KTT Ash Gray vs. KTT Pine

An in-depth look at the KTT Ash Gray and the KTT Pine 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 Pine. The Ash Gray is a tactile switch designed to provide a satisfying yet unobtrusive tactile response. With a light touch and crisp actuation, this switch offers a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not overwhelming and avoids the "sandy" sensation. On the other hand, the Pine is a linear switch known for its medium-heavy weight and buttery smooth feel. These switches are built for an effortless typing experience and minimize friction with their polished, factory-lubed finish. The Pine switches have a bassy, creamy, and low-pitched sound profile. Overall, the Ash Gray offers an easy-to-press and mild experience, while the Pine provides a buttery smooth feel and a low-pitched sound. However, to make the best choice for your needs, it is worth delving deeper into the specifics of each switch.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

58g

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

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

18mm spring

Spring

15.5mm gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The KTT Ash Gray and KTT Pine switches both feature polycarbonate top housings, which results in a similar sound profile for both switches. The use of polycarbonate creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound, making it ideal for users who prefer a more clear and resonant typing experience. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate allows for vibrant RGB lighting effects. Therefore, whether you choose the Ash Gray or Pine, you can expect comparable sound quality and visual aesthetics when it comes to the top housing of the switch.

However, where the Ash Gray and Pine switches differ is in their bottom housings. The Ash Gray utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the Pine utilizes a polycarbonate bottom housing. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This brings a duller and rounder sound when typing on switches with nylon bottom housings. On the other hand, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Pine switch contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound – qualities that are more pronounced in the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch.

When pressing down on either the Ash Gray or Pine switch, you will feel the impact of the bottom housing, as it has a significant influence on the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, upon releasing a key, the sound profile will be influenced more by the top housing. This distinction in the housing materials of the Ash Gray and Pine switches provides users with options to tailor their typing experience to their preferences.

Weight

When comparing the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch, there are some similarities and differences in terms of their actuation force and bottom out force. The Ash Gray has an actuation force of 38 grams, while the Pine has an actuation force of 45 grams, making the Pine slightly heavier in this aspect. However, when it comes to the bottom out force, the Ash Gray requires 53 grams of force, while the Pine requires 58 grams, indicating that the Pine is also heavier in terms of bottoming out. Therefore, if one prefers a lighter feel while typing or gaming, the Ash Gray would be a suitable choice as it has a slightly lower actuation and bottom out force. On the other hand, if someone prefers a more substantial typing experience and enjoys a stronger push feeling, they might lean towards the Pine switch due to its slightly higher actuation and bottom out force. Ultimately, both switches offer a medium level of actuation force and bottom out force, providing a balanced experience for users who prefer a moderate amount of resistance.

Travel distance

The KTT Ash Gray tactile switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the KTT Pine linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that the Pine switch has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the Ash Gray switch. A travel distance of 4.0mm is considered to be the most traditional, while a distance of 3.0mm is the most shallow. However, in recent times, shorter travel distances have become more popular, especially among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you are looking for a more responsive typing experience, opting for the Ash Gray switch with its shorter travel distance would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, some individuals may find short travel distances to feel too abrupt. If you prefer a more substantial key press and a sense of depth, then the Pine switch with its longer travel distance would better suit your preferences. In summary, while both switches offer a tactile typing experience, the Ash Gray switch provides a shorter travel distance, ideal for quick and responsive typing, while the Pine switch offers a slightly longer travel distance for those who prefer a more substantial and deliberate keystroke.

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 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 KTT Ash Gray tactile switch is known for delivering a tactile response that is both substantial and unobtrusive. It offers a light touch with a crisp actuation, providing a delightful blend of tactile feedback on your fingertips. The sensation is not overwhelming, but far from the unnoticed "sandy" feeling. In terms of sound, the Ash Gray switch is described as neutral, offering a moderate sound profile suitable for most intents and purposes. It provides a moderate actuation force requirement, making it appropriate for both beginners and advanced users, whether used at home or work.

On the other hand, the KTT Pine linear switch is a translucent, forest green switch that is medium-heavy and known for its buttery smooth feel. Designed for an effortless typing experience, these switches are factory-lubed to minimize friction and ensure smooth key travel. In terms of sound, the Pine switch is described as bassy and low-pitched. It offers a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. The low-pitched characteristics of the switch contribute to a more bass-heavy and mellow tone.

In conclusion, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the KTT Pine linear switch offer distinct qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ash Gray switch provides a neutral sound profile and gentle resistance during key presses, offering a light and effortless typing experience. On the other hand, the Pine switch delivers a bassy sound profile and a smooth, buttery typing sensation. While they differ in these subjective qualities, it is important to note that the final sound and feel experienced are also influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Therefore, both switches can provide satisfying results depending on the user's preferences.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prioritize a tactile response that is light and crisp, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch would be a great choice. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, it provides a substantial yet unobtrusive tactile feedback that is not too overwhelming. Additionally, the Ash Gray switch offers an easy-to-press feel, requiring minimal force to activate, making typing effortless and comfortable. In terms of sound, the Ash Gray switch is described as neutral, suitable for both beginners and advanced users, with a moderate sound profile that works well in various settings, whether at home or work.

On the other hand, if you prefer a buttery smooth and effortless typing experience, the KTT Pine linear switch would be ideal. With a bottom out force of 58 grams, it offers a medium actuation force. The Pine switch is known for its polished, factory-lubed finish, minimizing friction and providing smooth key travel. In terms of sound, the Pine switch offers a bassy and low-pitched sound profile, characterized by a deeper and richer tone resembling bass tones.

Ultimately, the decision between the Ash Gray tactile switch and the Pine linear switch depends on your personal preferences. If you value gentle tactile feedback and an easy-to-press feel, the Ash Gray switch would be a great fit. However, if you prioritize a smooth and effortless typing experience with a deeper sound profile, the Pine switch would be the better choice. Assess your typing style and preferences to make an informed decision.

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