the silver switches.
I think I would have prefered the bronze switches.
Are Outemu switches also compatible? I have heard they have thinner pins.


Pin thickness should not matter. The main thing is that they need to be 3 pin and have the cut out for SMD LED shown in the picture. 




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Waermeleitpaste
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/22 13:02:41 (permalink)
EVGA_JamesPin thickness should not matter. The main thing is that they need to be 3 pin and have the cut out for SMD LED shown in the picture. 

Thanks. I've tried Outemus today. The left pin is so fragile that it easily bends when placing the switch. Can't recommend them for this board. Kailhs seem fine though.
Haven't tried Cherry or Gateron because I don't have any of those.
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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/22 14:31:33 (permalink)
You just have to be careful when inserting the switch. Its best to lay the switch over the socket making sure that it sitting straight and then push straight down. If the switch goes in at the slightest of angle it can cause the pins to bend. The Akko CS switches also have thin pins but work fine on the z15


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Promark
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/26 18:31:15 (permalink)
EVGA_James
Most of Kailh made switches are compatible.

Actually, this may not be true any more. I just ordered a few test switches from Kono to try them out before I replace everything and 2 of the 3 types I ordered would not snap into place and were rendered worthless. After examining them I noticed that on the bottom where the switch rests against the LED Kaihl has started to add a clear plastic tab where there used to be a small hole. This additional piece makes it so the switch cannot fit because the LED hits this tab. I emailed support about it and this was their response:
Kailh changed their switches slightly in the most recent batch without telling us they made a change. We ordered the same product we did last time, but this batch came with light pipes.

When we contacted them about the change, we were informed that this is how the switches will arrive in the future as well.

Here is the old style (left) next to the new (right).

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Hoggle
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/26 22:22:22 (permalink)
Keep in mind that with how many presses the switches are rated for it's purely personal preference and highly unlikely anyone should reasonably hit 70 million clicks lifespan of the switch it comes with. It's part of why I went with the Z20 since I know I probably wouldn't trade out a switch unless I wore it out which I know shouldn't really happen.

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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/27 13:02:39 (permalink)
If you're in the US we have switch kits available now in Kailh Speed Silver(linear), Bronze(clicky), and Copper(tactile)
https://www.evga.com/products/productlist.aspx?type=15&family=Keyboard&chipset=Z15+Series


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nomoss
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/27 14:28:07 (permalink)
EVGA_James
If you're in the US we have switch kits available now in Kailh Speed Silver(linear), Bronze(clicky), and Copper(tactile)
https://www.evga.com/products/productlist.aspx?type=15&family=Keyboard&chipset=Z15+Series


Yeah man!  Just bought copper and bronze to customize my z15.  I am way too excited about this.
James, can we get GOLD too?  Please?
post edited by nomoss - 2021/10/27 14:38:45

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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/10/27 14:53:54 (permalink)
nomoss
Yeah man!  Just bought copper and bronze to customize my z15.  I am way too excited about this.
James, can we get GOLD too?  Please?



The gold switches uses click jacket like your basic clicky style switch while the bronze uses click bar. Click bar > Click jacket. 


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Waermeleitpaste
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/11/24 05:15:18 (permalink)
EVGA_James
If you're in the US we have switch kits available now in Kailh Speed Silver(linear), Bronze(clicky), and Copper(tactile)



Is there any chance these are getting to the EU?
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/11/29 11:13:20 (permalink)
Waermeleitpaste
Is there any chance these are getting to the EU?




I'll check with our EU team. As an alternative Akko CS switches will work on the Z15 with out issues 


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SamirD
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/11/30 17:43:33 (permalink)
This is a really cool thread.  Anyone tried to put some cherry's in the z15?  I'd really like to feel what cherry greens would be like as I'm a heavy typer.
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/01 11:30:08 (permalink)
SamirD
This is a really cool thread.  Anyone tried to put some cherry's in the z15?  I'd really like to feel what cherry greens would be like as I'm a heavy typer.


I dont think I've ever seen 3pin SMD Cherry MX Green switches. But if you're looking for a heavy 80g clicky switch Teamwolf OTM Outemu would be the closest match. 


