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STRMfrmXMN

"What key switch should I get?" - Look here!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So you're looking for keyboards. You find one you really like and it's at a great price and has everything you want - BUT, you see that it has "Cherry MX Brown" switches. What does that mean? What's the difference between these Cherry MX switches? How do I even know that I want Cherry switches? This thread will hopefully help you out.
 
If you want to know which sort of the several Cherry MX switches would suit you best, this quiz can help you out. It's a bit rough around the edges but I hope it works for you. If the last screen for you goes black then that means two choices for you got tied results. If this is your case, comment below and I'll try to get back to you to help you out.
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/48138688/
 
Any feedback for the quiz is welcome. It's a bit short too so if you can think of any questions to add, these are welcome as well.
 
If you want extra help besides the quiz, this Tek Syndicate video should help you out some, although note that Cherry MX Blacks and Clears are not shown. 
 


 
If you want to know a bit more about the result you got, here's a quick guide below.
 
Cherry MX Browns

e2cdd50a78.gif
These are a quiet, tactile, very light switch.  They are similar to the loud Cherry MX Blue switch but are a tad lighter and much quieter. This switch is tactile, meaning that midway down the key press there is a little bump that you can feel. This bump activates the press of the switch underneath the key. Browns are great for typing if you have lighter hands and don't like lots of noise from your keyboard. These are quite decent for gaming as they don't require a lot of force to press down. The downside for gaming, however, is that you have to release the key to double-tap it - you can't just keep the key at half mash to actuate it like you can with linear (no bump midway) switches such as Cherry MX Reds.
 
Cherry MX Browns require 45 grams of force to actuate making them very, very light to type on. To hit the base of the stem, 55 grams of force is required.
Here is a sound sample.

 
Cherry MX Clears

78ae5d54e5.gif
These are a quiet and tactile switch with a bit more weight than the similar Cherry MX Browns. This switch is tactile, meaning that midway down the key press there is a little bump that you can feel. This bump activates the press of the switch underneath the key. Clears are great for typing if you like having a quieter switch but like a bit of extra force in hitting the keys. These are decent for gaming for the right person. They aren't linear (linear switches have no tactile bump) so you do have to deliberately double-tap each key to reset it and press it again which may not be for some. If you like Cherry MX Browns but want more stiffness, Clears are for you. If you like the typing feel of Cherry MX Blues but don't want all of the noise, Clears are also for you. Note that Clears are fairly rare, and therefore quite expensive.
 
Cherry MX Clears require 65 grams of force to actuate. They are of medium stiffness. They bottom out at 95 grams.
Here's a sound sample.

 
Cherry MX Blues

dbe6e9caad.gif
These are a clicky and tactile switch that require a medium amount of force to actuate. This switch is tactile, meaning that midway down the key press there is a little bump that you can feel. This bump activates the press of the switch underneath the key. Blues are often considered to be the typist king of key switches. They require a very medium amount of force and give a tactile bump of feedback to let you know you've hit the key. They are quite loud so if you need to type essays late at night, Browns or Clears are more up your alley (or possibly Reds or Blacks). For gaming, these are generally considered to not be the best switch for gaming, although that can be totally up to the user to formulate his/her opinions on. Most find the tactile bump to be a tad annoying in gaming as double-tapping keys is not as smooth and easy as it is on a linear-style switch (linear switches have no tactile bump).
 
Blues require 50 grams of force to actuate. To hit the base of the stem you need to use 60 grams of force.
Here is a sound sample.
 

 
Cherry MX Greens

cherry_mx_green.gif
These are a clicky, tactile, very heavy switch. This switch is tactile, meaning that midway down the key press there is a little bump that you can feel. This bump activates the press of the switch underneath the key. Greens are for somebody who just goes to town smashing their keys (I prefer these :D). They require a lot of force and are quite loud - louder than Blues in fact as the force required to hit them usually ends up in hammers for fingers. Seriously, these are loud and heavy. They also are probably the worst switch for gaming as they require a lot of force and require a bit of a wait time to let the key reset so that you can double tap it again. Of course, what's good for gaming is completely up to the user, although the general consensus is that these are really not for the hardcore gamer. If you need lots of force and game a lot, Cherry MX Blacks are for you, although they're a bit lighter and don't have a tactile bump.
 
Greens require 80 grams of force to actuate. Bottoming out the key requires 100 grams of force.
Here is a sound sample.

 
Cherry MX Reds

1dc06464b9.gif
These are a quiet, linear, very light switch. This switch is linear, meaning that they actuate at 2 MM like other Cherry switches but have no bump.. These are pillowy light from my experience using a Corsair K65. It feels to me like lightly smashing a very airy, plush pillow with your finger. Reds are considered the kings for gaming. They don't require a lot of force, they have no bump to get in the way of your pressing during games, and they can be very lightly released to double tap the key. Reds are also very common and good, cheap Cherry MX Red keyboards are not hard to come by. If you game a lot and don't press keys super hard, Reds are for you.
 
Reds require 45 grams of force to actuate. Because of Reds being a linear switch, they have no bump to feel/hear at 2 MM when the switch is actuated.
Here is a sound sample.

