KTT Grapefruit vs. Gateron Luciola

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

Overview

The KTT Grapefruit and Gateron Luciola are two mechanical keyboard switches that offer distinct features and qualities. The Grapefruit is best known for its soft and light type feel, along with a "baritone" but not yet "bass" deep sound profile. It falls under the categories of being low-pitched, neutral, and polished. On the other hand, the Luciola switches are eye-catching as they glow in the dark. They provide a medium heft, smooth and bouncy typing feel, and a hollow "can of spray paint being shaken" sound profile. This switch is categorized as snappy, clacky, chirpy, marbly, buttery, high-pitched, and polished. Both switches have their unique qualities and advantages, making it an exciting choice for keyboard enthusiasts. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

55g

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

3.60 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

22mm double-staged long spring; black-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Luciola switches exhibit notable differences in terms of sound profile and aesthetics. The Grapefruit utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffness of polycarbonate, which enhances clarity and resonance. Additionally, the clear nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches designed with RGB lighting in mind. On the other hand, the Luciola employs a proprietary INK blend top housing, known for its relatively high-pitched yet not overly sharp sound. The INK blend offers a satisfying thin and clacky sound, showcasing Gateron's unique approach to housing materials.

Regarding the bottom housings, the Grapefruit features a nylon material that elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, producing a duller and rounder sound. The Gateron Luciola also utilizes the proprietary INK blend for its bottom housing, which similarly contributes to the thin and higher-pitched sound that the switch is known for. Both switches offer distinct acoustic characteristics due to the choice of bottom housing material.

In terms of how these materials are distributed within the switches, pressing down on a switch will primarily reflect the qualities of the bottom housing. The material of the bottom housing has a significant impact on the sound and feel of the switch during bottom-out. Conversely, the sound when releasing a key is influenced by the properties of the top housing. Therefore, while the specific materials may differ between the Grapefruit and Luciola, the overall impact on typing experience and sound production can be comparable, with each housing material bringing its distinct qualities to the switch's performance.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Luciola linear switch, we can see some similarities and differences. The Grapefruit has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams, whereas the Luciola requires 55 grams of force to actuate, making it slightly heavier. Both switches fall under the medium-light category, with the Grapefruit having a bottom out force of 53 grams and the Luciola having a bottom out force of 60 grams, which is slightly heavier.

The weight of a switch is an important factor to consider, as it can impact typing comfort and endurance. For those who prefer a lighter feel, the Grapefruit switch would be recommended as it requires less force to actuate. This can be beneficial for individuals who type for extended periods, such as for work or long gaming sessions. On the other hand, some individuals prefer a more substantial typing experience and may prefer the stronger push feel of the Luciola switch. The higher actuation and bottom out force of the Luciola can provide a more tactile and satisfying typing experience for such individuals.

In summary, although both the KTT Grapefruit and Gateron Luciola linear switches are in the medium-light range, the Grapefruit is lighter in both actuation and bottom out force compared to the Luciola. The choice between the two switches ultimately depends on individual preferences for typing experience and the desired level of force required for keystrokes.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Gateron Luciola linear switch, we can see that the Grapefruit has a travel distance of 4 mm, while the Luciola has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm. Although both switches have relatively similar distances, the difference of 0.4 mm can be noticeable to some users. 4.0 mm is the most traditional travel distance, providing a comfortable depth when pressing down on a key. On the other hand, the Luciola's 3.6 mm travel distance is shallower and can be preferred by gamers seeking faster response times. It is important to consider personal preference in terms of responsiveness versus a deeper feel when choosing between these two switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Luciola has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Luciola for $6.50.

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 unique "baritone" sound profile that is soft, light, and not yet deep like a bass. This low-pitched sound provides a mellow and bass-heavy tone compared to higher-pitched switches. On the other hand, the Gateron Luciola linear switch has a variety of sound profiles. It can produce a clacky and sharp sound, described as crisp, bright, and percussive. It can also have a chirpy sound with a little squeak to it, as well as a marbly sound that is resonant, high-pitched, and clean. Furthermore, it offers a high-pitched option for those who prefer a sharper and crisper sound. Overall, the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen.

When it comes to feel, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a smooth and refined typing experience with its polished finish. This results in a sleek and effortless typing sensation, thanks to reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Gateron Luciola linear switch provides a snappy typing experience. This responsiveness is achieved through longer or dual-staged springs, which make the typing experience feel more alive. It also offers a buttery keystroke experience, ensuring a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. Both switches have a polished finish that contributes to their smoothness and refined feel.

Considering all the available information, the KTT Grapefruit and Gateron Luciola linear switches offer different subjective qualities. The Grapefruit switch stands out for its soft and light type feel, along with its "baritone" sound profile. On the other hand, the Luciola switch catches attention with its glow-in-the-dark feature and offers a medium heft, smooth and bouncy typing feel, and a variety of sound profiles. If you are looking for a low-pitched and mellow sound, along with a polished and refined feel, the Grapefruit switch is a suitable choice. However, if you prefer a switch with multiple sound profiles and a snappy, buttery, and polished typing feel, the Luciola switch would be more appealing. It's important to note that individual preferences and the choice of board and keycaps can further influence the overall experience with these switches.

Conclusion

In closing, when choosing between the KTT Grapefruit and the Gateron Luciola linear switches, it ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities. If you prioritize a soft and light typing feel, along with a "baritone" sound profile, then the Grapefruit switches are the way to go. These switches have a bottom out force of 53 grams, which is medium-light, making them suitable for a wide range of users.

On the other hand, if you value a smooth and bouncy typing feel, along with the unique feature of glowing in the dark, the Gateron Luciola switches would be a great choice. With a bottom out force of 60 grams, which is medium, these switches offer a slightly heavier keystroke while still maintaining a comfortable typing experience.

When it comes to sound profiles, the Grapefruit switches have a low-pitched and neutral sound, providing a bass-heavy and mellow tone. This makes them great for those who prefer a more soothing auditory experience. Conversely, the Luciola switches offer a range of sound profiles, including clacky, chirpy, marbly, and high-pitched. If you enjoy a sharper and more percussive sound when typing, the Luciola switches have got you covered.

In terms of feel, both switches provide a polished experience, with smooth and refined finishes that result in a sleek typing experience. However, the Grapefruit switches are specifically described as polished, indicating a refined finish that reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel. Meanwhile, the Luciola switches are also described as snappy and buttery, offering a super responsive and fluid keystroke experience.

To summarize, if you prioritize a soft and light typing feel with a "baritone" sound profile, along with a neutral sound and polished feel, the KTT Grapefruit switches would be the ideal choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a smooth and bouncy typing feel, along with the unique feature of glowing in the dark, and a range of sound profiles including clacky, chirpy, marbly, and high-pitched, then the Gateron Luciola switches are the way to go. Ultimately, it's important to consider your personal preferences and priorities when making a decision between these two switches.

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