Outemu Switches for Your Mechanical Keyboard: A Review

August 9, 2023

You're on a quest for the perfect mechanical keyboard, but you're on a budget. The market's flooded with options, and it's easy to feel lost. Enter: Outemu switches.

Sure, they're not the priciest or the most premium pick out there. However, they've got their own charm. They're cost-effective and versatile. They're a delight for gamers and typists. Outemu switches sstill pack a punch in performance.

Let's learn more about Outemu switches.

What are Outemu switches?

Outemu switches are a type of mechanical keyboard switch produced by the Chinese manufacturer Gaote, also known as Gaote/Outemu. These switches are commonly used in mechanical keyboards as an alternative to other popular switch brands like Cherry MX, Gateron, or Razer.

Outemu switches are designed to provide a tactile and responsive typing experience for users. Like other mechanical switches, they work based on a physical mechanism that registers a keystroke when a key is pressed and then released. Each key on the keyboard contains an individual switch, and the type of switch used can greatly influence the typing feel and performance.

Outemu switches are generally considered more budget-friendly compared to other premium switch brands. This affordability contributed to their popularity among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who want a quality typing experience without breaking the bank.

Common Features of Outemu Switches

Outemu switches share several common features that contribute to the overall typing experience and performance of the switches.

  1. Mechanical Design: Outemu switches are mechanical switches, which means they use physical mechanisms to register keystrokes. This design provides a more tactile and responsive feel compared to traditional rubber dome membrane keyboards.
  2. Cherry MX-Compatible: Outemu switches are designed to be Cherry MX-compatible. This means they have the same dimensions and mountings as Cherry MX switches, allowing them to fit into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches. Outemu switches are an excellent alternative to Cherry MX or Gateron switches.
  3. Variants: Outemu switches come in a variety of different switches---multiple variants to cater to different user preferences. The common variants include Outemu Blue, Red, Brown, and Black, each offering distinct characteristics such as clicky, linear or tactile feedback.
  4. Actuation Force: Each variant of Outemu switches has a specific actuation force, which is the amount of force required to register a keystroke. For example, Outemu Red switches typically have a lighter actuation force compared to Outemu Black switches, which require more force to activate.
  5. Key Travel Distance: Outemu switches usually have a standard key travel distance of 4mm. This means that the key needs to be pressed down by 4mm before it registers a keystroke. Some variants might have slight variations in this distance.
  6. Durability: Outemu switches are designed to be durable and withstand millions of keystrokes, similar to other high-quality mechanical switches. This durability ensures that the switches can last for an extended period. These key switches are suitable for heavy gaming or typing.
  7. Hot-Swappable Option: Some Outemu switches are available in hot-swappable versions. This means that they can be easily removed and replaced without soldering, allowing users to experiment with different switch types without the need for technical skills.
  8. Cost-Effective: Outemu switches are budget witches; they're generally more affordable compared to other premium switch brands. This makes them an attractive option for those on a tight budget or looking for an affordable mechanical keyboard solution.
  9. Transparent Housing: Many Outemu switches come with transparent or translucent housing, allowing for customizable lighting effects in keyboards with RGB or LED backlighting.

Different Types of Outemu Switches

Outemu switches are a popular choice among gamers, typists, writers, and other professionals. Let's check out the details of various Outemu switches.

Outemu Blue switches

The Outemu Blue switch is one of the most popular variants offered by Outemu. It is a clicky switch, known for its distinctive feedback and audible click sound.

Features:

  1. Clicky Feedback: The Outemu Blue switch provides a pronounced tactile bump, giving users a tactile sensation when the key actuates. It emits an audible click sound when the key is pressed, providing satisfying feedback for typists.
  2. Mechanical Design: Like all Outemu switches, the Blue switch is a mechanical switch with a physical mechanism that registers keystrokes. This design offers a more responsive and tactile typing experience compared to traditional rubber dome membrane keyboards.
  3. Actuation Force: The Outemu Blue switch has an actuation force of approximately 60 grams. Actuation force refers to the amount of force required to register a key press. A 60g actuation force indicates a moderate resistance level, striking a balance between ease of typing and avoiding accidental key presses.
  4. Key Travel Distance: The key travel distance for the Outemu Blue switch is 4.0mm. Key travel distance refers to the distance a key needs to be pressed down before it actuates and registers a keystroke. A 4.0mm key travel distance is standard among most mechanical switches.
  5. Durability: Outemu switches are designed to be durable and capable of withstanding millions of keystrokes. The Outemu Blue switch, like other mechanical switches, is built to offer long-lasting performance even with heavy daily use.

