Gateron and Kailh, these are the two mechanical switch manufacturers that are considered the best alternative switches for Cherry Mx.
Do you know why?
Because Cherry Mx switches are too expensive for some keyboard lovers that’s why they seek a switch that can perform as good as the cherry at a very affordable price.
In this scenario, Gateron and Kailh switches come out to be the best option for mechanical keyboards as they improve the performance of the keyboard drastically and make your typing experience better.
But you cant install both switches on your keyboard and you have to pick one between Kailh vs Gateron.
After studying and analyzing these switches for many hours, I have prepared a detailed article that will certainly help you.
In this article, We’ll break down Kailh vs Gateron switches on all technical factors and find out the conclusive answer of which one is a perfect pick for your keyboard?
Let’s get dive into the details!
Kailh Box Switches
Designed and manufactured by Kaihua Electronics Co. Ltd, Kailh switches are best known to provide an excellent typing experience based on their switch profile nature.
Like every switch brand, Kailh linear switches offer smoother typing and fast response with a silent sound profile.
Kailh Tactile switches give bumpy tactile feedback, whereas Kailh Clicky switches provide strong bumps with loud and clicky noise.
Kailh switches have a variety of different switches in their family, among them Kailh Box switches, and Kailh Speed Copper switches are the most dominated and recognized switches from the Kailh family.
The main identity for Kailh switches is their unique sound click which generates Crunchy and Crispier click when pressed.
Gateron Switches: A Sneak Peek
Gateron Milky Switches
Gateron Switches are designed by Gateron Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. and they are manufactured in Huizhou, Guangdong, China.
Gateron switches provide a marvelous-smooth typing experience with absolute consistency that generated less noise compared to cherry switches.
These switches are considered the clone of Cherry switches earlier due to their many similarities like their design, structure, and switch lineups.
But now Gaterons has established itself as a well reliable switch brand on the mechanical switches market.
In Gaterons Lineup, Gateron Yellow and Gateron Ink switches are the most loved switches among the users due to their unique stem and specialty, these switches are widely used in mechanical keyboards.
Buttery-smooth typing experience with a very pleasing sound profile is the main identity of all Gateron switches.
Kailh Vs Gateron: Which Switch is a Better Pick?
After knowing Kailh vs Gateron switches in peek, we have seen both switches compete for a shoulder-to-shoulder in this switch market.
No one can match the smoothness of Gaterons, while Crispier clicks of Kailh bring you more close to the mechanical keyboard’s typing.
An in-depth comparison will clear every doubt and give all the answers for both the switches.
First of all, take a look at all the significant specifications for both switches through a comparison table for better illustration.
Slightly Scratchy feel
Free from resistance
Yes due to Click-bar
Variety of Switches
A bit of Less Variety
Durable with 30-50 million keystrokes
More Durabe having 50 million keystrokes
Speed Silver, Ink switches are quite expensive.
Kailh Box switches are bit cheaper than Gaterons.
Shape of Stem
Kailh Vs Gateron Switches – A Detailed Comparison
Both Kailh and Gateron switches are equipped with advanced and attractive features that brought them into the top-selling switches segment.
We will try to differentiate Kailh vs Gateron switches on the above technical benchmarks and offer them the title Winner in every benchmark so it will become easy for you to judge.
Here is the breakdown of all the specifications and features for both switches:
1. Feel and Touch
When you put your hands on keyboards, the first impression you will get from the switches and keycaps is the feel and touch.
In terms of feel and touch, Gateron switches have an edge as they offer a smoother feel with their linear switch family along with their softer touch improves more feasibility while typing on the keyboard.
Especially Gateron Yellow switches are one of the lightest and smoothest switches in the linear switch category.
However, Kailh switches also offer a satisfying feel but they tend to provide some sort of scratchy feel with each keystroke.
Gaterons win this title due to their soft touch, smoother feel, and very strong hold on the keyboard these differences can easily be felt between Kailh vs Gateron switches during typing.
Winner = Gateron
2. The Shape of Stem
The Shape of the stem creates a major difference between Kailh vs Gateron switches.
Gateron switches come with a Cross-shaped stem which is very similar to the shape of Cherry Mx switches which is being used for many years.
It also optimized switches to provide better smoothness and feasibility.
Whereas Kailh switches follow slightly different mechanisms to design their stems, as they come with a Boxed structure that creates the difference in both switches.
