KTT Grapefruit vs. TKC Kiwi

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options stand out: the KTT Grapefruit and the TKC Kiwi. The Grapefruit switch is a linear switch, while the Kiwi switch offers a tactile experience. The Grapefruit switch is best known for its soft and light feel, providing a smooth typing experience. Additionally, it produces a distinctive "baritone" sound profile, although not quite reaching a deep "bass" level. On the other hand, the Kiwi switch boasts a medium to medium-strong tactile bump at the top of each key press, enhancing the typing experience. It also offers a satisfyingly snappy sound profile that immerses users in their typing. Both switches have their own unique characteristics and advantages. However, let's delve deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision regarding which switch is the best fit for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

43g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

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

UHWMPE

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

UHWMPE

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold coated spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Grapefruit and the TKC Kiwi offer distinct differences in sound profile and aesthetic appeal. The Grapefruit utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffness of polycarbonate, resulting in a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for incorporating RGB lighting. In contrast, the Kiwi features a UHWMPE top housing, a newer material that produces a very bright sound signature. This material offers resonant clacks while typing, providing a unique auditory experience.

In terms of bottom housing, the Grapefruit employs a nylon material that is considered a classic in switch housings. Typing on switches with nylon bottom housing produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. This softness of nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Kiwi utilizes a UHWMPE bottom housing, contributing to its bright sound signature. This material is relatively new and offers resonant clacks while typing, similar to its top housing counterpart.

Although the top and bottom housings differ between the Grapefruit and the Kiwi, their impact on the overall sound profile is split. The bottom housing of a switch, such as the Grapefruit's nylon or the Kiwi's UHWMPE, significantly influences the sound and feel during bottom-out. Conversely, the top housing, whether it is the polycarbonate or UHWMPE, affects the sound when releasing a key. Despite their variations, both switches provide unique and satisfying sound experiences, allowing users to choose based on their personal preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the TKC Kiwi tactile switch, it is clear that they offer different levels of resistance. The KTT Grapefruit has a slightly lighter actuation force of 45 grams compared to the TKC Kiwi's 43 grams. However, when it comes to the bottom out force, the Grapefruit requires a force of 53 grams, while the Kiwi is significantly heavier at 67 grams.

For those who prefer a lighter keyboard feel, the KTT Grapefruit would be a suitable choice. The lower actuation force allows for a smoother typing experience, enabling longer periods of comfortable typing for work or gaming. On the other hand, individuals seeking a more substantial typing experience may opt for the TKC Kiwi with its heavier bottom out force. The increased resistance provides a stronger push feel, giving a satisfying tactile feedback with each keystroke.

While the actuation force differs slightly between the two switches, both offer a medium level of resistance. This means that users can expect relatively similar experiences when it comes to triggering keystrokes. However, it is important to note that the TKC Kiwi has a notably heavier bottom out force compared to the KTT Grapefruit. Thus, users choosing the Kiwi switch can expect a more solid and sturdy typing feel, with a greater emphasis on the physical feedback provided by bottoming out the keys.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Grapefruit and TKC Kiwi switches depends on personal preference. Those who prioritize a lighter typing experience may lean towards the Grapefruit, while individuals who prefer a stronger push feel may gravitate towards the Kiwi. Both switches offer their own unique advantages and can enhance the overall typing experience based on an individual's specific preferences.

Travel distance

Both the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the TKC Kiwi tactile switch have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key using either of these switches, you will feel a consistent distance of 4 mm from the top to the bottom. Therefore, you can expect similar results when using either of these switches in terms of the tactile feel and feedback provided by the key press. The travel distance is equal for both switches, ensuring a consistent typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41, whereas the TKC Kiwi comes in at $8.00.

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

In terms of sound, both the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the TKC Kiwi tactile switch are described as having a low-pitched sound profile. Low-pitched switches typically feature a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. This means that both switches will provide a pleasant and soothing sound while typing. However, it's important to note that the overall sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard and keycaps being used.

In terms of feel, the KTT Grapefruit switch is described as being polished, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. This indicates that the switch has a sleek finish, reducing friction and providing smooth key travel. On the other hand, the TKC Kiwi switch is described as stepped and accented. Stepped switches have a slightly different feel as they provide a two-stage tactile feedback, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Accented switches, in the case of TKC Kiwi, provide a medium amount of tactile feedback that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, both switches are also described as polished, meaning they have a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and effortless typing.

Considering all the available information, it can be concluded that the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the TKC Kiwi tactile switch offer different subjective qualities. The Grapefruit switch provides a soft and light feel, along with a deep sound profile. In contrast, the Kiwi switch offers a medium to medium-strong tactile bump, providing a satisfying snappy sound profile. Both switches are suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user and whether you plan to use them at home or work. It's important to consider personal preferences for both sound and feel when choosing between these switches, as they can greatly enhance the typing experience.

Conclusion

In closing, when deciding between the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the TKC Kiwi tactile switch, there are a few key factors to consider.

If you are looking for a softer and lighter typing experience with a subtly deep sound profile, the Grapefruit switch is the way to go. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, it provides a medium-light pressure that is comfortable for extended periods of typing. The Grapefruit switch is also described as having a low-pitched and neutral sound profile.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more tactile typing experience with a snappy sound profile, the Kiwi switch is the better choice. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a medium-heavy pressure that provides a satisfying bump at the top of each key press. The Kiwi switch is also described as having a low-pitched and neutral sound profile.

In terms of feel, the Grapefruit switch is known for its polished finish, resulting in smooth key travel and reduced friction. The Kiwi switch, on the other hand, is described as a stepped and accented switch, providing a mild tactile feel that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Both switches are also polished, ensuring a sleek and refined typing experience.

Ultimately, the decision between the Grapefruit and Kiwi switches boils down to personal preference. If you prioritize a soft and light typing experience, along with a deep sound profile, the Grapefruit switch is the way to go. If you prefer a more tactile typing experience with a snappy sound profile, the Kiwi switch is the better choice. Consider your typing preferences and choose the switch that aligns with your needs and desires.

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