Cherry MX Red

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Switch Specifications:

Switch Type: Linear
Mount Type: Plate Mount
Travel Distance: 2.0mm Actuation | 4.0mm Total
Force: 45g Operating | ~60g Bottom-out
Price: ~£7.00 (10 pieces)

The Cherry MX Red is a light linear switch mainly found in gaming-oriented keyboards. It was introduced in 2008 and is a lighter variant of the Cherry MX Black switch.

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

Smoothness: 4/10

On-centre keypresses are decently scratchy for the most part. Switches installed on my “R”, “G” and “B” keys were the scratchiest of them all.

Off-centre keypresses are even scratchier. A lot of my switches suffer from extreme scratchiness, especially when pressed slowly at the very edge of the key. It’s very inconsistent across the board with some switches performing better than others.

Overall, the switch isn’t even close to being considered ‘smooth’. Many of the clones such as the Gateron Red, Outemu Red and Greetech Red are smoother in all aspects. Not too sure why anyone would even consider the MX Red at this point.

Cherry MX Red switch disassembled
Cherry MX Red switches disassembled.

Weighting: 5/10

The switch actuates at 50g at 2.1mm and bottoms out at 66g at 3.8mm of total travel. It’s very similar to both the Outemu and Kailh Red switches.

Overall, I find the weighing to be really light for my preference; it’s not a switch I enjoy to use. However, if you’re finding heavier weighted switches such the Cherry MX Black or it’s clones, these could be a good alternative.

Sound: 5/10

It’s not too bad, but you can hear the scratchiness of the switch when pressing each key slowly, a bit nit-picky on my part here, but it does annoy me every time. If these switches weren’t scratchy to begin with, this wouldn’t be a problem.

Overall, it’s not impressive and Cherry should consider improving its smoothness which I’ve found heavily influences the switch sound.

Typing Performance: 4/10

If the Cherry MX Black or its clones were too heavy for you, then you can look at the Cherry MX Red or its clones as a lighter alternative. Otherwise, stay away from these. They are simply too light to type on!

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend typing on these unless you like accidentally actuating your keys and making spelling mistakes.

Gaming Performance: 6/10

Gaming Performance, its one shining factor.

Depending on the game you’re playing, the switches are effortless to actuate making for a more relaxed gaming experience which I do like quite a bit, I find it advantageous in plenty of FPS games. However, it makes little to no sense for other games.

Overall, the MX Red is a nice switch for certain types of games, but not so for others. You’d have to take into consideration what games you play and if you think a lighter switch will give you an edge. Also, just remember that you would also have to type on this switch when you aren’t gaming which may not be ideal.

Final Score = 24/50 (48%)


Places to purchase this switch:

AliExpress | NovelKeys | Mechboards


Kailh Blue

Kailh Brown


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