Gateron Ink Box Black vs. KTT Orange

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Box Black and the KTT Orange switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the Gateron Ink Box Black and the KTT Orange. The Ink Box Black switch is best known for its incredibly smooth and creamy feel, accompanied by a unique sound that resembles a shaken spray paint can. This switch can be categorized as clacky, high-pitched, silky, and polished. On the other hand, the KTT Orange switch offers a bouncy type feel, thanks to its 22mm long spring. With a polycarbonate milky top housing, long pole POM stem, and a vivid orange nylon bottom housing, these switches provide a slick and frictionless typing experience. The KTT Orange switch is also known for its low-pitched sound profile. Thanks to its factory-lubing, it offers a refined and fluid key travel that minimizes friction and maximizes smoothness. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision on the ideal switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

46g

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

53g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

22mm gold-plated spring

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Box Black and the KTT Orange differ in terms of their housing materials. The Ink Box Black utilizes a proprietary INK blend for both its top and bottom housings, while the KTT Orange uses polycarbonate for both. However, both switches share similarities in the sound profiles associated with their respective housing materials.

In terms of sound, the Ink Box Black's INK blend top housing is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, described as being clacky. On the other hand, the Orange's polycarbonate top housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. While both materials contribute to a thin and higher-pitched sound, the INK blend may offer a slightly less sharp and intense sound compared to polycarbonate.

When it comes to aesthetics, the polycarbonate top housing of the Orange switch has an advantage. The translucency of polycarbonate makes it suitable for switches that intend to use RGB lighting, allowing the lighting effects to shine through the switch. The INK blend top housing of the Ink Box Black, however, lacks this translucency and may not showcase RGB lighting as effectively.

However, it's important to note that the top and bottom housings of a switch play different roles in its overall sound and feel. The qualities of the bottom housing, whether it's the INK blend or polycarbonate, have a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when the key is pressed down. On the other hand, the top housing, regardless of the material, influences the sound when you release a key. Both switches will deliver similar results in terms of overall sound quality, but the specific characteristics may differ due to the unique properties of their respective housing materials.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch and the KTT Orange linear switch, there are notable differences between the two. Starting with the Gateron Ink Box Black, it has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 70 grams, making it a medium-heavy switch. On the other hand, the KTT Orange has a lighter actuation force of 46 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, placing it in the medium-light range.

For those seeking a lighter typing experience, the KTT Orange switch would be a suitable option as it requires less force to trigger a keystroke. This lighter actuation force can be beneficial for individuals who type for longer periods, such as professionals using the keyboard at work or gamers engaged in lengthy gaming sessions. The Gateron Ink Box Black, on the other hand, offers a slightly heavier push feel with its medium-heavy actuation force, providing a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger keystroke response.

Although the forces required for actuation and bottoming out differ between the two switches, both offer a similar range of resistance. Therefore, individuals seeking similar results in terms of typing experience can find satisfaction with either switch, depending on their personal preferences.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the KTT Orange linear switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm. Both switches have relatively short travel distances compared to the traditional 4.0 mm, indicating a preference for faster response times. Gamers, in particular, tend to favor shorter travel distances for increased speed and efficiency. However, some individuals may find that short travel distances feel too abrupt and lack the depth they desire. In such cases, opting for the switch with a longer travel distance may be preferred to achieve a more satisfying typing or gaming experience. Overall, while the Gateron Ink Box Black has a slightly longer travel distance than the KTT Orange, they both offer similar results with a focus on quicker key presses.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Box Black has an MSRP of $8.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Box Black for $7.65.

The KTT Orange has an MSRP of $5.55 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Orange for $4.15.

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 Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch has a clacky and high-pitched sound profile. When pressed, it produces a sharp and snappy sound that can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the KTT Orange linear switch has a low-pitched sound profile. It offers a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch offers a silky and polished typing experience. These switches are exceptionally smooth, enhancing the overall feel and minimizing resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The switch has a refined finish, resulting in a sleek and effortless typing experience. The KTT Orange linear switch, on the other hand, provides a bouncy and frictionless feel. It gives a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, offering a lively feel with rebound when keys are pressed. The switch also offers an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience, minimizing any sense of resistance or friction.

Based on the available information, both switches offer smooth typing experiences with different sound profiles. The Gateron Ink Box Black linear switch is known for being silky and polished, providing a clacky and high-pitched sound. On the other hand, the KTT Orange linear switch offers a bouncy and frictionless feel with a low-pitched sound profile. It is important to consider personal preferences when choosing between these switches, as the sound and feel can greatly impact the overall typing experience. However, regardless of the choice, both switches are designed to deliver smooth and enjoyable typing experiences.

Conclusion

In summary, if you are looking for a medium-heavy switch with a clacky, high-pitched sound profile and a silky, polished feel, the Gateron Ink Box Black is the switch for you. These switches offer a smooth and creamy typing experience with minimal resistance and excellent factory-lubing, resulting in a refined, fluid key travel. The sound signature is sharp and snappy, which can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive.

On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-light switch with a low-pitched sound profile and a bouncy, frictionless feel, the KTT Orange switch is a great choice. These switches feature a bouncy, elastic feedback sensation, giving you a lively feel and rebound when pressed. The frictionless typing experience ensures minimal resistance and a fluid travel. The low-pitched sound profile provides a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches.

Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Ink Box Black and the KTT Orange switch depends on your personal preferences for bottom out force, sound profile, and typing feel. Consider whether you prefer a medium-heavy or medium-light switch, as well as the clacky, high-pitched sound of the Ink Box Black or the low-pitched sound of the Orange. Additionally, think about whether you prefer the silky, polished feel of the Ink Box Black or the bouncy, frictionless feel of the Orange. By considering these factors, you can choose the switch that best suits your typing style and preferences. In the end, both switches offer unique and desirable features, so whichever you choose, you can expect a high-quality mechanical keyboard experience.

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