XCJZ x Jerrzi Lotus Stem Switch Performance
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At the highest level, the XCJZ Jerrzi Lotus Stem switches come in an all-black housing with a minty green colored stem. Coming in 5-pin/PCB mount construction, the few sales pages that exist for these switches report them as being entirely made of POM with factory lubrication of both the stem and the 60g bottom out spring. Aside from the more classically inclined colorway of the Lotus Stem switches, these largely appear to be designed in similar fashion to other Jerrzi releases such as their Kyria releases, which feature a bifurcated LED slot with centered circular depression and inverted, raised text ‘JERRZI’ nameplate. Features more indicative of Jerrzi-branded (and Huano made) switches may be found in the sections below.
Looking first to the top housings of the XCJZ Jerrzi Lotus Stem switches, it is remarkable just how similar they are to the Huano Pineapple and Fi switches in terms of their general construction as well as the finer details. Externally, the top housings feature a bifurcated, rectangular LED slot with a centered circular indentation as well as a large, rectangular indentation on the nameplate exactly identical to the two aforementioned Huano switches. Unlike those, however, the Lotus Stems feature an inverted, raised text, all capital letter nameplate reading ‘JERRZI’ for their associated brand. Internally, the Lotus Stem top housings are again identical in design to the Huano Pineapple and Fi switches. Damning similarities between these two include the previously uniquely located mold markings on the left- and right-hand side ridges of the housings. Like the Huano switches, the Lotus Stems have a single capital letter mold marking on the left-hand side of the top housing rim and a one- or two-digit number marking on the right-hand side.
Moving next to the stems of the Lotus Stem switches, there are more or less identical in design and execution to other click jacket stems which I’ve covered in reviews on this website. The minty green colored portion of the stem is the fixed upper portion which include the keycap stem mount as well as the barely tapered center pole. The lower, click jacket portion of the stem is milky white in design and features the non-tapered slider rails and tactile stem legs. Upon opening the switches for inspection, it’s worth noting that I did not really notice any factory lubrication on the slider rails (or springs), so if any is present, it is extremely thin at best. There did appear to be the tiniest amount of factory lubrication on the stem legs of the Lotus Stem stems, though this is not uncommonly used to reduce scratch between stem legs and leaves in a switch. While no mold markings or other features were particularly stand out in the design of these stems, I did notice that the stems come from at least two different molds, as there are ones which feature an east side notch in the keycap mounting stem and others which feature a west side notch in the keycap mount.
Finally arriving at the bottom housings of the XCJZ Lotus Stem switches, I find it odd to mention that these do not readily appear to be made by Huano both inside and out. Unlike the top housings, the rounded rectangular bottom out dampening pads and flat, barely present south side spring collar are not details which I’ve noted previously in Huano-made switches which I’ve reviewed. Likewise, the usage of three separate single letter mold markings on the bottom exterior of the Lotus Stem bottom housings is not something which I recall having seen on any Huano switches, even in passing. While it is entirely possible that these features are present in some Huano-made switches out there somewhere, these features in and of themselves appear to be commonly associated with Jerrzi branded switches and may stand as a means by which they could be differentiated from Huano switches in the event that they have no distinctive nameplate marking. I also feel that it is worth mentioning, in passing, that the leaves protruding through the bottom housing also have circular indentations around them which is a feature also not present in the Huano Pineapple and Fi switches.
Is there really anything good that can be said about clickjacket clicky switches? While I’ll be the first to admit that there has been some progress on this mechanism made by brands such as TTC over the past few years, the vast majority of clicky switches still employing this mechanism are just simply not all that good. The XCJZ Lotus Stem switches are, to no great surprise, not an exception to this vast majority either. Speaking to the good fractions of this switch first, though, the marketing regarding their bottom out weight around 60-gram force is fairly accurate and the mechanism in and of itself is a touch more composed and singular than some of the more egregious examples like old Cherry MX Blues and Razer Greens. That being said, though, the click jacket mechanism and surrounding linear portions of the Lotus Stem’s stroke is a scratch factory actively going through demolition. In this analogy, plastic debris from the machinery is going wild, leading to quite a bit of variability both within the actuation of the clicky mechanism itself as well as across the batch of switches I received, and to such a degree that this is especially noticeable when comparing force curves of several stock Lotus Stems against each other.
As can be seen in the comparison force curve for the Lotus Stems above, the inconsistency in the ‘noisy’ peaks in the basin of the upstroke mechanism dip really highlights just how much switch-to-switch variability one gets in trying these switches out. As well, the offset in the click jacket bump in the downstroke curves shifting up and down fractions of a millimeter does well to highlight this inconsistency too. The one thing not necessarily well denoted in this force curve, though, is that the actual point of clicking, or where many people may intuitively say the mechanism actuates, feels as if it is much later in the downstroke than the 2.00 mm or halfway point. Before analyzing the force curves and seeing this, I had noted down the that click mechanism felt closer to 3/4ths of the way through the downstroke, instead.
Surprisingly, for as much love and warm feelings as I expressed for the XCJZ Lotus Stem switches in the Push Feeling section above, their sound is not quite as bad as one may expect. While there is all the associated jumbled, plasticky chaos present that one would anticipate with click jacket switches, the mechanism is decently condensed in its sound profile and doesn’t carry the same sharpness in ping that is present in some of the more grating click jacket clicky switches. As well, these are ever so slightly on the quieter side of click jacket switches, with some of the more sharp and pointy tactile switches producing comparable volumes when harshly bottomed out on. (I’m looking at you in particular, Moyu Blacks.) All of that considered, though, the variability between switches is especially well highlighted here in the sound profile of them and leaves me considering why people are choosing to continue using this mechanism in 2023. This curiosity is exponentially increased when considering the amount of switches that XCJZ, the designer of these switches whose name is directly attached to the front of this review, appears to have tried, collected, and documented over the past few years.
The stem wobble of the Lotus Stem switches is very close to on par, if not ever so slightly better than the average modern mechanical keyboard switch. Present more in the N/S direction than the E/W direction, the stem wobble present both ways is likely not enough to bother most users but could be problematic for those more sensitive to wobble and/or using tall keycaps which highlight wobbly stems in switches. Without formal comparison, as well, I would say this is fairly on par with both Jerrzi branded and Huano made switches in my limited testing experience.
If you’re into this level of detail about your switches, you should know that I have a switch measurement sheet that logs all of this data, as well as many other cool features which can be found under the ‘Archive’ tab at the top of this page or by clicking on the card above. Known as the ‘Measurement Sheet’, this sheet typically gets updated weekly and aims to take physical measurements of various switch components to compare mold designs on a brand-by-brand basis as well as provide a rough frankenswitching estimation sheet for combining various stems and top housings.
Note: Due to the articulable, two-piece nature of the click jacket clicky mechanism, measurements are difficult to complete and thus not included in the aforementioned measurement chart. I did my best to make approximations of what measurements I could, though, and have included those in the normal measurement card format above.