KTT Grapefruit vs. Kailh Plum

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are a myriad of options available, each with its own unique characteristics. Two popular switches to consider are the KTT Grapefruit and the Kailh Plum. The Grapefruit is a linear switch, offering a soft and light typing experience. Known for its low-pitched sound profile, these switches have a distinctive "baritone" tone. On the other hand, the Plum is a tactile switch that offers a hefty feel without a pronounced tactile bump. This sets it apart from other tactile switches that tend to have a stronger tactile response. The Plum also boasts a neutral and enjoyable sound profile. While these general traits can guide your decision, let's dive deeper into the specifics to help you determine the best switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

70g

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Pre-travel

1.70 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 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

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials for the KTT Grapefruit and the Kailh Plum switches are similar in many ways. Both switches feature polycarbonate top housings, which create a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, resulting in a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that utilize RGB lighting. Similarly, both switches have nylon bottom housings, which elicit a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound.

However, if the top and bottom housings are different for a switch, the qualities of each housing material will have a split effect. When pressing down on the switch, the qualities of the bottom housing come into play, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. This means that the differences between the nylon bottom housing of the Grapefruit and the Plum could potentially result in variations in the depth and fullness of the sound produced when typing. Conversely, the top housing will have a greater impact on the sound when releasing a key, highlighting the differences between the polycarbonate top housing of the Grapefruit and the Plum.

In conclusion, while both the KTT Grapefruit and the Kailh Plum share similar characteristics in their housing materials, the potential differences in their top and bottom housings may lead to variations in sound profiles. The stiffer polycarbonate used in the top housing provides a sharper and crisper sound, whereas the softer nylon in the bottom housing creates a deeper and fuller sound. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on the individual's preference for sound and feel during typing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Kailh Plum tactile switch, it is evident that they have different weight preferences. The KTT Grapefruit has a relatively lighter actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, which falls within the medium-light range. On the other hand, the Kailh Plum exhibits a heavier bottom out force of 70 grams, while the actuation force is unavailable.

Those who prefer a lighter typing experience may opt for the KTT Grapefruit as it allows for longer periods of typing without fatigue. This characteristic makes it well-suited for keyboards used in work environments or extended gaming sessions. In contrast, the Kailh Plum caters to individuals who desire a more substantial push feel. With its heavier bottom out force, this switch provides a more pronounced and satisfying typing experience.

Although the exact actuation force of the Kailh Plum is unknown, it is safe to assume that it is most likely heavier than the actuation force of the KTT Grapefruit. Therefore, if one desires similar results to the KTT Grapefruit's actuation force, selecting a lighter switch option from the Kailh Plum series would be a suitable choice. Ultimately, the decision between the KTT Grapefruit and the Kailh Plum switches boils down to personal preference - whether one leans towards a lighter, more effortless keystroke or a heavier, more substantial and tactile typing experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Kailh Plum tactile switch, it is evident that the Grapefruit has a longer travel distance of 4 mm, while the Plum has a shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm. The 4.0 mm travel distance of the Grapefruit is more traditional, providing a deeper and more satisfying keystroke. On the other hand, the Plum's 3.6 mm travel distance offers a shallower and faster typing experience that is favored by gamers seeking increased responsiveness. If you value a quicker response time, the Plum is the ideal choice. However, if you prefer a more substantial and deliberate feel when typing, the Grapefruit's longer travel distance would be more suitable. Both options offer unique advantages, catering to different preferences and typing styles.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

For 10 switches, the KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41, whereas the Kailh Plum comes in at $6.25.

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 low-pitched and moderately deep sound profile. This gives it a mellow and bass-heavy tone, which can be quite pleasing to the ears. On the other hand, the Kailh Plum tactile switch has a neutral sound profile that is equally enjoyable. Both switches provide a moderate actuation force requirement and sound, making them suitable for various purposes. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. In terms of sound, you can expect similar results from both switches, with the Grapefruit offering a slightly deeper tone.

Moving on to feel, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch is known for its smooth and polished finish. This results in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Kailh Plum tactile switch offers a more mild and gentle typing experience. It falls in the middle ground, providing a comfortable and approachable feel for most users. Additionally, the Plum switch features a stepped tactile sensation, which means you can feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel. This adds a subtle layer of feedback to each keystroke. Overall, the Grapefruit switch provides a polished feel, while the Plum switch offers a mild and stepped tactile experience.

Considering all the available information, both the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Kailh Plum tactile switch have their unique subjective qualities. The Grapefruit switch stands out for its soft and light linear feel, along with a deep and mellow sound profile. On the other hand, the Plum switch offers a hefty but not overly tactile feel, with a neutral and enjoyable sound profile. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for different types of users and purposes. Whether you prefer a more polished and linear typing experience or a mild and stepped tactile sensation, these switches can provide satisfying results.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you're looking for a soft and light linear switch with a medium-light bottom out force, the KTT Grapefruit would be a great choice for you. These switches provide a unique typing experience with a "baritone" sound profile. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a bit more weight, the Kailh Plum tactile switch with its medium-heavy bottom out force might be more suitable. These switches are known for their hefty feel without a pronounced tactile bump, making them a distinctive option. In terms of sound, both switches offer a neutral profile that is enjoyable for most users. As for feel, the Grapefruit switch is polished, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience, while the Plum switch offers a mild feel and a stepped tactile sensation. Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Grapefruit and Kailh Plum switches depends on your preference for switch weight, tactile feedback, and sound profile. Whether you prioritize a soft linear switch or a hefty tactile experience, both options have their unique qualities to offer.

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