What Are Topre Switches | Topre Switch Keyboards

What Are Topre Switches“What Are Topre Switches are a type of mechanical keyboard switch originally launched by Japanese instrument company Roland Corporation in 1994. The trade name is from the abbreviation for the Japanese phrase “Tokyo-struck rubber”.” 

Topre switches are a special force-sensing switch type that is used in some keyboards. Topre switches were originally developed for use in electronic calculators, and have since been adapted for use in other devices such as musical instruments . 

Topre switches allow users to enjoy typing without needing to press the keys all the way down. As opposed to regular keys which bottom out when pressed, topre switches will stop producing an electrical signal once they bottom out. This allows the user to rest their fingers on the key caps while still being able to feel key presses and releases .

Topre switches also provide users with tactile feedback similar to clicking , allowing them to be aware of when they activate or deactivate keys.

Where To Buy Topre Switches

Topre switches are a type of switch used in many mechanical keyboards. They are known for their smoothness, which is caused by the rubber domes that press down on the stem to create tactile feedback. 

If you’re looking to buy Topre Switches, I’d suggest buying them from other individuals on eBay or from specialty shops if you have one nearby. You can always just order a set online and have it delivered to your house through sites like AliExpress which sells various products at much cheaper costs than retail stores. 

If you buy a set of switches separately it’s going to be much more expensive than if only purchase the keycaps separately and install them yourself onto an existing keyboard. 

What Do Topre Switches Feel Like

Topre switches are a hybrid switch, invented and manufactured by Topre Corporation, Japan. Topre Switches tactile and auditory feedback is achieved through the use of a special rubber dome, which has been developed to simulate the feel of a mechanical switch underneath a rubber dome. This gives them the tactility and “springiness” of a mechanical switch while keeping the no-click mechanical switch silent.

The What Are Topre Switches is a hybrid switch that combines capacitive and rubber dome technologies: A spring inside the switch provides the tactility, and the electrical switching is performed by a capacitor under each key. This means that there is no physical- contact between keystroke and signal processor (like what happens in Cherry MX Switches, which use metal contacts).

Topre Switches are rated for 50 million keystrokes per switch (this is the same lifetime of most Cherry MX switches).

What Are Topre Switches

Topre Switches are used in various keyboards, most notably the Happy Hacking Keyboard and variants. The switches also appear in some modern ASUS Tarmas, and the Realforce and Leopold keyboards.

What Are Topre Switches

Topre switches are a type of keyboard switch made by the Japanese company Topre. It has an almost unique type of rubber dome or “sponge” key mechanism and is rare in world markets because it is only sold in Japan.

The keycaps use PBT plastic, which stands up well to aggressive typing (holding down the keys hard over time) and spills (PBT doesn’t melt as cheap ABS plastics do). This also means that they’re easy to clean but slow-drying out if you spill water on them. Because topro switches actuate at 2mm, take longer to actuate compared with other keyboards 3mm-5mm), which means What Are Topre Switches more accuracy for typers who strike one key at a time.

They are made up of two switches in parallel and require about forty grams of pressure to actuate the key, and it takes fifty grams of force before they “bottom out”. That means that these switches will last longer than the more common dome switch found in most keyboards. 

How Hard Are Topre Switches?

The keys of keyboard are cushioned and produce a “cushioned” or “muted” tactile bump as opposed to an audible one. It is so pleasant and easy-going! And look at the picture of the MacBooks over there: they use rubber domes, but we no longer need to deal with them because we have non-contact switches.

If you are not familiar with rubber domes, you don’t need to worry about that anymore because Topre switches provide such an agreeable typing experience. For instance, just look at the laptops over there – notice how they use rubber domes? You can escape those now thanks to non-contact Topre keyboards.

The Topre switches are a light linear feel with a 1.8mm actuation point. This feels more like a 2mm switch but is smoother than most rubber-dome keyboards (though many people contend that the responsiveness of the rubber dome makes for faster typing). It can’t be bottomed out though, which some users might find annoying or old school. They come in various draw lengths and different weights; heavier switches require more force to actuate but provide substantially more feedback (amounts range from 35cN, 45cN to 55–65 cN depending on model).

