Aflion Panda vs. KTT Mannan Pipefish

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Aflion Panda and the KTT Mannan Pipefish offer two distinct options to enhance your typing experience. The Panda, renowned for its Holy Pandas, delivers an unparalleled hyper-tactile sensation and a deeply satisfying "thocky" sound profile. This switch sets a new gold standard for those who value hypertactility and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback. On the other hand, the Mannan Pipefish provides effortless and enjoyable typing with its smooth linear action, lengthened spring, and light 45g actuation and bottom-out force. This switch is perfect for casual typists seeking a delightful and strain-free keyboarding journey. Both switches have their merits, making it essential to consider your personal preferences and needs. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

37g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

45g

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

22mm spring

Housing materials

The Aflion Panda and the KTT Mannan Pipefish share similar housing materials, specifically polycarbonate for the top housing and nylon for the bottom housing. Both switches utilize polycarbonate in their top housing to create a sharp, high-pitched, and crisp sound profile. This is due to the stiffness of polycarbonate, which enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting.

In terms of the bottom housing, both the Panda and Pipefish employ nylon. Nylon is known for eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing on switches. Compared to harder plastics, nylon is relatively softer and absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, both switches benefit from the sound-absorbing properties of nylon in their bottom housings.

Although the top and bottom housings are the same for both switches, their impact on the overall sound and feel is different. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing are more prominent as they influence the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing plays a greater role in the sound when releasing a key. Despite these differences, the use of polycarbonate and nylon in both switches ensures a similar sound profile overall, with variations based on the specific housing material placement.

In conclusion, the Aflion Panda and the KTT Mannan Pipefish utilize polycarbonate for their top housing and nylon for their bottom housing, resulting in comparable sound profiles. The stiffness of polycarbonate contributes to a sharper and crisper sound, while nylon absorbs more sound, creating a fuller and rounder auditory experience. Although the impact of the top and bottom housings differs, both switches offer similar outcomes in terms of sound, with variations depending on the housing material placement.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch, there are noticeable differences in weight. The Aflion Panda has a slightly heavier actuation force of 50 grams and a bottom out force of 60 grams, placing it in the medium range. On the other hand, the KTT Mannan Pipefish has a lighter actuation force of 37 grams and a bottom out force of 45 grams, making it a lighter option. The Aflion Panda provides a stronger push feel, resulting in a more substantial typing experience, while the KTT Mannan Pipefish offers a lighter touch, advantageous for longer typing sessions or extended gaming periods. Although the forces differ, both switches deliver satisfactory results based on individual preferences.

Travel distance

The Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch both have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will feel a consistent distance of 4 mm of travel. The similarity in travel distance ensures that both switches provide a consistent and comfortable typing experience. Whether you choose the Panda or the Mannan Pipefish, you can expect similar results in terms of the travel distance of the switch.

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 Mannan Pipefish has an MSRP of $3.53 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Mannan Pipefish for $3.05.

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 tactile switch is known for its resonant and thocky sound profile. When typing on these switches, users can expect a higher-pitched sound with a clean and sharp quality. This creates an immersive auditory experience that is pleasing to the ear. On the other hand, the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch is described as having a neutral sound profile. This means that it produces a moderate sound that is suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced typist, and whether you are using the switches at home or at work. It is important to note that the sound of a switch also depends on other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. However, based on the available information, it can be concluded that the Aflion Panda tactile switch offers a more resonant and thocky sound, while the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch provides a neutral sound profile.

When it comes to feel, the Aflion Panda tactile switch is described as accented and invigorating. This means that it offers a medium level of tactile feedback without being overwhelming or too subtle. Typing on these switches provides a pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel. This creates an invigorating typing sensation that is immersive and enjoyable. On the other hand, the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch is described as easy-to-press and polished. These switches offer gentle resistance during key presses, requiring minimal force to activate. The light actuation force makes typing effortless and comfortable, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. Additionally, the polished finish of these switches results in a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Based on this information, it can be concluded that the Aflion Panda tactile switch provides an accented and invigorating feel, while the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch offers an easy-to-press and polished typing experience.

In conclusion, the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Panda switch is known for its resonant and thocky sound profile, providing an immersive auditory experience. It also offers an accented and invigorating feel, giving typists a pronounced and enjoyable tactile feedback. On the other hand, the Mannan Pipefish switch has a neutral sound profile that is suitable for most purposes. It provides an easy-to-press feel, reducing finger fatigue and offering a low-impact typing experience. Additionally, the polished finish of these switches ensures smooth key travel. While these switches have their unique qualities, it is important to note that personal preferences may vary. It is recommended to try out both switches or seek further user reviews to determine which one aligns better with individual preferences.

Conclusion

In summary, when choosing between the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch, there are a few key factors to consider.

First, if you prioritize a super responsive and incredibly tactile typing experience, along with a deep and satisfying "thocky" sound profile, then the Aflion Panda is the switch for you. With its medium bottom out force of 60 grams, it offers an invigorating and accented tactile feel that is not overwhelming but still prominent. Additionally, the resonant sound profile of the Panda adds to the immersive auditory experience while typing.

On the other hand, if you value an effortless and strain-free typing journey, the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch may be the better choice. With its light bottom out force of 45 grams, this switch offers a smooth linear action that is easy to press. The longer spring and low-impact feel provide a comfortable and precise typing experience, making it ideal for casual typists seeking a delightful keyboarding experience. The neutral sound profile of the Mannan Pipefish ensures that it is suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user.

Ultimately, the decision between the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch comes down to personal preference and typing style. If you prioritize hyper-tactility and a sonorous audio feedback, the Panda is the way to go. However, if you prefer a smooth and effortless typing experience with light actuation force, the Mannan Pipefish is the switch for you. Consider your preferences and needs to choose the switch that will enhance your typing experience.

Mentioned in this article