Switch Colors on Mechanical Keyboard: A Guide

Why are Switch Colors different for each type of switch and what is their purpose?

In simple terms, the difference in the color of the switches on a mechanical keyboard will have an impact on the feeling of typing, typing feedback, and the typing sound produced by the keyboard itself.

I’ve used various kinds of mechanical switches with different colors and through this post I will discuss them in detail starting from the types of switches, the switches components, switch colors, and their overall differences.

Let’s get started!

Main Components of Mechanical Switches:

Main Components of SwitchesDescription
Upper housingThis switch component sits on top of the lower housing and houses the spring. The stem fits into a hole in the center of it; the top and bottom housings click together; a “switch opener” tool is required to separate them. Or, although it’s harder, a flathead screwdriver).
Switch stemWhen you press the keycap, this switch component—which is attached to the underside of the keycap—extends down into the switch and slides up and down. Usually, the stem matches the switch’s color in color. For instance, red switches typically have red stems, whereas green switches typically have green stems.
Gold crosspointThe foundation for the longevity and dependability of a key switch is the gold crosspoint contact, which is present in all switches. Patented triangular cross-contacts perfectly close the electrical circuit and ultimately release the key function when they come together crosswise and at a right angle.
SpringThis is what gives a key resistance and the “bouncing” sensation when you press it down.
Lower housingthe area at the bottom of the switch where all the stems and springs are located.
Main Components of Mechanical Switches
Main Components of Mechanical Switches
Main Components of Mechanical Switches:

Metal contacts, referred to as “leaves,” are inside the bottom housing.

When pressed down, the stem makes contact with them, which generates the electrical signal that informs your computer which key was pressed!

Terms in Mechanical Switches

Before starting further, you should know the type of actuation on the mechanical switch first, starting from the Linear, Tactile, and Clicky type switches. And also you should know about terms in mechanical switches such as Actuation Force and Travel Distance. Here is the full explanation:

Types of Mechanical Switches

Types of Mechanical Switches
Types of Mechanical Switches
  • Linear: Linear is a type of switch that is known to be smooth, does not provide bumpy feedback and provides linear or flat feedback. The typing sound produced by the lienar switch tends to be smooth and somewhat quiet. This type of switch is perfect for those of you who use your keyboard to play games and want a smooth typing experience.
  • Tactile: The tactile type switch is a mechanical switch that provides tactile feedback, namely typing feedback which is slightly bumpy and produces a fairly loud typing sound. This type of switch is very appropriate for typing for everyday purposes because you get a pretty pleasant typing experience.
  • Clicky: The clicky switch is a type of switch that produces a very loud typing sound and provides very bumpy typing feedback. Clicky switches generally have better durability because they use wider and harder springs.

Terms in Mechanical Switch

  • Actuation Type: This is a term to distinguish feedback on a switch such as Linear, Tactile, and Clicky type switches.
  • Actuation Force: Is a term how much power or weight is needed to press the switch in order to give instructions to the PCB to be input in the computer.
  • Travel Distance: Is the maximum distance required by the switch from the stem that is pressed to touch the very bottom of the switch component that is connected to the PCB to give instructions to the PCB to become input to the computer. The less Travel Distance, the more responsive a mechanical switch is.
  • Lifespan: Before failing, a switch can withstand one millions of keystrokes. Mechanical switches are incredibly resilient. Mechanical switches typically have a lifespan of 50 million to 100 million keystrokes.
  • MX Style “Switches”: Cherry MX was the first maker of mechanical switches, Gateron, Kailh, Outemu were manufacturers who cloned their mechanical switches with the same design. So, Gateron Red, Kailh Red, and Outemu Red are MX Style switches.

