According to the Mechanical Keyboard Guide on overclock.net, there are three and a half types of keyboards:

 1. Rubber Dome
    1.5. Membrane Scissor Switch
 2. Foam Element Switch
 3. Mechanical Switch

Is there any way, short of just calling the manufacturer or just taking the keys off, of determining what type a given keyboard is?

  • @studiohack: You didn't edit any of the tags...
    – Hello71
    Feb 23, 2011 at 2:51
  • it has been so long, I'm not sure what was going on...Sorry!
    – studiohack
    Feb 23, 2011 at 7:02
  • Have you tried googling?
    – Ivan
    Sep 13, 2011 at 19:28
  • @Velika: Yes. "Logitech {model name} keyboard type" doesn't turn up anything remotely useful.
    – Hello71
    Sep 13, 2011 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


By identifying what model/make it is and seeking it's description online, specially if it's mechanical switch and you seek what Cherry MX color it wears.

For example, Razer BlackWidow series, have Cherry MX blue microswitches.

There is a very nice list here about mechanical keyboards.

  • Jeff Atwood just wrote a really good blog post on his personal blog about keyboards, mechanical keyboards in general...hit the jump to see more: codinghorror.com/blog/2010/10/the-keyboard-cult.html
    – studiohack
    Oct 24, 2010 at 2:12
  • 2
    @studiohack: I think that blog contains a subset of info contained in the above overclock.net's guide.
    – Saxtus
    Oct 24, 2010 at 2:42
  • There are three types of Cherry MX contacts. Blue (tactile) Brown (clicky) and Black (linear). I might have got couple of those the wrong way around. Best keyboards: IBM Model M reproductions Laptop: ThinkPads (not Edge series or X100e). Worst: Mac keyboards!
    – paradroid
    Oct 24, 2010 at 6:07
  • @jason404: Umm there are also: Cherry MX Clear (tactile, non clicky) and Cherry MX Red (non tactile, non clicky). Also Blues are clicky too and finally you say that Browns are clicky, but they aren't. Source is again the above overclock.net's guide.
    – Saxtus
    Oct 24, 2010 at 11:47
  • I see. Well, the red and clear ones must be new, as they weren't around when I looking into all this around six years ago, when I got in touch with Cherry, in Germany. They only had three different types of action on their 80-* keyboards. Getting black full sized Cherry MX keyboards with USB interfaces was impossible then.
    – paradroid
    Oct 24, 2010 at 12:31

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