Gateron CMvs. Gateron Ink Yellow
When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, there are various options to consider. Two popular choices are the Gateron CM and the Gateron Ink Yellow, both of which are linear switches. The CM switch breaks away from convention with its full nylon housing, offering a richer and deeper sound signature. With an impeccable factory lube job, this switch provides an effortlessly smooth typing journey, giving you the sensation of gliding gracefully with each keystroke. Additionally, the lengthened, dual-staged spring of the CM switch ensures a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch is known for its shorter travel, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch boasts a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, adding a satisfying auditory element to your typing. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can determine which switch best suits your preferences and needs.
By the numbers
$4.25 per 10 switches
$7.35 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Top housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Bottom housing material
Bottom housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Dual-staged 20mm lengthened gold-plated spring
The housing materials of the Gateron CM and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches differ significantly. The Gateron CM utilizes a nylon top housing, while the Gateron Ink Yellow incorporates a proprietary INK blend top housing. The nylon top housing in the CM switch contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile, as the softer plastic absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the INK blend top housing in the Ink Yellow switch produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, described as clacky. Therefore, the top housings of these switches contribute to distinct sound characteristics.
Similarly, the bottom housings of the Gateron CM and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches have different materials. The CM switch employs a nylon bottom housing, while the Ink Yellow switch features a proprietary INK blend bottom housing. Like the top housing, the softer nylon material in the CM switch's bottom housing absorbs more sound, leading to a deeper and fuller sound profile upon typing. In contrast, the INK blend bottom housing in the Ink Yellow switch generates a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, contributing to a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound that is often described as clacky.
When comparing these switches, it becomes evident that the qualities of each housing material are split between the top and bottom of the switch, leading to distinct sound profiles during different stages of keystrokes. The bottom housing material has a more significant impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed down. On the other hand, the top housing influences the sound when you release the key. Therefore, while the CM and Ink Yellow switches may share similarities in terms of softer housing materials and the absorption of sound, they ultimately offer different sound profiles due to the distinct characteristics of their respective top and bottom housing materials.
When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there are some noticeable differences. The CM switch has an actuation force of 55 grams, while the Ink Yellow switch has an actuation force of 60 grams, making the latter slightly heavier. However, when it comes to the bottom out force, the CM switch requires 63.5 grams, whereas the Ink Yellow switch requires 67 grams. This means that the Ink Yellow switch is heavier in terms of bottoming out force as well. Both switches fall into the medium-heavy category, offering a satisfying push feel for a substantial typing experience. If a lighter weight is preferred, the CM switch might be the better choice, as it has a slightly lower actuation force and bottom out force. However, for those who enjoy a slightly stronger push feel, the Ink Yellow switch provides a slightly heavier typing experience. In either case, both switches offer similar results in terms of actuation and bottom out forces, allowing for a consistent typing experience.
The Gateron CM linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. Both switches have relatively short travel distances compared to the traditional 4.0 mm travel distance. Nowadays, shorter travel distances are becoming more popular, particularly among gamers who value faster response times. If you prefer a highly responsive feel when typing or gaming, the Gateron Ink Yellow with its slightly shorter travel distance may be the better option for you. However, some people may find shorter travel distances to feel too abrupt. If you prefer a more substantial and satisfying key press experience, the Gateron CM with its slightly longer travel distance may be more suitable. Ultimately, the choice between these switches comes down to personal preference and the desired typing or gaming 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 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.
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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In terms of sound, the Gateron CM linear switch offers a bassy, thocky, and low-pitched sound profile. This means that the sound produced during key presses is deeper, richer, and has a lower frequency range. The CM switch evokes a sense of depth and richness with each keystroke. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is described as having a neutral and clacky sound. This means that it has a moderate sound profile, suitable for most intents and purposes, and produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. It offers a crisp, bright, and percussive tone. It's important to note that the sound of these switches can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen. However, if you prefer a deeper and richer sound, the CM switch will provide a similar experience, while if you prefer a more neutral and clacky sound, the Ink Yellow switch will achieve a comparable result.
When it comes to feel, the Gateron CM linear switch is described as buttery, polished, creamy, and frictionless. These qualities indicate that the CM switch provides a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. It offers a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. The switch has a refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. It offers a silky sensation that feels like gliding your fingers across the keys with ease. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is described as mild and polished. This means that it offers a gentler typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The sound and feel of the Ink Yellow switch stand in a safe middle-ground zone, making it approachable for most users. Like the CM switch, the Ink Yellow switch also has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Overall, if you prefer a buttery and frictionless feel, the CM switch will offer a similar sensation, while if you prefer a milder typing experience, the Ink Yellow switch will deliver similar results.
In conclusion, the Gateron CM linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch have their own distinct qualities when it comes to sound and feel. The CM switch stands out for its bold sound profile, offering a deeper, richer, and more bass-heavy tone. It provides a bouncy typing experience with its lengthened, dual-staged spring. The Ink Yellow switch, on the other hand, offers a more neutral sound with a moderate actuation force requirement. It produces a clacky and percussive sound. In terms of feel, the CM switch delivers a buttery, polished, creamy, and frictionless typing experience. It provides a seamless and effortless keystroke sensation. The Ink Yellow switch offers a gentler typing experience and a polished feel. Both switches have factory lubing, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Overall, the subjective qualities of these switches provide different experiences, allowing users to choose based on their preferences.
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.
To sum up, if you are looking for a switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force and a full nylon housing for a deeper and richer sound signature, the Gateron CM linear switch would be a great choice. These switches offer an effortlessly smooth typing experience with their impeccable factory lube job, providing a sensation of gliding gracefully with each keystroke. The CMs also feature a lengthened, dual-staged spring for a bouncy typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a shorter travel that combines the smoothness and clackiness of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is a better fit. This switch has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. Additionally, both switches have a polished finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron CM and Ink Yellow switches depends on your preference for sound and feel, as well as the typing experience you are looking for.