Here comes a new challenger! The intriguing Hako Clear!

How can anyone say there’s no tactility to these?

Today I finally got around to trying out my AMJ40 with Input Club’s new-ish Hako Clears I’d soldered in Friday night. There was recently a lot of talk on reddit about how they’re not very tactile. After actually using them, I have to say that’s not at all true. They’re tactile alright, but it’s such a weird sensation. The actuation point is very similar to the Kailh x NovelKeys Burnt Orange switches, with the bump high up the stem and almost more noticeable on the way back up than it was on the way down. When you bottom out, though, they get a hell of a lot stiffer. To that end, I’m struggling to hit my shift key properly. How do you not bottom out when shifting? That’s something I don’t think I can do.

 

The force curve is painful for me when shifting. PAINFUL! That said, please keep in mind that I have malformed MCP joints up in my pinkies that sorta jerk between three locking points, one point being hyperextended backwards, instead of the fluid motion one normally has when moving any of their fingers. Aside from the shift problem, however, I really like the overall feel. The switches were designed to deter the user from bottoming out naturally, by utilizing a sharp force curve that becomes extremely stiff by the time it bottoms out. This curve isn’t as severe on the clears, but in the few switches I have Hako Trues in I think my fingers are more naturally accepting the crazy spike in stiffness and running away. The clears, feeling more tactile for whatever reason, seem to pose a challenge to my fingers in which they wish to satisfyingly smash the lesser force curve in a violent declaration of succes.

I mean, on the alphas these switches feel fantastic, I am definitely enjoying them and really trying not to bottom out, I’m still bottoming out like it’s badge of honor. I kind of wish I tried these on an ortho, like the Let’s Split PCB I have sitting here,  instead of a staggered 40% as I’d have more keys available there and can type more naturally. If I still knew how to type on anything larger and my MF68 didn’t have through hole LEDs that’d require desoldering I’d be tempted to try them there.

But this shift has to be modded or it’ll kill me. The Super Saiyan strength required to depress this switch past the actuation point on the shift key (that’s an exponentially exaggerated point, purely made to stress the fragility of my pinky) is really messing with my hand. Yet, the overall force curve and the burnt orange like actuation have my fingers spamming words endlessly for more. At this point, I think if I build another board with Hakos (if/when the violets are available through NovelKeys) I’d order 10-20 violets to cover any keys I press with my pinkies.

Despite my fingers fascination with the clears, if the trues can produce a strong enough bump when utilized without bottoming out I’d love to use them for the rest of the keys in order to train myself not to bottom out. When I put this AMJ40 back together I used trues on keys I utilize my thumbs to hit, expecting to feel the hellish dropoff of the force curve there. I’m not bottoming out much with my thumbs, so I hard notice it.

I also put trues in my arrows and backspace, and I haven’t been bottoming out on those either. It could be the strange way I type overall on a staggeres board that’s causing this to be such a mixed experience, but I am really looking forward to trying some different things with Input Clubs line of switches as I think, with the right combination in and ortho, I may be able to leverage these to become a much better typist in terms of bottoming out and reduction in fatigue. Just… not until the violet switches are out.

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