Kailh Switches Guide

Mechanical keyboard with kailh switches.

Kailh is one of the top companies producing mechanical switches across the globe. They make dozens of various types of mechanical switches, offering a wide range of products in the market. 

Given the several available varieties of Kailh switches, we take an honest look into the types of Kailh switches, their differences, and what makes each one appealing to anyone looking for the enjoyable feel that mechanical switches bring.

What are Kailh Switches?

Kailh switches have come a long way from being a cheap knock-off of high-end mechanical switches. They have a lifespan of 60 million keystrokes and come in various types and designs.

Generally, knowing which switch to opt for depends on what works for you when hitting the keys of a mechanical keyboard. Kailh switches have been known to be scratchy in some cases, but overall their switches are of excellent quality.

Types of Kailh Switches

As mentioned earlier, Kailh offers a wide variety of mechanical switches. These include speed switches, BOX switches, Choc low profile switches, speed pro switches, and original MX switches. No doubt, choosing out of these many types of switches can be somewhat confusing, and it’s only natural to select what works for you.

Frankly, we can attest that all these switches are decent. However, with just one big exception — clicky switches. Clicky switches are far greater than decent; they are excellent! These switches are carefully manufactured with the click bar design, which gives off a clicky sound. In addition, clicky switches are designed to be cool, producing a little click on release actuation and in either direction.

Let’s dive deeper and have a look at each of  the different types of switches produced by Kailh.

Original Kailh MX Switches

The Kailh MX switch is divided into four different types, following the traditional Cherry MX design. However, these MX switches come at a lower price. The MX switch line-up consists of the usual Black, Red, Brown, and Blue switch.

Actuation TypeActuation ForceTravel Distance
Kailh BlackLinear 60g2mm
Kailh BlueClicky 50g2mm
Kailh BrownTactile 50g2mm
Kailh RedLinear 50g2mm

MX switches are not a terrible choice for someone with a tight budget. However, if you need a linear or tactile switch, we recommend going for Gateron switches. As mentioned earlier, Kailh switches are known to be scratchy, specifically for MX clones. 

From the table above, most of the MX switches have 50g of actuation force from the table above. This force is pretty much the standard for switches. As regards to weight, the MX switches are not too heavy or light in the middle.

Kailh BOX Switches

Actuation TypeActuation ForceTravel Distance
Kailh BOX BlackLinear60g1.8mm
Kailh BOX BrownClicky50g3.6mm
Kailh BOX Chinese RedLinear45g3.6mm
Kailh BOX Glazed GreenClicky50g 3.6mm
Kailh BOX Noble YellowClicky 65g 3.6mm
Kailh BOX RedLinear50g1.8mm
Kailh BOX Silent BrownTactile 45g 3.6mm
Kailh BOX Silent PinkLinear 35g 3.6mm
Kailh BOX WhiteClicky50g1.8mm
Kailh BOX Ancient GrayLinear 95g 3.6mm
Kailh BOX JadeClicky50g1.8mm
Kailh BOX NavyClicky75g1.8mm

Kailh BOX switches are one of the coolest in today’s market. They are equipped with a distinct stem design that switches makes them feel better balanced and wobbles just a little less.

As the name implies, the steps of these switches are shaped like a box giving them their distinctive design. Unfortunately, the BOX switches are also scratchy but still make for an excellent choice. 

We can argue that the Kailh BOX variation is the best clicky switch compared to other brands. To make a choice, we would recommend either the BOX Whites, BOX Navy, or BOX Jade. However, a drawback to BOX switches is their lack of flexibility. BOX switches are difficult to modify, open up, and lubricate, resulting from the hole below the housing causing lubricant to leak. 

This difficulty in lubing is a significant drawback for keyboard zealots because lubing the switch can be the essential upgrade that can make mechanical keyboards. But, on the other hand, clicky switches do not need lubrication. Hence, Kailh BOX switches are great options if you want a loud switch. 

If you’re looking for an ideal clicky option, we’ll recommend the BOX Whites, BOX Navy, and BOX Jade. However, the linear and tactile alternatives are difficult to modify and scratchy.

Kailh Speed Switches

Actuation TypeActuation ForceTravel Distance
Kailh Speed CopperTactile 50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed GoldTactile 50g1.4mm
Kailh Speed BronzeClicky 50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed SilverLinear 50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Bronze SMDClicky 50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Copper SMDTactile50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Gold SMDTactile, Clicky60g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Pink SMDClicky 50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Silver SMDLinear50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Copper Light PipeTactile50g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Gold Light PipeTactile, Click60g1.1mm
Kailh Speed Silver Light PipeLinear50g1.1mm

If you need to improve your competitive advantage, Kailh speed switches are an ideal option. They have a short travel distance which improves reaction time during gameplay. 

