Aug 18, 20185342 views

I just wanna know how many guy's keycaps ruined by Kailh Box switches

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Few minutes ago, I took off my GMK Nautilus from the Box white and realized about 75% keycaps have cracks, so anyone as lucky as I am?
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Bitbat, LMarci, and 29 others
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my nautilus too (not crack but loosen) i really hate kailh and will not use kailh any more
(Edited)
Hey, first time poster; perhaps my verbosity problem will make up for my lack of participation. Anyway, I wanted to contribute since this matter seems to have some people hung up on whether their key caps are at risk by using these switches, so here it goes... I recently picked up this hobby and, before I caught wind of the commotion concerning busted ABS, I happened to buy the revised Box Navies and Royals from Novelkeys in mid-November. All I knew at the time was that I wanted switches that were truly tactile, and the Boxes seemed to fit the bill, to avoid the more evident expression one might employ. The first set of caps I had on the Navies was one from GMK (Red Honey, to be exact), and they stayed on that board for at least two weeks before I read about any of this. I didn't notice anything significant when I removed them back then, but, for my present peace of mind, I wanted to try a more intentional test of reliability. I picked up the white-on-black GMK set from one of the recent drops, installed them on a board outfitted with Royals, and let them sit there for two weeks. Before that, I had tried measuring each of the switches with calipers... but the calipers were not really designed for measuring things within such confined quarters as the stem inside of the box, so I largely took the readings I got with a grain of salt (all of the readings I did get were within the Cherry spec that was circulated on forums, though.) I then removed each key cap, visually inspected it for any cracks or other signs of obvious damage that one can see with the average, visually-corrected human eye, and put each cap onto the same spare Cherry MX Brown switch to test for relative snugness between the Brown switch and the Royal switches - largely, I was concerned with any of the caps feeling loose in such a way that I'd feel nervous about how secure they are on non-Box-outfitted boards, since that's the secondary concern to the obvious primary problem - broken plastic. After checking all of the caps on the board, I could not find a single sign of damage, and, honestly, there were points at which the Brown felt more snug than some of the Royals that the caps were on. This was, of course, a huge relief to me - at this point, I feel at least reasonably confident that I can install GMK sets on the Royals I bought. All of that said, I think there are some important points to stress here. Without counting the GMK set that I unknowingly "tested" on Navies last year, this is one set of caps placed on one... well, okay, I'll admit how reckless I am - two separate orders of revised Royal switches. I didn't test multiple GMK sets on a wide array of Boxes, so there is a chance that I could be a lucky duck, although, if the revised Box specs are to be believed, I feel decently confident that this is not the case. It's also valuable to bear in mind that quite a few people were burned by bad design. It's something we could all stand to remember when piling onto group buys - when bright-eyed optimism and wishful thinking get in the way of reason, this stuff happens. It by no means absolves Kailh since they broke a bunch of peoples' caps, but it was the first run of those switches. Buying into a product's first release sometimes means you end up being a blind tester for that product, which comes with its consequences. Finally, it's not only important to dig in and research things when you're curious or concerned about them, but also to expose your findings to others. People like pixelpusher on GH were doing good work testing caps on revised switches, but the general attitude about the revised switches remained skeptical, at best, to the point where, despite those testing efforts, I was second guessing whether I could trust these switches with caps - the situation still remains nebulous for current owners of Box switches as to whether they are bums or not. If people really are still having these issues with the revised switches, then be vocal. If it isn't an issue... also be vocal! Every data point counts toward completing the bigger picture. That's all I have for now and probably a while. The length of this will probably deter all but five people from reading, but I hope that this information helps or reassures at least one of those five people, anyway. [Edit was to fix a redundancy issue that would drive me insane if I left it.]
(Edited)
notsunemiku
I am using Box Navies in a KBD19X with GMK WoB and have noticed no issues. In fact, the stabilizers (GMK stabs) feel a lot tighter than the switches, though that could be down to material and friction. I've taken some off to check periodically and have seen no damage at all. In other words, it does look like the issue is fixed, so I can corroborate.
