Cherry MX Mechanical Switch Types

 

What are mechanical switches? Mechanical switches are an actual switch with a very comfortable, solid touch and feel, giving the user consistent confirmation when the key is pressed. Mechanical switches are used in high-end keyboards and many gaming keyboards. Membrane switches on the other hand, have a rubber dome that presses against a circuit board underneath to complete the keystroke, which become "mushy" as they degrade over time. Membrane switches are used in cheap keyboards. Mechanical switches also have a longer life than membrane switches.

Mechanical switches are comprised of the following components:



1. Stem - This is the top colored part, that the key cap mounts to.
2. Switch Housing - This is the enclosure that holds all of the components together.
3. Slider - This pushes against the spring, and interrupts the connection between the metal contact leaves mounted on the side of the switch.
4. Metal Contact Leaves - These are what registers the keystroke when they touch.
5. Spring - This wraps around the base of the slider and pushes the switch back up to its resting position after release.

There are also 3 different types of switches that all feel/sound different when they are pressed:

1. Linear - The keystroke travel is consistent and smooth.
2. Tactile - The keystroke has a bump in the middle of the travel, usually around the actuation point.
3. Clicky - The keystroke has a bump in the middle of the travel accompanied by a sharp "click" sound.

 

Cherry MX Brown

This keyswitch is quiet with tactile feedback, making it perfect for accurate typing.

  • Tactile
  • 55 cN operating force
  • 2.0 mm pre-travel
  • 4.0 mm total travel
  • No audible click
  • Spec Sheet

 

 

Cherry MX Blue

Ideal for people who like to hear and feel a click when they press a key, these tactile keyswitches help ensure accurate data entry.

  • Tactile and audible "clicky" noise
  • 60 cN operating force
  • 2.2 mm pre-travel
  • 4.0 mm total travel
  • Audible click
  • Spec Sheet

 

 

Cherry MX Red

With its incredible response times and smooth operation, CHERRY MX RED’s linear feel, combined with minimal spring force, is ideal for fast typists and action gamers.

  • Linear
  • 45 cN operating force
  • 2.0 mm pre-travel
  • 4.0 mm total travel
  • No audible click
  • Spec Sheet

 

 

Cherry MX Clear

As a tactile switch without click and acoustic feedback, the CHERRY MX Clear is the sister model of the MX Brown. With an actuation force of 65 centinewton, the required force is slightly higher. The CHERRY MX Clear is usually used for the space bar of keyboards with MX Brown switches.

  • Tactile
  • 65 cN operating force
  • 2.0 mm pre-travel
  • 4.0 mm total travel
  • No audible click
  • Spec Sheet

 

 

Cherry MX Speed Silver

CHERRY MX SPEED Silver is the perfect high-precision mechanical switch with extremely short reaction times and high switching frequencies.

  • Linear
  • 45 cN operating force
  • 1.2 mm pre-travel
  • 3.4 mm total travel
  • No audible click
  • Spec Sheet