In a previous blog, we presented the unique opportunity for the community to ask Cherry Corporation questions about their Cherry MX Switches. We would like to take this chance to thank everyone who participated. Here are the answers to the questions we passed along:
Did the material in Black stems change over time? If so, are there known dates as to when the material was changed?
No, it has been the same proven materiaevery time. The fluctuations are caused by the different tools we‘re using here in the production. But we always optimize our production processes to realize a standardized stem quality.
Did the Cherry MX Blue Keys change at any point?
No, the design is still based on the first products.
Why were the new (non vintage) switch-tops created?
We created the low-rise keycaps for the MX-board to add a modern style to our MX-technology to fulfill customer requirements. We will keep our existing ergonomic design in the portfolio.
I'd also love to know why some batches of brand new switches have very noticeable friction while others don't. It's not a matter of factory lubrication either. I was under the impression that they come from the same factory, so I'm curious why such variation.
All original CHERRY MX-switches are made in Auerbach, Germany in a fully automated manufacturing process. Because of our extremely high quality molding tools we can achieve unreached precision, accuracy and reliability. Nevertheless, there are minimal variability caused by the fact that we can’t produce all switches on one tool. But a special “MX innovation team” is already working on process optimization.
Are there Cherry Hall Effect Switch keyboards?
Users all over the world really like the mechanical tactile feeling of our mx-technology. So we focus on our MX key switch program.
Are MX Whites still being made and do they have special
or extra lubing from the factory?
The whites have been made on special request from business customers. There’s no special lubing on white stem switches.
What is the normal lube used on MX switches?
Sorry, but we can’t give further information here. It’s all CHERRY magic technology know-how!
Are there any plans to bring the G80-5000 back due to the rise in
demand for ergo boards?
We believe g80-5000 still is one of the best ergonomic keyboards. But the market demand for an ergonomic mechanical keyboard is a niche in the niche.
Does Cherry plan on partnering with other companies like MechanicalKeyboards.com to offer switches/stabilizer kits?
All platforms like MechanicalKeyboards.com could sell our products. We’re working on some accessories with special keycaps, keycap-puller and an additional switch kit at the moment.
Are there any plans to redesign cherry stabilizers?
No. There isn't substantial demand yet.
Will more different types of switches be available one day? I noticed that Cherry has omitted some letters in their part numbers. Are they reserved for future switch types?
The CHERRY “MX innovation team” is always working on new stuff. We are always ahead of our competitors and will keep our leading position in the world. We keep the opportunity to add new key switches to our portfolio. But at the moment there’s nothing we want to talk about. Stay excited – keep your eyes open.
Could Cherry please release an official catalog (with part numbers) of all the different MX Switches that they have ever manufactured?
Actually you can find our official key switch portfolio online:
We will publish a compact overview on all MX switch types soon.
Were the molds for the switch housings designed and produced before the stem mounts where finalized? The notches in the housings to allow for the cylindrical stem mount look a lot like modifications done afterwards.
No, there were no modifications made afterwards. We used to engineer the housing around the stem based on technical details which are confidential.
When designing the Cherry MX switch, how relevant was the click sound to the design? At what point did Cherry start marketing blue switches for their click sound instead of for the movement differential (hysteresis)?
Back in the 80's, when the MX-switch was invented, our key switch was one of the quietest on the market. We started with the black ones and driven by requirements of the users (speed typing champions, heavy-users, secretaries) we added a click into our tactile switch to get an acoustic feedback.
When designing keyboards, how does/did Cherry determine the importance of NKRO in production keyboards? Some programmable ones are obvious (G80-2100), but NKRO seems haphazardly applied elsewhere.
All MX featured keyboards were equipped with full N-Key Rollover from the beginning. We keep this feature only in our gaming keyboards. There’s no need for NKRO in the office products.
Are 5mm LEDs a possibility with an updated version of MX?
5mm LEDs are not an option for us. We will focus on 3mm LEDS and the new (from our MX key switch decoupled) SMD LED solution for lifetime and quality reasons.
When Cherry used to manage doubleshot keycap production, were the use of other plastics (PBT, POM) ever explored?
Doubleshot keycaps where only explored with ABS and once with “night glow” ABS. We have not produced PBT or POM ones yet, but we are working on some new innovative solutions for keycaps.
What is the favorite switch/overall most commonly used switch used by Cherry workers within their job?
We most commonly use the black MX-switches, but all our other technologies, too. On one side the marketing guys love the blues. On the other; our CHERRY Big Cheese is testing all new products during his daily business. So he changes his keyboard after only a very short period. But we don’t know what he’s using at home.
Would Cherry ever allow the TV show 'How its Made' to do a segment
on MX switches?
Of course we would like to welcome “How its Made” in Germany. Please feel free to contact us! But you need to understand that we can’t show any of our secret details about our products and manufacturing processes.
On which principles do you decide the level of pressure to click a certain type of switches?
The pressure level is based on long time market research.
Is it possible to add some sort of additional dampening past the actuation point to prevent bottoming out? I imagine something like that would greatly reduce finger fatigue as well as be a better way to have muscle memory learn than switch-based keys.
