What are the Different Types of Mechanical Keyboards?

When comparing different Mechanical Keyboards, you might soon realize that in addition to the brand and model of the keyboard, there is another level of detail: the type of mechanical switch. Let’s try to simplify all the possible choices.

You might come across terms like Cherry MX Brown, Blue, or Black. These color designations are referring to the type of mechanical switch that is in the keyboard. In the case of the Cherry MX series, the switches have a distinct color on their plastic keystem.

Cherry MX Blue – (Click Tactile)
The Blue switch provides a tactile feel and an audible “click” when pressed. This will be the noisiest of the three, but it is certainly a satisfying feel. This is perfect for the enthusiastic typer.

Keyboards that use Cherry MX Blue: Das Keyboard Model S Professional, Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate, iOne Scorpius M10, iOne Xarmor U9BL, iOne Xarmor U9 Plus, Adesso MKB-125B, Adesso MKB-135B Pro, Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, Razer BlackWidow


Cherry MX Brown – (Soft Tactile)
The Brown switch provides a similar tactile feel as the Blue, but is softer and lacks the audible “click.” If you want the tactile feel but without the noise, this is perfect.

Keyboards that use Cherry MX Brown: Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent, Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Silent, iOne Xarmor U9BL-S

Cherry MX Black – (Non-tactile Linear Action)
The Black switch is a non-tactile linear action switch, which means that you won’t experience the feel or sound of a “click.” This switch serves well for gaming sessions as it is much more efficient at double tapping keys. So if you need the edge on your gaming sessions, this type of switch will serve you well.

Keyboards that use Cherry MX Black: SteelSeries 6GV2, SteelSeries 7G


Cherry MX Red – (Non-tactile Linear Action)
The Red key-switch shares a lot of similarity with the Cherry MX Black, the main difference is that it takes less down-force to depress the Reds. The goal is to make a key that takes very little effort to press down, and for it to not be hindered by any tactile bump or click sounds. The Cherry MX Reds are relatively hard to find, but there are still keyboards that use them.

Keyboards that use Cherry MX Red: Corsair Vengeance K60, Corsair Vengeance K90