A very well priced but often hard to get hold of switch. Weighted in between reds and blacks, and are well loved due to the spring and feel, especially once lubed.
The most common Gateron switch (most Gateron re-colours including Merlots are of this series).
Very basic, very standard. Somewhat smooth, wobble is okay, a very average switch overall.
Milky top and bottom. The scratchiest standard Gateron switch.
Best variation of this switch. They do not need films and are by far the smoothest Gateron switches/housings aside from Inks which while definitely smoother are also 6 times the price.
Gateron Linjär and N1S switches are re-colours of the KS-3 for example. The fixing pins (for PCB-mounting) are somewhat wider than Cherry MX, giving a tighter fit. Supports two-pin LED's only.
Having KS-3 in the name doesn't mean the bottom is actually the KS-3 black bottom. The KS-3X47 black bottom is the same from the clear top black bottom Gaterons that everyone is familiar with.
The only Gaterons (other than inks) to support SMD lighting. Not the worst and probably smoother than the KS-8 in stock form.
A force-graph is a good way to help imagine how a switch might feel to the press. Many reputable manufacturers publish such graphs, either in their documentation or in their patents.
Not sure what you’re looking at? Check out Haata’s fantastic guide on reading force curve graphs.
Stats and figures are one thing but here are some quotes, thoughts and opinions we've been able to find from across the web regarding these switches.
A cheap, effective, and highly-celebrated linear switch that will constantly be found out of stock.
Gateron Yellows are truly a bang for your buck. They aren’t a particular heavy switch at a 50g actuation and 60g bottom-out, yet the spring has an interesting stiffness to it that lends to the unique feel they are known for; they have such an interesting feel that people will swap them out into other linear switches and will consider it an improvement.
Gateron Yellows have remained a favorite with many people in the community because of the uniqueness of their springs. They’re smooth to boot. However, due to their housings being made of a harder plastic, their sound is usually much harsher and louder, and their bottom out will feel a bit harsher as well. But, they’re cheap usually half the price of a retooled Cherry MX Linear, so they’re a good choice if you’re after something this unique.
A healthy dose of Krytox 205 Grade 0 transforms these into a buttery smooth switch. The springs need oiling/lubricating too.
All of these variations benefit from films with the exception of the KS-3 – films barely fit them at all and can have interference.