Razer has a diverse lineup switches of all different types: mechanical, optical, hybrid, and even rubber dome.
Today we’re going to hone in on just the mechanical switches and really explain the differences of the sound and feel of the Razer Green, Orange, and Yellow switches. Here is a quick overview of the differences:
Razer Yellow Switch: Smooth and consistent with a quiet noise.
Razer Orange Switch: A small bump with a moderate noise.
Razer Green Switch: A small bump with a loud click noise.
We’ll dig into the specifics a bit more, give our opinions, and include sound tests of each switch type.
Razer Green vs Orange vs Yellow
The three mechanical switches from Razer all offer their own feel and sound. Choosing the correct switch based on your preferences and needs can be a tough and (slightly) overwhelming process if you’re new to mechanical keyboards.
Here are our quick recommendations if you’re buying a switch for gaming or typing:
|Razer Switch Color||Description||Usage|
|Green||Bumpy switch with a loud clicky noise.||Gaming/Typing|
|Yellow||Smooth switch with no bump. Relatively quiet.||Gaming|
|Orange||Bumpy switch with moderate sound level.||Typing/Gaming|
We’ll go into more detail about why we made these recommendations and if you don’t agree, feel free to break the rules and get the switch that feels best.
Here is a video from Razer explaining the differences of each switch type.
Let’s break down each switch individually now and go into the juicy details about durability, feel, and sound.
Razer Green Switch: Loud and Clicky
Feel/Sound: Bumpy and Loud Actuation Force: 50g Bottom-out Force: 65g Actuation Distance: 1.9mm Travel Distance: 4.0mm
Razer Green switches are a clicky switch that makes a loud click on each keystroke and have a significant bump. The Green switch has the loudest auditory feedback of all the switch types which notify you know that the keystroke has been registered.
While perfect for those who enjoy a loud keyboard, Razer Green switches are not a good idea to bring into and office or for late night gaming while everybody is sleeping.
The Green switch is LOUD and can cause fights between spouses if used irresponsibly.
This switch not ideal for gaming because the bump on each keystroke can be distracting and make your gaming less consistent.
Usually a linear switch is best for pressing keys in rapid succession while gaming (see Razer Yellow).
The Razer Green switches are very similar to the Cherry MX Blue/Green switch, although the Razer Greens are slightly scratchier, and the durability is not quite as high.
Overall, the Razer Green switches are a great option if you want a loud mechanical switch, whether it be for gaming or typing, although there are some small drawbacks for gaming.
Razer Orange Switch: Bumpy and Tactile
Feel/Sound: Bumpy, Moderately Loud Actuation Force: 45g Bottom-out Force: 55g Actuation Distance: 1.9mm Travel Distance: 4.0mm
The Razer Orange switch is classified as a tactile switch, which means it has the benefits of a pronounced bump on each keystroke, while not having a loud click noise.
The Razer Orange feels very similar to a rubber dome switch that you would find on a normal keyboard, except it feels more consistent and bumpy.
Similar to the Cherry MX Brown in feel and weight, while being slightly scratchier and having a heavier bump. The switch has a slightly different feel overall, from our experience Razer switches are scratchier in general.
Overall, this switch is an excellent all-around option as the tactile feedback with moderate noise works in almost every situation. Perfect for typing and is good for gaming as well.
Razer Yellow Switch: Smooth and Quiet
Feel/Sound: Smooth and Quiet Actuation Force: 45g Bottom-out Force: 75g Actuation Distance: 1.2mm Travel Distance: 3.5mm
The Razer Yellow switch is Razer’s attempt at their own linear mechanical switch. The Yellow switch feels smooth, consistent, and has no tactile bump, which makes it the best option for gaming.
The quietest of all three switches, the Razer Yellow is a great option for gaming late at night or working in the office.
The switch has an actuation distance of 1.2mm and a total travel distance of 3.5mm, which is actually on the shorter end when compared to other switches.
For example, the Cherry MX Red switch has an actuation distance of 2mm but has a similar weight and feel. The Razer Orange is most comparable to the Cherry MX Speed Silver, which is a linear switch made specifically for gaming.
The shorter actuation distance, in theory, makes your keyboard faster and more reactive when gaming. Since the switch doesn’t need to travel as far, you should be able to log a keystroke faster.