Specifications:

  • Switch Type: Clicky and Tactile
  • Actuation Force: Approximately 60g
  • Key Travel Distance: 4.0mm
  • Compatibility: Cherry MX-Compatible (fits into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches)
  • Lifespan: Typically rated for 50 million keystrokes

Outemu Red switches

The Outemu Red linear switch is one of the company's most popular switches.

Features:

  1. Linear Feel: The Outemu Red switch provides a consistent and smooth keystroke without any tactile bump. When you press the key, there is no tactile resistance or click sound, making it ideal for users who prefer a linear typing experience.
  2. Mechanical Design: The Red switch is a mechanical switch with a physical mechanism that registers keystrokes. Mechanical switches are more durable and responsive compared to traditional rubber dome membrane keyboards.
  3. Actuation Force: The Outemu Red switch has an actuation force of approximately 45 grams. This relatively light actuation force allows for quick and effortless keystrokes, which is beneficial for rapid typing and gaming.
  4. Key Travel Distance: The key travel distance for the Outemu Red switch is 4.0mm. A 4.0mm key travel distance is standard among most mechanical switches.
  5. Durability: Outemu switches are designed to be durable and capable of withstanding millions of keystrokes. The Outemu Red switch is long-lasting performance even with heavy gaming or typing use.

Specifications:

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: Approximately 45g
  • Key Travel Distance: 4.0mm
  • Compatibility: Cherry MX-Compatible (fits into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches)
  • Lifespan: Typically rated for 50 million keystrokes

Outemu Brown switches

The Outemu Brown switch is a tactile switch with a gentle tactile bump without an audible click sound.

Features:

  1. Tactile Bump: The Outemu Brown switch provides a noticeable but gentle tactile bump when the key actuates. This tactile feedback allows users to feel when the key press has been registered without the need for an audible click, making it a more discreet option for typing.
  2. Mechanical Design: The Brown switch is a mechanical switch with a physical mechanism that registers keystrokes. Mechanical switches are superior in quality and responsiveness compared to traditional membrane keyboards.
  3. Actuation Force: The Outemu Brown switch has an actuation force of approximately 55 grams. This moderate actuation force strikes a balance between the lighter actuation of the Red switch and the slightly heavier actuation of the Blue switch.
  4. Key Travel Distance: The key travel distance for the Outemu Brown switch is 4.0mm, which is standard among most mechanical switches.
  5. Durability: Outemu Brown switches are designed to be durable and capable of withstanding millions of keystrokes.

Specifications:

  • Switch Type: Tactile
  • Actuation Force: Approximately 55g
  • Key Travel Distance: 4.0mm
  • Compatibility: Cherry MX-Compatible (fits into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches)
  • Lifespan: Typically rated for 50 million keystrokes

Outemu Silver switches

The Outemu Silver switch is a linear switch with a low actuation force, designed to provide fast and responsive keystrokes.

Features:

  1. Linear Feel: The Outemu Silver switch provides a smooth and consistent keystroke without any tactile bump or audible click. This linear feel allows for rapid and effortless typing, making it popular among gamers and users who prefer a more sensitive switch.
  2. Mechanical Design: Similar to all Outemu switches, the Silver switch is a mechanical switch with a physical mechanism that registers keystrokes.
  3. Actuation Force: The Outemu Silver switch has a relatively low actuation force of approximately 45 grams. This light actuation force makes the keys very sensitive and responsive, reducing the effort needed for key presses.
  4. Key Travel Distance: The key travel distance for the Outemu Silver switch is 4.0mm. This is usually the normal travel distance among most mechanical switches.
  5. Durability: Outemu Silver switches can withstand millions of keystrokes.

Specifications:

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: Approximately 45g
  • Key Travel Distance: 4.0mm
  • Compatibility: Cherry MX-Compatible (fits into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches)
  • Lifespan: Typically rated for 50 million keystrokes

Outemu Black switches

The Outemu Black switch is another linear switch variant offered by Outemu.

Features:

  1. Linear Feel: The Outemu Black switch provides a consistent and smooth keystroke without any tactile bump or audible click. This linear feel is preferred by users who want a straightforward, non-disruptive typing experience.
  2. Mechanical Design: Like all Outemu switches, the Black switch is a mechanical switch with a physical mechanism that registers keystrokes. In general, mechanical switches are better than membrane keyboards when it comes to durability and responsiveness.
  3. Actuation Force: The Outemu Black switch has a relatively high actuation force of approximately 60 grams. This higher actuation force provides a stiffer key press, making it ideal for users who prefer a more deliberate keystroke.
  4. Key Travel Distance: Key travel distance refers to the distance a key needs to be pressed down before it actuates and registers a keystroke. The Black's 4.0mm key travel distance is standard among most mechanical switches.
  5. Durability: The Outemu Black switch, like other mechanical switches, is built to offer long-lasting performance. It can withstand millions of key presses before it needs to be replaced.

