Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top)

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Switch Specifications:

Switch Type: Linear
Mount Type: PCB Mount
Travel Distance: 2mm Actuation | 4mm Total
Force: 63.5g Operating
Stem Length: 12.50mm
Price: $21.60 (36 pieces) on NovelKeys
€0.62 (1 piece) on CandyKeys

The Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) is based on the legendary Nixie switch that Cherry used in keyboards such as the Nixdorf CT06-CT07/2 M Softkeys (and in many others). Whilst these aren’t an exact replica, it does feature a 63.5g actuation and similar aesthetics to the original Nixie switch.

Nixie switches are one of the most sought-after switches in the world of vintage switches as they are extremely rare and fetch a commanding price tag – as much as $25 per switch! For context, you can buy 100 Gateron Black switches for the same price.

Here’s the video review if you prefer watching content:


Given the hype around these switches, they were quite disappointing performance wise. They were on the scratchy side and some binding was present when gaming at a slower pace. In addition to this, they’re quite similar to the already existing Cherry MX Black which are cheaper and more readily available.

Apart from those who really like the Nixie aesthetic or for those looking to make a frankenswitch out of them, I’m really not sure who this switch is for.

Smoothness: 4/10

On-centre keypresses are somewhat scratchy with some switches experiencing very slight binding. This becomes more apparent at very slow keypresses.

Off-centre keypresses are even scratchier with noticeable inconsistency and binding at moderate keypresses. This is exasperated at slower keypresses.

Overall, even with lubrication, they’re still a very scratchy switch. I don’t recommend these.

Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) switch disassembled
Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) switch disassembled.

Weighting: 6/10

According to Cherry, these switches actuate 63.5g at 2mm and has a total travel of 4mm.

In terms of real-world key feel, they’re quite similar to the Cherry MX Black. The extra weighting is definitely noticeable and I wouldn’t consider these a “light” switch by any means. I think for most people, these would be too heavy for daily use, but I found them to be an enjoyable weighting. They’re more than manageable, but they’re certainly not perfect.

Consistency wise, they aren’t the greatest. In fast typing, they’re better than average with very little inconsistencies present. However, in slower typing those inconsistencies are more prominent. This could be a dealbreaker for some, and as a heavier switch, this issue is slightly exasperated.

Overall, they have an enjoyable weighting (as long as you’re into heavy switches), but the same cannot be said about its consistency.

Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) spring lube
Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) spring is factory lubed.

Sound: 6/10

To my surprise, they were on the quiet side. Though, this could be due to the fact that I wasn’t bottoming out every keystroke.

With that said, they were reasonably clacky with a non-offending overall sound.

Overall, they don’t sound too bad, but they didn’t exactly have any other redeeming features to speak of.

Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) stem length
The Cherry MX Black (Clear-Top) stem length is 12.50mm.

Typing Performance: 5/10

I found them to be a little too heavy for the first few days. It took around 5 days or so for me to get fully adjusted to them as these are switches that slightly fall outside my weighting preferences.

Additionally, they were also decently scratchy and inconsistent at times which wouldn’t be too bad in a lighter switch, but as these are heavier switches, it was harder for me to get accustomed to them.

However, over time the switches become ever so slightly smoother and its inconsistencies were somewhat lessened as well. So, yes, there is a break-in period with these switches and they did perform better overall after this period.

Overall, even with the improvements after the break-in period, I still think their scratchy and inconsistent nature is of less than average in performance compared to others.

Gaming Performance: 7/10

This is possibly the only category where I can safely say that the switches’ performance was noticeably better than average in both fast and slow-paced games.

However, in slower-paced games, I noticed slight sticking and binding when trying to make pin-point adjustments. This was also the case when I hold certain keys down for longer periods, especially when pressed in an off-centre position. None of this is a deal-breaker for me, but I did find it uncomfortable when it happened.

On the upside, I didn’t find any issues on fast-paced games. Also, even after 4+ hours of gaming I didn’t experience any finger fatigue which surprised me as I’ve had this issue with other heavier switches in the past.

Overall, at their current state, I really like them for gaming. If they were smoother and more consistent, they would be top contenders in a gaming keyboard build; sadly, this isn’t the case.

Final Score = 28/50 (56%)


Places to purchase this switch:

Amazon UK | CandyKeys | NovelKeys

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