KTT Grapefruit vs. Outemu Red Panda

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

Overview

When discussing mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the KTT Grapefruit and the Outemu Red Panda. The KTT Grapefruit is a linear switch known for its soft and light typing experience. It has a unique baritone sound profile, although it is not as deep as a bass. On the other hand, the Outemu Red Panda is a tactile switch that provides a light-medium level of tactility. Typing on these switches produces a distinctive raindrop-like bottom-out sound and a clackier, higher-pitched top-out sound. While the Grapefruit is classified as low-pitched, neutral, and polished, the Red Panda is recognized for its thocky and mild performance. These general characteristics can assist you in determining which switch aligns with your preferences. However, let's delve deeper into these specifics so you can make the most informed decision based on your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

50g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

60g

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

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

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 KTT Grapefruit and the Outemu Red Panda have similar housing materials, with both featuring a polycarbonate top housing. Polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic that creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This material also allows for RGB lighting to shine through, making it aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, whether you choose the Grapefruit or the Red Panda, you can expect similar results in terms of sound and visual effects.

One distinguishing factor between the two switches lies in their bottom housing materials. The Grapefruit utilizes a nylon bottom housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon allows it to absorb more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder overall sound. On the other hand, the Red Panda also incorporates a nylon bottom housing that elicits a similar deep and full sound, complementing the qualities of the top housing.

When it comes to the overall typing experience, the characteristics brought by the housing materials are divided between the top and bottom of the switch. The qualities of the bottom housing, such as impact and bottom-out sound, will be more noticeable when you press down on the switch. Conversely, the top housing will have a greater influence on the sound when you release the key. This division allows for a dynamic and well-rounded typing experience on both the Grapefruit and the Red Panda.

In summary, while both the KTT Grapefruit and the Outemu Red Panda share a polycarbonate top housing that creates a sharp and crisp sound, they differ in their bottom housing material. The Grapefruit utilizes a nylon bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile with an overall duller tone. Similarly, the Red Panda incorporates a nylon bottom housing that complements its sharp sound from the polycarbonate top housing. Despite these differences, both switches offer a satisfying typing experience, with the bottom housing impacting the key press and the top housing contributing to the key release sound.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch, there are a few notable differences. The Grapefruit has a lighter actuation force of 45 grams compared to the Red Panda's 50 grams. This means that the Grapefruit requires slightly less force to trigger a keystroke. However, when it comes to bottoming out, the Grapefruit requires a force of 53 grams, while the Red Panda requires 60 grams. Therefore, the Red Panda has a heavier bottom out force.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Grapefruit would be a suitable choice as its actuation force is lower. This can be beneficial for longer typing sessions or gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial and tactile typing experience may gravitate towards the Red Panda due to its heavier actuation and bottom out forces. It provides a stronger push feel that some users find more satisfying.

Overall, while the actuation force of the Grapefruit is lighter than the Red Panda, both switches provide a medium level of force in terms of bottoming out. Therefore, if an individual is seeking a similar typing experience in terms of force exertion, they can achieve comparable results with either switch.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch is 4 mm, while the travel distance of the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch is 3.3 mm. The Grapefruit has a slightly longer travel distance compared to the Red Panda. 4.0mm is the most traditional travel distance, providing a good balance between key depth and responsiveness. On the other hand, the Red Panda offers a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.3 mm. This shorter distance may be preferred by gamers who value faster response times. However, for those who prefer a deeper and more substantial key press, the Grapefruit's longer travel distance may be more satisfying. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and the desired 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 Outemu Red Panda comes in at $3.40.

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 experience. These switches have a soft and light feel, similar to a baritone sound profile. Although not as deep as a bass sound, the Grapefruit switch produces a low-pitched tone. On the other hand, the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch provides a different sound experience. Typing on these switches results in a bassier, raindrop-like bottom-out sound, accompanied by a clackier, higher-pitched top-out sound. The Red Panda certainly offers a satisfying thocky sound when pressed. It is important to note that the sound produced by these switches can also be affected by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen.

Moving on to feel, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch is characterized by its polished nature. This means that the switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. With reduced friction and smooth key travel, the Grapefruit switch provides a pleasant typing feel. On the other hand, the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch offers a mild typing experience. It falls in the middle ground in terms of its characteristics, making it approachable for most users. The Red Panda switch strikes a balance between pronounced tactility and a gentle typing experience.

In conclusion, both the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch offer unique qualities. The Grapefruit switch provides a soft and light feel with a baritone-like sound profile, while the Red Panda switch offers a mild typing experience with a thocky sound. Depending on personal preferences and typing style, either switch can provide a satisfying keyboard experience. It is worth noting that while the Grapefruit switch may not have as deep of a sound as the Red Panda, it still delivers a pleasant low-pitched tone. Similarly, the Red Panda switch may not have the same polished feel as the Grapefruit, but it still offers a comfortable typing experience. Ultimately, it is recommended to try both switches if possible, as individual preferences may vary.

Conclusion

To wrap up, when considering the choice between the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch, there are a few factors to consider. The Grapefruit, with its medium-light bottom out force of 53 grams, offers a soft and light typing experience with a slightly deeper sound profile. It has a neutral sound description, which means it has a moderate and mellow tone suitable for various purposes. In terms of feel, the Grapefruit provides a polished and smooth typing experience, thanks to its refined finish and reduced friction.

On the other hand, the Red Panda has a slightly higher bottom out force of 60 grams, making it a medium tactile switch. It offers a light-medium amount of tactility and a bassier, raindrop-like bottom-out sound. This switch is described as thocky, producing a deep and satisfying sound when pressed. In terms of feel, the Red Panda offers a mild typing experience that is approachable to most users. Its qualities stand in a safe, middle-ground zone, providing a comfortable typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on your personal preferences. If you enjoy a softer and lighter typing experience with a more mellow sound, the Grapefruit may be the better option for you. However, if you prefer a slightly more tactile switch with a deeper and satisfying sound, the Red Panda would be a suitable choice. Consider your typing style, preferences for sound and feel, and decide which switch aligns best with your typing needs.

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