Cherry MX is surely at the top of the switch market, but they are not the only ones. Notable Cherry MX Switch alternatives are out there and they are worth your attention.
Thinking back to 5 years ago, before the mechanical market started to take leaps, Cherry MX was the only king in the switch market with many famous mechanical switches under their names, such as Cherry Red or Cherry Black. However, things wouldn’t stay the same forever. Currently, there are an increasing number of mechanical key brands that can compete with Cherry MX in terms of quality and price.
Thus, if you want to try something new at a lower cost, keep reading because this post will provide you with the best Cherry MX switch alternatives.
What is Cherry MX Switch?
Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switch (Source: Cherry MX)
Launched in 1983 by Cherry Corp company (Germany), until now Cherry MX has always sat on the throne of the best mechanical keyboards. With ultra-durable quality, 50-100 million keystrokes, and suitable features for most types of customers, Cherry MX has launched 13 different product lines successfully. Its design is always the gold standard for other brands to compare and make their products.
However, in the current mechanical key market, there are many competitors with Cherry MX in all aspects. Here are the top 7 best Cherry MX alternatives.
7 Alternatives to Cherry MX switches
Gateron Switches are the perfect Cherry MX clones. They have been made in China since 2000. At first, they started with the main line which is the exact dupes of Cherry MX – Gateron Red for the linear switch, Blue for the clicky switch, and Black for the heavy-force linear one. From then on, they have gradually built up their own switch versions which are hyped by the keyboard community.
Regarding the quality, Gateron’s sharpness is extremely similar to Cherry MX. l Take the Gateron Brown switch as an example. From the moment you press the key, you can immediately feel a strong bumpy response on your fingertips. When the key bottom out, the sharpness is truly noticeable which leads to real satisfaction. In addition, Gateron switches have the same actuation point, same actuation force, and same travel distance (2 mm – 4 mm) as Cherry MX.
Talking about the differences, in terms of sound, Cherry MX switches are a bit louder and this may be due to the materials and the more pushing force required.
Another different thing is Cherry MX can last way longer than Gateron switches. However, those Cherry MX fakes are famous for their durability. Even though they can only last up to 50 million key activations, users respond that they hardly get into problems with them.
The most obvious difference between Gateron Switches and Cherry MX is price. Cherry MX is twice as expensive as Gateron. If your budget is tight, Gateron Switches are a great choice for you.
If there is one thing that Gateron can win over Cherry MX, it must be their linear line. Gateron switches produce a more constant, and even smoother feeling than Cherry MX. Therefore, they definitely feel less strenuous to type on.
We have an article that compares Cherry MX and their alternative Gateron from head to toe, so check them out if you like.
You can watch this video to know how Gateron’s sounds are:
Razer is a brand that focuses mainly on the gaming industry, so its design really reflects that. In the beginning, mechanical switches are made for typing only. As Razer decided to use them for a gaming keyboard, this revolutionary gave birth to Razer mechanical switches.
Currently, Razer owns 3 key switch series: Yellow, Orange, and Green switches. Obviously, they do not follow the color code Red-Blue-Brown like other Cherry MX alternatives.
Their most recognizable switches are the Razer Green clicky switches. Not Blue but really similar to Cherry MX Blue, the Green switches are praised for their same sharp and firm feels.
On the other hand, Orange and Yellow switches didn’t receive positive feedback Only after they have improved the quality, Razer tactile and linear switches can gain acceptance.
Typically, Razer Orange has a nice soft tactile bump when you first press. That is followed by a linear-like smooth feeling when you bottom out the key. Compared to that, Cherry MX Brown tactile switches do not feel even when bottoming out and also are a bit shakier.
About Razer Yellow Linear switches, compared to Cherry MX linear like Red or Black, they have a higher key-response rate.
Razer’s durability is relatively great, at 80 million keystrokes. This gives you the comfort to type on without having to worry about damaging it.
Recently, Razer has successfully launched optical mechanical keyboards, which are the top choices of gamers thanks to their insane speed and top-notch quality.
You can watch this video to have an overview of Razer Switches.
Kailh Switches are made in China. They are one of the most popular Cherry MX clones. These Cherry MX alternatives also include 4 keyswitch series, namely Red, Blue, Black, and Brown Switches.
Kailh can withstand 60-80 million keystrokes. The numbers cannot compete with Cherry MX, but they are still enough for users to comfortably work or play games.
Go into comparison. Firstly, Kailh Red linear switches require more actuation force than Cherry MX Red. About the tactile switches, Kailh Brown switches seem to be more attractive than Cherry Brown since they bring more satisfying tactile feels.
Lastly, Kailh Blue Clicky is a bit lighter than Cherry Blue, so typing on them may feel less fatigue. However, those Cherry MX fakes all have problems with scratchiness, which is a big minus.
Not stopping at the regular line, Kailh quickly introduced many more lineups that have become their signatures like Kailh Box switches. We think the BOX lineup is something worth trying. By adding a square box around the stem, Kailh improves the stability and achieves the IP56 rating of harmful dust resistance.
In addition, most Kailh Switches are very cheap, which is a huge plus if you are on a budget.
If you want a deeper analysis that compares Kailh with Cherry MX, we recommend you to visit our article ‘Which Switches are Best For You? Kailh vs Cherry Mechanical Switches’.
