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Article: Kailh BCP: Review by Vere

Kailh BCP: Review by Vere

Kailh BCP: Review by Vere

Opening Words:

Hello friends, it's kind of shocking to realize that we're almost halfway through 2024 at the time of this review. Today's switch is another attempt at recreating a franken-switch: The Black Cherry Pie (Commonly referred to as BCP). This switch is one of franken-switches responsible for popularizing the concept of a long-pole switch as almost all switches at the time were rail-bottom out at 4.0mm travel. I'll go over the what I believe to be the positives of this switch and how it compares against the original as well a little against the BSUN BCP.


Switch Introduction:

The Kailh BCP is a long-pole linear switch with a PA66 top housing with a custom texture meant to mimic Cherry tops, a thickened PA66 bottom housing, and a POM stem made of the same composition of the original Creams.

They carry a 20mm KOS single-stage extended spring with an operating force of 52g and bottoming out at 63.5g. There is a variance of 2g among them.

They have a travel of 3.5mm which is longer than the original BCP's at 3.1mm.

These switches were designed by Off Studio. They mainly chose to work with Kailh due to the fact that Kailh has access to the original Cream stems.

(Never heard of a Black Cherry Pie in real life, but it sounds tasty)

Short Summary


Louder than your average long pole, retains the strong kick of the original BCP but is not as loud.


Medium-High to High Pitch, despite having "similar" materials, these switches are higher pitched than the original BCP. They also come with very low amounts of lube so you can expect a crisp and bright sound.

Sound Profile

The sound profile of the Kailh BCP can be described as crisp and on the border of being sharp. They are brighter than the OG, and exhibit much more scratch than the original as well. Despite the lack of a real cherry top, the mimicked version actually synergizes excellently with the Cream stem to provide a pleasing audible scratch which is not felt in the travel.


As mentioned above, these switches come with an extremely light amount of lubricant, but feel surprisingly smooth with the existing scratch. Kailh also seems to utilize unique leaf springs as I did not experience any leaf tick. I did not have any spring ping in my batch, but others have reported a small percentage of spring ping. There is a minor amount of wobble.


Designed to be a fully fledged recreation of the original Black Cherry Pie franken-switch, utilizing the exact same material for the stem and implementing different methods to mimic the other core parts of the original recipe. With a new mold to match the components, the result is a high quality modern long-pole linear.


Interestingly, the 2nd switch that attempts to copy the BCP. 


Stock Experience:

These switches use an extremely minor amount of some sort of oil-based lubricant. The lubricant seems to be applied strictly upon certain contact points and I could not find any excess amounts or smearing on other parts of the switch.  The switch seems to have lubricant applied to the stem legs and bottom housing leaf, and based on the streaks on the stem, I found that some lubricant was actually applied to the top housing as well.


(Barely noticeable streaks on contact points)

(Extremely minimal touches of oil on top housing)

The previous Kailh Spring also used an oil-based lubricant, though it was excessive and was almost "sprayed" all over the interior of the switch. Surprisingly, these switches can almost be considered to be the complete opposite in regards to lubrication.

(Small pooling at the bottom, but the oil seems to be inert and hasn't moved over two weeks.)

(Light leaf coverage, also a close up of Kailh's unique leaf)

This specific setup allows for optimal smoothness while generating plenty of audible scratch it seems. With lubricant on the legs, it affects a large part of the smoothness in travel, lubed leaf prevents leaf tick, and the minor amounts of lube on the top housing edges increase smoothness without reducing the stem's scratchiness.

Lastly, I have to mention that these switches have a great type-feel and have almost no wobble, it is just loose enough to not cause issues due to tight tolerances. The wobble is mostly felt on the upstroke, but during typing it is difficult to feel the wobble as the top housing is tight around the stem, as opposed to the BSUN BCP's wobble which seems to be felt often during typing.

Would I re-lube them? If I was in the mood for some audible scratch, I would never add any lubricant to these as they sound fantastic and are smooth enough to not require more lube. 


