Kailh Switches: A Comprehensive Guide and {Review}


If I say there is only one mechanical switch company that is truly dominating the switch market by introducing their product Kailh Switches to keyboard enthusiasts.

How sounds this is?

Well, Kailh Switches are considered the best replacement for expensive Cherry’s Switches as well as these switches are truly innovative over Cherry switches’ design and performance.

Kailh Switches offer a large collection of switches as their variety of switches are Kailh Box Switches, Speed Switches, and Low-Profile Switches, and each switch type has a different purpose of use for the mechanical keyboard.

If you are looking to replace your current keyboard switches and are willing to install Kailh switches, this article will certainly help you to decide whether you should buy them.

Or look for some other popular switches like Gaterons and Outemu.

This blog is specially prepared after indulging many hours of study and research and will cover a complete in-depth guide about Kailh Switches, Kailh Switches review, and their Pros & Cons.

In this article, every single question will be answered regarding Kailh Switches.

So make sure to read till the end.

Let’s get dive into the details!

What are Kailh Switches?

kailh switches-1

Kailh Switches are designed and constructed by Chinese company ‘Kaihua Electronics Co. Ltd.’ which is best known to produce Cherry’s clone switches under the economic price.

Kailh Company is one of the largest mechanical switch manufacturers among the other established key switches brands.

Kailh switches are manufactured with the following significant components which provide them good stability and sturdiness.

  • Nylon
  • Transparent switch housing
  • Manufacturer: Kailh (Kaihua)

Kailh switches have a variety of switches in their Lineup.

There are some special and exclusive switches from Kailh which are Kailh Box Switches, Kailh Speed Switches, and Low Profile Kailh Switches.

These different switches have their specialty, unique colors, and different purpose of usage.

Each variant consists of different actuation forces, sound profiles, and different keypresses as some Kailh switches are easy to press while some are toucher and have a scratchy feel during typing.

Kailh switches are clones of Cherry MX switches and like them, these switches have over 50 million keystrokes which simply means they are durable and can survive for many years with regular use.

These switches are compatible with most of the keycaps with  Cherry switches being compatible too.

Well, Cherry is Germany based manufacturer which is known to produce top-notch switches that are way ahead in every technical aspect.

Whereas Kailh switches are a China-based manufacturer which is known to produce economical switches with excellent performance (not as excellent as the cherry) and sturdy build quality too.

Now take a look at various Kailh switches with their specifications in detail.

Kailh Switches Guide & Specifications

COLOR

TYPE

MOUNT TYPE

ACTUATION FORCE

ACTIVATION POINT

NOISE LEVEL

Kailh Red

Linear

PCB

50cN

2mm

Low

Kailh Blue

Clicky

PCB

50cN

2mm

High

Kailh Brown

Tactile

PCB

50cN

2mm

Medium

Kailh Black

Linear

PCB

60cN

2.3mm

Low

In the above table of these switches, you can see Kailh comes in 4 different colors like Cherrys and some other traditional switches that are Red, Blue, Brown, and Black switches.

Kailh also follows the same color pattern and switch-type profile as other brand switches do.

Among the Kailh family lineup, Kailh Red switches are a linear type, Blue switches are clicky, Brown switches are tactile, and Black Kailh Switches are Linear types of switches so you should pick them accordingly.

As far as the actuation force of these switches is concerned, Kailh Black Switches are the only switch that consists of 60g of actuation which is slightly high compared to Red, Blue, and Brown which has the same 50g actuation force.

The Travel Distance for these switches is 2mm for all switch types which is considered ideal.

Kailh switches are mediocre in terms of heaviness as they have a moderate actuation force which is neither heavy nor light.

Overall you will get a balanced actuation on these switches.

The Kailh BOX Switch

COLOR

TYPE

ACTUATION FORCE

ACTUATION POINT

MOUNT TYPE

Kailh BOX White

Clicky

50g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Navy

Clicky

75g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Jade

Clicky

65g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Red

Linear

50g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Burnt Orange

Tactile

60g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Dark Yellow

Linear

70g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Pale Blue

Clicky

60g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Black

Linear

60g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

kailh switches-box

Kailh Box switches are called Box switches because their switch stem is shaped magnificently and metal contacts are encased in a box that gives a perfect box-shaped design from inside.

The design and structure of these Kailh Box Switches seem good and offer good stability and sturdiness to these switches.

These switches are made of good quality material that has many functionalities such as shorter key distance as well as low resistance which makes them super useful for a great gaming and typing experience.

This Box offers them a water and dustproof mechanism with an IP56 rating.

Here is a video that elaborated how Kailh Box Switches real sound and feel.

Apart from positive aspects, one downside associated with these Box Switches is they can’t be lubricated because of a hole aligned at the center of the switch which can allow some leakages from inside.

