Comparing Popular Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Comparing popular mechanical keyboard switches helps to determine the best option for your typing preferences. Each switch type offers unique benefits such as tactile feedback, actuation force, and noise level.

Investing time to understand the differences can improve your overall typing experience. From the clicky feel of the Cherry MX Blue to the smooth actuation of the Gateron Red, finding the perfect switch can enhance your productivity and comfort during long typing sessions.

Whether you prefer a silent keystroke for an office setting or a loud click for gaming, knowing the nuances of each switch can help you make an informed decision. Let’s delve deeper into the world of mechanical keyboard switches and explore which one suits your needs best.

Cherry Mx Switches

Comparing Popular Mechanical Keyboard Switches
FeatureCherry MX RedCherry MX BlueCherry MX Brown
Actuation Force45g50-60g45-55g
TactilityLinearClickyTactile
Audible FeedbackMinimalLoudMinimal
Total Travel4mm4mm4mm
Actuation Point~2mm~2.2mm~2mm
Reset Point~2mm~1.8mm~2mm
Typing StyleFast-paced gamingTyping with feedbackVersatile
Ideal UseGaming, rapid typingTyping enthusiastGaming, typing

Cherry MX switches are among the most renowned in the world of mechanical keyboards, offering a range of options to suit different preferences. They are known for their durability, smooth keystrokes, and consistent performance, making them a popular choice among gamers, programmers, and typing enthusiasts alike.

Linear Switches

Cherry MX linear switches provide a smooth keystroke with no tactile bump or audible click. They are favored by gamers and fast typists for their rapid actuation and effortless keypresses, offering a seamless typing experience without any tactile interruption.

Tactile Switches

Cherry MX tactile switches have a noticeable bump in the keystroke, providing tactile feedback without an audible click. This slight resistance informs the user that the keystroke has been registered, making it ideal for touch typists and those who want a perceptible response during typing.

Clicky Switches

Cherry MX clicky switches offer both tactile feedback and an audible click with each keypress. This distinctive sound and feel make them popular among typists who enjoy the audible confirmation of their keystrokes, although they may not be suitable for shared workspaces due to their noise level.

Gateron Switches

Switch TypeActuation ForceTactile FeedbackSmoothnessSound LevelRecommended Use
Gateron Red45gLinearVery SmoothQuietGaming, Typing
Gateron Blue55gClickySmoothLoudTyping, Gaming
Gateron Brown45gTactileSmoothModerateTyping, Gaming
Gateron Black50gLinearVery SmoothQuietGaming, Typing
Gateron Clear35gLinearUltra SmoothQuietTyping, Gaming (Light Typists)
Gateron Yellow50gLinearVery SmoothQuietGaming, Typing
Gateron Green80gClickySmoothLoudTyping, Gaming
Gateron Silent Red45gLinearVery SmoothSilentGaming, Typing (Quieter Environment)
Gateron Silent Brown45gTactileSmoothSilentTyping, Gaming (Quieter Environment)

Gateron switches are known for providing a smooth and consistent typing experience, making them a popular choice among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. These switches are designed to be both durable and responsive, offering users a satisfying keystroke with each press.

Red Switches

Gateron Red switches are light and linear, requiring minimal force to actuate, which is popular among gamers for rapid keystrokes. The smooth engagement and low resistance make them ideal for swift and precise typing, especially during intense gaming sessions.

Brown Switches

Gateron Brown switches offer a tactile but quiet typing experience, making them a versatile choice for both gaming and typing tasks. The tactile bump provides feedback without the audible click, allowing for a pleasant and uninterrupted typing experience.

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Blue Switches

Gateron Blue switches are renowned for their audible click and tactile feedback, providing a satisfying typing experience. The distinctive click sound and tactile bump make them a preferred choice for typists who enjoy the audible confirmation of each keystroke.

Kailh Switches

Switch TypeActuation ForceTravel DistanceSound LevelKey Features
Kailh Red50g2mmQuietLinear
Kailh Blue60g1.8mmClickyTactile, Clicky
Kailh Brown50g2mmModerateTactile
Kailh Black60g2mmQuietLinear
Kailh White50g1.8mmClickyTactile, Clicky
Kailh Speed50g1.1mmModerateLinear, Shorter Travel

Kailh Switches are a popular choice among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts due to their smooth and responsive operation. Known for their durability and versatility, Kailh Switches offer a range of options that cater to different typing preferences and gaming needs. In this section, we will explore the three main types of Kailh Switches: Box White Switches, Box Brown Switches, and Box Black Switches.

