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Cherry MX Switches: Complete Guide(2023)

One of the most popular switches for mechanical keyboards is the Cherry MX switch.

Whenever I look for a fresh keyboard built, I often check the offerings from Cherry first. This guide would cover the entire detail about the different Cherry MX switches, improving them, and choosing the right one for your setup.

Cherry MX Switches

Let’s get started!

About Cherry MX Switches

With the ownership of a German manufacturer, Cherry MX mechanical key switches are a mandatory feature in almost all high-end gaming keyboards.

These keys are far more reliable and durable than standard rubber domes. For typing, gaming, or programming experience Cherry MX switches are an enigmatic experience.

Referring to their different actuation types these switches can be categorized as Clicky, tactile, and linear (You can check the comparison of Clicky vs tactile vs linear switches here).

Official Cherry MX Site: (+ They are the Image credits for all the images in this post.)

Cherry MX Clicky Switches

These switches have small bumps on each keystroke and are very loud and noisy. These can be used at home or privately since they release extra auditory appeal with a loud clicking noise.

There are a few options for Cherry MX Clicky switches for which the travel distance is 4mm while the actuation distance is 2mm.

Cherry MX Blue

Cherry MX Blue comes with an actuation force of 60g and a bottom-out force of 60g, these switches are favorable for a regular typing person. Its clicky aspect on every keystroke gives you a pronounced tactile bump as well.


They are good enough to use in a personal zone to avoid disturbing a common workplace. It is not very pleasing for gamers. 

Cherry MX Green

MX Green has an actuation force of 80g and a bottom-out force of 90g. They have clicky noise as well to add on noise pollution which is often annoying. They are much heavier than the blue ones.


Cherry MX White

The Cherry MX White with 80g of actuation force and 90g of bottom-out force. These switches feel tactile and sound clicky almost like the green. It is not recommended for a pleasant typing experience.

Linear Cherry MX Switches

With consistent and even keystrokes, linears give you a smooth typing experience as they are perfect without any bumps.

They are excellent for gaming purposes where you enter multiple keystrokes randomly. Although due to its bottoming out feature where you need to press the key too hard.

Cherry MX Red

The Cherry MX Red comes with a light spring force. They have an actuation force of 45g with a 75g bottom force. These keys are less noisy as compared to clicky or tactile.


With an actuation distance of 2mm MX Reds have a total travel distance of 4mm. They are best for gaming purposes.

Cherry MX Black

The Cherry MX Black switches come with a higher actuation force are almost identical to Cherry MX Reds. They have stiffer springs making them heavier. With an actuation force of 60g and bottom-out force of 85g, these are 10-15 g heavier than Reds. These are much smoother and perfect for gaming or typing purposes.


Tactile Cherry MX Switches

Tactile switches provide a noise level that is appreciated by those who need typing options. These switches have a bump on each keystroke to assure the key had functioned. At times for gamers this can also be a distraction.

However, these switches have a travel distance of 4mm with a 2mm actuation distance.

Cherry MX Brown

MX Brown switches are louder but these offer a decent sound on keystrokes. They are commonly picked by gamers since they prefer the extra friction of the tactile bumps.


They have an actuation force of 55g and the bottom-out force of 60g that gives a very regular noise experience.

Cherry MX Clear

These are not avoidable options on a few keyboards. They are designed for heavy typing. They provide support to keep from bottoming out which comforts fingers while typing.

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However light keystrokes can be tiring with these. Their actuation force is 65g with a 95g bottom-out force which makes them incredible for a specific typing style.

Cherry MX Grey

The Cherry MX grey has an actuation force of 80g with a bottom-out force of 120g. These can be intense for your typing experience.


They have larger bumps and are less noisy than the Cherry MX brown. The big tactile bumps are pleasant for those who like it typing super heavy.

Silent Cherry MX Switches

The Silent Cherry MX switches are less noisy although they are identical to the previous ones. They have rubber dampening on the stem that lowers the noise output on each stroke. They can surely be used in a quiet environment.

