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KTT Cream Yellowvs. Gateron Ink Box Black

An in-depth look at the KTT Cream Yellow and the Gateron Ink Box Black switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, finding the perfect blend of sound, feel, and performance is paramount. Two switches that offer unique characteristics that may catch your interest are the KTT Cream Yellow and the Gateron Ink Box Black, both of which are linear switches. The Cream Yellow switch is renowned for its distinctive clacky sound, thanks to its shortened bottom-out distance and long-pole stem, providing resonant audio feedback. Furthermore, its lengthened spring contributes to a uniquely bouncy typing feel, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a more tactile experience. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black switch stands out for its incredibly smooth and creamy operation. The sound signature evokes the sensation of a spray paint can being shaken, adding an element of novelty to your typing experience. With its clacky, high-pitched, silky, and polished characteristics, it appeals to users who prefer a quieter yet refined typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your individual preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Cream Yellow
Ink Box Black
BrandKTT
CategoryLinear
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$2.75

$2.55 per 10 switches

$8.50

$7.65 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

58g

Bottom-out force

70g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

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

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

18mm spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Cream Yellow and the Gateron Ink Box Black switches differ in terms of the materials used. The Cream Yellow's top housing is made of polycarbonate, while the Ink Box Black's top housing is made of Gateron's proprietary INK blend. Both materials offer their own unique sound profiles. The polycarbonate top housing of the Cream Yellow creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound, thanks to its relatively stiffer plastic. This material is particularly suitable for switches with RGB lighting due to its translucency. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black's INK blend top housing produces a pointed and high-pitched sound, described as "clacky," but without being overly sharp.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Cream Yellow features a nylon material, which is considered a classic switch housing material. The nylon bottom housing of the Cream Yellow produces a deeper and fuller sound profile compared to harder plastics. Nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Interestingly, the Ink Box Black also incorporates Gateron's proprietary INK blend for its bottom housing. This means that the switch utilizes the same material for both the top and bottom housings, providing a consistent sound profile throughout. Similar to its top housing, the INK blend bottom housing creates a relatively high-pitched and satisfyingly thin sound, described as "clacky."

It's important to note that the impact of the different housing materials will be felt differently during use. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing will be prominent, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. In this regard, the Cream Yellow's nylon bottom housing would provide a deeper and fuller bottom-out sound compared to the Ink Box Black's INK blend bottom housing. Conversely, when releasing a key, the sound will be influenced more by the top housing. Therefore, the polycarbonate top housing of the Cream Yellow would result in a sharper and crisper sound when compared to the INK blend top housing of the Ink Box Black. Overall, while the materials used in the housing of the Cream Yellow and Ink Box Black differ, both switches offer unique sound profiles that cater to different preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Cream Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch, there are noticeable differences. The Cream Yellow has a lighter actuation force of 50 grams, while the Ink Box Black requires a slightly heavier 60 grams to trigger a keystroke. This means that the Cream Yellow switch would be more suitable for those who prefer a lighter typing experience, allowing them to type for longer periods without strain. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black switch provides a stronger push feel with its heavier actuation force, making it ideal for individuals who prefer a more substantial and tactile typing experience.

In terms of bottom out force, the Cream Yellow has a bottom out force of 58 grams, while the Ink Box Black requires a heavier 70 grams. Both switches fall within the medium range for bottom out force, but the Ink Box Black is noticeably heavier. This means that when pressing the keys all the way down, the Ink Box Black switch will provide a more satisfying and impactful typing experience compared to the Cream Yellow switch.

Overall, the main difference between the two switches lies in their actuation forces, with the Cream Yellow being lighter and the Ink Box Black being heavier. The bottom out forces are relatively similar, but the Ink Box Black is slightly heavier. Depending on personal preferences, individuals can choose the switch that best suits their desired typing experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the KTT Cream Yellow linear switch and the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch, it can be seen that the Cream Yellow has a slightly shorter distance than the Ink Box Black. The Cream Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Ink Box Black has a travel distance of 3.6 mm. Both switches fall within the range of shorter travel distances, which are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among gamers who value faster response times. If you prioritize a highly responsive keyboard, the Cream Yellow would be the preferable choice due to its slightly shorter travel distance. However, it is worth noting that for some individuals, shorter travel distances can feel too abrupt. If you prefer a deeper key press, the Ink Box Black with its slightly longer travel distance would be a better option. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches should be based on individual preferences for travel distance and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Cream Yellow has an MSRP of $2.75 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Cream Yellow for $2.55.

The Gateron Ink Box Black has an MSRP of $8.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Box Black for $7.65.

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

When it comes to sound, both the KTT Cream Yellow and the Gateron Ink Box Black switches are described as clacky. A clacky switch produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, with a crisp, bright, and percussive tone. The Cream Yellow switch, with its shortened bottom-out distance and long-pole stem, provides resonant audio feedback that adds to its distinct sound profile. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black switch has a sound signature that reminds users of a spray paint can being shaken. While both switches offer a clacky sound, the Cream Yellow may have a slightly different tonal quality due to its design features. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Cream Yellow switch is known for its bouncy typing experience. The keys have a lively feel, providing a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation with rebound when pressed. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black switch offers an exceptionally smooth typing experience, described as silky. These switches enhance overall smoothness, minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. Additionally, the Ink Box Black switch is also described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that contributes to a sleek typing experience. The Cream Yellow switch may provide a bouncier feel, while the Ink Box Black switch focuses on a smoother and polished typing experience.

Based on the available information, the Cream Yellow and Ink Box Black switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Cream Yellow switch provides a distinctively clacky sound with resonant audio feedback and a bouncy typing feel. On the other hand, the Ink Box Black switch offers a clacky sound reminiscent of a shaken spray paint can and a smooth, polished, and silky typing feel. Both switches have their own unique characteristics that cater to different preferences. However, if you are looking for a similar clacky sound, both switches can deliver similar results, with the Cream Yellow potentially offering a slightly different tonal quality due to its design. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preference and the desired 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.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a switch with a medium bottom out force and a distinctive clacky sound, the KTT Cream Yellow linear switch would be a great choice for you. Its shortened bottom-out distance and long-pole stem provide resonant audio feedback, resulting in a crisp, bright, and percussive sound when pressed. Additionally, the Cream Yellow switch offers a uniquely bouncy typing feel, giving you a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, which can enhance your overall typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a slightly heavier bottom out force and a smooth and creamy typing experience, the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch would be a suitable option. The Ink Box Blacks are incredibly smooth and offer an exceptionally smooth typing experience. The keys have a silky and polished finish, minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The sound signature of these switches can be described as clacky, crisp, bright, and high-pitched, which can be a preferred choice if you enjoy a sharper and crisper sound profile.

Ultimately, the decision between the KTT Cream Yellow and the Gateron Ink Box Black will depend on your personal preferences for sound and feel. Consider whether you prefer a clacky and bouncy typing experience or a smooth and creamy one. Remember to also take into account the difference in bottom out force, with the Cream Yellow being medium and the Ink Box Black being medium-heavy. Make sure to test these switches or listen to sound demos to determine which switch aligns with your desired typing experience.

Mentioned in this article

Cream Yellow

Cream Yellow

BrandKTT
CategoryLinear

$2.75

$2.55 per 10 switches

Try the Cream Yellow switches
Ink Box Black

Ink Box Black

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$8.50

$7.65 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Box Black switches