Some of you might have heard about Holy Panda switches for the first time. But these switches are pretty popular in the world of mechanical keyboards.
But what’s so special about these switches? In this guide, we will learn about these particular types of switches. So, read to get the full scoop about these unique switches.
What Are Holy Panda Switches?
These days, Holy Panda switches are a combo of various switch components. But the original model comprised of two parts:
- The housing came from another Panda switch with a spring (Invyr).
- The stem or slider came from a Halo True switch.
Hence, the name Holy Panda; this switch combines the spring of a linear Invyr Panda switch along with the stem of the tactile Halo switch.
They are quite popular for their noticeable tactile design featuring a rounded lump. They are extremely satisfying if you fit them on the right keyboard.
Some brands have their own Holy Panda switches that are noticeably tactile but don’t have a similar sound profile. Holy Panda switches are unique for their sound profile.
Here’s a video to give you a better idea of what makes Holy Panda switches so special!
Common Questions About Holy Panda Key Switches
What do they feel like?
A Holy Panda switch is tactile but renowned for its smooth bump. You can find other switches that look the same, but the bumps in Holy Panda switches are sharper, rougher, and shorter. This is why the design and construction of these Holy Panda switches are unique.
The overall tactility of these switches is relatively comparable to Alps and Topre switches; that is exactly why the feedback of these switches is so desirable.
If you compare them with cherry switches, Holy Panda offers a superior haptic response and is stiffer and smoother.
Related Read: Linear vs Tactile Switches: Which is right for you?
Where to buy Holy Panda switches?
Holy Panda switches are available in-store and online in various hardware and electric stores. Many brands make these switches. Polycarbonate is the material usually used to make these switches.
They are sturdy and tend to last for a long time. The best part is you can conveniently purchase them in any quantity from any brand and site, online or in-store.
But if you are looking for good quality options, there are only a few places you can try them out. Each store sells a different variant of the original Holy Panda. So, you will notice some variations across different models.
Drop is the first place you should check for these switches, and buying them from the site is pretty straightforward. Before them, you had to purchase these switches separately from Halo True and Invyr Panda.
You had to buy them separately and merge them to make the Holy Panda switch. And now, all you have to do is order it from Drop. Of course, the price per switch is on the steeper side, but it does save a lot of time.
It’s a mix and match because they send the replica of the original switch. There’s an interesting backstory here — the original tooling used to make the Invyr Panda switches was lost, and Drop had to create a replica of the mold. The company retooled those components and made the best copy possible.
The overall feel and look of the component are not quite similar to the original and have a stem similar to Halo True. The company has gone through various versions of its design and had to tweak its design to match the original one to address the demand.
In the beginning, the units they produced were inconsistent in terms of performance, and they lost control and had to be used with a different type of lube.
But later on, the company changed the design. And now they are selling their switches pretty conveniently, and these watches deliver in terms of performance and feedback.
Glorious Gaming PC
This company has jumped into the production of Holy Panda switches. However, there are few details available about how these switches will feel and whether Glorious Panda switches can compete well with Drop switches in the long run.
But it will be interesting to see how everything turns out as both the companies will be driven by competition. The switches certainly come at a much more attractive price compared to Drop switches.
What adds to the drama here is that Glorious insists it has the original tooling used to develop the Invyr Panda switches; this is the same tooling that Drop claims to have lost.
However, Glorious also doesn’t have tooling for the stem. And to cope with that, they are making their own version, which should be Halo True’s clone.
Are they clicky?
So, are Holy Panda switches clicky? Well, these switches are not clicky. They might have a bump similar to those conventional clicky switches, but Holy Panda switches don’t make any clicky sounds.
Are they worth it?
If you are a fan of tactile switches, you will love these Holy Panda Switches. The best thing about them is there are various types of these switches you can find on the market, and many come at an affordable price.
Holy Pandas are one of the best tactile switches available on the market. So, if you are after the best quality tactical switches for your needs, you need to go for Holy Pandas, hands down!
Are they good for gaming?
These switches are heavy as they weigh around 67g actuation. And if you have been using Gateron clear switches or even a standard Cherry switch, you will feel some fatigue.
