KTT Ash Gray vs. KTT Mannan Pipefish

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Mannan Pipefish. The Ash Gray switch is known for its tactile response that strikes a perfect balance between being substantial and unobtrusive. It provides a light touch with a crisp actuation, and users can expect a delightful blend of tactile feedback without it being overwhelming or feeling sandy. Categorized as 'Easy-to-press', 'Mild', and 'Neutral', the Ash Gray switch is an excellent choice for those who prefer a gentle yet responsive typing experience. On the other hand, the Mannan Pipefish switch offers an effortless and enjoyable typing experience with its smooth linear action. With a lengthened spring and light 45g actuation and bottom-out force, this switch provides both comfort and precision. Categorized as 'Easy-to-press', 'Neutral', and 'Polished', the Mannan Pipefish switch is ideal for casual typists seeking a strain-free and enjoyable keyboarding journey. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you decide on the best switch for your unique preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

37g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

45g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

18mm spring

Spring

22mm spring

Housing materials

The KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Mannan Pipefish both utilize polycarbonate as the material for their top housings. Polycarbonate is known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile in switches. This is due to its stiffness, which results in a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, polycarbonate's translucency makes it desirable for switches that feature RGB lighting. So, the Ash Gray and Mannan Pipefish will provide similar sound profiles and visual effects when it comes to their top housings.

On the other hand, the bottom housings of both switches are made of nylon. Nylon is a classic switch housing material that offers a different acoustic experience compared to polycarbonate. Typing on switches with nylon bottom housings produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, the Ash Gray and Mannan Pipefish will have similar sound characteristics with regards to their bottom housings.

Considering the distribution of qualities between the top and bottom housings, the impact of pressing down on the switch is more influenced by the bottom housing. The bottom housing plays a significant role in determining the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch. Conversely, the top housing has a greater impact on the sound when a key is released. So while there may be differences between the Ash Gray and Mannan Pipefish in terms of the specific qualities of their top and bottom housings, they will still share similarities in terms of how pressing and releasing keys sound and feel.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch, it is clear that both switches offer relatively light forces. However, there are slight differences between the two. The Ash Gray tactile switch has an actuation force of 38 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, making it slightly heavier than the Mannan Pipefish. Conversely, the Mannan Pipefish has an actuation force of 37 grams and a bottom out force of 45 grams, making it lighter compared to the Ash Gray.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, both switches provide similar results as their actuation forces are very close. This lighter weight is ideal for individuals who need to type for extended periods, such as in a work setting or during long gaming sessions. On the other hand, those who desire a more substantial and pronounced push feel may prefer the heavier forces offered by the Ash Gray switch.

Considering the weight of the switches becomes crucial as it directly impacts the typing experience. Those who value a lightweight keyboard for enhanced endurance and comfort will appreciate the Ash Gray switch, which while slightly heavier than the Mannan Pipefish, still falls within the medium-light range. In contrast, individuals who prefer a more robust and substantial typing experience may find the lighter force of the Mannan Pipefish to be more suitable for their needs.

Ultimately, the decision between the two switches comes down to personal preference and the desired typing experience. Both switches offer unique qualities, and the actuation and bottom out forces play a significant role in determining the overall typing feel and comfort level for users.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch is 3.5 mm, while the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of travel distance, the Mannan Pipefish switch is slightly longer than the Ash Gray switch. The 4.0 mm distance of the Mannan Pipefish is more traditional and provides a deeper feel when pressing down on the key. On the other hand, the 3.5 mm travel distance of the Ash Gray switch is slightly shorter, making it a preferred choice for gamers who prioritize faster response times. However, for those who prefer a more pronounced keystroke and a sense of depth, the longer travel distance of the Mannan Pipefish switch may be more suitable. In summary, while the Ash Gray and Mannan Pipefish switches differ in travel distance, the choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and requirements.

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 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

When it comes to sound, both the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch are described as having a neutral sound profile. This means that they produce a moderate level of sound, making them suitable for various environments such as home or work. 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 chosen.

In terms of feel, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch is described as easy-to-press and offering a mild typing experience. The light actuation force required to activate these switches makes typing effortless and comfortable, reducing finger fatigue during long typing sessions. The tactile feedback provided by these switches is described as substantial yet unobtrusive, striking a good balance between a noticeable tactile response and a smooth key travel.

On the other hand, the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch is also described as easy-to-press, offering a similar low-impact typing experience. The light 45g actuation and bottom-out force of these linear switches provide a comfortable and precise typing experience, making them suitable for casual typists. Additionally, these switches are described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience, with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

To conclude, both the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch offer a comfortable and enjoyable typing experience. While the Ash Gray switch provides a tactile feedback that is not overwhelming but still noticeable, the Mannan Pipefish switch offers a smooth and precise typing experience. They both have a neutral sound profile, making them suitable for most users and environments. Whether you prefer a tactile switch with a delicate balance of feedback or a linear switch with a polished finish, both options provide excellent choices for a satisfying keyboarding journey.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prioritize a tactile response that is substantial but not overwhelming, along with a light and crisp actuation, then the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch would be the better choice for you. With its medium-light bottom out force of 53 grams, it provides a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is noticeable but not distracting. Additionally, the Ash Gray switch offers an easy-to-press feel, requiring minimal force for activation, making typing effortless and reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. Moreover, the Ash Gray switch is described as having a neutral sound profile, suitable for various environments and users.

On the other hand, if you value a smooth and linear typing experience, the KTT Mannan Pipefish linear switch is the ideal option. With its light 45-gram bottom out force, it provides effortless and enjoyable typing. The Mannan Pipefish switch's longer spring and light actuation force offer a comfortable and precise typing journey, perfect for casual typists seeking strain-free keyboarding. Furthermore, the Mannan Pipefish switch is also described as having a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user.

Ultimately, your decision between the KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Mannan Pipefish depends on your preferences for tactility and typing experience. Consider whether you prefer a medium-light and tactile switch or a light and linear switch. Evaluating these factors will help guide you towards the switch that best suits your typing style and enhances your overall keyboarding experience.

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