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Aflion Carrotvs. Gateron Ink Red

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Aflion Carrot, a tactile switch, and the Gateron Ink Red, a linear switch. The Carrot switch is best known for its uniquely bouncy tactile experience, thanks to its long, two-stage spring. Additionally, it offers a firm sound profile with a mid-pitched tone. On the other hand, the Ink Red switch stands out for its lower actuation force, making it perfect for individuals with a lighter typing style. It is satisfyingly smooth to use and offers a crispy and clacky sound profile. Both switches have their own strengths and unique characteristics, allowing users to choose based on their typing preferences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits you.

By the numbers

Carrot
Ink Red
BrandAflion
CategoryTactile
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$4.60

$3.57 per 10 switches

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

37g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

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

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Aflion Carrot and the Gateron Ink Red switches offer distinct differences in sound profiles and aesthetics. The Carrot features a polycarbonate top housing, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. This transparency also allows for enhanced RGB lighting effects. In contrast, the Ink Red utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, which delivers a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, described as "clacky." While both switches offer unique sound profiles, the Carrot's polycarbonate top housing produces a more resonant and clear sound, while the Ink Red's INK blend housing offers a satisfying and sharp sound.

In terms of their bottom housings, the Carrot employs a nylon material that creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon is known for its ability to absorb sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Ink Red utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend bottom housing, which shares similar characteristics with its top housing. This blend produces a pointed and high-pitched sound profile, often described as "clacky." Both switches offer distinctive bottom housing materials that contribute to the overall sound profile, with the Carrot providing a deeper sound due to its nylon material and the Ink Red maintaining a consistent clacky profile throughout.

It's important to note that if a switch has different top and bottom housings, the qualities of each material will impact different aspects of the switch's performance. When pressing down, the bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing affects the sound when releasing a key. This means that the Carrot's polycarbonate top housing will provide a more pronounced effect when releasing a key, while the Ink Red's INK blend bottom housing will impact the bottom-out sound and feel. Despite these differences, both switches deliver satisfying sound profiles that cater to different preferences.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Red linear switch, there are notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Carrot has a lighter actuation force of 37 grams compared to the Ink Red's 45 grams. This means that the Carrot requires less force to trigger a keystroke. Additionally, the Carrot has a lighter bottom out force of 45 grams, while the Ink Red has a heavier bottom out force of 60 grams. As a result, the Carrot provides a lighter and more responsive typing experience, whereas the Ink Red offers a slightly heavier and more substantial feel. So, for those who prefer a lightweight switch for extended typing or gaming sessions, the Carrot would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, users who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience may prefer the Ink Red. Overall, the difference in actuation and bottom out forces provides users with options suitable for their personal preferences and typing style.

Travel distance

The Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Red linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that both switches travel the same distance from the top to the bottom, providing a consistent tactile and auditory feedback when pressed. Therefore, whether you choose the Carrot or the Ink Red, you can expect to get similar results in terms of travel distance.

Sound tests

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 Red 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 Red for $7.35.

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 Aflion Carrot tactile switch is known for its uniquely bouncy tactile experience. This switch has a long, two-stage spring that provides a lively and responsive feel when typing. In terms of sound, the Carrot switch offers a mid-pitched and firm sound profile, described as clacky, marbly, and high-pitched. When pressed, it produces a crisp, bright, and percussive sound. The Carrot switch is suitable for those who enjoy a tactile typing experience with a distinctive sound.

On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch is perfect for those with a lighter typing style. It is a smooth and effortless switch to type on, offering a satisfyingly smooth feel. In terms of sound, the Ink Reds have a crispy and clacky sound profile. They are described as having a neutral sound and a chirpy acoustic signature. The Ink Red switch requires a lower actuation force, making it suitable for individuals who prefer a lighter typing experience.

In conclusion, the Aflion Carrot tactile switch and the Gateron Ink Red linear switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Carrot switch has a bouncy and tactile feel with a mid-pitched and firm sound profile. On the other hand, the Ink Red switch provides a smooth and effortless typing experience with a crispy and clacky sound profile. These switches cater to different preferences, and choosing between them depends on the typing style and desired sound profile of the individual. While their qualities differ, both switches offer satisfying results in their respective categories.

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

To sum up, if you're looking for a fun tactile experience with a uniquely bouncy feel, the Aflion Carrot tactile switch would be the perfect choice for you. Its light bottom out force of 45 grams combined with a long, two-stage spring offers a lively and responsive typing experience. Additionally, the Carrot switch provides a mid-pitched and firm sound profile, giving you a satisfying auditory feedback. On the other hand, if you prefer a smoother and lighter typing style, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch is the way to go. With a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, the Ink Reds offer effortless typing and a crispy, clacky sound profile. These switches are especially suitable for those with a lighter typing touch. Ultimately, your choice between the two switches will depend on your preferred tactile and auditory experience.

Mentioned in this article

Carrot

Carrot

BrandAflion
CategoryTactile

$4.60

$3.57 per 10 switches

Try the Carrot switches
Ink Red

Ink Red

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Red switches