This is mainly due to the weight; you must push each key with more force.
As both Glorious and Drop are making Holy Panda switches, there is some controversy surrounding the trademark of these switches.
Drop is the owner of Halo True stems, and Glorious is the owner of the Invyr Panda housing. So they both claim rights to the name, but neither owns complete tooling for the switch.
But in reality, Holy Panda switches are a creation of the community. Therefore, no company should have the rights to its production or name. But on the flip side, competition is good as consumers can get quality switches in the market.
This will only be the case if neither of the companies can gain rights to the production or name of the Holy Panda switches, or consumers would be forced to buy them.
Holy Panda Alternatives
Some years back, the original tooling needed to develop these Holy Panda switches was lost. But many companies have stepped up the development of these switches, and the designs tend to get pretty close.
Still, it is not 100 percent identical to the ones originally developed years ago. Here are some of the variants you can find on the market today.
It is one of the first redevelopments of the original Holy Panda switch model. But these variants were developed as an affordable alternative to the original model.
OG Invyr Holy Panda
This is the original incarnation of Holy Panda switches that paired the stem of a Halo True/Clear switch and the housing of the V1 Invyr Panda switch.
Drop+Invyr Holy Panda
Invyr collaborated with Drop to develop their version of these Holy Panda switches. Drop Panda switches are a faithful recreation of the original design.
But this design has struggled significantly with manufacturing efficiency and consistency, especially lubing. Add to this that people have been complaining about the composition of the housing created by Drop. But these Holy Panda switches are pretty good, generally speaking.
The Holy Panda switch variants of Novel Keys are available in different colors. But they all behave pretty similarly. These switches come in colors such as Trash, Polar, Mint, and Red.
These switches are also easily available. These variants are another recreation of the original Inver Panda switches. However, YOK switches are linear and are frequently used to make new switches.
Glorious, as mentioned above, has attempted to make the Holy Panda switches. This model might be similar to the original and claims to use the exact housing as the original. But they have designed their own stem to replace the original Halo stem.
There are some other models and variants that you might have seen around the market. But the most notable models and variants are the ones mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the real Holy Panda switches?
The real Holy Panda switches were a combo of the housing borrowed from the Invyr Panda and the stem borrowed from a Halo True switch. They were created by swapping the stem and shrouding of two different switches to create a franken-combo of the two.
Invyr Panda switches are scarce, so users have turned their attention to YOK housings and GSUS new Panda housing to create the substitutes and still call them Holy Pandas.
Is Holy Panda hot swappable?
Holy Panda switches are fully compatible with Cherry-styled PCBs and are hot-swappable with barebones kits. These kits include the likes of Drop ALT, SHIFT, CTRL, ENTR, Planck, Preonic, and Carina.
Are Holy Panda switches pre-lubed?
Though these Holy Panda switches do not have to be modified in any way once you have installed them, a proper lube application and filming tend to make this quality tactile switch much better.
Glorious Pandas come lubed, and they also come with G-Lube that has been pre-applied expertly on the upper housing along with the stem and spring on all switches.
Are Holy Panda switches tactile?
Yes, Holy Panda Switches are tactile. However, they are well known for their smooth bump that is prolonged. Other switches aren’t as tactile as these Holy Panda switches.
But you will notice these tactile switches have a shorter, rougher, and sharper bump. And that is why these switches are pretty unique.
The three widely-available Holy Panda switches on the market are YOK Trash Panda, Glorious Panda, and Drop Holy Panda.
But currently, Drop’s Holy Panda switches are the most authentic design, closest to the original switch. But this is only the case if you get the most consistent and high-quality batch.
This clone also comes at a hefty price — Glorious Holy Panda switches are cheaper and pretty close in terms of performance. But you will notice that their stems are wobbly, and their sound is less clicky.
The YOK Trash Pandas are not actual Holy Pandas, but they do have a sharp bump, and with that, they deliver comparable performance. They are even sharper than Glorious Pandas.
Therefore, Drop Pandas are the closest in terms of performance. But if 90 percent performance is enough for you and you want to save some cash, consider going with Glorious.
And again, let’s hope that the trademark drama between these two companies settles down with neither company being able to grab the rights because it is a community creation.