If you are a fan of clicky switches and loved to type on them, I would recommend you to go for clicky box switches as clicky switches don’t require lubing because of their loud sound profile nature.

And for Linear and Tactile Box switches, I will not recommend you to go with Kailh Box switches due to some scratchy feel.

Kailh Speed Switches

COLOR

TYPE

ACTUATION FORCE

ACTUATION POINT

MOUNT TYPE

Kailh Speed Silver

Linear

50g

1.1mm

Plate Mount

Kailh Speed Copper

Tactile

50g

1.1mm

Plate Mount

Kailh Speed Bronze

Clicky

50g

1.1mm

Plate Mount

Kailh Speed Gold

Tactile

50g

1.1mm

Plate Mount

Kailh Speed Switches are specially designed by the company for the gaming community.

As the name suggests Kailh Speed Switches are equipped with shorter actuation and shorter travel time which allow fast reaction time along with speedy typing during the game giving a competitive edge to the Hardcore gamers.

As you know Cherry has Speed Silver switches for gamers and speed lovers, Kailh walks on the same track and constructed Speed switches which are very similar to Cherry’s Speed Silver Switches.

Kailh Speed switches are made of self-lubricating housing and POM.

Compared with some other gaming switches, these Kailh Speed switches are not only limited to Linear switches as they come in no. of option for the users.

If someone wants a gaming switch with a Clicky and Tactile switch profile because some people don’t like linear switches but they need gaming switches for their keyboard, In that scenario, Kailh Speeds are a very good option to go with.

Overall, Kailh Speed Switches have fast response time, precise accuracy, fast typing, and shorter travel distance making these switches perfect for gaming as well as for fast typing.

But you should keep in mind that shorter travel distances can create fatigue and pain in the hand for some users while typing.

Personally, I would say Kailh Speed Switches can be considered for gaming if you are getting these switches at a discounted price.

Kailh Silent Switches

kailh switches-others

COLOR

TYPE

ACTUATION FORCE

ACTUATION POINT

MOUNT TYPE

Kailh BOX Silent Pink

Linear

35g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh BOX Silent Brown

Tactile

45g

1.8mm

Plate Mount

Kailh switches also introduced Silent switches in their family like Gateron switches.

Kailh Silent switches are designed in a way that they can aboard internal keystroke pressure and produce very less noise due to rubber dampening mounted inside the stem.

The design and structure of these Kailh Box Switches seem good and offer good stability and sturdiness to these switches.

These switches are sealed perfectly from the inside that resists shocking impact done by keystrokes, as a result, these switches are able to provide excellent durability to the users.

Silent switches are mostly preferred by the gamers and the users who use the keyboard in offices, a centralized room, or a place where silence is the most priority.

Kailh Silent switches suit best in all that kinds of scenarios.

If you have a habit of using a regular mechanical switch then these silent switches may provide some discomfort at the initial because of rubber dampening.

So don’t forget to try these switches for testing and then make a decision whether you should buy these switches or not.

Silent switches may be a new experience for you.

Kailh Low-Profile Switches

COLOR

TYPE

ACTUATION FORCE

ACTUATION POINT

MOUNT TYPE

Kailh ML Choc White

Clicky

50g

1.3mm

Plate Mount

Kailh ML Choc Brown

Tactile

50g

1.3mm

Plate Mount

Kailh ML Choc Red

Linear

50g

1.3mm

Plate Mount

Kailh Low Profile Switches have a shorter stem length as well as a thinner body that’s why these switches are called Low-Profile Switches.

Low Profile switches are more popular in the gaming community due to their fast reaction time and the low actuation force like Speed Switches.

Low actuation forces are responsible for fast typing too as they required slightly less pressure compared to some heavy swithces.

These Kailh Low Profile switches can be a good fit for Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards.

Due to having a thin switch profile, these switches from Kailh can fit perfectly inside the smaller case of Low Profile keyboards.

This is the reason these low-profile switches have a shorter travel distance.

I would say if you never used a mechanical keyboard, Low Profile switches are not considered good for a beginner and I will not suggest you buy these switches.

Kailh Low Profile switches are not for everyone’s cup of tea in terms of usuage.

Other Switches From Kailh

As we have discussed above most popular switches from Kailhs are Kailh Box Switches, Kailh Low-Profile switches, and Kailh Silent Switches.

Apart from these switches, Kailh introduced some other switches on the market too, which have a unique specialty and functionality.

The special switches are Kailh Cream and Kailh Blueberry switches.

These switches have separate users who love to type on Kailh cream and they loved it among all switches due to some special typing experience.

You should check these switches’ availability on the official manufacturer’s website which are KBDfans, NovelKeys.

Kailh Switch Sounds Profile

As far as the sound of Kailh Switches is concerned, each switch type produces unique sounds and noise.

