So you’re interested in a mechanical keyboard. There’s many options for mechanical keyboard key switches and it can certainly get quite confusing and have you feel lost in the dust (it’s happened to me). We’ve talked about a couple of mechanical keyboards here before, each with a different mechanical switch type— red, blue, and brown. These three key switches are the most common in the market and can be found relatively easily for mechanical keyboards. We’ll be diving into the main differences and similarities of the three mechanical switches. Of course, there are many brands and manufacturers of mechanical switches, but we’ll compare in generalities here.
So, red switches. Red switches are known to be very linear and very minimal sound when typing. They are generally very quiet and responsive without the feeling of a bump when pressing down on the key. My experience with the red switches were through Gateron low-profile red switches. With the red switches, there is a very quiet typing experience with very quick, responsive feedback from each key stroke. However, it lacks the typical satisfaction of the feel and sound of a mechanical keyboard. It’s very smooth and quick to use but it also means that there will be frequent typing errors if you aren’t a comfortable and experienced typist.
Blue switches. Almost on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Blue switches have nearly the complete opposite characteristics as red switches. My experience with the blue switches were through Cherry MX Blue switches, which are quite common and popular, especially the Cherry MX brand/line. Blue switches are typically very clicky and can be loud with quite a satisfying user experience despite the noise. They are also tactile so you can feel and know when each key registers. Blue switches, in my opinion, are very enjoyable to type on if you aren’t concerned about loud clicks. User experience is very smooth and crisp with a very satisfying feeling with each key stroke. Generally, I think it makes typing more accurate and satisfying than the red switches.
Last but not least, are the brown switches. Brown switches can be regarded as the happy medium between the red and blue switches. Brown switches have a tactile feel like the blue switches and have a more quiet user experience like the red switches. Brown switches add confidence to typing, like the blue switches, due to its tactile bump for each keystroke. My experience with the brown switches are through Gateron low-profile brown switches. In my experience, the brown switches are a nice option for everyday use due to its tactile feel like the blue switches and quieter keystroke. It doesn’t have much of a click as the blue switches but the tactile feel of the brown switch makes it a good option for typing and productivity as it isn’t loud.
Overall, mechanical key switch preference boils down to personal preferences whether you game a lot or mostly type or do productivity work. It also depends on your liking of how loud the keys are and the typing experience and feel. Generally, I think the brown switches are the closest to a membrane keyboard in terms of sound with the added benefit and feel of a mechanical keyboard, which makes the transition toward mechanical keyboards easier. Furthermore, I also find the blue switches very enjoyable and a deeper dive into the mechanical keyboard experience.
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Peace out, D.
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