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Gateron CMvs. Gazzew U4T

An in-depth look at the Gateron CM and the Gazzew U4T switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Gateron CM and the Gazzew U4T. The Gateron CM switch is a linear switch that is best known for its full nylon housing, providing a deeper and richer sound signature compared to conventional polycarbonate housings. It also offers an impeccable factory lube job, resulting in a smooth typing experience that feels like gliding gracefully with each keystroke. With its lengthened, dual-staged spring, the CM switch provides a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T is a tactile switch that excels in combining thockiness with sharp tactility. It delivers a bassy 'thock' sound profile that is not only satisfying to the ears but also provides assertive tactile feedback. While the CM switch is categorized as 'Buttery', 'Bassy', 'Polished', 'Thocky', 'Low-pitched', 'Creamy', 'Frictionless', the U4T switch is primarily categorized as 'Bassy', 'Thocky', and 'Sharp'. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision on which switch suits your preferences.

By the numbers

CM
U4T
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear
BrandGazzew
CategoryTactile

$4.80

$4.25 per 10 switches

$6.50 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Bottom-out force

65g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Dual-staged 20mm lengthened gold-plated spring

Spring

Stainless steel 17.5mm Korean spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron CM and the Gazzew U4T switches bring different qualities to the overall typing experience. The CM switch utilizes a nylon top and bottom housing, while the U4T switch features a proprietary Gazzew blend top and bottom housing. Both switches utilize softer plastics that absorb more sound, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile.

However, the specific plastic blends used in the top housing of each switch differentiate their sound profiles. The CM switch's nylon top housing elicits a deeper and fuller sound with a duller and rounder tone. On the other hand, the U4T switch's proprietary Gazzew blend top housing delivers a rich and deep sound profile. Although both top housings provide similar characteristics, the U4T's plastic blend may offer a slightly more pronounced and distinct sound.

When it comes to the bottom housing, the material and design play a significant role in the switch's overall feel. The CM switch's nylon bottom housing contributes to the deeper and fuller sound profile experienced when typing. The U4T switch, utilizing its proprietary Gazzew blend bottom housing, also delivers a rich and deep sound due to its softness. However, the specific plastic blend used in the U4T's bottom housing might offer subtle variations in sound and feel compared to the CM switch.

In conclusion, while the housing materials of the Gateron CM and the Gazzew U4T switches share similarities in their ability to absorb sound and produce a deeper sound profile, the proprietary plastic blend used in the U4T switch may offer a slightly different sound experience. Additionally, the impact of the top and bottom housings on the sound and feel of the switches differ, with the top housing contributing more to the sound when releasing a key and the bottom housing affecting the bottom-out sound and feel.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, there are some similarities and differences to consider. In terms of weight, the CM switch is slightly lighter than the U4T switch. The CM has an actuation force of 55 grams, while the U4T's actuation force is unknown. However, both switches have relatively similar bottom out forces, with the CM requiring 63.5 grams and the U4T requiring 62 grams.

The actuation force of a switch determines the force required to trigger a keystroke. In this case, the CM switch requires a slightly lighter touch to activate compared to the U4T switch. This can be advantageous for those who prefer a lighter feel, as it allows for longer typing sessions without fatigue. On the other hand, the U4T switch's actuation force is unknown, so it is difficult to compare its specific characteristics in this regard.

When it comes to the bottom out force, both switches have a similar medium weight. Bottoming out refers to pressing the key all the way down, and the CM switch requires a slightly heavier force at 63.5 grams compared to the U4T switch's 62 grams. This means that both switches offer a decent level of resistance for those seeking a more substantial typing experience.

In summary, the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch have some similarities and differences in terms of actuation force and bottom out force. The CM switch is lighter in terms of actuation force, while the U4T's actuation force is unknown. Both switches have a similar medium weight when it comes to bottom out force, with the CM switch being slightly heavier. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on an individual's preference for a lighter or heavier feel when typing.

Travel distance

The Gateron CM linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, whereas the Gazzew U4T tactile switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that the U4T has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the CM. In terms of traditional travel distances, 4.0 mm is considered the norm, while 3.0 mm is on the shallower end. However, shorter travel distances have gained popularity, especially among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive typing experience, you may choose the Gateron CM with its shorter travel distance. On the other hand, those who prefer a deeper keystroke sensation may opt for the Gazzew U4T with its slightly longer travel distance. In either case, both switches offer a noticeable tactile sensation when pressed down, although the U4T provides a slightly larger range of motion. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and typing style.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron CM has an MSRP of $4.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the CM for $4.25.

The Gazzew U4T comes in at $6.50 per 10 switches.

Here at Milktooth, we offer the best prices on switches (on average, 27% lower the competition). In addition, we offer free shipping on orders over $49.00. We also offer free returns and exchanges, so you can shop with guaranteed satisfaction.

That said, while price is an important piece of the puzzle, our opinion is that you should ultimately pick the option that most suits your unique preferences since you’ll be using these switches for years to come. In other words, finding something perfect for you is, in our view, the most important criteria.

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Typing experience

In terms of sound, both the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch share similar qualities. They are described as bassy and thocky, producing a deep and rich sound profile during key presses. This results in a satisfying auditory experience, with a lower frequency range resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Therefore, while the sound characteristics of these switches are similar, the final sound outcome can vary depending on the overall setup.

When it comes to feel, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a buttery, polished, and creamy typing experience. These switches are known for their smooth and fluid keystrokes, with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The factory lubrication and the materials used contribute to a seamless and effortless typing sensation, akin to gliding your fingers across the keys with ease. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch is described as sharp and tactile, providing a high feedback intensity. The strong and crisp tactile bump in these switches allows for a distinct and prominent sensation with each key press.

In conclusion, the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch each offer unique qualities in terms of sound and feel. Both switches provide a bassy and thocky sound profile, although the final sound outcome may vary depending on the other components in the setup. The Gateron CM linear switch offers a buttery, polished, and creamy typing experience with smooth and fluid keystrokes, while the Gazzew U4T tactile switch provides a sharp and tactile feedback upon key presses. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a switch with a slightly lighter bottom out force and a strong, crisp tactile feedback, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch would be the better option for you. It provides auditory and tactile satisfaction with its bassy 'thock' sound profile and assertive tactile bump. On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-heavy bottom out force and a smoother typing experience, the Gateron CM linear switch would be a great choice. With a full nylon housing and impeccable factory lube job, these switches offer a bouncy typing experience and a deeper, richer sound signature. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your preference for tactile feedback and typing feel. Consider what kind of sound and feel you enjoy in a keyboard switch, and select accordingly.

Mentioned in this article

CM

CM

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$4.80

$4.25 per 10 switches

Try the CM switches
U4T

U4T

BrandGazzew
CategoryTactile

$6.50 per 10 switches

Try the U4T switches