KTT Grapefruit vs. Outemu Phoenix

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the KTT Grapefruit and the Outemu Phoenix. The Grapefruit is a linear switch that offers a soft and light feel, along with a "baritone" sound profile. On the other hand, the Phoenix is a clicky switch known for its unique under-skirt click mechanism, providing a crystalline and sparkling feel and sound. While the Grapefruit is categorized as low-pitched, neutral, and polished, the Phoenix is classified as crunchy and polished. Choosing between these switches depends on personal preference and specific requirements. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

62g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.30 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

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

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 Outemu Phoenix are quite similar in terms of their polycarbonate top housing. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housing, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The relatively stiffer plastic of polycarbonate contributes to a more clear and resonant sound, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a precise and defined typing experience. Additionally, the transparent nature of polycarbonate allows for the incorporation of RGB lighting, adding a visually appealing element to the switches.

However, where the switches differ is in their choice of bottom housing material. The Grapefruit incorporates a nylon bottom housing, renowned for eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound upon keystrokes. This can be appealing to individuals who prefer a more subdued and immersive typing experience. On the other hand, the Phoenix opts for a polycarbonate bottom housing, aligning with its top housing material. This means that the crisp and resonant sound profile associated with polycarbonate will also be evident during bottom-out, adding to the overall clarity and precision of the switch.

Considering these differences, the choice between the KTT Grapefruit and the Outemu Phoenix will depend on the desired sound profile and typing experience. If one seeks a switch with a sharper and crisper sound, both during keystrokes and release, the polycarbonate top and bottom housings of the Phoenix would be the ideal option. However, if a deeper and fuller sound is preferred, the combination of a polycarbonate top housing and a nylon bottom housing in the Grapefruit would be more suitable. Nevertheless, both switches provide excellent options for users looking to enhance their typing experience with high-quality housing materials that elevate the sound profile of their keyboard.

Weight

When comparing the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch, it is clear that both switches offer different levels of actuation and bottom out forces. The Grapefruit switch has an actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, making it a medium-light option. On the other hand, the Phoenix switch's actuation force is unknown, while its bottom out force is 62 grams, classifying it as a medium force switch.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Grapefruit switch would be a suitable choice as its actuation and bottom out forces are relatively lower than the Phoenix switch. This lighter actuation force allows for a comfortable and effortless typing experience, making it ideal for extended periods of use, such as in work environments or during lengthy gaming sessions.

Alternatively, individuals who prefer a more substantial typing experience may appreciate the heavier force offered by the Phoenix switch. While the specific actuation force is unknown, the higher bottom out force of 62 grams provides a stronger push feel, resulting in a more satisfying keystroke. This heavier force is often favored by users who desire increased tactile feedback and a more pronounced typing experience.

In conclusion, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a lighter actuation and bottom out force compared to the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch. Depending on personal preferences, individuals can choose between the medium-light typing experience provided by the Grapefruit switch or the medium force and enhanced tactile feedback offered by the Phoenix switch. Although the actuation force for the Phoenix switch is not available, individuals seeking a heavier typing experience can expect similar results to those provided by the bottom out force of 62 grams.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distances of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch, it is clear that the Grapefruit has a longer travel distance of 4.0 mm, while the Phoenix has a shorter travel distance of 3.3 mm. The 4.0 mm travel distance of the Grapefruit is more traditional, providing a deeper feel when pressing down on a key. On the other hand, the 3.3 mm travel distance of the Phoenix is shallower, which appeals to gamers who value faster response times. It is important to note that shorter travel distances have become increasingly popular, especially among gamers. If you prefer a more responsive feel, the shorter travel distance of the Phoenix may be the better option for you. However, if you prefer a deeper and more substantial key press, the longer travel distance of the Grapefruit would be more suitable. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41, whereas the Outemu Phoenix comes in at $4.15.

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, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a low-pitched sound profile. This means that it produces a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. On the other hand, the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch is described as "crunchy." This indicates that it produces a sound similar to stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. It offers a unique and satisfying auditory experience. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, both the Grapefruit and Phoenix switches are described as "polished." This means that they have a smooth and refined finish, leading to a sleek typing experience. These switches are designed to provide reduced friction and smooth key travel. Whether you choose the Grapefruit or Phoenix switch, you can expect a comfortable and seamless typing feel.

Overall, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Outemu Phoenix clicky switch offer different subjective qualities. The Grapefruit switch provides a soft and light linear feel, along with a deep sound profile that leans toward a baritone but not bass level. On the other hand, the Phoenix switch stands out with its under-skirt click mechanism, giving it a unique crystalline and sparkling feel and sound profile. Both switches offer a polished feel, ensuring smooth and frictionless key travel. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on your personal preferences and typing style. As both switches offer a polished feel, you can expect similar results in terms of feel, while the sound profiles will differ significantly.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a linear switch with a soft and light type feel, along with a low-pitched and neutral sound profile, the KTT Grapefruit switches would be an excellent choice. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, these medium-light switches provide a comfortable typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a clicky switch with a crystalline and sparkling type feel and a crunchy sound profile, the Outemu Phoenix switches are the way to go. These medium switches with a bottom out force of 62 grams offer a unique clicking mechanism and a satisfying tactile feedback. Both switches have a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the decision between the KTT Grapefruit and Outemu Phoenix switches comes down to your preference for linear or clicky switches and the specific sound and feel you desire.

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