Origin of the BCP:

This is something that I learned from Theremingoat's article on the BSUN BCP. The original BCP was born out of the Smith + Rune Discord as a franken-switch idea utilizing a JWK H1 bottom housing, Cherry Top, and Kailh Cream stem. The person who came up with the idea ended up dubbing them it as a Black Cherry Pie.

The switch ended up growing ever popular over the years due to the absence of long-pole linear switches in the market at the time, as well as the overall performance of the BCPs. With the Kailh Cream stem, the BCPs had a travel of 3.1mm, being incredibly short compared to all the 4.0mm travel switches. The novelty of a long-pole bottom out caught on very quickly and many other long-poles were produced in the market.

There was also plenty of experimentation later on with the inception of newer long-pole switches as there were those who did not enjoy using the Kailh Cream stem due to its scratchy nature. Even now, varieties of BCPs are still made and used in builds due to their powerful and deep sound profile, as well as their effectiveness in making spacebars pop.

The BCP "recipe" eventually became something along the lines of this:

1. JWK Nylon bottom housing for superior smoothness. (H1 switches were originally chosen as they were designed to mimic Vintage Cherry switches and also generated a deeper bottom-out.)

2. Cherry Tops for their deeper top out, as well as their compatibility with JWK bottoms. (Cherry switches had a unique texture and had a sound that other switches could not replicate due to their thicker composition)

3. A POM long pole stem. (Kailh Cream stems were the most popular option as I believe they were more accessible than Kailh Black/Burgundy stems? I could be mistaken though, as perhaps it was preference for the scratchy nature.)


Main Differences that I found from use:

After using the Kailh BCPs for around two weeks, there are a couple differences that I would like to go over. 

First off, what everyone is probably wondering is whether or not these sound like the original right? The answer isn't surprising, as these switches do share many traits but ultimately sound different compared to the original.

The exact composition of the materials used in the original will be difficult to replicate even if they tried to mimic them. The Cherry Top texture that is applied to the PA66 Nylon top does help generate scratch, but doesn't generate the same sound. The thickened PA66 bottom housing also has a crisp sound that tries to be similar to the original, but in the first place the H1 bottoms are made out of PA or Polyamide(Kevlar) not nylon. 

(Top housing does show a similarity in texture to Cherry Top)

If you read my BSUN Bunny review, you'll know that I explained how PA or Polyamide is NOT NYLON. It is a polymer that is much stronger chemically than your average nylon, and as such, my theory is that it is capable of generating a stronger and more full sound due to the material's strength. The trade-off is that it doesn't have as low of a coefficient of friction as some other plastics, and is also more expensive to produce.

(Kailh BCP Bottom is noticeably compressed compared to H1 bottom)

Ultimately, when I compared the two in sound, the Kailh BCP is slightly brighter and has more scratch, while the original BCP is slightly deeper and slightly louder. However, this doesn't mean one is better than the other, they both fulfill the requirements for a solid, scratchy, and full sounding long-pole.

The next major difference would just be the fact that one is a franken-switch of three different manufacturer's materials, and one is made by the same manufacturer and has an individual mold to support itself. 

This means that the Kailh BCP will definitely have an advantage in terms of tolerances, smoothness, stock form, and especially price, as you don't need to purchase three different switches just to create one. You can tell right away when you type on them, the tightness and fit of the tolerances allows for excellent smoothness during travel and reduced wobble. The original BCP as well as even BSUN's BCP have some wobble which do not measure up to some of the modern switches of today. 

One benefit I will give to the OG BCP is that it is a custom switch, meaning that you the consumer, are able to create your own switch to your liking using different options available to you. Back then, the charm of franken-switching would be the desire to craft a switch that surpasses the specs available on the market, but these days there are so many different switches to choose from that it's not really necessary anymore. At the same time however, there's many new options to use as material for franken-switching now.

Others may say that creating switches using franken-switch designs is just lazy, but being able to experience a franken-switch as a complete product is a good thing, both in terms of quality and saving some expenses. (As long as there is effort put into it.)

