Buckling Spring Key Switch

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Unicomp bucking spring M8Wpn
Unicomp bucking spring [photo by Amir Yalon, August 2009 at flickr © [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode] ]

The Buckling Spring Key Switch is famously used in IBM Model M keyboard

IBM Model M keyboard
buckling spring switch tWSb7
buckling spring switch [[ image source 2020-07-23 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bucklingspring-animation-300ms.gif ]]
keyboard buckling spring
buckling spring key switch mechanism

You press the key, the spring compresses, then at some point, it can't take it anymore, 🗦 TAK 🗧 , it buckles, giving up all resistance.

That means you get a clean precise feel when the key is activated.

A drawback is that it is very loud. The sound came from the spring hitting the key's inner wall. It's crispy and precise.

Buckling Spring Switch Sound

IBM Model M keyboard buckling spring sound

Keyboard with Buckling Spring Switch

Key Switch Topic

Xah Keyboard Guide