Razer switch

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Template icon--Illustration.png This article requires additional photographic illustration — chroma, and detailed shots including switch disassembly
Razer switch
Razer switches.jpg
Manufacturer Kaihua, Greetech
Introduced 2014
Switch type Clicky; tactile; linear
Sense method Metal leaf
Rated lifetime 60 M (Kailh), 80 M (Greetech)
Keycap mount Cherry MX mount
Switch mount Plate mount
Website www.razerzone.com/razer-mechanical-switches

Razer switches are Razer-branded clones of Cherry MX switches from multiple manufacturers. They are used in Razer's BlackWidow and Orbweaver mechanical gaming keyboards.

History

Prior to the 2014 BlackWidow editions, Razer used Cherry MX switches. According to some Razer representatives, the main motivation behind developing a new switch was that they expected that Cherry would have problems meeting future demand for Cherry MX switches.[Citation needed]

Variants

Both monochrome LED and RGB LED versions exist. The "Chroma" RGB versions support full-colour backlighting through the use of special RGB LEDs with all four legs inline across the switch, and a wide slit in the switch in place of the regular circular LED recess.

The original variants were orange and green and took monochrome LEDs. This has now been supplemented by the Chroma RGB switches and by a new yellow variant, which is Razer's equivalent of Cherry MX Speed Silver and Cherry MX Speed RGB Silver.[1]

Name Type LED support Cherry MX equivalent Pretravel Total travel
Razer green -- top.jpg Razer Green Clicky Monochrome Cherry MX Blue 1.9±0.4 mm
No photograph.svg Razer Green Chroma RGB none
Razer orange -- top.jpg Razer Orange Tactile Monochrome Cherry MX Brown 1.9±0.4 mm
No photograph.svg Razer Orange Chroma RGB none
Razer yellow razerzone.png Razer Yellow Linear RGB Cherry MX Speed Silver 1.2±0.4 mm 3.5 mm
No photograph.svg Razer Yellow Chroma RGB none

Manufacturers

Razer was unwilling to divulge who their manufacturing partners were, but Kaihua (Kailh) and Greetech have been confirmed.

Kaihua

The first generation, seen in 2014 was derived from the Kaihua PG1511 series, and bears the word "Razer" and the Kailh emblem on top. The switch has Kaihua's characteristic top housing. The switch is reported to have a larger area of gold on the contacts than Cherry switches, to extend the lifetime from 50 to 60 million keystrokes. Razer are reported to have their own QA staff on the factory floor, to keep the switch variance low.[2]

The switches have very slightly less actuation distance than Cherry MX. The clicky variant also has slightly less hysteresis but at the expense of a slightly sharper bump at the rebound before topping up.[2] The keys rattle less than Cherry MX, but are not noticeably less wobbly when pressed.

Switches have been reported to develop a creaky sound after a period of use, probably caused by the coiled spring.[3]

Greetech

In 2015, it was reported that Kaihua was not the sole supplier of Razer switches.[4].

In 2016, Razer opted to use Razer Chroma switches in keyboards with RGB backlighting and switch back to using Cherry MX in those with monochrome backlighting or none. Razer claims that the Razer switches have been improved, are in essence manufactured in-house and that Razer practically owns the production line.[5]

Razer-branded switches in 2015-edition keyboards have been found with a more Cherry MX-like top housing and the Greetech brand on the bottom. [6]

Keyboards

References

  1. Tom's Hardware — Razer Goes Linear With Yellow Mechanical Keyboard Switch
  2. 2.0 2.1 YouTube — Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2014 (review by LinusTechTips, 6 Mar 2014)
  3. Geekhack — Strange Kailh switch sound while *slowly* pushing down some keys - Ping? Posted 2014-09-15. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  4. Tom's Hardware — Razer Green Switches: Don't Call Them Kailh. Dated 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2016-09-03
  5. Bit-tech: Razer reveals BlackWidow X, improved switches and Cherry MX models. Dated 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  6. Tom's Hardware: Razer Green Switches Now Made Exclusively By Kaihua (Update: Nope). Dated 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2016-12-22