Gateron KS-3 series
|This article requires photographic illustration|
|Switch type||Clicky; tactile; linear|
|Sense method||Metal leaf|
|Rated lifetime||50 M|
|Keycap mount||Cherry MX|
|Switch mount||Plate and PCB mount|
They are available in black, red, blue, and brown variants like Cherry MX. There is also a "clear" variant that is linear with a very light 35g actuation force. A medium-weight linear switch with a yellow slider also existed, but this seems to have gone end-of-life.
The housing is either black or white translucent. The top is branded "Gateron". Transparent housings have been available separately. The Gateron website currently only shows black (with a photograph of brown), clear, brown, red and blue variants, all with black shells. No series name is presently cited, and very little in way of specifications is offered; the black shell switches may not even be classified as KS-3. The black/black switch has been found with a PCB mount shell, while the translucent-shell switches obtained via group buys and on AliExpress are all PCB mount.
The outer shapes and internals are virtually identical to Cherry MX. All parts should be interchangeable except for the leaf springs that perform the electric switching. Cherry leaf springs fit inside Gateron housings but Gateron leaf springs do not fit into Cherry MX bottom housings. The copper leaf springs have gold-plated cross-points. The cross-points were rotated 90° from MX internals on early revisions, but are oriented the same as Cherry MX on later revisions.
The fixing pins (for PCB-mounting) are somewhat wider than Cherry MX, giving a tighter fit.
The circle-shaped immersion that allows for LED mounting is slightly larger than compared to Cherry MX switches, which allows mounting standard 3mm LEDs without having to sand off the flange
|Name||Shell colour||Stem colour||Actuation weight||Type||Switch mount||Cherry equivalent||Notes|
|"GATERON white shaft"||Translucent||Colourless||35 gf||Linear||PCB||none|
|"GATERON red axis"||Translucent||Red||45 gf||Linear||PCB||Cherry MX Red|
|"GATERON black shaft"||Translucent||Black||50 gf||Linear||PCB||Cherry MX Black|
|"GATERON blue axis"||Translucent||Blue||55 gf||Clicky||PCB||Cherry MX Blue|
|"GATERON tea axis"||Translucent||Brown||45 gf||Tactile||PCB||Cherry MX Brown|
|Translucent||Yellow||50 gf||Linear||PCB||none||Appears to be obsolete|
|Translucent||Green||80 gf||Clicky||PCB||Cherry MX Green|
|"GATERON white shaft"||Black||Colourless||Linear|
|"GATERON red axis"||Black||Red||Linear|
|"GATERON black shaft"||Black||Black||Linear||Plate|
|"GATERON green axis"||Black||Blue|
|"GATERON tea axis"||Black||Brown|
The Zealio switches is a custom switch project by Zeal PC together with Gateron. The housings are fully transparent (not translucent) and the springs are gold-plated.
The range introduced a new tactile purple slider for switches akin to a Cherry MX Ergo Clear distributed solely through Zeal PC in 62g, 65g, 67g and 78g.
The tactile/actuation point is slightly higher up than on the corresponding Cherry MX switch. The switches have been described as having smoother action than new Cherry MX but not as smooth action as vintage/broken-in Cherry MX.
The springs are slightly lighter than the corresponding Cherry MX, especially in starting force. The tactile bump on tactile switches (brown and blue) feel slightly sharper, probably because of them being higher up in the stroke and the starting force from the springs being lighter.