Aflion Panda vs. KTT Pine

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options that stand out are the Aflion Panda, a tactile switch, and the KTT Pine, a linear switch. The Panda is renowned for its hyper-tactile sensation, delivering both an unparalleled tactile force and a deep "thocky" sound profile. This switch is perfect for those who crave a heightened tactile experience and a rich audio feedback. On the other hand, the Pine offers a medium-heavy, buttery smooth feel, making typing effortless. With a polished, factory-lubed finish, these switches minimize friction and ensure smooth key travel. Known for its bassy, creamy, and low-pitched sound profile, the Pine provides a different typing experience compared to the Panda. 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

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

58g

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

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

15.5mm gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Panda and the KTT Pine share many similarities. Both switches feature a top housing made of polycarbonate, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, providing a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that utilize RGB lighting. Therefore, if you are looking for a switch that offers these qualities, both the Panda and Pine would deliver similar results.

However, where the two switches differ is in their bottom housing material. The Panda employs a nylon bottom housing, known for its ability to create a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Pine utilizes a polycarbonate bottom housing, which aligns with its top housing. This ensures a consistent sound profile throughout the entire switch.

When it comes to the feel of these switches, the bottom housing has a more significant impact. Pressing down on the switch will highlight the qualities of the bottom housing, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. In contrast, the top housing will come into play when you release a key, affecting the sound it produces. Understanding the role of each housing material is essential in choosing the right switch for your specific preferences and typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch, there are noticeable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Panda has a slightly higher actuation force of 50 grams compared to the Pine's 45 grams, both of which fall into the medium range. However, when it comes to bottom out force, the Panda requires a slightly heavier 60 grams compared to the Pine's 58 grams.

In terms of weight, both switches can cater to different preferences. Those who prefer a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Pine linear switch with its slightly lighter actuation force, allowing for effortless typing over longer periods of time. This lighter weight is beneficial for individuals who use their keyboards for extended work or gaming sessions.

On the other hand, some users prefer a stronger and more substantial push feel. For them, the Panda tactile switch, with its slightly higher actuation force and bottom out force, would provide a more satisfying typing experience. The added resistance can offer a noticeable tactile feedback while typing, giving a sense of precision and solidity to each keystroke.

In conclusion, the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch differ in their actuation and bottom out forces. While the Panda requires a slightly higher force for both triggering a keystroke and bottoming out, the Pine offers a slightly lighter experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on individual preferences and the desired typing experience, with each switch providing its own unique advantages.

Travel distance

The Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel a consistent 4 mm distance of travel. Both switches provide a satisfying tactile feedback and offer a similar typing experience in terms of key travel. Whether you choose the Panda or the Pine, you can expect similar results in terms of their 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 Pine has an MSRP of $4.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Pine 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

The Aflion Panda tactile switch is best known for its unparalleled, hyper-tactile sensation and deep, "thocky" sound profile. When typing on the Panda, users can expect a resonant sound that is clean and sharp, creating an immersive auditory experience. The feel of the Panda switch is described as accented, providing a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. It offers pronounced feedback, a moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel, resulting in an invigorating typing sensation.

On the other hand, the KTT Pine linear switch is best known for its medium-heavy weight, buttery smooth feel, and effortless typing experience. The sound profile of the Pine switch is described as bassy, offering a deeper and richer sound during key presses. It has a lower frequency range, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Additionally, the Pine switch is also characterized by a low-pitched sound that is more bass-heavy and mellow compared to higher-pitched switches.

Comparing the two switches, the Panda and Pine switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Panda switch provides a resonant sound profile and an invigorating typing experience with its hyper-tactile sensation and pronounced feedback. On the other hand, the Pine switch offers a bassy sound profile and a smooth, buttery typing experience. These switches cater to different preferences and typing styles.

It's important to note that the sound and feel of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. It is recommended to consider these factors when choosing between the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch. Ultimately, both switches offer unique characteristics that can enhance the typing experience, providing satisfying options for keyboard enthusiasts.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prioritize a super responsive tactile force and a deeply thocky sound profile, then the Aflion Panda tactile switch is the one for you. With its medium bottom out force of 60 grams, the Panda offers unparalleled tactility and a sonorous audio feedback. On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-heavy switch that provides an effortless typing experience, then the KTT Pine linear switch is a great choice. With a bottom out force of 58 grams, the Pine is buttery smooth and minimizes friction for smooth key travel.

When it comes to sound, the Panda offers a resonant and sharp sound profile, providing an immersive auditory experience. On the other hand, the Pine delivers a deeper and richer sound, characterized by lower bass tones.

In terms of feel, the Panda is accented and invigorating, offering a balanced level of tactility and a snappy, reactive feel. The Pine, on the other hand, is buttery and creamy, providing a smooth and effortless typing experience akin to gliding your fingers across the keys with ease.

Ultimately, the choice between the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch depends on your personal preferences. Consider whether you prioritize a hyper-tactile sensation and thocky sound profile, or a buttery smooth typing experience. By understanding your preferences for sound and feel, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect mechanical keyboard switch for your needs.

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