Gateron Milky Yellow Review & Sound Test (2022)

gateron milky yellow review

If I had to name ONE mechanical keyboard switch with the most HYPE among the community, it’d be this heavy, smooth, buttery linear switch…

This is my complete Gateron Milky Yellow review and sound test!

Here’s my summary: The Gateron Milky Yellow switches are one of the best linear switches of all time, and a community favorite for a reason. They’re smooth & medium-heavy to type on, with the best “thocky” sound of any linear switch I’ve tried. And at $0.25 or so a switch, they’re affordable.

I’ve tried dozens of linear switches from Gateron, Kailh, and Akko–and the Milky Yellows are in my top 3. PERIOD.

Gateron KS-3X47 Milky Yellow Switches Keyboard MX 5 pin Switches Suitable for Mechanical Keyboard RGB Lamp Shaft...
  • The Gateron Yellow switches are regarded among the mechanical keyboard community as the budget king of linear switches.
  • Gateron yellow switch: linear feel (straight up and down) 50+15GF operating force, operating force is between the black shaft and the red shaft, the familiar strength can hit the ground with a touch...
  • These switches are 5-pin and will fit on any PCB-mount board.

Table of Contents:

Also, don’t miss this post: The 11 Best Linear Switches for Your Keyboard (2022)

Gateron Milky Yellow Switch Details:

Type:Linear (meaning there’s no tactile bump in the keystroke. It’s smooth all the way down and back up).
Operating Force:50g OR 55g (I’ve seen it listed both ways, but it feels more like 55g. This is medium-heavy resistance, more than a red switch, i.e. Cherry MX Red or Gateron Red)
Travel Distance:4mm total travel (medium).
Price:Between $0.25 and $0.40 each depending on the bottom housing you choose
Mounting style: The Gateron Milky Yellows are a 5-pin switch (PCB mount). If your PCB only accepts 3 pins, you’ll need to clip the 2 plastic pins on each switch!
Sound:Smooth, low-end, and muted
Feel:Buttery smooth and thick!

The Milky Yellows have the usual materials:

  • Stem: POM
  • Top Housing: A mix of different plastics (the milky part)
  • Bottom Housing: You can find milky bottoms, but you can also find “black bottom Gateron Milky Yellow switches,” which feature a black nylon bottom housing. This is less scratchy!

The yellows with the black bottom housing are definitely the most popular, as they’re usually a bit less scratchy material.

Do you need to lube the Gateron Milky Yellows?

No, but it does help.

They sound decent enough stock (listen to the sound test below), but lubing will make them sound a bit deeper and “thockier.” I couldn’t tell a massive difference in terms of feel.

I lubed mine with Krytox 205g!

Click here to read our full guide on lubing mechanical switches.

And does RGB shine through the milky yellow top housing?

Yes, but not a ton. 

It’s not going to be as effective as a clear top housing, but it does allow some light to shine through. It’s not opaque. 

Gateron Milky Yellow Sound Test

Gateron Milky Yellow: Pros and Cons

PROS: ✅

  • Genuinely one of the best-sounding linear switches of all time
  • Super affordable
  • Easy to find

CONS: ❌

  • Some people might not prefer the “deep” and “bassy” thock sound
  • 5-pin switch needs clipping if you have a 3-pin PCB
  • While they’re ok unlubed, you probably want to lube them.

That might not seem like a bunch of pros–but the sound and feel is SO GOOD with the Gateron Milky Yellows–it’s almost the equivalent of 3-4 different pros. 

They’re a keyboard enthusiast favorite for a reason.

Related reading: Kailh Box vs Gateron: Which one is better?

Gateron Milky Yellow Pricing:

They’re definitely budget-friendly at roughly $0.25-0.40 each!

(The Milky Yellows with the black nylon bottom housing are usually more expensive at $0.40 per switch. The milky bottom housing can be found for less).

You can get a 70-piece package of the black bottoms for $30ish on Amazon.

You can also grab them on standard mechanical keyboard sites like Divinikey, and they’ll appear cheaper, but you’ll also have to pay shipping costs!

Compare that with…

  • Boba U4: $0.65 per switch
  • Gateron Brown: $0.35 per switch
  • Glorious Pandas: $0.70 per switch
  • Akko Silvers: $0.40 per switch

It’s a premium linear switch, but at a decent price 🙂

Gateron Milky Yellow Sound & Feel

gateron milky yellow switch inside

They’re budget, but are they worth it? YES! The Gateron MIlky Yellows have an epic sound and feel. 

Sound

The Milky Yellows I have are definitely on the low-end, bassy, “thock” sound (pretty cliche for a linear switch).

There are lots of higher-pitched “tappy” linear switches, like the Akko Silver switches, Akko Vintage Whites, etc, but this is NOT that.

