Kailh Box Navy vs. KTT Pine

An in-depth look at the Kailh Box Navy and the KTT Pine switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

If you are a fan of the vintage buckling keyboards of the 80s and crave a heavy typing experience, then the Kailh Box Navy switches are the perfect fit for you. These clicky switches not only offer a satisfying sound signature but also provide a tactile feedback that adds to the overall typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a smooth and effortless typing experience, the KTT Pine linear switches may be more your style. These medium-heavy switches feature a buttery smooth feel and are built to minimize friction with their polished, factory-lubed finish. While the Box Navy switches offer a clicky, tactile feel, the Pine switches focus more on providing a smooth and low-pitched typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

90g

Bottom-out force

58g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Box

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

Kailh Box spring

Spring

15.5mm gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The Kailh Box Navy and the KTT Pine both feature polycarbonate top housings, which means that they share certain characteristics in terms of sound and aesthetic appeal. Polycarbonate, being a relatively stiff plastic, creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile when typing. This makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a more clear and resonant sound when using mechanical keyboards. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for compatibility with RGB lighting, adding a visually pleasing element to the switch. Therefore, both switches offer similar results when it comes to sound and visual customization.

Where the two switches differ is in their bottom housings. The Box Navy utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the Pine utilizes a polycarbonate bottom housing. This variation in materials affects the typing experience and sound produced by the switches. The nylon bottom housing of the Box Navy contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile, as nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. As a result, typing on the Box Navy will have a slightly duller and rounder sound compared to the Pine.

With regards to the overall feel of the switches, the bottom housing plays a more significant role when pressed down, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. In the case of the Box Navy, the nylon bottom housing contributes to a more cushioned and softer feel when bottoming out a key. Conversely, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Pine may provide a slightly firmer bottom-out sensation. On the other hand, the top housing has a greater impact on the sound when releasing a key, adding to the overall sonic experience. However, both switches still offer a satisfying typing experience, albeit with subtle differences influenced by their respective housing materials.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the KTT Pine linear switch, we can see some notable differences. The Box Navy has a heavier actuation force of 60 grams, requiring a stronger push to trigger a keystroke. In contrast, the Pine has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams, making it easier to activate. Similarly, the Box Navy has a heavier bottom out force of 90 grams, providing a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel. The Pine, on the other hand, has a lighter bottom out force of 58 grams, providing a more moderate resistance when fully pressed.

Considering weight, some users may prefer the lighter actuation and bottom out forces of the Pine switch, as it allows for longer typing sessions without causing fatigue. This makes it an ideal choice for work or extended gaming sessions. However, those who prefer a more robust typing experience may gravitate towards the heavier forces of the Box Navy switch. The heavier actuation and bottom out forces provide a greater sense of feedback and may be favored by users seeking a more substantial tactile response. Despite their differences, both switches offer unique characteristics that cater to individual preferences.

Travel distance

The Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the KTT Pine linear switch have different travel distances. The Box Navy has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Pine has a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that the Pine has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the Box Navy.

In terms of preference, shorter travel distances are often favored by gamers who prioritize faster response times. The shorter travel distance allows for quicker key presses, which can be advantageous in competitive gaming situations. On the other hand, some individuals may find shorter travel distances to feel abrupt or lacking in depth. For those who prefer a more substantial and satisfying keystroke, the longer travel distance of the Pine switch may be more suitable.

Overall, the choice between the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the KTT Pine linear switch depends on personal preference and specific needs. If speed and responsiveness are important factors, the shorter travel distance of the Box Navy may be desirable. However, if a deeper and more satisfying keystroke is preferred, the Pine with its slightly longer travel distance may be the better option.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

The Kailh Box Navy comes in at $5.50 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

When it comes to sound, the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch offers a resonant and crunchy experience. Typing on these switches produces a higher-pitched sound with a clean and sharp profile. The clicky nature of the switch resembles stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. On the other hand, the KTT Pine linear switch provides a bassy and low-pitched sound. The key presses create a deeper and richer tone with a lower frequency range, reminiscent of the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Both switches offer distinctive sound profiles that can enhance the typing experience. Depending on the choice of keyboard and keycaps, these qualities may be further influenced, but overall, the Box Navy offers a higher-pitched and resonant sound, while the Pine produces a lower-pitched and bassy sound.

In terms of feel, the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch provides a sharp, invigorating, and stiff tactile experience. The strong and crisp tactile bump of these switches delivers a high feedback intensity, creating a prominent sensation with each keypress. This switch requires a higher amount of force to actuate and bottom-out, which can be an important factor for typists who prefer a more rigid typing feel. On the other hand, the KTT Pine linear switch offers a buttery and creamy typing experience. These switches are designed to minimize friction, resulting in a smooth and fluid keystroke. The typing sensation is effortless, uniform, and akin to gliding your fingers across the keys with ease. Both switches offer distinct tactile experiences, with the Box Navy being sharper and more reactive, while the Pine provides a smoother and more effortless keystroke.

In conclusion, the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the KTT Pine linear switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Box Navy provides a resonant and crunchy sound with a sharp and invigorating tactile feel. It is ideal for those seeking a heavy typing experience reminiscent of vintage buckling keyboards. On the other hand, the Pine switch offers a bassy and low-pitched sound with a buttery and creamy typing experience. It is suitable for individuals who prefer a smooth and effortless keystroke. While they differ in various aspects, both switches can enhance the typing experience depending on personal preferences. If you enjoy the resonant and crunchy sound with a sharp tactile feel, the Box Navy will be a great choice. Conversely, if you prefer a bassy and low-pitched sound with a buttery and creamy typing experience, the Pine switch will provide similar results.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are seeking a heavy typing experience and love the sound and tactility of a clicky switch, then the Kailh Box Navy switches are a perfect fit for you. Their heftiness and sound signature reminiscent of vintage buckling keyboards will provide you with a satisfying typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-bottom-out force and want a smooth and effortless typing experience, then the KTT Pine linear switches are a great choice. With their polished, factory-lubed finish, these switches minimize friction and offer a buttery and creamy typing sensation. When it comes to sound, the Box Navy switches offer a resonant and crunchy profile, while the Pine switches provide a bassy and low-pitched sound experience. Lastly, in terms of feel, the Box Navy switches deliver a sharp, invigorating, and stiff feedback, while the Pine switches offer a buttery and creamy keystroke experience. Overall, both switches cater to specific preferences and requirements, so it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences for heaviness, sound, and feel.

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