Gateron Silent Black Ink – The Best Silent Switch Ever?

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Switch Specifications:
Linear | 4.00mm | 60g actuation | 70g Bottom Out | PCB Mount | ~£0.85 per switch

The Silent Black Ink is an amazingly smooth and quiet switch, but with a relatively high price tag, is it worthy of a top spot? Spoiler: Yes. Too bad it’s the only silent switch in the Ink lineup; a Silent Red Ink would’ve been a great lighter alternative. This really is the best of the best from Gateron.



Here’s the video review if you prefer watching content:

Smoothness: 9/10

Surpassing a 7 on smoothness by any switch is an achievement! On-centre keypresses are silky smooth with a hint of scratchiness when pressed off-centre, though it isn’t as bad as the Cherry MX Silent Black. It’s a night and day difference in a blind test with only the best contactless switches surpassing it.

Weighting: 8/10

Give me more switches in this weighting and I’ll keep giving high scores all around. 60g is the sweet spot for my typing use. And as mentioned above, this is the only switch in the Ink lineup to get the silent treatment. Gateron does not make a Silent Red Ink.


Gateron Silent Black Ink disassembled
Gateron Silent Black Ink disassembled

Sound: 6/10

There is no spring/scratch noise when typing or gaming, thus the higher score, even though it isn’t any quieter in comparison to other silent switches I’ve reviewed (so far).
Its silencing method is similar to previous silent switches I’ve reviewed. It has dampeners on the side that absorbs both the upstroke and the downstroke. It’s pretty neat technique to making a switch quieter.

Gateron Silent Black Ink stem side profile
Gateron Silent Black Ink stem bottom profile
Stem side profile.
Stem bottom profile.

Typing Performance: 7/10

As I gain more experience with silent switches, the more I get used to the mushy feel of the silencing dampeners. I still dislike them though, but they don’t annoy me as much in these switches. Also, I know this is a recurring theme, but these switches are very smooth, earning them an extra point in this category. If you want to spend a bit more money for smoothness ($8.50 for 10 switches according to NovelKeys), then consider this your next switch for an office environment.

Gaming Performance: 7/10

This is the only silent switch in the Ink lineup. If the 60g weighting is too heavy for you, then I suggest going with the Cherry MX Silent Red, they both score a 7/10 in this category, but it’s a lesser switch in all other aspects.
You may have also guessed that the higher score is linked to the smoothness, and you’d be correct! There were no instances where I thought the switches were to blame. Unlike the Cherry MX Silent Black, these switches were more consistent in performance. Not once did I feel tired gaming with these switches; which is weird as they are listed to have the same weighting as the Cherry counterpart.

Final Score = 37/50 (74%)

 

Places to purchase this switch:

CandyKeys | NovelKeys | KBDfans

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