cherry linear switches

It was during the 1980s that Cherry introduced mechanical keyboards and switches to the market. As a result, Cherry MX linear switches provide a smooth, bump-free feel with quiet clicks on each keystroke, making them one of the most popular switches in the world.

In case you’re a newbie, I’ve prepared a guide to help you understand what cherry linear switches and types are. Plus, help you find the right choice without being sick as a parrot.

What are Cherry Linear switches and types?

In general, Cherry offers the most trendy and widely used switch technology for making mechanical linear keyboards in the mechanical keyboard world and market. Further, Cherry MX linear switches are designed for gaming keyboards to meet the high demands of PC gamers in terms of performance, response time, and keystroke speed. 

cherry linear switches

There is also a guaranteed lifetime of over 50 million keystrokes provided by Cherry without compromising the quality of the input. As opposed to Gateron linear switches, Cherry MX switches guarantee only their manufacturing lifespan.

To increase abilities day after day, Cherry has created the following types of linear mechanical switches, tested by many gamers and typists after extensive testing and research by me.

Actuation Type

To find Cherry MX linear switches, you need to understand all actuation types and all mechanical switches like linear, tactile, and clicky switches. As a result of holding Cherry MX mechanical switches and pressing them, the keystrokes are smooth and consistent with a quiet noise.

You should also place the switch near your ear and begin pressing it. If you don’t hear any sound and you don’t feel any bump, congratulations! It’s a Cherry MX linear switch.

While pressing the Cherry MX switches, a small bump makes a moderate sound called a tactile switch. Compared to linear switches, they produce more noise. When pressing the switch, you will hear loud noises associated with clicky switches, which liked by their loud keystroke sound.

Components and Working 

According to Cherry, MX linear mechanical switches consist of several components. So, the first color-coded part is called the stem, which identifies the mechanical switch-type striking components, together with the precision coil spring. They define the characteristics of the key and call it a cross mount, which allows you to push the key cap onto it and rest back.

The slide is precisely guided in the top housing, and the mechanical module and other crucial components are well protected. Additionally, the key cap strikes the upper housing while the stem descends.

A coil spring, made from metal and connected to a PCB board, is the next most important component. By judging stem color, they also help determine the switch’s actuation force, which remains the same throughout its lifespan regardless of the switch type. 

Gold cross-point contacts are the core of each MX linear switch, providing durability and reliability. The patented triangular cross-contacts close the electrical circuit with absolute precision by meeting crosswise and at right angles and protecting the electrical contacts from corrosion. 

The gold plating makes them self-cleaning. Cherry MX linear switches are completed with the base, which provides support and base for their installation in mechanical keyboards. As a result of the glass fiber reinforcement, the housing is durable and pressure-resistant.

Types of Cherry Linear Mechanical Switches

Cherry MX manufactures several designs of linear switches with different resistance levels, actuation forces, response times, and speed levels without noise and tactile feedback compared to other mechanical switches, specially clicky and tactile. Plus, linear switches have more abilities than other mechanical switches

Types of Cherry Linear Mechanical Switches

The difference between Cherry MX linear switches and Gateron linear switches can be felt after using Gateron linear switches, as Cherry provides better quality than Gateron and provides a better experience for people playing games, streaming on different platforms, and working in public places without bothering others.

So, here you see popular and pleasant linear switches between people. Such as

All Popular Cherry Linear Switches

  • Cherry MX Black Linear Switch
  • Cherry MX Red Linear Switch
  • Cherry MX Speed Silver Linear Switches
  • Cherry MX Gray Linear Switch
  • Cherry MX Silent Red
  • Cherry MX Silent Black

Cherry MX Black Linear switch

Firstly, Cherry MX black linear switches were introduced way back in 1984. And the first mechanical switches were invented by Cherry but are famous until now. According to Cherry and tested by me, the actuation force of 60 and more + 15 than the red linear switch, which is amazing and quite high. They’re the top-rated or stiffest mechanical linear switch out of the four standard Cherry MX worlds.

Cherry MX Black Linear switch

Plus, If you want a gaming switch and fast typing, the Cherry MX black linear switches are suited for it. The most important factor to consider is the weight of these switches. After all, with a membrane keyboard and tactile, clicky switches, users get a different and smooth feel without tactile bumps and noise.

