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Are Kailh Box switches still an issue for keycaps?

Ethan_TX
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Hey guys;

I'm planning to buy a batch of Kailh Box Navys when NovelKeys has them in stock again, but I have been reading (on and off) over the past few weeks about issues where the box switches would cause some keycaps to develop stress fractures due to an oversized cross on the box switches.

All of the posts I have read on this issue date back to 2018, so it it safe to assume that this is no longer an issue?

My keyboard is the Glorious GMMK full-sized and keycaps are their 'Aura' variety.

 

I did receive a pack of assorted switches in the 'custom' pack from NovelKeys, and have these installed on my GMMK with the Aura keycaps in place. I guess it might not be a bad idea to inspect the keycaps that have been on the box switches for a few days now.

 

Thanks for your input

ET

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afaik they revised most of the switches, if not all of them so that caps fit better and don't cause issues.

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I pulled all of the keycaps off the switches on my GMMK.

Then I put on a magnifier headset and shone a blue LED down the center of the stem of each keycap.

I swear I can actually see tiny stress fractures going vertically down the stem on the horizontal axis of the keycaps that were installed on the box switches, but not on the regular switches, nor on any of the keycaps that have not yet been installed on any switch.

 

I looked closely (with the magnifier) at the box switches, and can confirm that all 9 of those I received in a 'custom' pack from NovelKeys have the nubs on the ends of the horizontal cross of the stem.

From what I have been reading, Kaihua removed the nubs when people began reporting issues with these switches.

So the switches I received in the custom pack from NovelKeys might have been 'NOS' (new old stock) which would explain why these switches still have the nubs.

 

I have opened a support ticket with NovelKeys to find out whether the new Box Navy (or any Kailh box switch) purchased from them now will or will not have the nubs.

If NovelKeys can confirm that the box switches they are selling today do not have the nubs, then I can go with my plan to use the Box Navys. But if they cannot confirm that, then I will change my choice of switch. Perhaps the Kailh Pro light blue is clicky enough and has a strong enough spring to suit me, but I did not get a chance to test any of those switches.

 

I would consider the Gateron Greens, but those (sold by NovelKeys) do not have the clear base to allow the PCB mounted SMT LED's to shine through.

I think I can buy different Gateron Greens from Glorious (at a higher price than NovelKeys) which are compatible with the GMMK RGB, so I may just do that.

But either way, I will wait for NovelKeys to answer my support ticket before I do anything.

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Actually, after further research, it appears that this whole issue was solved almost 2 years ago! What I am reading is old news, and what I have been thinking I am seeing as 'stress fractures' in the keycaps is probably nothing at all.
From what I have read from NovelKeys, they are very conscientious about this, and pulled the 'bad' switches from their inventory when the problem was discovered.

So, I think I am going to wait for those Box Navy switches and go ahead to order them.

Too much thinking... again!

 

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Update:

I received a reply from Mike at NovelKeys, and he says that all of the box switches he is selling have updated stems that measure 1.3mm +/- 0.02mm, and that he has not been able to cause any cracks in GMK keycaps. However, he has confirmed that all switches (regardless of brand/type) cause stretch marks on the stems of keycaps. So, I guess what I am seeing are stretch marks, not fractures.

 

This makes me feel a lot better about ordering the Box Navys (when they are back in stock).

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