Cherry MX Switch Tester
Cherry MX Switch Tester
Try Before You Buy
If you've spent some time looking at mechanical keyboards, you'll undoubtedly have noticed that the wide variety of Cherry MX mechanical switches has made the decision of which keyboard to buy much more complex. We decided to design a slick aluminum switch tester for you to try the various Cherry flavors before you make a serious purchasing decision.
Pick a Cherry
The Cherry MX Switch Tester comes with the following colors: Black, Red, Brown, Clear, Blue, and Green. Traditionally used by gamers due to their low activation point and lack of tactile feedback or clicking sound, Black switches feature an actuation force of 60 g while the Red switches require only 45 g. Giving you a slight tactile bump and a slightly more audible click, both the Brown (45 g) and Clear (55 g) switches feature balanced design that allows for satisfying typing without raising a ruckus. Finally, Blue (50 g) and Green (80 g) switches come with strong tactile feedback and enough audible clacking to recall the tip-tapping of a typewriter.
Switch Type
Cherry MX Switches don't need to be pressed down all the way in order to register a key stroke. This means you can type faster with less fatigue. There are six types of switches available for the ErgoDox. The three most important criteria when determining which switch type is right for you are:
  • Actuation force, the amount of force required to depress the key
  • Linear vs. tactile, linear switches move up and down in a single continuous motion where tactile switches have a small amount of resistance just before the point of actuation
  • Clicky vs. normal, clicky switches make a noise when you hit the actuation point versus the normal keys which only make noise when they come into contact with the plate
Cherry MX Brown Switches
Type: Soft Tactile
Tactile: Yes
Clicky: Very Soft
Actuation Force: 45g
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Browns are among the most popular of switches, and are particularly desirable because of their quiet nature. This switch type is delightful to type on for extended periods of time and has a fairly low actuation force of 45 grams. Many people exclusively prize this switch type over all others for its use in crowded environments where a noisy keyboard would create enemies.
Cherry MX Red Switches
Type: Linear
Tactile: No
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 45g
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom


Cherry MX Reds are a very popular gaming switch option due to their low activation point and linear nature. Reds are a light switch, which allows for extremely fast keystrokes in serious situations. However, it should be noted that due to the ease of actuation on Red switches, people do often input accidental keystrokes, so make sure you know what you're in for.
Cherry MX Black Switches
Type: Linear Switch
Tactile: No
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 60g (40g-80g overall)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Black switches are linear (non-tactile) switches, these are considered one of the best switch types for gaming. When gaming, having a tactile bump does absolutely nothing because you're going to be bottoming out anyway. The actuation and release points are at the exact same position as well. This means that games which require a lot of double tapping become easier with Black switches than on any other keyswitch. However, most people don't enjoy typing on them that much do in part, to their linear nature.

If you're a person who tends to hit a wrong key every so often while gaming, these will be beneficial in that the high actuation force will help prevent many of those accidental presses.
Cherry MX Blue Switches
Type: Tactile & Clicky Switch
Tactile: Yes, precise
Clicky: Yes
Actuation Force: 50g (60g Peak Force)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Blue switches are the best cherry switch for typing. The tactile bump can easily be felt, and the resistance is similar to your average keyboard. Although many people find them just fine for gaming, some don't like the fact that the release point is above the actuation point. This can cause some trouble with double-tapping. This is usually the case with someone who has experienced other mechanical switches before hand.
Cherry MX Clear Switches
Type: Tactile Switch
Tactile: Yes
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 55g (65G peak force)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Clear switches have often been called "stiffer browns" though some users note that they have more of a tactile feel than browns do. This really can be a subjective topic, though this is another switch that could be considered "balanced." The force required is comparable to most rubber dome keyboards, with a nice tactile feedback to tell you the key has actuated. These switches are harder to find on keyboards.
Cherry MX Green Switches
Type: Tactile & Clicky Switch
Tactile: Yes, precise
Clicky: Yes
Actuation Force: 80g
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Green switches are a much firmer version of the Blue switches, requiring 80g of force just to actuate a keystroke. These switches are perfect for writers and programmers who want to be extremely intentional with every keystroke, and want both audible and tactile feedback from their switch. Bottoming out with Cherry MX Green switches is much more difficult than with the other switches, so if you are an aspiring touch typist, this is the easiest place to start.
Cherry MX Switch Animation Video

After all of this education about the different types of Cherry MX switches, this video should help you see some of the simple elegance in the design. Credit to dacasman for creation of the Cherry MX animation GIFs as well as this video.
Specs
  • Designed by Massdrop
  • Cherry MX switches
  • Aluminum baseplate
  • Polycarbonate caps
  • Option to add 10 O-rings at checkout
  • 1.49 oz (42.24 g)
Shipping

Domestic and international orders will be shipped by Massdrop.

Estimated shipping date: November 11, 2014.

After the drop ends, check the discussion page for updates.

