The 5 Best Cherry MX Switches: Explained


If you are new to the hobby, you may be have heard of many different switch types like reds or browns as well as the company Cherry.

In this article, we are going to highlight some of the best switches from Cherry’s MX line to help you better decide what is best for you.

1. Best for Gaming – Cherry MX Speed Silver

  • Fast activation
  • Pretty smooth
  • May take time to adjust to

Cherry’s MX Speed Silvers are specifically designed for gaming and activate faster than most mechanical switches on the market giving the user a competitive edge over anyone they are competing with them.

Many pro gamers choose to have this switch in their boards. For the average gamer, they will be competing with people using membrane keyboards and if they have a mechanical keyboard it may not have as fast of a switch.

The Speed Silvers are a linear switch that are relatively quiet. They activate at 1.2mm with 45g of force with a total travel distance of 3.4mm. This is shorter than the standard 2mm activation and 4mm total travel distance.

These switches are rated for 100 million keystrokes which means they have some of the best reliability in any switch.

You can find these switches in the regular black version or the RGB version that is transparent to let more light through. They come with the industry-standard MX stem so they are compatible with most keycaps.

You can find these switches for sale individually at a variety of sites. NovelKeys sells the regular version of the Speed Silvers at a good price. If you want the RGB variant you can find it at KDBFans or Drop.

You can find these switches in many boards with some popular options including the Corsair K70 RGB MK. 2 Rapidfire and the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL.

The Corsair option will provide RGB lighting for those who may want it. At a lower price, the Taurus may not provide lighting but is at a tenkeyless size which for gamers is not as important because the lack of a number pad means more mouse space.

One of the most popular boards with a variety of Cherry MX switches is the Ducky One 2 Mini.

2. Best for Typing – Cherry MX Blue

  • Decent tactility
  • Audio feedback when activated
  • Not good around others
  • May get annoying quickly

When looking for a switch just for typing the main thing you have to consider is what type of switch you prefer. Objectively Cherry’s MX Blues are great for typists.

The Blues are clicky so they provide a tactile bump with an audible click also so you know in multiple ways that the switch has been activated.

This is great for typists because it reinforces the confidence of the typist that the switch has actuated, so they don’t have to bottom out just to be certain.

If you do type in a public environment another option may be better though because these are decently loud switches.

The Blues activate later than most other MX switches at 2.2mm with 60g of force with the standard 4.0mm total travel.

You can expect over 50 million keystrokes on the MX Blues which may not be the 100 million of some of Cherry’s other switches but chances are another part will break on the board before a switch that will last this long.

The Cherry MX Blues are a very popular switch that you can find at many keyboard sites. You can find the regular black version for sale at NovelKeys and KDBFans. The RGB version you can find for a good price on Drop and also on KDBFans.

The Cherry MX Blues are one of the most popular switches in pre-built boards are they are very popular.

If you want an RGB keyboard with MX Blues the Corsair K70 MK.2 looks really nice. It has great software support and comes in a full-size layout so it is very versatile.

In a smaller form factor, you can get the Ducky One 2 Mini v2 which is a 60% for those who like more efficient boards or want more mouse space.

The Ducky One 2 Mini also has RGB but you can still find it for a cheaper price.

3. Best Silent Switch – Cherry MX Silent Black

  • Very quiet
  • Pretty smooth
  • More expensive

If you want a mechanical keyboard experience but don’t want a very loud one, the MX Silent Black is a great option.

Cherry has two silent switches in their MX line, the Silent Red and Silent Black. If you work around others, need a quiet board for streaming, or just like the sound of silent switches.

These switches not only are silent but are one of the smoother switches in Cherry’s lineup which makes them pretty good for those who care about a more satisfying experience. They are a bit scratchy compared to more high-end linear switches but you are paying for the feature of silence.

You can also easily lube these switches to improve the feel and the sound of them.

The MX Silent Blacks are one of the more popular silent switches for prebuilt boards as well in the enthusiast scene. After some lube, these switches are ever quieter and smooth.

These Silent Blacks are linear switches that activate at 1.9mm with 60g of force with a total travel distance of 3.7mm. Both distances are a bit shorter than the standard 2mm activation and 4mm total travel distance.

The shorter actuation and travel distance, technically speaking, should be faster than regular switches but you probably won’t notice much of a difference if any.

The Silent Blacks support 50+ million keystrokes so reliability is pretty good.

You can find these switches in both the RGB and regular variant but the RGB version is harder to find if you just want the switches. One place to buy these switches is NovelKeys.

The Silent Black switches are not as popular and some of Cherry’s other switches but you can find them on the Durgod Taurus K320 TKL and if you want a smaller size, they are also on the Ducky One 2 Mini v2 60%.

4. Best for Enthusiasts – Black (Hyperglides)

  • Very smooth
  • Nice sound
  • Hard to find
  • Expensive

If you are an enthusiast and want a switch from Cherry their MX Black Hyperglide variant is a fantastic option. It is smoother than their regular MX Blacks and is an overall solid linear.

The Hyperglides are the same as the regular MX Black switches except they have a new housing which greatly improves the feel and sound.

With the new housing they can compete better with higher-end options such as Creams or Tealios but as a result, also cost more than the regular version of the MX Blacks.

Cherry’s Vintage Blacks are old MX Blacks that have been broken in after being used for a long time. They are known for being very smooth but come at the risk of breaking more easily due to their age.

In this case, the Hyperglide Blacks are a better option because they still provide great smoothness but do not have the same concerns of reliability.

The Hyperglide Blacks activate at 2mm with 60g of force with a total travel distance of 4mm. This is consistent with most mechanical switches.

Also, like the regular MX Blacks, the Hyperglides support up to 100+ million keystrokes so long-term term-reliability is not a concern.

