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Cherry MX Red Keyboard Switch Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 06, 2023 at 12:55 pm
Cherry MX Red Picture
  1. Updated Nov 06, 2023: Review published.

Compared To Other Keyboard Switches

Cherry MX Blue

Cherry MX Blue switches are clicky switches with a click jacket design that makes a signature sound on the downstroke. However, like most clicky switches, they're likely too loud for most open office environments. On the other hand, Cherry MX Red switches are linear switches. Their linear actuation and reasonably good factory smoothness make them popular for gaming or typing.

Gateron G Pro Red

Cherry MX Red and Gateron G Pro Red are very similar linear switches with smooth actuation all the way through the keystroke, suitable for typing or gaming. The Gateron switches are a bit more lightweight and have a shorter pre-travel distance, making them better for fast-paced gaming.

Razer Yellow Gen 3

Cherry MX Red and Razer Yellow Gen 3 are linear switches with smooth actuation throughout the entire keystroke. The Razer switches are a bit more smoother-feeling out of the box, and have a slightly more lightweight actuation feel. Most notably, the Razer switches have significantly shorter pre-travel and total travel distances, providing better latency performance and making them best-suited for playing fast-paced games.

Razer Green Gen 3

Cherry MX Red are linear switches that actuate smoothly throughout their entire keypress. On the other hand, Razer Green Gen 3 are heavier clicky switches with shorter pre-travel, but they're noticeably less smooth from the factory. Both switches offer similar latency performance.

Outemu Red

Cherry MX Red and Outemu Red are both linear switches with short pre-travel and a smooth actuation feel throughout the entire keystroke. Both are well-suited for typing or gaming, but the Cherry switches are generally more durable and consistent in switch-to-switch performance. That said, the Outemu Red switches have a clear housing, making them a good pick if you'd like to prioritize RGB lighting.

HyperX Red

Cherry MX Red and HyperX Red are similar linear switches. The Cherry switches are marginally heavier and have a slightly longer pre-travel distance. They also have slightly better overall latency performance. On the other hand, the HyperX switches have a clear top housing, providing better RGB illumination.

Kailh Box Red V2

Cherry MX Red and Kailh Box Red V2 are similar linear switches that actuate smoothly through the entire keypress. The Kailh switches are a bit more stable owing to their dust-proof stem design. They're also pre-lubed from the factory and noticeably smoother-feeling out of the box.

Razer Orange Gen 3

Cherry MX Red are linear switches that actuate smoothly throughout their entire keypress. On the other hand, the Razer Orange Gen 3 switches have a small tactile bump to overcome during actuation. They also have somewhat better latency performance. While the Razer switches have only a slightly shorter pre-travel, the tactile bump is also very early in the keypress, which is unusual for a tactile switch.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.0
Design
Compatibility
Cherry MX PCB Pinout
Yes
Pin Count
3
Keycap Mount
MX Style
5.0
Design
Illumination
Upper Housing Color
Black
Upper Housing Finish
Opaque
Performance
Performance
Keystrokes
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
50 gf
Actuation Force
50 gf
Pre-Travel Distance
2.3 mm
Total Travel Distance
4.0 mm
7.2
Performance
Factory Smoothness
Scratchy Factor
16.4
Mid Actuation Peak Noise
-63.8 dB
Mid Actuation Peak Frequency
1,027 Hz
7.2
Performance
Latency
Press Average
2.0 ms
Press Std Dev
ยฑ0.35 ms
Release Average
6.3 ms
Release Std Dev
ยฑ0.68 ms