The Truth About Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Keyboard Switches

October 3, 2023

The choice of key switches is more than just a matter of preference; it's an important decision that can impact your gaming and typing experience. Among the many options in the switch market, Cherry MX Brown switches stand as a popular and versatile choice, known for their unique blend of features.

But here's the thing. You've probably heard all sorts of opinions about Cherry MX Brown switches. Some love their subtle bump, others not so much. But what's the real deal?

In this article, we're going to delve into the nitty-gritty of these switches, exploring their features and performance. Whether they're heroes or zeroes in the keyboard world, you're about to find out.


You've probably heard a lot about Cherry MX Brown switches; they're some of the most well-known switches available in the market. Keyboard users have their fill of opinions about this popular mechanical keyboard switch. Let's first define what Cherry MX Brown switches are.

Designed and manufactured by the German company, Cherry GmbH, Cherry MX Brown switches are a type of mechanical keyboard switch. These switches are popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts and users who love a balance between tactile feedback and a relatively quiet typing experience.

Features and Characteristics of Cherry MX Brown Switches

Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts frequently opt for Cherry MX Brown switches because they offer a distinctive blend of characteristics and features.

  1. Tactile bump: You can feel a nice tactile bump when you press down a key with a Cherry MX Brown switch under it. This bump is a noticeable but not overly pronounced resistance point that gives you feedback that the keypress has been registered. 
  2. Quiet operation: Unlike clicky switches like Cherry MX Blue, which have an audible click sound, Cherry MX Brown switches are relatively quiet. They produce a subtle, soft sound when the key is pressed and released. This makes them perfect for quiet office environments or shared spaces.
  3. Medium actuation force: Cherry MX Brown switches usually have an actuation force of around 45 to 55 grams. You need to apply a moderate amount of force to activate the key, striking a balance between switches with heavier and lighter actuation forces. Many users find this force level comfortable for extended typing sessions.
  4. Key travel distance: Cherry MX Brown switches have a key travel distance of approximately 4mm, providing a comfortable and familiar typing experience for most users.
  5. Versatility: Cherry MX Brown switches are versatile and well-suited for various tasks. They are equally suitable for typing, gaming, and general office work. The tactile feedback can help with typing accuracy while the moderate actuation force ensures that keypresses are not too heavy or too light.
  6. Durability: Cherry MX Brown switches are known for their durability. They are typically rated for 50 million keypresses, ensuring a long lifespan for your mechanical keyboard.
  7. Customization: Cherry MX Brown switches are available in various mechanical keyboards from different manufacturers. This allows users to choose a keyboard that suits their preferences in terms of layout, size, and additional features while still enjoying the benefits of Cherry MX Brown switches.
  8. Typing Comfort: The tactile feedback of Cherry MX Brown switches, combined with their medium actuation force, can enhance typing comfort and reduce typing fatigue for users who spend long hours on the keyboard.
  9. Keycap Compatibility: Cherry MX Brown switches are compatible with a wide range of keycap sets, giving users the option to personalize their keyboard's appearance. This makes them a favorite in the mechanical keyboard community.

Advantages of Cherry MX Brown Switches

Despite the criticism, there's a lot to appreciate about these particular keys. Cherry MX Brown switches offer several advantages compared to other types of mechanical keyboard switches:

  1. Users love the Cherry MX Brown switches for their tactile response, enhancing typing accuracy and ensuring you can feel when a key has been successfully pressed. Their tactile feedback enhances precision, and their actuation force strikes a comfortable balance for many users.
  2. These switches are relatively quiet, making them suitable for libraries, shared workspaces, studios, and quiet environments. 
  3. With an actuation force typically ranging from 45 to 55 grams, Cherry MX Brown switches provide a moderate level of resistance. 
  4. The tactile bump and moderate actuation force of Cherry MX Brown switches enhance typing comfort, minimizing typing errors and catering to users who appreciate a responsive keystroke.
  5. A lot of mechanical keyboard brands and manufacturers feature Cherry MX Brown switches.
  6. Cherry MX Brown switches are compatible with numerous keycap sets, allowing users to personalize their keyboard's appearance to their liking.
  7. Cherry MX Brown switches are tough, rated for tens of millions of keypresses before wearing down.
  8. While not specifically designed for gaming, Cherry MX Brown switches remain a popular choice among gamers due to their tactile feedback and moderate actuation force. They offer a balanced experience suitable for both typing and gaming needs.

