Cherry MX and Gateron are two of the most popular switches brands of mechanical keyboards.
While both offer high-quality switches, there are some key differences between the two that make one better suited for certain users than the other.
We will take a closer look at both, where I will compare their features, benefits, and drawbacks.
Cherry MX switches are widely regarded as the gold standard of mechanical keyboard switches. They are known for their durability, consistency, and smooth typing experience. Gateron switches, on the other hand, are a newer player in the switch market but they shortly gained a reputation for being high-quality and affordable alternatives to Cherry MX switches.
Cherry MX switches were first introduced in the 1980s and have since become the most popular switch type in the world. Gateron switches were introduced in the early 2000s and have since gained a reputation for being high-quality and affordable.
Both switches are available in a variety of different color-coded variants, each with its own unique feel and actuation force.
Cherry MX vs Gateron switches: Comparison
As they both are well-known and respected brands, they offer high-quality switches that are favored by gamers, typists, and computer enthusiasts.
However, there are some key differences between the two brands that set them apart and make one better than the other.
In this comparison, you'll look at all the aspects of Cherry MX vs Gateron switches, including their features, benefits, drawbacks, and more.
Understanding Cherry MX switches
Cherry MX switches have been around since my grandmother used to game and have a well-established reputation for quality and consistency.
They are available in a variety of different color-coded variants, each with its own unique feel and actuation force. The most popular Cherry MX switch types include Red, Brown, and Black.
Cherry MX switches have different actuation forces ranging from 45g to 110g with an actuation point of 2mm and a total travel distance of 4mm, which is consistent across all switch types. Cherry MX switches have a lifespan of up to 50 million keystrokes, making them one of the most durable switches on the market.
Cherry MX switches are known for having loud and satisfying tactile feedback when typing. Some users may find the noise level to be too high, while others may enjoy the audible feedback.
These switches are well known for their durability, consistency, and versatility. They are also consistent in their feel and performance, making them ideal for users who value a smooth and predictable typing experience.
Understanding Gateron switches
Gateron switches are newer to the market and offer a more affordable alternative to Cherry MX switches. Like Cherry MX, Gateron switches are also available in a variety of different variants, each with its own unique feel and actuation force.
The most popular Gateron switch types include Red, Yellow, and Black. Gateron switches offer a smoother keystroke and lighter actuation force compared to Cherry MX switches, making them a great option for users who prefer a lighter typing experience.
Additionally, Gateron switches are more affordable than Cherry MX switches, making them a good choice for budget-conscious users.
Gateron switches offer a lighter and smoother keystroke compared to Cherry MX switches, and as a result, they tend to be less noisy.
"This can be an advantage for users who prefer a quieter typing experience."
Which is the better switch for you?
Cherry MX switches can be more expensive than Gateron switches, making them a less attractive option for budget-conscious users. Additionally, some users may find Cherry MX switches to have a stiffer and heavier actuation force compared to Gateron switches.
Gateron switches are not as durable as Cherry MX switches, and some users have reported that they have a tendency to wear out more quickly. Additionally, Gateron switches can be more prone to key chatter compared to Cherry MX switches, which can be an issue for some users.
While Cherry MX switches are generally more expensive than Gateron switches, the extra cost may be worth it for users who value the durability, consistency, and high-quality feel of the Cherry MX switches.
However, for budget-conscious users, Gateron switches offer a more affordable alternative that still provides a high-quality typing experience.
Cherry MX Blue vs Gateron Blue
As mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their tactile feedback, durability, and customization options, Cherry MX Blue and Gateron Blue switches stand out among every other switch.
They are two of the most popular among users who value tactile and audible typing experiences.
Cherry MX Blue switches are known for their tactile nature and audible feedback. They are favored by typists and writers who appreciate the switch's ability to provide clear and audible feedback while maintaining speed and typing accuracy.
Gateron Blue switches require a slightly lighter actuation force and are favored by users who prefer a lighter typing experience. They also provide tactile feedback and audible feedback, making them ideal for gamers or typists alike who enjoy a tactile typing experience.
Cherry MX Blue switches are durable and known for their longevity and great for users who value a long-lasting typing experience. Its quality, perfect actuation force with great tactile feedback makes it an enjoyable experience for both gamers and typists.
On the other hand, the primary advantage of Gateron Blue switches is their low price with the same typing experience as Cherry MX Blue. The switch's lighter actuation force makes typing enjoyable and easy, and they are known for their smooth typing experience.
Cherry MX Blue switches are extremely loud and can be highly distracting for some users. They are not a great choice, especially in a shared workspace or open-office environment. Additionally, its tactile and audible feedback is sometimes too much for some users.
