Gateron Ink Yellow vs. TTC Silent Red

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two options stand out: the Gateron Ink Yellow and the TTC Silent Red. If you're someone who desires a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, the Ink Yellow is the ideal choice. With its shorter travel distance and a satisfying combination of smoothness and clackiness, this switch guarantees an enjoyable and unique typing feel. On the other hand, if you value a noise-free environment while typing, the Silent Reds are a perfect fit. With a muted sound profile, these switches are ideal for office or shared living spaces. Their consistent feel from top to bottom, coupled with a padded bottom-out experience for utmost comfort, makes them an excellent choice. However, let's dive deeper beyond these generalities so you can ultimately decide which switch suits your preferences and requirements best.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.70 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Partial box

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

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and TTC Silent Red switches differ in terms of the top housing. The Ink Yellow utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend, which creates a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. It is described as clacky but not overly sharp. In contrast, the Silent Red features a polycarbonate top housing. Polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches intended for RGB lighting.

On the other hand, both switches share a similarity when it comes to their bottom housing. The Ink Yellow and Silent Red both utilize different materials for their bottom housing. However, these materials contribute to a similar outcome in terms of sound. The INK blend bottom housing of the Ink Yellow produces a thin and higher-pitched sound, while the nylon bottom housing of the Silent Red elicits a deeper and fuller sound. The use of nylon absorbs more sound, yielding a duller and rounder profile.

When comparing the overall sound and feel of the switches, the bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing influences the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, the Ink Yellow's INK blend contributes to a clacky bottom-out sound, while the Silent Red's polycarbonate top housing creates a crisper release sound. However, both switches provide unique auditory experiences due to the different materials used in their top and bottom housings.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the TTC Silent Red linear switch, there are some similarities and differences to consider. The Ink Yellow has a slightly higher actuation force of 60 grams compared to the Silent Red's 45 grams. This means that it requires a slightly stronger push to trigger a keystroke on the Ink Yellow. However, both switches have a similar bottom out force, with the Ink Yellow measuring at 67 grams and the Silent Red at 63.5 grams, both falling under the medium-heavy category.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Silent Red would be the more suitable option with its lower actuation force. This allows for a smoother and easier keystroke, ideal for long typing sessions or gaming marathons. On the other hand, for individuals who enjoy a more substantial and tactile typing feel, the Ink Yellow's higher actuation force provides a stronger push, which can result in a more satisfying typing experience.

It is worth mentioning that despite the slight differences in actuation force, both switches offer a similar bottom out force. This means that once the key is pressed all the way down, the experience will be relatively similar between the two switches. Ultimately, the choice between the Ink Yellow and Silent Red will depend on personal preference and the desired typing feel – lighter and smoother or heavier and more substantial.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the TTC Silent Red linear switch, it is clear that they have slightly different distances. The Ink Yellow has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Silent Red has a travel distance of 3.7 mm. Although these differences may seem minimal, they can still impact the overall user experience.

For those who prefer a more traditional travel distance, both of these switches fall within the range. However, if you are looking for a shorter travel distance, the Ink Yellow would be the better choice with its 3.5 mm distance. Gamers, in particular, often opt for shorter travel distances as it allows for faster response times. On the other hand, if you prefer a deeper key press, the Silent Red's longer travel distance of 3.7 mm may be more suitable for you.

It is important to note that personal preference plays a significant role in the choice between these two switches. While some may find the shorter travel distance of the Ink Yellow to be more responsive, others may find it too abrupt or lacking in depth. Ultimately, it is crucial to consider your own typing or gaming preferences before determining which switch will provide a more satisfying experience.

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 TTC Silent Red has an MSRP of $5.28 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Silent Red for $4.38.

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 best described as having a neutral and clacky profile. This means that it produces a moderately sharp and snappy sound when pressed, which can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the TTC Silent Red switch is known for its muted sound profile. It produces a softer and quieter sound compared to a regular or clacky switch, making it perfect for office or shared living space use. It minimizes the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. Please note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Next, let's consider the feel of the switches. The Gateron Ink Yellow switch offers a mild and polished typing experience. This means that it provides a more gentle and approachable typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. The keys have a smooth and refined finish, resulting in sleek and polished key travel. The TTC Silent Red switch also offers a buttery, mild, and polished feel. This implies a smooth and fluid keystroke experience, providing a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. Similar to the Ink Yellow switch, the Silent Red switch also has a smooth and refined finish, reducing friction and allowing for smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Yellow and TTC Silent Red switches have different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Ink Yellow switch is characterized by a shorter travel and showcases a pleasant smoothness and clackiness. This provides a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. On the other hand, the Silent Red switch delivers a smooth and seamless typing experience without the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. It has a muted sound profile and offers a smooth, consistent feel from top to bottom, with a padded bottom-out feel for maximum comfort. While they have their unique qualities, both switches offer a mild and polished feel, providing approachable and smooth key travel. Depending on your preferences and requirements, you can choose either switch for a satisfying typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you're looking for a switch that provides a pleasant typing experience with a shorter travel, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be the ideal choice. It offers a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams and is best suited for those who want a typing experience between that on a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. The Ink Yellow switch is known for its smoothness and clackiness, providing a satisfying feedback during typing.

On the other hand, if you prioritize a quiet typing experience, particularly for office or shared living space use, the TTC Silent Red linear switch would be the perfect option. With a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, it offers a smooth and consistent feel from top to bottom. The Silent Red switch produces a muted sound profile, minimizing the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards. The padded bottom-out feel of this switch enhances comfort during long typing sessions.

Ultimately, your choice between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the TTC Silent Red switches will depend on your preferences and specific needs. If you prioritize a shorter travel and enjoy a clacky sound profile, the Ink Yellow switch would be a great fit. However, if you value a quieter typing experience without sacrificing smoothness and comfort, the Silent Red switch would be the ideal choice. Consider your environment and personal preferences to make an informed decision that enhances your typing experience.

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