Where Can You Get Individual Topre Switches

Switches with any color can be purchased as part of a custom order for $0.25 per switch, as long as the order is 500 switches or more.

The individual topre switches are very rare and expensive to produce. So your best chance at buying them is through a reseller, but that will increase the cost significantly.

Individual Topre switches are not available for sale anywhere else other than certain retails stores in Taiwan.

How Long Do Topre Switches Last

Well, this is a hard question to answer because there isn’t enough information provided. It’s really difficult to predict how long a product will last when you don’t know what type of person the product is being used by or what kind of “abuse” the product might go through.

There are people who buy keyboards and use them very rarely, and then there are gamers who play for hours on end and never take care of their equipment… so let’s just say it depends on how much someone uses their keyboard. A switches can last for anywhere from 10 to 15 million keystrokes, and I might even be conservative with that figure.

Coincidentally, this means you should plan on getting a new keyboard every 3 years or so. I recommend at least 1-2 keyboards per decade…or about once per school year for kids who spend lots of time typing. Remember: the more you type, the faster your keyboard wears out. So if you type for an hour every day (8 hours total) then it’ll take about 5 years to wear out a pack of typing keys – but if you’re only typing 1 hour per day (1 total hours) then it’ll take about 10 years to wear parts!

How Tactile Are Topre Switches Vs Cherry Mx

The Topre switches offer a feeling closer to typing on a typewriter and that’s because no tactile or audible action occurs when the switch is first pressed down. Cherry MX, on the other hand, has an initial audible click and should feel more like pressing a button than pushing down on a moving lever.

The main difference between topre and cherry mx stems from the way they work mechanically as well as how they feel physically. Topre switches rely upon capacitive deformation (the presence of even small amounts of electrical charge causes this type of material to change shape), which means you can’t “bottom out” with them – but does mean there’s no physical indication that you’ve reached the bottom or top of your stroke.

What Do Topre Switches Sound Like

Topre switches are the most common of all keyboard switch types and actually sound like buckling springs. They  are usually described as sounding very light, with no tactile bump. The design of the switch is intended to provide a satisfying feel during typing. When combined with Topre’s low-force mechanical keyswitches, this provides for an exceptionally comfortable typing experience that is gentle on both hands and wrists.

Up to 45% of people who come into contact with Topre switches describe them as feeling silky smooth – compare this to 13% on Cherry MX Blue switches which can be called “mushy” or “damp” by these same individuals.*

Why Are Topre Switches So Rare

Topre key switches are one of the least common keyboard switch types in general. There’s a small community still using these keyboards, but the old-style (and often heavy) keyboards used to be popular in Japan and Taiwan especially among writers and software developers. 

Because all of them are made by hand at one factory in Osaka, Japan. Topre originally invented the capacitive switch for their needs alone. When IBM became aware that they too were developing a key technology based on capacitance but using a radically different design, they reached out to Topre and licensed both their patent designs to use without having to pay royalties. Unlike nearly every other competitor which relied on rubber domes, Compaq found the virtually silent-operating nature of Topre switches ideal for its workstation business line known as Presario.

Silicon is lighter and more resistant to impact than rubber domes or mechanical hard springs – that’s why they’re still manufactured for ergonomic office tools like standing desks. It might also be due to the fact that it takes at least 10% more force on average to activate a topre key than it does with other traditional key switch types like scissor switches (aka “rubber dome”).

Here you can also go for Why Numbers On Keyboard Not Working?

Why Are Topre Switches So Good

 Topre switches are designed to give an extremely precise, low-effort touchpoint. The reason for this is so that users did not move their fingers too far before actuating the switch, which could result in the unreliability of keystrokes because many keyboards don’t detect half-presses very reliably. 

They are really good because the lattice structure of the cross-section of a single switch demonstrates a consistency unparalleled in most other keyboards. The R&D team has been able to optimize this for speed, durability, and accuracy.

Most rubber domes key switches have a “plate” mounted on top of rubber springs which cause problems with bounce if not designed well. The design of Topre’s key switch is closer to that found on an acoustic piano. This ensures that there is minimal contact noise, which makes them largely immune to inadvertent typing errors due to ‘bottoming out.

