Gateron CMvs. KTT Semi Mute
When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options worth considering are the Gateron CM, a linear switch, and the KTT Semi Mute, also a linear switch. The CM switches break away from convention with their full nylon housing, delivering a richer, deeper sound and an effortlessly smooth typing experience thanks to an impeccable factory lube job. With their lengthened, dual-staged spring, they offer a bouncy typing journey that feels like gliding gracefully with each keystroke. On the other hand, the Semi Mute switches are specifically designed for those who value a noise-free environment and undisturbed typing, especially during late-night sessions. Despite being completely silent, they provide a comfortable and gratifying typing feel through their linear actuation and advanced dampening technology. While the CM switches boast attributes like being "bassy," "polished," and "low-pitched," the Semi Mute switches are characterized as "muted" and "neutral." However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you decide on the best switch for your needs.
By the numbers
$4.25 per 10 switches
$3.55 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Top housing material
Bottom housing material
Bottom housing material
Dual-staged 20mm lengthened gold-plated spring
The Gateron CM and the KTT Semi Mute have different housing materials for both the top and bottom housings. The CM features a nylon top housing, which creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. The nylon material is softer, absorbing more sound and resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Semi Mute utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, which produces a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic, leading to a more clear and resonant sound profile. Additionally, the polycarbonate housing is beneficial for RGB lighting due to its translucency. Therefore, while the CM emphasizes a softer and fuller sound, the Semi Mute offers a sharper and more resonant sound while catering to RGB lighting enthusiasts.
In terms of bottom housing, the CM and the Semi Mute also differ. The CM uses a nylon bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile similar to its top housing characteristics. The nylon material's softness absorbs more sound, leading to a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Semi Mute incorporates a polycarbonate bottom housing, which contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Similar to the top housing, the polycarbonate material's stiffness enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of the polycarbonate housing makes it a suitable choice for RGB lighting. Therefore, the bottom housing of both switches follows the same pattern as the top housing in terms of sound and aesthetic characteristics.
It is important to note that when a switch has different housing materials for the top and bottom, the qualities of each material will be divided between the two halves of the switch. When pressing down on the switch, the qualities of the bottom housing, whether it is nylon or polycarbonate, will be felt. This includes the impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, when letting go of a key, the sound will be influenced more by the qualities of the top housing. Thus, the choice between the Gateron CM and the KTT Semi Mute's housing materials will impact the overall typing experience, as the sound and feel will vary depending on which part of the switch is being utilized.
When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Semi Mute linear switch, there are notable similarities and differences. In terms of weight, the CM is slightly heavier than the Semi Mute. The CM requires an actuation force of 55 grams, while the Semi Mute requires 43 grams. This means that the CM switch may feel slightly heavier when typing or gaming. Similarly, the bottom out force of the CM is 63.5 grams, while the Semi Mute has a bottom out force of 58 grams. Both switches fall within the medium range, but the CM switch has a slightly heavier bottom out force.
For individuals who prefer lighter switches, the Semi Mute may be a better option as it requires less force to trigger a keystroke. This can be beneficial for those who type for extended periods or engage in prolonged gaming sessions. On the other hand, the CM switch provides a slightly stronger push feel, offering a more substantial typing experience for users who prefer a bit more resistance.
While the actuation and bottom out forces of the CM and Semi Mute switches differ slightly, both switches fall within the medium range. This means that users can expect similar results in terms of typing experience and responsiveness. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will come down to personal preference, with the CM offering a slightly heavier feel and the Semi Mute providing a lighter touch.
The Gateron CM linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the KTT Semi Mute linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that the Semi Mute switch has a longer travel distance compared to the CM switch. The 4.0 mm travel distance of the Semi Mute switch falls into the more traditional range, while the CM switch's 3.6 mm distance is slightly shorter. Gamers often prefer shorter travel distances for faster response times, making the CM switch a favorable option for them. On the other hand, those who prefer a deeper keystroke may find the 4 mm travel distance of the Semi Mute switch more satisfying. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference regarding responsiveness and depth of keystrokes.
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 Semi Mute has an MSRP of $3.97 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Semi Mute for $3.55.
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 is best described as bassy, thocky, and low-pitched. These switches offer a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. The sound produced by the CM switches can be characterized by a lower frequency range, providing a satisfying and immersive typing experience. On the other hand, the KTT Semi Mute linear switch is known for producing a muted and neutral sound. These switches prioritize a noise-free environment and minimize the typical noise associated with mechanical keyboards. They offer a quieter and softer sound, making them ideal for those who value undisturbed typing, especially during late-night sessions. However, it's important to note that the sound produced by a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.
In terms of feel, both the Gateron CM and KTT Semi Mute switches provide a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. The CM switches are often described as buttery, polished, and creamy. This indicates that they offer a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. The smooth and refined finish, along with factory lubing, reduces friction, resulting in a sleek and frictionless typing experience. The CM switches allow your fingers to glide across the keys with ease, providing a silky sensation with each keystroke. Similarly, the KTT Semi Mute switches are also described as buttery, offering a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. These switches provide a seamless and effortless typing sensation, allowing for a uniform and gentle typing experience. Overall, both switches prioritize a smooth and enjoyable typing feel, ensuring a comfortable and gratifying typing experience for users.
In conclusion, the Gateron CM linear switch and KTT Semi Mute linear switch offer distinct qualities in terms of sound and feel. The CM switches are best known for their bassy and thocky sound, providing a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses, while the Semi Mute switches offer a muted and neutral sound, prioritizing a noise-free environment. In terms of feel, both switches provide a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, with the CM switches being described as buttery, polished, and creamy, and the Semi Mute switches as buttery and mild. Depending on the user's preference for sound and typing feel, either switch can provide a satisfying and enjoyable typing experience. It's worth mentioning that individual preferences and factors such as keyboard board and keycaps can further influence the overall experience, so it's recommended to try out both switches or seek recommendations from fellow enthusiasts to determine the best fit. Ultimately, whether you choose the CM or Semi Mute switch, you can expect a smooth and gratifying typing experience.
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.
In closing, both the Gateron CM linear switch and the KTT Semi Mute linear switch have their own unique characteristics that cater to different preferences and needs. If you prioritize a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses, characterized by a lower frequency range and resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones, then the CM switch would be the better choice for you. Additionally, if you desire a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, with a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation, the CM switch would also be more suitable. On the other hand, if you value a noise-free environment and desire undisturbed typing, especially during late-night sessions, the Semi Mute switch would be the recommended option. With its completely silent operation and advanced damping technology, these switches provide a comfortable and gratifying typing feel. Furthermore, they offer a more gentle typing experience, standing in a safe middle-ground zone in terms of sound and feel. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches should be based on your specific preferences regarding sound and typing experience.