Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding Review & Sound Test (2022)

kailh box red bean pudding review

Below is my full Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding review, sound test, and comparison.

Here are my overall thoughts:

The Kailh Box Red Bean Puddings are a linear switch that feels & sounds good enough, and I like the “clear insert” in the switch housing that allows more RGB light to shine through. However, these switches are really difficult to lube & reassemble. And given the price, I can’t recommend them over similar linear switches from Gateron, Cherry, and Akko.

Let’s go into more details!

Here’s the table of contents 👇

Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding Sound Test

They sound fairly smooth and “tappy,” which is what I call the higher-pitched linear switches. They’re quite pleasant!

Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding: 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:45g (medium-light resistance, similar to most other MX Red switches)
Travel Distance:1.8mm pre-travel (long!) and 3.6mm total travel (medium). The “compacted” spring is what sets the Red Bean Pudding switches apart! It’s only 13mm but the same weight as “normal” springs.
Price:Arounf $0.55, depending on where you purchase them.
Sound:Smooth, muted, and “tappy,” but slightly higher pitched that other “buttery” linear switches (like the Gateron Milky Yellows or Gateron Ink Blacks). 
Feel:Also smooth and somewhat fast. They feel good to me!

There are 2 things that set the Red Bean Pudding switches apart:

  1. Clear plastic RGB “insert” (I don’t know what else to call this)
  2. A shorter, 13mm spring

The clear “insert” is an extra piece of plastic within the switch housing, which supposedly lets more RGB light shine through.

The Red Bean Pudding switch on the right–but can you spot the clear insert? (hint: it’s between the switches)

But here’s the thing–it doesn’t let NOTICEABLY more light shine through–and it makes dealing with these switches a HUGE PAIN.

It’s tough to take the switches apart, and it’s even tougher to put them back together (the little insert goes all over the place and never wants to fit right).

In my opinion, the clear plastic insert was a mistake. Definitely not worth it.

These switches need lubing to my ears–and the clear insert will 3x the time required to lube these switches. Ouch.

The shorter spring (13mm) has the same weight as longer springs, and makes the action a bit more “compacted.” I like the way they feel! More on that below.

Pros and Cons

PROS ✅

  • They do sound & feel really nice
  • They let a LOT of RGB light shine through
  • Dustproof & water-resistant “box” design

CONS ❌

  • They’re a pain to disassemble & reassemble, meaning they are a pain to lube!
  • They’re not any cheaper than similar switches from Gateron, Cherry, or Akko. (Milky Yellows or Jelly Blacks are better than these).
  • Not really pretty from a design perspective (just my opinion).

Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding Pricing

These switches will run you about $0.55 per switch (or a little more depending on where you get them).

That’s on the pricey side for a linear switch, in my opinion, AND you can’t really find these on Amazon at the time of this writing. Boo!

You can pick them up on:

Compare that with…

  • Akko Jelly Black: $0.37 per switch
  • Akko Silver: $0.40 per switch
  • Gateron Milky Yellows: $0.25 per switch(!)
  • Gateron Ink Black V2: $0.75 per switch
  • Tecsee Carrots: $0.55 per switch (read my review here)

To be blunt, the Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding switches aren’t better than ANY of the switches listed above.

Just my opinion.

Kailh Box Red Bean Pudding Sound & Feel

To be fair, these switches do sound decent.

Sound

They sound fairly smooth and “tappy,” which is what I call the higher-pitched linear switches (very similar to the Akko Silvers).

See the sound test above for more–but I definitely think they need some lube! (Krytox 205g of course). It helps smooth out the higher end sound and makes them more “buttery” and muted.

Score? 8/10 when lubed!

(Just too bad they’re a huge pain to lube lol).

Feel

I like the way these feel, both stock and lubed.

The 45g of actuation is on the lighter end TECHNICALLY, but I find them to feel a bit more “compacted” than that (probably the shorter, denser spring).

All in all, I think they feel great!

Score? 9/10

Alternatives to the Kailh Box Red Bean switches

Sure, they sound and feel nice–but they come with a lot of baggage. If you’re looking for similar (and better) switches, I would recommend:

Gateron Milky Yellows

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.

Read our full review of the Milky Yellow switches here.

