Aflion Panda vs. KTT Grapefruit

An in-depth look at the Aflion Panda and the KTT Grapefruit switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options that often come up are the Aflion Panda and the KTT Grapefruit. The Panda, a tactile switch, is best known for its unparalleled hyper-tactile sensation and profound "thocky" sound profile. It offers a super responsive tactile force and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback, making it a favorite among those who value hypertactility. On the other hand, the Grapefruit, a linear switch, stands out with its soft and light type feel and a "baritone" deep sound profile. It provides a smooth and consistent keystroke experience that appeals to users who prefer a more polished and neutral switch. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

53g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

4.00 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

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Aflion Panda and the KTT Grapefruit share similar housing materials in both their polycarbonate top housing and nylon bottom housing. Both switches utilize polycarbonate in their top housing, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffness of polycarbonate, which produces a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for the effective use of RGB lighting, making it aesthetically pleasing. Similarly, the nylon bottom housing in both switches contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softness of nylon absorbs more sound, thus creating a duller and rounder sound.

Despite these similarities, there may still be differences in the overall sound experience between the two switches. As mentioned, the bottom housing has a more significant impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. Therefore, the specific composition of nylon in each switch may differ, leading to nuanced variations in the depth and fullness of the sound produced. Similarly, although both switches have polycarbonate top housings, their thickness or other design elements could influence the sound when releasing a key.

In conclusion, while the Aflion Panda and the KTT Grapefruit share common housing materials in their polycarbonate top and nylon bottom housing, there may be subtle differences in the sound profiles they produce. However, the overall qualities of the clear and resonant sound from polycarbonate and the deep and full sound from nylon are likely to be similar in both switches, contributing to a satisfying typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, there are some notable differences. The Panda has a slightly heavier actuation force, requiring 50 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the Grapefruit requires 45 grams. Similarly, the Panda has a heavier bottom out force of 60 grams compared to the Grapefruit's 53 grams. These differences in force result in a slightly more substantial typing experience with the Panda switch.

However, it is worth mentioning that both switches fall within the medium to medium-light range, providing a balanced typing feel. For those who prefer lighter switches, the Grapefruit would be the better option as it requires slightly less force for both actuation and bottom out. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a stronger push feel may find the Panda switch more suitable due to its higher force requirements.

Considering the weight aspect, lighter switches like the Grapefruit are often favored by users who prefer extended typing sessions or long gaming sessions. The reduced force required allows for less fatigue over time. On the contrary, individuals seeking a more substantial typing experience might lean towards heavier switches like the Panda, as the added resistance provides a satisfying tactile feedback. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch both have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either switch, you will feel a consistent and equal distance traveled from the top to the bottom. This ensures a consistent typing experience regardless of which switch you choose. Both switches offer a standard travel distance, allowing for comfortable and precise typing. Whether you opt for the Aflion Panda tactile switch or the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, you can expect similar results in terms of travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Panda has an MSRP of $5.20 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Panda for $3.56.

The KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41 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.

Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Aflion Panda switch is best known for its resonant quality. When typing on this switch, you can expect a higher-pitched sound profile that provides an immersive auditory experience. The sound profile is clean and sharp, offering a profound "thocky" echo. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit switch has a low-pitched sound profile. This means that it features a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Additionally, the Grapefruit switch is described as having a neutral sound profile, which makes it suitable for various purposes and users. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Moving on to feel, the Aflion Panda switch is characterized as having an accented feel. This means that it offers a certain level of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. It provides a prominent amount of tactility that is described as a "medium tactile" switch. Additionally, the Panda switch offers an invigorating typing sensation. It has pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel, allowing for an immersive typing experience. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit switch is described as polished. This indicates that it has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. The switch is designed to have reduced friction and smooth key travel, which enhances the overall feel.

Considering all the available information, the Aflion Panda switch stands out for its hyper-tactile sensation and profound "thocky" sound profile. It offers a super responsive tactile force and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback that sets a new gold standard for those who value hypertactility. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit switch showcases a soft and light type of feel, along with a "baritone" sound profile that is not yet as deep as a bass sound. While both switches offer unique qualities, it's important to consider personal preferences. If you enjoy a highly tactile typing experience with resonant sound, the Panda switch would be a suitable choice. However, if you prefer a polished and smooth feel with a low-pitched sound, the Grapefruit switch would be a great option. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches comes down to individual preferences and typing requirements.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you value a hyper-tactile sensation and a deep thocky sound profile, the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be the ideal choice for you. With a bottom out force of 60 grams, it provides a medium level of resistance. The Panda is best known for its unparalleled tactile force and sonorous audio feedback, making it perfect for those who prioritize hypertactility.

On the other hand, if you prefer a soft and light linear switch with a "baritone" sound profile, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch is the way to go. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, it offers a medium-light level of resistance. The Grapefruit switches are known for their mellow and bass-heavy sound, providing a different auditory experience compared to the Panda.

In terms of sound, the Panda gives a higher-pitched and resonant sound profile, creating a clean and sharp audio feedback. On the other hand, the Grapefruit produces a low-pitched sound, offering a more bass-heavy and mellow tone.

When it comes to feel, the Panda provides an accented and invigorating typing sensation. It offers a pronounced feedback and moderate to firm actuation force, giving you a responsive and immersive experience. The Grapefruit, on the other hand, offers a polished feel, with smooth and refined key travel due to either materials used or factory lubrication.

Ultimately, the choice between the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch depends on your preferences. If you prioritize hypertactility and a full-bodied sound, the Panda is the way to go. If you prefer a soft and light linear switch with a mellow sound, the Grapefruit is the better option. Consider your sound and feel preferences to make an informed decision.

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