Many gamers asserted this, claiming just the difference in split-second offered by Kailh speed switches matters a lot when gaming. Regarding speed switches,  Cherry MX also has a distinct design of speed silver switches. Nonetheless, Kailh’s wide range of Speed switches options is unique. 

If you need a clicky or tactile option, you can opt for the Kailh Speed Copper, Kailh Speed Gold, and Kailh Speed Bronze. With Kailh, you’re not just restricted to the linear switch! 

To this end, kailh speed switches are the ideal options for individuals who don’t appreciate linear switches, yet would love to gain that competitive edge during gameplay. However, Kailh Speed switches do have a significant drawback. Their travel distance of 1.1mm makes other activities like typing come off as a bit tricky and uncomfortable. 

Kailh Speed Pro Switches

Actuation TypeActuation ForceTravel Distance
Kailh Speed Pro BurgundyLinear50g1.7mm
Kailh Speed Pro Light GreenTactile + Clicky50g1.7mm
Kailh Speed Pro PurpleTactile 50g1.7mm

Kailh Speed Pro Burgundy offers a decent compromise between standard models and linear speed switches. In addition, its short-travel distance proves helpful in time-critical applications such as rhythm games, audio control interfaces, and macro pads. 

On the other hand, Kailh Speed Pro Light Green is a better option for a professional clicky switch. The switch offers a comfortable and soft tactile keystroke and muted clicks for office use. 

For gamers, the Kailh Speed Pro Purple is an ideal choice. It offers a better response during gameplay and better bottom-out execution for typing.

Kailh Silent Switches

Actuation TypeActuation ForceTravel Distance
Kailh BOX Silent PinkLinear35g1.8mm
Kailh BOX Silent BrownTactile 45g1.8mm

Kailh also offers silent switches. When a keystroke is logged, these silent switches are equipped with rubber dampening to quell the key’s impact when registered. These silent switches are ideal for gaming at night when everyone is asleep or for office work. The stem design of the BOX silent switches is unique. It is designed to have a circular shape Nathan the usual BOX shape. 

Please note that silent switches are not meant for everyone. The rubber feel on the keystrokes can feel weird to the hand, especially for people that are only used to the standard mechanical switches. 

We advise you to try out the Silent switches before buying a complete set. These Silent switches offer a unique experience as a whole.

Kailh Choc Low-Profile Switches

Actuation TypeActuation ForceTravel Distance
Kailh Choc BrownTactile 50g1.3mm
Kailh Choc RedLinear 50g1.3mm
Kailh Choc WhiteClicky 50g1.3mm
Kailh Choc Round BlueClicky55g3.2mm
Kailh Choc Round BrownTactile50g1.3mm
Kailh Choc Round RedLinear50g1.3mm

Low-profile switches are the latest excitement, particularly in the gaming world. Low-profile switches are recognized for their short travel distance and thin design. These switches are produced precisely for mechanical keyboards of low profile.

Low low-profile mechanical keyboards are a better alternative if you struggle to use the typical mechanical keyboard due to its thickness. In addition, low-profile keyboards are designed with low-profile switches to save the wrists from strains and pain. 

Looking at the design of Low-Profile switches, they are relatively thinner than other switches. This design allows the switches to fit inside the smaller case of low-profile keyboards perfectly. Their shorter travel distance of 1.3mm about the usual 2mm is also attributed to this reason.

Kailh Switch Keyboards

FL ESPORTS F12

This is a wireless mechanical keyboard equipped with strong Bluetooth connectivity and lighting. FL ESPORTS F12 also features the Kailh Box White Switch — a finely tested box switch that offers precise, fast inputs and smooth travel. 

This keyboard is also recognized for its long-lasting battery life of 2000mAh. It can last up to 20 hours with RGB backlight on and 100 hours duration without backlight.

FL ESPORTS F12
  • 65% compact form factor in wireless/wired mode: 68 keys compact layout built-in Bluetooth 5.0 chip and 2.4Ghz wireless tech, maximize the neatness and space utilization of your desktop.
  • Kailh Box White Switch -- masterpiece of tactile switch: Finely tested classic box switch in clicky white switch type, offers clear tactile but smooth travel with precise, fast inputs.
  • Oil-resistant Doubleshot PBT keycaps: Durable textured finish in white and mint green 3 mixed-color PBT keycaps get 0 shiny grime buildup, never faded away like ABS keycaps.
  • Long-lasting Durable battery life: Up to 100 hours duration without backlight and 20 hours duration with RGB backlight on. Battery capacity can be accurately monitored in real-time on-the-fly (FN + Backspace).
  • Near-infinite customization with advanced software: 16.8 million colors in 10 different styled modes and endless shortcuts are all stand by for easy setting and assignment. Check the below product detail info for software/driver download source.