Short Summary of differences:

Kailh BCP has: Better stock form, more scratch, higher pitch, longer travel, cheaper price. ($0.50 per switch)

OG BCP has: More customization, lower pitch, louder sound, shorter travel, much higher price. (Around $1.60 for a single BCP, not including springs and films)


Small note on BSUN BCP:

I originally planned to write more about the comparison for the BSUN BCP designed by Sarokeys, but I was simply too disappointed by the results.

When comparing just the BSUN BCP to the OG BCP, perhaps you can find quite a few similarities and traits, but when you add the Kailh BCP to the equation, you can find that the BSUN BCP is somewhat far from the original.

Here's a short breakdown:

1. BSUN BCP has a fairly different pitch compared to the original, it has more of BSUN's sharp and higher pitched bottom out, opposed to the OG's deeper and full bottom out.

2. BSUN BCP has less scratch than the original, as they intentionally designed the POM S9 stem to be smoother, meanwhile the Kailh BCP is designed to generate scratch from both top housing and stem to replicate the original's traits.

3. BSUN BCP comes with heavier pre-lubing which shrouds a lot of the existing scratch. Kailh BCP comes with very light lubricant to preserve the scratch, and allows for users to customize their scratch.

4. The only saving grace is that the BSUN BCP has similar travel, but they actually changed it to 3.2mm for the reason of "3.1mm is too harsh by today's standards".

Does this mean that the BSUN BCP is bad? No, it just means that it is a bit far from a recreation, and is more of an inspired release. Personally, I feel that if you had to say which of the two is a closer recreation, I would lean towards the Kailh BCP.


Why change the travel distance:

As mentioned in the introduction of this switch, the Kailh BCP has a 3.5mm travel which has become the standard for long poles for a while. The original BCP had a travel of approximately 3.1mm, due to the Cream stem having a pole that exceeded the center post of the H1 bottom housing by a lot.

First, I will mention that it is usually preference that affects what kind of travel distance that you enjoy more for your switch, the extremely short 3.1mm travel from the original BCP did allow for a sharp and fierce feeling in the bottom out, but can often feel fatiguing for your fingers.

Travel distances such as 3.9mm or 3.8mm allow for a more substantial feel and also lightens the total amount of feedback on your fingers when typing, but ultimately still retain long pole feel.

So what about 3.5mm? I feel like it has a decent middle ground when it comes to bottoming out, as it has the feeling of a long pole, but isn't overly short and sharp. With this change, I believe it helps the BCP become more appealing to a wider audience as opposed to those who strictly wished to be reminded of the OG BCP. This also reinforces my belief in that this switch doesn't necessarily have to stand in the shadow of its predecessor.

Lastly, with the increased travel of 3.1mm to 3.5mm this actually creates higher potential for scratch when typing. As there is more surface area to contact during travel, the Kailh BCP ultimately has even more potential for scratch opposed to the original, technically 0.4mm's worth of travel. When I tested this next to my ear, I found that the scratch from the OG BCP is short-lived due to the faster bottom out, but the Kailh BCP has a fair amount of it. (Obviously not as much as Cherry)


Overall Design:

While they haven't exactly remade the BCP, what Off Studio and Kailh have made here come very close to it. The usage of materials and effort put into the mold is evident in the quality of the product itself.

Let's say hypothetically, the BCP franken-switch never existed, and Kailh decided to release this switch on their own as a brand new switch. I would be blown away at the sheer quality of this switch. It feels fantastic, sounds amazing, and has a killer stock form despite the low amounts of lubricant. It is just a high quality product.

I am specifying this as there are definitely misses in the franken-switch remake lineup that are just copies that don't try to create a finished product. For example, the Gateron Cream Sodas, aka Cthulhu switches. The Gateron Cream Sodas released at a price tag of $0.75, and were basically assembled Cthulhu switches that heavily benefited from films and re-lubing. Even then, there were people who actually preferred the sound profile of the Cthulhus as the Cream Soda had a slightly different composition. The only thing that matters was that they were slightly cheaper than making Cthulhus yourself, but still had the Gateron Ink tax.

