Gateron CJ vs. KTT Grapefruit

An in-depth look at the Gateron CJ and the KTT Grapefruit switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are a plethora of options available, each with their unique characteristics. Two popular choices are the Gateron CJ and the KTT Grapefruit, both being linear switches. The CJ is renowned for its unique presentation, offering higher-pitched clacks and an impossibly smooth push feel. Categorized as 'chirpy', 'neutral', 'mild', 'low-pitched', and 'thocky', the CJ delivers a distinct typing experience. On the other hand, the Grapefruit stands out with its soft and light typing feel, accompanied by a "baritone" sound profile. Categorized as 'low-pitched', 'neutral', and 'polished', these KTT Grapefruit switches offer a different tactile sensation. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities, so you can make the best decision in choosing the right switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

53g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 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

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron CJ and the KTT Grapefruit switches differ in several aspects. The CJ features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a thin and higher-pitched sound that is often described as clacky. On the other hand, the Grapefruit utilizes a polycarbonate top housing that creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The relatively stiffer polycarbonate material enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound. Additionally, the polycarbonate's translucency is useful for RGB lighting effects. While both switches produce a satisfying and high-pitched sound, the CJ's INK blend offers a more pointed sound profile compared to the Grapefruit's polycarbonate.

Similarly, the bottom housings of the CJ and the Grapefruit switches also differ. The CJ utilizes a POM bottom housing, which results in a deeper and relatively more muted sound profile. This unique sound is pleasant to the ears, albeit quieter. In contrast, the Grapefruit employs a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is known for creating a deeper and fuller sound while typing. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder profile. Consequently, the bottom housing material affects the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, with the CJ offering a deeper but more muted experience compared to the fuller sound of the Grapefruit.

Overall, the CJ and Grapefruit switches exhibit distinct characteristics due to their respective housing materials. The CJ's INK blend top housing contributes to a pointed, high-pitched, and clacky sound profile, while the Grapefruit's polycarbonate creates a sharper and crisper sound. In terms of the bottom housing, the CJ's POM material provides a unique, deeper, and relatively muted sound, while the Grapefruit's nylon material elicits a fuller and rounder profile. Despite their differences, both switches offer satisfying typing experiences, providing users with excellent options for their specific sound preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CJ linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, a notable difference can be observed. The Gateron CJ has a slightly higher actuation force of 50 grams compared to the Grapefruit's 45 grams. However, both switches fall within the medium force category, providing a balanced typing experience. In terms of bottom out force, the Gateron CJ requires 60 grams, while the Grapefruit requires a slightly lighter 53 grams, making it medium-light.

Considering weight preferences, those who prefer a lighter typing experience may lean towards the KTT Grapefruit switch, as its lower actuation and bottom out forces allow for longer typing sessions without much strain. This characteristic makes it suitable for occasions like using a keyboard at work or engaging in extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a stronger push feel and desire a more substantial typing experience may find the Gateron CJ switch to be a better option. Its slightly higher actuation and bottom out forces provide a tactile response that some users find more satisfying.

Ultimately, while the Gateron CJ switch is slightly heavier in terms of actuation and bottom out forces compared to the KTT Grapefruit switch, both switches offer similar performance in the medium force range. Therefore, users seeking a balanced typing experience should be able to achieve the desired results with either of these switches.

Travel distance

Both the Gateron CJ linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch have an identical travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when pressing down on a key with either of these switches, you will experience the same distance traveled from the top to the bottom. Therefore, both switches offer similar results in terms of travel distance, providing a consistent typing experience for users.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron CJ has an MSRP of $6.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the CJ for $5.35.

The KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41 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.

Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Gateron CJ linear switch offers a unique and enjoyable experience with higher-pitched clacks and a smooth push feel. It can be described as chirpy, which means it has a little squeak to them, setting them apart from other switches. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch provides a soft and light typing feel with a deep, though not yet bass, sound profile. It is low-pitched, featuring a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. Both switches have a neutral sound profile, suitable for most intents and purposes. The sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps.

As for the feel, the Gateron CJ switch offers a mild typing experience, providing a gentle feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The sound and feel are approachable to most as it stands in a safe, middle-ground zone. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit switch is described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish. This results in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The feel of a switch is a personal preference, and both options offer enjoyable qualities depending on individual preferences.

In conclusion, the Gateron CJ linear switch provides a unique and enjoyable sound with higher-pitched clacks and an impossibly smooth push feel. It has a chirpy acoustic signature that sets it apart from other switches. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a soft and light typing feel with a low-pitched, bass-heavy, and mellow sound profile. Both switches have a neutral sound profile, making them suitable for various purposes. In terms of feel, the CJ switch offers a mild typing experience, while the Grapefruit switch has a polished finish resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on individual preferences for sound and feel. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the keyboard and keycaps used.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a unique and enjoyable typing experience with a medium bottom out force, the Gateron CJ linear switch would be a great choice. These switches offer a smooth push feel and higher-pitched clacks, creating a distinct sound profile. Additionally, the CJ switch is described as having a mild feel, providing a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users.

On the other hand, if you prefer a soft and light typing feel with a slightly lower bottom out force, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch would be a suitable option. These switches have a "baritone" sound profile and are known for their mellow tone. The Grapefruit switch is also described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron CJ and KTT Grapefruit switches depends on your personal preferences. If you enjoy a unique and enjoyable typing experience with higher-pitched clacks, go for the CJ switch. However, if you prefer a soft and light typing feel with a smooth and refined finish, the Grapefruit switch would be a better fit. Consider factors such as bottom out force, sound profile, and overall feel to make an informed decision.

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