Mechanical keyboards are designed to provide a more satisfying typing and gaming experience than their traditional, membrane counterparts. Instead of using rubber dome switches for each key, keypads feature individual switches beneath every key that can be customized according to the user’s preference.
When selecting a switch type, it is important to consider the specific characteristics offered by each type; such as actuation force, actuation travel distance and sound profile. Cherry MX Red, Black, Brown and Blue are all popular types of switches with unique features that make them suitable for different uses.
The following sections will explain how these four switch types differ in terms of performance and help you decide which one is right for you!
Cherry MX Red Switches
Cherry MX Red switches are linear, meaning that they do not have a tactile bump and offer a smooth, consistent feel from actuation to bottom-out. This makes them ideal for gamers since the quick actuation time is helpful in fast-paced games.
However, some users may find themselves making typos and misclicks due to the lack of feedback from the switch. In addition, Cherry MX Red switches require only 45 grams of force for activation which makes them easy to press.
As such, these switches can be advantageous for those who need a light touch or want speedier key presses.
Cherry MX Black Switches
Cherry MX Black switches are a great choice for gamers and typists alike who demand precision in their key presses. Generally, they require more force to actuate than Red switches at 60 grams, but the higher level of resistance provides users with consistent feedback when typing or gaming.
The linear nature of these switches also makes them easy to use without any tactile bumps or audible clicks that can interrupt your flow during intense gaming sessions. Furthermore, these switches have been shown to have a longer lifespan compared to other switch types due to their robust construction.
This means that if you’re looking for remarkable accuracy and durability from your keyboard then Cherry MX Black switches should definitely be on your list of considerations!
Cherry MX Brown Switches
The tactile bump gives users an extra sense of satisfaction when they press down on the key, as it is easier to identify when the keystroke has been registered.
However, these switches are still relatively quiet compared to Blues due to their lack of audible click. All in all, Cherry MX Brown switches can be ideal for gamers who want a bit more feedback from their keyboard without having to sacrifice sound levels or actuation force.
Cherry MX Blue Switches
Cherry MX Blue switches have a similar bump at the point of actuation to Brown switches, but make a louder, clicky sound which some may find too loud or annoying.
With an actuation force of 50g, they require slightly more pressure than Red or Brown switches and provide users with a satisfying experience when typing. These switches are often preferred by gamers and typists alike due to their tactile feedback and audible confirmation that each keystroke has been registered.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference; Cherry MX Blue switches are great if you like the feel and sound they offer but may be too loud for those looking for something subtler.
Actuation Force and Travel Distance
The actuation force is an important factor to consider when choosing the right keyboard switch for you.
This can vary from very light (as low as 45 grams) to very heavy (upwards of 80 grams). Generally, lighter forces are preferred by gamers who need fast and responsive keys, while heavier forces tend to provide a more satisfying typing experience.
In addition to the actuation force, it’s also important to look at the travel distance of each switch type. This refers to how far down you have press a key before it registers your input.
Shorter travel distances allow for quick and snappy responses which make them ideal for gaming keyboards; however they may not be comfortable or enjoyable when used over long periods of time. Longer travel distances provide a more tactile response and require less effort than their shorter counterparts – making them perfect for typing tasks where accuracy is paramount.
It’s important to keep in mind that any switch type can be used for gaming or typing, but your choice will depend on what you find most comfortable and responsive. For example, Cherry MX Red switches are characterized by their quick actuation and smooth travel, making them ideal for gamers who need lightning-fast response times.
On the other hand, Cherry MX Brown or Blue switches require more force to press and provide a tactile bump when activated which may be preferred by typists looking to avoid accidental keystrokes. Ultimately, it is best to try out different types of switches before settling on one so you can decide what feels right for you.
In conclusion, the type of switch you choose for your keyboard should be based on your personal preferences and intended use. Cherry MX Red switches have a low actuation force, short travel distance, and no tactile feedback; they are ideal for gaming due to their light touch.
Cherry MX Black switches require more effort to press than Reds but provide no tactile feedback or audible click; this makes them good for typing as well as gaming. Cherry MX Brown switches offer a moderate amount of force required for actuation, some tactile feedback that can be felt upon bottoming out the key, and an audible click when pressed all the way down; these are great for those who want a balance between typing and gaming performance.
Finally, Cherry MX Blue switches have higher actuation forces compared to other models with pronounced tactile bumps that let you know when each key is activated as well as loud clicks when pressed all the way down; these types are preferred by typists who prefer greater accuracy and faster response times while sacrificing speed during gaming sessions. Ultimately it comes down to preference so make sure you try each one before making your decision!