Types of Switches in Mechanical Keyboard

February 2021

Keyboards have become a necessary use in today’s modern times. Starting from homes to offices, even in schools, they are widely used for various activities. Hence they are built with superior quality and have typical spring activation key switches. These key switches have an individual spring that is attached to each key.

Mechanical keyboards are much better in quality as compared to the standard membrane PC keyboards. Further, they provide good tactile feedback when typed and have great durability as they last longer as compared to any regular keyboard.

The first mechanical keyboard was patent in 1714, by Henry Mill. But it was introduced in the early 2000s.

Switch Types of Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboard switches are divided into three categories, based on the characteristics – Linear Switches, Clicky Switches, and Tactile Switches.

  • Linear Switches – These switches are simple to operate. They feel effortless from the time you start working on the key until reached the lowest point. There is no tactile feedback or noise when it gets hit at the actuation point, where the keypress gets registered, mainly in the middle. Hence, most of the time, you will likely reach the lowest point on each keypress.

  • Tactile Switches – The function of these switches is to provide tactile feedback when you work on the actuation point. As you press the key down, you will feel a small bump, which indicates you know that the keypress successfully got registered.

  • Clicky Switches – These are featured with an additional click sound when you hit the point of the device to operate. The main superiority of tactile and clicky switches is that there is no need to press the key down. You can immediately release the key after receiving the feedback.

Another popular mechanical keyboard switch is the Cherry MX Switch which is manufactured by the German company Cherry. These switches are named after the color of their stem. They have different characteristics depending on the different colors.

Cherry MX Black is a linear switch, which when hitting, does not provide any feedback and generates noise when touching the lowest. Its actuation is high and is mainly used by gamers, especially for shooter and RTS games.

Cherry MX Red is somehow similar to the Cherry MX Black, it also doesn’t provide any feedback. But the main difference is that this switch needs less actuation force. As it provides faster actuation, it is highly used for gaming keyboards.

Cherry MX Blue provides good tactile feedback and has a loud and clear click sound. It is designed to ensure that you recognize the hitting actuation point. This enables it for fast typing. Hence, these switches are a perfect one for typists and are not suitable for gamers.

Cherry MX Brown provides a great hybrid between typing and gaming, which makes it one of the most popular switches. A mild sound and tactile feedback allow these switches for fast key presses in games.


Mechanical keyboards are very much in demand because of their features like they provide accurate typing, work faster as compared to other keyboards. Besides, these keyboards are versatile and hold great durability.

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