The ultimate goal when choosing the right switch for your keyboard is to find one that feels good to you. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve compiled a guide comparing two of the most popular switch types: Gateron and Kailh.
Gateron Switches Overview
Gateron switches are one of the most popular types of switches used in mechanical keyboards. They are known for their smooth and linear keypresses. There are different types of Gateron switches, each with its unique feel.
Gateron switches are available in three different colors: black, red, and brown. Each color represents a different spring weight. Black switches are the heaviest, with a spring weight of 60g. Red switches are lighter, with a spring weight of 45g. Brown switches are the lightest, with a spring weight of 35g.
Gateron switches are also available in two actuation points: 2.0mm and 3.0mm. The 2.0mm actuation point is best for gaming, while the 3.0mm actuation point is best for typing.
If you’re looking for a switch that combines the best of both worlds, Gateron switches are a great option. They offer a smooth, linear keypress with various spring weights and actuation points.
Kailh Switches Overview
Kailh switches are mechanical switches designed for use in keyboards. They are mostly known for their linear switches, similar to Cherry MX switches. However, Kailh also makes other types of switches, such as tactile and clicky switches.
Kailh switches are available in various colors, including black, red, brown, and white. They are also available in different actuation forces, which is the force required to press the switch down. The most common actuation force for Kailh switches is 55 grams, but they are also available in 35 grams and 75 grams.
Kailh switches have a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes, which is similar to Cherry MX switches. They are also resistant to dust and water, making them ideal for use in keyboards that will be used in a variety of environments.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Switch
There are a variety of factors that you’ll need to consider when purchasing a switch for your keyboard.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
- Longevity: This is perhaps the most important factor when purchasing a switch. How long do you want the switch to last? Do you plan on using the keyboard for years, or are you looking for a temporary solution?
Gateron and Kailh switches have a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes, so you can rest assured that either option will last long.
- Travel Distance: Another important factor to consider is the travel distance of the switch. This refers to how far the key travels when it’s pressed down. Some people prefer a shorter travel distance, while others prefer a longer one.
Gateron switches have a travel distance of 4mm, while Kailh switches have a distance of 3.5mm.
- Actuation Force: The actuation force is the amount of force required to press the key down. Some gamers prefer a lighter actuation force, while others prefer a heavier one. Gateron switches have an actuation force of 55g, while Kailh switches have an actuation force of 50g.
- Sound: The sound of the switch is also an important factor to consider. Some people prefer a silent switch, while others prefer a clicky switch. Gateron switches are available in both silent and clicky variants, while Kailh switches are only available in clicky variants.
- Spring Force: The spring force is the amount of force required to return the key to its original position. Some people prefer a lighter spring force, while others prefer a heavier one. Gateron switches have a spring force of 45g, while Kailh switches have a spring force of 50g.
- Price: Of course, price is also an important factor to consider. Gateron switches are generally more expensive than Kailh switches.
Gateron vs Kailh Switches Comparison Table
|Comparison Criteria||Gateron Switches||Kailh Switches|
|Availability||Harder to find||Easier to find|
|Price||Cheaper||Slightly more expensive|
What is the Difference Between Gateron and Kailh Switches?
If you are considering investing in a quality keyboard, it is important to understand the differences between the two most popular switch types on the market: Gateron and Kailh switches.
Both types of switches are known for their exceptional quality, but there are some key differences that you should be aware of before making your purchase. The following are some of the key differences between Gateron and Kailh switches:
Kailh switches are generally more tactile than Gateron switches. This means you will feel a slight bump as you press down on the key, which can help you know when the key has been fully pressed.
Gateron switches do not have this same level of tactility, which some users prefer as they can make typing feel smoother.
Kailh switches are typically louder than Gateron switches. This is because Kailh switches have a higher actuation point, which causes the switch to bottom out more loudly. If you are looking for a relatively quiet keyboard, Gateron switches may be a better option.
Key Travel Distance
They both have different key travel distances. Gateron switches have a total key travel distance of 4mm, while Kailh switches have a shorter key travel distance of 3.5mm. This shorter key travel distance on Kailh switches can make them feel more responsive, which some users prefer.
Key Activation Force
The key activation force is the amount of force required to press down on the key and register a keystroke. Gateron switches have a key activation force of 55g, while Kailh switches have a slightly higher key activation force of 60g.
This difference is not significant, but it is something to remember when choosing between the two types of switches.
Gateron switches are known for their exceptional durability. They are often compared to Cherry MX switches, which are widely considered the most durable on the market. Kailh switches are also very durable but less durable than Gateron switches.
Gateron switches are smoother than Kailh switches. This is because Gateron switches have a lower actuation point, which makes them feel more responsive. Kailh switches do not have this same level of smoothness, but they are still quite responsive.
Gateron vs Kailh: Which is Better?
