Hello, guys. This article is written mainly to guide you on buying the mechanical keyboard. All mechanical keyboards are not every purpose like Programming, Gaming, Copy Writing, or others. Gaming needs a keyboard which is accurate and faster where the noise is not a problem. On the other hand, Programming and Copywriting need a keyboard that's not only accurate and faster but also silent as much as possible.

So, like these, there are many things to know before purchasing the mechanical keyboard. Many keys are newly introduced in the world computer keyboard that you should be familiar with. So, let's get started. I will first describe you a mechanical keyboard then, how it differs from the other popular keyboards. I will explain each component in detail, including the typing sound, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Table of Contents

What's a Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical Keyboard withe Mechanical keys.

A mechanical keyboard is nothing but a traditional computer keyboard which consists of metal keys instead of rubber-domed keys. It consists of a spring which is responsible for Key-press and the successful registration of keystroke. For better understanding, see the below GIF, which explains the mechanical keyboards visually better.

Cherry MX Mechanical Keys Animation
Working of Mechanical Switch. (Image Credit: Cherry)

Why Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical keyboard ensures complete tactile feedback, which in turns increases the typing speed, accuracy. In other words, you don't have to check again whether the keystroke is registered or not which you've to sometimes in the membrane keyboard.

What's a Membrane Keyboard?

The membrane keyboard is made of plastic, and it contains the rubber membrane which makes contact with a circuit when fully pressed. It has no moving part like spring. See the membrane in the below image.

White membrane of the Membrane Keyboard.

Now, come back to the mechanical keyboard. In that type of device, the keys are the most important. This device is popular because of its aluminum+plastic build keys which consist of one spring that ensures the key is pressed.

Each mechanical keyboard is different from each other when it comes to noise, speed, and the most important one - tactile feedback. Earlier we have only CherryMX keys for it made by CherryMX. But, nowadays, many manufacturers like HyperX and Razer designed their own mechanical switches to give you a better experience and stay ahead of the competition.

But, as said by many, The Old always Gold. CherryMX keys are still unbeatable today. I will cover each switch of the most popular manufacturers in detail. But, before that, there are certain terms to which you should go around. They are in the next section.

What to consider in Mechanical Keys?

The following terms makes the typing device different in terms of its uses.

  • Operating Force
  • Noise
  • Travel
  • Actuation
  • Clickiness
  • Tactile

Operating Force is the amount of force you need to apply on the key to get the keystroke registered. It's in cN (CentiNewton) or G in the case of keyboard. The higher the value, the more it will reduce the typing speed.

Noise, in the case of mechanical switches, make sense of something like feedback that ensures the successful registration of keystroke. For many, it's feedback while for others, it may be noise. Different people interpret and experience it differently. For example, a gamer won't mind it but, a blogger or programmer may mind it since he/she mostly works in the calm area.

Travel, in the case of mechanical switches, tells you the total distance the key-travel to reach the final point. The travel distance of switches includes the actuation distance also.

Actuation is something like to put an object into motion. Here, we have to consider it in terms of distance. As I said earlier, it's the part of the travel of key. The actuation is a distance that the switch must need to travel to get the key recognized. And, the amount is always going to be lesser than total travel.

Clickiness is what I call the property of mechanical switches. It's related to those switches which produce the "click" sound due to the bump in the middle of its travel.

Tactile feedback of the keyboard is nothing but a bump you feel during the key travel when pressed (the key).

Furthermore, there's also another type of keys called Linear keys available. Linear keys are smooth and feel no bump from top to bottom when pressed. So, they are silent compared to other keys.

So, the above written are the terms you should always consider before making the final decision for the particular type of key. Now, all mechanical switches are not going to be silent or tactile. So, based on the field you're in, you've to make the selection.

Hence, which key you've to select? Below is an answer.

