Look! A new switch manufacturer! Okay, they were new in like late 2020 but in the grand scale of things that’s newer than Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, JWK, Outemu, and even KTT and Tecsee, so pretty new.
Okay, so they were first introduced to us through Old Tom on Taobao as Haimu, where many peoples’ first thought, including mine, was that Haimu was a mistranslation or typo for Huano since Old Tom was working with them as well at that time. But Tom was insistent that they were separate and a new manufacturer.
Others who worked with them early on such as Velocifire refer to them only as the mysterious figure of “HM”. That makes enough sense since that is what their mold markings include on the bottom housings.
Later it seems their “proper” name is HaiMu since that is what they have fully written in the first time I have seen their whole name included on switch mold markings, but they are also currently using “H M” widely spaced on some top housing molds too, so who knows what they prefer. Nonetheless, this is the same company, they just seem to have a couple of versions of their full name.
Velocifire was the first brand I know of to work with HaiMu when they made the KK Lightwave V2 switches, I don’t believe they disclosed a manufacturer at that time, but later when they announced they would be carrying the Keyfirst bling switches they gave us some of the only real information we have about this brand.
This is an oddly protected brand. Velocifire doesn’t reply to comments or messages for information, Old Tom’s store says they won’t provide information, Keyfirst communicated on my behalf and got me some samples but did not put me directly in contact, he almost did later but I need WeChat but I couldn’t get verified.
I am going to make a ROUGH timeline for HaiMu switches, because there are a lot more than I realized, and it helps to with some of the mold markings I found to distinguish some switches as coming before or after others. This is almost entirely based on me searching the switch name in the switchmodders and switchcollectors discord servers, so it could definitely be wrong, feel free to offer suggestions/corrections if you have better information than I do. Also most of these are announcements/first reference to the switches, not when they became available.
Rough order of HaiMu switches:
KK Lightwave V2 (IC December 2020)
Old Tom Ice Edge and Powder Edge (May 2021)
Candy Green Jade and Candy Sakura (May 2021)
Skyloong/Epomaker Chocolate Opticals (IDK nobody ever talks about them, first mention of skyloong chocolate I found was May 2021 but it could be the non-opticals and those are LCET)
Candy Blinding Light (July 2021)
Holy Pigeon (October 2021)
Everglide Silver Lightning Blue and Green (November 2021)
Keyfirst Bling (November 2021)
Zuoce Holy Panda (December 2021)
Homoo Sea Salt Lemon (January 2022)
Wuque Studios Aurora (February 2022)
CIY Sakura Pink (February 2022)
Epomaker Iceberg and Silent Iceberg (April 2022)
Bald Angel V2 (April 2022)
mStone Silent CoralSilent Milky, and Coral V2 (patented in Korea October 2021 and seemingly announced in May 2022, provides some reference for timeframes on design process)
Rococo Holy Panda (May 2022)
Pheonix L8 (May 2022)
Unnamed H M factory sample in purple/red (May 2022), Dukharo/Epomaker Sample in blue/grey (May 2022)
Dalgona Aurora (June 2022)
Gas Linear (June 2022)
Okay, similarly unofficial I have started designating HaiMu switches under different versions based on their molds and markings. These are not official names from HaiMu, and are not used anywhere else currently but this is how I keep track of them. I currently refer to their products under V1, V2, V2.5, V2.5 Silent, and V3. The first of course are the V1 switches, before they moved to dustproof stems.
“V1” - These are the first switches we know of from HaiMu, this includes everything starting with Old Tom and KK Lightwave V2, through Candy Blinding Light, and all of their non-dustproof switches. The quickest external marking for these switches is their HM-### mold marking on the bottom housing under the right fixing pin above, in all of my switches this is a number in the 100s and does not look to be unique to a particular line of switch, I believe at least one was repeated. On the top housing furthest outside of the LED slot, there is a ### marking that is in the 200s on all of my switches, and again seems to be repeatable between switches. Every V1 switch I have seen has a leaf spring-based piece of molded plastic on the bottom of the rail which is used as their semi-silencing feature. Also on the stems are a curved/internally chamfered portion of the front (LED side) of the stem body. Finally, all V1 switches share a particularly right-angled leaf design, as opposed to most other brands with a very wavy “lower case m” leaf.
HaiMu V1 switch stems: Cape chamfer, rail silencing leaf spring, right angle leaf front and back
“V2 Standard” - This line of switches begins with the announcement of Gugu Holy Pigeon switches, and is first released on the Everglide Lightning Blue and Green switches. It runs through the Wuque Aurora and Keyfirst Bling switches. V2 switches feature dustproof stems, with a very thin angle to their ends and internally chamfered corners, similar to a thinner version of KTT dustproof, and dissimilar to rounder designs like TTC and JWK. Looking at the bottom housings we can see holes in between the center pole hole and plastic fixing pins, as well if there is any branding on the bottom of the switch it will be seen between the leaf pins written vertically as is seen in some Gateron switches. These switches feature the same right-angled leaf as the V1 switches, which was one of the best ways to identify them as HaiMu before the Sea Salt Lemons came out with the name on the bottom housing since many of these switches were not released with a manufacturer announced. Finally, the “cape” on both sides of the stem is a hard right angle between the face and sides, this is differentiated from the following revision.
“V2.5” - This revision maintains the holes in the bottom housing and the general design of the dustproof stems. Somewhere between the Wuque Aurora/Keyfirst Bling and the Epomaker Icebergs the right-angled leaf went through a very minor revision, losing a more notched appearance and becoming slightly more smooth with slightly rounded corners.
At the same time as this, the stems received a similar dent/mold mark in the center of their cruciform to that which is seen in many modern Huano switches. On the faces of the stem capes, it can be seen that V2.5 received an update from a right-angled corner to an interior chamfer where the face of the stem meets the sides/legs.
V2 stems left and top, V2.5 stems right and bottom.
“V2.5 Silent” - This revision only applies to differences between the silent and non-silent versions of V2.5 switches. As can be seen both above and below these are both the same dustproof design, and each has the dent/marking in the center of the cruciform. The differences lie in the silencing mechanism which is a revisited version of their V1 switches, but with the leaf-spring-inspired design applied to both the top and bottom of the rails. Finally, here you can also see that above the rails there is a continued indentation on each side of the dustproof walls on the silenced version only.
“V3” Since these molds have not yet been used on a publically released switch this may be a sneak peak at V3 revision, or it may only be for internal use or an experimental mold. Only the bottom housing changes in this revision, losing the two holes between the fixing pins, and instead receiving a non solid pole hole. Now the pole hole is only supported by an “x” shaped cross bar and is otherwise hollow/open.
That is the limited information that I have for HaiMu so far. While I certainly wanted to continue researching, possibly actually contact them directly, and ask a few questions about how the brand was started or about why their most recent switches all have holes in the bottom housings (I’m guessing for some acoustic benefit) that will have to happen later, if I am able to at all. This brand has continued to come out with SO MANY switches in such a relatively short time, and I felt it would be beneficial to take not of not only how many switches they have made up until now, but the steps and changes that they have gone through as a new manufacturer. ~3 new housing molds, and at least as many versions of their stem molds (not counting differences between tactile and linear) in just over two years is a lot, especially when it is in a logical, trackable order (looking at you KTT with your random un-identifiable housing revisions).
Anyway, until next time. And check out some new switches from Feker, NextTime, and JWICK on the store now. All orders now ship with custom SwitchOddities stickers so get yours today!