Cherry MX

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Cherry MX is one of the most common mechanical switches on the market; certainly so for contemporary mechanical keyboards produced by the likes of Ducky, Filco, Leopold, PLU, HPE, KeyCool and others.

Cherry MX switches are operated by depressing a spring-loaded slider to or past the actuation point of the switch. The slider is either a linear or tactile 'ramp' that displaces a leaf spring. When the slider is depressed, the leaf spring is allowed to complete the circuit between the + and - terminals that are soldered to the PCB.

Nowadays most Cherry switches are referred to by their slider color but each switch also has it's own model number. Most parts suppliers will only accept the part number, so don't expect to find 'Cherry MX Browns' listed as such on Mouser!

Common Switches

There are four 'common' MX models in addition to a few other switches that are not often used by keyboard OEMs.

Switch Color Model Number Switch Feel
Black Example Linear, medium-heavy spring
Red Example Linear, light spring
Brown Example Tactile, light spring
Blue Example Tactile & Clicky, light spring

Less-Common Switches

These are switches that are not commonly used by OEMs anymore. Some people prefer these less common switches due to their specific feel or actuation force.

Switch Color Model Number Switch Feel
Clear Example Pronounced Tactile (moreso than MX Brown), heavy spring
Green Example Tactile & Clicky, medium-heavy spring. Commonly used in spacebars on MX Blue boards.
Grey Example Pronounced Tactile, heavy spring. Commonly used in spacebars on MX Clear boards.
White Example Tactile & Clicky, very heavy spring. These are similar to MX Blue, but require almost double the actuation force.