What are Cherry Keyboards?
When people say, “Cherry keyboards”, they refer to the specialized switches made by Cherry GmbH that support the keys. Regular keyboards use rubber membranes switches under the keys which gives a mushy feeling and provides very little feedback. Keyboards fitted with switches such as Cherry ones are called mechanical keyboards, and provide a satisfying feel when pressed. These keyboards also last much longer than regular ones. On average, a rubber dome switch has the lifeline of around 15 million presses. This may seem like a long time, but it pales in comparison to the 50 million of mechanical switches.
While there are many high-quality mechanical switches out on the market, the reason Cherry gets its own tag is because it’s the most popular one, and it’s a sepcialized switch manufacturer. Companies such as Logitech, Corsair, or Razer create their own variants of mechanical switches which can only be found in their own products, but every brand uses Cherry switches in their mechanical keyboard lines.
Which Cherry MX switch is best for me?
Cherry has a grand total of 11 different mechanical switches, but only 4 are widely used. The others are implemented for large keys such as the spacebar or were only special release. The most common ones are Cherry MX Blues, Reds, Browns, and Blacks switches. Each of the colours offer a specific tactile feel and are designed for different purposes.
Cherry MX Blues are the best switches for typing. The resistance is similar to a regular keyboard and the tactile bump can easily be felt. Many don’t like it for gaming since double tapping can be difficult.
Cherry MX Browns are often considered the middle ground between gaming and typing switches. This key has a light tactile feel halfway through, letting you know when you can release. It also allows quicker double tapping because of the ability to “float” at the reset and actuation points.
Cherry MX Blacks are linear (non-tactile) switches and are the best switches for gaming. While playing games, a tactile bump does nothing since you’ll be bottoming out the key anyways. Some people don’t like typing with them because of their linear nature.
Cherry MX Reds are also gaming switches and are essentially a lighter version of MX Blacks. Some do not find it good for gaming or typing due to their lightness, but others strive for this fact.
Of course, just explaining what each switch does won’t help you very much. If you’re looking to buy a mechanical keyboard, your best bet would be to visit a NCIX branch and try them out yourself.