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Kailh Box Whitevs. Gateron Ink Yellow

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch that provides maximum audio feedback, the Kailh Box White switch may be just what you're looking for. With its characteristic "stepping on autumn leaves" crunch and accented tactility, typing on the Box White switch is a unique and satisfying experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a typing experience that falls somewhere between using a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch might be the perfect choice. With its shorter travel and pleasant smoothness, this switch offers both comfort and clackiness. While these general descriptions can help you narrow down your options, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Box White
Ink Yellow
BrandKailh
CategoryClicky
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$2.76 per 10 switches

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Box

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

Kailh Box spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Kailh Box White and Gateron Ink Yellow differ in terms of their housing materials. The Box White features a polycarbonate top housing, while the Ink Yellow uses Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing. Both materials contribute to the overall sound profile of the switches, but in different ways. The polycarbonate in the Box White's top housing creates a sharper and higher-pitched sound, resulting in a crisp and resonant sound profile. On the other hand, Gateron's INK blend in the Ink Yellow's top housing produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, described as being clacky. Therefore, while both switches offer a satisfying sound experience, the specific qualities of the sound may vary.

Similarly, the housing materials used in the bottom housings of the Kailh Box White and Gateron Ink Yellow differ. The Box White utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the Ink Yellow incorporates Gateron's proprietary INK blend in its bottom housing. Each material contributes to the sound profile of the switches, albeit in distinct ways. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a deeper and fuller sound profile in the Box White. On the other hand, Gateron's INK blend in the bottom housing of the Ink Yellow results in a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, similar to its top housing. Both switches offer a unique typing experience with their respective bottom housing materials, providing users with a diverse range of sound options.

Considering the impact of the top and bottom housings on the sound profile, it is important to note that the qualities of each housing material are divided between the top and bottom of the switch. When pressing down on either the Box White or Ink Yellow, the bottom housing's characteristics will be more prominent, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing will have a greater impact on the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, while the specifics may differ, both switches provide users with an audible and tactile experience that can be customized based on their preferences.

Weight

When comparing the Kailh Box White clicky switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there are noticeable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Kailh Box White has an actuation force of 50 grams, which is lighter than the Ink Yellow's 60 grams. This means that the Box White requires a slightly lighter touch to trigger a keystroke. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Box White has a bottom out force of 60 grams, while the Ink Yellow has a slightly heavier bottom out force of 67 grams. This indicates that the Ink Yellow provides a more substantial typing experience due to the increased force required to press all the way down. Therefore, if someone prefers a lighter feel and wants to type for longer periods of time, the Kailh Box White would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, those who enjoy a stronger push feel and desire a more substantial typing experience would opt for the Gateron Ink Yellow.

Travel distance

The Kailh Box White clicky switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch have different travel distances. The Box White has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Ink Yellow has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. In terms of the traditional range, both switches fall within the average travel distance for mechanical keyboards. The Box White is on the longer side of this range, providing a deeper and more substantial feeling when pressed. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow offers a slightly shorter travel distance, which can be preferred by gamers looking for faster response times. The choice between these switches ultimately depends on personal preference. If you prefer a more responsive and quicker keystroke, the Ink Yellow with its slightly shorter travel distance may be the better option for you. However, if you enjoy a deeper and more pronounced feeling when pressing a key, the Box White with its longer travel distance would be the suitable choice. Both switches provide their own unique typing experience, so it is important to consider your personal preferences and needs before making a decision.

Sound tests

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 Box White comes in at $2.76 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.

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Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Kailh Box White clicky switch is best known for its resonant and high-pitched characteristics. Typing on these switches produces a clean and sharp sound profile, reminiscent of stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is described as having a neutral and clacky sound. It offers a moderate sound profile with a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. Both switches provide distinct auditory experiences, but the Box White offers a more immersive and higher-pitched sound, while the Ink Yellow has a more moderate and percussive sound. 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.

In terms of feel, the Kailh Box White switch is characterized by a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. The materials used and possible factory lubing contribute to reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch offers a mild and approachable typing experience. It falls in a safe middle-ground zone, providing a more gentle feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Similar to the Box White switch, the Ink Yellow also features a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Overall, the Kailh Box White clicky switch is recommended for those who desire maximum audio feedback and a more pronounced tactile feel, resembling the sensation of stepping on autumn leaves. It offers a resonant and high-pitched sound profile, along with a polished and refined feel. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is suitable for those who prefer a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It has a neutral and clacky sound profile, with a mild and approachable feel. Both switches provide unique qualities, so choosing between them will ultimately depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience. However, it is worth noting that the Ink Yellow may provide a similar level of smoothness and clackiness, albeit with a different sound profile than the Box White.

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

In closing, if you prioritize audio feedback and a distinct tactile feel, the Kailh Box White clicky switch would be a great choice for you. With its medium bottom out force of 60 grams, you can expect a satisfying crunch and a pronounced tactile bump when typing. The Box White switch offers a resonant, high-pitched, and crunchy sound profile that delivers an immersive auditory experience. Additionally, its polished feel guarantees reduced friction and smooth key travel, enhancing your typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a smoother and quieter typing experience that falls between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a suitable option. With a slightly higher bottom out force of 67 grams, the Ink Yellow switch provides a moderate sound profile described as clacky. This switch showcases a more neutral sound, making it versatile for various settings. Its mild and polished quality ensures a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the Kailh Box White clicky switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch depends on your preferences for sound and feel. Whether you prioritize maximum audio feedback and a distinct tactile feel, or a smoother and quieter typing experience, both switches offer unique qualities to enhance your mechanical keyboard experience.

Mentioned in this article

Box White

Box White

BrandKailh
CategoryClicky

$2.76 per 10 switches

Try the Box White switches
Ink Yellow

Ink Yellow

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Yellow switches