Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown Switches – How different are they?

  • Keycaps 101
  • Posted by: carson-rutz
  • Aug 22, 2022

People who prefer the tactile feeling must have heard of Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown switches.

They are both prospective candidates after the Great Cherry MX Brown that allow you to buy guilt-free when thinking of the price. The only problem now is deciding between the Kailh and Gateron switches.

To find out, let’s discover the differences between those two mechanical switches to see which one will suit your keyboard. Shall we begin?

Kailh brown vs gateron brown switches
Kailh brown mechanical switches (source: glorious gaming)

For the appetizer, we have here a video that compares the sound of Gateron Brown vs Kailh Brown. 

The next course will be quick previews of Kailh Brown and Gateron Brown

Overview of Kailh BOX Brown

We will start with Kailh BOX Brown first. As Kailh BOX Brown has more praises than the regular Kailh Brown, we will only mention the BOX version here.

Kailh BOX Brown Specs

Actuation Force

45 g

Travel Distance

1.8 mm - 3.6 mm


low - medium

Life Cycle

60 million keystrokes

Kailh switch is a product of Kaihua electronics company, based in China. Kailh BOX Brown Switch is their attempt to create something different from Cherry MX influence and the company is outstandingly successful.

From the specification table, we can expect the Kailh Brown mechanical switches to be pretty light. Other Brown switches on the market are usually heavier than 45 gf so this makes the Kailh BOX Brown particular, giving more choices for tactile fans.

Moreover, with an actuation shorter than the 2 mm standard, Kailh BOX Brown is promised to register much faster than other switches of the same type. Therefore, if you are thinking of building a gaming keyboard with Brown switches, we think Kailh BOX is not a bad option.

Related Articles


  • Very fast - obviously
  • Unique and satisfying tactile response
  • Stable and not scratchy as regular Kailh.
  • IP56 rating


  • Not compatible with Cherry MX and Cherry clones.
Kailh box brown mechanical switches
Kailh box brown mechanical switches

You can explore more about other Kailh switches besides the BOX  Brown right here. We highly recommend it because aside from BOX Brown, Kailh has the phenomenal BOX Burnt Orange, which is the talk of switch lovers.

Overview of Gateron Brown

After the Kailh Brown, Gateron Brown switches will come right after.

Gateron Brown Specs

Actuation Force

55 g

Travel Distance

2 mm - 4 mm



Life Cycle

50 million keystrokes

Gateron is a switch company from China. What makes them stand out is the upgraded smoothness feature that even outshines the original Cherry MX.

At a first glance, the weight force of Gateron Brown switch quite leans to the heavy side. The travel distance is standard and the sound is at medium level, thus suitable for offices.

Furthermore, Gateron Brown has impressed people due to its unexpected smoothness, even though Gateron has been already famous for buttery-smooth typing. The keys can perform consistently with a decent amount of bumpy feedback.


  • Super smooth and even
  • Not scratchy
  • Very durable
  • Compatible with Cherry MX


  • Somewhat louder than Kailh BOX Brown
Inside gateron brown switch
Inside gateron brown switch

Want more about the Gateron switches? We have here an ultimate guide for you with everything you need to know about this popular friendly-budget choice.

Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown: Which is better?

Now, it’s time for the main course - the comparison between Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown switches.

Comparison Table

Kailh BOX Brown Gateron Brown



Water and dust resistance





In general, Gateron Brown vs Kailh Switches both has the desirable long-lasting quality.

Gateron is made with gold alloy contact that increases the antioxidant ability. Combined with the well-built design, it can last over 50 million key activations. And, the Gateron switch usually has good feedback from users as they hardly show problems.

On the other hand, apart from the 60 million keystrokes provided by the manufacturers, Kailh BOX Brown is resistant to dust and moisture, expanding its longevity in real life.

To conclude, Kailh wins by a narrow margin.

Kailh box brown mechanical switch
Kailh box brown mechanical switch


In general, we think both Gateron Brown and Kailh Brown switches provide noticeable robust feedback.

However, there is a crisp feeling only from Kailh, and the tactile feedback from it is also unique. Furthermore, the tactile bump from typing Kailh Brown keyswitches usually comes with a firm feeling and that is a big plus for us.

Hence, we think Kailh has better tactility overall.

Water and dustproof ability

As we have mentioned, Kailh receives an IP56 rating which is a recognition of its water and dustproof capability. The Gateron counterpart doesn’t possess this.

Hence, between Gateron Brown vs Kailh Brown, the winner is once again Kailh.


About this category, we want to mention the compatibility with Cherry MX of the Gateron Brown vs Kailh Brown switch. Obviously, Kailh and its square box cannot use the same opener as Cherry MX, so you need to buy a separate one. In contrast, this is not a problem for Gateron Brown.

Another problem is also related to the covering box of Kailh. If keyboard enthusiasts wanted to mod, lube, or change keycaps, they had better forget it since it is very difficult to open the stem or impossible to do.

In conclusion, Gateron is more usable than Kailh BOX.

Gateron brown mechanical switch
Gateron brown mechanical switch


A sensitive switch that can answer the signal from our fingers just right away. Sometimes you need to fully press the key. Sometimes that’s just you barely touch the keycap.

Typically, the shorter the travel distance is, the faster the key activates. Hence, it is safe to conclude that Kailh BOX switches receive the commands faster (1.8 mm compared to 2 mm of Gateron).

But, in reality, the performance does not have a big difference. We observe that the Gateron switch can respond as almost quickly and precisely as the Kailh Brown ones.

In summary, the sensitivity is the same for both Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown.


Looking up the prices on the internet, while a pack of 10 from Kailh Brown costs $7.50, that of Gateron Brown takes you up $8.50. Note that price can vary based on the seller and time.

If you think cheaper is better and better is cheaper, then Kailh will win by a whisker.

Overall Experience

Between Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown, Kailh has a more stable typing experience, a more unique tactile feel, and a stronger dustproof ability. Asides from that, the price is $1 lower.

Then, we have Kailh, which is way smoother and more useable as it can interchange with Cherry MX and other MX-stem switches.

If you want to know more about tactile switches from other brands, we can introduce to you the best mechanical switch brands out there to save you time from findings.


Gateron brown switch keyboard
Gateron brown switch keyboard

Being a winner in most categories, we believe the Kailh BOX Brown switch has something surpassing the Gateron Brown one. However, Gateron Brown and its impeccable smoothness will be the right switch for those who want something like a hybrid between tactile and linear.

Well, if you have a tight budget for your tactile keyboard so Cherry MX is out of reach, both Gateron vs Kailh Brown mechanical switches are worth a go. You just have to think of your needs and preferences to pick the most suitable one.


What are the differences between Kailh Brown and Gateron Brown switches?

First, Gateron Brown, besides the proper tactile feedback, is very smooth from pressing to bottoming out, unlike Kailh. Second, Kailh Brown has a square cover so it can withstand detrimental dust and moisture, which Gateron doesn’t have.

Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown: which is better for gaming?

Gateron Brown will be more suitable than the Kailh Brown switch. The main reason is that the exceptional smoothness will allow your fingers to move faster on the keyboard. However, Kailh is not a bad option for gaming at all.

Kailh Brown vs Gateron Brown: which is better for typing?

They are both good switches for typing so you should consider your preferences. Do you enjoy the smooth typing on the Gateron tactile switch, or do you prefer a unique and crisp feeling from the Kailh BOX ones?

Are Gateron Browns quieter than Kailh Browns?

No, they are not. They are a little bit louder than the Kailh Browns.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *