Gateron Switches Guide

Mechanical keyboard sitting on a red deskmat.

Gateron switches have made a significant impact in the keyboard community, emerging as a compelling alternative to traditional rubber dome switches typically found in office keyboards. With their blend of superior performance, lasting durability, and cost-effectiveness, they are rapidly becoming a favorite among keyboard enthusiasts. Gateron, since its inception, has carved a niche for itself in the realm of mechanical switches, challenging the long-standing dominance of brands like Cherry MX and offering users a different yet equally satisfying typing experience.

For a long time, Cherry MX switches have been the go-to in the mechanical keyboard market. But now, Gateron switches are stepping up, offering a range of options that rival Cherry MX in both quality and versatility.

In this guide, we’re delving into the diverse array of Gateron switches. We’ll explore the different types available and help you figure out whether Gateron switches are the ideal match for your mechanical keyboard needs.

What are Gateron Switches?

Gateron switches are MX-style SMD-LED compatible switches that combine premium-like qualities with affordability. Each switch is designed for durability, boasting a lifespan of up to 50 million keystrokes, ensuring long-term reliability for users. Known for their smooth operation, Gateron switches offer an exceptional typing experience, often considered smoother than many other mass-produced options, including the well-known Cherry MX.

Types of Gateron Switches

Gateron switches are known to have some of the smoothest keystrokes available in several categories with each switch having a 50 million keystroke lifespan.

Main Gateron Switches

Gateron Black Switch

Ideal for those who prefer a smooth yet firm typing experience, Gateron Black switches offer a unique blend of stiffness and smoothness. They stand out with their strong actuation force, which is higher than many standard switches, providing a solid mechanical feedback. This makes them less prone to accidental keystrokes, appealing to users who favor a more deliberate typing style.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 60 g

Travel distance: 2mm

Pressing feeling: Firm and smooth with a strong pressing force

Sound: Medium

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Blue Switch

Gateron Blue switches are known for their distinct clicky feel and sound. They maintain the smoothness characteristic of Gateron switches but with a louder, tactile feedback. This makes them a great choice for typing enthusiasts who enjoy audible feedback from their keystrokes.

Type: Clicky

Actuation force: 60 g

Travel distance: 2 mm

Pressing feeling: Clicky with moderate pressing force

Sound: Clicky

Ideal for: Gaming and typing in private settings

Gateron Brown Switch

A perfect middle ground, Gateron Brown switches offer a tactile feel without being too loud. They provide a smooth typing experience with a noticeable bump, making them versatile for various typing scenarios without causing much disturbance.

Type: Tactile

Actuation force: 55 g

Travel distance: 2 mm

Pressing feeling: Smooth with a tactile bump

Sound: Medium

Ideal for: Gaming, typing, and general use

Gateron Clear Switch

For those who prefer a lighter touch, Gateron Clear switches are the go-to. With the lightest actuation force among Gateron’s linear switches, they require minimal effort, leading to a quieter typing experience.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 35 g

Travel distance: 2 mm

Pressing feeling: Very light and smooth

Sound: Quiet

Ideal for: Extended typing sessions and daily work

Gateron Green Switch

Gateron Green switches are for typists who love a robust, clicky feedback. With a higher actuation force than the Blue switches, they provide a typewriter-like experience, perfect for those who enjoy a pronounced tactile and auditory response.

Type: Clicky

Actuation force: 80 g

Travel distance: 2 mm

Pressing feeling: Strong and clicky

Sound: Clicky

Ideal for: Typing in personal spaces

Gateron Red Switch

Gateron Red switches are a popular choice for their quiet and smooth operation. They are linear switches that offer a light and fluid typing experience, making them suitable for both gaming and prolonged typing sessions.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 45 g

Travel distance: 2 mm

Pressing feeling: Light and smooth

Sound: Quiet

Ideal for: Gaming, typing, and versatile daily work

Gateron Yellow Switch

Gaining popularity for their unique feel, Gateron Yellow switches are similar to the Red switches but with a slightly higher actuation force. This subtle difference provides a distinct typing feel, offering a balance between pressure and speed, making them suitable for both gaming and typing.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 50 g

Travel distance: 2 mm

Pressing feeling: Moderate pressing force with a clear rebound

Sound: Relatively quiet

Ideal for: Gaming, typing, and various daily tasks

Gateron Silent Switches

Gateron Silent switches, available in both tactile and linear variants, are designed for environments where noise is a concern. These switches, known for their quiet operation, are ideal for office settings or for late-night gaming sessions where minimal disturbance is desired.

