Cherry MX Brown

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The Cherry MX Brown switch is a light, tactile, non-clicky mechanical keyboard switch in the Cherry MX family.

Cherry MX Brown
Cherry MX Brown.jpg
Manufacturer Cherry
Family Cherry MX
Product name Soft tactile
Product code MX1A-G1xx
Introduced 1994
Switch type Tactile
Sense method Metal leaf
Actuation force 45 cN
Cherry MX Brown Illustration


The switch type was created as response to a request from Kinesis who wanted a tactile, low-force switch without the clicky sound of the Cherry MX Blue. Their contoured keyboard, introduced in 1992, was the first keyboard with the switch.[1] Cherry used them first in 1994, as the default switch in Cherry's first own ergonomic keyboard, the G80-5000. Then officially named "ergo soft" it was not found in the default Cherry product catalog and was only available as a special order item. After the G80-5000, Cherry did not officially release a keyboard with the MX Brown switch under their own brand until the G80-3800 in 2011. However, POS boards containing the switch, such as the G80-1950 and the G80-8113, were available earlier.

MX Brown switches continued to be used in OEM orders, especially for Compaq server hardware. The more common Compaq G80-11800 is considered to be a good donor board for MX Brown switches, while the much less common Compaq G80-1838 remains a relatively rare collectors item.

Nowadays, the Cherry MX Brown is a popular switch and available from Cherry directly. Many mechanical keyboards continue to be available with Cherry MX Brown switches. It was voted Best keyboard switch at the Deskthority Awards 2011.[2]

Key feel

Force/Travel diagram (cN / mm) comparing Cherry MX Brown to Cherry MX Clear. Each graph is the slider colour. Shadowed lines are the up-strokes

Light, tactile, non-clicky. Compared to other tactile Cherry switches, such as the Blue and Clear, the tactile point is much less pronounced. It feels mostly like a linear switch if pressed hard. It is easier to feel the tactile point if the key is pressed lightly.

Enthusiasts who have been unhappy with the lightness of the tactile point have instead transplanted the slider from a Clear switch to create the "Ergo clear", which is much less smooth.


As of 2012, these switches are available from the manufacturer, or through re-sellers.


The switch is sometimes called "Tea axis" in Asia. The Chinese and Japanese word for "brown" (茶色) literally means "tea colour".

Keyboards with Cherry MX brown switch

Keypads with Cherry MX brown switch



The following switch was purchased new from The Keyboard Company in February 2013.


  1. Geekhack — Split with great keys?, post by (Kinesis employee) natas206. Posted 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  2. Deskthority — Deskthority Awards 2011 Winners Best keyboard switch 2011.