Cart
Your cart is currently empty.

Kailh Switch Guide: Kailh Box, Speed, and Regular Switches

credit: @Jim Henson

Kailh is one of the renowned mechanical switch manufacturers and they are known for their wide range of different mechanical switches like Box switches, Speed switches, low profile, and a good deal of specialty switches at affordable prices.


Like the reputable Gateron Switch, Kailh is providing a bunch of great choices other than Cherry for users who want to dig into the rabbit hole. But one more distinctive feature is that they have a lifespan of 70 million keystrokes. Yet, Kailh works really great with our Keychron keyboards. Today we’re going to take a closer look at their main line-up.

Here is a quick overview of each variant and their features.

Keychron Kailh Box Speed Regular red blue brown pink mechanical switches

Kailh Switch Sound Test

Kailh Box Switches

It is pretty easy to identify a Kailh Box Switch, just look at the box design around the cross stem. This box protects the switch from dust and moisture as well as provides an easy transition to fit any keycaps that you might like to customize. It is worth mentioning that the box design works well with your keycaps to greatly reduce any wobbliness and enhance your typing experience. Each box switch has the same pre-travel (1.8 mm) and travel distance (3.6 mm), which is a little shorter than the regular switches. You can feel a bit of the difference when it comes to speed.

Keychron Kailh Box red mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Box red mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Box red mechanical switch gif

Kailh Box Red

Operating force45±10 gf
Pre-travel1.8±0.4 mm
Travel distance3.6±0.3 mm
BehaviorLinear
Sound levelQuiet
Suitable forOffice/gaming
Typing feelA pleasant, gentle typing experience. The linear action is easy on the fingers and the sound is a little muted. The actuation is very smooth and fluid.
More featuresBecause of Kailh's box design, the bottom sounds and feels better. The box reds are smooth and solid linear switches.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm

Kailh Box Brown

Operating force45±10 gf
Pre-travel1.8±0.4 mm
Travel distance3.6±0.3 mm
BehaviorTactile
Sound levelGentle
Suitable forMidway office/gaming
Typing feelThe tactile bump is subtle. These feel solid, right between a loud clicky switch and a smooth linear. Slowly actuates with an almost buckling effect as the switch reaches its tactile point.
More featuresThey are more moderate in terms of factuality since the actuation force is 10 gf less than other brown switches on the market. People usually feel a smoother and more pleasant experience while using them. 
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm
Keychron Kailh Box brown mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Box brown mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Box brown mechanical switch gif
Keychron Kailh Box white mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Box white mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Box white mechanical switch gif

Kailh Box White

Operating force45±15 gf
Pre-travel1.8±0.3 mm
Travel distance3.6±0.3 mm
BehaviorClicky
Sound levelClicky
Suitable forTypist
Typing feelSlightly lower in pitch than the Kailh Gold, these are clicky to the point of being a bit crunchy. The actuation is a smidge lighter, and it feels like the box design might contribute a slightly more resonant click.
More featuresWith its box design and a 45 gf operating force, which is 15 gf less than the normal blues, the box whites' actuation and click are extra crispy and clicky with no rattle, so a lot of people enjoy the tactile feedback from them.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm

Kailh Speed Switches

Speed switches are essentially shortened versions of existing MX-style switches, with an actuation point of 1.1 mm, 0.5 mm less in travel distance than the regular ones, allow for faster actuation and are intended for gaming. While Cherry produces a shortened linear switch, the Speed Silver, Kailh has produced four different shortened switches: Silver, Copper, Bronze and Gold.

Kailh Speed Silver

Operating force40±10 gf
Pre-travel1.1±0.3 mm
Travel distance3.5±0.3 mm
BehaviorLinear
Sound levelQuiet
Suitable forOffice/gaming
Typing feelExtremely smooth, light enough for your fingers to not feel fatigued, and quiet as well.
More featuresA smoother feel than the Kailh Box switches. The reduced actuation and travel result in faster in-game response times.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm
Keychron Kailh Speed silver mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Speed silver mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Speed silver mechanical switch gif
Keychron Kailh Speed copper mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Speed copper mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Speed copper mechanical switch gif

Kailh Speed Copper

Operating force40±10 gf
Pre-travel1.1±0.3 mm
Travel distance3.5±0.3 mm
BehaviorTactile
Sound levelGentle
Suitable forMidway office/gaming
Typing feelThe fingers feel for these switches are heavier than the Silver. But they are just as smooth as the Silver. They sound a bit louder and more muscular.
More featuresA soft tactile switch with a (50 gf)tactile bump, a 1.1 mm actuation point, 3.5mm travel distance, and light (40 gf)actuation force.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm

