Gateron Switches – Complete Guide

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When it comes to smooth yet affordable switches, Gateron switches are second to none as it is a mechanical switch that fits both standards. Even as the competition in the switch market becomes fiercer, Gateron holds its stand, delivering various cost-effective keyboard switches that are still one of the first choices to many. But first of all, what exactly are Gateron switches?

Gateron switches are keyboard switches popularly known for their butter-like typing feel. They provide a variety of mechanical switches that you can choose from— all with unique sound profiles and typing experiences. Thus, we can guarantee that you’ll find one that perfectly suits your taste and use case.

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Gateron switches to find out what they have in store for a keyboard enthusiast like you! And maybe after reading this article, you’ll find yourself adding one of Gateron’s switches to your cart for your next keyboard build.

What are Gateron Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Gateron switches originally started life as clones of Cherry MX Switches. Their basic structure is very similar to MX-style switches. Even the color and naming convention of their basic switches are similar to those of Cherry MX switches.

However, the company has since developed its own brand identity. Today, they are considered to produce some of the smoothest budget-friendly switches in the market. They also produce high-end keyboard switches that have become fan-favorites in the keyboard community. 

Gateron Milky Yellow (Left) vs. Gateron Optical Yellow (Right)

In addition to their budget and high-end keyboard switches, Gateron also provides an optical version of the switches in their basic line-up. Optical switches are still mechanical switches. However, optical switches lack metal leaves and legs.

Due to the lack of metal parts, optical switches are much smoother than regular mechanical switches as it only has a small amount of friction when pressed. Lastly, Gateron claims that all mechanical switches have a 50 million keystroke lifespan.  

Moving on, now that you know what Gateron mechanical switches are, let us proceed on discussing the different popular and premium choices you can buy from the brand in the sections below.

Popular Choices

Gateron Reds

Gateron Red Switch

Gateron Reds Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: 45 g
  • Actuation Point: 2.0mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Low

Gateron Red is a popular pick in their lineup of linear switches as it gives the user the smooth typing feel that Gateron is widely known and loved for. With a light actuation force of 45 gf, your fingers will not become tired, even after typing using this switch for an extended period of time. Additionally, it is both available as a PCB switch and plate-mount switch. Lastly, its low sound enables you to use it in quiet and formal environments.

Gateron Blues

Gateron Blue Switch

Gateron Blues Specifications

  • Switch Type: Clicky
  • Actuation Force: 60 gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.3mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Loud

Gateron Blue is a similar switch to Cherry MX Blues, providing you with the typical clicky switch and slightly tactile feel. Even if its actuation force is 60gf, typing for a prolonged amount of time will not cause fatigue to your fingers.

However, its loud click-clacks may get you in trouble if used in the wrong places, other than your personal space. The Gateron Blue is available as a PCB switch and plate-mount switch.

Gateron Greens

Gateron Green Switch

Gateron Greens Specifications

  • Switch Type: Clicky
  • Actuation Force: 80gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.4mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Loud

Like Gateron Blues, Gateron Greens are clicky switches suited for consumers who prefer the loud and distinct sound of clicky switches. However, its actuation force of 80gf makes it heavier than Gateron Blues, and thus, it is better suited for heavy typists who want better control in their switches. 

Gateron Browns

Gateron Brown Switch

Gateron Browns Specifications

  • Switch Type: Tactile
  • Actuation Force: 55gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.0mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Moderate

Gateron Brown is a great tactile switch for typing, gaming, and casual daily use. Its actuation force of 55gf gives you a small probability of errors in typing, unlike Gateron’s linear switches.

It also produces a tactile bump as its feedback, perfect for people who like textures when typing. Gateron Browns are also available as a PCB switch and plate-mount switch. The Gateron Brown is also known for producing a pleasant sound profile, especially when lubed.

Gateron Blacks

Gateron Black Switch

Gateron Blacks Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: 60gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.0mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Low-Moderate

Gateron Blacks is the heaviest linear switch offered by Gateron, with its actuation force at 60 gf. This linear switch is mainly preferred by “aggressive typers” since it does not register keypresses easily, unlike other linears.

Even if it is a linear switch, there is still distinct feedback when pressing it. The Gateron Blacks are also offered in PCB and Plate Mount options. Lastly, these switches are recommended in most workspaces with its low to moderate sound profile.

Gateron Yellows

Gateron Yellow Switch

Gateron Yellows Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: 50gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.0mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Low

Gateron Yellows are considered one of the brand’s smoothest switches, especially when lubed. Even its stock configuration has managed to impress keyboard enthusiasts. 

With an actuation force of 45gf, its consistent resistance makes it unique from other linear switches. The Gateron Yellows come as both PCB and Plate Mount switches. Most importantly, its low sound profile is perfect for people who want to use their boards for office use.