The rubber in the stem strikes the lower housing while the key is released and springs back up reducing the sound levels.

Cherry MX Silent Red

Cherry MX Silent Red is smooth and quiet. They have an actuation force of 45g and a bottom-out force of 75g. Their actuation distance is 2 mm whereas the total travel distance is 4mm.

GIF MXRGB Silent Red

These are very gentle to use and feel buttery smooth.

Cherry MX Silent Black

The Cherry MX Silent Black also is smooth, quiet, and comfortable for gaming or typing purposes.

GIF MXRGB Silent Black

Their actuation force is 60g and their bottom-out force is 85g with a travel distance of 4mm and actuation distance of 2mm.

Speed Cherry MX Switch Variants

The Cherry MX Speed switches do not need to be pressed for the key to be registered due to their short actuation distance.

Cherry MX Speed Silver

It has an actuation distance of 1.2mm and a total travel distance of 3.4 mm. Unlike a regular mechanical keyboard, the actuation distance is at 0.8mm


However shorter actuation distance does not reduce the reaction time making the gaming experience an unpleasant one. More bottom out due to short distance also adds on woes to a comfortable typing experience

Low Profile Cherry MX Switches

Thinner keyboards with shorter keystrokes are making the low profile a raging sensation.

Specifically made with shorter actuation distance with a shorter travel distance, Cherry MX low profiles serve the purpose best. They do not disturb gaming reaction time either, serving the purpose better.

Due to reduced height, they provide an extremely comfortable typing experience that you get on a laptop.

Cherry MX Low Profile Red & Cherry MX Low Profile Speed Silver

Both are linear types. The actuation force is 45g and the bottom-out force is 80g for both. Both the switches have a travel distance of 3.2mm whereas the actuation distance in low profile red is 1.2mm and in low profile speed silver is 1.0 mm.

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Cherry MX Low Profile Speed Silver, Credits:
Cherry MX Low Profile Red, Credits:

Ultra Low Profile Cherry MX Switches

As you have seen the Low profile switches, Cherry MX has their Ultra Low Profile variants too. These are much sleeker. These are newer editions and bother the tactile and clicky versions have regular and RGB variants.

Cherry MX ULP Click switches

The Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile Clicky switches have a tactile and audible switching characteristic that makes typing a joy.


The 65 cN operating force is just right, allowing for a satisfying switch without excessive effort. The 0.8 mm pre-travel and 1.8 mm total travel give these switches a crisp and responsive feel. The click sound is just enough to provide audible feedback without being overly loud.

Cherry MX ULP Tactile Switches

The MX Ultra low profile Tactile switches have a tactile response that is just right, not too soft, and not too hard. I can feel a satisfying bump every time I press a key.

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The switching characteristics are great, there’s no click sound but the tactile feedback is enough to let me know I’ve pressed a key.

The operating force is just right, not too light that I accidentally press a key, and not too hard that it becomes tiring to type. The pre-travel and total travel distance are just enough to give a comfortable typing experience.

I especially love the low profile design, it makes my keyboard look sleek and professional.

Parts of a Cherry MX Switch

If you look into the Cherry MX switches, it has the following parts:

Switch Stem

It is the structure of the design and a flexible component. It glides up and down. On reaching a specific distance it actuates a key and registers a keystroke.

Upper Housing

It is on the top of all components and binds them together with 4 small clips. By unclipping the plastic part it can be taken apart. The upper housing in Cherry MXs is either clear or solid black plastic. An RGB light can easily shine through the clear housing.

Lower Housing

This stores all of the complicated components. The tactile bumps or click is the response from a metal leaf in this section. Any bend or damaged parts can ruin this structure. Beneath it are a few metal and plastic pins that are soldered to the PCB for connections.


It provides overall stiffness and resistance. The heavier the key, the more stiffness the spring holds on, and vice versa.

Factors to Choose the Right Cherry MX Variant for you

Going through hard technical testing, Cherry MX switches come with the best qualities to rely on. With impressive testing procedures, they are unique among all others in the market.