The Gateron Silent series includes options in Red, Black, Brown, Clear, and Yellow, each tailored to provide a silent typing experience without sacrificing the mechanical keyboard feel. These switches are PCB mount, with the option to clip the two plastic pins for compatibility with plate mount PCBs.

Gateron Silent Black Switch

The Silent Black is the strongest in the Gateron Silent series, offering a linear feel with the highest actuation force. Despite being silent, it maintains a substantial mechanical feedback.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 60g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Strong pressing force with a firm rebound

Sound: Silent

Ideal for: Light gaming, typing in quiet environments

Gateron Silent Brown Switch

The Silent Brown switch provides a tactile experience with a noticeable bump in each keystroke, yet operates quietly. It has a lower actuation force compared to the Black variant.

Type: Tactile

Actuation force: 45g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Tactile bump with moderate pressing force

Sound: Silent

Ideal for: Light gaming, typing in shared spaces

Gateron Silent Clear Switch

As the quietest in the lineup, the Silent Clear offers an extremely light typing experience, making it perfect for environments where noise is a major concern.

Type: Tactile

Actuation force: 35g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Very light pressing force with a soft rebound

Sound: Silent

Ideal for: Typing in noise-sensitive areas, light gaming

Gateron Silent Red Switch

Similar to the Silent Brown, the Silent Red switch offers a quiet and smooth keystroke without the tactile bump, suitable for both gaming and typing.

Type: Tactile

Actuation force: 45g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Light pressing force with a soft rebound

Sound: Silent

Ideal for: Gaming and typing in quiet settings

Gateron Silent Yellow Switch

The Silent Yellow switch, close in feel to the Silent Black, provides a linear typing experience with a moderate actuation force, ensuring quiet operation without compromising on responsiveness.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 50g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Moderate pressing force with a clear rebound

Sound: Silent

Ideal for: Gaming and typing in shared or quiet environments

Gateron Milk Switches

Gateron Milk switches are distinguished by their unique housing, made from opaque, milky nylon material. This design not only gives the switches their distinctive look but also plays a role in how they perform. The milky housing diffuses LED lights, creating a more even backlighting effect, and contributes to a deeper, fuller sound compared to regular Gateron switches.

Gateron Milk Black Switch

The Milk Black switch combines a black bottom housing with a milky top, powered by a 60g spring. It offers the same smoothness as the Gateron Milky Yellows but with a slightly heavier spring for a firmer typing feel.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 60g

Travel distance: 2mm

Pressing feeling: Firm with a strong pressing force

Sound: Low

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Milk Blue Switch

The Milk Blue switch features a clicky mechanism with a milky top and white nylon bottom housing, providing a tactile and audible click with each keystroke.

Type: Clicky

Actuation force: 60g

Travel distance: 2.3mm

Pressing feeling: Clicky with moderate pressing force

Sound: Loud

Ideal for: Gaming and typing where noise is not an issue

Gateron Milk Brown Switch

The Milk Brown switch offers a tactile typing experience with a noticeable bump, housed in the signature milky material for a balanced sound profile.

Type: Tactile

Actuation force: 55g

Travel distance: 2mm

Pressing feeling: Tactile bump with moderate pressing force

Sound: Medium

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Milk Clear Switch

The Milk Clear switch is a lighter linear variant in the milky series, requiring minimal force for actuation, ideal for those who prefer a softer touch.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 35g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Light pressing force with a soft rebound

Sound: Low

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Milk Green Switch

The Milk Green switch is a heavier clicky option in the milky series, providing strong tactile feedback and a louder click, reminiscent of a typewriter.

Type: Clicky

Actuation force: 80g

Travel distance: 2.4mm

Pressing feeling: Strong pressing force with a hard rebound

Sound: Loud

Ideal for: Typing in personal spaces

Gateron Milk Red Switch

The Milk Red switch offers a smooth and quiet linear typing experience, suitable for various scenarios, including gaming and office work.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 45g

Travel distance: 2mm

Pressing feeling: Moderate pressing force with a soft rebound

Sound: Low

Ideal for: Gaming, typing, and versatile daily work

Gateron Milk Yellow Switch

The Milk Yellow switch is a linear type with a slightly heavier actuation force than the Red, providing a balance between smoothness and responsiveness, perfect for both gaming and typing.

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 50g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Smooth with a light pressing force and clear rebound

Sound: Low

Ideal for: Gaming and typing in various settings

Gateron Ink Switches

Gateron Ink switches are known for their unique smokey-transparent housing made of translucent plastics, which enhances light transmission while reducing opacity. These switches feature black-plated springs and a metal contact blade, contributing to their distinct look and feel. Each keystroke with a Gateron Ink switch is smooth and natural, with minimal spring crunch, producing a deep and rich sound. They are designed for durability, with an operating life of up to 50 million cycles.

