KTT Ash Gray vs. KTT Laurel

An in-depth look at the KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Laurel switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Laurel. The Ash Gray switch is a tactile switch, designed to provide a substantial yet unobtrusive tactile response. It offers a light touch with a crisp actuation, delivering a delightful blend of tactile feedback without being overwhelming. On the other hand, the Laurel switch is a linear switch, known for its medium-light feel. It strikes the perfect balance of responsiveness and comfort with its full POM housing, short travel, and long pole design. Additionally, the Laurel switch offers a subtly low-pitched sound profile. Both switches have their unique features, making them great choices for different preferences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

43g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

50g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

POM

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

18mm spring

Spring

22m spring

Housing materials

The KTT Ash Gray and KTT Laurel differ in the materials used for both their top and bottom housings. The Ash Gray utilizes polycarbonate for its top housing, while the Laurel incorporates POM. Polycarbonate creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a more clear and resonant sound. On the other hand, the POM top housing of the Laurel produces a unique sound profile that is deeper and relatively more muted. While both materials offer distinct sound characteristics, it ultimately depends on personal preference whether one prefers the sharper sound of polycarbonate or the deeper sound of POM.

In terms of their bottom housings, the Ash Gray features a nylon bottom housing, while the Laurel utilizes POM. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is in contrast to the POM bottom housing of the Laurel, which also contributes to a deep and muted sound. However, it's worth noting that the bottom housing has a more significant impact on the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch when pressed down, while the top housing influences the sound when letting go of a key. Therefore, the choice between the Ash Gray's nylon bottom housing and the Laurel's POM bottom housing comes down to personal preference and the desired typing experience.

When comparing the overall housing materials of the two switches, it becomes evident that they offer different sound profiles due to the use of distinct materials for their top and bottom housings. The Ash Gray, with its polycarbonate top housing and nylon bottom housing, provides a combination of sharp and clear sound when pressing down on a key, enhanced by the deeper and fuller sound upon bottoming out. Conversely, the Laurel's POM top and bottom housings deliver a unique sound experience characterized by deep and muted tones. Despite these differences, both switches offer pleasing sound profiles, generated by the materials chosen for their housings.

Weight

When comparing the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Laurel linear switch, there are noticeable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Ash Gray tactile switch has an actuation force of 38 grams, which is slightly lighter than the Laurel's actuation force of 43 grams. This means that the Ash Gray requires less force to trigger a keystroke compared to the Laurel. Additionally, the Ash Gray has a bottom out force of 53 grams, while the Laurel has a bottom out force of 50 grams. This indicates that the Ash Gray provides a slightly more substantial typing experience when fully pressed down, as it requires a greater force to bottom out.

In terms of weight, the Ash Gray can be considered medium-light, while the Laurel is considered light. Those who prefer a lighter typing experience may find the Laurel more suitable, as it requires less force for both actuation and bottom out. This lighter weight can be beneficial for longer typing sessions or extended gaming periods, as it reduces the strain on the fingers and allows for smoother and more effortless keystrokes. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience may opt for the Ash Gray, as it requires slightly more force for both actuation and bottom out. This heavier weight can provide a satisfying tactile feedback and a more precise typing response.

Overall, while the actuation and bottom out forces differ between the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Laurel linear switch, both switches offer their own advantages and can cater to different preferences. By selecting the appropriate switch based on desired weight and typing experience, users can achieve similar results in terms of comfort and efficiency.

Travel distance

The KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Laurel linear switch have the same travel distance of 3.5 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will feel the key travel a distance of 3.5 mm from the top to the bottom. Therefore, both switches will provide similar results in terms of the distance you feel when pressing down on a key.

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 KTT Laurel has an MSRP of $4.42 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Laurel for $3.95.

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 KTT Ash Gray tactile switch is known for its neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate sound profile that is suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user and whether you are using the switch at home or work. On the other hand, the KTT Laurel linear switch has a subtly low-pitched sound profile. This means that it has a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Remember that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Overall, both switches offer different sound profiles, with the Ash Gray being more neutral and the Laurel having a low-pitched sound.

In terms of feel, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch is described as easy-to-press. This means that it offers gentle resistance during key presses and requires minimal force to activate. The light actuation force of the Ash Gray switch makes typing effortless and comfortable, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. It provides a responsive and low-impact typing feel that enhances the overall typing experience. Additionally, the Ash Gray switch is also described as mild, offering a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. This makes the switch approachable to most users, as its qualities fall in a safe middle-ground zone. On the other hand, the KTT Laurel linear switch is described as snappy. This means that it is super responsive and gives a more alive typing experience, often due to longer or dual-staged springs. Overall, the Ash Gray provides an easy-to-press and mild typing feel, while the Laurel offers a snappier typing experience.

In conclusion, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Laurel linear switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ash Gray provides a neutral sound profile with easy-to-press and mild tactile feedback, offering a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not too overwhelming. It also has a light touch and crisp actuation. On the other hand, the Laurel has a subtly low-pitched sound profile and offers a snappier typing experience with its full POM housing, short travel, and long pole design. Both switches have their advantages and can provide a satisfying typing experience depending on personal preferences. However, if you prefer a similar sound or feel between the two switches, you may expect to get a neutral sound profile and an easy-to-press typing feel with both switches.

Conclusion

In closing, if you are looking for a switch that offers a tactile response that is noticeable but not overwhelming, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch would be the ideal choice for you. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, it provides a medium-light touch that combines a light actuation with a crisp response. The Ash Gray switch offers a delightful blend of tactile feedback on your fingertips without the sandy sensation. Additionally, the Ash Gray switch has an easy-to-press feel, requiring minimal force to activate, making typing effortless and comfortable, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. Its mild characteristics ensure that the sound and feel are approachable to most users.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a low-pitched sound profile, the KTT Laurel linear switch would be more suitable for you. With a bottom out force of 50 grams, it offers a light touch and strikes the perfect balance between responsiveness and comfort. The Laurel switch features a subtly low-pitched sound, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Moreover, the Laurel switch is known for its snappy feel, thanks to its super responsive nature. The longer or dual-staged springs in the Laurel switch make the typing experience feel more alive.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Laurel linear switch depends on your preferences. If you prioritize a tactile response that is easy on the fingers and offers a mild typing experience, the Ash Gray switch would be the way to go. On the other hand, if you enjoy a low-pitched sound profile and a snappy typing feel, the Laurel switch would be more suitable for you. Consider your preferred typing experience and the sound profile that appeals to you the most when making your decision.

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