 
Cherry MX Blacks

cherry_mx_black_switch_mechanical_keyboa
These are quiet-ish, linear, and somewhat heavy.  This switch is linear and has a heavier actuation point. From my point of view, the feel somewhat like a rubber dome switch. In fact, some may find it hard to tell the difference between this and a rubber dome keyboard. Most rubber domes require between 50-80 grams to actuate (that's a broad spectrum, I know) and these feel somewhat similar. Blacks are like Reds but heavier. They are great for gaming and especially great for the gamer who hits their keys a bit hard. They are great for gaming as they can be double tapped very quickly without having to let the key partially up like Blues or other tactile switches do. Cherry MX Blacks are a tad louder than Reds but make a very satisfying "thump."
 
Black require 60 grams of force to actuate the key switch. Because black switches are linear, the actuation point at 2 MM is not felt.
Here is a sound sample.

 
Note that there are many more switches than just Cherry MX. You may want to look into the following:

 


Corsair (be careful with the RGB lighting - many problems surrounding those RGB lights)
Das Keyboard
Cherry
Rosewill
Logitech
Filco
Ducky
Steelseries
Topre
Roccat
Poker
Keycool

 
If you've been looking at keyboards I would hope this thread helped you out. If you want to ask me about a keyboard you've been looking at or something keyboard related (or mouse related, I do those too) you can do that. 

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It said I should go for blues.

 

How quiet are blues compared to something such as a membrane keyboard?


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It said I should go for blues.

 

How quiet are blues compared to something such as a membrane keyboard?

Membrane keyboards are pretty quiet, compared to blues, which tend to be a bit too clacky, which I like.


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Pretty good. Got it spot on for me (or what i was expecting to get at least). The only problem I see is that it asks a lot of the questions again. In one of the answers you give that you don't want any noise, so there's not really any need for the noisy options later ;)


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Posted · Original PosterOP

It said I should go for blues.

 

How quiet are blues compared to something such as a membrane keyboard?

Blues are tiny explosions compared to most rubber domes. if you like quiet, Blues are NOT for you.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Pretty good. Got it spot on for me (or what i was expecting to get at least). The only problem I see is that it asks a lot of the questions again. In one of the answers you give that you don't want any noise, so there's not really any need for the noisy options later ;)

that's cuz a lot of them aren't very loud ;)


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Posted · Original PosterOP

the razer keyboard at the start...

One of the prettier mechanical keyboards IMO.


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Blues are tiny explosions compared to most rubber domes. if you like quiet, Blues are NOT for you.

Membrane keyboards are pretty quiet, compared to blues, which tend to be a bit too clacky, which I like.

 
Lol, then I guess that quiz wasn't very accurate as for 80% or so of my answers I said that I want it to be quiet.
 
What type would you suggest that takes a moderate amount of force to press down while still remaining quiet? (I could use dampening rings if needed to further reduce noise)

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It told me I should get MX Blacks. I do agree with that. I use reds and I find them okay to type on but a little too light. I dont mind the stiffer blacks because I mostly bottom out regardless of what games I play. They are a bit hard to find though.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

 

 
Lol, then I guess that quiz wasn't very accurate as for 80% or so of my answers I said that I want it to be quiet.
 
What type would you suggest that takes a moderate amount of force to press down while still remaining quiet? (I could use dampening rings if needed to further reduce noise)

 

For more pressing power, the Whites/Clears (they're the same but the names get convoluted in places) are great. Browns are very light to type on and very quiet. White/Clears are not very common so they're a bit pricier. If you want the stiffer of the switches, Clears/Whites. If you game a bit more, Reds or Blacks might be more for you. Note, these are all quiet, with the reds/blacks being less typing-oriented.


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i got blue yet i tried to get browns, i think that browns are best for me, but people can hear them when i type at night


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Posted · Original PosterOP

i got blue yet i tried to get browns, i think that browns are best for me, but people can hear them when i type at night

If I type lightly, I can barely even hear browns. Although I kinda faked it a bit as I prefer greens and type rough on them so my fingers didn't like adapting to the softer-lighter key press.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I use browns on my K70 RGB but I'd love me some clears. Also the quiz said clears... Good. 

I type with much force so browns are like typing on a thin piece of styrofoam stuff.... not comfortable for me. Greens are perfect with blues coming very close. I actually do like reds for gaming though.


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I got browns. Very detailed quiz. Gave me a better idea of what cherry keys are for me. Thanks!


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I made a quiz for anybody who's confused by all the different kinds of Cherry mechanical switches. Plenty of people don't really know what to look for as they don't know the difference between them! This short quiz takes the hassle out of researching about what key-switch to buy and you don't have to worry about sending a keyboard back to the company because you just don't like the way the keyboard feels to use.

 

You can take the quiz here. https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/STRMfrmXMN/1

 

Any feedback for the quiz is welcome. It's a bit short too so if you can think of any questions to add, these are welcome as well.

Nice quiz but it made me laugh big time to have a quiz about cherry mx switches portray a picture of a Razer keyboard which don't use cherry switches anymore :D


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I got browns. Very detailed quiz. Gave me a better idea of what cherry keys are for me. Thanks!

No problem!


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Nice quiz but it made me laugh big time to have a quiz about cherry mx switches portray a picture of a Razer keyboard which don't use cherry switches anymore :D

Well, true, but everybody knows Razer and that's a pretty keyboard so I used a pic of it :)


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My system: PCPartPicker || For Corsair support tag @Corsair Josephor @Corsair Nick || My 5MT Legacy GT Wagon ||

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It showed me reds and I am currently using reds so that's perfect for me. :D

 

I hate hard to press keys and low keys too which is why I went for reds in the first place. I do need to pick up some O rings though to make things even more quieter.

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