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KTT Ash Grayvs. KTT Phalaenopsis

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Phalaenopsis stand out as two exceptional options for those seeking a tactile typing experience. The Ash Gray switch is designed to provide a tactile response that is substantial yet unobtrusive, striking a perfect balance between a light touch and a crisp actuation. With its delightful blend of tactile feedback, this switch offers a satisfying typing experience without overwhelming the user. On the other hand, the Phalaenopsis switch features a beautiful translucent design and a light actuation force of 37g, allowing for effortless typing and minimizing finger fatigue during prolonged typing sessions. The 50g tactile force of the Phalaenopsis switch also ensures a discernible bump with each keystroke, making every typing experience delightful. While the Ash Gray is categorized as easy-to-press, mild, and neutral, the Phalaenopsis offers a bassy, stepped, and thocky tactile experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best decision when choosing between these two exceptional switches.

By the numbers

Ash Gray
Phalaenopsis
BrandKTT
CategoryTactile
BrandKTT
CategoryTactile

$3.00

$2.55 per 10 switches

$4.73

$4.15 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

37g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

50g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

18mm spring

Spring

22mm gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Phalaenopsis both feature polycarbonate top housings, which create a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The use of polycarbonate in these housings, due to its relatively stiffer nature, enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound produced. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it particularly beneficial for switches with RGB lighting, as it allows for the light to shine through and create visually appealing effects. Therefore, both the Ash Gray and the Phalaenopsis offer similar results when it comes to sound profile and compatibility with RGB lighting.

However, the materials used for the bottom housings of the Ash Gray and the Phalaenopsis differ. The Ash Gray employs nylon in its bottom housing, which results in a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. The softness of nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Phalaenopsis incorporates a polycarbonate bottom housing, which contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Being stiffer than nylon, polycarbonate enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound produced. Therefore, while both switches have similar top housings, the choice of bottom housing material affects the overall sound experience.

When pressing down on either the Ash Gray or the Phalaenopsis, the qualities of the bottom housing material are felt more prominently. The bottom housing plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch. On the other hand, the top housing material has a greater impact on the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, the differences in bottom housing material between the Ash Gray and the Phalaenopsis would influence the typing experience and the resulting sound profile to some extent. However, due to their shared polycarbonate top housing, there will still be similarities in terms of the crispness and clarity of the sound produced.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch, there are some similarities and differences to note. In terms of actuation force, the Ash Gray requires 38 grams to trigger a keystroke, while the Phalaenopsis requires 37 grams. Both switches have relatively light actuation forces, making them suitable for those who prefer a lighter typing experience.

Moving on to the bottom out force, the Ash Gray requires 53 grams to fully press down the key, while the Phalaenopsis requires 50 grams. This means that the Ash Gray has a slightly heavier bottom out force compared to the Phalaenopsis. Those who prefer a more substantial typing experience would appreciate the slightly heavier bottom out force of the Ash Gray.

Considering the weight aspect, some individuals prefer a lighter switch as it allows them to type for extended periods without experiencing fatigue. This would make the Ash Gray a suitable choice for those seeking longer typing sessions. On the other hand, others prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. In this case, the Phalaenopsis with its lighter actuation and bottom out forces would be preferred.

Overall, while the actuation and bottom out forces of the KTT Ash Gray and Phalaenopsis tactile switches differ slightly, they both offer a relatively light typing experience. Depending on personal preference, one may choose the Ash Gray for a slightly heavier bottom out force or the Phalaenopsis for a lighter overall feel. Regardless of the choice, both switches provide a comfortable typing experience for their respective preferences.

Travel distance

The KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch have different travel distances. The Ash Gray has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, which is shorter than the Phalaenopsis's travel distance of 4 mm. 4.0 mm is considered the most traditional travel distance, while 3.0 mm is the most shallow. However, shorter travel distances are becoming increasingly popular, especially among gamers who value faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive feel, the Ash Gray with its 3.5 mm travel distance would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a deeper and more substantial feel when pressing down on a key, the Phalaenopsis with its 4 mm travel distance would be the better option. Both switches offer different experiences, catering to different preferences.