(Edited)
Never happened to me yet but then again not risking it with box switches!
Rest in peace, Yo.
For people who are only recently coming into this thread or just finding out about the box switch issue, here is a project you should keep your eye on: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=97974.0 Its the best solution I've seen for fixing these "key-crackers." 😉
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No, not as of yet. However, a select group of people have been sent prototype versions for testing purposes. My understanding is this has already yielded some good feedback and brought up a couple points to address in a final version. However, it looks like it's going to be a worthwhile solution, and perhaps a godsend for those of us that have accumulated a lot of box switches.
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Starius
Very cool. I'll be patience then. ;)
:( i literally had GMK Nautilus for two days, saw this post, most my key caps are cracked or stretched (white/blueish + of the keycaps)
Really sucks about your caps. As to why this info is not more widespread is bizzare considering the popularity of box switches. And GMK profile.
Compatibility Note: pre-retooling Box switches may cause cracking in certain aftermarket ABS keycap sets — notably those from GMK. From Kono Store... looks like this is a known issue. :(
My orange SA carbon set has stressmarks on the stems from the box navy switches, super sad about that. no clear cracks or breaks thank god
I have kailh box burnt oranges on a gmmk and haven't noticed any cracks or fractures on my caps.
edit: I've noticed some hairline cracks in some keycaps now. Yikes. Luckily, these caps weren't expensive.
I had some Maxkey SA F22 on BOX Navys for a while and some keys did have stretch marks upon removal. A couple had cracks. Most were fine. They still seem to fit on normal stems without bouncing off.
I cracked one of my GMK 9009 Ortho tab keys on a box black stem the other day. It was the first key I went to put on a board, once I heard the noise I knew I had to stop, glad I stopped at one. It'd be a tragedy if I cracked the entire set seeing as it just came out so recently.
Tyson522
glad you stop...
Maybe I just got lucky, but my SA Carbon caps seem okay on my box navies. I'm still swapping them out for my old tai-hao caps just to be on the safe side.
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muni_chang
I kind of want that as a sticker to put on the bottom of a keyboard with box switches.
This is right up there with the kailh box switch x Family Guy train gif
yep! got my vintage set cracked. (Just took the caps off and checked). damn I wish I didn't see the post now.
All the Round 5/6 caps I was using are showing signs of stress and some are very close to cracking. I'm pretty pissed. I blame Kailh. The only thing that would fix this for me is getting paid for my damaged caps and I doubt that is going to happen.
:( So how many thousands of dollars in keycap sets have now been ruined by these faulty box switch stems? I don't have first hand experience but I feel bad for all the other enthusiasts affected.
damn that is pretty much a k.o.-criteria for switches.... i dont think i will use the ones i ordered, receiving this info...
Its the box switches. They are manufactured out of spec and can ruin caps like it has happened here.
Definitely going to keep buying kailh switches, they are the only ones innovating at the moment.
Plus I love box Royals
@muni_chang my dude. You couldn't tell as you put the caps on? I broke a whole board trying to get an out of spec artisan on. And the best part, as I was trying to mount it, I could tell something was wrong but my fingers said otherwise as did the feeling of it seating itself. Lesson learned.
Where's the BOOST!?
TLDR Sorry for those who lost nice sets (sure, even cheap ones) using these switches. For real. :(
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My friend's PBT didn't crack, but they can't be used on other switches because too loose...
muni_chang
I've heard mixed stuff about PBT caps and the faulty box switches. Some people have had their PBT stems crack, others have just had them stretch out and become useless like that.
My vintage Cherry doubleshots have no damage. I've been using them on BOX Navies. Tested swaping them back on Cherry MX Blacks, and they fit just fine.
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Second picture has the stem turned, the nubs are on the other axis.
cavilikon
Yes, I never realised the vertical and horizontal parts of the cross were not the same!
