KTT Grapefruit vs. Cherry MX Black

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

Overview

The KTT Grapefruit and the Cherry MX Black are two popular mechanical keyboard switches that both fall under the linear category. The Grapefruit switches are best known for their unique qualities, offering a soft and light type feel, along with a low-pitched sound profile that can be described as "baritone." On the other hand, the MX Black switches, perfected by Cherry, boast a classic textured smoothness due to their Hyperglide tooling. Typing on these switches produces a deep sound profile that is familiar to many. While both switches share a low-pitched sound profile, they differ in terms of their feel and texture. The Grapefruit switches provide a polished experience, while the MX Black switches offer a more stiff and textured feel. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

60g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

80g

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

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Grapefruit and the Cherry MX Black differ in their composition and the resulting sound profiles. The Grapefruit utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. This stiffer plastic material contributes to a more clear and resonant sound profile, while its translucency is ideal for showcasing RGB lighting. In contrast, the MX Black features a nylon top housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound with a rounder and duller quality. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a different auditory experience compared to polycarbonate.

The bottom housings of both switches are made from nylon, thereby sharing similar qualities. Nylon is noteworthy for its ability to elicit a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. This softer plastic material absorbs more sound, leading to a duller and rounder sound. As a result, both the Grapefruit's and MX Black's bottom housings contribute to a similar overall auditory experience during typing.

Although the top and bottom housings of a switch may have distinct characteristics and influences on sound, the act of pressing down on a switch primarily engages the qualities of the bottom housing, affecting the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, when releasing a key, the top housing comes into play, impacting the sound produced. While the Grapefruit's polycarbonate top housing and the MX Black's nylon top housing may have different effects on the sound when releasing a key, the bottom housings' nylon material ensures a shared deep and full sound profile when pressing the keys.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, it becomes clear that there are significant differences between the two. The Grapefruit switch has an actuation force of 45 grams, making it relatively light, while the MX Black switch requires a higher actuation force of 60 grams. This means that for those who prefer a lighter touch, the Grapefruit switch would be a more suitable option.

Moving on to the bottom out force, the Grapefruit switch has a force of 53 grams, which is slightly heavier than its actuation force but still falls under the medium-light category. On the other hand, the MX Black switch has a bottom out force of 80 grams, making it considerably heavier. This indicates that while typing on the Grapefruit switch may provide a relatively softer and less pronounced keystroke, the MX Black switch offers a more substantial and forceful typing experience.

It's worth mentioning that if someone prefers a lighter actuation force and a heavier bottom out force, they can achieve similar results with the Grapefruit switch by applying additional pressure while typing. However, it is important to note that the inherent actuation and bottom out forces of the switches are still different.

Considering the weight aspect, those who prioritize a lighter touch may opt for the Grapefruit switch, as it allows for comfortable and extended typing durations. This makes it ideal for use in work environments or during longer gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a stronger push feel and desire a more substantial typing experience may lean towards the MX Black switch, given its heavier actuation and bottom out forces.

Overall, the actuation and bottom out forces of the Grapefruit and MX Black switches differ significantly, with the Grapefruit switch being lighter and the MX Black switch being heavier. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences and typing style, with some individuals favoring a light and effortless keystroke while others enjoy a more forceful typing experience.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a switch is the distance it travels from the top to the bottom when pressed. This is the distance that can be felt when a key is pressed. In the case of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Cherry MX Black linear switch, both switches have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will feel the same distance. Therefore, there is no difference in the travel distance between the KTT Grapefruit and the Cherry MX Black switches. Both switches offer a comfortable and consistent travel distance, ensuring a satisfying 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 Cherry MX Black comes in at $4.00.

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

When it comes to sound, the KTT Grapefruit and Cherry MX Black switches both offer a low-pitched profile. Low-pitched switches typically have a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. However, the Grapefruit switches also have a "baritone" sound profile, which gives them a unique touch. The MX Black switches, on the other hand, provide a deep sound profile that is familiar and satisfying. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard and keycaps used. Regardless, both switches deliver pleasing deep tones, ensuring an enjoyable typing experience.

Moving on to feel, the Grapefruit switches are described as polished. This indicates that they have a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. The reduced friction and smooth key travel provided by these switches enhance the overall feel. On the other hand, the MX Black switches are described as textured. This means that they have noticeable friction when pressed. Some users may appreciate this subtle texture, while others prefer a smoother, friction-free typing experience. Additionally, the MX Black switches require a higher amount of force to actuate and/or bottom-out, making them stiffer compared to other switches. This might be a consideration for those who prefer a stiffer switch.

Overall, the KTT Grapefruit and Cherry MX Black switches offer different qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Grapefruit switches provide a soft and light feel along with a unique "baritone" sound profile. They deliver a polished typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the MX Black switches offer Cherry's perfected design, featuring a classic textured smoothness and deep sound profile. Both switches have their own merits and will provide a satisfying typing experience depending on the individual's preferences. It is important to consider factors such as personal typing style and intended use when choosing between these switches.

Conclusion

In closing, if you are looking for a smoother and lighter typing experience with a softer and lighter feel, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch would be the ideal choice for you. With its medium-light bottom out force of 53 grams, you can expect a polished and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Additionally, the Grapefruit produces a low-pitched sound profile that is mellow and pleasant to the ears, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users in various settings.

On the other hand, if you prefer a heavier typing experience with a textured feel, the Cherry MX Black linear switch would be a great option. With its heavier bottom out force of 80 grams, you can expect a stiffer switch that requires more force to actuate and bottom out. This can provide a satisfying tactile feedback for those who prefer a higher amount of resistance. The MX Black also produces a low-pitched sound profile that is deep and bass-heavy, further enhancing the typing experience.

Ultimately, the decision between the KTT Grapefruit and the Cherry MX Black switches comes down to personal preference. Consider your typing style, desired level of force and sound, and whether a smooth or textured feel is more important to you. Both switches offer unique qualities that can enhance your typing experience, so choose the one that aligns best with your preferences and needs.

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