Kailh Box Royal vs. Outemu Red Panda

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch with a strong emphasis on tactility, you may find yourself comparing the Kailh Box Royal and the Outemu Red Panda. The Box Royal is well-known for its incredibly tactile feel, offering a sharp and binary tactile feedback. These switches are perfect for those who crave an almost aggressive tactility when typing. In terms of sound profile, the Box Royal produces a relatively higher-pitched sound. On the other hand, the Red Panda provides a light to medium amount of tactility, accompanied by a bassier, raindrop-like bottom-out sound and a clackier, higher-pitched top-out sound. This switch is categorized as 'thocky' and 'mild'. Both switches have their unique characteristics, but beyond these generalities, let's dive in a bit deeper to help you determine the best switch for your preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

60g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.30 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

No

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 housing materials of the Kailh Box Royal and the Outemu Red Panda switches differ significantly from each other. The Box Royal features a nylon top housing, which is known for producing a deeper and fuller sound profile. The nylon, being a softer plastic, has a greater ability to absorb sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Red Panda utilizes a polycarbonate top housing. This stiffer plastic material creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches intended to be used with RGB lighting.

Moving on to the bottom housing, both switches employ nylon material. The nylon bottom housing in both the Box Royal and the Red Panda elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. So, in terms of the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the switch, both switches will provide similar results due to the shared housing material.

It is worth noting that if the top and bottom housings of a switch are made of different materials, the qualities of each housing material will be divided between the top and bottom. The bottom housing will have a more pronounced impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing will influence the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, the interaction between the housing materials in each switch plays a crucial role in determining the overall sound profile and typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch and the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch, there are noticeable differences to consider. The Box Royal has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams compared to the Red Panda's 50 grams. However, when it comes to bottom out force, the Box Royal requires a heavier force of 70 grams, while the Red Panda requires 60 grams.

If weight is a determining factor, those who prefer a lighter feel may lean towards the Kailh Box Royal due to its lighter actuation force. This lighter weight allows for longer periods of typing without causing fatigue, making it suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial push feel and a stronger typing experience may opt for the Outemu Red Panda with its slightly heavier actuation force.

It is worth noting that both switches fall into the medium range of actuation and bottom out forces. Therefore, while the specific values may differ, the overall typing experience between the Kailh Box Royal and the Outemu Red Panda would still be similar. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches would depend on individual preferences and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Kailh Box Royal tactile switch and the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch have slightly different travel distances. The Box Royal has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Red Panda has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.3 mm. Both switches fall within the range of travel distances commonly used in keyboards, with 4.0 mm being the most traditional and 3.0 mm being on the shallow end.

If you're a gamer who values faster response times, the shorter travel distance of the Red Panda may be more appealing to you. The shorter distance allows for quicker keypresses and can enhance your gaming performance. On the other hand, if you prefer a more substantial feel and a sense of depth when typing, the longer travel distance of the Box Royal is a better choice.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Some individuals find shorter travel distances to be more responsive and conducive to their typing style, while others may find them to be too abrupt. If you're unsure, it's always helpful to try out different switches to see which travel distance feels most comfortable and satisfying to you.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the Kailh Box Royal comes in at $6.25, whereas the Outemu Red Panda comes in at $3.40.

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 Box Royal and the Outemu Red Panda switches have distinct differences in sound and feel. The Box Royals have a sharp, binary tactility that provides a nearly aggressive feedback. Typing on these switches results in a relatively higher-pitched sound, which produces a sharp and crisp noise when pressed. On the other hand, the Red Pandas offer a light-medium amount of tactility with a bassier, raindrop-like bottom-out sound and a clackier, higher-pitched top-out sound. The Red Pandas are described as thocky, meaning they produce a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed.

In terms of feel, the Box Royals have a sharp tactile bump that provides a high feedback intensity. This means that the tactile bump is strong and crisp, making it distinct with each keypress. On the other hand, the Red Pandas have a mild tactile feel that offers a more gentle typing experience. With their mild characteristics, the Red Pandas provide a safe and approachable typing experience that most people would find comfortable.

Considering the available information, it is clear that the Kailh Box Royal switches offer a more aggressive and binary tactility with a higher-pitched sound. They are ideal for those seeking a strong tactile experience. On the other hand, the Outemu Red Panda switches provide a lighter and more gentle tactile feel with a thocky sound. These switches are suitable for individuals who prefer a more approachable and comfortable typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience. However, if you are looking for a similar sound or feel, both switches offer distinct qualities that may satisfy your preferences.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are someone who prefers a nearly aggressive tactility and a higher-pitched sound profile, the Kailh Box Royal tactile switch is the ideal choice for you. With a bottom out force of 70 grams, these switches offer a sharp and binary tactility, providing a distinct and intense feedback with each keystroke. On the other hand, if you are seeking a lighter level of tactility alongside a bassier and clackier sound profile, the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch is the better option. With a bottom out force of 60 grams, these switches offer a mild tactile experience that is approachable to most users. Ultimately, your preference for tactility and sound will guide your decision in selecting the perfect mechanical keyboard switch for your typing needs.

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