It’s a more muted, deeper sound (these switches are relatively quiet btw). They’re chill sounding, if that makes any sense. 

(see the sound test above for more).

Feel

“Thick, buttery, and smooth.”

There’s no tactile bump, so the keypress is smooth all the way down and back up.

And while the 50g (or 55g depending on where you’re reading) actuation force is on the medium-to-light resistance–I think they feel a bit thicker and heavier, in a good way.

The Milky Yellows are not a light, fast linear switch. (I mean they’re plenty fast for gaming by the way, they’re just not marketed as a “speed switch”).

You’ll be hardpressed to find a smoother typing experience. Truly!

Alternatives to Gateron Milky Yellow Switches

Here are some similar linear switches that I have tested and can recommend!

Akko Jelly Blacks

These are the most similar Akko switch (I’m a huge fan of Akko switches) to the Milky Yellows.

It’s buttery smooth, but with a slightly higher pitch (but still pretty low compared to other linear switches).

It’s roughly the same price, and also easy to find. Plus, the Jelly Blacks come with a “box” stem, meaning it’s slightly dustproof and waterproof!

Click here to read our review & sound test of the Akko Jelly Blacks.

Akko Matcha Green

I enjoy the Matcha Green switches as well, though they definitely need lubing!

Right out of the box, these will sound really pingy. But put some Krytox 205g on them, and they have a pleasant high-pitched tappy sound!

Click here to read our review & sound test of the Akko Matcha greens!

Gateron Ink Black V2

You can read our full review of the Ink Blacks here, or check out our post specifically comparing the Ink Black switches to the Milky Yellow switches!

The Milky Yellows and the Ink Blacks are by far the best linear switches that Gateron Makes.

They’re a bit more expensive (and hard to find), but they are SILKY smooth and buttery as well. A niche low-end, muted sound (and just slightly heavier than the yellows), and the perfect resistance for a linear switch.

If you have two keyboards and want two linear switches? Grab the Ink Blacks and Gateron Milky Yellows 😎

Akko Silver

This might be the only Akko linear switch I like MORE than the Gateron Milky Yellows. They’re definitely higher in pitch, and more “tappy” sounding.

Some folks might prefer to stay on the “low-end buttery” sound, and those folks would likely prefer the Milky Yellows, Jelly Blacks (or Gateron Ink Blacks).

The silvers are A+++ in my book though.

Click here to read our review & sound test of the Akko Silvers.

They don’t sound or feel quite as good as the Gateron Milky Yellows, but for the price they’re great. If you’re on a super low budget, give them a try.

Bottom Line: Should you purchase the Gateron Milky Yellows?

Yes. The Gateron Milky Yellows are a classic smooth and buttery linear switch. They feature a low, “thocky” sound and a buttery-thick resistance that make them great for both gaming and typing alike.

They are one of the most popular mechanical keyboard switches for a reason!

Click here to grab the Gateron Milky Yellows on Amazon.

Also, you might read this post next: Gateron vs Gateron Pro vs Gateron Cap (what’s the difference?)

Gateron Milky Yellow F.A.Q.s

Are Gateron Milky Yellow switches good?

It all depends on what you’re looking for–but, in general, the Gateron Milky Yellow switches are a fantastic budget linear switch that is heavy and smooth. They have a “thocky” sound, which is low, muted, and bassy. They feel incredibly smooth (even unlubed), making them one of the most popular linear switches in the mechanical keyboard world.

What kind of switch is Gateron milky yellow?

The Gateron Milky Yellow switches are a 5-pin linear switch, meaning there is no tactile bump during the keystroke, but rather a smooth keypress all the way down and back up. 

Are Gateron milky yellows loud?

Compared to most other keyboard switches, the Gateron Milky Yellows are NOT loud. They feature a more muted, heavier, and smooth sound compared to other linear switches, and there is no tactile bump (like tactile switches) or click mechanism (like clicky switches). Their sound is often described as “thick” and “thocky” and “buttery.”

How long do Gateron switches last?

All of Gateron’s switches are rated for up to 60 Million keystrokes, and they’re also built with the highest standards of quality.

Is Gateron a good brand?

Out of all the budget mechanical keyboard manufacturers, Gateron is definitely one of the best. Their switches might be slightly less expensive than Cherry MX switches, but Gateron switches still sound and feel fantastic, and are generally well-made and quality. In particular, their linear switches (the Milky Yellow, Ink Blacks, etc) are well-regarded as the best budget linear switches.

Which Gateron switch is the best?

While it really comes down to preference, we recommend either the Gateron Milky Yellow switches or the Gateron Ink Black switches (if you prefer linears), or the Gateron Brown Pro switches if you prefer tactile switches. If you’re into clicky switches, the Gateron Greens are often preferred over the Gateron blues (mostly a community preference, as the green switches are bit heavier and thicker sounding).

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