The MX Red is one of the most iconic switches thanks to Cherry, the German mechanical keyboards and switches manufacturer famous (or infamous depending on how you look at it) for their MX Red, MX Brown, and MX Blue switches, which are linear, tactile, and clicky switches respectively.
Today we'll be taking a look at the MX Red, this particular model specifically from Gateron, a manufacturer of switches whom have cloned Cherry's MX Red design and made their own edition, coined the Gateron Red.
The MX Red is a linear switch as mentioned before which means there is no interruption in the actuation, meaning the keyswitch goes straight down when you press on it. Thanks to WASDkeyboards for providing the force curve chart below, we can see the actuation force of the Red is around 45g, and bottoms out at around 65g. This is a particularly light switch that is catered towards gamers who require quick actuation, so a 45g actuation force 2mm down on the switch is preferable for competitive gaming scenarios.
Opening up my specific Gateron Red switch, the material is extremely smooth and the feel of the switch can attest to that. The stem legs are smooth which allow the leaf to cleanly slide along the stem legs. However for my tastes, I find using the Reds as stock to be scratchy, this is hard to explain for those who have not used lubed switches. My favorite analogy is rubbing your arm dry versus rubbing your arm with lotion applied.
While the Reds are subjectively smooth when stock, the smoothness is accentuated greatly when they are lubed. I lubed my Reds with Tribosys 3204 and they both sound and feel extremely smooth, greatly improving upon the stock scratchiness. I would personally even rate the smoothness when lubed above something like a NovelKeys Cream.
Personally, I am only comfortable using Reds lubed, as I find using them stock to be a bit too scratchy for my tastes, but at stock, they are bearable. They are not the smoothest linear I have ever used but they are also not the worst, although making a non-smooth is a difficult bar to clear.
As a mainstream switch and probably the most well-known linear on the market, the Red is a fantastic choice for those who are after a smooth and swift typing experience. While they are a touch too light for me to use, I do enjoy the smoothness and the lightness is rather inviting when playing games that require that quick actuation.
For people that want something heavier, I recommend the Yellow or Black switches, as those are a bit heavier than the Red whilst still retaining the smoothness of the Red. Otherwise, the Red is a great switch choice.