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Try switches for free

Milktooth launched a new service offering switch testers for free.
Published September 16, 2022
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Milktooth is a new shop launched just a few weeks ago in the Bay Area, California, with an unconventional business model: they offer free switch testers.

Try switches before you buy them—at home, for free – Milktooth.

A switch quiz helps you to choose up to 5 switches to try out for 5 days. It’s completely free – including even return shipping (US only).

This unique model, at least at first sight, raises a bunch of questions with regards to competitiveness and sustainability, so I reached out to Milktooth's shop runner to be enlightened.

Can you tell me a bit about the concept and how this works?

Everything we do at Milktooth contributes to one mission: making discovering the best switch for you easier and more fun. To that end, we have many initiatives, including the sound tests on our switch pages, live chat on our website, and our switch quiz. However, the try at-home program stands out as our most innovative and interactive offering: it makes shopping for switches easier and more enjoyable.

The try at-home program seeks to eliminate the difficulties in shopping for switches, which I thought was necessary because shopping for switches is a really poor experience.


In the past, you listen to sound tests, but then you learn that sound tests are not representative of what you will personally hear. Or you read reviews, but sometimes they’ll conflict in their opinions. Or you can buy switch testers, but they are expensive (especially for something you only use once or twice) and unergonomic (it’s hard to gauge how switches feel by mashing one key repeatedly). Or you can blind buy switches, but there’s a big chance you won’t be really happy with them.

None of the available options can tell you the best switch for you easily and intuitively.

As such, we designed the try at-home program with the pain points listed above in mind. Letting you try switches at home lets you hear and feel the switch for yourself, so you can form your own opinions on different switches.

Milktooth’s switch testers are rows made of a single switch, so you can run all your fingers (minus the thumbs) on them, making testing switches more representative of what it feels like on a keyboard. To top it off, the try at-home program is completely free, because we believe you shouldn’t pay to try something.

It's quite clear why consumers will embrace the model, but how is this good for the shop? You have to incorporate additional costs into the switch prices, don't you?

All things considered, buying from Milktooth is likely cheaper than the alternatives. For example, if you were previously in the market for switch testers, then using the free try at-home program will save you time and money compared to status quo options.

You might also notice that all Milktooth orders ship free. This is because it wouldn't make sense to have free shipping both ways in the try at-home program, but then charge for shipping when purchasing the switches: consumers (ourselves included) would find it unpalatable. As such, when you take shipping into account, buying from Milktooth ends up being extremely competitive with other vendors.

Above all, Milktooth doesn’t want to be a mere transactional site. We aim to be a service-centric store that makes sure that customers are happy with what they buy.

So far, we’ve been seeing promising results on that front. With regards to the try at-home private beta, I love hearing from customers who experience the magic of mechanical keyboards for the first time through the switch testers! There is still a lot to do, of course, but it has been an exciting start to Milktooth so far.

What about the 300 invites limit? And the try at home beta?

Right, the try at-home program is invite-only right now. That's mainly because I want to get to know customers, understand their pain points, and receive feedback. These learnings allow us to further refine our offerings before expanding it to a broader audience.

I can't let you go without asking about how you got into the hobby and what setup you daily drive.

I got involved in the keyboard hobby when I was in high school. I got into mechanical keyboards because I thought it would make me type faster. Unfortunately, I find that I still typed fastest on my laptops, but I've kept up with keyboards nonetheless (today I can hit 185wpm on my mechanical keyboard, so it’s not too bad).

My first board was a Pok3r, which became my daily driver for a few years. Then I moved on to Topre boards for a few years with two Realforces, one stock and one modded with BKE domes. Nowadays, I’m using a Thermal as seen in my sound tests.

All in all, it’s been almost a decade since I got into the hobby and it’s changed so much! And now I hope to contribute to the ecosystem with Milktooth.

Finally, what are your favorite switches these days?

That's a hard one. I've used all the switches in our collection so far for at least a day to understand them well. With my current case, I've used the Ink Box Pinks the longest, but recently I've been using the Oil Kings.

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Published on Fri 16th Sep 2022. Featured in KBD #95.


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