Specifications:

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: Approximately 60g
  • Key Travel Distance: 4.0mm
  • Compatibility: Cherry MX-Compatible (fits into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches)
  • Lifespan: Typically rated for 50 million keystrokes

Outemu Clear switches

Outemu Clear tactile switches are great if you want to feel a tactile bump but without the loud sound.

Features:

  1. Tactile Bump: The Outemu Clear switch provides a distinct and noticeable tactile bump when the key actuates. This tactile feedback allows users to feel when the key press has been registered without the need for an audible click.
  2. Mechanical Design: Like all Outemu switches, the Clear switch is a mechanical switch with a physical mechanism that registers keystrokes. The durability and responsiveness of mechanical switches are impressive.
  3. Actuation Force: The Outemu Clear switch has an actuation force of approximately 62 grams. This actuation force is slightly higher compared to the Outemu Brown switch, offering a more substantial tactile feel.
  4. Key Travel Distance: The key travel distance for the Outemu Clear switch is 4.0mm.
  5. Durability: Outemu switches including the Outemu Clear are designed to withstand millions of keystrokes, which makes these switches the right choice for heavy gaming and typing.

Specifications:

  • Switch Type: Tactile
  • Actuation Force: Approximately 62g
  • Key Travel Distance: 4.0mm
  • Compatibility: Cherry MX-Compatible (fits into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches)
  • Lifespan: Typically rated for 50 million keystrokes

Are Outemu switches better than Cherry MX switches?

Are Outemu switches as good as Cherry MX switches? The comparison between Outemu switches and Cherry MX switches is not a straightforward "better or worse" scenario. Both switch brands have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the "better" option depends on the individual's preferences, typing style, and intended use.

Here are some factors to consider when comparing Outemu and Cherry MX switches:

  1. Price: Outemu switches are much more budget-friendly compared to Cherry MX switches. If cost is a significant consideration, Outemu switches might be a more attractive option.
  2. Variety: Both Outemu and Cherry MX switches come in various types such as clicky, tactile, and linear switches. Each type offers a different typing experience. Outemu switches offer a wide variety of options to choose from, similar to Cherry MX switches.
  3. Quality Control: Cherry MX switches are produced by the German company Cherry, which has a long-established reputation for consistent quality control. Outemu switches have been known to have some variations in quality control with occasional reports of inconsistent feel or performance across batches.
  4. Durability: Both Cherry MX and Outemu switches are generally designed to be durable and can withstand millions of keystrokes. Neither brand is significantly superior to the other in terms of lifespan.
  5. Customization: Outemu switches are Cherry MX-compatible, which means they can be used in keyboards that support Cherry MX switches. This compatibility allows for easy customization and switch swapping.
  6. Brand Recognition: Cherry MX switches have been around for a long time and have gained widespread recognition and popularity in the mechanical keyboard community. Outemu switches may be less well-known to some users.

The choice between Outemu and Cherry MX switches comes down to personal preference, budget, and what typing experience you prefer. Some users might prefer the premium feel and reputation of Cherry MX switches, while others might find that Outemu switches offer a comparable experience at a more affordable price. At any rate, the switch is a great alternative to Cherry MX switches.

Are Outemu switches a good budget option?

Outemu switches are generally considered a good budget option for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. As a more affordable alternative to premium switch brands like Cherry MX, Outemu switches provide a viable option for users who want a quality typing experience without spending as much.

  1. Affordability: Outemu switches are typically priced lower than many other switch brands, making them accessible to users on a budget. This affordability allows users to enjoy the benefits of a mechanical keyboard without the higher cost associated with premium switches.
  2. Variety of Different Switches: Outemu offers a wide range of switch variants, including clicky, tactile, and linear switches, similar to more expensive brands like Cherry MX. This variety allows users to choose a switch type that matches their preferred typing or gaming style.
  3. Cherry MX Compatibility: Outemu switches are designed to be Cherry MX-compatible, meaning they can fit into most mechanical keyboards that support Cherry MX switches. This compatibility makes it easy for users to swap Outemu switches into keyboards that originally come with Cherry MX switches, providing a cost-effective customization option.
  4. Decent Performance: Outemu switches offer a satisfactory typing experience, and many users find them to be comparable to Cherry MX switches in terms of feel and performance. While they might not match the premium feel of higher-priced switches, Outemu switches can still provide a satisfying and enjoyable typing experience.
  5. Durable: Like other high-quality mechanical switches, Outemu switches are designed to be durable and capable of withstanding millions of keystrokes. They are reliable switches that can withstand heavy daily use.
  6. Hot-Swappable Options: Some Outemu switches come in hot-swappable versions, allowing users to change the switches without soldering. This feature adds flexibility and ease of customization for users who want to experiment with different switch types.