Switch Colors By Type

The following are some of the most commonly found switch colors based on their type:

Switch TypeCommon ColorsFeelNoise LevelUsed for
LinearRed
Black
Yellow
Smooth, no bump, and no clickQuietMostly used for gaming
TactileBrown
Clear
Has tactile bump and No ClickMediumGreat for Typing
ClickyBlue
Green
Audible Click and Tactile BumpLoudGreat for Typing
Switches Colors By Type

Non Standard Switch Colors on Linear Switches

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelNoise Level
Gateron Pro Silver LinearSilverSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Gateron WhiteLinearWhiteSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Cherry MX Speed SilverLinearSilverSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Kailh Speed SilverLinearSilverSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Kailh BOX Silent PinkLinearPinkSmooth, no bump, and no clickSilent
Kailh Pro BurgundyLinearBurgundySmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Akko Matcha GreenLinearMatcha GreenSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Akko PinkLinearPinkSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Akko Vintage WhiteLinearWhiteSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Akko Rose RedLinearRose RedSmooth, no bump, and no clickQuiet
Non Standard Switch Colors on Linear Switches

Non Standard Switch Colors on Tactile Switches

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelNoise Level
Outemu BOX Purple SwitchTactilePurpleHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Outemu Silent GrayTactileGrayHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Kailh Speed GoldTactileGoldHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Kailh Pro PurpleTactilePurpleHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Kailh BlueberryTactileBlueberryHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Kailh BOX Burnt OrangeTactileOrangeHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Akko OrangeTactileOrangeHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Akko Lavender PurpleTactilePurpleHas tactile bump and No ClickMedium
Non Standard Switch Colors on Tactile Switches

Non Standard Switch Colors on Clicky Switches

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelNoise Level
Kailh Speed BronzeClickyBronzeAudible Click and Tactile BumpLoud
Kailh BOX WhiteClickyWhiteAudible Click and Tactile BumpLoud
Kailh BOX NavyClickyNavyAudible Click and Tactile BumpLoud
Kailh ML Choc WhiteClickyWhiteAudible Click and Tactile BumpLoud
Non Standard Switch Colors on Clicky Switches

Switch Colors By Brand

The following are the color switch colors from different manufacturers such as:

  • Cherry MX
  • Gateron
  • Kailh
  • Outemu
  • Akko
  • Drop
  • Glorious
  • Alps
  • Tecsee
  • Topre
  • Razer
  • Logitech

Cherry MX Switch Colors

Cherry MX Switch Colors
Cherry MX Switch Colors

Cherry MX is a German producer that creates high-quality mechanical switches. Cherry MX’s switch products have passed numerous European standard testing procedures, giving them the best quality and outstanding endurance. Many people are also aware of the Cherry MX Switch as one of the premium mechanical switches with a lifespan of up to 100 million keystrokes.

The following are the Cherry MX switch colors:

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelSoundBest for
Cherry MX RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Cherry MX Silent RedLinearRedLight and SmoothVERY quietGaming And Typing with Quiet Switch
Cherry MX BlackLinearBlackHeavy and SmoothQuietGaming
Cherry MX Silent BlackLinearBlackHeavy and SmoothVERY quietGaming And Typing with Quiet Switch
Cherry MX Speed SilverLinearGray/SilverLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Cherry MX BrownTactileBrownMedium & TactileMediumGaming & typing
Cherry MX ClearTactileClearHeavy & TactileMediumGaming & typing
Cherry MX BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Cherry MX Switch Colors

Gateron Switch Colors

Gateron Switch Colors
Gateron Switch Colors

Gateron is a copy of popular Cherry MX switches like the Kailh and Otemu Siwtch that are still sold today. You will discover that the mechanical keyboards that are readily available use switches made by Gateron when you purchase one for a moderate to low price. Gateron Brown, Gateron Red, and Gateron Blue are the most often utilized colors.

