Kailh Switches Vs Cherry MX

The most essential part of any gaming keyboard or any other type of keyboard is the key switch. A key switch is an important part of a mechanical keyboard, but not every mechanical key switch is the same. Now that we have covered a wider range of aspects of a keyboard switch, it should be equally important to understand how each of the key switches performs when pitted against one another. For the sake of today’s post, we will focus on a Kailh switch vs Cherry MX switches to understand the prime features offered by either of them. 

Cherry MX Switches – An Overview

Cherry MX switches have been considered to be one of the excellent options and a gold standard for the best mechanical key switches. The very first Cherry MX switches were launched back in 1983. However, there has been a consistent competition for the Cherry MX switches for the last couple of years. Even then, you will still find the Cherry MX switches at a highly dominating position among almost all types of mechanical key switches. 

Photo: YouTube

The Cherry MX switches are offered primarily in four variants – Red, Blue, Brown, and Speed. You might also get access to a few great options for an enhanced experience with the other additional key switch variants such as Cherry MX Black, White, and Green. Most of the Cherry MX switches have an actuation distance of 2 mm and a total travel distance of 4 mm. 

Features  Type  Feel Actuation Force Actuation Point  Total distance  Sound  Lifespan 
Cherry MX Red Linear  Light  45 G 2 mm 4 mm Quiet 50 million keystrokes 
Cherry MX Black  Linear  Heavy  60 G 2 mm 4 mm Quiet  50 million keypresses 
Cherry MX Blue  Clicky  Heavy  60 G 2 mm 4 mm Loud  50 million keypresses 
Cherry MX Brown  Tactile  Medium  45 G 2 mm 4 mm Quiet  50 million keypresses 
Cherry MX Speed  Linear  Light  45 G 1.2 mm  4 mm Quiet  50 million keypresses 

The Cherry MX Linear Switches 

Cherry MX Red is one of the most popular linear switches from Cherry. They do offer you a decent and smoother operation. The Red switches are known to be quite quieter and that should be one of the strongest factors in its favor. The Cherry MX Red switch is also known for being extremely light. 

Cherry MX Speed switches made an appearance in 2016 and are known to be the best ones for gaming. They are designed for offering you a faster typing experience. They are easy and great to bottom out. 

Cherry MX white switches are yet another option from among the Cherry MX linear switches. They are extremely rare and may differ from the Reds only in alone aspect – they come with a slightly more actuation force. They can become a little harder to press. 

Cherry MX Back switches are widely used when compared to the white switches. They can be handled with a heavier actuation force. 

Cherry MX Tactile Switches 

Cherry MX Brown is one of the excellent and popular options for the best Cherry MX tactile switches. It is one of the quieter switch options. You will get a feel of how to get access to an enhanced experience. 

Cherry MX Blue is one of your favorite options for one of the prime tactile switches. However, one of the concerns you would face with the Cherry MX Blue switch would be that it can be a little noisy. A faster typing can generate a very heavy noise when using the Cherry MX Blue switches. 

Cherry MX Green the heaviest tactile switch and They may be a little rare to find. But they will be slightly heavy and clicky. 

Kailh Switches  – A Sneak Peek

Kailh or Kaihua switches were first introduced in the year 1990. First introduced as the clones of the Cherry MX switches, they soon went on to make a name for themselves as one of the closest rivals to Cherry MX. 

The Kailh switches were initially launched in China and began with offering the cheaper alternatives to Cherry MX. However, of late, the Kailh as a brand has been able to carve a niche for itself as the original switch for the keyboard manufacturers such as Razer. The brand has become so popular that when you move ahead to find a keyboard that does not mention a Cherry MX switch, chances are that you are dealing with a Kailh switch. 

Photo: YouTube

One of the strongest factors in favor of Kailh switches is that they have an alternative for every type of Cherry MX switch. The Kailh switches come with a 2 mm actuation distance and a total travel of 4 mm. Except for the Speed range of switches that have an actuation distance of 1.2 mm, all the other Kailh switches follow the same features. 

Kailh Linear Switches 

Kailh Red is a little heavier than the Red switch variants. Except for the 0.5N force for actuating it, the Kailh Red switch is quite similar to the Cherry MX Red switches 

The Kailh Black switches are equivalent to the Cherry MX Black switches. They are a little heavier than the Red switches 

Kailh Speed Silver is the Cherry MX Speed alternative. The actuation distance on this key switch is reduced from 1.3 mm to 1.2 mm. 

Kailh Tactile Switches 

Kailh Brown is equivalent to the Chery MX Brown switches. The tactile functionality offered without the click can be what would make it one of the excellent options. You will get access to the best tactile feedback. 

Kailh Blue switches are tactile in nature and it does provide you access to enhanced performance with the best clicky functionality. 

Kailh Speed Bronze is yet another great option for providing you access to the best clicky and tactile alternative. 

Features  Type  Feel Actuation Force Actuation Point  Total distance  Sound  Lifespan 
Kailh Red Linear  Light  50 G 2 mm 4 mm Quiet 50 million keystrokes 
Kailh Black  Linear  Light  60 G 2 mm 4 mm Quiet  50 million keypresses 
Kailh Blue  Clicky  Heavy  60 G 2 mm 4 mm Loud  50 million keypresses 
Kailh Brown  Tactile  Medium  50 G 2 mm 4 mm Quiet  50 million keypresses 


Kailh switches are invariably offered in three different categories – the default switches which share the same features as Chery MX profiles, Speed switches that have a shortened travel and actuation distance, and Box switches that have a stem surrounded by the box. If you are looking for the best switches that can offer you a higher degree of stability, the Kailh Box switches can be something you would really find a great and rewarding option ever. 

The Pros and Cons of the Cherry MX Switches vs Kailh Switches

Having checked out the two keyboard key switch manufacturers and how they compete with one another, we thought of checking out the Pros and cons offered by each of the competing switch types and manufacturers. This can perhaps give a broader insight into what to expect on the two different key switch options. 

Cherry MX Switches 

  • A better degree of consistency
  • A more durable functionality 
  • It offers you access to several options to choose from 
  • The advanced features offered by the key switches 
  • An expensive price tag
  • May go out of stock

Kailh Switches 

  • A cheaper alternative for the best functionality 
  • A wider range of availability
  • It May not be quite durable 
  • May be a little stiffer. 

Which Among Them should You Go With?

Well, if you are looking for the best experience in terms of an enhanced and a greater degree of performance enhancement with respect to the best quality in terms of an enhanced experience. Of course, Chery MX key switches are known to be one of the excellent options for most of your experiences and requirements. But, the Kailh switches do offer you a cheaper variant of opting for the best performance of your switches. 

That should be one of the prime factors that would set them apart, Kailh switches are quite affordable options for most of your requirements, but in terms of quality – they may not be up to the mark. In any case, unless you are looking for an enhanced and far more advanced functionality, there should not be any major difference between the Kailh and Cherry MX switches. You can pick your key switches based on your individual preferences.