Gateron Ink Black Switch

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 60g

Travel distance: 2mm

Pressing feeling: Firm with a strong pressing force

Sound: Low

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Ink Blue Switch

Type: Clicky

Actuation Force: 60g

Travel Distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Clicky with moderate pressing force

Sound: Loud

Ideal for: Typing in environments where noise is not a concern

Gateron Ink Red Switch

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 45g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Light with a soft rebound

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Ink Yellow Switch

Type: Linear

Actuation force: 60g

Travel distance: 3.4mm

Pressing feeling: Moderate pressing force with a clear rebound

Ideal for: Gaming and typing

Gateron Silent Ink Black Switch

Type: Silent Linear

Actuation Force: 60g

Travel distance: 4mm

Pressing feeling: Moderate pressing force with a clear rebound

Ideal for: Gaming and typing in quiet environments

Gateron Low-Profile Switches

Gateron KS-33 Low Profile 2.0 switches are designed with gamers and typists in mind, offering a shorter pre-travel and total travel distance compared to the original KS-27 Low Profile Switch. This design not only ensures a fast, comfortable, and smooth fingertip feel but also reduces accidental keystrokes. The switches are ideal for those who prefer a more compact keyboard layout without sacrificing the mechanical keyboard experience.

Gateron Low-Profile Blue Switch

Type: Clicky

Actuation Force: 65±15 gf

Pre-Travel: 1.7+0.4/-0.3 mm

Total Travel: 3.0±0.2 mm

Pressing feeling: Fast tactile typing, moderate pressing force, clear rebound

Sound: Loud

Ideal for: Typing in environments where noise is not a concern

Gateron Low-Profile Brown Switch

Type: Tactile

Actuation Force: 55±15 gf

Pre-Travel: 1.7±0.4 mm

Total Travel: 3.0±0.2 mm

Pressing feeling: Bump, tactile responsive, moderate pressing force, clear rebound

Sound: Medium

Ideal for: Light gaming and office use

Gateron Low-Profile Red Switch

Type: Linear

Actuation Force: 50±15 gf

Pre-Travel: 1.7±0.4 mm

Total Travel: 3.0±0.2 mm

Pressing feeling: Vertical, fast and responsive, light pressing force, soft rebound

Sound: Low

Ideal for: Gaming and office use

Gateron Low-Profile Banana Switch (New Addition)

Type: Tactile

Actuation Force: 60±15 gf

Pre-Travel: 1.7±0.4 mm

Total Travel: 3.0±0.2 mm

Pressing feeling: Bump at top, tactile responsive, strong pressing force, clear rebound

Ideal for: Users seeking pronounced tactile feedback and a unique typing experience

Choosing a Gateron Switch

Selecting the right Gateron switch for your keyboard is a decision that hinges on understanding the unique characteristics and performance of each switch type.

Comparing the Different Switch Types

In the diverse world of Gateron switches, each series offers a unique typing experience tailored to specific preferences and scenarios. From the versatile and smooth Gateron Classics to the specialized and quiet Gateron Silent switches, there’s a range to suit every need. Below is a detailed comparison of the Gateron switch series, highlighting their key characteristics, actuation types, and ideal use cases to help you make an informed choice for your keyboard.

Switch SeriesKey CharacteristicsActuation TypesSound ProfileIdeal for
Gateron ClassicStandard series known for smoothness and reliability, wide range of optionsLinear, Tactile, ClickyLow to LoudVersatile use: Gaming, Typing, General Work
Gateron InkSmokey-transparent housing, smooth keystrokes, minimal spring crunchLinear, ClickyLow to LoudGaming, Typing
Gateron MilkMilky housing that diffuses light and sound, deeper typing experienceLinear, ClickyLow to LoudGaming, Typing
Gateron SilentDesigned for quiet operation, suitable for noise-sensitive environmentsLinear, TactileSilentQuiet environments, Light gaming
Gateron Low-ProfileShorter pre-travel and total travel distance, compact layout, reduces accidental keystrokesLinear, Tactile, ClickyLow to LoudGaming, Office use

Understanding Mechanical Switch Features

Mechanical switches, the core components of mechanical keyboards, come with distinct features that define their performance and feel. Key aspects include the actuation type, which determines the behavior of the switch – linear for a smooth keystroke, tactile for a noticeable bump, and clicky for an audible click. The operating force, measured in grams (g), indicates the amount of pressure needed to activate the switch, affecting the typing feel and fatigue over long periods.

Another crucial feature is the travel distance, the distance the keycap moves until it bottoms out. This can impact typing speed and precision. Lastly, the lifespan of a switch, usually measured in millions of keystrokes, signifies its durability. Understanding these features is essential in choosing a switch that aligns with your typing habits, comfort, and the environment in which you’ll be using your keyboard.

