Gateron vs Cherry: How to Choose the Best Switches for Your PC?

Lindsay Hayes

When it comes Gateron or Cherry, Gateron in my opinion is the better choice. Cherries are the OGs, but Gateron's keys feel better, are easier to mod, and also are more affordable.

I've been into switches ever since I bought my first mechanical keyboard. Although I've used Cherry MX Switches all my life, I switched to Gaterons when I learned that they were modeled after Cherries but done better.

I have outlined everything you need to know about them. I know this is something many users want to learn about.

Let's get started.


Gateron vs Cherry Switches - Which is Better?

I've taken a look at Cherry and Gateron switches in multiple categories, and concluded which is the best.

Modern Mechanical Keyboard

1. Overall Feel

Feel is probably the most important thing to consider when buying any switch type. I would say that Gateron takes the cake in this round.

Gateron switches feel more smooth to the touch. They have a smaller stem that helps them bounce back well. Their linear switches feel the smoothest.

On the other hand, Cherry switches are fitted better.

Cherry does have a couple of clicky switches that feel more like the Gaterons, like the Cherry Blue switches, however.

Winner: Cherry MX switches

2. Price

You don't have to worry about spending much with Gateron. They are more affordable.

Cherry MX switches are produced in Germany under strict temperature and stress testing to make sure that they last. So they are sold at a more premium price.

Although Gateron switches go through vigorous testing as well, the extent of it is unknown. Their products are also hand-made, but this is all done in China.

As mentioned, Gateron's main lineup is basically Cherry MX clones (that are done better). They come with the same design and descriptive names, at a more affordable price.

Just keep in mind that not all of Gateron switches are affordable. They have an Ink lineup that is more expensive. It has a unique design. You can check my Gateron switches guide if you want to learn more about it.

Winner: Gateron Switches

3. Durability

Cherry MX is the winner when it comes to durability. I mentioned that they go through many different tests before being sold.

Cherry MX switches can last around 100 million keystrokes before deviating from their factory conditions.

The switches will be able to work fine, but after these 100 million keystrokes, they won't be able to follow the ideal force curve.

Gateron switches on the other hand are rated at around 50 million keystrokes before they start deviating from their factory conditions.

Although Cherry beats Gateron when it comes to durability, it must be noted that Gaterons are quite durable in their own regard.

Winner: Cherry MX Switches

4. Noise Level

Gateron switches are quieter than Cherry ones, especially when it comes to their tactile switches. They have smoother keystrokes, so it's no surprise that they come with lower audio output since there is less friction.

A lot of people, however, prefer louder switches. They make typing feel like you are using a retro typewriter.

Gateron and Cherry both come with their own line of special silent switches. They come with rubber padding on the tops and bottoms to produce less sound when being pressed.

However, Cherry's lineup is not amazing. There are only 2 switches you can buy, while Gateron has more to offer.

Winner: Gateron Switches

5. Variety

They both have impressive lineups. However, if you compare the sheer number of different switches that they come with, it is clear that Gateron wins this round.

They even come with a special Milk collection just to block RGB lighting in case you find it too strong.

Cherry does offer a Speed switch collection which Gateron does not offer a replacement for. It is especially good for playing games.

Winner: Gateron switches

Blue Keys Mechanical Keyboard

6. Easier to Mod

Both switch types are tied when it comes to how easy they are to mod. You will be able to lube them up however you want, as well as add your own filming.

They come with similar designs, so taking them apart to modify is also a breeze. All you need is a small screwdriver to change them the way you want.

Winner: Tied

7. Easier to Find

Cherry MX switches have been around the longest, so it's no surprise that they are easier to find.

Quite a few mechanical keyboards come with Cherry MX switches pre-built, and use this as a selling point.

Winner: Cherry MX Switches

Are Gateron Switches Better Than Cherry?

In my opinion, Gateron switches are the better choice. They are more affordable, yet are still high-quality mechanical switches.

You will also be getting a bigger product selection that happens to be very smooth.

It must be noted that Cherry has been in the game for a long time, and many consider them as the industry standard. Gateron has gotten quite a bit of influence from them.

Some users prefer Cherry MX, however. I have a couple of friends who like the tougher feel that Cherry switches provide.

Gateron vs Cherry Switches: A Detailed Comparison

To give you a better idea of how Gateron and Cherry stack up against each other, I will be comparing of some of their switches below.