Box White Switches

Box White Switches are best known for their clicky and tactile feedback, which makes them a preferred choice for typing enthusiasts. With an actuation force of 50g, these switches provide a satisfying typing experience with a pronounced tactile bump. The audible click sound enhances the overall satisfaction, ensuring a responsive and engaging typing experience. Box White Switches are often recommended for individuals who love the satisfying click sound and prefer a distinct tactile feedback while typing.

Box Brown Switches

Box Brown Switches strike a balance between typing and gaming needs. With a lighter actuation force of 45g and a tactile bump, these switches are suitable for both typing and gaming. The tactile feedback provides a pleasing typing experience while remaining relatively quiet compared to clicky switches. Box Brown Switches are often favored by individuals who enjoy a tactile response without the audible click sound, making them suitable for office environments or places where noise might be a concern.

Box Black Switches

Box Black Switches are designed for gamers who prefer a linear switch feel. With an actuation force of 60g and no tactile bump, these switches offer a smoother and consistent keystroke. Box Black Switches allow for quick and effortless key presses, making them ideal for rapid typing and gaming situations that require swift movements. Although these switches lack the tactile feedback found in other Kailh Switches, they make up for it with their consistent action and durability, ensuring a reliable performance over extended use.

Topre Switches

Feature30g Topre Switches45g Topre Switches55g Topre Switches
TactilityLight, minimal tactile feedbackBalanced tactile feedbackPronounced tactile feedback
Actuation Force30g45g55g
Typing ExperienceSmooth and effortlessBalanced and comfortableFirm and precise
Sound LevelSoft and mutedSoft and mutedSoft and muted
DurabilityExceptional longevityExceptional longevityExceptional longevity

The Topre switches stand out in the world of mechanical keyboards due to their innovative hybrid design, which merges the best qualities of traditional mechanical switches with the resilience of rubber dome keyboards. Let’s explore the distinct characteristics of various Topre switch options:

30g Switches

Topre’s 30g switches are renowned for their feather-light actuation, making them an ideal choice for users who prefer minimal resistance during typing sessions. With a delicate touch, these switches offer a smooth and effortless typing experience, allowing fingers to glide effortlessly across the keyboard. The 30g switches are particularly favored by those who value speed and precision in their typing, as they require minimal force to actuate.

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45g Switches

Stepping up in firmness, the 45g Topre switches strike a harmonious balance between tactile feedback and typing comfort. While slightly firmer than their 30g counterparts, these switches still maintain a smooth keystroke, providing a satisfying tactile bump without sacrificing the ease of typing. Typists who appreciate a more defined actuation point and a gentle resistance will find the 45g switches to be an excellent choice for extended typing sessions.

55g Switches

For users who prefer a more pronounced tactile response and a firmer keystroke, Topre’s 55g switches deliver precision and reliability. With a noticeable tactile bump, these switches offer a distinct tactile feedback that signals the actuation point clearly. Typists who prioritize accuracy and consistency in their keystrokes will appreciate the firmness of the 55g switches, which provide a reassuring sensation with each press.

In summary, Topre switches offer a diverse range of options to cater to different typing preferences. Whether you prioritize lightness and speed with the 30g switches, seek a balanced typing experience with the 45g switches, or prefer firmness and precision with the 55g switches, Topre’s hybrid design ensures a satisfying typing experience tailored to your needs.

Comparison Of Key Features

In the vast landscape of mechanical keyboard switches, understanding their key features is pivotal in selecting the perfect fit for your typing preferences. Let’s embark on a journey to compare some of the most popular switches available in the market today.

Actuation Force:


Actuation force refers to the amount of force required to register a keystroke. It directly impacts the typing experience, influencing both comfort and typing speed. Here’s a breakdown of common actuation forces:

  • Cherry MX Red: Known for its light actuation force, typically around 45 grams, Cherry MX Red switches offer a smooth and effortless typing experience. They are favored by gamers and typists who prefer a lighter touch.
  • Cherry MX Blue: With an actuation force of around 50-60 grams, Cherry MX Blue switches provide tactile feedback and an audible click upon actuation. They are popular among typists who enjoy the tactile feel and auditory feedback.
  • Cherry MX Brown: Offering a balance between tactile feedback and light actuation force, Cherry MX Brown switches require approximately 45-55 grams of force. They provide a tactile bump without the audible click, making them suitable for both gaming and typing.

