Outemu Crystal vs. KTT Grapefruit

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Outemu Crystal and the KTT Grapefruit offer unique features and experiences. The Crystal switches are known for their medium-light weight and elastic feel, providing a distinct linear typing experience. Additionally, they produce a neutral sound profile while typing. On the other hand, the Grapefruit switches offer a soft and light typing feel with a "baritone" sound profile that is not too deep. Both switches have a polished finish and fall into the category of linear switches. Choosing between these two switches ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific typing experience desired. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can make the best decision for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

55g

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

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Outemu Crystal and the KTT Grapefruit both utilize polycarbonate as their top housing material. This choice results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile for both switches. The relatively stiff nature of polycarbonate enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound produced. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting, as it allows for better light diffusion. Therefore, users can expect similar sound and lighting effects from both the Crystal and the Grapefruit due to their shared use of polycarbonate in the top housing.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the Crystal differs from the Grapefruit. The Crystal also employs polycarbonate for its bottom housing, which contributes to its sharp and resonant sound profile. On the other hand, the Grapefruit utilizes a nylon bottom housing. This choice gives the Grapefruit a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound than polycarbonate and creates a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, users can expect a difference in the sound produced while bottoming out the keys between the Crystal and the Grapefruit.

It's worth noting that when pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing will be more prominent, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing will have a greater impact on the sound produced when lifting the key. Therefore, even though the top and bottom housings may differ, the overall typing experience may still be similar in terms of the sound produced, as the combination of top and bottom materials balances out the final result.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, we can see some similarities and differences. In terms of actuation force, both switches require 45 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. This means that users will experience a similar light touch when typing on either switch. However, when it comes to bottom out force, there is a slight difference. The Crystal requires 55 grams of force to fully press down, while the Grapefruit requires 53 grams. This means that the Grapefruit offers a slightly lighter and more comfortable bottoming out experience compared to the Crystal. For those who prefer a lighter typing experience and value longer typing sessions, the Grapefruit switch may be the preferred choice. On the other hand, if a user prefers a slightly stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience, the Crystal switch could be the better option. Overall, both switches fall under the category of medium-light in terms of force required, ensuring a comfortable typing experience for most users.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a switch is an important factor to consider when choosing a keyboard. In the case of the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, both switches have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that pressing down on a key with either switch will result in a similar tactile feedback and key travel experience. Therefore, users can expect a consistent typing experience regardless of whether they opt for the Outemu Crystal or the KTT Grapefruit switch. Overall, both switches offer a comfortable and satisfying typing experience with their equal travel distances.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the Outemu Crystal comes in at $3.40, whereas the KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41.

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

When it comes to sound, the Outemu Crystal switch offers a unique and distinctive typing experience. These switches have a chirpy sound, which sets them apart from other options. The sound produced by the Crystal switches is high-pitched, sharp, and crisp when pressed. If you prefer a more rich and bassy sound profile, these may not be the best choice for you. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit switches have a low-pitched sound profile. These switches produce a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. However, the Grapefruit switches are also described as having a neutral sound profile, which means they have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile. This makes them suitable for most intents and purposes. Keep in mind that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, both the Outemu Crystal and KTT Grapefruit switches offer a polished experience. This means that they have a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. The smoothness of the switches is due to the materials used and/or factory lubing. As a result, both switches offer reduced friction and smooth key travel. This can enhance the overall typing experience and provide a comfortable feel when using them.

In conclusion, the Outemu Crystal and KTT Grapefruit switches offer different subjective qualities when it comes to sound. The Crystal switches have a chirpy, high-pitched sound profile, while the Grapefruit switches have a low-pitched sound profile with a neutral option. However, both switches provide a polished feel, ensuring a smooth and refined typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to personal preference regarding sound and feel. If you prefer a unique and high-pitched sound, the Crystal switches may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a low-pitched sound or a more neutral sound profile, the Grapefruit switches would be a good choice. Overall, both switches offer a quality typing experience, and depending on your preferences, you can achieve similar results with either option.

Conclusion

To sum up, when choosing between the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, consider the differences in bottom out force, sound, and feel. Both switches have a medium-light bottom out force, providing a comfortable typing experience. However, the Crystal switch offers a unique, elastic feel, while the Grapefruit switch provides a soft and light typing experience. In terms of sound, the Crystal switch has a chirpy and high-pitched profile, ideal for those who prefer a sharp and crisp sound. On the other hand, the Grapefruit switch has a low-pitched and neutral sound profile, perfect for those who enjoy a bass-heavy and mellow tone. When it comes to feel, both switches are polished, offering a smooth and refined finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, your choice between the two switches should depend on your preferences for feel and sound.

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