Topre is optimized for typing productivity as well as comfort and stability  – after all, they have been made from ‘the dream

Where Are Topre Switches Made

Topre keyboards are manufactured in Japan. Topre switches were created by Dr. HHKB Kenji Okada, the former engineer for Alps Electric Co., Ltd. In 1976, Dr. Okada formed his own company and named it “Toprebau”. The name was a combination of “top” from top hats and “ebau” from a brass gear manufacturer called EBACH GmbH+Co KG (founded 1909). It was popularized by America Importer Unicomp starting in 1997 for their IBM model M keyboard clone project. They assigned the trademark to its current owners, Matias Corporation, who generally licensees the technology to manufacturers to produce under their own names with models such as Realforce 107 U.

The design has no audible click noise when the key has been fully depressed (which also allows for careful typing in very quiet surroundings) and offers consistent tactile feedback of varying weight throughout the press duration because of its leaf motion.

What Lube For Topre Switches

There are two popular types of lubricant for switches – silicone-based and petroleum-based.

Silicone is non-conductive, which will not harm the membrane on the keycaps if applied abusively. It also has very low viscosity meaning that it spreads evenly with minimal effort. Lubricating your topre keyboard requires just a small drop of lube just in front of where one’s fingers touch the keys to reduce friction when pressing them down.

Silicone lube comes in various thicknesses, with most user just looking for something thin enough so that there’s no globbing or running around their keyboard when typing, but slightly thicker than water so that it stays put without being too runny.

How Topre Switches Work

Japanese keyboards use the qwerty layout with slight differences in key locations, such as 〈 and 〉 for [ left-bracket and right-bracket]. The directional keys may either be arranged in a diamond pattern or grouped together on the far right side. The cursor keys will also commonly be found above the numeric keypad.

Whereas western keyboards typically require pressure to push back before pressing down on a key causing them to have no tactile feedback, most Japanese keyboards rely solely upon tactile feedback provided by compressed mechanical switches. This is because instead of pushing back, you simply press down with your fingers on top of each individual switch which makes it much more difficult for users to accidentally press two adjacent buttons simultaneously. 

What Keyboards Have Topre Switches

 A topre switch is a type of mechanical keyboard that, unlike rubber dome switches, uses a buckling spring design to produce a tactile and audio click when pressed.

Keyboard enthusiasts and engineers have not yet created a universal set of consistent terms for describing these switches. For this answer we will be using terminology adopted by OLKB. According to the guide “How to Choose Key Switches”, there are two major types: Electrical and Capacitive. Older keyboards most likely had electrical switches; nowadays, most new keyboards come equipped with capacitive ones

How Does Topre Switches Actuate

A Topre switch is actuated by mechanical force resulting in activation of capacitive coupling. This method of actuation was developed in the mid-1970s, when studies showed that rubber dome keyboards, which depend on a simple touch from a finger to activate the entire keyboard all at once, were faster devices for typing text than older IBM models with individual switches attached to each key.

Topre switches don’t rely on constant contact from your hands. When you press them down, they move easier and bounce back up to their original state after being pressed once because there is something inside called “rubber domes” that help the switch spring back into place. Rubber domes are made out of a piece of rubber that is mounted over it.

Which Cherry Switches Are Most Similar To Topre

The Cherry MX Brown switch is a tactile type of mechanical keyboard switch similar to Topre. They are close enough in feel that some use them interchangeably on many keyboards (for instance, the Realforce 103UB has both switches).

However, what they lack in feel or sound, they make up for in consistency. Reliability with these switches is never an issue, since their key action is more like a pushbutton than soft-touch like Topre’s. And while this results in odd clacking noises (especially on cheap keyboards), it does produce more control for gamers who need precise timing and don’t want autofire accidents.


The Topre switches have a reputation for being the best in class, and it is backed up by reviews from people who use them. For the price of a keyboard that has these high-quality switches, you can buy two keyboards with cheaper ones. This means that there are no real downsides to using this kind of switch on your own keyboard – but if you want one with an even higher quality feels or experience, be prepared to pay more money.

What Are Topre Switches have a reputation for being the best in class, and it is backed up by reviews from people who use them. For the price of a keyboard that has these high-quality switches, you can buy two keyboards with cheaper ones. 

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