Gateron Clears

Gateron Clear Switch

Gateron Clears Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: 35gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.0mm
  • Mount Type: PCB / Plate-Mount
  • Sound: Low

Gateron Clears are for those who wish to have a smoother and lighter mechanical keyboard switch. The Gateron Clears are lighter than other linear Gateron switches, such as the Gateron Reds.

The Clears have an actuation force of 35gf, making it the lightest linear switch in Gateron’s lineup. It is also one of the quietest Gateron switches available in the market. Gateron Clears are available as both PCB and Plate Mount switches.

Premium Options 

Gateron Inks 

Gateron Ink Switch

Gateron Inks Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear and Clicky
  • Actuation Force: 45 – 75gf
  • Actuation Point: 1.2mm – 2.3mm
  • Mount Type: PCB 
  • Sound: Low, and High

Gateron Inks come in an upgraded color-transparent housing, wherein it features the colors Black, Blue, Red, and Yellow. It is mostly suited for prolonged typing use or casual daily use because of its construction as well as its actuation force.

Moreover, what’s notable about these switches is that the yellow switch features a box stem whilst the other switches feature the common Cherry MX-style stem, causing the yellow switch to have a shorter travel and actuation point. When it comes to its V1 and V2, the V1 had issues with loose contact leaves inside the switches, to which the V2 fixed.

Gateron Phantoms

Gateron Phantom Red Switch

Gateron Phantoms Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky
  • Actuation Force: 45 – 60gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.0 – 2.3mm
  • Mount Type: PCB
  • Sound: Low to Loud

Gateron Phantoms come factory-lubed, meaning additional mods are optional. This also comes in factor with reducing its wobbliness and increasing the switch’s stability.

Just like the Gateron Inks, the Gateron Phantoms come in different colors- Reds, Blues, Browns, and Yellows. However, these colors affect the LED passing through it (i.e. for reds, the LED would be tinted red). These switches are suitable for most use cases, such as for typing, gaming, and office use, in the case of their tactile and linear switches. As for the blue, which is their clicky switch, it is advised to use this for typing and personal use.

Gateron Milky Switches

Gateron Milky Yellow

Gateron Milky Switches Specifications

  • Switch Type: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky
  • Actuation Force: 35 – 65gf
  • Actuation Point: 2.0 – 2.3mm
  • Mount Type: PCB
  • Sound: Low to Loud

Gateron Milky switches come in the colors Green, Red, Yellow, Black, Clear, Brown, and Blue. These switches are different from the normal Gateron switches when it comes to the material in their housing. The housing of Gateron Milky switches has an opaque appearance due to a different kind of plastic being used. This makes the LED lighting less intense but with a more even diffusion. Along with this, the unique plastic used for its housing makes its sound profile deeper. 

Recommended Gateron Switches for Gaming

Gateron Reds Switches

Most gamers prefer having switches that, when lightly pressed, would instantly register as a keypress, thus, the most recommended Gateron switch for gaming is the Gateron Red Linears. 

Due to the Gateron Red’s light actuation force, it becomes much simpler and faster to press necessary keys, even if simultaneously compared to the other switches in Gateron’s options. Additionally, since most gamers are prone to have long, immense hours of gaming, its light operating force is most suited to accompany their fingers not to become tired.

Overall, gamers who want to improve their keyboard gaming experience should opt for Gateron Reds as it is not only efficient for gaming but also a smooth-feeling mechanical switch. 

Recommended Gateron Switches for Typing

Gateron Browns Switch

If you want to type with higher accuracy while maintaining the speed, Gateron Browns should be your best bet. If you do not mind using a little more strength in typing to produce little to no errors, you should go with Gateron Blacks.

However, if you want some distinct clacks to satisfy you while typing, buy either Gateron Blues or Gateron Greens, depending on your preference in actuation force, lastly, if you decide to go for the more premium option, we suggest you buy Gateron Inks as they are most suitable for typing.

Recommended Gateron Switches for General Use

Gateron Phantoms Switch
Gateron Phantoms Switch

If you are on a tight budget or looking for an average yet pleasant experience for a general use keyboard, the Gateron Browns might be suitable to your liking. However, if you want to spend a little more bucks to get a premium keyboard experience, Gateron Phantoms are recommended for their aesthetics and the smoothness it provides as pre-lubed switches. Another premium choice that most enthusiasts would recommend is Gateron Milky switches which deliver a satisfying and deep sound profile when pressed.

Modding Gateron Switches

In modding Gateron Switches, lube is considered optional, especially if you do not mind the sound profiles of Gateron stocks. However, to ensure a pleasant sound profile, lube is recommended for Gateron Yellows, Gateron Blacks, Gateron Browns, as well as premium options. 

More importantly, we highly encourage filming Gateron switches as most feature noticeable stem wobble. This is due to the Gateron’s switch’s larger housing compared to its stem, making stem wobbles more apparent than other affordable switches in the market.