KTT Grapefruit vs. Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring

An in-depth look at the KTT Grapefruit and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

The KTT Grapefruit and Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring are two mechanical keyboard switches that offer different features and qualities. The Grapefruit switches are best known for their soft and light type feel, accompanied by a distinctive "baritone" sound profile. Categorized as low-pitched, neutral, and polished, these switches provide a smooth and effortless typing experience. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switches are perfect for those in search of a tactile switch with medium-high tactility. With a long, two-staged spring, these switches offer a satisfying and clacky typing experience, producing deep resonating thocks. Categorized as clacky, high-pitched, sharp, accented, snappy, bouncy, and stepped, they provide a more pronounced tactile feedback. 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

55g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

63g

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

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

20mm dual-stage spring

Housing materials

The KTT Grapefruit and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring both utilize polycarbonate as the material for their top housing. This choice creates a similar sharp, high-pitched, and crisp sound profile in both switches. The translucency of polycarbonate allows for effective RGB lighting, making it a suitable choice for those who wish to have visually appealing lighting effects. When it comes to the bottom housing, however, the Grapefruit features a nylon material while the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring opts for polycarbonate.

The Grapefruit's nylon bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring's polycarbonate bottom housing maintains the sharpness and clarity of the top housing, emphasizing a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile throughout the keystroke. In terms of the overall feel, the qualities of the bottom housing have a more noticeable impact when pressing down on the switch, while the top housing influences the sound when releasing a key.

While both switches experience the benefits of polycarbonate in their top housing, the difference in their bottom housing materials leads to distinct typing experiences. The Grapefruit's nylon bottom housing creates a deeper, fuller sound, while the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring's polycarbonate bottom housing maintains a sharper and crisper sound profile. These differences can significantly impact the overall typing experience and personal preference.

Overall, the Grapefruit and the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring share similarities in their polycarbonate top housing, delivering a sharp and crisp sound profile suitable for RGB lighting. However, the choice of nylon for the Grapefruit's bottom housing elicits a deeper and fuller sound, whereas the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring maintains the sharpness and clarity throughout the keystroke. Understanding the impact of housing materials on sound and feel can guide individuals in selecting the switch that aligns with their preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch, it is clear that the Grapefruit is lighter in both aspects. The Grapefruit has an actuation force of 45 grams, while the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring requires 55 grams of force to trigger a keystroke. Similarly, the Grapefruit has a bottom out force of 53 grams, whereas the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring requires 63 grams to fully press down.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Grapefruit would be a suitable choice as it requires less force for both actuation and bottoming out. This can be especially beneficial for prolonged typing sessions or gaming sessions, as it reduces strain on the fingers and allows for more comfortable and extended use.

On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a more substantial typing feel may lean towards the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch. With its heavier actuation and bottom out forces, it provides a stronger push feel, resulting in a more tactile and pronounced typing experience. This can be appealing for those who prefer a more responsive and pronounced keystroke.

If one desires similar results to the Grapefruit's lighter actuation and bottom out forces, they could opt for a custom modification on the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch. By adjusting or replacing the springs within the switch, it may be possible to achieve a force closer to that of the Grapefruit. However, without further information on the customizability of the Shadow (Ink) switch, it is uncertain if this would be a feasible option.

In summary, the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch are lighter compared to the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch. The Grapefruit provides a medium-light typing experience, while the Shadow (Ink) switch offers a medium-level force. Ultimately, the choice between the two would depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch both have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel and experience the same travel distance of 4 mm. Both switches provide a consistent and satisfying tactile feedback through their travel distance. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, both switches offer similar results to the user.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring has an MSRP of $4.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring for $3.57.

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

The KTT Grapefruit linear switch is known for its soft and light feel, providing a smooth and refined typing experience. Its sound profile is described as "baritone" with a deep yet not bass-heavy tone. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch offers a medium-high level of tactility with its long, two-staged spring. It provides a sharp and crisp tactile bump that can be felt distinctly with each keypress. The sound produced by the Shadow switch is described as clacky, with a sharp and percussive quality.

In terms of sound, the Grapefruit switch has a low-pitched profile, offering a more mellow and bass-heavy tone. It is considered neutral, making it suitable for various purposes and user levels. The Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch, on the other hand, has a clacky sound profile, producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed. It is described as high-pitched, providing a sharp and crisp sound. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Grapefruit switch is known for its polished finish, resulting in a smooth and sleek typing experience. It offers reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is described as sharp, providing a high feedback intensity with a strong and crisp tactile bump. It is also considered accented, offering a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. The switch is snappy and bouncy, providing a super responsive and spring-like feedback sensation. Additionally, it has a stepped feel, offering a mild tactile experience with some pre-travel and/or post-travel.

In conclusion, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Grapefruit switch provides a soft and light feel with a deep yet not bass-heavy sound profile. On the other hand, the Shadow switch offers a medium-high level of tactility with a sharp and crisp sound when pressed. While their qualities differ, both switches offer unique characteristics that can enhance typing experiences.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a switch with a soft and light type feel, along with a medium-light bottom out force, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch is an excellent choice. These switches are known for their "baritone" deep sound profile and their polished finish, which provides a smooth and refined typing experience. Additionally, the Grapefruit switches have a neutral sound profile that is suitable for most purposes. On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch with a medium-high level of tactility and a medium bottom out force, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is the ideal option. These switches offer a variety of descriptors such as sharp, accented, snappy, and bouncy, meaning they provide a distinct tactile feedback and a lively typing experience. Furthermore, the Shadow switches produce deep and resonating thocks when typing. Consider your preference for feel and sound when choosing between these two switches.

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