There are a lot of studies regarding ergonomics on keyboards (not only switches). Considering these results in the coming products is part of our product innovation roadmap. Most programmers don’t need to prevent bottoming out because they are typing on the fly. This only can be done by CHERRY high level precision MX key switches.
Would it be possible to make a switch similar to Topre in the sense that it is much more silent for work environments? O-rings aren't the solution.
The O-Rings are not a CHERRY idea at all. But we will launch a much better technical solution in the near future. Stay tuned for that.
Can we get a 3d printer design template to print custom keycaps?
Good idea we will think about this in the future.
Wouldn't positioning the '+' mounting for the keycap diagonally like an 'X' make the switch more durable and take some of the flex out of the key
There would be no better result if you would rotate the mounting. The flex is coming out of the key switch itself and of course we want to stay compatible to all keycaps from other suppliers.
Any chances of MX Whites or Clears making an appearance on a Corsair keyboard? This would be an insta-buy for me because of how hard it is to find a board with either of these switches (outside Korea at least).
Corsair: We’re always looking for feedback on this subjective topic and will consider all possible opportunities to improve our product line.
Who approached who with the idea of the RGB backlit keyboard?
It simply was a market requirement – CORSAIR is our exclusive launch partner.
And how come it took so long? Was there anything that made RGB LEDs difficult to implement?
CHERRY is known for having the best quality and the highest precision over a very long lifetime. This can only be guaranteed by the sophisticated engineering and design of each element of the key switch and testing, testing, testing … this all takes time!
Do you foresee any technologies surpassing the quality of mechanical switches in the future? Possible electro-magnetic?
There is nothing in the world which cannot be made better – even a MX key switch. We are working on it …
What other customization options does the software offer apart from millions of color options? Are there any other lighting effects? I am thinking like this.
Will we be getting any more details on how to program the backlighting for the RGB keyboard or do I need to wait until I get my grubby mits on one?
We will have additional details about the software in the near future. In the meantime, we can share that our lighting options will be very comprehensive beyond that of a simple light demo.
Will the RGB switches be Corsair exclusive only, or is it just for a year?
Just for 1 Year - 2014.
Is there any interest in creating thin keyswitches (that can compete with Chiclet keyboards for thinness) for ultra portable devices, or at least more of a push to put Cherry ML key switches in more notebooks? Scissor switch keyboards are okay, but I'd love to have a fully mechanical Cherry keyboard in an ultrabook.
We are open to all suppliers of ultrabooks, netbooks and notebooks etc. to support design-in of our key switches.
Would you guys ever trying to build a buckling spring based keyboard? because although MX switches come close they don’t match a model M's feel
We won’t use the buckling spring technology in the future. We focus all our energy to extend long-term reliability and on MX innovations.
Have Corsair or Cherry ever toyed with the idea of using different switches on different zones of the keyboard? Ideas such as putting switches that require less actuation force where the weaker fingers are traditionally placed. I know that the spacebar switches are often different than the rest on mech keyboards.
Yes of course. Our latest idea is to sell switch kits to customize sections on your own needs.
Will you be offering different sizes for the new RBG keyboards? I'm very interested in a K65 style and even with one that has the macro buttons on
the left hand side. Doesn't have to be the same amount like in the k95 could
be just one row.
Corsair: We only have announced a K70 variant currently, but as we look to the future, many possibilities can happen given the reception of our product.
Who comes up with new switch types and how do I get that persons job?
We employ a great team of engineers. We look forward to receiving your application. If you are even better than our most innovative engineer you will get a job …
What makes Cherry and Corsair's product better than any other Cherry product or Corsair product?
Through our teaming up we have had the chance to merge American style and the German engineering into one awesome product. Stay calm and test it.
Corsair: Working with Cherry has given us tremendous insight and with their full support, we are able to bring innovation together to the mechanical keyboard genre that did not exist before. This means that the customer is able to reap the benefits and efforts of both companies and get something that will live up to the expectations.
I never understood this - is the number of mechanical switches out there limited? i.e. Are they not produced anymore? Or are there still factories producing them?
Our production is running (24/7) and we still invest in increasing our capacity at our German manufacturing site to follow strong growing market demand on our MX key switch.
What switches would you suggest to someone new to mechanical keyboards?
I was thinking of picking up my first one this year when I get around to upgrading my rig.
I would suggest the red stems for a newbie on mechas because of the actuation force is 45 nm.
Any plans to introduce some wireless mechanical keyboards?
Yes, we do. But at the moment, wireless technology is not suitable for a high-quality gaming product made by CHERRY.
Will the lifetime be the same as a classic MX Switch (Red for example) and keep the same robustness too?
Sure, we’re permanently running lifetime tests. The goal is it to increase lifetime to much more than 50,000,000 by working on production optimization and innovative new material. The lifetime of the RGB MX key switch with SMD LEDs will be much better because we mounted the SMD LED on the PCB and separated it from the switch.
Can you buy a Cherry MX Switch as just a customer (not a professional)?
Not at the moment. Our partners intend to offer MX key switch kits by different channels in the future.