The first version of these switches look all black like a regular Cherry MX switch. It does have an SMD hole so RGB light will shine through.

Since these switches are higher-end they, unfortunately, don’t come with any pre-built boards. Also, they are sold in group buys meaning they are not constantly in stock. As a result, you must wait for them to be made available until you can order.

One of the main places you can find these switches is Dangkeebs but they will be sold eventually more as they grow in popularity throughout the community.

5. Best All-Around – Browns

  • Solid for gaming
  • Great for typing
  • Minimal tactility

Cherry MX Browns are known as a great all around switch because they have a slight tactile bump, although very minimal, yet they aren’t loud like Cherry’s clicky options.

Browns are good for both typing and gaming as their bump is not super distracting for gamers but it is also nice for typists because the switches aren’t as fatiguing to type on as linears and still provide slight tactility.

They are very versatile and are recommended to many people investing in a mechanical keyboard because they are able to provide the best of multiple situations, gaming, and working.

Unlike MX Blues which are great for typing but loud, the MX Browns are quieter so you can type without really disturbing people unless you work in a very quiet environment.

One downside that many tactile fans have is the lack of real tactility. They have a tactile bump which is noticeable when typing at average speeds but when typing above the average 50WPM the bump starts to become less noticeable.

The MX Browns have a total travel distance of 4mm but activate at 2mm with 55g of force. They also are rated for 100+ million keystrokes making them very reliable.

You can find these switches both in the regular black color on multiple sites including NovelKeys and KDBFans. The RGB variant is also available on KDBFans as well as Drop for a cheaper price.

Many keyboards include Cherry MX Browns. Browns are one of the most popular switches included in prebuilt boards.

Corsair has their K70 MK.2 with very nice RGB and iCue software support and if you want even more features you can go with their K95 XT.

If you want a smaller size board, the Ducky One 2 Mini in the 60% size offers most Cherry switches including the MX Browns, and also supports RGB lighting.


Why Cherry MX Is A Good Option

Cherry with their MX line was the first to have this design of the stem. This has given them the most time to refine their designs to improve reliability.

Cherry has some of the most reliable switches on the market with their most switches in the MX line rated at a crazy 100 million keystrokes and the rest are rated for over 50 million which is still really good.

This level of reliability means you do not need to be worried about a switch malfunctioning because these many keystrokes could last you much longer than a keyboard with membrane rubber domes.

Odds are that another part of the board will break before the switch itself so reliability is not a major concern.

For those who spend a lot of time at their keyboard, Cherry can help them get the most out of their board before it breaks.

Cherry is considered the gold standard by many for pre-built keyboards.

Unless you are an enthusiast Cherry is most likely the best option for you because they are in most prebuilt keyboards and will provide solid reliability. There are smaller things that enthusiasts may appreciate other switches but for the average user, it won’t be important to them.

The Different Switch Types

There are three kinds of switches. Linear, tactile, and clicky.

Here are is how each compare:

Linear: A smooth and consistent keystroke. After pressing down the switch all the way or bottoming out, the switch will be fairly quiet.

Tactile: A small bump after the switch activates on each keystroke. The activation is typically in the middle of the switch so the tactile bump gives you a response so you know that you have made an input. Tactile switches make a moderate sound in comparison to the other options.

Clicky: Clicky switches have a small bump on each keystroke after the activation and a loud click noise. Clicky switches give the user a response both through tactility and sound.

Ultimately there isn’t a best switch because you will pick one based on your preference. Some may prefer the sound of one switch or the feel of another switch because all switches will provide a different experience.

How To Choose A Mechanical Keyboard

Things To Consider

Choosing a mechanical keyboard can be complicated especially for those who are new to mechanical keyboards.

The key is to find a board that suits your budget, gives your preferred switches, and suits your favorite size.

Multiple different kinds of keyboard sizes have more or fewer keys depending on what you need. To find out more, check out our article on different keyboard sizes.

After deciding those primary requirements you should then see out of those options, which board has the best build and features that are useful for you.

Process

Cherry is one of the most popular switch makers in the world so many pre-built boards use Cherry switches. If you look at companies like Corsair, Cooler Master, HyperX, and more many if not all of their keyboards use Cherry switches.

Looking at reviews for some of the best keyboards depending on the switches that you like is a great place to start. You can see our guides on the best MX Red, MX Brown, and MX Blue keyboards.

Another good place to start is by using the pcpartpicker website to apply different filters on keyboards. You can choose a preferred size, preferred switches, wanted features, and set a budget.

This allows you to narrow down different keyboards that suit what you want and can afford.

Asking on forums for a greater layer of knowledge is another way to learn like on the Switch and Click discord.

After finding some boards that you like checking which ones are under your budget is good. More in-depth reviews on the final keyboards that you are interested in is a great way to learn about the features, build quality, and more.

Conclusion

Cherry delivers very reliable switches with plenty of options The Cherry MX line is a very popular series of switches in prebuilt boards with options liked by some enthusiasts.

Although the switch that you use is tightly connected to preference, some switches are specifically designed for specific tasks making them objectively better than others.

They have options that are good for any situation with great switches for gaming, typing, enthusiasts, silent use cases, and their MX Browns which are a great all-rounder which is recommended for many who are joining the Hobby and want to do gaming and work.

Hopefully, this article clarified which Cherry MX switch is best for your situation and helped you decide if Cherry is a good option for you in general.

Happy typing!

Giacomo Coltorti

Giacomo has been a tech enthusiast throughout his life. He has built over 10 computers and has grown his interest in the different peripherals needed to use a computer. He wants to share his knowledge and experiences with all these subjects to help others enter these hobbies.

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