Gateron Ink Yellow vs. KTT Mint

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that often come up are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Mint, both of which are linear switches. The Ink Yellow is known for its shorter travel, offering a typing experience that falls between a laptop keyboard and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch showcases a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, making it a favorite among those who appreciate a satisfying feel while typing. On the other hand, the Mint switch emphasizes satisfyingly smooth linear motion, thanks to its long pole stem, resulting in a delightful poppy thockiness while typing. Additionally, users can expect a light and fleeting type feel with the Mint switch. However, beyond these general characteristics, let's dive in a bit deeper to help you decide on the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

53g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

4.00 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

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

15mm spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and KTT Mint switches differ significantly. The Ink Yellow features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which provides a pointed and slightly high-pitched sound profile. This thin and clacky sound is often described as satisfying. In contrast, the Mint switch utilizes a polycarbonate top housing. Polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Additionally, the polycarbonate housing is translucent, making it ideal for RGB lighting.

Moving to the bottom housing, the Ink Yellow also incorporates the proprietary INK blend, which delivers a similar pointed and high-pitched sound profile. However, the Mint switch employs a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. The nylon bottom housing creates a duller and rounder sound when compared to the clacky sound of the INK blend.

It's important to note that the housing materials of a switch greatly influence its overall sound profile. While the Ink Yellow and Mint switches may share some similarities in terms of a pointed and high-pitched sound profile, their housing materials create subtle differences. The INK blend top and bottom housing of the Ink Yellow will contribute to a more consistent sound experience throughout the key press. Conversely, the Mint switch's combination of a polycarbonate top and nylon bottom housing splits the characteristics, with the bottom housing affecting the sound and feel upon bottom-out, while the top housing influences the sound upon key release.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the KTT Mint linear switch, it is clear that they have noticeable differences. The Ink Yellow requires an actuation force of 60 grams, while the Mint only requires 45 grams, making it lighter in terms of force needed to trigger a keystroke. In terms of bottom out force, the Ink Yellow requires 67 grams, which is heavier compared to the Mint's 53 grams. This means that the Ink Yellow offers a more substantial typing experience with a stronger push feel, while the Mint provides a lighter and potentially more comfortable typing experience. It is worth noting that both switches fall within the medium range, with the Ink Yellow being medium-heavy and the Mint being medium-light. Therefore, if someone is looking for a similar result in terms of force, they could potentially choose either switch depending on their personal preference.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is 3.5 mm, while the KTT Mint linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of travel distance, the Mint switch is slightly longer than the Ink Yellow switch. The 4.0 mm distance of the Mint switch falls within the range of traditional travel distances, while the 3.5 mm distance of the Ink Yellow switch is on the shorter side. Gamers who prioritize faster response times often prefer switches with shorter travel distances, making the Ink Yellow switch a suitable choice for them. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a more substantial keypress experience may find the Mint switch with its longer travel distance more satisfying. Ultimately, the preference for travel distance depends on personal preferences and typing style. Both switches offer different tactile experiences, but they provide similar results in terms of allowing users to input commands or keystrokes.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Yellow has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Yellow for $7.35.

The KTT Mint comes in at $2.91 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 Gateron Ink Yellow switch is known for its neutral sound profile, offering a moderate actuation force requirement and a crisp, bright, and percussive clacky sound when pressed. On the other hand, the KTT Mint switch has a low-pitched sound, featuring a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Like the Ink Yellow, the Mint switch also has a neutral sound profile and a moderate actuation force requirement. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Mint switches provide a mild typing experience, offering a gentle feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The qualities of these switches stand in a safe, middle-ground zone, making them approachable to most users. Additionally, both switches have a polished finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The smoothness and refinement of these switches can be attributed to the materials used and/or factory lubing.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the KTT Mint switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. While the Ink Yellow exhibits a shorter travel and a pleasant smoothness with clackiness, the Mint provides a satisfyingly smooth typing experience with a poppy thockiness and a light and fleeting type feel. The sound characteristics of the Ink Yellow are described as neutral and clacky, while the Mint has a low-pitched and neutral sound. Both switches offer a mild and polished feel, ensuring a comfortable typing experience. Depending on individual preferences, either of these switches can provide a delightful typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the one for you. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a medium-heavy feel. This switch is known for its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, giving you a satisfying typing experience. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow is described as neutral and clacky, producing a moderate actuation force and a crisp, bright, and percussive sound. Additionally, its feel can be described as mild and polished, offering a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter typing feel, the KTT Mint linear switch is the better choice. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, it falls into the medium-light range. The Mint switch is loved for its satisfyingly smooth and poppy thockiness. It provides a light and fleeting type feel, allowing for a swift typing experience. In terms of sound, the Mint is described as low-pitched and neutral, offering a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Its feel is also characterized as mild and polished, providing a comfortable and sleek typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the KTT Mint linear switch depends on your personal preference for typing experience. If you prefer a medium-heavy and clacky feel with a moderate actuation force, go for the Ink Yellow. However, if you prefer a lighter and swifter typing feel with a poppy thockiness, the Mint switch is the better option. Both switches offer a mild and polished feel, ensuring a comfortable typing experience.

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