Choosing between Gateron and Kailh switches depends on what you seek and what feels better. If you want a linear switch, then Gateron is a good choice. If you want a tactile or clicky switch, then Kailh is a good choice.
Ultimately, it comes down to preference. Try out both types of switches and see which one you like better.
Kailh switches are known for being smoother than Gateron switches. However, some people prefer the feel of Gateron switches because they are slightly heavier. Ultimately, it comes down to preference. Try out both types of switches and see which one you like better.
Which Kailh Switches Are The Quietest?
If you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard that won’t disturb your coworkers or significant other, you’ll want to find one with quiet switches. Kailh switches are available in various options to find the perfect balance of noise and performance for your needs.
The Brown Switch is a good middle-of-the-road option that offers a satisfying tactile bump without being too loud. If you’re looking for something even quieter, the Red Switch is a good choice. It doesn’t have the same tactile feedback as the Brown, but it’s still a solid performer.
The Silent switch is the way to go if you want to go all-out. Kailh’s quietest switch offers a smooth, linear keypress with little noise.
No matter which switches you choose, you can be sure that your Kailh-equipped keyboard will be much quieter than a standard mechanical keyboard. So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your typing sessions discreet, opt for a Kailh-equipped board.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Kailh Box Switches Good?
Kailh Box Switches are often lauded for their durability, and they’re certainly a lot sturdier than your average mechanical switch. However, some users find them too stiff and resistant for comfortable typing.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference – so trying a few different switch types is recommended before settling on one.
What Is the Best Kailh Switch?
Some popular Kailh switches among enthusiasts include the Kailh Box Jade for its tactile bump and clicky sound, the Kailh Box Navy for its heavier weight and even stronger tactile bump and click, and the Kailh Speed Silver for its shorter actuation point and lighter weight, which make it ideal for gaming.
The best Kailh switch is the one that best suits your needs. Kailh switches come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, so it’s important to find the one that best fits your style. There are linear, clicky, and tactile switches, so you can choose the one that feels the most responsive to your play.
Are Gateron Switches Good?
Gateron Switches are often lauded as being some of the best Cherry MX clones on the market, and they’re a popular choice among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.
Many people say that they’re smoother and more pleasant to type on than Cherry MX switches, and while that may be subjective, there’s no doubt that Gateron switches are high-quality and well-built. So, if you’re looking for a great alternative to Cherry MX switches, Gateron is a brand to consider.
Are Kailh Switches Better Than Cherry?
There are a few key differences between Kailh switches and Cherry switches. Kailh switches tend to be smoother and more responsive than Cherry switches. They are also more durable, ideal for gaming and other high-intensity use.
Additionally, Kailh switches come in various colors and styles so that you can find the perfect switch for your needs. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference for which switch is better.
Some people prefer the responsiveness and smoothness of Kailh switches, while others prefer the durability and variety of Cherry switches. Whichever you prefer, both types of switches offer a great experience.
Is Gateron Brown Quieter Than Red?
Gateron Brown Switches are often touted as being quieter than Red Switches. This is because brown switches tend to have a more muted, softer sound when compared to red switches.
Additionally, many people find that brown switches require less force to actuate, which can also help to make them quieter. Whether or not brown switches are quieter than red switches is largely subjective and depends on your preferences.
Are Kailh Switches Hot-Swappable?
Kailh switches are not hot-swappable. This means that you cannot remove and replace them without soldering. However, some third-party companies make hot-swappable Kailh switches.
These can be expensive, so if you’re not experienced with soldering, it’s probably not worth the investment.
Are Kailh Box Switches Quiet?
No matter what type of mechanical keyboard you purchase, the switches will make some noise. That being said, certain switches are quieter than others.
Kailh Box switches are some of the quietest on the market. These switches have a special design that minimizes the noise they make. If you are looking for a keyboard that will be as quiet as possible, then Kailh box switches are a great option.
Are Gateron Yellows Quiet?
Yes, Gateron yellows are a quiet switch. They’re often compared to Cherry MX Reds in linearity and smoothness but with slightly less spring resistance. Many people find the perfect balance between typing speed and comfort.
Are Gateron Browns Loud?
Gateron browns are not known to be a particularly noisy switch, but many variables can affect the noise level of any given switch. Things like the type of keycaps used, the case’s material, and the keyboard’s overall construction can all affect how loud or quiet a switch may be.
If you are looking for a truly silent switch, you might want to consider something like a Topre switch instead.
No matter how you use your keyboard, there is a switch that will meet your needs. I recommend the Gateron brand for its exceptional keystroke response, particularly its sharpness. Moreover, the satisfyingly loud click, moderate tactile bump, and smooth user experience make it an excellent choice.
Compared to Kailh’s options, Gateron’s status as a Cherry clone makes them a superior alternative. Whether you use your keyboard for work, gaming, or other purposes, Gateron switches provide an outstanding experience, coming close to the quality of Cherry Switches while surpassing that of Kailh’s options.