Author Topic: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs  (Read 22344 times)

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Offline Zeal

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Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« on: Wed, 26 August 2015, 17:36:46 »
Just took a few macro pics for a post elsewhere, and thought I'd share it here too. I'd say the results were quite interesting.

Purple Zealio (Improved MX Clear stem w/o tight keycap issues, factory lubed legs) vs Brand new MX Brown I pulled out my Cherry bin. No lube whatsoever on the few Cherry MX Brown switches I opened. No lube was found on the few Cherry MX Blacks either. Was this always the case? Haven't opened MX switches in forever.  The macro actually shows the MX Brown leg being quite rough. Would explain the sandy feel found in brand new MX Browns.


Let's talk gold crosspoints.
Cherry on left, Gateron on right. In case anyone was wondering, yes, those are pores in the Cherry leaf.


Other half of the gold crosspoint leaf.
Cherry on left, Gateron on right.


Set my flash too strong for this shot, but the pores on the Cherry leaf is still visible.



Uhm...Discuss/request pictures?
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Offline Firebolt1914

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 26 August 2015, 18:01:36 »
What is the composition of each leaf?

Also, could you take pictures of unlubed gateron stems?

Offline jbondeson

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 26 August 2015, 18:06:33 »
Well that definitely seems to confirm the "Cherry isn't maintaining their tooling" theory.

Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 26 August 2015, 18:23:19 »
What is the composition of each leaf?

Also, could you take pictures of unlubed gateron stems?

Good question.

I can't speak on behalf of Cherry, but I know that Gateron purchases their copper sheets that are clear coated on both sides before puncturing it & bending them into leafs.


Regarding stems, sure.
Warning: NSFL. Enlarge and view at full size at your own risk.

Zealio Purple (stock lube removed) vs Cherry MX Brown (no factory lube)
« Last Edit: Wed, 26 August 2015, 18:27:59 by Zeal »
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Offline Mooksie

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 26 August 2015, 20:45:16 »
That show shows how much smoother the gateron stem actually is compared to the cherry. Nice.
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Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 27 August 2015, 18:27:11 »
Update! Linear macro shots this time. :))

Took a picture of Gateron's Black stem vs Cherry MX Black stem as it shows texture more easily (also makes it easier to focus properly).

Gateron Black on left, Cherry MX Black on Right


Gateron Black on left, Cherry MX Black on Right


I tried taking a pic of my decapitated Cherry MX Clear stem, but I couldn't get the flash to cooperate with the translucency of the stem. :/ You can still see there's texture and extra bumps in the reflection though. Still no comparison to Purple Zealios.
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Offline katushkin

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 27 August 2015, 18:32:12 »
I would take some Kailhs apart to show you how incredibly smooth they are but I don't have any spares lying around.

You will just have to take my word for it on them being the best switch out there right now...
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Offline rpeterclark

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 27 August 2015, 18:59:53 »
Zeal, can you speculate why the Cherry stems are so visibly rough compared to the Gateron stems? Is it that Cherry's mold's are much older and worn? Or is it a materials or process issue? I find it really interesting that Gateron has improved on Cherry's own switch design so dramatically.

Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 27 August 2015, 19:14:17 »
I would take some Kailhs apart to show you how incredibly smooth they are but I don't have any spares lying around.

You will just have to take my word for it on them being the best switch out there right now...

Yo, Nick, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but that isn't the case. ;)



Zeal, can you speculate why the Cherry stems are so visibly rough compared to the Gateron stems? Is it that Cherry's mold's are much older and worn? Or is it a materials or process issue? I find it really interesting that Gateron has improved on Cherry's own switch design so dramatically.

I don't want to be speculating and potentially be spreading incorrect info, so I won't be commenting on why they're different. I just like to base my answers off facts, and a picture = 1000 words.

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Offline katushkin

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 27 August 2015, 20:40:05 »
STILL BETTER THAN CHERRY.
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Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 27 August 2015, 20:41:49 »
STILL BETTER THAN CHERRY.

Still worse than Gateron. ;)
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Offline zars15

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 29 August 2015, 08:36:04 »
Damn nice, I knew I won't be failed by getting a gateron black board! Also, if they already have factory lube, is it worth re-lubing them myself?

Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 29 August 2015, 09:41:57 »
Damn nice, I knew I won't be failed by getting a gateron black board! Also, if they already have factory lube, is it worth re-lubing them myself?

