GMMK Compact 'Coffee Shop' Switch Suggestion

Been diving into the world of mechanical keyboards this year and after picking up a barebones GMMK Pro this holiday season I’m wanting to convert one of my GMMK Compact boards into a travel board I can use at coffee shops.

I do a lot of writing for my job on a horrendous Acer laptop keyboard. I have a GMMK Compact with unlubed Gateron Browns and another GMMK Compact with hand lubed Glorious Pandas. I’m wanting to convert the Gateron Browns to something more silent.

I’m not sure which switches to put into the board. I LOVE the Glorious Pandas…but they are too loud for a coffee shop environment where I live (small town mom and pop shops). I haven’t tried the Lynx or Fox switches out in public, but I feel they still clack enough (the fox on my GMMK2) I’d feel like I’m intruding on the folks next to me. My laptop is very silent despite its squishy awfulness.

Additionally, I’m not a huge fan of linear switches (itching to swap out my foxes for Pandas…or possibly Kinetic Labs Salmon). I struggle to type on reds and find myself frustrated if writing for long periods of time on the Fox’s on my GMMK 2…I find myself mis-clicking a lot and I have to go back and edit my words to spell properly. I don’t have those issues with the heavier Pandas and never had that issue with the Gateron Browns.

Does anyone have any suggestions for as silent a switch as possible that gives a similar feel to the Pandas, or barring that, isn’t as buttery fast as the fox/lynx (which I assume are the same switch just without the clear housing?).

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Not a tactile user myself, but I know that the Boba U4 (silent tactile) are actually pretty popular.

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Boba U4s are exactly the kind of switch you are looking for. They are 5 pin so to fit in 3 pin hotswap you will need to trim the extra legs. I haven’t done it before, but I hear it’s annoying.

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Was literally going to suggest the Boba U4’s when I came down to the comments.

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I suppose I’ll join in and recommend the Boba U4 Silents. I’ve used them before and I think they’re exactly what you want - a strong tactile with a soft, muted sound.

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For the 5 pins, flush pliers work wonders. I use these.

Please use safety glasses as I almost had my eyeballs taken out by the sharp plastic shrapnel it creates when you force the 2 pins out.

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My wife always makes fun of me for wearing safety glasses for everything I do construction related–but I would’ve not considered wearing them for snipping the pins on a switch. Dang–glad you missed!

Thanks for the link @8-Bit_Bootcamp…looking at them right now.

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I don’t wear them usually but one flew too close to my eyes that I don’t want to risk my weak negative prescription eyes away.

I see the U4 Bobas come with a 62g or 68g spring. @RGBruh when you used them did you go with a lighter or heavier spring? The Pandas are 67g so I’m thinking I’d go 68g.

Also will likely use G-lube to lube them. Unfortunately they are out of stock the few places I’ve looked thus far so I’ll be on the hunt. It seems like the Boba U4 is exactly what I’m looking for. Now I just need a slightly bigger backpack to fit my laptop, mouse, gmmk compact, plus the stuff/books/planners I normally carry when I commute by bike here in the snowy north!

I appreciate the responses everyone. @SentientTD as a non-tactile user I appreciate you chiming in with the suggestion for the silent tactile–this is an awesome community. Thanks for sharing your insight!

@LiquidMaverick I’ve seen you post all over the forum on different posts–way to be a stellar community member and I appreciate all the reinforcement that this seems like the switch for me.

@ThatGuy @8-Bit_Bootcamp you guys have helped me out twice on different posts this week. Thanks a bunch!

No worries, I’ve got a lot of free time to check in on the forum throughout the day. I do my best to lend a had if I think I can, but I honestly end up directing people towards customer support more than anything.

I have the U4 Bobas in my 60% and they are probably my favorite switches out of the 8 or 9 I’ve tried. They have a smooth tactile feel, and muted sound on return.

Do you use 62g or 68g in your 60%? Any preference on black, white, or clear switch housing? Having a bearcat of a time finding any in stock that are not outside the USA. Fortunately I’m not in any rush.

Have you any experience with:
https://kineticlabs.com/switches/durock/durock-silent-shrimp-t1-tactile

This might actually have just answered my question:

@8-Bit_Bootcamp just ordered 70 of them from a Canadian site and the shipping wasn’t any worse than domestic. Looking forward to getting them lubed and on the 60% for the coffee shop!

I went with the 62g gram option on mine. I find that tactiles over 63 start to fatigue my fingers when I play long gaming sessions. Im sure the 68g will be perfect for typing though.

I ordered from AshKeebs when I got mine.

If you ever decide you’d like to go linear, Kinetic Labs’ Gecko switches and Kailh HUSH switches are both excellent choices.

You might also find luck tactile-wise with Gateron Aliaz (up to 100gf meme springs), but I’d probably take the U4s like everyone else is stating.

I have both Boba U4s and U4Ts. With how substantial the bump is in the switch, I prefer the 62g. Still gives the tactile goodness but as mentioned by others reduces fatigue

This thread is making me want to track down my Boba U4Ts and swap them into one of my builds. Too many keyboards, not enough desks!

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This is a terrible hobby for my wallet. There are so many switches and builds I want to try! Excited for the 68g Boba U4s…especially if it is comparable to the 67g Pandas…but without the noise. Just ordered a set of knockoff keycaps so I can flash a little style when I’m out and about…and I’m trying out the Genesis Tech Trekker Backpack since I’ve been in the market for a slightly larger pack than my current bicycle commuting pack.

All that fuel money saved riding year round has now been eaten up by my 2022 keyboard hobby :innocent:

Super pumped though. When all is said and done I’ll have:

  • Black GMMK Compact ‘Travel’ with lubed Boba U4 Silent Tactiles & Carbon Retro Keycaps (knockoffs)
  • Black GMMK Compact with lubed Glorious Pandas & Epomaker Panda Keycaps (for office)
  • White GMMK 2 with Glorious Foxes (looking to switch to another TBD tactile switch…considering Kinetic Labs Salmon) with Kinetic Labs Corn Keycaps (for office)
  • White GMMK Pro for home/gaming. I have 3 boxes of Lynx switches I got along with a set of Glorious GPBT Arctic Whites but I haven’t built this up yet.

Two years ago I had a SteelSeries Apex board and a decade old Corsair board, both of which I’ve since sold, and I didn’t even know you could swap keycaps.

Terrible. For. Wallet.
But.
Having. So. Much. Fun.

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As mentioned, be ready to clip the two smaller plastic legs off the U4s. Outside of that, you should be golden!

I will say that the U4 manufacturer does not recommend lubing. I would do a dry test to see how you feel. Otherwise, as it seems you are aware, lighter lube on tactile switches.

Keep us posted! Excited to hear how this turns out for you

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