The following are the Gateron switch colors:

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelSoundBest for
Gateron RedLinearRedLight and SmoothVERY quietGaming And Typing with Quiet Switch
Gateron YellowLinearYellowLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron BlackLinearBlackHeavy and SmoothVERY quietGaming And Typing with Quiet Switch
Gateron Pro SilverLinearGray/SilverLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron BrownTactileBrownMedium & TactileMediumGaming & typing
Gateron ClearTactileClearHeavy & TactileMediumGaming & typing
Gateron BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Gateron GreenClickyGreenMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Gateron Silent ClearLinearClearLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent YellowLinearYellowLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent BlackLinearBlackLight and SmoothVery QuietGaming
Gateron Silent BrownTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMedium NoiseTyping
Gateron Milk ClearLinearClearLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Milk RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Milk YellowLinearYellowLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Milk BlackLinearBlackLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Milk BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Gateron Milk GreenClickyGreenMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Gateron Milk BrownTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Gateron Smokey RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Smokey YellowLinearYellowLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Smokey BlackLinearBlackLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Smokey BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Gateron Silent Smokey BlackLinearBlackLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent ClearLinearClearLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent YellowLinearYellowLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent BlackLinearBlackLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Gateron Silent BrownTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Gateron Switch Colors

Kailh Switch Colors

Kailh Switch Colors
Kailh Switch Colors

Kaihua Electronics, a Chinese semiconductor company that has been in business since 1990, makes the Kailh/Kaihua Switch. After copying Cherry at first, Kaihua eventually developed its own switch models and only worked with keyboard makers.

The following are the Kailh switch colors:

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelSoundBest for
Kailh RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh BOX RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh BlackLinearBlackHeavy and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh Speed SilverLinearGray/SilverLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh BOX Dark YellowLinearYellowLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh BOX BlackLinearBlackLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh BOX Silent PinkLinearPinkLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh Pro BurgundyLinearBurgundyLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Kailh BrownTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Kailh Speed CopperTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Kailh Speed GoldTactileGoldHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Kailh BOX Burnt OrangeTactileOrangeHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Kailh BOX Silent BrownTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Kailh Pro PurpleTactilePurpleHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Kailh Speed BronzeClickyBronzeMedium & TactileLoudGaming & typing but with high level noise
Kailh BOX WhiteClickyWhiteMedium & TactileLoudGaming & typing but with high level noise
Kailh BOX NavyClickyNavyMedium & TactileLoudGaming & typing but with high level noise
Kailh BOX JadeClickyGreenMedium & TactileLoudGaming & typing but with high level noise
Kailh BOX Pale BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLoudGaming & typing but with high level noise
Kailh Pro Light GreenClickyGreenMedium & TactileLoudGaming & typing but with high level noise
Kailh Switch Colors

Outemu Switch Colors

Outemu Switch Colors

A well-known Chinese semiconductor manufacturer, Gaote Corp., manufactures switches under the name Outemu. The Outemu strongly borrows from the features and design of the Cherry MX, much like Kailh and Gateron do.

The following are the Outemu switch colors:

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelSoundBest for
Outemu RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Outemu BOX RedLinearRedLight and SmoothQuietGaming
Outemu BlackLinearBlackHeavy and SmoothQuietGaming
Outemu BOX BlackLinearBlackHeavy and SmoothGaming
Outemu Silent YellowLinearYellowHeavy and SmoothVERY quietGaming
Outemu BrownTactileBrownMedium & TactileMediumTyping
Outemu BOX BrownTactileBrownHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Outemu Silent Forest/Silent SkyTactileWhiteHeavy & TactileVERY quietTyping
Outemu BOX PurpleTactilePurpleHeavy & TactileMediumTyping
Outemu Silent GrayTactileGrayHeavy & TactileVERY quietTyping
Outemu BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Outemu BOX BlueClickyBlueMedium & TactileLouderGaming & typing but with high level noise
Outemu Switch Colors

Akko Switch Colors

Akko is an affordable switch product that brings unique colors to their switch products. Besides being unique, they also sell switches at very affordable prices.

The following are the Akko switch colors:

Akko Switch Colors
Akko Switch Colors

Razer Switch Colors

In the gaming world, Razer is well-known for its wide range of products, including gaming mice, eGPUs, Gaming Laptops, Gaming Headset, Gaming Earphone, Gaming Mic, And also Razer mechanical keyboards.