Travel Distance:


Travel distance refers to the distance a key travels from its resting position to actuation. It affects the overall feel and responsiveness of the keyboard. Let’s examine the travel distances of different switches:

  • Cherry MX Red: Cherry MX Red switches typically have a total travel distance of 4mm, with actuation occurring at around 2mm. The shorter travel distance enables quicker key presses, ideal for rapid typing and gaming.
  • Cherry MX Blue: Cherry MX Blue switches have a total travel distance of 4mm, with actuation and reset points at approximately 2.2mm and 1.8mm, respectively. The longer travel distance and tactile feedback contribute to a distinct typing experience.
  • Cherry MX Brown: Similar to Cherry MX Blue switches, Cherry MX Brown switches also have a total travel distance of 4mm. The actuation point is typically around 2mm, providing tactile feedback without the audible click.
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Sound Level:


The sound level of a switch refers to the noise produced upon actuation, which can vary significantly depending on the switch type. Let’s explore the sound levels of different switches:

  • Cherry MX Red: Cherry MX Red switches are relatively quiet compared to tactile and clicky switches. They produce minimal sound, making them suitable for environments where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum.
  • Cherry MX Blue: Cherry MX Blue switches are characterized by their distinctive clicky sound upon actuation. The audible click adds an element of satisfaction to typing but may not be ideal for quiet environments or shared spaces.
  • Cherry MX Brown: Cherry MX Brown switches offer tactile feedback without the audible click, resulting in a quieter typing experience compared to Cherry MX Blue switches. They strike a balance between tactile feel and noise level.

By understanding the nuances of actuation force, travel distance, and sound level, you can make an informed decision when choosing the ideal mechanical keyboard switch for your needs. Whether you prioritize gaming performance, typing comfort, or a balance of both, there’s a switch out there tailored to your preferences.

Pros And Cons

Explore the versatility of popular mechanical keyboard switches, weighing the benefits and drawbacks for informed decisions. Consider factors like key feel, noise level, and durability when comparing different switch types. Make a choice that aligns with your typing preferences for an optimized typing experience.

When choosing a mechanical keyboard switch for your keyboard, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each type. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages can help you make an informed decision that will enhance your typing experience.

Cherry MX switches are widely recognized as the gold standard in mechanical keyboard switches. They offer exceptional durability, smooth keypresses, and a satisfying tactile feedback. The key advantage of Cherry MX switches is their long lifespan, which can range from 50 to 100 million keystrokes, ensuring a reliable typing experience for years to come. However, the main drawback of Cherry MX switches is their higher price compared to other options.

Gateron switches are gaining popularity among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts due to their affordability and comparable performance to Cherry MX switches. These switches offer smooth keystrokes and tactile feedback, similar to Cherry MX switches, at a more budget-friendly price point. However, it is important to note that Gateron switches may not be as durable as their Cherry MX counterparts, with a lifespan ranging from 50 to 70 million keystrokes.

Kailh switches are known for their wide variety of options, allowing users to customize their typing experience to suit their preferences. These switches offer a balance between affordability and performance. Kailh switches come in different variants, including linear and tactile options, offering smooth keystrokes and good tactile feedback. However, some users may find the sound produced by Kailh switches to be slightly louder compared to other switches.

Topre switches offer a unique typing experience that combines the benefits of mechanical and rubber dome keyboards. They provide a light and responsive touch, coupled with a subtle tactile feedback. This switch type is generally considered to be well-suited for typing-intensive tasks. However, one potential drawback of Topre switches is their higher price compared to other mechanical switches, which may deter some users.

 

Frequently Asked Questions Of Comparing Popular Mechanical Keyboard Switches

What Is The Most Popular Mechanical Switch Type?

The most popular mechanical switch type is the Cherry MX switch, known for its durability and tactile feedback.

What Is The Best Sounding Keyboard Switch?

The best sounding keyboard switch is subjective, as it depends on personal preference. Some popular options known for their pleasing sound include the Cherry MX Blue and Brown switches, as well as the Kailh Box White and Box Navy switches.
Experimenting with different switches can help you find your ideal sound.

Are Red Or Brown Switches Quieter?

Yes, brown switches are quieter than red switches. Brown switches have a tactile bump, resulting in a quieter typing experience.

Is Red Switch Better Than Blue?

The choice between red and blue switches depends on personal preference. Red switches are linear and silent, while blue switches are tactile and clicky. Reds are better for gaming, while blues are preferred for typing.

Conclusion

After examining and comparing various popular mechanical keyboard switches, it is clear that each switch type offers its own distinct characteristics and advantages. Whether you prioritize a tactile feel, smooth keystrokes, or a quiet typing experience, there is a switch out there that will suit your preferences.

Ultimately, the right switch for you will depend on your personal typing style and preferences. So, take the time to explore and experiment with different switches to find the one that enhances your productivity and enjoyment while using a mechanical keyboard.

Note

Editors at Kewiki independently choose and assess items. We might receive commissions from purchases made through affiliate links, which helps fund our testing.