KTT Ash Gray vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

An in-depth look at the KTT Ash Gray and the Gateron Ink Yellow 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 KTT Ash Gray and the Gateron Ink Yellow. The Ash Gray switch is best known for its tactile response that strikes the perfect balance between being substantial and unobtrusive. It provides a light touch combined with a crisp actuation, offering a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is neither overwhelming nor unnoticed. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch stands out for its shorter travel, offering a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch boasts a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, providing a satisfying tactile sensation while typing. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

18mm spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Ash Gray and the Gateron Ink Yellow differ in terms of their composition. The Ash Gray features a polycarbonate top housing, which offers a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to polycarbonate being a relatively stiffer plastic, resulting in a clear and resonant sound. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound without being overly sharp. This characteristic is often described as "clacky" and may appeal to those who prefer a thinner and higher-pitched sound.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the Ash Gray incorporates a nylon material. Typing on switches that use nylon results in a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics, creating a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Ink Yellow features Gateron's INK blend bottom housing, which contributes to the switch's overall sound profile. Like the top housing, the bottom housing of the Ink Yellow also offers a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, adding to the switch's clacky nature.

In summary, while both switches have unique housing materials that contribute to their sound profiles, they do share some similarities. Both the Ash Gray and the Ink Yellow provide a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, although the Ash Gray's polycarbonate top housing might create a sharper and crisper sound compared to the Ink Yellow's INK blend top housing. Additionally, the softness of the Ash Gray's nylon bottom housing and the INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Yellow both contribute to a deeper and fuller sound. Overall, these differences and similarities in housing materials result in distinct sound profiles for each switch.

Weight

When comparing the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, a notable difference can be seen in their actuation and bottom out forces. The Ash Gray has a lighter actuation force of 38 grams, while the Ink Yellow requires a higher actuation force of 60 grams. This means that the Ash Gray switch will be more sensitive and responsive, requiring less force to trigger a keystroke. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch is heavier in comparison. The Ash Gray has a bottom out force of 53 grams, whereas the bottom out force of the Ink Yellow is 67 grams. Therefore, if you prefer a lighter typing experience, the Ash Gray switch would be a suitable choice, allowing you to type for longer periods with ease. However, if you prefer a more substantial and assertive typing feel, the Ink Yellow switch is better suited for you. Both switches provide distinct tactile experiences based on the actuation and bottom out forces, ensuring that users can choose the option that aligns with their preferences.

Travel distance

The KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch have the same travel distance of 3.5 mm. This means that both switches will offer a similar experience when pressing down on a key, as you will feel a consistent distance traveled from the top to the bottom. Whether you choose the Ash Gray or the Ink Yellow, you can expect a comfortable and precise typing experience with a consistent travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Ash Gray has an MSRP of $3.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ash Gray for $2.55.

The Gateron Ink Yellow has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Yellow for $7.35.

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, both the KTT Ash Gray and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches are described as having a neutral sound profile. This means that they have a moderate sound profile that is suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced and whether you are using them at home or work. However, it is important to note that the sound of the switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps.

When it comes to feel, both switches are described as offering a gentle resistance during key presses. The Ash Gray switch is easy to press and has a light actuation force, making typing effortless and comfortable. It provides a responsive and low-impact typing feel, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. The Ink Yellow switch also offers a gentle typing experience and falls in the mild category. It provides a safe middle-ground zone in terms of sound and feel. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch is described as having a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Based on the available information, both switches have similar subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. They offer a neutral sound profile and a gentle typing experience. The Ash Gray switch provides a blend of tactile feedback that is not overwhelming, while the Ink Yellow switch showcases a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. Both switches are suitable for most intents and purposes, making them a good choice for both beginners and advanced users. However, it is important to consider other factors such as personal preferences, the keyboard used, and the keycaps chosen, as these can also influence the overall experience. In conclusion, while there may be slight differences in terms of sound and feel, both switches are likely to provide similar results.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a switch with a light touch and a crisp actuation, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch is a great choice. With its medium-light bottom out force of 53 grams, it offers a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not too overwhelming. It is easy to press and provides a low-impact and comfortable typing experience. Additionally, the Ash Gray has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various purposes and environments.

On the other hand, if you prefer a shorter travel and a smooth and clacky typing experience, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the way to go. With a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. The Ink Yellow has a more gentle feel, suitable for most users, and its polished finish ensures reduced friction and smooth key travel. It also produces a crisp and bright sound when pressed, adding a touch of percussiveness to your typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch boils down to your personal preferences. Consider factors such as desired typing feel, actuation force, and sound profile when making your decision. Whether you prioritize a light touch and moderate sound or a smoother feel and clacky sound, both switches offer unique qualities to enhance your typing experience. In the end, it's all about finding the switch that suits your individual needs and preferences the most.

Mentioned in this article