Is there any way to tell the diference between Blackwidow chromas?

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by Mr Big Stuff, Nov 15, 2016.

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  1. Predator5

    Predator5 Well-Known Member

    The 2016 100% has Greetech. Razer has switched from Kailh to Greetech back in early 2015. It could've been an accident that they've put the 2016 version in a 2014 box, or vica-versa.

    Again, to be 100% sure, post a pic of the switches :)
  2. Catinspace88

    Catinspace88 New Member

    My 2016 BlackWidow Chroma had Kailh switches (w/o the Kailh logo) and Razer said that these are the latest switches. I have not seen a BlackWidow Chroma with Greetech switches yet, is it certain that they exist? Do post a picture of the switch :)
  3. Skrunch

    Skrunch Active Member

    I posted a pic of my BW: X Chroma's switch and Tournament Chroma switches on the second page of this forum, it seems strange they would update the Tournament Chroma and not the full sized one, which is why it leads me to believe they're still using both companies to manufacture their switches and it's random which one the user receives.

    Here's a pic of my Tournament Chroma again:

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  4. Predator5

    Predator5 Well-Known Member

    How do you know it's a Kailh than? That's petty much the only way to tell the difference, except the minor difference in sound and feel.
  5. Skrunch

    Skrunch Active Member

    Look at the sides of the switch, there's a noticeable difference where the holes are placed. Kailh switches have them near the middle on the sides, while Greetech has no holes in the middle, instead they're placed on the corners of the switch.

    This was Catinspace88's picture:

    This one was mine, both switches look different but have no logo:
  6. Catinspace88

    Catinspace88 New Member

  7. Catinspace88

    Catinspace88 New Member

    Perhaps Kailh's still manufacturing the switches for the BlackWidow Chroma and Greetech's doing the X models.
  8. Skrunch

    Skrunch Active Member

    I considered that, but my Tournament Chroma is the original one, not the Tournament X Chroma as you can see by the white backplate and old font.
  9. Psyjin

    Psyjin Well-Known Member

    First let's sort out some facts. Kailh actually manufactures other mechanical switches that look very similar to Greetech switches, but we're only concerned with the types Razer has used in their keyboards here. There are at least 3 different Kailh model switches that Razer has used. The housing for the Razer Kailh switch always looks more or less the same, with small differences.


    1. Oldest model with logo + "Kailh" text engraved onto switch.
    2. Older model with only the Kailh logo engraved.
    3. Newest model with no Kailh engravings.
    As others have already mentioned in this thread, Razer also uses Greetech switches. There are very clear differences in the plastic switch case between the two companies.

    1. Greetechs have holes at the corners of the switch while Kailhs have 2 holes on each side (left and right) of the switch.
    2. The Greetech switch has a slight rectangular border around the word "RAZER"
    3. Below stem and Razer text logo, Greetech has a smooth contoured edge while Kailh's is angular and beveled.
    4. Above stem, there are 2 'lines' that slope down the switch on each side of the LED mounting area. The 2 lines for Greetech are straight/parallel. For Kailh switches, they are angled and slope towards the corners.
    greetecharrow.jpg kailh2arrows.png

    So what does this all mean? Well first of all, both Greetechs and Kailhs are Cherry MX clones. However the Greetech switch is much more similar to the original Cherry MX design. I think Razer must have had Kailh design a custom switch case which is why they look so different.

    Skrunch's keyboard has Greetech switches. I can back him on that because I have 2 BW TE - one with the oldest Kailh switch (old eBay item) and one with the newer Greetech switches (bought from Razer directly Nov/Dec 2015).

    Catinspace88's keyboard has the newest Kailh switches. I don't think support can properly address a question like this for you so you should disregard their answer.

    Mr Big Stuff said he has Kailh switches. Makes perfect sense. He bought an older used model from eBay so it's perfectly logical that he wouldn't get Greetech switches.

    So that should clear up how to distinguish between Razer switches. Now, as for how to tell which switches you will get before buying the keyboard, that's a whole 'nother beast...and I'm out of coffee.