The milky yellows are cheaper and easier to find, and they’re just better all-around!

But they are a more low-end, “heavy and thocky” switch. It’s a different category of linears. (and a more popular category of sound based on what I think people like? To each their own).

Also, the Gateron Ink Black V2s are worth a look as well (here’s our review)

Akko Jelly Blacks

EPOMAKER AKKO CS Jelly Black Linear Switch Set for Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, 3 Pin Switch, 45 Pieces
  • 【AKKO Custom Series (CS) Jelly Switch】As one of the popular custom switch, AKKO CS switch series have gain good feedback form the community. Previously we have released six different types of...
  • 【About Lubes】It is always subjective when it comes down to the level of lubes that need to be applied on individual switch. Meanwhile, lubing the switches by machine might also affect the lifespan...
  • 【Compatible with MX Structure Keycaps】AKKO CS switches are designed with general MX structure so that they can fit most keycaps sets with (X) cross stem. This greatly improves the compatibility...

Read our full review of the Akko Jelly Blacks here.

If you want something a little heavier, go with the Jelly Blacks. They’re very similar in design to the Beans (and also have the dustproof/water-resistant “box” design).

But again, they’re easier to find, around the same price, and just better all around. (SO much easier to lube).

Tecsee Carrots

TECSEE Purple Panda PME Material Linear Keyboard Switches | Cherry-Style | Mechanical Gaming Keyboards | Long Stem...
  • ✅ TECSEE Purple Panda- Tactile | 2mm Pre-Travel | 3.0mm Total Travel | 55g Actuation | 67g Bottom Out | Long Stem
  • ✅ TECSEE Carrot Switch- Linear | 2mm Pre-Travel | 3.5mm Total Travel | 55g Actuation | 67g Bottom Out | Long Stem.
  • ✅ TECSEE new PME Raw material lubrication for your hot swappable mechanical gaming keyboards.

The Tecsee carrots were originally much cheaper, though these days they’re around the same price. But they sound & feel fantastic, and you truly don’t need to lube these switches.

If you don’t want to lube or film–these will beat the Kailh Box Beans any day of the week!

Akko Silvers

Akko CS Silver Switches for Gaming, 3 Pin 43gf Linear Switches with 22mm Extension Spring, Compatible with MX...
  • Akko CS Switch Series – Akko Custom Series (CS) switches are 3-pin custom switches made for DIY enthusiasts to obtain satisfying typing feelings with more affordable options.
  • Silver 43gf Linear Switch – Akko Silver is equipped with dustproof stem for enhanced stability. With short pre-travel of 1mm, this is one of the fastest Akko CS switches and is ideal for gaming.
  • Built-in LED Slot – Akko CS switches are equipped with LED slot ready for LED Mod/Assembly, and are SMD compatible (LED underneath the switch) .

Read our full review of the Akko Silvers here.

The Akko Silvers are one of my favorite linear switches of all time–and they have a similar sound & feel profile to the Kailh Box Red Beans. (light, smooth, tappy).

AND they’re cheaper, and readily available (and so much easier to lube as well).

Overall Recommendation: Are the Kailh Box Red Beans worth it?

In my opinion, no.

They’re not any cheaper than similar switches from Gateron, Akko, or Tecsee, and they’re more difficult to lube (thanks to the addition of the extra “clear insert” in the housing). Although they sound and feel ok, I don’t consider them worth it!

You’re better served with the Gateron Milky Yellows, Akko Jelly Blacks, or Akko Silvers.

Kailh Box Switches F.A.Q.

Are Kailh box red switches good?

Although this is a matter of personal preference, the Kailh box switches have always been a solid pick in the mechanical keyboard community. The build quality is solid, and Kailh is an established switch manufacturer. The Kailh Box Reds are smooth to type on and has a balanced “thocky” sound that is neither too high nor too low.

Is Kailh better than Gateron?

If you’re looking for budget linear and tactile switches that sound and feel great, you’re probably better off sticking with Gateron. If you’re into clicky switches, Kailh box switches are known for their crisper and crunchier clicks, which some people prefer over the sound of MX-style switches.

Are Kailh box red linear?

Yes, the Kailh box red switches are linear switches, meaning the keystroke is smooth with no tactile “bump” in the middle.

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