Kailh Speed Bronze

Operating force50±10 gf
Pre-travel1.1±0.3 mm
Travel distance3.5±0.3 mm
BehaviorClicky
Sound levelClicky
Suitable forTypist
Typing feelA high-pitched crisp click, lIght, precise and utterly unique; this key switch is addictive. They actuate before the audible click.
More featuresThe Bronze switch has an actuating force of 50 gf, a tactile bump requiring 60 gf, total travel of 3.5 mm but with an actuating point of 1.1 mm.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm
Keychron Kailh Speed bronze mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Speed bronze mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Speed bronze mechanical switch gif
Keychron Kailh Speed Gold mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Speed Gold mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Speed Gold mechanical switch gif

Kailh Speed Gold

Operating force50±10 gf
Pre-travel1.4±0.3 mm
Travel distance3.5±0.3 mm
BehaviorTactile
Sound levelGentle
Suitable forMidway office/gaming
Typing feelIts click is crisp and precise, and the actuation is smooth. Tap lightly and you can still get a character on the screen.
More featuresThey have slightly more activation travel than the Speed Bronze, somewhat halfway between the Speed Bronze and the Box Brown, with an operating force of 50 gf, a tactile bump requiring 60 gf, total travel of 3.5 mm and an actuating point of 1.4 mm.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm

Kailh Speed Pink

Operating force50±10 gf
Pre-travel1.1±0.4 mm
Travel distance3.5±0.4 mm
BehaviorClicky
Sound levelClicky
Suitable forMidway office/gaming
Typing feelIt has an audible sound and tactile bump at the early stage of the stroke, similar to the Speed Bronze but with more crispness.
More featuresThey are functionally similar to Kailh Speed Bronze switches with a click bar mechanism to produce the click sound, with an actuating force of 50 gf, 3.5 mm total in travel distance and an actuating point of 1.1mm.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm
Keychron Kailh Speed Gold mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Speed Gold mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Speed Gold mechanical switch gif

Kailh Regular Switches

The Kailh Regular Switch includes the most popular red, blue and brown options, which comes with a MX-style stem and a variety of typing experiences. 

Kailh Regular Red

Operating force50±10 gf
Pre-travel1.9±0.5 mm
Travel distance4±0.4 mm
BehaviorLinear
Sound levelQuiet
Suitable forOffice/gaming
Typing feelA bit stiffer and scratchier but offers a good linear feel.
More featuresThe operating force of Kailh Red is about 50 gf, which is 5 gf higher than other red switches on the market. That means it might require a bit more pressure to actuate compared to other reds.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm
Keychron Kailh Regular red mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Regular red mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Regular red mechanical switch gif
Keychron Kailh Regular blue mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Regular blue mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Regular blue mechanical switch gif

Kailh Regular Blue

Operating force60±10 gf
Pre-travel1.9±0.4 mm
Travel distance4±0.4 mm
BehaviorClicky
Sound levelClicky
Suitable forTypist
Typing feelEach keystroke has a prominent snappy bump followed by a clicking noise, making it sound loud and proud.
More featuresThe Kailh Blue's operating force is 60 gf, similar to other normal blues but this Kailh Blue has a better and more satisfying click sound.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm

Kailh Regular Brown

Operating force60±10 gf
Pre-travel1.9±0.5 mm
Travel distance4±0.4 mm
BehaviorTactile
Sound levelGentle
Suitable forMidway office/gaming
Typing feelSo smooth! It takes a bit of pressing with the return action less pronounced.
More featuresLoved by many keyboard enthusiasts for their unique tactile actuation, the Kailh Browns are heavy and offer a great tactile feel with their 60 gf operating force.
Travel distance3.6+0.3 mm
Keychron Kailh Regular brown mechanical switch
Keychron Kailh Regular brown mechanical switch diagram
Keychron Kailh Regular brown mechanical switch gif

Wrapping up

Kailh makes many different types of switches and each switch has its own usage:

- Kailh Box switches are really cool. They have a different stem design that makes them feel more stable and wobbles a little bit less.
- Kailh Speed switches are a great option if you’re looking to boost your competitive edge.
- Kailh Regular switches are a decent and cost-effective choice to start down this rabbit hole of mechanical switches.

Try the different Kailh switches and develop which ones you prefer for yourself!

Compatible Keyboard Recommendations

- Any Gateron G Pro Mechanical (Hot-Swappable) version
- Keychron Mechanical (Hot-Swappable) version
- Q series Keychron keyboards