What Are Cherry MX Black Switches

 

Cherry MX Black Switches are linear switches. They have a 60cN actuation force, 2.00mm pre travel and 4.0mm total travel. Cherry MX Black switches have a stronger spring force that instantly triggers. Since it's spring is much heftier, Cherry MX Black switches return the keys to their initial position so smoothly, there is less occurrence of accidental key presses, making them a contender for writing and gaming.

The upper housing of the Cherry MX Black switch, along with all other true Cherry MXs, is made out of a CAD (computer-aided design) component of plastic polymer. This low tolerance lets the component guide the switch meticulously, creating the keyswitch's switching mechanism housing. And like all Cherrys, you have the option of RGB LED back lighting. Cherry MX Black switches are also similar to their Red switches, though obviously more resistant.

What are Cherry MX Black switches

Cherry MX Black Facts

Actuation Force

60cN

Actuation Point

2mm

Tot. Travel Distance

4mm

Behavior

Linear

Noise Level

Quiet

Lifespan

50 million keystrokes


Linear Switches

What are they? It's an important factor to consider when you're choosing a mechanical keyboard. Linear switches are smooth and provide a consistent actuation resulting in very little tactile feedback. What is tactile feedback? If a switch is tactile, before the key bottoms out at the end of it's travel, it has a bump in response to your finger pushing down at the point or near the point of which the press registers. Cherry MX Blacks are linear, so this means you will not be experiencing any tactile feedback. Linear switches are a type of switch that are typically quiet (and for Cherry MX Blacks they definitely are) and more consistent in their entire movement. Linear switches are preferred by gamers and writers alike.


Cherry MX Blacks

Once upon a time, 1984 to be exact, the MX Black switch was introduced into the world of keyboarding. This makes them one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of all of the Cherry MX switches. “Vintage” MX Black switches apparently felt smoother than the newer ones that are available to us now and had a longer stem. And it seems like those vintage switches are hard to find, too.

So here's the thing, I've heard multiple things about Cherry MX Black switches. I haven't had the opportunity to try them out, YET. Soon, very soon, I will be experiencing these switches personally and will be able to give a better article about what I feel and see. For now, let's talk about what is already out there and being said.

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*UPDATE! 

I finally got in my 65% Ducky x Varmilo MIYA Pro Koi 65% Dye Sub PBT Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Black switches and oh man are these guys amazing! I was worried that they would be too stiff or 'heavy' for me, but they're not -  at least for typing anyways. This has now become my work keyboard. I take notes during meetings, for instance, and I can honestly say that yes my mistakes are minimal in comparison to my Red switches or Silver switches. I may type just a wee bit slower, but that aids in not hitting the wrong key.

I did attempt to play a game with these switches. In fact, I chose a game of which I'd have to move rather fast - Apex Legends. I had an interesting time... and I am no noob at gaming, mind you. I personally had a more difficult time trying to react quicker with Black switches, but that could be because I am not a heavy typist/don't push down on the keys forcefully. After a couple of games I went back to my Silver switches. My fingers were tired and I wasn't performing like I usually do.

Black switches are fantastic switches for people who type on a regular basis for work or for fun.

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Cherry MX Blacks are one of the better choices for writers. They have a short bounce time for typing. Due of the stronger spiral spring, there is an immediate trigger response. But Cherry MX Black switches are heavier, meaning they have a higher resistance. While they are supposed to be better for writing because there is less of a chance of accidental key presses, you also may receive some finger exhaustion. And again, some people and websites say that they aren't great for typing. Seems like it's a double edged sword.

The reviews for gaming also fluctuate. Because of it's shorter travel distance and the higher actuation force, it's suitable switch for precision gaming – FPS (First Person Shooters) and RTS (strategy games) for instance. Many people who are involved with shooter games find the black switches to be rather favorable. And yet some people think that they do not perform as well as Cherry MX Reds and the actuation force is too high. Is it because these gamers are not typically FPS involved? 

I would say... FPS games vary and while some faster FPS games may not be conducive to black switches, there are other FPS games that benefit from having a black switch. And you know, the whole thing about everyone has different preferences on switches when it comes to gaming 😄.


What are Cherry MX Black Switches



What Are Some Other Choices?

There are other choices for red switches, besides Cherry MX Blacks. For instance, there is the Kailh Black and the Gateron Black.


Gateron Blacks

Actuation Force

60cN

Actuation Point

2mm

Tot. Travel Distance

4mm

Behavior

Linear

Noise Level

Quiet

Lifespan

50 million keystrokes

Gateron Black Switches are not an uncommon switch type. Gateron in general are not uncommon! They are more affordable, but that doesn't mean what you receive is a cheaper performance. Gateron Black Switches are smoother and have a better feel than other black switches. Gateron Switches are also known for their durability. And of course, durability is oh so important when it comes to your keyboards.


Kailh Blacks

Actuation Force

45cN

Actuation Point

2.1mm/2mm

Tot. Travel Distance

3.8mm/4mm

Behavior

Linear

Noise Level

Quiet

Lifespan

70-80 million keystrokes

Over all, Kailh Red Switches are a decent brand of switches, legal clones of the Cherry MXs. From what I have seen (and hope to experience myself), gamers really enjoy the feel of these switches. Writers rave about this switch, especially those who type heavier. It's got that smooth travel down. Reviews of this switch also depend on the users. Some users have said that the switches are wobbly.

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