That's a question only you can answer. Gateron only factory lubes the legs, which is one of the most important parts. I'd say stock switches are around 80-85% smooth of what a properly lubed Gateron switch can be.
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Offline dan002

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 29 August 2015, 10:54:54 »
Referring to that part of the switch connecting to key cap, are they often a different color? The cherry MX red connector I have is red and the other part is black. These are from 2015, so perhaps the design has changed?
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Offline ImpendingxDoom

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 29 August 2015, 11:12:47 »
Referring to that part of the switch connecting to key cap, are they often a different color? The cherry MX red connector I have is red and the other part is black. These are from 2015, so perhaps the design has changed?
(Attachment Link)

This is called the stem and is one of the factors of how the switch feels. Cherry MX reds are linear switches. Different colors usually mean different feeling switches.

Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 29 August 2015, 11:15:52 »
Referring to that part of the switch connecting to key cap, are they often a different color? The cherry MX red connector I have is red and the other part is black. These are from 2015, so perhaps the design has changed?
(Attachment Link)

Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding your question. I believe you're asking about the different stem colours found on switches?

Cherry (and many other switch manufacturers) use a different colour plastic to denote the different characteristics & weights of the switch they produce. Cherry MX Red for example are considered "light weight" linear switches, whereas Cherry MX Black switches are considered "medium weight" linear switches. The stem moulds are the same. The only difference in this case is the heavier spring installed inside.
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Offline dan002

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 30 August 2015, 08:07:35 »
Yes exactly I'm talking about cherry mx red switches. Compared the too the black they are very light and easy to press down. They are both silent so they're linear. If they had a click would that make them tactile? Thanks
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Offline Zeal

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 30 August 2015, 08:11:32 »
Yes exactly I'm talking about cherry mx red switches. Compared the too the black they are very light and easy to press down. They are both silent so they're linear. If they had a click would that make them tactile? Thanks
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Offline keshley

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 30 August 2015, 08:22:15 »
Nice shots here. I'm surprised just how much difference there is, but not surprised that the Cherry's are the 'worst' of the bunch. Now I'm really looking forward to my Gateron browns showing up.
  
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Offline switchnollie

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 03 September 2015, 13:28:06 »
Never knew the stems were that much smoother!

Can't wait to get mine now  :)


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Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 31 January 2016, 14:11:15 »
Mmm... Zealio's look so smooooth. What to get... gateron or zealio?
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Offline rowdy

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 03:59:28 »
Mmm... Zealio's look so smooooth. What to get... gateron or zealio?

Why not both?
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Offline iLLucionist

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 04:45:08 »
Mmm... Zealio's look so smooooth. What to get... gateron or zealio?

Why not both?

Got to start somewhere. Or join the dark side and solder half/half on one board and then see whether I can notice the difference  :D
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Offline jaffers

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 06:02:50 »
The propoganda is strong in this thread

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 21 February 2016, 00:46:35 »
Mmm... Zealio's look so smooooth. What to get... gateron or zealio?

Why not both?

Got to start somewhere. Or join the dark side and solder half/half on one board and then see whether I can notice the difference  :D

Two keyboards :p
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Offline GenKaan

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 22 February 2016, 11:47:57 »
They fit perfectly with my display case, mix some Zealion in there as well
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 21 May 2016, 17:39:48 »
The macro actually shows the MX Brown leg being quite rough. Would explain the sandy feel found in brand new MX Browns.
That first pic is shocking, thanks for that, it probably does explain the feel.

I have some older, worn Blues out of an original Blackwidow (circa 2003) and decided to take a look. I can't get pics like you did, but under a magnifying glass the pitting was only about half as bad as those browns. I'd be curious to see if older ones like in my Daz are any better, if it was easier to open I would (stock plate). The legs on my blues were worn smooth, glossy like the Gaterons where the switch touches, however they still show some signs of minor pitting, but they were small enough to not be an issue.

All of this falls right in line with the rumors saying Cherry's molds are in bad shape and lends credence to people claiming vintage are better.


The Kailh looks like they built their mold right off of a Cherry stem, as in, they cast a mold from it. It's crazy how similar they are.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 21 May 2016, 17:41:14 »
Mmm... Zealio's look so smooooth. What to get... gateron or zealio?
Zelio's are made by Gateron. Get those, you get both.
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Offline ctrlX

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Re: Macro Shots of Gateron & Cherry Switch Stems/Leafs
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 22 May 2016, 04:15:26 »
In my humble opinion, if you like tactile switches then you cannot go wrong with Zealios. Everyone should try them. Zeal has together with Gateron put out a killer product. They are just awsome!

I used them in a TKL build and was very happy. Prior to my next build I did a lot of Zealios vs MX Clear comparison and ended going with Zealios again, but this time extra lubed. Boy are they great! They are so nice I am actually gonna desolder my previous build and swap out the factory lubed Zealios with extra lubed.