Gateron CMvs. KTT Hyacinth
When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options for those seeking a linear switch are the Gateron CM and the KTT Hyacinth. The Gateron CM switches break away from convention with their full nylon housing, offering a rich, deep sound signature. With an impeccable factory lube job, these switches provide an effortlessly smooth typing journey, giving you a sensation of gliding with each keystroke. Their lengthened, dual-staged spring ensures a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, the KTT Hyacinth switches stand out with a design choice of a 3.5mm travel distance. This decision was made to avoid the common issue of hard bottoming-out experience in switches with longer stems, aiming to strike the perfect balance between tactile feedback, auditory experience, and user comfort. Unlike the CM switches, the Hyacinth switches opt for a single-stage elongated spring for a more consistent force curve. Both switches offer unique characteristics and advantages, but to determine the best switch for you, let's dive deeper into their specific features and qualities.
By the numbers
$4.25 per 10 switches
$3.75 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Top housing material
Bottom housing material
Bottom housing material
Dual-staged 20mm lengthened gold-plated spring
The housing materials of the Gateron CM and the KTT Hyacinth differ significantly. The CM utilizes a nylon top housing, which results in a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics, leading to a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Hyacinth features a polycarbonate top housing, creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Polycarbonate, being a stiffer plastic, produces a more clear and resonant sound. Furthermore, due to its translucency, polycarbonate is particularly suitable for the top housing if RGB lighting is intended.
In terms of bottom housing, both switches use nylon. This material choice creates a similar effect in terms of sound and feel. The nylon bottom housing of both switches elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile due to the softer nature of nylon, which absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. Consequently, the result is a duller and rounder sound when typing on these switches.
Given that the top and bottom housings of a switch contribute differently to the overall typing experience, the qualities of the respective housing materials will be divided between the two parts. When pressing down on the switch, the bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, when releasing a key, the top housing becomes more influential in shaping the sound. Therefore, even though the CM and the Hyacinth have different materials for their top and bottom housings, the overall performance will still exhibit a combination of the characteristics associated with both nylon and polycarbonate materials.
When comparing the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Hyacinth linear switch, one notable difference lies in their actuation and bottom out forces. The Gateron CM has an actuation force of 55 grams and a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, making it a medium-heavy switch. On the other hand, the KTT Hyacinth features a lighter actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 56 grams, classifying it as medium-light.
The discrepancy in actuation forces between the two switches implies that the Gateron CM requires a slightly stronger push to trigger a keystroke compared to the KTT Hyacinth. This distinction may appeal to users seeking a more substantial typing experience, where a stronger push feel can provide a sense of satisfaction and feedback. However, for individuals who prefer a lighter switch, allowing them to sustain longer typing sessions or engage in prolonged gaming sessions without fatigue, the KTT Hyacinth offers a more suitable option.
Additionally, examining the bottom out forces reveals a similar pattern. The Gateron CM has a heavier bottom out force of 63.5 grams, while the KTT Hyacinth has a lighter bottom out force of 56 grams. This disparity means that the Gateron CM will offer a more pronounced and solid bottoming out experience, requiring more force to fully depress the switch. Conversely, the KTT Hyacinth will require a slightly lighter touch for users who prefer a softer and less forceful bottoming out sensation.
In conclusion, when comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Hyacinth linear switch, it is evident that the Gateron CM is heavier in both respects. However, it is essential to note that individual preferences play a crucial role, as some may prefer the weightier and more substantial typing feel provided by the Gateron CM, while others may opt for the lighter touch and increased endurance offered by the KTT Hyacinth.
The travel distance of the Gateron CM linear switch is 3.6 mm, while the travel distance of the KTT Hyacinth linear switch is slightly shorter at 3.5 mm. Both of these distances fall within the range of what is considered a standard travel distance for switches. Traditionally, a 4.0 mm travel distance is considered the norm, while 3.0 mm is seen as more shallow. However, in recent times, there has been a rise in the popularity of shorter travel distances. Gamers, in particular, tend to prefer switches with shorter travel distances as they offer faster response times. If you value quick responsiveness, opting for the Gateron CM linear switch would be a suitable choice due to its slightly shorter travel distance. On the other hand, if you prefer a deeper, more substantial feel when pressing down on a key, the KTT Hyacinth linear switch with its longer travel distance would be a better fit. Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on personal preference and the specific needs of the user. Regardless of which switch is chosen, both the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Hyacinth linear switch offer a satisfactory travel distance for an enjoyable typing experience.
Which switch is more bang for your buck?
The Gateron CM has an MSRP of $4.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the CM for $4.25.
The KTT Hyacinth has an MSRP of $4.03 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Hyacinth for $3.75.
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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When it comes to sound, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a deeper and richer sound profile. It can be described as bassy, thocky, and low-pitched, creating a satisfying sound reminiscent of a deep "thud" or a soft "knock" when the key is pressed and released. On the other hand, the KTT Hyacinth linear switch is described as neutral, meaning it has a moderate sound profile that is suitable for various purposes. It does not have any specific descriptors associated with its sound. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Overall, while the CM offers a more pronounced and rich sound, the Hyacinth aims for a more balanced auditory experience.
In terms of feel, the Gateron CM linear switch promises a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. It is often described as buttery, polished, creamy, and frictionless. These switches provide a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation, with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the KTT Hyacinth linear switch is described as silky and subtle. It offers an exceptionally smooth typing experience, minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. It also maintains a light typing feel with gentle resistance. The Hyacinth aims for a typing experience that enhances overall smoothness and is suitable for shared spaces. Both switches prioritize a smooth and effortless typing experience; however, the CM offers a more "buttery" and "creamy" sensation, while the Hyacinth focuses on a "silky" feel.
In conclusion, the Gateron CM linear switch stands out for its rich and deep sound signature, as well as its buttery and frictionless typing feel. It utilizes a full nylon housing, comes factory-lubricated, and features a lengthened, dual-staged spring for a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, the KTT Hyacinth linear switch prioritizes a balanced auditory experience and a silky, subtle typing feel. It uses a 3.5mm travel distance to avoid hard bottoming-out and features a single-stage elongated spring for a consistent force curve. While their subjective qualities differ, both switches strive to provide a smooth and enjoyable typing experience. Depending on personal preference and specific requirements, one can choose either switch to achieve similar results in terms of overall satisfaction and typing performance.
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 $10, 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.
To conclude, when choosing between the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Hyacinth linear switch, it ultimately depends on your preferences and typing style. If you enjoy a medium-heavy bottom out force and a deeper, richer sound profile, the CM switch would be the ideal choice for you. With its full nylon housing and impeccable factory lube job, the CM switch offers a buttery, polished, and creamy typing experience, evoking a sensation of gliding gracefully with each keystroke. The CM switch also features a lengthened, dual-staged spring, providing a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-light bottom out force and a more neutral sound and feel, then the Hyacinth switch is the way to go. The Hyacinth switch stands out with its 3.5mm travel distance, avoiding a hard bottoming-out experience and providing an ideal balance between tactile feedback, auditory experience, and user comfort. Furthermore, the Hyacinth switch features a single-stage elongated spring, ensuring a consistent force curve. Whether you prioritize a bassy, thocky, and low-pitched sound profile or a silky and subtle typing feel, both switches have their unique qualities to cater to your preferences. Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Hyacinth linear switch boils down to your personal preference for bottom out force, sound, and feel.