Want to know Kailh switches’ sound, especially the clicky switches? Watch this!
Logitech Romer-G Switches
Logitech Romer-G is a product developed by Logitech (Switzerland) in association with Omron (Japan). The switches reflect the ambition of the two companies as they created a completely different design from the Cherry MX cross-shape stem.
Go into detail. The Romer-G switches’ stem has a shape that looks like a piece of lego. Therefore, you cannot change the keycap or switch them with Cherry or other Cherry MX alternatives.
However, Romer G switches have virtually zero key wobbles thanks to that rigid lego stem. This also allows them to have a unique typing feeling and an upper hand over Cherry MX switches.
Besides the distinct stem shape, Logitech increased the activation time by reducing the actuation point. Thanks to that, both Romer-G Tactile and Linear are 20% faster than most Cherry MX switches. In addition, there is positive feedback of the tactile bump and smooth linear feels from these Cherry MX alternatives.
The Logitech GX Blue switches, in spite of being born later, are boring products. Logitech wants to add a Clicky switch into their lineup, but the result is another so-so Cherry MX fake.
A prominent aspect of Romer-G switches is the 70 million keystrokes, that is including the GX clicky switches. Note that the Cherry MX Blue clicky ones have only 50 million click times. The manufacturer also makes the products to overcome the looseness and uncertainty of the keys when typing, and the result is competitive switches.
Want to know how typing on the Romer-G sounds? Check out the video here.
|Gazzew Boba U4|
Although Gazzew Boba U4 has just been launched on the tech market, the switches quickly caught people’s attention. These Cherry MX clones are the coordination between Outemu and Gazzew as a premium product.
Gazzew switches are one of the most silent switches on the market despite being tactile. To mute the sound, they cover the stem with damping rubber to absorb the shock from pressing.
Moreover, the housing and most components are made of soft plastic, so the switches feel a bit squeaky and soft compared to other
These Cherry MX fakes are truly nice and quite smooth. But, they cannot compare with the Cherry linear regarding the smoothness. Furthermore, they are scratchy without lube and mushy due to the rubber.
Talking about the pros, Gazzew Boba U4s have 2 spring force options of 62 grams and 68 grams. They are compatible with Cherry MX-style keyboards and cost much less than Cherry MX.
Gazzew Boba U4s are designed primarily for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who love the low ‘thocky’ sound. You can watch this video to learn more about Gazzew’s sound here.
Roccat Titan Switches
|Actuation Point||1.8 mm|
Roccat Titan switches are made in Germany. Although recently launched, Roccat Titan has quickly become a hot name in the technology market.
Roccat’s main market is the gaming keyboard just like Razer. Therefore, they focus on increasing the switch’s activation time with a 1.8 mm actuation point. Due to that, they are certainly faster than Cherry MX regular tactile.
Another difference is they are lighter than normal Cherry tactile, at merely 45 g. This is believed to match well with the short travel distance, therefore, enhancing the gaming experience.
What we agree to be the selling point of those Cherry alternatives is their transparent housing. Made of the finest materials, RGB effects are allowed to shine vividly through the switches’ housing, which is a main drawback of Cherry.
Let’s watch this video to know more information about those awesome Cherry MX clones.
|Brown||Tactile||55g||Low – Normal|
Outemu provides the best Cherry MX fakes at a very low price for sure. Like Gateron and Kailh, Outemu applies the Cherry MX color code for most of their products.
Among the Outemu series, Outemu Blue switches are one of the most recommended ones by clicky switch lovers. Compared to Cherry MX, the Outemu Blue switches have a higher actuation point, heavier weight force, and more noticeable wobble.
Once again, the wobble issue happens within the Outemu Linear switches. Both Red and Black are good, but they are far behind Cherry MX.
Regarding the Brown tactile line, Outemu’s feedback is sharper and unexpectedly, way smoother – almost like a linear switch.
The outstanding feature of the Outemu switches is the polycarbonate shell. Thus, they are very compatible with LED effects. Playing the RGB lighting on them are hugely satisfactory, which you cannot feel with the original Cherry MX.
Furthermore, you can read more information about Outemu in the article ‘A Thorough Introduction to Outemu Switches: Are they better than Cherry?’
A sound test video of Outemu switches is right here. Have a go, won’t you?
Are Gateron Switches better than Cherry MX?
No, they are not since Cherry MX switches have better quality and longer longevity. But, for a Cherry MX fake, Gateron is surely on top. In addition, Gateron’s linear line beats up Cherry in terms of smoothness.
Is Outemu better than Cherry?
We don’t think they can win over Cherry MX in most aspects. But, they have Outemu Brown which is a peculiar hybrid linear – tactile. And, they are more compatible with RGB lighting.
What are the best Cherry MX clones?
The best Cherry MX clones are Gateron and Kailh. They are truly superb. However, if you want to save much more, you should go for Outemu.
On the mechanical key market today, there are many keyboard series designed to suit your needs. From quality to price, you’ll always find a keyboard that’s right for you.
Of course, there are more Cherry MX fakes out there. But here is our top pick for you. If you want to experience all of them, we recommend using the key test. Hope you have fun with our top 7 Cherry MX alternatives.