The main advantage of designing mechanical switches Boxed-shaped is to provide a mechanism to protect switches from dust and water as the internal components are covered precisely by the boxy wall.
Just refer to the images for a better understanding of Kailh switches stems.
In this segment, Kailh switches have a slight edge over Gateron switches but when comes to picking it depends on the user preference because some users feel Kailh switches bit awkward.
Winner = Kailh
Tactility is the signature of mechanical switches that is responsible for fast and error-free typing, it’s always very fun to use on tactile keyboards.
Tactile feedback can be referred to as the physical sensation and bump in response after keypresses produced by the key switches.
Both Kailh and Gateron switches offer tactile feedback with their tactile and clicky switch profile. However, linear switches come with a lack of tactile feedback.
In terms of tactility, Kailh Switches have an edge over Gateron switches as Kailhs are known to offer strong tactility, especially their Speed Copper switches which are fast, consistent, and give strong tactile feedback.
Gateron switches also have various tactile and special switches that generate good tactile feedback during successful keystrokes.
Overall, if we compare Kailh vs Gateron switches tactility in practical applications we come up to a conclusion that Kailh switches are slightly ahead in this benchmark.
Winner = Kailh
4. Activation Force
Activation force can be understood by simple language as the amount of force needed to actuate a key switch, which means the pressure required with a finger to activate.
Linear switches are required very less actuation force, tactile switches required slightly more and Clicky switch is considered heavy switches which have a high actuation force.
The actuation force also defines the switch’s weight profile.
Comparing Kailh vs Gateron lightest switches, Kailh has the speed silver from a linear family that required 27g force to actuate whereas Gateron actuates with 35g of force for the same switch profile.
On the opposite side, For the Heavy switch, Gateron has Green switches from the Clicky profile which required 80g of peak force to activate whereas Kailh Box Black switches required 60g of force to actuate.
In the actuation force, Gateron switches win this title with a very narrow margin due to their variety of switches which gives users more options to choose from.
Winner = Gateron
5. Noise Level
The noise level or simply the Sound Profile of any mechanical keyboard is a most vital character as it can broadly impact your gaming performance.
Gateron linear and tactile switches generally have a smoother experience without any scratchy feel so linear switches from Gateron generate silent and rich sound while typing.
Gateron switches are easy to lube, this also makes a plus point for them in sound profile.
However, Kailh switches have different mechanisms as far as the sound profile is concerned, Kailh switches sound works on a principle called ‘Click bar’ which is completely different from Gateron and Cherry switches.
With this Click bar, Kailh switches to produce crunchier and crispier clicks during typing, this property gives Kailh switches a big plus-point in Clicky switches. It beautifies the clicky sound of the clicky switch profile.
Overall, For linear and tactile Gateron switches works best, and for Clicky switches Kailh is way ahead of Gaterons and Cherry.
Winner = Gateron (For Linear)
Winner = Kailh (For Clicky)
The Price is not a major differentiating factor between Kailh vs Gateron switches.
As both switches are considered economical versions of Cherry switches due to many similarities with Cherry Mx switches.
The price for both switches is quite economical and affordable too for any mechanical keyboards lovers, Somehow Gateron standard switches are slightly cheaper than Kailh but this won’t impact much as the difference is very tiny.
Compared to their premium switches, Kailh Box and vanilla switches are slightly cheaper and much better than Gateron premium switches.
Now you can decide better, which switches you’re going to buy based on your budget as both switches are affordable and value for money.
We leave it to the users to decide which switch is a winner on the price benchmark.
Winner = Gateron
Pros and Cons of Gateron Switches
There are many benefits of using Gateron switches on our mechanical keyboard, but at the same time, there are some downsides too which you should know.
Are some cons dealbreakers or can be acceptable, we would know through this table.
Here are the following pros and cons of Gateron switches:
High-quality switches: Gateron switches offer high-quality switches that perform exceptionally well on all technical benchmarks.
Slightly Unstable: This is not a major downside but Gateron switches are slightly unstable and less sturdy when it is compared to Cherry.
Smoother and Faster: Compared to Cherry Mx, Gateron switches are much smoother, lighter, and comfortable to type on.
Spring Wobble: Spring Wobble can be felt by some users during typing on Gateron switches.
