Kailh Berry vs. SP-Star Polaris Gray

An in-depth look at the Kailh Berry and the SP-Star Polaris Gray switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the Kailh Berry, a linear switch, and the SP-Star Polaris Gray, also a linear switch. The Berry switch is known for its hefty typing experience, providing a springy feel and a chalk-like texture during typing. Its sound profile is fairly deep, creating a satisfying auditory experience for users. On the other hand, the Polaris Gray switch offers a bouncy typing experience and a clean, clacky sound profile. This switch is perfect for those who prefer a lighter touch when typing. Both switches have their unique qualities and benefits, making them suitable for different preferences and needs. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so that you can best decide on the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.70 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

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

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold plated

Housing materials

Both the Kailh Berry and the SP-Star Polaris Gray utilize polycarbonate in their top housings, providing a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, resulting in a clearer and more resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting, as it allows the light to shine through effectively. Therefore, the sound and aesthetic aspects of these two switches' top housings are quite similar, providing a consistent experience.

However, the bottom housings of the Berry and the Polaris Gray differ. The Berry utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the Polaris Gray uses a polycarbonate one. Typing on switches with nylon bottom housings elicits 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. On the other hand, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Polaris Gray contributes to its sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile, similar to its top housing. Therefore, when pressing down on these switches, the bottom-out sound and feel will be influenced by the qualities of their respective bottom housings.

In terms of the release sound, the top housing of both the Berry and the Polaris Gray will have a greater impact. As you let go of a key, the properties of polycarbonate in the top housing will contribute to the sound produced. The stiffer nature of polycarbonate creates a more clear and resonant sound, ensuring a satisfying auditory experience when releasing a key. Overall, while the materials used in the bottom housing differ between the Berry and the Polaris Gray, the top housing plays a crucial role in the sound output and is similar in both switches.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Berry linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch, it is important to note that the exact actuation forces are unavailable for both switches. However, we can still analyze their characteristics based on the information provided.

In terms of bottom out force, the Kailh Berry switch has a slightly higher force of 70 grams, categorizing it as medium-heavy. On the other hand, the SP-Star Polaris Gray switch has a bottom out force of 67 grams, which is also considered medium-heavy. Therefore, both switches offer a similar level of resistance when fully pressed.

When it comes to actuation force, the specific values are not provided for either switch. However, it is worth mentioning that the actuation force refers to the force required to trigger a keystroke. While we do not have the exact values, it is safe to assume that the actuation forces of both switches are either similar or within a comparable range. This means that users can expect a similar level of sensitivity and responsiveness from both the Kailh Berry and the SP-Star Polaris Gray switches.

Considering the weight of the switches, it is important to note that some individuals prefer lighter switches for extended typing or gaming sessions, as it reduces the strain on their fingers. However, others might opt for heavier switches to achieve a more substantial typing experience. Unfortunately, the exact weight of each switch is not provided, so it is difficult to determine which one is lighter or heavier. However, based on the available information, users can expect a satisfactory level of weight from both the Kailh Berry and the SP-Star Polaris Gray switches.

In conclusion, while the specific actuation forces remain unknown, the Kailh Berry and SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switches offer similar bottom out forces, categorized as medium-heavy. This ensures a comparable level of resistance when fully pressed. Additionally, although the exact weights are not provided, users can expect a satisfying weight from both switches. Ultimately, individuals should consider their personal preferences and typing requirements when choosing between these two switches.

Travel distance

The travel distances of the Kailh Berry linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch are different. The Berry has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Polaris Gray has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of comparison, the Berry has a shorter travel distance compared to the Polaris Gray. The Berry's travel distance of 3.6 mm falls on the shorter end of the spectrum, making it a preferred choice for gamers who prioritize faster response times. On the other hand, the Polaris Gray's travel distance of 4 mm is closer to the traditional 4.0 mm range, offering a bit more depth to key presses. The choice between the two switches ultimately depends on personal preference. If you prefer a more responsive feel, the shorter travel distance of the Berry is the way to go. However, if you prefer a slightly deeper and more substantial keystroke, the Polaris Gray with its longer travel distance may be the better option.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Polaris Gray has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Polaris Gray for $5.00.

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

The Kailh Berry linear switch is known for providing a hefty typing experience with a springy feel. When typing on these switches, there is a chalk-like texture that adds a unique sensation. The sound profile of the Berry switch is described as fairly deep, featuring a low-pitched and bassy tone. This results in a more mellow and rich sound during key presses.

On the other hand, the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch offers a bouncy typing experience. The feel of these switches is described as mild, providing a more gentle and approachable typing experience. The Polaris Gray switch is also polished, which means it has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. In terms of sound, the Polaris Gray switch has a clean and clacky sound profile, with a low-pitched, neutral, and thocky tone.

By comparing the two switches, the Berry switch provides a springy and chalk-like feel, while the Polaris Gray switch offers a bouncy and polished feel. Both switches have low-pitched sound profiles, but the Berry switch is bassy, while the Polaris Gray switch is neutral and thocky.

Overall, the choice between the Kailh Berry linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch would depend on personal preferences. If you prefer a typing experience with a springy and chalk-like feel, accompanied by a deep and bassy sound, the Berry switch would be a good choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a bouncy and polished feel, coupled with a clean and clacky sound, the Polaris Gray switch would be a suitable option. It's important to consider how these switches will interact with your choice of keyboard and keycaps as well, as these factors can also influence the overall typing experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a linear switch with a hefty typing experience and a springy type feel, the Kailh Berry linear switch would be a great choice. These switches have a bottom out force of 70 grams, providing a medium-heavy feel. They also have a chalk-like texture when typing on them, which some users may find appealing. In terms of sound, the Berry switches offer a low-pitched and bassy profile, making them ideal for those who enjoy a deeper and richer sound during key presses. However, if you prefer a bouncy typing experience, the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch would be a better fit. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, these switches provide a similar medium-heavy feel. They have a clean and clacky sound profile, which can be quite satisfying. The Polaris Gray switches also have a neutral characteristic, making them suitable for various purposes and users. Additionally, if you prefer a more gentle and polished typing experience, the Polaris Gray switches offer a mild feel and a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between the Kailh Berry linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch depends on your preference for typing experience, sound profile, and feel.

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