Aflion Panda vs. KTT Phalaenopsis

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, there are a plethora of options available, each with its unique features and characteristics. Two switches that stand out are the Aflion Panda and the KTT Phalaenopsis, both being tactile switches. The Panda, renowned for its Holy Pandas, showcases an unmatched hyper-tactile sensation and a deeply satisfying "thocky" sound profile. With its accented and resonant feel, the Panda sets a new standard for those who value hypertactility and a sonorous audio feedback. On the other hand, the Phalaenopsis boasts beautiful translucent switches with a light actuation force of 37g, making typing effortless and minimizing finger fatigue during prolonged typing sessions. The 50g tactile force of the Phalaenopsis provides a delightful and discernible tactile bump with a bassy and stepped character. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

37g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

50g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

22mm gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The Aflion Panda and the KTT Phalaenopsis both utilize polycarbonate for their top housing, which results in a similar sound profile for both switches. The use of polycarbonate creates a crisp, higher-pitched sound that enhances the overall typing experience. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate in both switches allows for vibrant RGB lighting effects, making them visually appealing options for those who enjoy customizable aesthetics.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the Panda utilizes nylon while the Phalaenopsis sticks to polycarbonate. This difference in material leads to distinct characteristics in sound. Typing on the Panda, with its nylon bottom housing, produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon's softer nature absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Phalaenopsis contributes to a sharper and more resonant sound, thanks to its stiffer composition.

Overall, the choice between the Aflion Panda and the KTT Phalaenopsis will depend on personal preferences. If you prioritize a deeper and fuller sound, the Panda with its nylon bottom housing would be a suitable option. On the contrary, if you prefer a sharper and crisper sound, the Phalaenopsis and its polycarbonate bottom housing would be a better fit. Regardless, both switches offer a satisfying typing experience with their shared use of polycarbonate in the top housing, creating a clear and resonant sound profile when keys are released.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch, there are notable differences. The Panda has an actuation force of 50 grams, which is slightly heavier than the Phalaenopsis with an actuation force of 37 grams. In terms of bottom out force, the Panda requires 60 grams of force, while the Phalaenopsis requires 50 grams. It is evident that the Panda switch is overall heavier than the Phalaenopsis.

Weight is an important factor to consider when choosing a switch, as it greatly affects typing experience. Those who prefer a lighter feel may opt for the Phalaenopsis, as its lower actuation and bottom out forces allow for easier keystrokes. This lighter weight is beneficial for extended typing sessions and long gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a stronger push and a more substantial typing experience may lean towards the Panda switch. Its higher actuation and bottom out forces provide a firmer feedback and require more force to trigger a keystroke.

In terms of similarities, both switches fall within the medium to light range of actuation forces. However, the Panda is heavier in both categories compared to the Phalaenopsis. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and typing style.

Travel distance

The Aflion Panda and the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switches 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 the key travel a distance of 4 mm from the top to the bottom. Both switches offer a consistent and satisfying keystroke experience with an equal travel distance. So, whether you choose the Aflion Panda or the KTT Phalaenopsis, you can expect similar results in terms of the distance the switch travels when activated.

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 Phalaenopsis has an MSRP of $4.73 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Phalaenopsis for $4.15.

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

When it comes to sound, the Aflion Panda tactile switch is best described as resonant. Typing on these switches produces a higher-pitched sound profile that is clean and sharp, providing an immersive auditory experience. On the other hand, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch is characterized as bassy and thocky. These switches offer a deeper and richer sound profile, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. They produce a satisfying and discernible sound, similar to a deep "thud" or a soft "knock" when pressed and released. However, 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 the feel of the switches, the Aflion Panda is described as accented and invigorating. These switches provide a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. They offer pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel, resulting in an immersive typing sensation. On the other hand, the KTT Phalaenopsis is described as stepped. This means that these switches have a tactile feel that is more mild in comparison to other switches. They provide a noticeable pre-travel and/or post-travel sensation, offering a different tactile experience than the Aflion Panda.

In conclusion, the Aflion Panda tactile switch is best known for its unparalleled, hyper-tactile sensation and profound "thocky" sound profile. It offers an invigorating typing experience with its pronounced feedback and moderate to firm actuation force. On the other hand, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch features a light actuation force, minimizing finger fatigue during prolonged typing sessions. It provides a satisfying and discernible tactile bump, along with a bassy and thocky sound profile. While the two switches have their own unique qualities in terms of sound and feel, those seeking a similar immersive typing experience to the Aflion Panda can expect comparable results with the KTT Phalaenopsis switch.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a mechanical keyboard switch with a medium bottom out force and a hyper-tactile sensation, coupled with a deep "thocky" sound profile, then the Aflion Panda tactile switch is the way to go. The Panda offers an invigorating typing experience with pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter bottom out force and a switch that minimizes finger fatigue even during prolonged typing sessions, then the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch is the better choice. The Phalaenopsis provides a satisfying and discernible tactile bump, ensuring each keystroke is a delightful experience. In terms of sound, the Panda offers a resonant and immersive auditory experience, while the Phalaenopsis provides a bassy sound profile with a deep and rich tone. Overall, the choice between the two switches ultimately depends on your preference for bottom out force, tactile sensation, and sound profile.

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