Linear Switch Showdown: Comparing Popular Brands and Models


Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity in recent years, thanks in large part to the variety of switches available, each offering a unique typing experience. Among these switches, linear switches have become a favorite for many users due to their smooth and consistent keystrokes. In this article, we’ll delve into a comprehensive comparison of popular linear switches brands and models, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect switch for your mechanical keyboard.

  • Cherry MX Red

Cherry MX Red switches are often considered the gold standard of linear switches. They offer a light actuation force of 45g, making them ideal for both typing and gaming. The actuation is smooth and consistent, and there is no tactile bump or audible click. Cherry MX Red switches have a long-standing reputation for durability and are widely used in mechanical keyboards from various manufacturers.

  • Gateron Red

Gateron, a well-known switch manufacturer, offers its version of a linear switch with the Gateron Red. These switches are similar in feel to Cherry MX Reds but are often praised for their slightly smoother keystrokes. They also have a 45g actuation force and are a favorite among gamers and typists alike. Gateron switches are known for their affordability without compromising quality.

  • Kailh Red

Kailh, another prominent switch manufacturer, has its linear switch offering in the Kailh Red. These switches have a 50g actuation force, making them slightly heavier than Cherry MX Reds but still comfortable for both typing and gaming. Kailh switches are known for their affordability and compatibility with a wide range of mechanical keyboards.

  • Razer Yellow

Razer, a gaming-focused brand, developed the Razer Yellow switch specifically for gamers. These switches have a light 45g actuation force and are optimized for fast and precise key presses. Razer Yellow switches are praised for their responsiveness, making them a popular choice for competitive gamers.

  • Gateron Yellow

Gateron Yellow switches are similar to their Red counterparts but have a slightly heavier 50g actuation force. This slight increase in force provides a more deliberate and controlled typing experience, making them a good choice for those who prefer a slightly heavier switch for typing tasks.

  • Cherry MX Black

Cherry MX Black switches are often seen as the heavier and more robust version of Cherry MX Reds. They have a 60g actuation force, making them better suited for typists who prefer a bit more resistance when pressing the keys. Gamers who prefer a linear switch with a bit more feedback also appreciate Cherry MX Black switches.

  • NovelKeys Cream

NovelKeys Cream switches offer a unique experience due to their self-lubricating POM (polyoxymethylene) material, resulting in an incredibly smooth keystroke. These switches have a 55g actuation force, providing a balance between typing and gaming. They are often lauded for their quiet operation and satisfying feel.


When it comes to linear switches, there’s no shortage of options to choose from, each offering a distinct typing and gaming experience. The best switch for you ultimately depends on your personal preferences, whether you prioritize a light and smooth keystroke like the Cherry MX Red or Gateron Red, a slightly heavier actuation like the Cherry MX Black or Gateron Yellow, or unique features like the self-lubrication of NovelKeys Cream switches.

It’s essential to try out different switches if possible to find the one that suits your needs best. Keep in mind that the switches listed here are just a few of the many available, and new options are continually emerging in the mechanical keyboard market. Whether you’re a gamer or a typist, the perfect linear switch is out there waiting for you to discover.


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