Switches are a critical part of your keyboard; they tell your computer what key you’ve pressed on the keyboard while typing or gaming! There are many different switching mechanisms from mechanical switches to rubber domes.
Banana Split switches are a type of linear mechanical switch. We’ve covered a quick explanation of the different kinds of keyboard switches here before. So check out that article if you’re not sure what kind of switch you should invest in for your keyboard.
Let’s start with the technical specifications of the switches.
|Housing Material||Nylon and Polycarbonate Blend|
|Stem Material||Polyoxymethylene (POM)|
|Spring Plating||Gold Plated|
|Actuation Force||62 g|
|Bottom Out Force||63+ g|
|Price per Switch||~$0.66 USD|
What Are Linear Switches?
Linear switches are a type of mechanical switch that your keyboard can use to register and input keystrokes.
Linear switches provide little to no tactile feedback when the keys are pressed, even when the keystroke is registered correctly because the switches are extremely sensitive; they require almost no pressure for the switch to register the keystroke.
One of the most common types of Linear switch is the Red Switch, named for the colour of the switch that differentiates it from the clicky, loud Blue switch and the tactile, but quiet Brown switch.
Like the Red Switch, Banana Split Switches are a type of Linear switch.
Banana Split Switches: Features
Switch housing contains all the mechanisms of the switch and both encapsulates the moving parts—allowing them to function correctly—and protects them from the outside elements of the world.
Housing may be any color, but in the case of Banana Split Switches the housing is pink and purple which is a nice change of pace from the usual black and red/blue/brown switches.
Banana Split switches are made using housing formed from a blend of nylon and polycarbonate. This makes them sturdy, smooth, and able to withstand pressure, even if you bottom them out from time to time. The housing also protects the switch itself from any elemental damage like water or dust.
The switch’s stem is the part of the switch that you depress to get your keystroke.
If the stem material were to be made of something rather flimsy, it would run the risk of being broken when depressed.
Even as it stands, it’s possible to break the stems by bottoming out your keys and otherwise pressing them too hard. So, companies have been looking for newer, sturdier materials that they can use while also maintaining the switch’s light weight.
The Banana Split switch features polyoxymethylene stems that are sturdy and will be able to withstand over 62 g of force for a key press which is a pretty good amount.
However, putting the full 62 g of force into the switch will also bottom it out. So, be careful when striking your keyboard with too much force.
Some switches require you to lubricate the stems and springs to allow them to move more fluidly when pressing the buttons. However, the Banana Split switches come lightly lubed.
If you want a more fluid, smoother movement, you can add a little bit more lube. However, most people will be fine with just the pre-lube.
Gold-plated springs tend to be more expensive than plain stainless-steel springs. While the difference may at first appear to be cosmetic, there’s a reason that gold-plated springs are becoming more popular.
Gold resists corrosion and rust more easily than stainless steel. People who have had issues with keyboard spring corrosion or rust tend to prefer gold or gold-plated springs since they’re sturdier for them in the long run.
However, gold-plated springs are not the same as gold springs. If the plating wears down, your Banana Split switches will become more susceptible to rust and corrosion. This can make your keyboard unusable, and you’ll have to replace the switch.
Overall, the gold plating is definitely worth it as an introductory lesson on golden springs, and they represent a good middle ground for people who have trouble with corrosion and rust since they’re so affordable.
The actuation force of a switch is how hard you have to press the switch for it to register the keystroke. This is not the same as the bottom out force which is how hard you have to hit the key for the switch to hit the keyboard’s backplate.
Banana Split switches have an actuation force of 62 g. Hit it any harder and the switch stem may hit the backplate of the keyboard. The Banana Split’s actuation force is actually a bit high compared to other Linear switches, most notably the Cherry MX Red which has an actuation force of just 45 g.
Linear switches are designed to be quiet, especially compared to Clicky switches which are designed to make as much noise as (un)reasonably possible. As a result the sound we’re looking for with Banana Split switches is, well, no sound.
Luckily the Banana Split switches pass with flying colors as every report on them shows that they produce less sound than even the Cherry MX Reds and Alpaca V2, some of the quietest switches on the market.
Are Banana Split Switches Good?
Banana Splits are fantastic budget switches. They offer durable nylon and polycarbonate housing and a gold-plated stem at an extremely good price. They’re good for both gaming and regular computer use, especially if you game or type often.
It is worth noting that if you type a lot—say you’re a writer—you might want to invest in some good Cherry MX Red switches since they have a lower actuation force and will put less strain on your fingers when typing if you use them without bottoming them out.
However, if your current keyboard uses Rubber Dome or even a lot of Clicky and Tactile switches, Banana Split switches are an excellent choice to upgrade with since they’re so affordable and will lower the actuation force needed.
Are Banana Split Switches Good for Gaming?
Because Banana Split switches are Linear they have a lower response time and actuation force than standard Rubber Domes, Clicky, or Tactile switches. This means that you spend less time pressing the key before your action occurs in-game.
This responsiveness makes them extremely effective for gaming. Indeed, many professional gamers swear by Linear switches as their responsiveness gives them a competitive edge in game.
Are Banana Split Switches Compatible with MX Mounts?
Yes, Banana Split switches are designed to swap with the MX compatible boards. This means that you won’t have to do any major modifications to use the Banana Split Switches as long as your keyboard is MX compatible.
Are Banana Split Switches Hot-Swappable?
Yes! You can hot-swap your switches when using Banana Splits. This means you can swap the switches out without using a soldering iron to attach the wires to connect them.
You should still unplug your keyboard before you attempt to swap the switches though. Inserting metal springs into an electrical device that is turned on could cause it to short circuit and destroy the keyboard.
Where Can I Buy Banana Split Switches?
Banana Split switches can be hard to find because they’re extremely popular and not mass-produced at the same rate as other switches like Cherry MXs.
Check online stores for keyboard parts like TheKeyCompany, Ashkeebs, and even larger online department stores like Alibaba.
If they’re sold out keep checking back or set up an email notification to see when they come back in stock. They tend to sell back out rather fast because of their popularity.
Banana Split switches represent an amazing opportunity for new and veteran mechanical keyboard users to upgrade their switches for a relatively low price. Banana Splits have a great cost-to-function ratio, and they’re an excellent pickup for any PC enthusiast!