KTT Grapefruit vs. Gateron Ink Red

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

Overview

Introduction:

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, the choice of switches can greatly impact the typing experience. Two popular options to consider are the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Red switches, both of which are linear switches. The KTT Grapefruit switches are known for their unique qualities, offering users a soft and light typing experience with a distinctive "baritone" sound profile. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Red switches are praised for their lower actuation force, making them ideal for users with a lighter typing style. These switches provide a satisfyingly smooth feel, accompanied by a crispy and clacky sound while typing. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best switch choice suited to your preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

60g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

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

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Red switches have several notable differences. The Grapefruit features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Its translucency makes it ideal for RGB lighting. In contrast, the Ink Red utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound that is described as clacky. While both housings offer unique sound characteristics, the Grapefruit's polycarbonate housing is stiffer, resulting in a more clear and resonant sound profile. Additionally, its ability to transmit RGB lighting adds to its aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, the bottom housings of the Grapefruit and the Ink Red differ in material. The Grapefruit uses a nylon bottom housing, which provides a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a relatively softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a duller and rounder sound. Comparatively, the Ink Red employs the INK blend bottom housing, which contributes to a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound impression. Despite these differences, both bottom housings contribute to the overall sound and feel of the switch when pressed. The qualities of the bottom housing have a direct impact on the bottom-out sound and feel.

While the top and bottom housings of the Grapefruit and the Ink Red have distinct characteristics, they both play an integral role in the overall sound and feel of the switches. The top housing influences the sound when a key is released, while the bottom housing impacts the sound and feel when a key is pressed. The Grapefruit's polycarbonate top housing, with its stiffness and translucency, enhances the resonance and allows for RGB lighting effects. In contrast, the Ink Red's proprietary INK blend top housing offers a pointed and clacky sound. The difference in materials between the nylon and INK blend bottom housings also affects the sound profile, with the nylon providing a deeper and fuller sound and the INK blend offering a distinct higher-pitched sound. Despite these variations, both switches provide unique and satisfying typing experiences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Ink Red linear switch, it becomes apparent that they have a similar actuation force of 45 grams. This means that both switches require the same amount of force to trigger a keystroke, providing a consistent typing experience. However, when it comes to the bottom out force, the Grapefruit has a slightly lighter force of 53 grams, whereas the Ink Red has a heavier force of 60 grams.

For individuals who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Grapefruit switch would be a suitable choice as it allows for effortless keystrokes. This lighter bottom out force is ideal for those who type for longer periods or engage in prolonged gaming sessions, as it reduces fatigue and strain on the fingers. On the other hand, the Ink Red switch offers a slightly heavier bottom out force, providing a more substantial typing experience. This can be preferred by individuals who enjoy a stronger push feel on their keyboard, resulting in a more tactile and satisfying typing experience.

In conclusion, while both the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Red switches share a similar actuation force, their bottom out forces differ slightly. The Grapefruit switch is lighter in comparison, offering a more effortless typing experience, while the Ink Red switch is slightly heavier, providing a more pronounced tactile response. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on individual preferences and typing style.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Ink Red linear switch, it is evident that both switches have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when pressing down on a key equipped with either of these switches, the distance the switch travels from top to bottom will be identical. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of key responsiveness and tactile feedback when using either of these switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Red 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 Red for $7.35.

The KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41 per 10 switches.

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 KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a low-pitched sound profile. This means that the sound leans towards a bass-heavy and mellow tone. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch has a neutral sound profile. This means that it falls in the middle, with a moderate sound that is suitable for various purposes. Additionally, the Ink Red switch has a unique chirpy characteristic, giving it a slight squeak that sets it apart from other switches. It is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the keyboard and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the KTT Grapefruit switch is described as polished. This means that it has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. With reduced friction and smooth key travel, typing on these switches feels effortless. On the other hand, the Gateron Ink Red switch offers a silky typing experience. This indicates that it provides an exceptionally smooth feel, minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The Ink Red switch is also considered mild, offering a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Both switches are described as polished, ensuring a refined and smooth typing experience.

In conclusion, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Ink Red linear switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Grapefruit provides a low-pitched sound profile, while the Ink Red has a neutral sound with a chirpy characteristic. When it comes to feel, the Grapefruit is polished and offers reduced friction, while the Ink Red is silky and provides minimal resistance. While the switches have their distinct qualities, they both fall into the category of switches suitable for most intents and purposes. Depending on your personal preference, both switches can provide satisfying results with regards to sound and feel.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a linear switch with a soft and light feel, along with a moderate actuation force, the KTT Grapefruit switch is a great choice. These switches have a bottom out force of 53 grams, which is medium-light. The Grapefruit switches offer a smooth and refined typing experience, thanks to their polished finish and reduced friction. In terms of sound, they have a low-pitched and neutral profile, providing a pleasant and mellow tone. On the other hand, if you prefer a linear switch with a lower actuation force and a unique sound profile, the Gateron Ink Red switch is the way to go. With a bottom out force of 60 grams, which is medium, the Ink Reds are perfect for those with a lighter typing style. They offer a silky and mild feel, enhancing the smoothness of your typing experience. The Ink Reds also have a neutral sound profile, but with a chirpy characteristic that sets them apart from other switches. Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Grapefruit and Gateron Ink Red switches comes down to your personal preferences for feel, sound, and actuation force.

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