1. Gateron Red Switches vs Cherry Red Switches

Cherry Reds are one of the most popular switch types on the market. They are linear, which means that you would feel no tactile bump when pressing them down. Plus, they are super smooth too.

The Cherry reds are one of the quietest from the whole Cherry MX switch collection. This does not mean that they completely silent. You will still hear and feel a satisfying bump from them.

The Gateron red switches look and feel a lot like the Cherry switch. However, they feel smoother and are more lightweight than their counterpart. They are known for being responsive as well.

Some users have said that the Cherry red is scratchier, but I personally haven't noticed this.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Red 45 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Gateron Red 45 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear

2. Cherry MX Brown vs Gateron Browns

Cherry and Gateron brown switches are particularly popular with gamers. They're both known for being extra smooth.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that making a keystroke with either of the two will feel like gliding a knife through butter.

As mentioned, Gateron switches are smoother than Cherry's keyboard switches, so their browns will feel especially good under your finger.

Cherry brown switches make more noise when you type. This makes it easier to know if your keystroke has been registered.

They are both quite tactile. You will feel a nice bump from them.

Although the two are excellent choices for gamers, I suggest that you go for the Gateron browns if you're solely using your keyboard for gaming, and the Cherry browns if you are going to be using them for gaming and other activities.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Brown 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Tactile
Gateron Brown 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Tactile

3. Cherry Blue vs Gateron Blues

Cherry Blues are popular switches with typists. They have a clicky noise that has a satisfying crisp.

The Gateron Blue switches are similar in sound and build. However, the click sound tends to be sharper, which makes them seem better.

You'll need to exert a lower actuation force to use a Gateron blue - it will be around 55 cN compared to the 50 cN that you will need for the Cherry blue.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Blue 50 cN 2.2 mm 4 mm Clicky
Gateron Blue 55 cN 2.3 mm 4 mm Clicky

4. Gateron Black vs Cherry Black Switches

I think the Gateron black switches are smoother than the Cherry blacks. Quite a few users have found that Cherry Blacks are a bit scratchier as well.

Gateron's blacks are tactile so they make a good noise and feel when you press them down. What's also great is that they come pre-lubed.

They require quite a bit of force to be pressed down. I think the Gateron black switches are a good choice for more general use.

Cherry black switches are pretty similar to their Gateron counterparts, except that they are scratchier as mentioned.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Black 60 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Gateron Black 60 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear

How Do Gateron and Cherry Compare to Other Switches?

Apart from both Gateron and Cherry, there are countless other switches on the market. A couple of the most popular include Outemu and Razer.

I've taken a look at them below.

1. Outemu Switches

Outemu mechanical switches are some of the most affordable options on the market. They are considered as cheap Cherry MX knock-offs, but they will get the job done.

I think they are great options if you're on a budget. Quite a few keyboards use Outemu switches to bring their prices down.

Just note that Outemu's lineups may not be that great for playing games or for keyboard enthusiasts.

Outemu switches can last around 70 million keystrokes, which is still better than Gateron switches. However, they are not as good as Cherry's 100 million keystrokes.

Outemu Blues and Reds are the most popular switches from the company.

Outemu Red Switches

Outemu Reds feel smooth to the touch. As mentioned, they are not very high-quality, so you won't feel that they are as smooth as Gateron's lineup.

You won't need to exert much force to press the Outemu Reds. You will only need them around 50 cN.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Red 45 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Gateron Red 45 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Outemu Red 50 cN 2.2 mm 4 mm Linear

Outemu Blue Switch

If you want a tactile keystroke on a budget, give the Outemu Blue switches a try. They have a decent bump to them.

Just keep in mind that you need to exert a bit more force when you press them down. They require around 0.60 cN to register a keystroke.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Blue 50 cN 2.2 mm 4 mm Clicky
Gateron Blue 55 cN 2.3 mm 4 mm Clicky
Outemu Blue 60 cN 2.2 mm 4 mm Clicky

Outemu Brown Switch

Outemu's Brown switches are great if you want something more affordable but still tactile. You will also get quite a bit of sound when you press them down.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Brown 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Tactile
Gateron Brown 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Tactile
Outemu Brown 55 cN 2.2 mm 4 mm Tactile

Outemu Black Switch

Of course, I have to talk about the Outemu Black switches. They are linear, and you will have to press around 0.65 N to register a keystroke.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Black 60 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Gateron Black 60 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Outemu Black 65 cN 2.5 mm 4 mm Linear

2. Razer Switches

If you're a gamer, you would have heard of Razer before. They are arguably the leading gaming peripherals manufacturer in the game. Keyboard switches are one of the many different devices that they happen to sell.