Disadvantages of Cherry MX Brown Switches

While there's a lot to appreciate, it's also important to consider the potential drawbacks that could impact your typing or gaming experience.

  1. While Cherry MX Brown switches provide tactile feedback, it's relatively subtle compared to switches like Cherry MX Blue. Some users who prefer a more pronounced tactile bump may find Browns less satisfying.
  2. Unlike clicky switches such as Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Brown switches are relatively quiet. This lack of an audible click may disappoint users who enjoy the auditory feedback associated with typing.
  3. For users who type very quickly and with a heavy hand, Cherry MX Brown switches may not provide enough resistance. This can potentially lead to typing fatigue over extended periods.
  4. While Cherry MX Brown switches are versatile and suitable for both typing and gaming, some gamers prefer switches with linear actuation (e.g., Cherry MX Red) for certain gaming genres, especially those who desire fast pressing. They are not specifically designed to enhance gaming performance.
  5. Cherry MX Brown switches are popular, but the availability of keyboards with these switches may vary by region or manufacturer. It might be more challenging to find specific models with Cherry MX Browns compared to more widely available switches like Cherry MX Red switches.
  6. In general, mechanical keyboards are priced higher than membrane keyboards or those with non-Cherry MX switches. This price difference may be a disadvantage for budget-conscious users.
  7. Users who are extremely accustomed to a specific switch type may find it challenging to adapt to Cherry MX Brown switches, mainly if they have used switches with significantly different characteristics in the past.

Cherry MX Brown switches have been criticized for being neither here nor there. They're not smooth enough to be linear or tactile enough to be clicky. Some users describe them as riddled with scratchiness, implying a less-than-pleasant typing feel. They're also colloquially known as MX Sand, suggesting a coarse and irritating texture.

Cherry MX Brown Switch Specifications

In your quest for the perfect keyboard switch, it's important to know the technical specifications of Cherry MX Brown switches. These provide a comprehensive overview of the switches, helping users understand their key characteristics, including tactile feedback, actuation force, and durability. These specifications are important considerations for those who are looking to purchase mechanical keyboards or customize their keyboard switches.

  1. Switch Type and Feedback: Tactile 
  2. Actuation Force: 45 to 55 grams
  3. Key Travel Distance: approximately 4mm
  4. Switch Life: around 50 million key presses
  5. Switch Mount: cross-shaped stem design, compatible with a wide range of keycaps, keycap sets, and keyboard layouts
  6. Switch Color: brown-colored stem and housing
  7. Noise Level: relatively quiet with a soft, non-clicky sound 
  8. Operating Temperature: approximately 0°C to 70°C
  9. Switch Dimensions: switch housing typically measuring around 15.62mm x 15.62mm x 18.00mm (L x W x H)

Why People Like Cherry MX Browns

Users love the tactile feedback they provide. When pressing a key, there's a subtle but satisfying bump that assures them that their input has been registered. The tactile feedback aids in precise typing.

What sets these switches apart is the balanced actuation force. It's not too heavy, so users won't get fatigued during long typing sessions. Yet, it's just enough to prevent unintended keypresses. Combine this with the 4mm key travel distance, and you have a keyboard that's a joy to use.

One of the standout features for many users is the sound of these switches; they're quieter than those noisy, clicky switches. So, whether you're in a shared workspace or just prefer a quieter typing experience, Cherry MX Browns are an excellent choice.

Versatility is another plus. Whether it's for work or gaming, these switches handle both tasks remarkably well. The tactile feedback adds precision when typing. While not specifically designed for gaming, they certainly get the job done.

Lastly, the customization options are fantastic. Cherry MX Brown switches in a wide variety of keyboards, giving users a lot of flexibility.

