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Kailh Box Royalvs. KTT Lightning

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Kailh Box Royal and the KTT Lightning offer two distinct experiences. The Box Royal is renowned for its unparalleled tactility, providing a sharp, binary feedback that is ideal for those seeking an aggressive typing experience. Additionally, its higher-pitched sound profile adds to the overall satisfying sensation. On the other hand, the KTT Lightnings are linear switches designed for speed and precision. With a smooth keystroke that feels slick to the touch, these switches are perfect for individuals who prioritize quick reactions and want to minimize the milliseconds that can determine success or failure. The clacky sound profile adds a touch of excitement to each keystroke. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Box Royal
Lightning
BrandKailh
CategoryTactile
BrandKTT
CategoryLinear

$6.25 per 10 switches

$3.41 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

43g

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

50g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

1.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Box

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Kailh Box Royal and the KTT Lightning both feature nylon as their bottom housing material. This means that when typing on either switch, users can expect a deeper and fuller sound profile. The nylon bottom housing absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, the typing experience on both switches will offer similar acoustic qualities, providing a satisfying keypress with a noticeable sound profile.

However, when it comes to the top housing, the two switches differ in material. The Box Royal utilizes a nylon top housing, which contributes to a softer and more muffled sound. The softer plastic absorbs more sound, creating a deeper and fuller tone. On the other hand, the Lightning features a polycarbonate top housing. Polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic, producing a sharper and crisper sound profile. Its clear nature makes it ideal for switches that incorporate RGB lighting, as it allows the light to shine through effectively.

In terms of the overall typing experience, the bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. The qualities of the nylon bottom housing, found in both the Box Royal and the Lightning, contribute to the satisfying depth and fullness of the keystrokes. However, the top housing plays a significant role when it comes to the sound produced upon key release. The muffled sound of the Box Royal's nylon top housing stands in contrast to the sharper and more resonant sound created by the polycarbonate top housing of the Lightning.

In summary, the Box Royal and the Lightning share similarities in their nylon bottom housing, offering a deeper and fuller sound profile. However, the choice of top housing material sets them apart. The Box Royal's nylon top housing creates a softer and more muffled sound, while the Lightning's polycarbonate top housing generates a sharper and crisper tone. Understanding these differences allows users to choose a switch that aligns with their desired sound profile and aesthetic preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch and the KTT Lightning linear switch, there are notable differences to consider. The Box Royal has an actuation force of 45 grams, slightly higher than the Lightning's 43 grams. However, in terms of bottom out force, the Box Royal requires a heavier 70 grams compared to the Lightning's 50 grams. This indicates that the Box Royal offers a more substantial typing experience, requiring a stronger push for both actuation and bottoming out. On the other hand, the Lightning switch provides a lighter and smoother typing experience with its lower actuation and bottom out forces. For those who prefer a lighter switch, the Lightning would be the suitable choice, allowing for extended typing periods and seamless gaming sessions. However, if one values a more tactile and sturdy feel, the Box Royal would be the preferred option. Both switches have their merits, catering to individual preferences and needs in terms of actuation and bottom out forces.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch is 3.6 mm, while the KTT Lightning linear switch has a travel distance of 3 mm. Both switches fall within the range of shorter travel distances, which have become increasingly popular, especially among gamers looking for faster response times. The Lightning switch has the shortest travel distance at 3 mm, making it a great choice for those seeking optimal responsiveness. On the other hand, the Box Royal switch offers a slightly longer travel distance at 3.6 mm, which may provide a more substantial and satisfying key press for individuals who prefer a deeper keystroke feeling. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches will depend on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the Kailh Box Royal comes in at $6.25, whereas the KTT Lightning comes in at $3.41.

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.

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Typing experience

The Kailh Box Royal tactile switch is best known for its sharp and binary tactility, making it perfect for those seeking an aggressive tactile experience. As for sound, these switches have a relatively higher-pitched profile, producing a sharp and crisp sound when pressed.

On the other hand, the KTT Lightning linear switch is known for being approachable and fast, making it ideal for situations where milliseconds can make a difference. Typing on these switches provides a slick feel, accompanied by a clacky sound profile.

In terms of sound, the Box Royal switch has a high-pitched profile, resulting in a sharp and crisp sound when pressed. The Lightning switch, on the other hand, is described as clacky, producing a sharp and snappy sound. Additionally, the Lightning switch has a chirpy characteristic, adding a unique acoustic signature.

When it comes to feel, the Box Royal switch is famous for its sharp tactile feedback, offering a high intensity and a distinct tactile bump with each keypress. On the other hand, the Lightning switch provides a more subtle resistance, maintaining a light typing feel. Furthermore, the Lightning switch is described as polished, meaning it has a smooth and refined finish for a sleek typing experience.

In conclusion, the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch and the KTT Lightning linear switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Box Royal excels in sharp tactility and a higher-pitched sound profile, while the Lightning switch provides a fast and approachable experience with a clacky sound and a subtle, polished feel. It's important to consider personal preferences and factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps to determine the best fit.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

Bringing it all together, the decision between choosing the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch and the KTT Lightning linear switch ultimately depends on your preferences and needs. If you prioritize a strong and aggressive tactile feedback, the Box Royal with its binary tactility and medium-heavy bottom out force of 70 grams would be the ideal choice for you. Additionally, if you prefer a higher-pitched sound profile, the Box Royal's relatively higher-pitched sound would complement your typing experience.

On the other hand, if you value speed and responsiveness in your keystrokes, the KTT Lightning linear switch with its light bottom out force of 50 grams would be more suitable. These switches are designed to give you a slick typing feel, allowing for quick and precise inputs, which can be crucial in scenarios where milliseconds can determine success or failure. The Lightning switch also produces a clacky sound profile, adding to the overall tactile experience.

Considering sound preferences, if you enjoy a high-pitched sound that is crisp and sharp, both switches would cater to your liking. However, if you appreciate a unique acoustic signature with a slight squeak, the Lightning switch provides a chirpy sound characteristic that sets it apart.

In terms of feel, the Box Royal offers a sharp and intense tactile feedback that is prominent with each keystroke. This can enhance the typing experience for those who desire strong tactile feedback. On the other hand, the Lightning switch provides a more subtle typing feel, offering a gentle resistance that is still light and comfortable. Additionally, if you prefer a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction, the Lightning switch's polished finish ensures a sleek key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch and the KTT Lightning linear switch depends on your personal preferences and typing requirements. Whether you prioritize aggressive tactility, high-pitched sound, or swift keystrokes, both switches offer distinct qualities that cater to different needs. Consider your typing style, preferences, and the desired typing experience to make an informed decision between these two exceptional mechanical keyboard switches.

Mentioned in this article

Box Royal

Box Royal

BrandKailh
CategoryTactile

$6.25 per 10 switches

Try the Box Royal switches
Lightning

Lightning

BrandKTT
CategoryLinear

$3.41 per 10 switches

Try the Lightning switches