Sound tests

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 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.

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Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the KTT Ash Gray switch is known for its neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound, making it suitable for most purposes. It doesn't have any specific characteristics that stand out, allowing it to be versatile for both beginners and advanced users, as well as for use at home or work. On the other hand, the KTT Phalaenopsis switch offers a bassy sound profile. This means that it produces a deeper and richer sound during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Additionally, it is also described as thocky, which refers to a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when the key is pressed and released. Overall, the Phalaenopsis switch provides a more distinct and immersive sound experience compared to the Ash Gray switch.

In terms of feel, the KTT Ash Gray switch is known for being easy-to-press. It offers gentle resistance during key presses, requiring minimal force to activate. This light actuation force makes typing effortless and comfortable, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. It enhances the typing experience by offering a responsive and low-impact feel. The Ash Gray switch is also described as mild, meaning that it provides a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. It offers qualities that stand in a safe, middle-ground zone, ensuring that it will be approachable and comfortable for most users. On the other hand, the KTT Phalaenopsis switch is described as stepped. This means that it has a two-stage feel, allowing users to feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel during the keystroke. The stepped feel adds a bit of complexity to the typing experience, providing a different tactile sensation compared to the Ash Gray switch.

Taking all the available information into consideration, the KTT Ash Gray and Phalaenopsis switches offer different subjective qualities. The Ash Gray switch provides a moderate, versatile sound and an easy-to-press, gentle typing feel. It is suitable for various purposes and provides a comfortable and effortless typing experience. On the other hand, the Phalaenopsis switch offers a deeper and richer sound with a bassy and thocky profile. It also provides a stepped feel, adding complexity and a different tactile experience. Both switches have their unique characteristics and cater to different preferences. If you are looking for a similar sound and feel to the Ash Gray switch but want a distinct and immersive typing experience, the Phalaenopsis switch would be a suitable choice. However, if you prefer a more neutral and versatile option, the Ash Gray switch will provide similar results. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on individual preferences and desired typing experience.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a tactile switch with a medium-light bottom out force, the KTT Ash Gray switch is a great choice. It offers a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not too overwhelming but still noticeable. With a light touch and crisp actuation, it provides a substantial tactile response. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter bottom-out force, the KTT Phalaenopsis switch with its 50-gram bottom-out force is a suitable option. It offers effortless typing and minimizes finger fatigue, especially during prolonged typing sessions. The discernible tactile bump ensures each keystroke is a delightful experience.

In terms of sound, the Ash Gray switch has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or work. On the other hand, the Phalaenopsis switch offers a bassy and thocky sound profile. It produces a deep and rich sound during key presses, adding a satisfying auditory experience to your typing.

In terms of feel, the Ash Gray switch provides an easy-to-press experience with gentle resistance during key presses. It requires minimal force to activate, making typing effortless and comfortable. The mild characteristics of the switch make it approachable for most users. On the other hand, the Phalaenopsis switch has a stepped feel, meaning it has two stages during the keystroke. This adds a subtle pre-travel or post-travel sensation to the typing experience.

Ultimately, selecting between the KTT Ash Gray and KTT Phalaenopsis switches will depend on your personal preferences. If you prefer a medium-light switch with a neutral sound profile and easy-to-press feel, the Ash Gray switch is a great choice. However, if you prefer a lighter switch with a bassy sound profile and stepped feel, the Phalaenopsis switch is worth considering.

Mentioned in this article

Ash Gray

Ash Gray

BrandKTT
CategoryTactile

$3.00

$2.55 per 10 switches

Try the Ash Gray switches
Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis

BrandKTT
CategoryTactile

$4.73

$4.15 per 10 switches

Try the Phalaenopsis switches