    Hope that helps Predator5!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
    drnnnnnnnn, Xanidro, Katana and 5 others like this.
  10. Predator5

    Predator5 Well-Known Member

    Wow, we should archive this post.

    Just one thing. When you say that Greetech (and Kailh) are clone of Cherry MX, I think you're not really being correct. Yes, they do function the same way, but that's like saying that Bugatti copied Hummer because they all have 4 wheel drive. Razer has designed the switches to be optimized for gaming (hence the different actuation and reset points), while the MX Blues are meant for typing. I've felt a huge difference in the reset point between the MX Blues and the Razer Greens. I think I couldn't play well with the ''very'' high reset points of the Blues.

    Also, I've had a presentation in my class about keyboards, and I've made clear points about every type of keyboard and why is Razer better than Logitech (PM me if you want me to send you the presentation file).

    I feel that Razer could stick with Greetech, as the feedback on them is more than positive (I haven't heard single bad thing about them). I also would like that Razer moves away from Kailh for good.
    drnnnnnnnn and Raijin like this.
  11. Psyjin

    Psyjin Well-Known Member

    No disrespect intended. "Cherry MX clones." That's just what we call them in the keyboard enthusiast community. I didn't come up with it! Take a look here.

    It's nice to see another person that cares so much about keyboards here. A presentation about keyboards? How fun haha, I wish I could have done something like that back in school. I'd love to take a look. What format is it in? Just a slidedeck?

    PS - I know absolutely nothing about cars LOL.
  12. Skrunch

    Skrunch Active Member

    Excellent post, Raijin. That should definitely clear up some of the confusion regarding Kailh/Greetech switches.

    I've also heard great things about Gateron switches. One main thing that keeps me sold on Razer's keyboards besides aesthetics/RGB lighting, etc... is their stabilizers, Cherry type stabilizers don't feel anywhere near as solid to me as the Costar type that Razer uses, I learned that the hard way when I purchased a K70 LUX.

    If you do pick up a keyboard with Gateron switches, I'd be great to hear what you think compared to Razer's Greetech switch as I personally find them superior to an MX Blue switch, at least for a mix of both typing and gaming, but it really comes down to personal preference.
    Raijin likes this.
  13. Psyjin

    Psyjin Well-Known Member

    Couldn't have said it better myself! I actually just bought a 60% wireless keyboard with Gateron Blues and Cherry type stabilizers for Black Friday...shame on me lol. But I really just want to try the 60% form factor more than anything. Razer definitely wins on aesthetics and backlighting. I love my BlackWidow, but I want to experiment some more. I'll let you know how it goes!
    Skrunch likes this.
  14. vampirivan

    vampirivan Well-Known Member

    It could bè interesting in One sort of reply from someone in Razer. I have anche old Black Windows chroma stealth with orange kailh. I was thinking the new X lime was alla with greentech.
    Raijin likes this.
  15. So now I can confirm that my Blackwidow Chroma (TE) is the latest Razer switches, right? Here's my picture.

  16. Skrunch

    Skrunch Active Member

    Yes, those are Greetech switches.
  17. PT.Singer

    PT.Singer Jedi Master

    And that means that my new BWCS that I bought in October has Kalih switches? Bummer.
    BWCS Switch.jpg

    Added later*
    By all the information on this post, then the switches that are even on the website for the BWCS are the Kailh switches, but then when you click on the hyperlink for more info on Razer mechanical switches, it shows the Greetech switches?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  18. ETitus

    ETitus Active Member

    My CES 2015 BWCS(orange) has the oldest design Kailh @Raijin posted about, but then of course the stealth orange switch. Strange stuff.
    Not that I can imagine them being totally different. Would like to see/feel and try a BWCS with greetech switches though, to see if there is a difference.
    Raijin likes this.
  19. Drenser

    Drenser New Member

    Just got paranoic, i got mine last month on best buy and i just want to make sure if i have kalih or greetech switches.. just took this pictures of my BWC. Can some one help me and be sure of what switches do i have by looking at the pictures of my switches?

    razer1.jpg razer2.jpg
  20. Skrunch

    Skrunch Active Member

    Those definitely look like Greetech switches, although the corners look a little odd compared to mine, perhaps @Raijin can confirm?
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