In our experience, speed switches are mainly just marketing and have no positive increase in reaction time.
Overall, the Razer Yellow switch an excellent option for gaming and it rivals the Cherry MX Speed Silver for speed. The linear switch makes your keyboard more consistent and reliable in the heat of the moment.
Are Razer Mechanical Switches the Best?
Razer switches are a one of the many switches available out there, so how do they compare to other switches, such as Cherry MX?
Razer mechanical switches have an impressive lifespan of 80 million keystrokes. This means you can press your key 80 million times before it will start to deviate from the force curve, so even after the 80 million keystrokes the switches will continue to work.
Cherry MX switches on the other hand, have a lifespan of 100 million keystrokes, which is the best in the industry. Razer is slightly behind when it comes to the durability of their switches when compared to Cherry MX. Other switch manufacturers typically are guaranteed up to 50 million, so although they don’t beat Cherry, Razer switches are still quite impressive.
The feel and sound of Razer switches is lacking, in my experience. When compared to Cherry MX or Gateron, Razer switches feel scratchier and less pleasant overall. This of course is my own personal experience with Razer, so your experience may vary.
Razer mechanical switches also lacks in the total amount of options, with only three variations. Cherry MX and Gateron, on the other hand, have a ton of variety when it comes to their switches.
This is mainly due to Razer’s focus on different switch types, not just mechanical. Razer produces optical, mechanical, hybrid, and rubber-dome keyboards, so they are bit more spread and don’t put as much energy into their mechanical switches.
Razer switches are not a bad option if you really want a Razer keyboard, but there are better options out there, in my opinion.
Which Razer Keyboards Have Mechanical Switches?
If you want a Razer keyboard with mechanical switches, you’ll have to look at their Blackwidow lineup. Razer sells many variations of the Blackwidow keyboard with different features, switch options, and more.
We reviewed the Razer Blackwidow Stormtrooper Edition in our best mechanical keyboards under $100 post, so you can see our full review of the keyboard there.
Blackwidow keyboards feature many different options, some with RGB, media keys, and form factors. You can really customize the keyboard based on what you need and your budget.
In our opinion, the keyboards from Razer with mechanical switches are the best they have to offer and are the most comfortable.
You can check the price of the Blackwidow on Amazon through this link.
Other Switch Types From Razer
As mentioned before, Razer has a plethora of different switches available, so we’ll quickly go over the other switch types.
The Razer optical switches are marketed to be the fastest switch out there. They are optical, which means once the key is pressed a certain distance, light will actuate the key instead of a normal mechanical switch. The optical switches are only found on the Huntsman lineup.
In theory, this style of switch should be sliiightly faster, but in our experience, its really not worth all of the hype.
Optical switches are quite uncomfortable to type on and come in limited options.
There are two optical switch types available:
Optical Red: Linear switch that was recently revised with the release of the Razer Huntsman Mini.
Optical Purple: A clicky switch that has a loud clicky noise on each keystroke.
Overall, these switches can be a good option if you’re only focused on the gaming experience, but in our experience, we find them to be uncomfortable to type on and use for anything else.
Razer also offers and mecha-membrane switch, which is an in-between point between mechanical and rubber-dome, currently only offered on the Razer Ornata V2.
The switches have a tactile mechanical switch feel to them but actuate similar to a rubber dome keyboard, which is quite interesting.
They don’t last quite as long as the optical or normal mechanical switches, but can be a good choice for someone who wants a mechanical keyboard from Razer but can’t afford to go full mechanical.
Rubber Dome Switch
Razer also produces keyboards with a rubber-dome/membrane switch, which is what is usually found in a normal non-mechanical keyboard.
These switches are the cheapest offerings from Razer and they don’t bring anything revolutionary to the table. They can be a good option for those who want a gaming keyboard but can’t afford the next tier up.
You can get theses switches on the Razer Cynosa keyboard (Amazon).
Razer mechanical switches are offered in three different variations: Orange, Green, and Yellow. Each switch type offers a different feel and experience.
We made our recommendations for the best switch based on what you planning using the switch for. Hands-down, the Razer Yellow switch is the best for gaming, while the other two can be better for typing.
We also went over the other switches in Razer’s lineup, such as the optical, mecha-membrane, and membrane switches and explained all of the differences.
If you want to read more about if Razer keyboards are worth it, check out this article.