Well, Every switch produces sound according to their switch type nature like Kail Blue switches sound loud and clicky whether it is Box switches or Low Profile switches.

While Red Switches are linear type so they are silent and have no tactile feedback when pressed.

You may find a little difference when typing as Kailh Switches have some unique sound identity.

Lubrication also makes these mechanical switches smooth and provides deep and rich sound, as some Kailh switches don’t allow lubrication so make sure to check before purchasing.

However, some mechanical switches don’t require lubrication as they work absolutely fine for long years without lubrication.

I am embedding a video to get a real feel of the sound for all Kailh Switches. This video is uploaded by Switch and Click.

By hearing their sound you can judge which sound profile suits best for your requirement and surrounding circumstances.

Source: Switch and Click

 
 

Are Kailh Switches Good?

Kailh switches are specially created as a replacement for Cherry MX Switches as Cherry switches are the most expensive which everyone can’t afford for their keyboard.

Although you will get excellent value what you pay for Cherry switches.

Coming to Kailh, yes Kailh switches are excellent switches having many advanced functionality and specifications.

These switches provide a smooth typing experience, a balanced sound profile, overall impressive performance to the user at a very good price.

But if you compare with Gateron switches and Cherrys, these Kailh switches couldn’t reach up to the level of both switches’ brand value.

But as an individual, there is no doubt to say Kailhs are certainly good switches.

Are Kailh Switches Hot-Swappable?

First of all, you should know ‘What is Hot-swappable switches’?

A hot-swappable keyboard means a user can change the switches easily with the help of a switch puller which means a user can pull out switches with the switch puller and can install another switch.

In this Hot-swappable case, Kailh switches are not fully hot-swappable due to their inbuilt mechanism which resists the switch to pull out easily.

But if you do it carefully you can remove these switches and later on you are able to plug in other switches.

You should be very careful while removing these because they are locked in PCB and very difficult to remove due to some prevention of tampering.

I would recommend you to just check switches compatibility before removing a switch or installing a switch in the mechanical keyboards.

Are Kailh switches better than Gateron?

Kailh and Gateron switches have many similarities due to several reasons as both switches have various lines up in their family for different purposes.

Gateron has Gateron Ink Switches, Gateron Silent, Gateron Milk, and Gateron Low-Profiles Switches while Kailh has Kailh Box, Kailh Silent, and Kailh Low-Profile switch in his lineup.

That’s the reason both switches are compared by many professionals and keyboard enthusiasts.

Although both Kailh and Gateron switches are excellent.

According to my research and study, Kailh switches are much more economical and perform well in every technical aspect.

However, Gateron switches are much more premium in feel, magnificent typing experience, superb sound profile with deeper and richer noise, in overall performance and build I would say Gaterons are definitely way ahead.

You can opt for any switches according to your budget and requirements as both switches are good and will not disappoint you any day.

Are Kailh switches better than cherry?

Cherry is the only mechanical switch company that set a benchmark for other switch manufacturers, so comparing them with Kailh, Gaterons and Outemus are not fair according to me.

As Cherry switches are pure gold in the switch market.

Even though if you want an answer then I would say Cherry switches are way much better in terms of performance, build quality, and durability whereas Kailh switches are more focusing on providing value for money due to economical price.

If you can afford cherry switches for your keyboard then there is no single thought just buy them.

But if you are looking for a switch that is as good as cherry’s under a very economical price, you should look out for Kailh switches without much thinking.

Conclusion

There is no doubt Kailh Switches are one of the best and most economical mechanical switches manufacturers on the keyboard market.

From Kailh Box switches to Kailh Low-Profile switches, Kailhs have a variety of switches for every kind of user.

For gaming and fast typing experience, you can buy Kailh Speed switches which are perfectly suited, and for typing and day-to-day usage in the office, Kailh Silent switches are there to fulfill your requirements.

Kailh switches have many advantages to be get preferred by the users and the most significant reason is decent performance under an economical price. 

Apart from the positive sides, there are some negative sides too like Kailh switches are known to provide a scratchy feel sometimes but this can be ignored looking at their price and the overall performance.

In the conclusion, I will advise you to test the Kailh switches of your own, you will come out to be happy for sure after using these switches in your mechanical keyboard.

I hope this post was helpful to you and I was able to give all answers regarding Kailh Switches.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers!!

Kailh Switches FAQs

Are Kailh pro switches good?

Kailh Pro switches are best for the people who like light switches for their keyboard as Kailh Pro switches have slightly light actuation, have wobble feel along with a good tactile bump and fast activation time which make these switches superb.

Is Kailh compatible with MX?

Yes, all switches from Kailhs are fully compatible with MX switches so you can buy these switches as they are compatible with most of the switches available on the market.

Do Kailh switches work with GMMK?

Yes, these Kailhs are fully compatible and work best with GMMK and GMMK Pro.


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