Try Before You Buy
If you've spent some time looking at mechanical keyboards, you'll undoubtedly have noticed that the wide variety of Cherry MX mechanical switches has made the decision of which keyboard to buy much more complex. We decided to design a slick aluminum switch tester for you to try the various Cherry flavors before you make a serious purchasing decision.
Pick a Cherry
The Cherry MX Switch Tester comes with the following colors: Black, Red, Brown, Clear, Blue, and Green. Traditionally used by gamers due to their low activation point and lack of tactile feedback or clicking sound, Black switches feature an actuation force of 60 g while the Red switches require only 45 g. Giving you a slight tactile bump and a slightly more audible click, both the Brown (45 g) and Clear (55 g) switches feature balanced design that allows for satisfying typing without raising a ruckus. Finally, Blue (50 g) and Green (80 g) switches come with strong tactile feedback and enough audible clacking to recall the tip-tapping of a typewriter.
Switch Type
Cherry MX Switches don't need to be pressed down all the way in order to register a key stroke. This means you can type faster with less fatigue. There are six types of switches available for the ErgoDox. The three most important criteria when determining which switch type is right for you are:
  • Actuation force, the amount of force required to depress the key
  • Linear vs. tactile, linear switches move up and down in a single continuous motion where tactile switches have a small amount of resistance just before the point of actuation
  • Clicky vs. normal, clicky switches make a noise when you hit the actuation point versus the normal keys which only make noise when they come into contact with the plate
Cherry MX Brown Switches
Type: Soft Tactile
Tactile: Yes
Clicky: Very Soft
Actuation Force: 45g
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Browns are among the most popular of switches, and are particularly desirable because of their quiet nature. This switch type is delightful to type on for extended periods of time and has a fairly low actuation force of 45 grams. Many people exclusively prize this switch type over all others for its use in crowded environments where a noisy keyboard would create enemies.
Cherry MX Red Switches
Type: Linear
Tactile: No
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 45g
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom


Cherry MX Reds are a very popular gaming switch option due to their low activation point and linear nature. Reds are a light switch, which allows for extremely fast keystrokes in serious situations. However, it should be noted that due to the ease of actuation on Red switches, people do often input accidental keystrokes, so make sure you know what you're in for.
Cherry MX Black Switches
Type: Linear Switch
Tactile: No
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 60g (40g-80g overall)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Black switches are linear (non-tactile) switches, these are considered one of the best switch types for gaming. When gaming, having a tactile bump does absolutely nothing because you're going to be bottoming out anyway. The actuation and release points are at the exact same position as well. This means that games which require a lot of double tapping become easier with Black switches than on any other keyswitch. However, most people don't enjoy typing on them that much do in part, to their linear nature.

If you're a person who tends to hit a wrong key every so often while gaming, these will be beneficial in that the high actuation force will help prevent many of those accidental presses.
Cherry MX Blue Switches
Type: Tactile & Clicky Switch
Tactile: Yes, precise
Clicky: Yes
Actuation Force: 50g (60g Peak Force)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Blue switches are the best cherry switch for typing. The tactile bump can easily be felt, and the resistance is similar to your average keyboard. Although many people find them just fine for gaming, some don't like the fact that the release point is above the actuation point. This can cause some trouble with double-tapping. This is usually the case with someone who has experienced other mechanical switches before hand.
Cherry MX Clear Switches
Type: Tactile Switch
Tactile: Yes
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 55g (65G peak force)
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Clear switches have often been called "stiffer browns" though some users note that they have more of a tactile feel than browns do. This really can be a subjective topic, though this is another switch that could be considered "balanced." The force required is comparable to most rubber dome keyboards, with a nice tactile feedback to tell you the key has actuated. These switches are harder to find on keyboards.
Cherry MX Green Switches
Type: Tactile & Clicky Switch
Tactile: Yes, precise
Clicky: Yes
Actuation Force: 80g
Key Travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom

Cherry MX Green switches are a much firmer version of the Blue switches, requiring 80g of force just to actuate a keystroke. These switches are perfect for writers and programmers who want to be extremely intentional with every keystroke, and want both audible and tactile feedback from their switch. Bottoming out with Cherry MX Green switches is much more difficult than with the other switches, so if you are an aspiring touch typist, this is the easiest place to start.
Cherry MX Switch Animation Video

After all of this education about the different types of Cherry MX switches, this video should help you see some of the simple elegance in the design. Credit to dacasman for creation of the Cherry MX animation GIFs as well as this video.
Specs
  • Designed by Massdrop
  • Cherry MX switches
  • Aluminum baseplate
  • Polycarbonate caps
  • Option to add 10 O-rings at checkout
  • 1.49 oz (42.24 g)
Shipping

Domestic and international orders will be shipped by Massdrop.

Estimated shipping date: November 11, 2014.

After the drop ends, check the discussion page for updates.

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