("Recreation" of the Cthulhu franken-switch)

Then there's the Sarokeys BSUN BCP, which barely resembles the original. It definitely has BSUN's sound profile, but is also one of the worst performers in stock form out of BSUN that I've tried. It also has some wobble that doesn't even come close to matching up with today's standards. Overall, it just seems like an attempt to recreate the BCP by brute-forcing it, and the end result is a sharp long-pole linear that barely exhibits scratch due to a smoother stem, and heavier pre-lube.

(Fairly hyped when they attached the BCP name to it, but I think a lot of people were put off by the result)

Not all of them are disappointing, as there are some great recreations such as the Meirun Pleiades (Way cheaper, good stock, sounds identical), and the Neapolitan Ice Creams which performed excellently with their release (Over twice as cheap as Zykos, can be considered it's own switch but with high performance back then). 

Personally I've only used BCPs in a few builds in previous years, and they were a variation of the original recipe using Alpaca bottoms and Zaku stems, I wasn't particularly obsessed with them. However, these Kailh BCPs really changed my mind as I used them over the last two weeks on my various boards. I thoroughly enjoyed their scratch and consistent feel, and really made me fall in love with scratchy switches again after experiencing so many "clean" sounding switches in recent times.

I think that these switches are worthwhile enough to try regardless of whether or not you've used BCPs before, but it may be hard to enjoy them if you absolutely abhor scratchy switches.


Smoothness: Excellent

So while these switches are scratchy, they are still quite smooth in comparison to what I was expecting. Most of the scratch is audible and is not particularly felt during typing.

I should mention that the stock smoothness is excellent, which is one tier below phenomenal(HMX for example), but that is without adding any additional lubricant. I believe that if you desired to increase smoothness at the cost of reducing the audible scratch, it would be worthwhile to add more lube.

After my own testing, adding a small coat of Krytox 205g0 should suffice, though you may want to use something even thinner like Tribosys 3203.



Sound Profile:

As mentioned above, the Kailh BCP has some minor differences when compared to the OG BCP.

In their stock form, they have a brighter sound profile with plenty of audible scratch in the travel. The bottom out is crisp and is borderline sharp. The overall sound profile is full and isn't lacking. They do not have the same amount of scratch as a stock Cherry switch, I would say its closer to a broken-in MX Black at around 600k actuations.

I believe the sharpness results from the thickened bottom housing that they used in order to mimic the H1 bottom. Though with it being PA66 instead of PA, I think the end result is that it became slightly higher pitched rather than loud. PA66 is one of the more stiffer Nylon variants, which can easily shift the sound to lean towards the higher pitch compared to PA12 or PA6. 

The top-out is well contained as they used a PA66 top housing instead of something like a PC top, but since it wasn't an actual Cherry Top, I think that it isn't completely consolidated. The bottom out just happens to be much fiercer than the top-out, so it drowns out the sound.

After lubing, the sound became much cleaner and rounded, still being high pitched, but losing sharpness. It also unfortunately took away about 70% of the scratch, so if you truly want to preserve the scratch I recommend not adding any more lubricant.

Scratch refers to the scraping sound that is audible during the switch travel when the stem is moving inside the housing. This sound is somewhat similar to using chalk on a blackboard, or perhaps scraping some paper with your nails.

Crisp refers to having a solid bottom out that is clear and easy to hear, doesn't necessarily mean loud and bright.

Full refers to a sound profile that doesn't sound shallow to our ears, or isn't dull and empty. (To be more specific, it has all kinds of frequencies in the sound, lows, mids, and highs.)



Direct Comparison to other linears:

Kailh Spring (POM/POM/POK Stem) 3.6mm Travel

  • These switches share almost no traits besides being created from the same manufacturer and having similar travel.
  • The Kailh Spring is slightly louder than the Kailh BCP.
  • The Kailh BCP has a better stock form. (Less tick)
  • The Kailh Spring is lower pitched.
  • The Kailh BCP has slightly more N/S wobble.
  • The Kailh Spring is slightly smoother stock.
  • The Kailh BCP has more scratch.