Although, professionals recommended Cherry MX black switches. Who were looking for a switch for typing due to heavy actuation force and low resistance compared to tactile or clicky switches. 

When you accidentally press a key, heavy actuation force comes in handy. These mechanical switches come in silent varieties that are quieter when pressing the keys. Regular blacks have a wider actuation (2.0mm) than silent blacks (1.9mm). The total travel distance of these wheels is also shorter than the black wheels at 3.7mm compared to 4.0mm.

Features of Black Linear Switches

  • The actuation Force is 60+15 gf
  • Pre-travel 2+0.6 mm
  • Travel distance 4+0.6 mm
  • Suitable for gaming and typing
  • A bit more resistance switch
  • Relatively quiet switch

Advantages of Black Linear Switches

  • Its black linear counterpart is similar to Cherry MX’s red linear counterpart.
  • The high actuation force is good for heavy gaming or fast typing.
  • The different spring designs ensure a quiet sound and a heavier keystroke.

Cherry MX Red Linear switch

Additionally, Cherry MX red linear switches have grown in popularity and are pleasant because of their versatility. And, famous among people for their great smoothness. These red linear switches have an actuation force of 45 + 15 gf, the lightest of linear mechanical switches. But, the actuation focus is lighter than black linear switches. 

Cherry MX Red Linear switch

Red linear switches come with gaming keyboards because they’re ideal for gaming and double tap them and great for typing too. That depends on your performance as to which one you will like most. My experience with them was that they were lightweight and would be a good starting point for beginners who want to start gaming and typing.

Cherry MX red linear switches come in a silent noise variety similar to black linear switches, offering very quiet key presses. Silent red also has a slightly shorter actuation (1.9mm) than the normal red switches (2.0mm). After deep testing, the travel distance is shorter by about 3.7mm.

Features of Red Linear Switches

  • Actuation Force is 45+15 gf
  • Pre-travel 2+0.6 mm
  • Travel distance 4+0.6 mm
  • Suitable for gaming and office work
  • Comparatively quiet with a bit of resistance.

Advantages of Red Linear Switches

  • Red linear switches have quicker actuation and low actuation force are 45 gf.
  • Many KB users enjoy the smooth operation of Cherry MX technology.
  • Suitable for typing in public space without frustrating someone, you don’t require private space, unlike tactile and clicky mechanical switches.
  • Appreciate its quick key registration rate over other switch types.

Cherry MX Speed Silver Linear switch

Additionally, MX speed silver switches have become increasingly popular among gamers who enjoy heavy games. They’re also marketed as having a short travel time, which allows for faster actuation force. Additionally, Cherry MX reds have an actuation distance of 2.0mm, whereas Silvers have one of 1.2mm, a distance nearly half of Cherry MX reds.  

Cherry MX Speed Silver Linear switch

Cherry MX Reds have a travel of 4.0mm, and Cherry MX Silvers has a travel of 3.4mm. As a result, the switch travel time has been shortened as well as the actuation time. There is no real way to test if they offer faster actuation since they have a shorter travel time.

It also took me a long time to get used to the keys since I kept accidentally pressing them far too much. Moreover, I often mistyped or accidentally moved my character in the game when I rested my fingers on the keyboard.

Thus, the switch travel time and actuation time have been shortened. There is no way to test whether they will provide faster actuation because of the shorter travel time. Also, I needed help getting used to the keys because I would accidentally press them so much. Often, I would accidentally move my character in the game or misspell words by resting my fingers on the keyboard.

Features of Speed Silver Linear Switches

  • Actuation Force is 45+25 gf
  • Pre-travel 1.2+0.4 mm
  • Travel distance 3.4+0.4 mm
  • Suitable for heavy gaming and fast typing
  • Comparatively quiet with a bit of resistance.
  • Efficiently and comfortable to use, with no friction at all.

Advantages of Speed Silver Linear Switches

  • Cherry MX switch innovation is the only available speed option.
  • Speed silver linear switches are surprisingly amazing and faster mechanical switches.
  • These switches are right as rain for gaming and fast typing.
  • Noiseless switch with faster key register and less responding time.

Cherry MX Grey Linear switch

Another famous Cherry MX manufacturer linear switches MX grey, the color is almost identical, with different mounting style systems. Grey linear switches come with 5 pins and two prongs for stability, with switches mounted directly to connect the board PCB.