These keyboards frequently have the exclusive Razer switches such as:

  • Razer Red (Linear): Light and Quiet
  • Razer Yellow( Linear) : Light and Smoot
  • Razer Green (Clicky): Heavy and clicky
  • Razer Orange (Tactile) : Medium Tactile

The Gateron and Kailh switches will feel extremely similar to the Razer switches (in fact, the same company that makes Kailh switches, Kaihua, is also a manufacturer for Razer switches).

Switch colors from other brands

These days, a number of other companies are introducing mechanical switches.

I won’t include every switch because it would take forever, but here are some of the more popular ones among mechanical keyboard users:

The SwitchesTypeColorFeelSound
NovelKeys CreamLinearWhiteMedium“NK Creams” are sought-after and so uncommon.
AlpacasLinearPinkMedium – HeavyI don’t know who makes them, but they are well-liked
Tecsee CarrotLinearBlueskyMediumCheap but very delicious!
Zeal Tealios V2LinearGreenMediumSuper fluid (supposedly, too expensive for my taste)
Drop Invyr Holy PandaTactileCreamy OrangeMediuma very well-liked but pricey tactile switch
Drop Halo ClearTactileClearHeavyoutstanding for typists in general. additionally more costly
Drop Halo TrueTactileCreamy OrangeMediumThe Amazing tactile switch
Glorious PandaTactileYellowMediumA less costly version of the HOLY pandas!
Switch colors from other brands

Holy Panda Switches

We’ve also made a full post for the Holy Panda Switches guide. Holy Panda is also available in a variety of color choices that you may never find before. You can find them in Our Holy Panda Switches Guide.

How to Make Mechanical Keyboard Switches Feel and Look Better

Regardless of color or style, each mechanical keyboard switch may be made to look and feel better. Here are a few well-liked techniques:

Lube The Switches

Lube The Switches
Credit to maketecheasier

This is a quick method to improve the smoothness of your keyboard (and sometimes quieter).

The procedure often entails:

  • Taking off your keycaps.
  • Removing your switches (if your keyboard is hot-swappable, you can just pull them out; if it’s not, you’ll need to take the keyboard apart and desolder the switches; it’s a pain!).
  • Disassemble each switch.
  • Apply a very small amount of lubricant to the housing, spring, and stem.
  • Put the switch back together and in.

To view our comprehensive guide to lubricating your keyboard switches without desoldering them, click here.

Filming The switches

Filming The switches

“Switch films” are flimsy plastic pieces that you sandwich between the upper and lower housing of your switch.

They mostly address “wobble” as a problem. For example, if your switch rattles a little bit when you press it because it doesn’t fit together very tightly.

Even though not all switches require filming, those that DO will experience a significant improvement in feel and sound!

Mechanical Switch Colors FAQs

Are Switch Colors Matter?

You might need to press a key with more or less effort depending on the hue. The distinction between linear, tactile, and clicky switches is also crucial.

What do the various switch colors indicate?

The type of switch (linear, tactile, or clicky), and consequently the sound and feel of the switch, are typically indicated by the color of the switch. There are many different switch colors, but red (linear switches), brown (tactile switches), and blue are the most popular ones (clicky switches).

Which Switch Colors are the best?

Different people have different tastes! However, tactile switches (browns) and clicky switches (blue, green) are more common for typing or regular computer use, but linear switches (red, black) are typically favored for gaming!

You should also think about how loud it is. If you’re in an office, you might want to use tactile switches like browns rather than clicky switches like blues and greens.

What is the best switch color for gaming?

This is totally arbitrary! However, due to their reduced noise and quick actuation force, linear switches (such the Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Silver, or Cherry MX Black) are typically preferred for use in gaming.

What is the best switch color for typing?

The best switches for typing are typically considered to be tactile switches, such as Cherry MX brown, Gateron brown, Kailh BOX brown, and Outemu brown. These switches produce a significant bump when you approach the actuation point. This improves accuracy and allows you to text without glancing at your keyboard.

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