KTT Ash Gray vs. Gazzew U4T

An in-depth look at the KTT Ash Gray and the Gazzew U4T switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

The KTT Ash Gray and the Gazzew U4T are two mechanical keyboard switches that offer unique features and experiences. The Ash Gray switch is designed to provide users with a tactile response that is both substantial and unobtrusive. It offers a light touch and a crisp actuation, resulting in a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not overwhelming. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T switches embody a fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility. These switches produce a bassy 'thock' sound profile and offer an assertive tactile feedback that brings both auditory and tactile satisfaction. While both switches provide a satisfying typing experience, their characteristics differ significantly. The Ash Gray switch is categorized as easy-to-press, mild, and neutral, making it suitable for those who prefer a more gentle and balanced feel. In contrast, the U4T switch is known for its bassy thock sound, as well as its sharp and pronounced tactile feedback, making it ideal for users who enjoy a more tactile and audibly satisfying typing experience. However, let's dive a bit deeper beyond these generalities so that you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

65g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

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

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

18mm spring

Spring

Stainless steel 17.5mm Korean spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Ash Gray and the Gazzew U4T exhibit distinct differences in terms of sound profiles and aesthetic qualities. The Ash Gray utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, which produces a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This stiffer plastic material allows for a more clear and resonant sound, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a switch with RGB lighting. In contrast, the U4T incorporates a proprietary Gazzew blend top housing, often referred to as "boba plastic." This blend delivers a rich and deep sound profile, thanks to its softness. Therefore, while both materials contribute to sound quality, they offer unique characteristics that cater to different preferences.

In terms of bottom housing, the Ash Gray employs nylon, a classic switch housing material known for eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile. The relatively softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, creating a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the U4T features its proprietary Gazzew blend bottom housing, which is also soft and referred to as "boba plastic." Like the top housing, this material contributes to a rich and deep sound profile. Consequently, the bottom housing plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, while the top housing impacts the sound when releasing a key.

While the KTT Ash Gray and the Gazzew U4T differ in their housing materials, they both offer distinct advantages. The choice between polycarbonate and Gazzew blend top housings boils down to personal preference in terms of desired sound profiles. The Ash Gray's polycarbonate top housing provides a sharper and more resonant sound, perfect for those who prioritize clarity and an RGB-lit keyboard. Alternatively, the U4T's Gazzew blend top housing delivers a deep and rich sound profile, appealing to users seeking a softer and more immersive typing experience. In terms of bottom housing, both switches utilize softer materials - nylon for the Ash Gray and the proprietary blend for the U4T - creating a deeper and fuller sound. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on the specific sound qualities and aesthetics that each individual prefers.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, there are notable similarities and differences. In terms of weight, the Ash Gray is the lighter option, with an actuation force of 38 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, both falling within the medium-light range. On the other hand, the U4T's actuation force is not specified, but it has a heavier bottom out force of 62 grams, categorizing it as a medium switch.

The actuation force is crucial as it determines the amount of force needed to trigger a keystroke. Here, we lack information on the U4T's actuation force, but assuming it is similar to the bottom out force, it would provide a medium push feel, comparable to the overall typing experience of the Ash Gray. However, if the U4T has a significantly different actuation force, it could result in a distinguishable typing experience from the Ash Gray.

Considering the bottom out force, which measures the force required to press the key all the way down, the Ash Gray is lighter at 53 grams, while the U4T is heavier with 62 grams. For those who prefer a more substantial typing experience, the U4T's heavier bottom out force may be more suitable, providing a stronger push feel. On the other hand, individuals who prefer lighter switches to reduce finger fatigue during extended typing or gaming sessions may lean towards the Ash Gray.

In conclusion, while the actuation force of the Gazzew U4T remains unknown, the differences in bottom out force indicate that the U4T is heavier than the Ash Gray. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference regarding the desired typing experience and the level of force one is comfortable with.

Travel distance

The KTT Ash Gray tactile switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Gazzew U4T tactile switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of travel distance, the U4T has a longer 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, shorter travel distances have become popular, particularly among gamers who seek faster response times. If you prioritize responsiveness, the Ash Gray switch with its shorter travel distance may be the better choice. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a deeper and more substantial feel when pressing the key may opt for the U4T switch, with its longer travel distance. Ultimately, the preference for travel distance may vary from person to person, with some favoring the shorter distance and others enjoying the greater depth provided by the longer 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 Gazzew U4T comes in at $6.50 per 10 switches.

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 switch is known for its neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound level, making it suitable for most purposes. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T switch offers a bassy and thocky sound profile. The bassy characteristic provides a deeper and richer sound, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Additionally, the U4T switch produces a satisfying thock sound when pressed and released, giving a sense of deep "thud" or soft "knock". It is important to note that the sound produced by the switches can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the KTT Ash Gray switch offers an easy-to-press experience. It requires minimal force to activate, providing a low-impact and effortless typing feel. This feature makes typing comfortable and reduces finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. Additionally, the Ash Gray switch falls into the category of mild tactile switches, providing a gentle typing experience that most users will find approachable. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T switch offers a sharp tactile feedback. Its strong and crisp tactile bump can be distinctly felt with each and every keypress, enhancing the typing experience for those who prefer a more pronounced tactile response.

Considering the available information, the KTT Ash Gray switch and the Gazzew U4T switch offer distinct subjective qualities. The Ash Gray switch provides a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not overwhelming and offers a light touch with crisp actuation. It has a neutral sound profile and is easy-to-press, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. On the other hand, the U4T switch embodies thockiness and sharp tactility, delivering auditory and tactile satisfaction with its bassy sound profile and assertive tactile feedback. While these switches have different characteristics, both can provide a satisfying typing experience depending on individual preferences. If you are looking for a similar typing experience to the Ash Gray but with a deeper sound and more pronounced tactile feedback, the U4T switch might be a suitable alternative.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a medium-light switch with a gentle and effortless typing experience, the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch would be an excellent choice for you. With its light actuation force of 53 grams, it provides a delightful blend of tactile feedback that is not too overwhelming. It offers a crisp actuation and a tactile response that is substantial yet unobtrusive. The Ash Gray switch is easy to press, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions, and it has a mild feel that is approachable to most users.

On the other hand, if you prioritize a deeper and richer sound profile and a high feedback intensity, then the Gazzew U4T tactile switch would be a better fit for you. With a medium bottom out force of 62 grams, the U4T embodies a harmonious fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility. Each keypress provides auditory and tactile satisfaction with its bassy 'thock' sound profile and assertive tactile feedback. The U4T is known for its sharp tactile bump, which can be felt distinctly with each and every keystroke.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Ash Gray and Gazzew U4T switches depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer an easy-to-press, mild switch with a moderate sound profile, the Ash Gray switch is ideal. However, if you prioritize a deeper sound profile and a strong tactile feedback, the U4T switch would be the better option. Consider your typing preferences and the environment in which you'll be using the keyboard to make an informed decision.

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