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KTT Grapefruitvs. Gateron Ink Yellow

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Yellow, both of which are linear switches. The Grapefruit switches are known for their soft and light feel, providing a unique typing experience that is often likened to the sound of a baritone instrument. Categorized as "low-pitched," "neutral," and "polished," these switches offer a distinct sensation. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switches are characterized by their shorter travel distance, making them a great choice for those who desire a typing experience that falls somewhere between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With a smoothness and clackiness that is often appreciated, these switches are categorized as "neutral," "clacky," "mild," and "polished." However, let's go beyond these generalities to explore further, so you can make an informed decision about which switch would suit you best.

By the numbers

Grapefruit
Ink Yellow
BrandKTT
CategoryLinear
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$3.41 per 10 switches

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Yellow have different housing materials, resulting in distinct sound profiles. The Grapefruit features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. This is due to polycarbonate being a stiffer plastic, offering a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the polycarbonate's translucency makes it ideal for RGB lighting. In contrast, the Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. While similar in terms of being both thin and higher-pitched, the Ink Yellow's sound is described as clacky rather than sharp.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the Grapefruit has a nylon bottom housing, which gives it a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, as a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Ink Yellow comes with Gateron's proprietary INK blend bottom housing, contributing to its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, similar to the top housing. Both switches share the characteristic of having a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound, but the materials used in their respective bottom housings may slightly differentiate the overall sound profiles.

When it comes to pressing down on the switch, the differences between the top and bottom housings become more noticeable. The bottom housing of a switch has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, meaning the qualities brought by the nylon housing of the Grapefruit or the INK blend of the Ink Yellow will shape this aspect of the switch experience. Conversely, the top housing's qualities, such as the polycarbonate in the Grapefruit or the INK blend in the Ink Yellow, will be more evident when releasing a key. These distinctions highlight the importance of both the top and bottom housing materials in determining the overall sound and tactile experience of a switch.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch, there is a clear distinction in terms of weight. The Grapefruit switch has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams and a lighter bottom out force of 53 grams, placing it in the medium-light category. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch has a heavier actuation force of 60 grams and a heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, categorizing it as medium-heavy.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Grapefruit switch would be the ideal choice due to its lower actuation and bottom out forces. This enables users to comfortably type for longer durations, making it suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. However, for individuals who desire a more substantial and forceful typing feel, the Ink Yellow switch would be the better option. The heavier actuation and bottom out forces provide a stronger push, giving a more satisfying and deliberate typing experience.

It is important to consider these weight differences as personal preferences can vary. Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches depends on individual typing preferences.

Travel distance

The KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch have different travel distances. The Grapefruit has a travel distance of 4mm, which is considered a traditional distance. On the other hand, the Ink Yellow has a shorter travel distance of 3.5mm. The Grapefruit's 4.0mm travel distance may appeal to those who prefer a more substantial depth to their key presses. It provides a sense of solidity and may be suitable for individuals who find shorter travel distances too abrupt. However, the Ink Yellow's 3.5mm travel distance may be preferred by gamers or individuals who prioritize faster response times. Shorter travel distances are becoming more popular in such scenarios as they allow for quicker keystrokes. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and the desired level of responsiveness.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

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.

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Typing experience

The KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch have different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel.

The Grapefruit switch is best known for its soft and light type feel, giving users a smooth and refined typing experience. In terms of sound, the Grapefruit switch has a low-pitched profile, offering a bass-heavy and mellow tone. This provides a deep and soothing sound when typing. The switch is also described as neutral, making it suitable for various purposes and user levels, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you plan to use it at home or work.

On the other hand, the Ink Yellow switch is characterized by a shorter travel distance, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It has a pleasant smoothness and a clacky sound profile. The switch is also described as neutral, making it suitable for different intents and purposes. It produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, creating a crisp, bright, and percussive sound experience.

In conclusion, the Grapefruit switch offers a soft and light feel with a low-pitched sound profile, while the Ink Yellow switch offers a typing experience between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, with a smooth and polished feel and a clacky sound profile. Both switches have a neutral characteristic, making them versatile for different users and settings. While the qualities may differ, using either switch will result in a similar result of a satisfying typing experience, depending on personal preference and other factors like the keyboard and keycaps used.

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 closing, if you are looking for a soft and light typing experience with a "baritone" sound profile, the KTT Grapefruit switches are a great option. These switches have a bottom out force of 53 grams, which is medium-light, and provide a smooth and refined feel due to their polished finish. Additionally, the Grapefruit switches have a low-pitched sound, which gives them a more bass-heavy and mellow tone.

On the other hand, if you prefer a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow switches are recommended. These switches have a bottom out force of 67 grams, which is medium-heavy, and offer a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. The Ink Yellow switches also have a neutral sound profile, making them suitable for most intents and purposes, and their polished finish ensures reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Ink Yellow switches depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a soft and light typing experience with a low-pitched sound, the Grapefruit switches are a great fit. However, if you prefer a smoother and clackier typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Ink Yellow switches are the way to go. Consider your desired typing feel, sound profile, and bottom out force when making your decision.

Mentioned in this article

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

BrandKTT
CategoryLinear

$3.41 per 10 switches

Try the Grapefruit switches
Ink Yellow

Ink Yellow

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Yellow switches