KTT Grapefruit vs. SP-Star RedBlue

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two options stand out: the KTT Grapefruit and the SP-Star RedBlue. The Grapefruit is best known for its unique characteristics, offering a soft and light feel with a distinctive "baritone" sound profile. Categorized as 'Low-pitched', 'Neutral', and 'Polished', these linear switches provide a truly exceptional typing experience. On the other hand, the RedBlue switches are particularly suited for those seeking a medium-light typing feel. With a relatively higher-pitched sound profile, these switches are categorized as 'Low-pitched', 'Neutral', 'Mild', 'Thocky', and 'Polished'. Both switches have their own distinct advantages and appeal, making the decision a matter of personal preference. 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

57g

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

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

Gold plated

Housing materials

The KTT Grapefruit and SP-Star RedBlue both utilize polycarbonate for their top housing, allowing for a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to polycarbonate's stiffness, which creates a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate is beneficial for those planning to use RGB lighting, as it allows for the light to shine through effectively. Therefore, both switches offer similar sound qualities and compatibility with RGB lighting due to their shared use of polycarbonate for the top housing.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Grapefruit features a nylon material, while the RedBlue utilizes polycarbonate. Nylon is known for eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile, as it is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. This creates a duller and rounder sound when typing on switches with nylon bottom housing. On the other hand, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the RedBlue contributes to its sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The stiffer nature of polycarbonate enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound. Therefore, the bottom housing materials of the Grapefruit and RedBlue result in contrasting sound profiles, with the Grapefruit offering a deeper and rounder sound due to nylon and the RedBlue providing a sharper and crisper sound thanks to polycarbonate.

When using a switch with different top and bottom housing materials like the Grapefruit and RedBlue, the qualities of each housing material are distributed between the top and bottom of the switch. The bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, as it is responsible for absorbing more sound with softer materials like nylon or providing a clearer sound with stiffer materials like polycarbonate. On the other hand, the top housing plays a more significant role in the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, the distribution of housing materials in these switches allows for a comprehensive and nuanced sound experience when typing, with different qualities contributing to the overall sound profile depending on the direction of key presses.

Weight

The actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch differ slightly. The Grapefruit switch has an actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams. In contrast, the actuation force of the RedBlue switch is unavailable, but it has a bottom out force of 57 grams. Both switches can be considered medium-light, making them suitable for those who prefer a lighter typing experience. However, the slight difference in bottom out force might provide a slightly more substantial typing experience with the RedBlue switch. Those who prefer a lighter switch for longer typing or gaming sessions might lean towards the Grapefruit, while those who desire a marginally stronger push feel might opt for the RedBlue switch. Overall, these switches offer similar results for users seeking switches with medium-light actuation and bottom out forces.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a keyboard switch refers to the distance the switch travels from the top to the bottom, which is the distance one feels when pressing down a key. In the case of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch, both switches have a travel distance of 4 mm. Therefore, it can be concluded that both switches will provide a similar experience in terms of travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star RedBlue has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the RedBlue for $5.40.

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 experience. It has a deep, baritone sound profile that is not yet bass-heavy. This produces a mellow and pleasant tone, suitable for those who prefer a softer and more melodic typing sound. On the other hand, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch has a relatively higher-pitched sound profile. While it also has a low-pitched characteristic that adds a touch of bass-heavy tone, it offers a more neutral sound overall. This means that it falls within a moderate range of actuation force and sound profile, making it suitable for a wide range of users and situations.

In terms of feel, the KTT Grapefruit switch is known for its soft and light type feel. It provides a smooth and refined typing experience due to its polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. This ensures a sleek and comfortable typing experience for users. On the other hand, the SP-Star RedBlue switch offers a mild typing experience. It is designed to provide a more gentle and approachable feel, which falls in the safe middle-ground zone of switch characteristics. Similar to the Grapefruit switch, the RedBlue switch also features a polished finish, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Taking all the available information into account, it is clear that both the KTT Grapefruit and SP-Star RedBlue switches have their own unique qualities. The Grapefruit excels in its distinct deep and baritone sound profile, while offering a soft and light type feel. On the other hand, the RedBlue switch provides a relatively higher-pitched sound profile, with a mild and approachable typing experience. While there are differences in their sound and feel, it is important to note that individual preferences can vary. Therefore, it is recommended to try out both switches or read reviews from users with similar preferences to determine which one would be a better fit. Nonetheless, if you are looking for similar results, both switches offer a neutral sound profile and a polished feel, which ensures a comfortable and enjoyable typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a soft and light typing experience with a slightly lower pitched sound profile, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch would be an excellent choice. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, these switches provide a medium-light resistance that is comfortable for most typists. The Grapefruit switches also have a polished finish, ensuring a smooth and refined feel during use.

On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-light typing experience with a higher-pitched sound profile, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch is worth considering. With a bottom out force of 57 grams, these switches offer a similar resistance level to the Grapefruit. However, the RedBlue switches also have a thocky sound profile, producing a deep and satisfying "thud" or "knock" when pressed and released. Like the Grapefruit, the RedBlue switches also feature a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, both the Grapefruit and RedBlue switches provide a neutral typing experience, making them suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. Whether you are using these switches at home or work, you can expect a moderate actuation force requirement and a comfortable feel.

In conclusion, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch is ideal for those who prioritize a soft and light typing experience with a lower-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch caters to individuals who prefer a medium-light typing experience with a higher-pitched sound profile and a thocky feel. Both switches offer a polished finish for a smooth typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the Grapefruit and RedBlue switches will depend on your personal preferences for typing feel and sound.

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