Kailh Switches: The Definitive Guide-( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Kailh switches are an alternative to the more popular Cherry MX switches. Kailh switches were developed by Chinese electronics manufacturer Kaihua Electronics Co, Ltd. 

This blog will take a close look, with a teardown, at Kailh switches from a keyboard enthusiast’s point of view. In the past, Cherry MX switches have been the go-to switch for almost any enthusiast keyboard out there. Now Kailh switches have been hitting the market and taking over Cherry MX switches regarding available options.

This blog will discuss the different types of Kailh switches and how they perform.

Let’s get started!

What are Kailh Switches?

Kailh switches are a group of Cherry MX clone switches manufactured by Kaihua Electronics Co. Ltd. The company is based in China and has been producing Cherry MX clone switches. 

kailh switches

Like Cherry MX switches, Kailh switches are manufactured in two versions: the regular version with a lifespan of more than 50 million presses. 

Since the switches are MX clones, they are compatible with MX keycaps, but they are not compatible with MX-style stabilizers. The switches are available in various colors but are not available in clicky or tactile versions.

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Here are the several Kailh Switch variants which have different color variants:

  • Kailh Box switch
  • Kailh Speed Switches
  • Kailh Pro Switches
  • Kailh Box Silent Switches
  • Kailh Low Profile Choc switches

Kailh BOX Switch

Kailh BOX Switches are high-quality, cost-effective mechanical keyboard switches compatible with Cherry MX keycaps.

Kailh BOX Switches are optimized for gaming, featuring a super-low resistance, a shorter key travel distance, and durable, high-performance plastic housing.

The Kailh Box switches are similar to the Cherry MX switches but with a different internal design. The Kailh Box switches are made of metal contacts encased in a box, which is where they got their name, and this box gives them their IP56 waterproof/dustproof rating. 

This BOX switch design also makes the switch’s main springs smaller than the Cherry MX switches, reducing the actuation pressure. The tactile feel of the Kailh Box switches differently, with the click feeling more like a bump than a click. 

Kailh Box VariantSwitch TypeActuation ForceActuation PointOperation SpeedOperating LifeMount Type
Kailh BOX WhiteClicky50g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/sec80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX NavyClicky75g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX PinkClicky55g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX JadeClicky65g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX Pale BlueClicky60g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Box RoyalTactile45g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Box BrownTactile60g Operating2mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX Burnt OrangeTactile60g Operating force2mm5-6 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX RedLinear50g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX Dark YellowLinear70g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh BOX BlackLinear60g Operating force1.8mm3-4 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mount

Here are the Kailh Box Switches available at Amazon:

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Kailh Speed Switches

Kailh Speed Switches are a cut above the rest when it comes to gaming keyboards. Ideal for gamers and typists alike, Kailh Speed Switches feature a housing and stem made out of self-lubricating POM. 

Kailh Speed Switches are the next generation of mechanical switches for your gaming keyboard with high precision and responsiveness. They are built for speed, durability, and responsiveness. Their high accuracy and low latency are what give them the edge they need. They also feature an MX style housing, shorter travel, and activation points than Cherry MX switches and are currently available in any color you can think of.

They have MX-style housing, shorter travel, and activation points compared to Cherry MX switches. Hence they are good for gaming. 

Kailh Speed VariantSwitch TypeActuation ForceActuation PointOperation SpeedOperating LifeMount Type
Kailh Speed SilverLinear50g1.1mm3-4 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Speed CopperTactile40g1.1mm3-4 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Speed BronzeClicky50g1.1mm3-4 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Speed GoldTactile50g1.4mm3-4 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Speed NavyClicky70g1.2mm3-4 times/s50M cyclesPlate Mount

Here are the Kailh Speed Switches available at Amazon:

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kailh Box Silent Switches

Kailh Box switches are the latest volume switch silent box solution from Kailh. These switches are designed for gaming or industrial applications that demand silent switches.

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Designed for use on boards, boxes, and systems that require a silent, unobtrusive switch: like the ones found on keyboards, the Kailh Box Silent switches are a perfect choice. The switches feature a sealed internal design that employs a shock-absorbing system to protect the internal components from the natural wear and tear caused by continuous operation. 

As a result, the switches are designed to be durable, lasting for 50 million keystrokes. The switches are also designed to be surface-mount LED compatible, hot-swap compatible, and box type of switches with dampened sound.

Kailh Box Silent VariantSwitch TypeActuation ForceActuation PointOperation SpeedOperating Life CycleMount Type
Kailh BOX Silent PinkLinear35g1.8mm5-6 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mounted
Kailh BOX Silent BrownTactile45g2mm5-6 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mounted

Here are the Kailh Box Silent Switches available at Amazon:

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kailh Low-Profile Choc Switches for Laptop

We don’t always like high-profile switches. Kailh Low-Profile Choc Switches for Laptop is the first on the market with a switch contact system based on the patented “BOX” technology of a mechanical switch.

Kailh’s Low-Profile Choc Switches have a smaller ‘chocolate’ key stem, as seen on the Cherry MX Low Profile Switches. Compared to the standard Choc Switches, the Low-Profile Choc Switches are thinner, shorter, and lighter, allowing for an even lower-key position or reducing the thickness of the keyboard design. 