BSUN BCP (PA66/PA66/Mod. POMS9 Stem) 3.2mm Travel

  • These switches share extremely similar materials, but different qualities among those materials. 
  • The BSUN BCP is louder than the Kailh BCP.
  • The Kailh BCP has a better stock form. (Less tick and ping)
  • The BSUN BCP is slightly higher pitched.
  • The BSUN BCP has slightly more wobble in all directions.
  • The BSUN BCP is smoother stock.
  • The Kailh BCP has much more scratch.

Original BCP (Cherry Nylon/H1 PA/Kailh POM Stem) 3.1mm Travel

  • These switches share extremely similar materials with similar qualities, but are from different sources. (They do share the same stem however)
  • The OG BCP is slightly louder than the Kailh BCP.
  • The Kailh BCP has a better stock form. (Less tick, and not a franken-switch)
  • The OG BCP is slightly lower pitched.
  • The OG BCP has slightly more N/S wobble.
  • The Kailh BCP is smoother stock.
  • The Kailh BCP has slightly more scratch.


I would go over the objective flaws here, but the only issues I could find are mostly subjective.

These are nitpicks or deal-breakers for some users.

First off, if you really don't like audible scratch, you may want to look elsewhere.

If you purchased these switches expecting a heavier pre-lube, you should look elsewhere.

If you expected these to be exactly like OG BCPs, you should just make your own.

I expect these to be the most common complaints, but I am writing this section specifically so that you will know what to expect, and not to unreasonably hate these switches.



I tested these switches on several of my boards, the end result on all of them was bright, loud, and scratchy.

I think that these switches will go well on anything as long as you are in the market for a louder long-pole. Though if you want to capitalize on the scratchy and noisy element that these carry, I would recommend a gasket mounted board.

These have a crisp bottom-out and a bit of depth in their profile, so a classic combination of Aluminum on gasket mount would sound solid. You can also opt for plates with deeper sound profiles and use some foam to try and hit those low notes.

I would say, Aluminum or POM gasket mount, with or without foam, perhaps Polypropylene if you want more pop.


Closing Summary:

For another attempt at recreating the BCPs, it's not exactly a success, but it's definitely not a failure either.

For $0.50 per switch, Off Studio and Kailh have brought back a cult-classic franken-switch in a new and modern fashion with a high quality design.

It has all the scratch you could want, and a powerfully bright sound profile to boot. It also has nothing to worry about in terms of stock form.

They've gone above and beyond and produced a switch that has enough quality to simply be worth using regardless of the existence of the original BCP.

If you're a fan of the original BCP, or even if you've never heard of the BCP, this switch is one that I wouldn't have any qualms recommending to those who are in search of a long-pole that hits hard and has personality. Don't place this switch within the confines of the original's shadow, please enjoy this modern release with today's standards as a high quality product.



Design: 9/10 

[Solid recreation by utilizing different methods to substitute for the original missing pieces, rather than simply brute-forcing the design by replicating the most "similar" materials. A switch with enough quality to be released as a standalone, regardless of the original.]

Sound Profile: 10/10 

[Bright, crisp, and scratch-filled sound profile that isn't thin to the ear. These switches can sing in almost any board you throw them in. Though I am partial to audible scratch, these switches also perform well without it when lubed.]

Stock Experience: 9.5/10

[Personally I had a flawless stock experience, no leaf tick or spring ping, and the low amounts of lube didn't leave me feeling disappointed as it made sense for the sake of preserving the scratch. Though others did report some spring ping in their batches, so it could be a possibility.]

Uniqueness: 5/10

[Is a franken-switch remake unique? Not really, they definitely deserve some points for the techniques used to recreate the BCP, but ultimately it serves the same purpose while being a modernized version. Some more points for being a super scratchy yet smooth modern linear.]

Flaws: 0/10 

[I could not find objective flaws with this switch, the nitpicks mentioned are simply reasons to avoid purchasing this switch for personal reasons rather than objectively looking at the quality.]


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