You can get Razer switches in 3 different types - green, orange and yellow. They are pretty different, so depending on whether you want a linear, clicky or tactile switch, you should choose wisely.

There have been rumors that the Razer switches are basically rebranded versions of the Kalih devices.

Although there is no concrete proof of this, I will leave you with this piece of information - I am not a fan of Razer switches. I would go for Cherry or Gateron any day of the week.

Razer Green

The Razer Green switches are clicky and tactile. You will get a decent bump from them. They don't require much actuation force, as you will only have to exert around 0.50 cN to register a keystroke.

The actuation point is around 1.9 mm, so it's especially easy to press the wrong button, however.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Green 80 cN 2.2 mm 4 mm Tactile
Gateron Green 80 cN 2.3 mm 4 mm Clicky
Razer Green 50 cN 1.9 mm 4 mm Linear

Razer Orange

Razer Oranges are tactile switches that barely take any actuation force to work. I wouldn't recommend them if you're clumsy, as you could accidentally register the wrong keystroke. This is especially true if you're typing in a hurry.

You get a nice bump as well as a clicky, audible sound when you press them.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Orange 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Retro Linear
Gateron Orange 45 cN 2 mm 4 mm Tactile
Razer Orange 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear

Razer Yellow

Razer yellows are linear, so they feel smoother to the touch. However, they don't hold a torch to how smooth Gateron's linears are.

You won't need to exert much actuation force to use a Razer yellow. It will only require around 0.45 cN.

Their actuation distance is not high, which makes registering a keystroke even easier.

Switch Type Operating Force Actuation Distance Travel Distance Feel
Cherry Yellow 45 cN 1.9 mm 4 mm Linear
Gateron Yellow 55 cN 2 mm 4 mm Linear
Razer Yellow 45 cN 1.2 mm 3.5 mm Linear


Answered below are some popular questions.

What Should You Look For When Buying New Switches?

If you're thinking of buying some new switches, regardless if they're from Gateron or Cherry MX, there are a couple of points to consider.

1. Price

You need to consider price whenever you buy mechanical switches. As mentioned, Gateron is the more affordable choice when compared to Cherries.

They generally sell for around $0.3 to around $1, while you can find Cherry switches for around $0.5 to around $1.

Remember that you won't just be buying one switch. You will need at least 80-110 for your entire keyboard.

I'd advise you to wait for sales to get the best possible prices.

2. Actuation Force

It's important that you check the actuation force of whatever switch you want to buy. This will influence how easy it is to press down. If you want a more tactile feel, you should go for a switch that has a higher actuation force.

3. Travel Distance

This is basically how far your fingers will have to travel downwards to register a keystroke. Most of the time it is around 2 MM.

Higher travel distances mean that it would be harder for you to accidentally press the wrong key.

4. Actuation Type

Another important point to consider when buying switches is actuation type. There are three main types on the market, and they include linear, tactile, and clicky switches.

The type you choose will affect the type of feedback that you get from a keystroke.

Linear switches are the quietest of the three. As mentioned, Gateron's linear switches are some of the best on the market.

Tactile switches tend to be louder and have quite a bit of a tactile bump when you press them down. I personally prefer them.

You also have clicky switches which will make using your mechanical keyboard feel like you're on a retro computer.

modern mechanical keyboard switches, black and white keycaps

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Final Thoughts

You will get high-quality switches from both the Gateron brand, as well as from Cherry.

There are quite a few key differences between Cherries and Gaterons. I compared how the two fair in multiple different categories, including, feel, price, durability, and noise level to demonstrate this.

In comparison, it is clear that Gateron is the better brand. Although their switches are more affordable, they still are durable, come with a smoother keystroke, make slightly less noise, and are extremely reliable. They also come in a wider selection that has to be appreciated.

At the end of the day, the Standard Gateron switches are clones of the Cherry MX that are done better.

From their collections, I have a personal preference for the Gateron brown switches, and the Cherry Reds as they feel like I am typing on a retro typewriter.

I have not only compared how a Cherry and Gateron switch stack up against each other, but also reviewed a couple of different brands to give you an idea of how they compare with others, and what you should consider when buying switches in general.

Hopefully you found all the points discussed useful.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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