Kailh Black

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Switch Specifications:

Switch Type: Linear
Mount Type: Plate Mount
Travel Distance: 2.5mm Actuation | 3.8mm Total
Force: 51g Operating | 67g Bottom-out
Price: ~£4.75 (10 pieces)


The Kailh Black is a medium stiff Cherry MX Black linear switch clone offering MX Black like performance at an affordable price point. Compared to the Outemu Black – it’s closest competitor, the Kailh Black share the same actuation point at 2.5mm instead of the more common 2mm. Although, the Kailh Black has an actuation force of 51g, making it more inline with the MX Black’s 54g of actuation force. The Kailh Black also has a shorter travel at 3.8mm instead of the usual 4mm.


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

Smoothness: 5/10

On-centre keypresses were quite scratchy from the start making the first 3 – 4 days of typing very unpleasant. However, over the course of 2 weeks, they have gotten a touch smoother; it’s still not top tier level as some switches are still scratchy proving that inconsistencies in the switch are at play here.
Off-centre keypresses aren’t too bad. They don’t exhibit any binding, although, there are hints of tactility towards the very bottom of the travel when pressed at the very edge of a keycap. This is probably unnoticeable to most typists, but it is worth pointing out.


Kailh Black switch disassembled
Kailh Black switches disassembled.

Weighting: 7/10

The switch actuates at 51g at 2.5mm and bottoms out at 67g at 3.8mm. So, not quite an MX Black, but honestly not too far, in fact I quite like both despite the small differences. I didn’t find the shorter 3.8mm travel to have any affects, positive or negative in my activities at all. Though, you may prefer one over the other. Overall, it’s an enjoyable weighting for me.

Sound: 5/10

Sound is very average. Run of the mill. The biggest downside is the scratchiness of the switch ruining the otherwise quite ‘thocky’ sound signature. It definitely has the potential to be decent sounding.

Typing Performance: 6/10

In the beginning, they are quite scratchy to type on which annoyed me, but they have become “alright”. So, it’s improved from the first few days; it’s not so bad anymore. The weighting is pretty good to me as it’s similar to the MX Black which is a switch I like for its weighting. Overall, it’s a nice switch to type on, though, other and better options exist out there if you look hard enough.

Gaming Performance: 7/10

The switch is very consistent when gaming on. The scratchy nature tends to hide itself well in fast-paced gaming environments, but you notice performance inconsistencies when a key is pressed in rapid succession, especially when it is pressed off-centre. It’s also not ideal in very slow paced as the scratchiness of the switch really shows itself. It’s nowhere near a top-level switch, but it’s pretty damn good in certain situations.

Final Score = 30/50 (60%)

 

Places to purchase this switch:

AliExpress

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Outemu Black

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