Cherry MX Whites Source

I highly suggest you get a switch tester with at least a selection of Kailh Box, Gateron Ink and Cherry MX switches. Of these some are noteworthy for your goals:

  • Box Pale Blue, Box Pink, Box Jade and Box Navy: these are clickbar switches with a very crisp, yet not so loud click action. Note the click also happens on the upstroke. Of these i prefer the Pale Blue version personally, so definitely get one of those testers…
  • Gateron Ink Blue switches are note worthy as they have a surprisingly crisp action compared to other click jacket switches, even when compared to the excellent Gateron Greens.
  • Cherry MX Nature White are pure linear switches with an actuation point of 55g (roughly between Red and Black). They do produce the same noise as other Cherry linear switches. The weight is pleasing and similar to Gateron Ink, Gat Yellow, and other similar variants. Gateron Ink Black, Tealios and Healios are much smoother with similar weight.
  • Cherry MX White (Milky) are MX Green with factory lube. This mutes the click quite a bit and smoothens the action. I have a Ducky with those and used to like them but since i discovered the Box clickbars and Gat Ink Blues, i’ll sell that keyboard…
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While this is a good analogy of MX Whites, believe it or not they pre date MX Blues & Greens. MX Whites were made first & the click jacket is thought to not be orginally designed to make a click. The OG patent Cherry filed for switches with a click jacket mentions nothing about a click being made or any sound for that matter. It just references the click jacket as a way to provide hysteresis. The grease is thought to be a way to keep them from clicking. The history of Cherry is actually pretty interesting.

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That’s all true, but it’s just easier to see them as lubed Greens now :slight_smile:

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I can vouch for the inconsistency. I bought a Pok3r with milky whites and some clicked and many didn’t.

I’ve never used Cherry clicky whites, but i have used boards with Cherry greens, Box navies, and speed navies each for over 6+ months. Greens are a nice heavy clicky switch, but the box navies beat them in every way for me, and the speed navies are very nice as well, though arent as heavy as box navies. The deepness of sound you’re looking for is only partly reliant on the switch however, as your keycaps, plate, case, and dampening materials will affect this. My cherry greens had a deeper sound than cherry and outemu blues, and similar switches like box whites or pale blues, but the navies (box in particular) had a deeper sound typing sound with a higher sounding click ping due to the click bar, if that makes sense. Its just an overall better sound switch imo, on top of the other advantages over greens such as less wobble.

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Ah, so to be “inconsistent” some must click and some not. See, that was the issue. All my switches clicked and they all felt the same to me. I was wondering what people were going on about. I didn’t get that it was a binary thing.

Every once in a while, my son would wander over, mutter something about “you know those are inconsistent” and then scamper away.

I just kind of figured this was just another example of Reddit Hive Mind Let’s All Jump Off the Cliff Holding Hands Herpy Derpiness. And I never asked, because I would have felt silly.

You have to remember this was my first mech board after a thirty year hiatus. I didn’t really speak the language.

Thanks for sharing. Now I really appreciate that first board.

Thanks @Surefoot for all detail! The number of switch options are amazing. “Clickbar” is a new term for me also. Now I’m searching for a switch tester and feeling like I’m building the Spaceshuttle. I think the community should invest in a single 500 switch tester and just ship it back and forth to each other.

Don’t laugh. There are switch collectors within this community.


Mr. Theremin Goat’s collection (partial) from this last Cleveland Ohio Meetup. Notice he took the time to make up a fact sheet for these.

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Too late. WOW! May have to drive to Ohio.

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Think I missed something. Are you saying that even when you have 100 switches of the same kind, that there will be differences in sound and feel among them? @beaker I saw your comments too. Is that the case?

He’s saying, in his experience, some clicked and some didn’t. I suspect Ducky must be exerting some level of QC since my entire board clicked. And still does, btw, I just drug it out of the closet and checked.

The Milky Whites are more or less Greens that’ve been greased up to sound and feel better, and that grease can not only wear over time, it can be poorly implemented in the first place.

All the more reason to go with Box-style clicky switches, if that’s the feeling you’re after. The dependable Novelkeys will have some switch testers going again before too long.

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Yeah I’m guessing that’s what happens—they require a lot of QC. I still have mine as loose switches since I desoldered them and I’d say about 1/3 of them have almost no click sound.

There must be something about the design (or lube) that interferes with the click…or maybe if they were never designed to click in the first place? If that’s the case maybe the ones that clicked were originally thought of as defective defective?

Anyway if you can find enough of them that are to your liking and are consistent, I think they have a nice sound—better than MX blues for sure IMO.

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Whites were initally intended to be hysteresis switches, not clicky switches, and the grease was to dampen the click. MX Blue took the grease off to turn it into a clicky switch.

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Yeah definitely easier for a quick description, I’m just fascinated by the history of mechanical switches.

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I was curious b/c I only ever tried whites like 4 years ago in a switch tester. I took a green and put a light coating of 205g0 in the bottom of the housing to quiet the click and a small bit of oil between the jacket and the stem top to quite the click on return.

Felt awful. I thought it would be nice and tactile like a slightly altered clear in feel, but it’s not… at all. Felt like a linear with something wrong. And I’m not talking about the feel of an MX brown or anything. I like MX browns. This modded switch is currently in the garbage…

I don’t know what stock whites feel like, but don’t try to make them like I did.

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Thanks for the heads up and checking on your board. Definitely going to do a check on all switches before they get wired in. Not that a slight difference is a big deal but click/no click would drive me nuts.

Thanks @Lesbian I’ll keep my eyes open.

So you actually went ahead and lubed Greens and did not wind up with Whites, in fact the resulting switch was horrible, worse than a Brown, and you threw it away.

But, we’re still calling MX Whites “lubed Greens” because theoretically, not in practice, that’s what they feel like.

You know what? I think I’m gonna take my Ducky to the next meetup and sit it right next to the Monolith. It’s a magical unicorn, I shall label it as such.

Edited to note that I think this is funny, I’m actually laughing right now, and science etc.

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So MX Whites are lubed, but not in the way we as enthusiasts would think of it. They are just lightly lubed on the slider rails of the click jacket & not at any other points.


Also I have made the mistake of trying to lube MX Whites into submission in the vain attempt at gaining consistency across a batch of them (@pixelpusher’s description of lubed MX clicky switches is spot on IME) & have ultrasonic cleaned some of those. IME with all three types of MX Whites (stock, lubed with VPF1514, & cleaned) the most consistent ones were the ones cleaned of all lube. Which behave, sound, & feel almost just like MX Greens, because well for all intents & purposes they are at that point.

I think @beaker’s experience with his Ducky board is because Ducky probably ordered their MX Whites without the factory lube. He is not the first person I have heard say they have/had a Ducky board with consistent MX Whites in it (although he is the first to offer up the evidence) & he says all of his click to this day. With stock MX Whites the sound really isn’t a click, it’s more of a reverberation through the spring, metallic type noise vs the sound of MX blue/greens (or cleaned MX Whites). So venturing a guess I would say Ducky probably ordered their MX Whites without the lube on the click jacket, just so they could say they offer the full range of Cherry switches & not deal with the inconsistency.

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