Cherry MX: tolerance issue

In recent Cherry MX switch, the stem is smaller than it was previously.

Indeed, previously

and recently

Therefore, when the keycap is removed e.g. for cleaning, it may accidentally pull out the stem underneath.

Wow. And there are reports elsewhere that the MX Clear housings have been retooled such that they are less tactile, and become very inconsistent with lubing.

I think that’s just the way retooled stems look. They now have a filet at the top of the switch. That’s not dead space really. Just a slope where it used to be straight.


Oh yeah, I read that in a hurry. Yes, the retooled Browns I’ve seen have that filet, and it’s fine. No problem with keycaps. It’s a nice change that helps identify the retooled switches.

And the situation with the Clear housings may be a false alarm. Clears have been getting worse, but very slowly and gracefully, so there’s no immediate action to be taken.

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While that definitely seems to be Cherry’s stance on it I have to disagree. If they were smart they would retool the Clear’s molds properly. MX Clear is one of the few Cherry switches that is respected & sought after by us hobbyists, plus there is very few good mid tactility switch options out there nowadays. If Cherry were to make retooled Clears that were very smooth & kept the same tactility they could make a killing on them just from the custom scene. I get that we’re small potatoes compared to huge gaming & office peripheral companies, but Cherry is slowly losing their grip on those markets with all the cheaper clone switches that are just as good on the market now. It would be a good way to hedge their bets against that if they were smart IMO.

Fair enough. Although, when I say ‘no immediate action to be taken,’ I just mean that there is nothing I have to do right now. If the MX Clears are the same now as they were 6 months ago, I can go ahead with my build.

Obviously, Cherry has to properly retool the Clears, and they’ve been told that for years.

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To document the issue, this is what happened to me in the latest maintenance.


This might get me hatred, but at this point is it even worth getting cherry switches when the competition is so ahead and still fierce about getting ahead?
I understand vint switches, but are the new ones even worth it?

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That is actually from overly tight keycaps, not the switch itself. That can actually happen with any switch if the cap is tight enough IME. To keep it from happening either use different caps or lube the cruciform mount on the switches.

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It’s true that the keycap is overly tight. But that’s not its fault, so long as it fits the stem.

The stem and the switch housing both stay unbroken after the stem was accidentally pulled out. So no, this is a design error in the switch.

By the way, this never happens to me with older MX switches.

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Actually MX clears are notorious for doing this. If you search the issue up on GH or r/mk you can find posts from years ago of people having the same issue. I’m not arguing that the retooled design does not contribute to it. MX blacks never had this issue before AFAIK, so the changes obviously have had an effect. I’m just saying people pulling the stems out of a switch because of an overly tight keycap is a well known & fairly common issue.

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I dunno, just because you can jam the keycap on there doesn’t mean it fits, would you rather it rip the top housing off the switch? I’ve had that happen as well with keycaps that we’re too tight.

Have you tried these specific caps on other switches.

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I don’t think the keycap needs perfect fit. The stem is supposed to be kept inside by its shape and size, not by friction. So it’s design error if it can be pull out unbroken. Similarly, in your case, if the upper housing was pulled out unbroken it’s another design error.

I haven’t tried the overtight keycaps anywhere. I have no other keyboard with similar switches. But I’ve tried two (stock) keycap sets from older Cherry MX boards to the new board. The stock sets fit their original boards perfectly, but on the new board, they’re… loose.

One older keyboard was shown in my initial post. Here is the second one.