Variety of Switches: It has a variety of switches in its family that can fulfill every purpose a user looking for.
Easy to Lube: Compared to Kailh, Gaterons are easy to lube because of their design and structure which allow easy access to the leaves and spring.
Durability: Gateron switches have a good lifespan and can survive 50 million keystrokes.
Very Economical: The most important reason of being Gateron switches' success is the impressive performance at such an affordable price.
Pros and Cons of Kailh Switches
Here are the following upsides and downsides of Kailh switches:
High-quality switches: Kailh also offers very high-quality mechanical switches that are built with premium components and can compete with Cherry Mx switches.
Expensive Standard switches: Kailhs standard switches are slightly more expensive and mediocre than Gaterons.
Dust and Waterproof: Kailh switches have different shapes of stems and are protected with a boxy design that restricts dust particles and water to get inside.
Scratchy Feel: Linear and Tactile switches from Kailh are not that smoother instead they are quite scratchy during typing.
Crunchy Clicks: The most unique characteristic of Kailh switches is having a Click bar that generates superior crunchy and crispier clicks.
Less Variety: Kailh switches have fewer varieties in their switch profiles family when compared to Gateron and Cherry.
Spring Wobble: Compared to Gaterons, Kailh switches have very less or no spring wobble during typing.
Cost: The cost can be a very big upside for Kailh Premium switches as Gaterons premium switches are a bit more expensive than Kailhs.
Kailh Box Switches: Their Box switches are considered one of the best premium switches with a great taste of originality.
If the differences between Kailh vs Gateron switches are still not clear, you should watch this video I’m embedding below:
Kailh vs Gateron: Which switch Should I Choose?
Well, It completely depends on the user’s requirements for what purpose he is looking for mechanical switches.
I am here breaking down the applications of both switches based on Gaming, Programming, and Day to day utility along with the reason why they are best for that purposes.
For Gaming: If you are confused between Kailh vs Gateron switches for opting gaming purposes, I would highly recommend you to go with the Linear switch profile, for that Gateron Ink switches are the best choice due to their buttery-smooth nature and express fast response time.
Gateron Yellow and Red switches also work best in gaming if you are looking to switch in the standard switch category.
For Programming: From a programming point of view, a switch needs to generate fewer errors and be accurate at the same time. For that, you should check out Kailh Box Clicky switches that are exceptionally accurate with crispier clicks.
For Offices and day-to-day Usage: If you are looking to use a mechanical switch at the office, Gateron Yellow and Red linear switches would be a perfect option due to their silent sound profile and smooth typing.
In case silence is not a priority at your office, then Gateron Brown switches are an absolutely perfect choice for you. This same applies with the Day to day and regular usage.
It’s time to wrap this article on Kailh vs Gateron switches.
As we have seen both switches in detail and come to the conclusion that Kailh and Gateron switches are the best substitutes for Cherry Mx switches.
Both switches have many positive aspects and some downsides as well, but one thing is certain Kailh and Gateron will not disappoint you at any benchmarks and somewhere slightly ahead compared to Cherry switches.
The simple conclusion is for the linear switch category, there is no match for Gateron switches, thanks to their butter-smoothness and fast response time.
When it comes to clicky I would say Kailh Box switches are matchless due to their Crunchy and Crispier clicking sound, thanks to their click bar mechanism.
Just try these switches for your mechanical keyboard according to our recommendation, you would love their experience for sure.
I hope everything is clear now between Kailh vs Gateron switches.
Thanks for reading.
Kailh vs Gateron FAQs
Which is the best switch for gaming?
For gaming, Linear switches are an excellent choice due to their fast response time, smooth typing speed with quiet sound. For that Gateron Yellow and Gateron Red switches are perfect to go with, if the budget is not a concern you must check Speed Silver switches as they are specially made for gaming purposes.
Are Kailh box switches better than Gateron?
Kailh box switches fall in the premium switches category so if you compare them with Gateron switches they are slightly better in the Clicky switch profile due to Crispier and Crunchy clicks, whereas Gateron switches have an edge when linear and tactile switches are concerned.
Are Gateron switches better?
Are Gateron switches better? Gateron switches are quite better in terms of smoothness, sound, and actuation, however, Kailh switches are ahead in Clicky switch profile especially Kailh Box switches, while Cherry Mx switches are a lot better in stability, durability, and actuation without a spring wobble.