Cherry MX Switches

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Cherry Corporation of Germany makes a series of mechanical key switches called Cherry MX.

Cherry MX series of switches came out in 1983. They are the most well known switches.

cherry mx switch tester 08767 s
Key Switch Tester
Cherry MX keyswitch
Cherry MX key switch, disassembled. Notice the spring. It is the spring that determines resistance of the key.
cherry mx switch contact 45337
animation showing Cherry MX switch's electric contact mechanism

Color Coded Switch Models

There are several different models, with different feel to them. These models are color coded.

Cherry MX Switchfeelforcepre-traveltotal travel
Speed Silverlinear45 cN1.2 mm3.4 mm
Redlinear45 cN2 mm4 mm
Silent Redlinear45 cN1.9 mm3.7 mm
Blacklinear60 cN2 mm4 mm
Silent Blacklinear60 cN1.9 mm3.7 mm
Browntactile55 cN2 mm4 mm
Blueclicky60 cN2.2 mm4 mm

Linear Action Models (Red, Silent Red, Black)

Linear Action means when pressing the key feels smooth. There is no bump feel or click noise.

Linear Action Models include: Red, Silent Red, Black. They differ by the force of the spring.

Cherry MX red MXStd Red v004 4v8ss
Cherry MX Red. Smooth linear action. Popular in gaming keyboards.
cherry mx red force diagram 2023-04-01
cherry mx red, force diagram. 2023-04-01
cherry mx black force diagram 2023-04-01
cherry mx black, force diagram. 2023-04-01

CHERRY MX Red switches

Tactile Action Models: Brown

The MX Brown switch have a tactile bump. When you press down, after certain point, there's a bump feel.

Cherry MX Brown v004 j3qr3
Cherry MX Brown Switch mechanism. Light bump.
cherry mx brown force diagram 2023-04-01
cherry mx brown, force diagram. 2023-04-01

Cherry MX Brown switches

Click Action Models: Blue

The MX Blue switch has a strong clicky bump. When you press down, the is a very sharp click point. Blue is very noisy. It makes a โ€œclickโ€ sound by design.

Cherry MX Blue v004 62b6w
Cherry MX Blue Switch mechanism. Sharp bump, with audible click.
cherry mx blue force diagram 2023-04-01
cherry mx blue, force diagram. 2023-04-01

Cherry MX Blue switches

There are many other color-coded Cherry MX switches, but less common.

Activation Force vs How Heavy the Key Feels

Key Switch Topic