Oh my lawd! Thank goodness I haven’t opened any of my GMK Laser sets. Still waiting for my Kira with royal box switches. Now I’ll have to proceed with caution once I get it later in the fall. I wonder if the other non box kailh switches does the same thing since the new Kumo keyboard will be using non box kailh. The old red kailh ducky numpad I bought from here with white box hasn’t ruined any keys as of yet so it might be the last batch sold? Still, now I’ll be worried if I get anything Kailh or Kaihua. Dang and I ordered box whites for the upcoming Tokyo60 as well.
ETA: now I emailed Kono store to see what they say about the box royals. If it will not be safe I requested Cherry Browns. They have limited selection for non Kailh brand switches. 😂
ETA 2: I got my request to change to Cherry Browns approved. Here is what Alec told me:
”I'll swap that over for you. Can you ......[edited unecesssary confirmation stuff].....your Kono order? It doesn't affect Kira's stock keycaps, but other sets may or may not be affected depending on their tolerances. Regards, Alec”
Hope this helps others in a similar situation as I am. If you ordered kailh box with your Kira, you can still change your switches. Massdrop still hasn’t replied in the Tokyo60 drop for those of us who ordered kailh box switches what they plan to do.
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This current age of keyboard enthusiasm is a rather new thing for me. Though I've been interested in computers for most of my life, I didn't give keyboards a lot of thought until recently. When I was young, I used various mechanical keyboards on Tandy and Apple computers but I saw them as a means to a end. I did favor a Tandy 3000 AT keyboard well through the Windows 3.1 years until Windows 95 came around, then I gave it up for something with a "Windows key." Then I suppose it was years of gradual decline of keyboard quality that I used until about 6 years ago or so when I got a Corsair K90. (Which has been a solid gaming keyboard.) . Through all the years, I've pretty much just been interested in full-sized keyboards though.
But no, my newfound interest actually comes from keycaps. Somehow it hit my radar of interest that there are excellent keycap sets out there and that got my foot in the door. Through that, I became aware of this community of custom and unique keyboard kits. And seeing all that sort of awoke many nostalgic feelings I had about old keyboards even though I didn't fully appreciate them at the time I first used them. I still love full sized keyboards, but there aren't a lot of them out there in this community, with most kits and group buys for smaller layouts. So my new interest in smaller layouts kind of stems from the fact that they're the most active things out there I'm seeing right now. Its strange how some of my tastes have been shaped by this. A few months ago, I never would have wanted a MiniVan sized keyboard thinking it too difficult to learn how to use effectively, etc. But now I kinda can't wait to try it out.
But the layouts and boards that really catch my eye are the ones that have a bit of retro flair to them, or key placement that draws inspiration from older boards - such as Function keys on the left side instead of the top row, etc. (The Tokyo60 and Modern M0110 caught my interest because they remind me of old Apple computers I used at school.)
You're right, quite a few things have caught my eye on Geekhack. So far I've just limited my keyboard hobby to there and here. (And that's more than enough places to find projects that tickle my fancy.)
Also, I think what hooked me in this hobby again is the fact that the community is so positive and collaborative for the most part. That's not as common on the Internet anymore as I'd like it to be. It reminds me of being online back in the mid-90s.
What is it about ortho and split layouts that you like so much? I have to say that those are the ones that I'll probably always stay away from - though I gotta say that many orthlinear boards certainly look cool.
Starius
Wow thanks for the detailed reply. Sorry I just came back from a family outing. I remember Windows 97 and so on and those funky imac lines that had aqua,plum and so on. I guess that would be around the Prodigy and AOL “you’ve got mail” era. Hmmm the only gaming I did was the Super Nintendo and at the time Turbo Graphics 16. 😂 But my friend did like older video games like Atari and Commodore 64.
I can see your interest with keycaps! I wish I was able to get into the more exotic kinds like Aristotles and gatistotles, and there is another one that’s all aqua or blue but I forget what it was called. I do love the sensations of a good old buckling spring of a model M keyboard. Wish there was a market for keycaps to cover those boards. I’ll have to look up what a Tandy 3000 AT was.
