Kailh Berry vs. Gateron Ink Yellow

An in-depth look at the Kailh Berry and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that offer distinctive typing experiences are the Kailh Berry and the Gateron Ink Yellow. The Berry switches are known for their hefty typing experience, providing a springy feel and a chalk-like texture when typing. The sound profile of the Berry switches is deep, offering a satisfying auditory experience. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switches are characterized by a shorter travel, making them ideal for those who want a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. These switches offer a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, enhancing the overall typing experience. While these general characteristics may help you narrow down your choice, 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

N/A

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.70 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Kailh Berry and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches offer distinct differences in sound profiles. The Berry's polycarbonate top housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. This is due to polycarbonate's relatively stiffer nature, allowing for a clear and resonant sound. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend top housing produces a pointed, high-pitched sound that is not overly sharp. This thinner and clacky sound is often satisfying to users. While both top housings have unique characteristics, they both contribute to creating a distinct sound experience.

When it comes to bottom housings, the Berry utilizes a nylon material, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a duller and rounder sound. Similarly, the Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend bottom housing contributes to its high-pitched and clacky sound. Despite differences in materials, both bottom housings offer satisfying and distinctive sound profiles that can enhance typing experiences.

In terms of overall usage and feel, it is important to consider the impact of both top and bottom housings. The bottom housing of a switch has more influence on the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on a key. In contrast, the top housing has a significant impact on the sound when releasing a key. While the Berry and the Ink Yellow have different housing materials for their top and bottom parts, they both provide unique combinations that result in satisfying typing experiences. Whether it be the sharp and crisp sound of the Berry or the clacky and pointed sound of the Ink Yellow, both switches offer their own distinct characteristics.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Berry linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there are a few notable differences. The actuation force of the Berry switch is unavailable in grams, while the Ink Yellow requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. In terms of bottom out force, the Berry switch weighs in at 70 grams, slightly heavier than the 67 grams required for the Ink Yellow.

The difference in actuation force between the two switches suggests that the Ink Yellow may provide a slightly lighter typing experience. This can be beneficial for users who prefer a keyboard that is easier to type on for extended periods, such as during work or long gaming sessions. On the other hand, the heavier actuation force of the Berry switch may appeal to those seeking a more substantial typing feel.

In terms of bottom out force, both switches fall within the medium-heavy range, with the Berry switch being slightly heavier. This means that users of either switch can expect a satisfying response when fully pressing down on the keys.

Overall, the choice between the Kailh Berry linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch hinges on personal preference. Those who prefer a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Ink Yellow, while individuals seeking a stronger push feel may opt for the Berry. Regardless of the choice, both switches provide substantial results, ensuring a rewarding typing experience.

Travel distance

The Kailh Berry linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch have slightly different travel distances. The Berry has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Ink Yellow has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. Both switches offer a shorter travel distance compared to the traditional 4.0 mm, making them suitable for those looking for quicker response times. Gamers, in particular, may prefer the shorter travel distance for faster reactions. However, for individuals who prefer a deeper and more substantial feel, the switch with the longer travel distance may be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches will depend on personal preference for either a shorter and more responsive experience or a longer and more satisfying key press.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Yellow has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Yellow for $7.35.

The Kailh Berry comes in at $6.25 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

When it comes to sound, the Kailh Berry linear switch offers a low-pitched and bassy sound profile. This means that the sound produced during key presses is deep, rich, and resonant. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has a more neutral sound profile with a hint of clackiness. The sound produced by the Ink Yellow switch is moderate and crisp, creating a sharp and percussive sound when pressed. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Kailh Berry linear switch provides a textured typing experience. This means that there is noticeable friction when pressing the keys, giving them a slightly scratchy feel. This texture can be preferred by some users, while others may prefer a smoother and friction-free typing experience. In contrast, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch offers a mild and polished feel. This means that the typing experience with these switches is gentle and approachable, with reduced friction and smooth key travel. This polished feel can be achieved through the use of specific materials or factory lubrication.

In conclusion, the Kailh Berry and Gateron Ink Yellow linear switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Berry switch provides a low-pitched and bassy sound profile, along with a textured feel. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch has a neutral sound profile with a hint of clackiness, and a mild and polished feel. If you are looking for a deeper and richer sound with a textured feel, the Kailh Berry switch would be a suitable option. However, if you prefer a moderate sound and a smoother typing experience, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch would be a better choice. Keep in mind that personal preferences may vary, and it is also important to consider other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used to achieve the desired sound and feel.

Conclusion

To conclude, if you prefer a typing experience with a hefty and springy feel, along with a fairly deep sound profile, the Kailh Berry linear switch would be the ideal choice for you. Its medium-heavy bottom out force of 70 grams ensures a satisfying key press. On the other hand, if you desire a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, with a shorter travel and a pleasant smoothness, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the way to go. It offers a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams and showcases a clacky sound profile. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on your personal preferences regarding typing feel and sound.

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