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Cherry MX Blue vs Red: Which Popular Cherry MX Switch is Better?

Cherry MX is now synonymous with mechanical keyboards. And when we think about mechanical switches, it is usually a battle between the Blue and the Red switches. Each has its strengths and weakness. Choosing between them is like the blue and red pill in the movie The Matrix. Picking the right mechanical switch should not be as hard as that.

Cherry MX Blue and Red switches are the most common flavors of mechanical switches in the wild. One is generally more for typing, while the other is for gaming. Therefore, your usage and preference play a huge role in choosing properly. In this article, we are going to delve a little deeper to see what their advantages and disadvantages are to help you make your decision easier. Let’s start by talking about their similarities and differences.

Cherry MX Blue vs Red Comparison Chart

Cherry MX Blue Cherry MX Red
Switch Type Clicky Switch Linear Switch
Switch Pretravel 2.2 ± 0.6 mm  2.0 ± 0.6 mm
Switch Actuator Travel 4.0 ± 0.5 mm 4.0 ± 0.4 mm
Actuation Force 50 ± 15 cN 45 ± 15 cN
Bounce Time < 5 ms < 5 ms
Protection Class IP40 IP40
Durability > 50 million actuations > 50 million actuations
Spring Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
RGB Lighting No No
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Similarities between Cherry MX Blue and MX Red Keyboards

Durability and Protection Class

all other Cherry MX flavors, both the Cherry MX Blue and Red switches are built to last you a long time. These German made switches are made out of heavy-duty plastic and stainless steel spring. Both mechanical switch flavors will take more than 50 million actuations before they physically break. To put this in a more understandable perspective, let’s say you are averaging 1000 keystrokes in a day per switch. It will take you more than a century to break a single Cherry MX switch. Moreover, it has protection against solid items over 1 mm but both mechanical switch flavors do not have any water resistance.

No RGB Lighting

lighting on computer peripherals matters to gamers. Moreover, this RGB lighting is important for typing in low-light situations. If you have a hot-swappable RGB mechanical keyboard, I recommend you choose the RGB variant of these mechanical switches. The key difference between the RGB and the non-RGB lies in their casing. The RGB variant is housed on a transparent casing so light can pass through, while the non-RGB variant has a black and opaque casing. Choose the variant that applies to you.




Differences Cherry MX Blue and Cherry MX Red

The biggest difference between the two keyboards is Switch Travel and Actuation Force. Key travel distance and actuation force are two factors in differentiating mechanical switch flavors. Some have shorter travel, while others have longer. The same is true with the actuation force. This is highly subjective, so declaring a winner here is impossible.

Cherry MX Blue

The Cherry MX Blue switch has a longer pretravel before key actuation of 2.2 ± 0.6 mm. When you use Blue switches your keycaps will bottom out at 4 – 0.5 mm. In terms of actuation force, Cherry MX Blues are heavier at 60 cN or 60 grams. Some keyboard enthusiasts consider this weight as too heavy. This is as heavy as the Cherry MX Black switches.

Cherry MX Red

The shorter switch travel and actuation force of Cherry MX Red switches create a pleasant experience overall. Pretravel goes up to 2 ± 0.6 mm and bottoms out at 4.0 -0.4 mm. It takes lesser force to type with Red switches since it has an actuation force of only 45 cN or 45 grams. Again, as I said earlier, your preference and usage play a big role in choosing. For now, it is a tie between these mechanical switch flavors.


The Winner Is- It is a Tie

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Typing Experience

The typing experience is based on multiple factors. Some of these are keystroke feedback and overall typing smoothness.

Cherry MX Blue

Many prefer Cherry MX Blue switches for typing because it gives you two signals that a keystroke was entered. First, Blue switches give an audio cue. Since Cherry MX Blues are clicky switches, you will hear a very audible click when pressing a key. Second, it gives you a tactile bump which also lets you know that a key is pressed. If you are a touch typist, these 2 signals (aside from the visual cue) are all you need to enjoy typing on Blue switches. Moreover, since Blue switches are generally heavier, it prevents accidental key presses.

Cherry MX Red

On the other hand, Cherry MX Red switches only give you one signal and that is the visual signal. If you are not a seasoned touch typist, typing on Red switches can be frustrating at times. There are no clicks and tactile feedback. So, you will be looking at your keyboard more instead of your monitor. However, if you train yourself to type without looking at your keyboard most of the time, typing on Red switches can be pleasurable since it is smooth. Just expect to mistype some words because Red switches have lower actuation force.

The Winner Is- Cherry MX Blue

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Gaming Experience

People buying mechanical switches belong to one of these three groups: enthusiasts, coders, or gamers. A huge part of the mechanical keyboard market is attributed to gamers.

Cherry MX Blue

Gaming is possible even when you use an old rubber dome keyboard, laptop keyboard, or mechanical keyboard. However, as technology improves, some technologies get outdated. Rubber dome keyboards are replaced by mechanical keyboards. So, is Cherry MX Blue any good for gaming? The answer is yes and no. Yes, Blue switches will serve you perfectly. However, due to its clicky nature, its clickiness can be annoying. This is true, particularly for streamers.  Since they have viewers, it can get unpleasant to watch because of the loud and obnoxious sound. In this regard, Blue switches are not recommended.

Cherry MX Red

Cherry MX Red switches are the complete opposite of the Blue equivalents. Since it does not have clickiness and tactility, it can operate more silently. Moreover, its lighter key presses can be registered faster than the heavier Blue switches. Lastly, its shorter key travel can give you an edge over your competition.

The Winner Is- Cherry MX Red


Pros and Cons

Cherry MX Blue


  • Cherry MX Blue switches are the quintessential mechanical switches.
  • Blue switches give you two more signals for a successful keystroke – audio and tactile cues.
  • These signals and heavier actuation force reduce the chance of the mistyping of characters.



  • Its “clickiness” can get annoying when using it for long period.


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Cherry MX Red


  • Registering a keypress with Cherry MX Red switches is easier due to its lighter actuation force and shorter key travel.
  • Once you mastered touch typing, the typing experience is better since it has a buttery smooth travel distance.
  • Its lighter actuation force and shorter travel distance can help you in gaming.



  • You will be prone to more mistyped characters due to its lack of cues and lighter actuation force.

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Final Verdict

Do you take the blue pill or red pill? Choose the Blue switch when you are just getting started with mechanical keyboards. Choose the Red switch if you are already a seasoned touch typist or a heavy gamer.


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