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augiem
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/04 00:53:30 (permalink)
EVGA_James
If you're in the US we have switch kits available now in Kailh Speed Silver(linear), Bronze(clicky), and Copper(tactile)
https://www.evga.com/products/productlist.aspx?type=15&family=Keyboard&chipset=Z15+Series



Do the Bronze or Copper switches happen to have any longer travel before activation than the Silver? I have a Z15 silver and I basically can't use it to type because it's so hyper sensitive that if my finger barely touches the edge of an adjacent key while typing, it will very often set it off. Also, it's nearly impossible for me to type a sentence without getting at least one double letter. I'm assuming the others are all similar because they're all labeled "Speed". Maybe I need to get some Kalih Brown switches.
 
Alternately would the Z20 Clicky version be less sensitive? Great price for that right now...
 
post edited by augiem - 2021/12/04 01:02:14

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Hoggle
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/04 02:47:35 (permalink)
It's always good to watch a couple Youtube videos if you have never pulled a switch before and as said above have the proper tools. It's not the fastest process to change out all the switches and key caps but it's not that bad.

Use an Associates Code & SAVE 5% - 10% on your purchase. Just click on the associates banner to save, or enter the associates code at checkout on your next purchase. If you choose to use my code I want to personally say "Thank You" for using it. 
 
 
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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/06 10:01:48 (permalink)
augiem
 
 
Do the Bronze or Copper switches happen to have any longer travel before activation than the Silver? I have a Z15 silver and I basically can't use it to type because it's so hyper sensitive that if my finger barely touches the edge of an adjacent key while typing, it will very often set it off. Also, it's nearly impossible for me to type a sentence without getting at least one double letter. I'm assuming the others are all similar because they're all labeled "Speed". Maybe I need to get some Kalih Brown switches.
 
Alternately would the Z20 Clicky version be less sensitive? Great price for that right now...
 




Bronze and Copper switches have the same actuation distance as the Slivers hence the "Speed". The Silvers are a bit difficult to type with since the lower actuation if you are not use to them. The bronze and copper are a bit easier due to the click and tactile bump you would need to get over before the keypress activates. You don't have to use the Kailh speed switches. There are plenty of options out there, some I've already mentioned in previous posts. 
 
As for the Z20. I personally am not a big fan of optical switches as they feel hollow and have little to no resistance on the key press. 


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SamirD
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/06 11:51:32 (permalink)
EVGA_James
SamirD
This is a really cool thread.  Anyone tried to put some cherry's in the z15?  I'd really like to feel what cherry greens would be like as I'm a heavy typer.


I dont think I've ever seen 3pin SMD Cherry MX Green switches. But if you're looking for a heavy 80g clicky switch Teamwolf OTM Outemu would be the closest match. 

Thank you James!  That sounds like a nice heavy switch.  Seems I'm a bit of an ogre on my keyboards.  I had to back to Model M as the z15 stock switches were definitely too light for me.  So nice to be able to swap!


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SamirD
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/06 12:05:17 (permalink)
EVGA_James
augiem
 
 
Do the Bronze or Copper switches happen to have any longer travel before activation than the Silver? I have a Z15 silver and I basically can't use it to type because it's so hyper sensitive that if my finger barely touches the edge of an adjacent key while typing, it will very often set it off. Also, it's nearly impossible for me to type a sentence without getting at least one double letter. I'm assuming the others are all similar because they're all labeled "Speed". Maybe I need to get some Kalih Brown switches.
 
Alternately would the Z20 Clicky version be less sensitive? Great price for that right now...
 




Bronze and Copper switches have the same actuation distance as the Slivers hence the "Speed". The Silvers are a bit difficult to type with since the lower actuation if you are not use to them. The bronze and copper are a bit easier due to the click and tactile bump you would need to get over before the keypress activates. You don't have to use the Kailh speed switches. There are plenty of options out there, some I've already mentioned in previous posts. 
 
As for the Z20. I personally am not a big fan of optical switches as they feel hollow and have little to no resistance on the key press. 

While this might be the case for the z20 linear, I really like the z20 clicky version and I think that click would keep you from accidentally actuating an adjacent key.


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Nereus
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/07 06:57:31 (permalink)
 

 
  Gateron switches:
 

 
 
Kailh switches:
 

 

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SamirD
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2021/12/07 11:02:17 (permalink)
Switches to try--gate green, kal box white, and purple.  The bronze felt a hair lighter than my cherry blues on my das board--and it makes sense now being 42g vs 45g. :)
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delicieuxz
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2022/07/20 18:14:22 (permalink)
I've just ordered a Z15 during EVGA's sale. It'll be the first mechanical keyboard I've had.
 
