Keyboard Key Switch Comparison

Mechanical keyboards are commonly available with a variety of different keyswitches, each having different characteristics. The most common are known simply by the color of their switch stem: red, blue, and brown. Here is a video link of all three types of switch types and the noises they produce when typing.

  • Red linear switches feel smooth with no bump. They are quietest of the mechanical switches. Linear switches are a favorite of super fast-paced gamers due to their lack of bump or click. This allows for quick, twitchy reactions with minimal resistance.
  • Blue clicky switches feel clicky with a tactile bump. They have a loud click sound and are the loudest of mechanical switches. Blue switches have clicky actuation with a bump and distinctive click sound when a keypress registers and are great for typing and confident accuracy. Some folks really enjoy the clicky noise.
  • Brown tactile switches have a tactile bump, but do not make the loud clicky noise. These are in between red and blue switches. This increases accuracy and keypress confidence due to feel the “bump” of a key actuating when pressed.

Some brands use different colors to signify linear, tactile, or clicky. The characteristics of the switches should be similar, however.