Cherry MX Grey Linear switch

In simple words, Cherry MX grey switches much more than black and red linear switches because they’ve 20 gf more actuation force. Designed optimally for those who want linear and heavy keystrokes.

In fact, due to actuation and response time, my next-door neighbor plays heavy competitor games with me by using Cherry MX grey linear switches and getting victories in almost every match by heavy keystroke force without any finger strain. Plus, that is optimal for gaming. While typing, it might be unstable for you.

Features of Grey Linear Switches

  • Actuation Force is 80+15 gf
  • Pre-travel 2+0.6 mm
  • Travel distance 4+0.4 mm
  • Suitable for heavy gaming 
  • Noiseless and smooth linear switch
  • Actuating it requires a little more pressure. 

Advantages of Grey Linear Switches

  • Grey switches are ideal and optimal for those who like to play heavy games without taking any risks, But it might be unstable for typing.
  • The smoothness of grey linear switches is the same as gateron linear switches.
  • A rather quiet switch and not required private space for playing the keystroke is too linear and can’t be disturbing.
  • Actuation points make it bite at the cherry compared to other Cherry MX mechanical switches.

Cherry MX Silent Red Linear switch

Cherry MX Silent Red linear switches come with a rubber padding stem similar to MX red. Plus, the actuation force is 45 gf and 1.9 mm pre-travel distance.

Cherry MX Silent Red Linear switch

The features are designed optimally for linear switching characteristics due to a shorter travel distance, comparatively less than the (0.3 mm) standard red linear switches. Patented damping ensures minimal operating noise. As a result of its soft actuation and low spring force, it is more competitive than its competitors.

Features of Silent Red Linear Switches

  • Actuation Force is 45+15 gf
  • Pre-travel 1.9+0.6 mm
  • Travel distance 3.7+0.4 mm
  • Good for gaming, typing, and general use
  • Noiseless and supper smooth linear switch
  • Bump-free feel and not clicky sound

Advantages of Silent Red Linear Switches

  • Mostly, silent red linear switches are the same as MX red, but there are a few differences, like travel distance, noise, and bump feel.
  • The noise level is quiet and good, and the bump-free feel provides a different feel. 
  • Good for gaming and typing due to good actuation force.
  • Unlike tactile and clicky mechanical switches, it does not require private space, making it suitable for typing in public spaces without annoying others.

Cherry MX Silent Black Linear switch

These linear switches are quieter keypresses than standard MX black linear switches. The shorter total travel distance makes it different from black switches, which is 3.7mm compared to 4.0 mm of the MX black switches. However, silent blacks require a greater actuation force and are 15 gf heavier than silent red linear switches.

Features of Black Linear Switches

  • The actuation Force is 60+15 gf
  • Pre-travel 1.9+0.6 mm
  • Travel distance 3.7+0.4 mm
  • Fit for gaming and typing
  • Silent red is less scratchy.
  • Relatively quiet and smooth linear switch

Advantages of Black Linear Switches

  • Cherry MX black and silent black are similar in their actuation and working point.
  • Gaming or typing at a high speed requires a high actuation force.
  • Due to different spring designs, the keystrokes will sound quieter and feel heavier.
  • Super smooth and bump-free and feel like a silent red linear switch.


There is no interference between the switch top and the actuation point on Cherry MX Red switches. Pressing keys is faster, and switches don’t provide feedback until they bottom out.

In gaming, especially MOBAs, Cherry MX Black switches are excellent since their high actuation force prevents accidental key presses.

Gateron switches generally feel better than Cherry switches, according to our testing of dozens of both brands. There is an extra smooth feel to Gateron switches, particularly the linear variation. Keystrokes are smoother because the switch stem is smaller.

Final Thoughts

Compared to Gateron Linear switches, Cherry MX or silent switches provide quality and right rain actuation for playing games, a lot of typing, and general use. Plus, If you’re looking for linear switches which are optimal for gaming, then Cherry MX black and grey linear switches are a great option after deep testing. 

The red linear switches are newbie friendly and good for typing or office use. These switches have great response time and speed to fit your needs compared to Gateron. The Cherry silent red or black mechanical switches come with a rubber padding stem rather than a simple switch stem, which makes it too silent.

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