I'm wondering, will non LED switches work with the Z15, even if they block the lighting? And will Cherry MX Brown RGB work with the Z15 keyboard?
 
https://www.amazon.com/Ch...ch-Plate/dp/B08BXK68KF
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Nereus
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2022/07/20 20:51:18 (permalink)
delicieuxz
I've just ordered a Z15 during EVGA's sale. It'll be the first mechanical keyboard I've had.
 
I'm wondering, will non LED switches work with the Z15, even if they block the lighting? And will Cherry MX Brown RGB work with the Z15 keyboard?
 
https://www.amazon.com/Ch...ch-Plate/dp/B08BXK68KF


Should be no problem at all with the Z15, as long as they are standard 3-pin switches. Cherry, Gateron and Kailh are usually all interchangeable.
 
FYI, there's a good table of all the switches at this page so you can compare Kailh and Cherry:
 
https://thegamingsetup.com/gaming-keyboard/buying-guides/keyboard-switch-chart-table
 
 
post edited by Nereus - 2022/07/20 20:56:15

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EVGA_James
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2022/07/21 09:11:08 (permalink)
delicieuxz
I've just ordered a Z15 during EVGA's sale. It'll be the first mechanical keyboard I've had.
 
I'm wondering, will non LED switches work with the Z15, even if they block the lighting? And will Cherry MX Brown RGB work with the Z15 keyboard?
 
https://www.amazon.com/Ch...ch-Plate/dp/B08BXK68KF




Refer to my post above showing what switches will work on the Z15. 
Don't use Cherry Browns, they are not great switches. There are better tactile switches available. 
post edited by EVGA_James - 2022/07/21 09:12:33


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delicieuxz
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2022/07/21 22:27:20 (permalink)
Nereus
 
Should be no problem at all with the Z15, as long as they are standard 3-pin switches. Cherry, Gateron and Kailh are usually all interchangeable.
 
FYI, there's a good table of all the switches at this page so you can compare Kailh and Cherry:
 
https://thegamingsetup.com/gaming-keyboard/buying-guides/keyboard-switch-chart-table

 
Good to know. Thanks for the chart!
 
EVGA_James
 
Refer to my post above showing what switches will work on the Z15. 
Don't use Cherry Browns, they are not great switches. There are better tactile switches available. 



Cool. I did look at your post, but was a bit unsure about how to interpret it. You say in the post "make sure you get 3 pin switches that support SMD LED like the one shown on the right", and the image shows a switch with a rectangle shape cut out for the LED light, or maybe a physical piece that slots into it. I wasn't sure if I'd seen that same rectangle cutout in all switches, so I wanted to ask about it.
 
Since I haven't owned, or really tried a mechanical keyboard before, I don't even know if I'm going to want tactile or linear keys. But I'm expecting that I won't want to stick with clicky keys. I guess I'll find out after I've tried them out for a bit.
 
Do you think the Kailh Browns are better than the Cherry Browns? I saw in this LTT blind-testing of many switches that the majority of testers happened to choose Cherry Browns as their favourite tactile switches, even though Kailh Browns were one of the tested models.
 
https://youtu.be/dqai0_nnTgs?t=987
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Barretm
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Re: Switch replacement options? Z15 2022/11/25 16:05:57 (permalink)
Kind of a late reply, but I just ordered a z15 with the intention of swapping Cherry MX Browns into it.  My browns showed up today, I made sure to order the RGB versions with the "SMD hole" in the bottom.  The cherry browns do not clear the SMD in the z15 due to size.  The switches will all not fully slot in on the north side due to the SMD.  You can modify them by removing the north tab and cutting extra clearance into the switch housing, but that makes them not lock in.  I'm sure that these are genuine, but perhaps there are multiple versions of cherry brown RGBs I'm unaware of?  It seems impossible to find any Cherry listing that shows a large cutout for the SMD like is seen on the the default Kailh switches.  I've ended up ordering Gateron browns to put on the board instead, because they appear to have the same large SMD cutout as the Kailhs.  So I'm pretty sure the definitive answer is no, Cherry MX browns are not compatible with the z15.
post edited by Barretm - 2022/11/25 17:16:42
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