While Outemu switches may not have the same level of brand recognition or reputation as some premium switch brands, they remain a popular and reliable choice for those seeking a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard solution.

Choosing the right Outemu switches for your mechanical keyboard

Choosing the right Outemu switches for your keyboard depends on your personal preferences and intended use. Outemu offers a variety of switch types, each with its own unique characteristics.

  1. Tactile vs. Linear vs. Clicky: Determine the type of feedback you prefer when typing.
    • Tactile switches (e.g., Outemu Brown switches) have a noticeable bump when you press the key, but no click sound.
    • Linear switches (e.g., Outemu Red or Outemu Black switches) have a smooth keystroke without any tactile bump or click.
    • Clicky switches (e.g., Outemu Blue switches) provide both a tactile bump and an audible click sound with each key press.
  2. Actuation Force: Consider how much force you want to apply when typing or gaming.
    • Lighter actuation force (e.g., Outemu Red switches) requires less pressure for key actuation, making it suitable for quick typing and gaming.
    • Heavier actuation force (e.g., Outemu Black switches) may require more effort, appealing to those who prefer a stiffer feel.
  3. Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the switches, especially if you need a quiet environment or if you're using the keyboard around others.
    • Clicky switches (e.g., Outemu Blue switches) produce an audible click sound with each keystroke.
    • Tactile and linear switches (e.g., Outemu Brown or Outemu Red switches) are generally quieter in operation.
  4. Keyboard Use: Consider how you plan to use the keyboard.
    • Typists might prefer tactile switches like Outemu Brown switches for the feedback and comfort during extended typing sessions.
    • Gamers might lean toward linear switches like Outemu Red or Black switches for their smoothness and quick actuation.
  5. Hot-Swappable Option: If you want the flexibility to change switches easily without soldering, look for hot-swappable versions of Outemu switches.
  6. Try Before Buying: If possible, try typing on keyboards with different Outemu switches to get a hands-on experience and see which type suits you best.

Choosing the right Outemu switches is a matter of personal preference. If you are unsure, you can start with a switch that is considered more versatile, such as Outemu Brown, which offers a tactile bump without being overly loud or heavy.

Where to buy Outemu switch lineup

You can buy Outemu switches from various online and offline sources. Here are some common places where you can purchase Outemu switches:

  1. Online Retailers: Many online retailers such as Amazon, Newegg, AliExpress, Banggood, and eBay carry a wide range of mechanical keyboard switches. These include Outemu switches.
  2. Mechanical Keyboard Specialty Stores: Online stores specializing in mechanical keyboards and related accessories often stock Outemu switches. These stores may offer a more extensive selection of switch variants.
  3. Local Electronics Stores: Some physical electronics stores or computer hardware stores may carry mechanical keyboard switches including Outemu switches. Check with local retailers to see if they have them in stock.
  4. Mechanical Keyboard Enthusiast Communities: Online communities and forums dedicated to mechanical keyboards often have buy/sell/trade sections where members may offer Outemu switches for sale. These communities can also provide valuable insights and recommendations based on users' experiences with different switch variants.
  5. Directly from Manufacturers: Some manufacturers or distributors of Outemu switches may sell them directly through their websites. Visiting the official Outemu website or contacting their customer support can help you find out where to buy authentic Outemu switches.

Before making a purchase, ensure that you are buying from a reputable seller or retailer to ensure the authenticity and quality of the switches. Be careful of clone switches, which are unreliable.

Reading customer reviews and checking for product ratings can also help you make an informed decision.

Finally, be aware of any return or warranty policies in case you encounter any issues with the switches after purchase.

Conclusion

Outemu switches are a budget-friendly option for those in search of a mechanical keyboard switch. With a variety of switch types, including clicky, tactile, and linear variants, Outemu caters to different typing and gaming preferences. While not as well-known as premium switch brands like Cherry MX, Outemu switches provide a satisfactory typing experience and are generally considered durable and reliable.

The affordability of Outemu switches makes them an attractive choice for those looking to customize their mechanical keyboards without breaking the bank. Outemu switches are a worthy contender in the competitive world of mechanical keyboard switches.

Erickson, a certified Interior Designer and Ergonomist, has cultivated a unique career blending aesthetics, functionality, and well-being. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Interior Designfrom a prestigious institution, Erickson is well-versed in creating spaces that are both visually pleasing and conducive to human comfort and health.
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