Different Mechanical Switches

Cherry MX Switches

Cherry MX Red

Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Smooth, Linear, and not Clicky

Cherry MX Blue

Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 60cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 1.8mm
  • Tactile, Clicky, and Noisy

Cherry MX Brown

Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 55cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Tactile, Medium-noisy, and not Clicky

Cherry MX Green

Cherry MX Green Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Green Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 80cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Tactile, medium-noisy, and Clicky

Cherry MX Black

Cherry MX Black Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Black Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 60cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Smooth, Linear and not Clicky

Cherry MX White

Cherry MX White Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX White Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 65cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Tactile and not Clicky

Cherry MX Grey

Cherry MX Grey Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Grey Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 80cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Noticeable tactile and not Clicky

Cherry MX Speed Silver

Cherry MX Speed Silver Mechanical Switch.
Cherry MX Speed Silver Mechanical Switch.
  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 3.4mm
  • Actuation: 2.2mm
  • Linear and not Clicky

Cherry MX Silent Red

Cherry MX Silent Red Mechanical Switch
Cherry MX Silent Red Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 3.7mm
  • Actuation: 1.8mm
  • Linear and Silent

Cherry MX Silent Black

Cherry MX Silent Black Mechanical Switch.
Cherry MX Silent Black Mechanical Switch.
  • Force: 60cN
  • Travel: 3.7mm
  • Actuation: 1.8mm
  • Linear and Silent

Razer Switches

Razer Green

Razer Green Mechanical switch
Razer Green Mechanical switch
  • Force: 50cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2.1mm
  • Tactile and Clicky

Razer Orange

Razer Orange Mechanical Switch
Razer Orange Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 4mm
  • Actuation: 2.1mm
  • Tactile and Silent

Razer Yellow

Razer Yellow mechanical switch.
Razer Yellow Mechanical Switch

  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 3.5mm
  • Actuation: 2.3mm
  • Linear and Silent

HyperX Switches

HyperX Red

HyperX Red Mechanical Switch
HyperX Red Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 3.8mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Linear and Quiet

HyperX Aqua

HyperX Aqua Mechanical Switch
HyperX Aqua Mechanical Switch
  • Force: 45cN
  • Travel: 3.8mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Tactile, Medium-clicky and Noisy

HyperX Blue

HyperX Blue Mechanical Switch
HyperX Blue Mechanical Switch

  • Force: 50cN
  • Travel: 3.8mm
  • Actuation: 2mm
  • Tactile, Clicky and Noisy

Which mechanical switch is right for you?

If you're a beginner or professional Gamer, then your first choice should be Cherry MX Red switch. These switches are fast compared to Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Green, Black, White, and Grey. If due to over-budget you've to look for another key, then the second choice must be Cherry MX Silent Red. That's for Cherry MX keys only. The market to make choices is too big. Your third choice should be either Razer Yellow or HyperX Red Switch Mechanical Keyboard.

If you're a programmer, then your first choice for mechanical switches should be Cherry MX Brown as it's pretty tactile and medium-noisy compared to Cherry MX Blue. The second choice must be Razer Orange or HyperX Aqua. I wouldn't recommend any other switches for programmers.

If you're a copywriter (bloggers or others who need in general use), then your first choice should be Cherry MX Brown. The second choice must be Razer Orange or HyperX Aqua.

Typing Sound of Mechanical Switches

Cherry MX Blue

Listen the typing sound of Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. You will find it noisy.

Typing Sound of Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Switches

Cherry MX Red

Listen the typing sound of Cherry MX Red mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. You'll find it quiet compared to Cherry MX Blue and Brown.

Typing Sound of Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switches

Cherry MX Brown

Listen the typing sound of Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. You'll find it almost 50% less noisy than Cherry MX Blue but louder than the MX Red.

Typing Sound of Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Switches

HyperX Aqua

Listen the typing sound of HyperX Aqua mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. You'll find it almost 50% less noisy than HyperX blue but louder than the HyperX Red. HyperX Aqua switches feel pretty tactile like Cherry MX Brown. But, again, Cherry MX brown wins the battle against this one.

Typing Sound of HyperX Aqua Mechanical Switches

HyperX Red

Listen the typing sound of HyperX Red mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. It feels more quiet and linear compared to the Aqua type.

Typing Sound of HyperX Red Mechanical Switches

Razer Green

Listen the typing sound of Razer Green mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. Did you found it noisy?

Typing Sound of Razer Green Mechanical Switches

Razer Orange

Listen the typing sound of Razer Orange mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. You'll find it silent compared to the Razer Green.

Typing Sound of Razer Orange Mechanical Switches

Razer Yellow

Listen the typing sound of Razer Yellow mechanical switches in the below YouTube video to get an idea of what to expect from it. You'll find it silent like Razer Orange compared to the Razer Green.

Typing Sound of Razer Yellow Mechanical Switches

So, that's all for the mechanical keyboards. Feel free to write to us on Twitter.

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