Aflion Carrot vs. Gateron Ink Black V2

An in-depth look at the Aflion Carrot and the Gateron Ink Black V2 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch for your typing preferences, two popular options to consider are the Aflion Carrot, a tactile switch, and the Gateron Ink Black V2, a linear switch. The Carrot is renowned for its fun and bouncy tactile experience, thanks to its long, two-stage spring. Additionally, its mid-pitched and firm sound profile adds to the overall satisfaction of using this switch. On the other hand, the Ink Black V2 is hailed as a classic linear switch that has stood the test of time within the community. With its smooth downstroke and rich clack, typing on this switch is a delight. While these general pointers provide a glimpse into the qualities of each switch, it's essential to delve deeper into their specific characteristics to make an informed decision based on your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

37g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

45g

Bottom-out force

70g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 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

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

20mm two-stage spring

Spring

Color coated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Carrot and the Gateron Ink Black V2 differ in terms of their composition and resulting sound profiles. The Carrot utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, which lends itself to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to polycarbonate's stiffness, creating a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the Carrot's nylon bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile, as nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Ink Black V2 features a proprietary INK blend top and bottom housing. The top housing is characterized by a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, offering a satisfying thin and clacky sound. Similarly, the bottom housing of the Ink Black V2 contributes to this high-pitched sound profile, creating a cohesive auditory experience throughout.

While the Carrot's polycarbonate top housing and the Ink Black V2's proprietary INK blend top housing differ in material composition, both provide similar results in terms of sound profiles. The Carrot's polycarbonate top housing and the Ink Black V2's proprietary INK blend top housing both offer a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. However, the Carrot's polycarbonate housing may have a slightly sharper and crisper sound, while the INK blend housing provides a slightly less sharp but still clacky sound. This means that users seeking a switch with a higher-pitched and clacky sound can achieve similar results with either switch, depending on their personal preference.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Carrot's nylon housing differs from the Ink Black V2's proprietary INK blend bottom housing. The Carrot's nylon housing creates a deeper and fuller sound profile, thanks to its softer plastic composition that absorbs more sound. On the other hand, the INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Black V2 contributes to the same pointed and high-pitched sound profile found in its top housing, resulting in a consistent auditory experience throughout the switch. Therefore, users looking for a switch with a deeper and fuller sound may prefer the Carrot with its nylon bottom housing, while those seeking a cohesive high-pitched sound may favor the Ink Black V2 with its INK blend bottom housing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch, it is clear that they offer different levels of weight or force. The Carrot has a relatively lighter actuation force of 37 grams and a bottom out force of 45 grams. In contrast, the Ink Black V2 has a heavier actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 70 grams.

The lighter weight of the Carrot switch makes it suitable for individuals who prefer a less strenuous typing experience. This can be beneficial for those who need to type for extended periods, such as in work or gaming scenarios. The lower actuation force allows for a quicker and easier keystroke activation, reducing fatigue and strain on the fingers. However, it is important to note that the Carrot still provides a substantial typing experience with a bottom out force of 45 grams, ensuring a satisfying key press.

On the other hand, the Ink Black V2 offers a medium to heavy weight option for users who prefer a stronger push feel during typing. With an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 70 grams, this switch provides a more substantial and robust typing experience. The higher forces required to trigger a keystroke may appeal to individuals who desire a tactile feedback and a sense of solidity when typing.

In conclusion, these switches provide different weight options to cater to individual preferences. The Aflion Carrot offers a lighter experience, allowing for comfortable and effortless typing, while the Gateron Ink Black V2 offers a heavier and more pronounced typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the user's personal preference and their desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch both have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will feel the same distance of travel. The similarity in their travel distance suggests that the typing experience on both switches will be comparable in terms of key travel. Whether you opt for the tactile feedback of the Carrot switch or the smooth linear action of the Ink Black V2 switch, you can expect a similar distance of travel when pressing down on the keys.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Carrot has an MSRP of $4.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Carrot for $3.57.

The Gateron Ink Black V2 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 Black V2 for $7.24.

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

In terms of sound, the Aflion Carrot tactile switch is best described as clacky, marbly, and high-pitched. It produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, with a crisp and bright tone. The switch's unique two-stage spring design adds to the distinct sound profile, creating a bouncy and percussive auditory experience. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch is described as low-pitched, bassy, and chirpy. It offers a deeper and richer sound profile, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. The added chirpy characteristic sets this switch apart, giving it a unique acoustic signature. It is important to note that the sound produced by a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Aflion Carrot tactile switch is known for its bouncy and snappy qualities. The long, two-stage spring provides users with a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, giving the keys a lively feel and rebound when pressed. The switch's snappy characteristic makes it super responsive, enhancing the typing experience. Additionally, the Carrot switch falls under the category of stepped switches, which means it has a more mild tactile feel with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. It also offers a feathery option, which means it requires little exertion from the fingers and reduces finger fatigue. Lastly, it has a subtle feel with gentle resistance, providing a light typing experience suitable for shared spaces.

On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch offers a mild and polished feel. It provides a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The switch's smooth and refined finish, either due to materials used or factory lubing, results in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Overall, it is evident that the Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Carrot switch provides a fun and bouncy tactile experience, accompanied by a mid-pitched and firm sound profile. On the other hand, the Ink Black V2 switch offers a smooth downstroke and rich clack, with a low-pitched, bassy sound and a mild, polished feel. While these switches differ in their characteristics, they both offer unique and enjoyable typing experiences. Depending on personal preferences, users can choose the switch that aligns with their desired sound and feel.

Conclusion

In closing, if you are looking for a fun and bouncy tactile experience, along with a mid-pitched and firm sound profile, the Aflion Carrot tactile switch would be a great choice for you. With a bottom out force of 45 grams, the Carrot offers a light and comfortable typing feel. The Carrot switch is also described as clacky, marbly, and high-pitched, producing a crisp and sharp sound when pressed. Additionally, the Carrot switch provides a feathery and subtle feel, reducing finger fatigue and making it suitable for extended typing sessions.

On the other hand, if you prefer a classic linear switch with a smooth downstroke and a rich clack, the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch would be a perfect fit. With a slightly heavier bottom out force of 70 grams, the Ink Black V2 offers a medium-heavy typing feel. The Ink Black V2 switch is described as low-pitched, bassy, and chirpy, providing a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses.

Ultimately, the choice between the Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch depends on your preferences for tactile feedback, sound profile, and typing feel. Consider whether you value a bouncy and tactile experience with a light typing feel and a mid-pitched sound profile, or a smooth and linear experience with a medium-heavy typing feel and a low-pitched sound profile. Both switches have their unique strengths and characteristics, so it ultimately comes down to your personal preference and typing style.

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