Environmental Considerations

When choosing Gateron switches, the environment where they’ll be used plays a crucial role. In shared or noise-sensitive areas like offices, the Gateron Silent series is ideal, offering a quieter typing experience without losing the mechanical feel. These switches ensure you enjoy your typing without disturbing those around you.

Conversely, in private spaces where noise isn’t an issue, clicky switches like Gateron Blue or Green can enhance your experience with their tactile feedback and audible clicks. Additionally, consider the lighting effects – switches like Gateron Milk and Ink can alter backlighting intensity, adding another layer to your keyboard’s aesthetic in various settings. Selecting the right Gateron switch thus depends on balancing personal preferences with the needs of your environment.

Best Gateron Switch Keyboards

Montech MKey TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Customizable RGB LED, Premium MDA Profile PBT Keycap, Hot-Swappable Gateron G Brown Pro 2.0 Pre-lubed Switches, Osaka Castle Theme, Freedom (MK87FB)
  • Immerse yourself in a story full of adventure and culture: The essence of the historic landmark, Osaka Castle.
  • Elevate your keyboard experience: Premium MDA Profile Key Caps made of high-grade PBT material, offering a stylish and luxurious touch.
  • Stand out from the crowd: 5-Sided dye-sublimation keycaps, featuring vivid and durable icon designs on each key.
Keychron K4 96% Layout 100 Keys Wireless Bluetooth 5.1/Wired USB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Gateron G Pro Brown Switch White LED Backlight N-Key Rollover for Mac Windows PC-Version 2
  • A 96% layout (100-key) white LED backlight wireless mechanical keyboard with a number pad in a compact design that’s built for productivity and a tactile typing experience.
  • Connects with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth and switch among them easily. With high reliable and broad compatibility Broadcom Bluetooth 5.1 chipset, the K4 version 2 is best to fit home, office and light gaming use while connecting with your smartphone, laptop and iPad. It also has wired mode with USB Type-C connection.
  • With a unique Mac layout, the K4 has all the necessary Mac function keys while still being compatible with Windows. Extra keycaps for both Windows and Mac operating systems are included.
Sale
ROYALAXE 60 Percent Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, Gateron G Pro 3.0 Yellow Switch, Hot Swappable Wired/Bluetooth/2.4G Wireless Keyboard with RGB Light for Windows & Mac, PBT Keycaps, Whale Blue
  • 【Upgraded Gateron G Pro 3.0 Yellow Switch】 The new G Pro 3.0 retains its predecessor, the G Pro 2.0’s pre-lubed feature. The G Pro 3.0 has the condenser light effection structure as well, but with a new frosted, light-guided surface to make the backlight brighter and more consistent. We also upgrade the G Pro 3.0’s pin to be harder for a more stable and smoother typing experience.
  • 【Triple Connection Modes & Multi-Device Tasking】 With the combination of 3 Bluetooth channels + one 2.4GHz wireless USB + one Type-C wired connection, this wireless keyboard allows multi-tasking workflow for up to 5 devices. Turn the top-right corner knob to switch between devices.
  • 【Incredible Typing Experience & Sound】With silky-smooth G Pro Yellow Switches, sound dampeners sheet and specially tuned stabilizers, the creamy keyboard gives you an incredible typing experience.
Keychron C1 Mac Layout Wired Mechanical Keyboard, Gateron G Pro Red Switch, Tenkeyless 87 Keys ABS keycaps Computer Keyboard for Windows PC Laptop, White Backlight, USB-C Type-C Cable
  • Keychron C1, a tenkeyless (87 keys) white backlight USB Type-C wired mechanical keyboard made for Mac and Windows. The C1 is crafted to maximize your productivity and exceptional typing experience.
  • Designed with reliability in mind, the C1 comes with USB Type-C wired connection with a detachable cable, which ensures a constant power supply, and best to fit home, office and light gaming use while connecting with your laptop or PC. Inclined bottom frame and 2 level adjustable feet makes the C1 more comfortable to type.
  • With a unique Mac layout, the C1 has all the necessary multimedia and function keys while still being compatible with Windows. Extra keycaps for both Mac and Windows operating systems are included.

Final Thoughts

The Gateron switches guide underscores the versatility and quality that Gateron brings to the mechanical keyboard world. Catering to diverse needs, whether you’re a gamer, a prolific typist, or someone who values a quiet working environment, Gateron offers a tailored switch option. With their unique blend of durability, performance, and variety, Gateron switches stand as a compelling choice for enhancing your keyboard experience.

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