Why People Hate MX Browns

Despite the benefits, there's a sizable group of folks who just can't stand these particular keystrokes due to their perceived flaws. Here's another perspective on Cherry MX Brown switches from a different angle. It's not that they're terrible, but they might not suit everyone's taste.

One thing that doesn't quite work for some users is the tactile feedback. Yes, there's a bump when a key is pressed, but it's not as pronounced as many would like. It's more subtle, and many prefer switches with a more noticeable tactile feel.

Cherry MX Browns are relatively quiet, but they may not quite match others' preferences. Some prefer a more assuring audible click with switches like Cherry MX Blue. If you enjoy that satisfying click, Browns might not be your cup of tea.

The actuation force is somewhere in the middle to cater to a wider range of users. However, many find the actuation forces to be too soft or light.

When it comes to gaming, Cherry MX Browns are versatile. But for fast-paced games that require fast finger action, many lean toward switches with a smoother, linear actuation. 

Other Notable Tactile Switches

Let's shift gears and take a look at how other notable tactile keystrokes compare, shall we? These are just a few examples of the many tactile switch options available in the mechanical keyboard market.

  1. Cherry MX Clear: Cherry MX Clear switches provide a pronounced and distinct tactile bump, but they have a higher actuation force compared to Cherry MX Brown switches. This makes them a favorite among typists who want a strong tactile feel and don't mind a heavier keypress.
  1. Cherry MX Green: Cherry MX Green switches offer a tactile bump similar to Cherry MX Blue switches but with a higher actuation force. They are known for their clicky and tactile feedback, making them suitable for typists who prefer a more robust keypress.
  1. Zealios V2: Zealios V2 switches are a popular choice among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. They offer a smooth, rounded tactile bump and are available in various actuation force options.
  1. Kailh Box Brown: Kailh Box Brown switches provide a tactile bump without an audible click. They are known for their durability and resistance to dust and moisture due to the box design. They offer a similar tactile experience to Cherry MX Brown switches.
  1. Outemu Brown: Outemu Brown switches are budget-friendly alternatives to Cherry MX Brown switches. They offer a similar tactile feedback and actuation force, making them a suitable choice for users on a tighter budget.
  1. Gateron Brown: Gateron Brown switches are often compared to Cherry MX Brown switches. They provide a tactile bump and similar actuation force. Some users find them smoother in operation compared to their Cherry MX counterparts.
  1. TTC Brown: TTC Brown switches are another Cherry MX Brown alternative. They offer a tactile bump and a moderate actuation force, similar to Cherry MX Browns, but they may have slight differences in feel and sound.
  1. Hako Clear: Hako Clear switches are designed to be a heavy tactile switch with a pronounced tactile bump and a higher actuation force. They are known for their unique feel, making them popular among typing enthusiasts.
  1. NovelKeys Cream: NovelKeys Cream switches are a premium option, featuring a smooth keystroke and a noticeable tactile bump. 
  1. Holy Panda: Holy Panda switches are a hybrid switch created by combining parts of different switches. They offer a strong tactile bump and are favored by enthusiasts for their unique feel.


So, there you've it---the real scoop on Cherry MX Brown mechanical Switches. They're light, tactile, and reliable, but not everyone's cup of tea. Some adore them, while others hate MX browns (although hate is a bit too hard). Let's just say some find them underwhelming compared to other tactile switches. But hey, that's the beauty of the keyboard world, right? Everyone's got their own preferences. 

So, whether you're team 'Brown' or not, remember it's all about finding what tactile mechanical keyboard switch works for you.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Pinstack is a dedicated online media platform focusing on selling and reviewing mechanical keyboards. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive reviews, in-depth guides, and much more. With our active presence on YouTube and our website, we strive to deliver top-quality content across multiple platforms, aiming to bring the best to our audience.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscription Form
We care about the protection of your data. We’ll never share your details.

Pinstack is an Amazon Affiliate. All earnings from this website are from qualified purchases. Learn more about our affiliate disclosure terms.
2023 - Copyright, All Rights Reserved
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x