EVGA Z15 RGB Gaming Keyboard

This wired mechanical keyboard features Kailh Speed Silver switches with an N-key rollover that helps make sure users get the authentic experience and feedback they want when gaming. 

The keyboard is powered by a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M33 core USB microprocessor, supporting a 4,000Hz polling rate and offering users a complete gaming experience. In addition, it facilitates more precision, better inputs, and responsiveness.

Sale
EVGA Z15 RGB Gaming Keyboard
  • Hot swap sockets allow you to customize the feel of your Z15 RGB keyboard with Kailh's 3pin mechanical switches. Featuring Kailh Speed Silver switches with N-key rollover to ensure that you get exactly the type of feedback and experience you want.
  • Powered by a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M33 core USB microprocessor supporting 4,000Hz polling rate. Offering the most advanced gaming keyboard experience, 4K Hz is 4x more responsive and inputs can be more precise.
  • Per key RGB lighting with 14 pre set lighting effects, customizable via the UNLEASH RGB software
  • Volume Scroll Wheel, and Multimedia Keys. Full control at the touch of your fingers
  • Detatchable magnetic palm rest

Vigor GK50 Elite BW with Kailh Box White Switches

This wired mechanical keyboard offers a superior luxury build to users. The MSI Mechanical Gaming Keyboard also features the Kailh Box White Switches that give users the best crisp clicky experience they can get in the market. 

The Kailh Box White Switches are dustproof/waterproof with a 1.8mm Actuation Point and 45g Actuation Force.

Vigor GK50 Elite BW with Kailh Box White Switches
  • Superior Luxury Build: Brushed aluminum top plate with a durable bottom plate with integrated cable routing and completed with a gold-plated USB connector.
  • Kailh Box White Switches: Experience the best crisp clicky switches on the market. These are IP56 waterproof/dustproof with a 45g Actuation Force and 1.8mm Actuation Point.
  • 104 Keys + Octagonal Shaped Keycaps: Every single option at your disposal, from Print Screen, Page Down, F-Keys, and Setting Keys. Enjoy octagonal keycaps that provide ample space for your finger to rest on for the ultimate comfort.
  • Brilliant Per-Key RGB Lighting: Revel in over 16 million colors with the GK50 Elite. Access different lighting colors and effects with the standalone keys or download RGB Mystic Light to fully customize your keyboard.

CORN Anne Pro 2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Kailh Box Red Switches

The CORN Anne Pro 2 wired/wireless mechanical keyboard features the Kailh BOX red switches. In addition, this keyboard is uniquely designed for gaming, making it only compatible with gaming consoles. 

It features a durable battery of 1900mah, which can last up to 8 hours under normal circumstances. The keyboard is also equipped with Anne pro starter companion software to personalize your keyboard.

CORN Anne Pro 2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Kailh Box Red Switches
  • Kailh BOX Red Switches
  • Bluetooth system requirement: Bluetooth LE5.0 receiver/Linux,Windows8/10,Android 4.4 and above / IOS 7.0 and above / Mac OS 10.10 and above. (Check the compatibility before purchasing)
  • Prolonged Wireless usage. Anne pro 2 utilizes 1900mah battery which is up to for 8 hours wireless usage under regular circumstance, which means a few days life cycle on a single charge. There is also built-in on/off switch to conserve battery power
  • Arrow Keys on keyboard. Probably the first 60% keyboard with arrow keys back. Tap key functionality enables keys to behave differently when tapped or held. By default, Right shift, Fn1, Fn2, and Right control behave as arrow keys when tapped
  • Maximize Your Imagination: Anne pro starter companion software enable users to fully personalize their keyboards. RGB backlights are individually addressable

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Kailh switches worth buying?

Based on our overall assessment and testing, we believe Kailh switches are every bit as credible and dependable as those produced by Cherry. Kailh has been making switches for decades now, and the company has passed the test of time by producing decent-quality switches. Their endless production of new designs and models indeed proves their skill and appeal. So Yes! Kailh switches are worth buying.

How do you pronounce Kailh?

It’s common to hear different pronunciations of Kailh, given it’s a Chinese word. But, to pronounce it right, it’s pronounced the same as “Kale” (leafy cabbage).

Final Thoughts

Kailh’s headquarter is situated in China. As a result, they can manufacture switches at a very low production cost and undercut brands like Cherry MX, whose production factory is based in Germany.

There’s no doubt Kailh can be the ideal switch option for you, even if they are widely regarded as Cherry MX clones. The versatility offered over time has made their switches remarkable in both feel and sound.

The choice of a type of mechanical switch all depends on your preferences. There is no absolute answer to which type of switch is the best, the important thing is to go for whichever offers you the most comfortable typing experience.

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