KTT Grapefruit vs. SP-Star Duck

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch, you may come across two popular options: the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch. Both switches offer unique features that cater to different preferences. The Grapefruit switch, known for its tarty linear feel, provides a soft and light typing experience. With its low-pitched and neutral sound profile, this switch offers a polished sound that is neither too deep nor too bass-heavy. On the other hand, the Duck switch offers a more subtle tactile typing experience, perfect for those who prefer a gentle tactility. Its clean and crispy sound profile adds to the overall typing satisfaction. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

58g

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 the SP-Star Duck both utilize polycarbonate in their top housings, resulting in similar sound profiles. This material, known for its stiffness, creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it an ideal choice for switches that will be used with RGB lighting. The aesthetic appeal of a clear housing often indicates the use of polycarbonate. Therefore, both the Grapefruit and the Duck offer a clear and resonant sound experience, making them suitable for those seeking a distinctive typing experience.

While the top housings of the Grapefruit and the Duck share similarities, their bottom housings differ. The Grapefruit utilizes a nylon bottom housing, known for producing a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a relatively softer plastic, absorbs more sound and creates a duller and rounder sound. This adds a unique dimension to the typing experience on the Grapefruit switches. In contrast, the Duck employs a polycarbonate bottom housing, which, like its top housing counterpart, contributes to a clear and resonant sound profile. This consistency in utilizing polycarbonate throughout the switch ensures a cohesive sound experience, albeit with different qualities between the top and bottom of the switch.

It is important to note that the housing materials of the Grapefruit and the Duck have distinct impacts on the overall sound and feel of these switches. When pressing down on either switch, the qualities of the bottom housing, whether nylon or polycarbonate, will be more noticeable, affecting the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing, made from polycarbonate in both cases, will have a greater influence on the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, while the housing materials may differ between the Grapefruit and the Duck, their distinct effects on sound and feel remain consistent.

Weight

When comparing the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch, there are differences in both their actuation force and bottom out force. The actuation force of the Grapefruit is 45 grams, while the exact value for the Duck is unknown. However, what is known is that the actuation force of the Duck is heavier than the Grapefruit. On the other hand, both switches have a similar bottom out force, with the Grapefruit at 53 grams and the Duck at 58 grams. Despite the lack of specific information on the actuation force of the Duck, it can be concluded that it requires a stronger push to trigger a keystroke compared to the Grapefruit. These differences in force can affect typing experiences, with the lighter actuation force of the Grapefruit being favorable for those who prefer a lighter touch for prolonged typing sessions, while the heavier actuation force of the Duck may provide a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel.

Travel distance

Both the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key using either of these switches, you will feel the same distance of travel. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, both switches will provide similar results.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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

In terms of sound, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a low-pitched sound profile with a "baritone" quality. This means that the sound produced by these switches is deep and mellow, resembling a bass-heavy tone. On the other hand, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch provides a clean and crispy sound profile. It is described as having a neutral sound, which means it falls in the middle ground with a moderate pitch. Both switches offer a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for most purposes. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be affected by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to the feel, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offers a soft and light typing experience. It is described as polished, meaning it has a smooth and refined finish resulting in a sleek typing experience. This indicates that the switch has reduced friction and provides smooth key travel. On the other hand, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch offers a more subtle tactile typing experience. It is described as mild, providing a gentle typing experience suitable for most users. Additionally, it is also described as buttery, implying a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. Like the Grapefruit switch, the Duck switch is also described as polished, indicating reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the KTT Grapefruit linear switch and SP-Star Duck tactile switch offer different subjective qualities when it comes to sound and feel. The Grapefruit switch provides a low-pitched sound and a soft and light typing experience with a polished feel. On the other hand, the Duck switch offers a neutral sound and a more subtle tactile typing experience with a mild and buttery feel, also with a polished finish. If you are looking for a deep and mellow sound with a light and smooth typing experience, the Grapefruit switch would be a suitable choice. However, if you prefer a clean and crispy sound with a subtle tactile feel and smooth keystrokes, the Duck switch would be a better option. Both switches have their unique qualities, but it's important to consider personal preferences and the other factors such as keyboard board and keycaps used.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a linear switch with a soft and light feel, along with a deep sound profile, the KTT Grapefruit switches would be your go-to choice. The Grapefruit switches have a bottom-out force of 53 grams, which is considered medium-light. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle tactile typing experience with a clean and crispy sound profile, the SP-Star Duck tactile switches are perfect for you. The Duck switches have a slightly higher bottom-out force of 58 grams, which is still considered medium.

In terms of sound, the Grapefruit switches have a low-pitched sound profile, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. This makes them suitable for users who enjoy a deep and soothing sound while typing. The Duck switches, on the other hand, have a neutral sound profile, which means they have a moderate sound that is suitable for most purposes and preferences.

When it comes to feel, the Grapefruit switches are polished, offering a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. This makes them ideal for those seeking a sleek typing sensation. The Duck switches, on the other hand, have a mild and buttery feel. They provide a gentle typing experience with a seamless and effortless keystroke sensation, making them approachable to most users.

Ultimately, your choice between these two switches will depend on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a light and soft linear switch with a deep sound profile, go for the Grapefruit switches. If you prefer a more subtle tactile typing experience with a clean and crispy sound, opt for the Duck switches. Both switches offer reliable performance with moderate actuation forces, making them suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

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