Kailh Low profile switches are great for laptops that use mechanical switches on their keyboard.

ColorTypeActuation ForceActuation PointOperating SpeedOperating Life CycleMount Type
Kailh Choc WhiteClicky50g1.5mm1 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Choc BrownTactile50g1.5mm1 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount
Kailh Choc RedLinear45g1.5mm1 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mount

Kailh Pro Switches

The Kailh Pro series of switches is a noteworthy stride in keyboard switch technology. The Kailh Pro is the switch of choice for speed-typing and quick-key actions. Available in standard sizes, the Kailh Pro comes in both modern and newly developed low-profile designs.

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A plus for all you clicky-clackers out there, Kailh Pro switches feature an earlier activation time than most industry-standard switches. Select the right switch for your next build and get in there and type!

Kailh Box Silent VariantSwitch TypeActuation ForceActuation PointOperation SpeedOperating Life CycleMount Type
Kailh Pro BurgundyLinear35g1.8mm5-6 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mounted
Kailh Pro PurpleTactile45g2mm5-6 times/s80M cyclesPlate Mounted
Kailh Pro Light GreenClicky50g1.7mm3-4 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mounted
NK SherbetClicky65g2mm3-4 times/s70M cyclesPlate Mounted

Here are the Kailh Box Silent Switches available at Amazon:

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Are Kailh Switches Good?

The Kailh mechanical keyboard switch has many benefits, including its low price point, longevity, and attractive appearance.  

Overall, the Kailh switch is an attractive one that has attracted many mechanical keyboard users.

Are Kailh Switches Hot-Swappable?

Hot-swapping means that you can change them while the system is on. This is very useful for gamers because they can change the keycaps on their mechanical keyboards while the computer is on. No need to turn off the computer to change the keycaps.

The short answer is no, not really. Kailh switches are not truly hot-swappable, but you can get away with changing them if you’re careful. Kailh switches are extremely difficult to remove, even with the special key. We can’t be sure if it’s intentional or not. It’s possible that Kailh wants to keep the switches locked in the keyboard to prevent tampering, but it doesn’t make much sense to make them so difficult to remove.

Kailh switches fitted on Hot-swap PCBs are hot-swappable. So, it depends on the mounting you do while you place the switches on your keyboard.

Are Kailh switches better than Cherry?

Cherry MX Switches are the typical switch used by mechanical keyboards. They are often considered the gold standard for keyboard switches.

Considering the price point, we can say the Kailh switches are better than Cherry. However, in terms of performance and longevity, the Cherry MX is the better one. The Kailh switches are popular as they are much cheaper with good quality.

Are Kailh switches better than Gateron?

The popularity of Kailh switches continues to grow. With the growing popularity of these switches, I’ve been seeing a lot of confusion about whether Kailh switches are better than the more well-known Gateron switches.

Kailh switches are very similar as compared to the Gateron switches. Kailh is better in terms of low cost as compared to the Gaterons. However, in terms of overall quality and experience, the Gaterons have the edge over the Kailh switches.

Still, the Kailh switches are considered good for the price we pay for.

Is Kailh white tactile?

Kailh Box white are clicky switches with 50g actuation force. They are not tactile.

Are Kailh switches loud?

Kailh switches like Kailh BOX White, Navy, Jade are clicky switches and are loud. However, other tactile and linear variants of Kailh switches are not noisy.

Which Kailh switches are the quietest?

Kailh linear variants are the quietest among the Kailh Switches. It includes Kailh Box Dark Yellow, Kailh Box Black, Kailh Box Red in the Box switches from Kailh.

Does Kailh make Optical Switches?

Kailh has an optical switch variant which is similar to the Kailh Box switch. The difference it has is it does not have a physical contact module like the Box switches. These switches operate by Light in it to capture the response. 

The Kailh Optical switches are Kailh Optical Blue, Kailh Optical Red, and Kailh Optical Black.

Are Kailh Box pinks linear?

Kailh Box Pink switches are linear switches from Kailh with 35g actuation force, 45 g bottom-out force, and 3.6 travel distance.

The Kailh Box Pink switches are also Hot-swappable.

Can you put Cherry MX keycaps on Kailh switches?

Cherry MX keycaps are compatible with Kailh switches as they have a similar structure for their switches.

So, you can easily put Cherry MX keycaps on Kailh switches.

Are Kailh speed silvers good?

Kailh speed silver has lower actuation as compared to the other Kailh switch variants. Low actuation makes these switches fast to click and hence are very useful for fast gaming. It gets very useful for FPS and competitive games and performs very well.

How fast are Kailh speed switches?

Kailh speed switches are very fast as they are linear switches and have a travel distance of 1.2 mm. Their response time is speedy due to its low actuation and is very good for gaming.

Is Kailh bronze linear?

The Kailh Speed Bronze switch is not linear. They are of the Clicky type with an actuation force of 50g.

Are Kailh silver speed switches 3 pins?

Kailh speed silvers have 3 pins.

Is Kailh Pro purple tactile?

Kailh Pro Purple is a Tactile switch with an actuation force of 45g.

Conclusion

Let’s conclude the post on Kailh switches.

In this guide, I covered in detail the Kailh switches and how they perform with detailed specifications. You should have a good idea of what switch is best for you from the Kailh switch range. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post.