I am also a big fan of full size, but it was only this year when I started to like smaller keyboards. I think it’s because of when I became a full fledge touch typist when I mastered the number row and symbols. I’ve developed this habit of going to online practice typing sites and practice, soon it became a therapeutic relaxing habit. Plus I like to try different types of keycap profiles and setups, and those sites for typing is perfect for that.
I try to avoid Geekhack group buys since they take custom keyboards to the next level including pricing, yet what you pay there I can easily spend more on an SA keycap set I like (Pulse, and Carbon to name a few).
I agree the the community is great, and I’m happy I’ve had friendly help from the community when it comes to programming and using QMK and github. I have a long way to master the world of QMK.
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I had all of my Laser keys on the box OJ's get stress marks, but I don't think any of them "cracked" - though my outer space-bar did, right up the stem, and so did a few of my tai-hao gaming keys... The most traumatic was the Laserwaves translucent keys... I think they were effected the worst out of the GMK keys
Dammit, my Laser set has marks now. Does anyone know if it is a problem with Signature Plastics SA as well?
BitLuder
its every keycap the problem is that the cross is to big on the box switches
BitLuder
No issues here - SP SA (PBT) on hako true and SP SA (ABS) on burnt orange; both on for 4+ months.
Yeah, all my Nautilus caps look like that also. No full cracking, but they've all got the white stress marks on the sides. -_-
I originally had Nautilus on my Ergodox with box pale blues, but since moved them to a board with some crappy Outemu blues. Comparing the caps that were on the Ergodox vs ones that weren't - the ones that were, are _so_ much looser than the ones that weren't - I could pull them off just by holding the sides of the caps, no need for a keycap puller.
Also removed a set of SA Dasher from my dox - a fair few small stress marks there also.
So sad. :(
Box Navy switches ruined my Laser set- Kobe, Blocknet, and Mitowaves.
Would have ruined my GMK Oblivion set too but luckily I didnt like the Hako Clears and took them off almost immediately.
Personally my trust for Kailh is gone. For a long time they made iffy, low quality switches. Then they got serious, scored the rights to manufacture the Halo switches and things were good. Unfortunately with their box stems they acquiesced to one client's request to manufacture stems that were out of spec, then passed those same stems out into the community without a second thought.
I'll stick with Cherry and Gateron from here on out, since I simply don't trust them not to make similar errors in judgement going forward.
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Yeah, I mean it is what it is. I still like my Laser board, and Im not going to bother pulling them all and seeing what is cracked and what's just stressed. My hope if that at some point down the road I'll be able to replace those sets and artisans if/when Laser re-drops. I suppose I'm still a little upset, but getting worked up about it doesn't do anything.
Hopefully Kailh does sell the replacement stems for people like you that still have bags of these things sitting around.
LevelSteam
Yea I get what you mean. I have so many box switches that I have not yet used. Wasted so much money.. So frustrating.
I was stupid and didn't remove my Lazer asap after I found out, but thankfully only 8 of my keys actually cracked. Pretty much all the rest have stress marks, but they aren't to serious. Is NK still sending out replacement switches?
xXSwiftPandaXx
They never were
BlueCrowned
Oh. Maybe I misread something
Fortunately found out before putting Laser on that board. They ruined some cheap keycaps.
BlueCrowned
I did not.... :(
BitLuder
i mourn your loss.
That really sucks. I was looking forward to getting my Kira with Box Royals (and I still am) BUT I’m not sure what keycap set I can even put on this. All of my favorite sets laser, Nautilu, and penumbra are gmk. I guess I have to buy something else now?
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bboltn
I got an email from Kono. They said the Kira boards would have the old switches.
If I had 96layout I‘d cancel the order (if possible) BUT I don’t so I’m going to just use the caps that come with the board. I’ll buy the fixed switches at a later date.
bboltn
In light of the box switch issue, I had Kono change my Kira order to Speed Copper switches. Not something I normally would have chosen, but if anything.... the box switch issue has prodded me to go out of my "comfort zone" and try new kinds of switches.