They are stress-tested in vigorous temperatures and compressed under machines limitlessly validating their capacity to maintain their force curve. Cherry MX switches are far more luxurious with feel and sound when compared with other sources.

However, they offer a scratchy experience a bit more than their competitors. These are also expensive ones followed by the quality they provide. They have high durability standards along with smoothness in exchange for their premium price.

How long do Cherry MX switches last?

Cherry MX switches last much longer than other competitors. With a 100 million keystroke lifespan they double in comparison to others which offer only around 50 million.

Their durability lasts even after 100 million keystrokes. They work fine only with a few discomforts which can be a broken-in switch.

However, this is also pleasurable for some who find them to be far more smooth and less scratchy. 

How to Improve Cherry MX Switches?

There are actually quite a few improvisations that you can try on a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches like –

  1. Lubing the Switches can restrict spring ping and scratchiness to an extent. This makes the switches smooth and sounds better. There are various techniques to lube your switches with your regular tools in case you have a hot-swappable keyboard as well.
  2. Installing Film on your switches can limit the wobble and movement while typing. It makes your switches extra secure and stable, reducing the rattle in case your default switches do not fit perfectly.

Cherry MX As Compared to Its Competitors

Now, let’s consider the comparison of Cherry MX switches with its competitors.

Compared to Gateron Variants: Are Cherry MX better than Gateron?

  • While comparing Red switches which are classy linear ones, both Cherry and Gateron switches have similar actuation force, travel, and distinct feel. With a subtle difference, Gateron red is lighter and smoother offering more comfort than Cherry red which is slightly scratchy.
  • With a lower actuation force that requires less pressure on the keycaps, Gateron blues are highly recommendable. Although blue switches are defined as clicky switches, Cherry blues are comfortable with softer and more stable sound whereas Gateron blues are sharp and louder making them noisy around.
  • Popular for their tactile keystrokes, brown switches are common picks for mechanical keyboards. In this sphere, Cherry brown is easier with keystrokes although they sound louder than the Gateron browns. However, Cherry brown is solid with perfect tactile bumps and does not wobble much.
  • Gateron switches are much smoother and more comfortable to use than Cherry due to smoother keystrokes with less friction; these are less noisy. Although for more resistance and stiffer feel some prefer Cherry switches that are consistent with lower actuation. However, Gateron has also introduced a series of switches for customization.

Compared to Kailh Variants: Are Cherry MX better than Kailh?

When it comes to originality, Cherry MX is considered to be the best. Kailh is no doubt a clone switch since they copy the design of Cherry MX although Kailh switches offer switches at a much lesser price.

In terms of travel distance and actuation force both are similar but Kailh is far more rigid and requires 5gf force additionally.

Conclusively, Cherry MX switches are better than Kailh for their longevity, durability, stability, and better build.

Are Cherry MX switches the best?

Cherry MX switches are considered to be the best by writers, gamers, and programmers for their superior quality.

These are considered to be the classy key switches for mechanical keyboards for their performance, comfort, and durability.

My Recommendation: Which Cherry MX Switch is the best?

For Gaming

Cherry MX Reds are best for gaming with their smooth, quiet, and no-click features rated for 100 million actuations. With a thicker sound, they give you a pleasant gaming experience.

A linear WASD cluster with faster key presses generates faster reaction times and smoother gaming. Their high actuation force restricts accidental key presses making your gaming experience comfortable and relaxing.

For Typing

The best switch you can pick for typing from Cherry MX is the Cherry MX Speed Silver. It is the fastest model with linear switching features combined with low spring resistance. It triggers immediately.

However, Cherry MX Reds are also considered preferable to tactile and clicky switches when you are planning for a comfortable typing experience.


Let’s conclude the post on Cherry MX Switches and its complete guide!

You may also like to read the comparison among the switches in itself:

  1. Cherry MX Brown vs MX Blue
  2. Cherry MX Red vs Silent Red
  3. Cherry MX Red vs MX Blue

I hope you find this helpful.