KTT Grapefruit vs. Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch, the KTT Grapefruit and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring are two excellent options to consider. The Grapefruit is best known for its soft and light linear feel, coupled with a "baritone" yet not "bass" deep sound profile. On the other hand, the Shadow Single Spring switch is highly recommended for those seeking a tactile switch with a medium level of tactility. It features a lower actuation and bottom-out force, resulting in a very approachable tactility. Additionally, it offers a deep and thocky sound profile. Both switches have their unique qualities, providing users with a diverse range of options to choose from. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

48g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

55g

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 single-stage spring

Housing materials

The KTT Grapefruit and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring both feature polycarbonate top housings. This shared material choice contributes to a similar sound profile for both switches. The use of polycarbonate creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound when typing. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for the use of RGB lighting, making it aesthetically appealing for those looking to customize their keyboards. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and visual effects when using either switch.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the Grapefruit utilizes a nylon material, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring uses a polycarbonate bottom housing. This difference in materials leads to distinct characteristics in sound and feel. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing. On the other hand, polycarbonate as a relatively stiffer plastic produces a clearer and more resonant sound. This means that the Grapefruit's bottom-out sound and feel will be slightly different from that of the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring, as the qualities of the bottom housing significantly impact these aspects of the switch.

In conclusion, while both the KTT Grapefruit and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring share polycarbonate top housings, their differences in bottom housing materials lead to contrasting characteristics in sound and feel. The Grapefruit's nylon bottom housing creates a deeper and fuller sound profile, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring's polycarbonate bottom housing produces a clearer and more resonant sound. Therefore, depending on individual preferences for sound and feel, users can choose between the two switches to achieve their desired typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch, it is evident that both switches fall under the category of medium-light force. The Grapefruit switch has an actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring has an actuation force of 48 grams and a bottom out force of 55 grams. This slight difference in force is negligible for most users, as both switches provide a similar typing experience in terms of weight. Therefore, whether typing for extended periods or seeking a more substantial feel, both switches offer comparable results. It is worth noting that lighter switches like these are favored by individuals who require longer typing sessions, such as professionals at work or avid gamers. Conversely, those who prefer a stronger push and more significant tactile feedback may opt for switches with heavier forces.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the KTT Grapefruit linear switch to the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch, we find that both switches have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when pressing down on a key equipped with either switch, the distance traveled from the top to the bottom will be the same. As a result, users can expect similar results and feedback in terms of the travel distance when using these switches. Neither switch is shorter or longer in terms of travel distance, making them equally suitable for those who prioritize a 4 mm travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single 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) Single 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 and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch have distinct subjective qualities when it comes to sound and feel.

Starting with sound, the Grapefruit linear switch offers a low-pitched profile. This means that it produces a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. On the other hand, the subjective qualities of the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch's sound are unknown, as no information is provided. It is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen, so the overall sound experience may vary. However, based on the available information, the Grapefruit is likely to deliver a deeper and softer sound compared to the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch.

Moving on to feel, the Grapefruit linear switch is described as polished. This indicates that it has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. The materials used and potential factory lubing contribute to reduced friction and smooth key travel with these switches. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch is described as bouncy. This means that it provides a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, offering lively feel and rebound when pressed. This tactile feedback adds a satisfying element to the typing experience.

In conclusion, the Grapefruit linear switch and the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch have different subjective qualities when it comes to sound and feel. The Grapefruit offers a low-pitched sound profile with a soft and light type feel, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch provides an unknown sound profile and a bouncy feel. It is important to consider personal preferences and typing style when choosing between these switches to ensure a satisfactory keyboard experience. However, if a quieter and smoother typing experience with a gentle touch is desired, the Grapefruit linear switch may be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if a tactile feedback with a livelier feel is preferred, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch may provide the desired experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a smooth and light linear switch with a soft typing experience, the KTT Grapefruit switch is an excellent choice. With its medium-light bottom out force and neutral sound profile, this switch is suitable for both beginners and advanced users, and can be used in various settings, whether it's at home or at work. On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch with a medium level of tactility and a bouncy feedback sensation, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch is highly recommended. With its lower actuation and bottom-out force, this switch offers approachable tactility and a deep thocky sound profile. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your personal preferences and typing style. Happy keyboarding!

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