Cherry MX Switches: Blue vs Red

Cherry is a name famous in the PC hardware industry and is one of the leading manufacturers of mechanical switches that we see in mechanical keyboards. Their switches have long adorned some of the finest mechanical keyboards; gaming or otherwise, and continue to do so.

A German company, Cherry is known for its strict standards, and quality. Hence, the reason for their success. Albeit a bit expensive than some counterparts, and especially a lot as compared to Chinese clones, Cherry MX switches remain fan favourite even after over a decade.

Whether you are buying a gaming keyboard, or a standard keyboard, if either of them comes with Cherry MX switches, you are likely to get amazing durability, consistency, and performance. Since we are on the topic of Cherry MX switches, two of the most popular type of switches in the market are Cherry MX Red switches, and MX Blue switches.

Before we jump into the comparison of the Cherry MX switches, if you’re in the market to buy a new gaming keyboard then check out our 5 Round-Up Of The Best Gaming Keyboards As of Now.

Also, Before we go into a proper detail on both switches, below is a small comparison table that will help you have a better understanding of these switches.

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Cherry MX Red Switches

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The first type of switch we are looking at is the Cherry MX Red switch, perhaps the most common, and most demanded a switch in the market, and for all the right reasons. As the table suggests, the MX Red switch is linear, which means that there is absolutely no tactile bump. It actuates at 2mm and most importantly, it does not make a lot of noise either.

Additionally, the switch requires only 45 grams of force to actuate, which is super convenient for nimble gamers who require swift actions, without any delays. Whenever you are in the market to buy a gaming keyboard, the most common switch type you will see is Cherry MX Red, with most keyboards available exclusively in Red switch type.

At this point, it is safe to draw a comparison that Cherry MX Red is inclined towards gamers who are looking to have a good gaming experience with a mechanical keyboard. Below, you will find some of the highlighted advantages of Cherry MX Red.

Advantages

  • Light to Touch: One of the biggest advantages is that the Cherry MX Red is light to touch; you do not need a lot of actuation force either. At just 45 grams, the switch starts bottoming out and registers at 2mm. It is much lighter than some of the other switches available in the market.
  • Comparatively Silent: Another benefit that we cannot overlook with respect to Cherry MX Red switches is that they are a lot more silent as compared to the Blue switches since they do not have a tactile bump or clicky feedback.
  • Great for Gaming: This one links to the first advantage. If you are a gamer, and you want to be as nimble as possible, these switches will not hold you back in that case and will allow you to be at your A-game.

Cherry MX Blue Switches

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Now comes the infamous Cherry MX Blue Switches. On the surface, you might think that these switches are just like Cherry MX Red, and the only difference is the difference of colour, but that is not it. Both switches are inherently different than one and the other, and even though they do share the same popularity amongst users, the user base is largely different.

For starters, there are similarities between both switches; and that is about the actuation point that is 2mm. Just like red switches, they also have to travel 2mm before they actuate, while the bottoming out happens at 4mm. So, what changes? Well, everything else is different.

For starters, the actuation force is 50 grams instead of 45,  it is also non-linear, there is a pronounced click, and a tactile bump that you can feel. The keyboard is super loud, so I would not suggest you use it in a library, or a place where talking loud is not an option.

So, what are the benefits of Blue switches? Well, these switches are predominantly made for those who are looking to type rather than play games. Although you can still game on them. However, the additional actuation force required might not allow you to be as nimble in your moves.

Still, we are going to take a look at the advantages below.

Advantages

  • Tactile and Clicky: One of the biggest benefits of the Blue switches is that they are tactile and clicky. I know it might be a problem for some people but in reality, if you are sitting by yourself, and just typing away, it should not be an issue.
  • Great for Typing: Thanks to the amazing clicky switches and tactile bump, the typing experience is great on these switches that allow for enjoyable typing that feels a lot like a typewriter.
  • Good Resistance: Being sensitive is never a good thing in typing because you end up making too many types. Since the blue switches require more force to actuate, there is a good amount of resistance. This only means that typing is experience is only going to get more precise.

Conclusion

Drawing a conclusion here is rather easy. if you are wondering about the differences between both switches, we have already listed. So, in short, if you are a gamer who is in the market for a good keyboard specifically for the gaming, then buying a gaming keyboard with Cherry MX red switches is the right thing to do.

However, if you are someoen who is looking for typing, then the right decision would be to go for a keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches since it is better geared towards the typist. As far as saying which one is better, you can see in our comparison that there is no direct way to say that one is better than the other since both have different use cases.

Now the important part here is that if you are looking for an alternative that is balanced between both Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Blue, then the best option would be to opt for Cherry MX Brown switches. These switches share some qualities from the red, some from the blue. There is a tactile bump, but it is not clicky or audible. The brown s switches are great for both gaming, and typing.

Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.