Gateron Blue switches are not as durable as Cherry MX Blue and can wear out more quickly. Additionally, the switch's lighter actuation force can be an issue for some users who prefer a heavier and more tactile typing experience.
Cherry MX Blues are loud, and their noise level can be too high for some users. However, Gateron Blues offer the same audible typing experience, but they are less noisy.
Cherry MX Blue switches offer limited customization, with keycaps typically available in a limited variety of colors and materials.
On the other hand, Gateron Blue switches offer more customization options, with keycaps available in a wider variety of colors and materials.
Gateron Blue switches are also easier to lubricate and modify, making them more appealing for users who enjoy customizing their mechanical keyboards.
In conclusion, Cherry MX Blue switches are known for their durability and longevity, while Gateron Blue switches offer a lighter actuation force and a more affordable price point.
Ultimately, whether you are a gamer, typist, or computer enthusiast, either of these switches can provide you with a unique immersive typing experience that will be worth your money and time.
Cherry MX Brown vs Gateron Brown
I belong to the brotherhood that prefers balance in things, and if you are one of us, Cherry MX Brown and Gateron Brown are two of the most popular switches for people like us who value a balance between tactile feedback and noise.
Both switches are comfortable to type on and quiet enough to use in a shared workspace.
Cherry MX Brown switches are known for their immersive tactile feedback, which provides a decent bump with a sweet sound when it actuates. This makes typing more enjoyable and is the primary feature of this brown switch.
Gateron Brown is similar to Cherry MX Brown in terms of the tactile feedback they provide. They are known for their smooth keystroke and low tactile sound.
Cherry MX Brown switches are a popular choice among typists due to their soft tactile bump and a low actuation force of 45g, making them easy to type on for extended periods of time without causing fatigue.
However, Gateron Brown switches have similar characteristics, but I found them to be slightly lighter and smoother than Cherry MX Browns.
Being budget-friendly is a great benefit of Gateron Brown switches, and in terms of durability and longevity, both switches have an estimated lifespan of 50 million keystrokes.
They also have a standard cross-shaped stem, making it easy to find compatible keycaps.
Both switches are expensive, and this can be a major consideration for some users. Although Cherry MX Browns and Gateron Browns are considered to be relatively quiet compared to other switch types, they can still produce a noticeable sound when typing, which can be disturbing for some.
Switches may need to be cleaned or lubricated over time to maintain optimal performance, and you must be committed to regular maintenance before buying any.
However, these drawbacks are subjective and may not apply to everyone, and if you are someone who is willing to put up with these drawbacks in exchange for an improved typing experience and performance, then go for it.
Cherry MX and Gateron Brown switches are relatively quiet compared to other switch types, such as Cherry MX Blue or Gateron Red switches.
However, it's worth noting that the level of noise produced by a mechanical switch can depend on several factors, including the type of switch, the type of keycap, and the force used when typing.
Cherry MX Browns produce a soft tactile bump when activated, and the sound generated is typically a low-pitched thud.
Gateron Browns are similar in this regard, and in my experience, they are even quieter than Cherry MX Browns.
Both switches can be customized in several ways to suit individual preferences, including keycaps, stabilizers, LED lighting, firmware, and O-rings.
Both switches offer a high degree of customization, and users can easily modify the look and the feel of their keyboard by choosing different options.
In today's market, you can completely customize any of these switches and can create a truly personalized keyboard that is optimized for your typing preference and style.
For users who are looking for the highest level of build quality, reliability, and a decent amount of customization options, Cherry MX Browns may be a better choice.
However, Gateron Brown switches are budget-friendly and deliver similar performance, and it offers you a cost-effective way to get into the world of mechanical keyboards.
Are Gateron yellows better than Cherry MX reds?
When it comes to the switch actuation, the lighter the force, the faster the switch will activate. So, in theory, Gateron Yellows should be faster than Cherry MX Reds.
But, as with all things in life, there's a catch. The actuation force of a switch is just one aspect to consider and other factors like total travel distance, switch type, and durability are also important factors.
The Real-World Test:
I put both switches to the test, and the results are in. In a side-by-side comparison, the Gateron Yellow had a slightly faster actuation time than the Cherry MX Red. But, the Cherry MX Red had a smoother and more consistent feel during use.
So, are Gateron Yellows better than Cherry MX Reds? The answer is, it depends on what you're looking for. If you're a gamer looking for lightning-fast response times, then Gateron Yellows might be the way to go.
But if you're after a more consistent and smooth typing experience, then Cherry MX Reds are the way to go.
There's no doubt that Gateron offers an excellent and relatively cheap alternative to Cherry.
The real question is if you can tell the difference between the two with their respective MX counterparts.
If you want to try the Gateron switches without dropping a whole lot of cash and want a lighter tactile switch, your best bet may be buying a 60% keyboard with Gateron Browns.
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