Usually, the next step after finalizing your choice of a mechanical keyboard is comparing Gateron vs. Kailh switches.
Making the right choice will give you the edge to fully enjoy the ultimate pleasure of typing and gaming on your PC. You have to weigh your options and make some considerations before making your final decision
Do you love typing, gaming, software development, or other functions? Read on to find out which of the two is most suitable for your needs.
|Properties||Kailh Switches||Gateron Switches|
|Colors||Black, Brown, Red, White, Bronze, Copper, Silver, Purple||Clear, Red, Black, Blue, Green, Brown|
|Lowest actuation point||27g||35g|
|Behaviors||Linear, Tactile, Clicky||Linear, Tactile, Clicky|
Gateron Switches and Kailh Switches: Which is Better?
With both switches, you won’t be getting anything wrong. The fact is they are both clones of the original Cherry switches.
However, they offer a lot of value with some variants of the Gateron switches having more quality than some Cherry MX. If you want a switch with the right value and quality, Gateron is the brand.
On the flip side, Kailhs sport innovative improvements adapted from Cherry switches. It’s a clone that will serve a lot of needs. Most users argue that it’s a better fit for those who do a lot of typing, but it does hold its own for gaming, too.
Overall, we think Gaterons are slightly ahead. Perhaps more information on how they both operate will clear things up. Let’s look at them individually:
1. Gateron Switches
• Smooth feel
• Reliable and long-lasting
• Customizable features
• Rapid execution of keys
• Could get too loud
For a long time, Gateron has been considered as the best choice to have where Cherry MX switches are absent. Sure, they are clones, but they are good enough for a raft of purposes. This includes gaming and typing. Moreover, they are designed to have a smoother feel.
One thing you might not like is the fact that they are not rated for 100 million keystrokes. Apart from that, their unique feel, feedback, and overall performance will leave you satisfied. This is the case with all of Gateron’s linear switch options.
For instance, the Red and Yellow switches give off a great gaming experience. They can take a lot of pressure and are known to last longer than typical switches.
Their tactile switches aren’t as good, though, and aren’t as close to Cherry switches in terms of quality. Further, Gaterons have a good spring force and travel distance, which is pegged at 4mm. Depending on the Gateron switch you opt for, the actuation force will vary.
2. Kailh Switches
• Fast keystroke responses
• Shorter travel and key activation distance
• Easy to clean
• Scratchy feel
Kailhs are one of the best clone switches available on the market. This brand features a unique style of switches well-adapted from the Cherry series. A great line of switches here includes the Box and Speed switches.
They offer more stability to different types of users. Further, their reputation for being best suited to typing isn’t the case. Sure, you can get a lot done with them while working, but they are also a good fit for gamers.
With faster response on each keystroke, typing, gaming, and other functions are worthwhile. It’s also worth noting that the Kailh imitation of Cherry is somewhat off the mark. They have a scratchy feel and might make your functions seem a bit too labored.
The Kailh Box Whites are one of the best clicky switches, though. They give off good sounds and quick responses when you double-down on the keycaps. With linear and tactile switches in Kailh’s collection, you can alternate between variants and find what works best for you.
Comparing the Features
One thing is very clear about mechanical keyboard switches. They have a more tactile feel than membrane keyboards. Since we’re limited to only two mechanical switches here, it’s obvious that Kailh offers more tactility.
This is also backed up with better action and stability of keys. As a result, there’s little chance of keycaps twisting when pressing them.
With many switches having a lifespan of up to 50 million keystrokes, they’ll last a long time. This is one of the advantages of Gateron. In comparison to Kailhs, they are built to take a lot of hits, whether you’re typing or gaming.
Key Activation Force
The actuation force varies widely. In the case of both switches, the Kailh linear Speed Silver has the lowest actuation force at 27g. For Gateron, this rate is 35g for one of its linear switches.
Also, for the highest pick force, Gateron comes in at 80g for its Green Clicky, while Kailh stands at 60g for its Box Black.
Overall, switches for mechanical keyboards often have actuation forces that do not exceed 80g. We’ll go with the Gateron because a good number of its switches have a fast actuation force.
Key Travel Distance
They both have some level of speed and key actuation. However, Gateron trumps it for us, especially when there’s a clear sound to indicate when a keystroke is generated. Kailh comes close with a good key travel distance, too. With most Gaterons, bottoming out won’t be an issue while using your keyboard.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Switch
There are some significant features you need to look for when picking out a switch. Of course, personal preferences are vital, with a large consideration going to what you want it for. Other than that, longevity, travel distance, sound, actuation, and more are important factors to consider.
Spending a good sum of money on a keyboard switch takes some doing. While there are key keyboard switches differences, you’d want one that lasts for the long term. As such, it’s one big factor to consider, especially if your keyboard will be used for the tougher stuff.
Make sure the switch is reliable and packs a lot in terms of millions of guaranteed keystrokes and quality.
2. Travel Distance
This refers to how far your fingers can go with each keypress. Whether you opt for a Gateron or Kailh bran, ensure the travel distance works for you. Switches that are low profile tend to be lighter and less bulky.
Also, their steady and slight build makes them suitable for gaming and typing. This way, your keystroke registers within the shortest time.
3. Actuation Type
Basically, there are three main types of actuation: linear, clicky, and tactile. Most linear switches give off a smooth keystroke without tactile feedback. As such, they make great tools for gamers since they can press a key fast and have the strokes registered immediately.
Tactile switches are a bit different. They offer a small bump in order to provide a little tactile feedback after a keypress. If you spend a lot of time typing on your keyboard or just working, you’ll enjoy the tactile responses.
4. Spring Force
This is a great factor, especially if you’re heavy-handed while typing or gaming. Such force needs to be tamed by a spring to protect your switches. With heavier springs, you have the ideal support and resistance for your fingers. This means you can slam them down at will or bottom out entire keycaps.
Having smaller hands or being softer with the keys means you might favor an alternative. In line with that, a switch that supports lighter springs is ideal. Always test them out, though, so that you don’t pick something that wears you out.
5. Noise Level
A feature that appears in most reviews, including the Cherry switches review, is noise level. While some appreciate sounds when typing or gaming, others want a silent performer. You can choose whatever suits you best.
Overall, Gaterons are louder than Kailhs. The former has more linear switches that are loud. Tactile switches will only click at the point of actuation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are keyboard switches, and how do they work?
Keyboard switches are components that are built into keyboards and appear underneath the keycaps. When you press the keys, a change in the feel, sound, and response time is felt. Switches are great for a large number of functions. This includes typing of documents and software development.
2. Which switch is perfect for what I do?
Whether you study a Gateron review or not, there is a switch ideal for certain functions. For instance, linear switches are well suited for gamers and tactile for typing. Of course, they could both run both comfortably, but the perfect one will fit what you do.
To wrap things up, irrespective of what you do with your keyboard, there’s a switch for you. As a team, however, we recommend the Gateron brand with more emphasis on the sharper keystroke you achieve. What’s more, their louder click, moderate tactile bump, and smooth user experience count for a lot.
Further, as Cherry clones, they are far better than Kailh’s options. For a great time working, gaming, or other uses, Gateron ranks just below Cherry switches and well above Kailhs.