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What are Cherry MX Switches?

What are Cherry MX Switches?

Tulie Finley-Moise
Since the dawn of the mechanical gaming keyboard, gamers have sought after the keypress responsiveness of Cherry MX switches. These switches come in a sprawling array of different configurations, allowing you to choose and control the way in which you interact with your keyboard. Boasting a lifespan of over 50 million operations, Cherry MX switches provide unmatched levels of performance, durability, and comfort.
Cherry MX keyswitch technology allows users to choose specific switches that best suit their typing and clicking style since the ultimate gaming experience looks different for everyone. Preference reigns supreme in the diverse ways rig setups are constructed and crafted. Climbing the leaderboards in any of your favorite video games takes masterful strategy and an intelligently assembled gaming rig that lives up to your performance demands. With the right set of Cherry MX switches living beneath your mechanical keyboard, you can play smarter, faster, and sharper.

Cherry MX: A brief history

Cherry Corporation was established in 1953 by Walter Cherry in the basement of a Highland Park, Illinois restaurant. Though it took a few years of creative genius and an international relocation, Cherry began producing keyboards in 1973. Now headquartered in Auerbach in der Oberpfalz, Germany, Cherry has maintained its reputation as one of the world’s leading keyboard manufacturers.
It wasn’t until 1985 that the Cherry MX switch was introduced to the market. These keyboard switches were categorized by color, with each color denoting the switch’s designated handling characteristics.
Today, Cherry MX switches are regarded as the gold-standard of keyswitch technology. Gamers all across the globe craft their rigs based on the excellence put forth by Cherry’s supreme keyboard innovations. With decades of engineering experience, Cherry has evolved into one of the most trusted names in gaming peripherals. Keyboards built with Cherry MX switches tend to come packaged with superior construction and performance precision.

What types of Cherry MX switches are there?

Cherry MX switches fit into three easy categories; linear, tactile, and a combination of tactile and clicky. Let’s dive into the details of each type.

1. Linear

Linear switches are among the most popular switch types among gamers. The keystroke is a simple up and down motion without any tactile feedback or click leaf (the folded metal spring that makes the clicky sound in some switches).
Linear switches typically feature medium to high actuation force, meaning RTS gamers worry less about accidental endgame clicking. Not only are linear switches perfect for gamers who prefer silent clicking and high-weighting, but they’re among the easiest keyswitch technologies to find.
Linear Cherry MX switch types:
  • Red
  • Silent Red
  • Speed Silver
  • Nature White
  • Black
  • Silent Black
  • Linear Grey

2. Tactile

Tactile switches provide intentional tactile feedback, so when you press down you feel a subtle bump to let you know that the keypress registered successfully.
True tactile Cherry MX switches are inaudible, which makes them versatile options for gamers who use their keyboard for both gaming and everyday typing. The Cherry MX Brown is the most popular tactile switch.
Tactile Cherry MX switch types:
  • Brown
  • Clear
  • Tactile Grey

3. Tactile and clicky

Clicky Cherry MX switches offer added typing feedback as they feature a deliberately louder clicking sound in addition to the resistance felt from the tactile bump.
Though these switches are noisier than conventional rubber-dome switches, the Cherry MX Blue is among one of the most popular Cherry MX switches.
Tactile and clicky Cherry MX switch types:
  • Blue
  • White
  • Green

What are the most common Cherry MX switches?

1. Cherry MX Red

Operating force: 45 cN operating force
Introduced in 2008, the Cherry MX Red has become the most popular linear-style switch. Featuring a low actuation force of 45 cN, the Cherry MX Red is marketed as a gaming-specific switch. Ideal for gamers dependent upon rapid key-pressing, this switch requires no reset to register a double or triple-press.

2. Cherry MX Brown

Operating force: 55 cN operating force
The Cherry MX Brown is the most popular type of tactile switch. Introduced to the market in 1994 as a special ‘ergo soft’ switch, the Cherry MX Brown quickly became the perfect middle-ground option for those interested in both typing and gaming. Because they tend to operate on the quieter side, they’re perfect for public settings and lovers of peaceful computing. The Cherry MX Brown is also preferred among gamers who prioritize precision over speed.

3. Cherry MX Blue

Operating force: 60 cN operating force
As one of the most commonly used tactile and clicky Cherry MX switches, the Cherry MX Blue comes with a higher reset position, greater actuation force, and a louder keystroke experience.
This click-style switch provides more audible and tactile feedback than Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Brown, making it the optimal choice for gamers and typists who don’t mind trading in rapid-tap performance for higher accuracy and deliberate keypress confirmation.

Which Cherry MX switch is the best?

The beauty of Cherry MX switches is that there is no single switch that is universally regarded as the superior option. Because each switch features a different physical pressing experience, the best switch is completely up to your preferential discretion.
There are 13 total Cherry MX switch types to choose from, and no two are made the same. The best way to figure out which switch type and configuration is best for your rig is by testing them out. A WASD 6-Key Cherry MX switch tester an excellent way to experiment with different color types before blindly settling.
At the end of the day, a player is as only as good as their tools. Climb the leaderboards with confidence knowing your expert-grade rig is backed by game-changing Cherry MX technology.

About the Author

Tulie Finley-Moise is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Tulie is a digital content creation specialist based in San Diego, California with a passion for the latest tech and digital media news.

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