KTT Laurel vs. Gazzew U4T

An in-depth look at the KTT Laurel and the Gazzew U4T switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

Introducing the KTT Laurel and the Gazzew U4T, two mechanical keyboard switches that offer unique features to enhance your typing experience. The Laurel, a linear switch, is renowned for its medium-light actuation force, making it perfect for those seeking a smooth and effortless typing experience. With its full POM housing, short travel, and long pole design, the Laurel strikes the ideal balance between responsiveness and comfort. Additionally, it boasts a subtly low-pitched sound profile, ensuring a quiet and satisfying keystroke. On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T, a tactile switch, embodies a harmonious fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility. Its bassy 'thock' sound profile paired with an assertive tactile feedback guarantees an auditory and tactile satisfaction with each keystroke. With categories like 'Low-pitched' and 'Snappy' defining the Laurel and 'Bassy', 'Thocky', and 'Sharp' defining the U4T, both switches offer distinct advantages. However, let's delve deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision on the best switch for your preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

65g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

Total travel

3.50 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

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Proprietary Gazzew blend

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22m spring

Spring

Stainless steel 17.5mm Korean spring

Housing materials

The KTT Laurel and the Gazzew U4T switches both offer unique and pleasing sound profiles with their housing materials. The Laurel features POM top and bottom housings, which create a deeper, muted sound. On the other hand, the U4T incorporates a proprietary Gazzew blend top and bottom housing, sometimes referred to as "boba plastic," which delivers a rich and deep sound profile due to its softness.

When comparing the top housings, while both switches aim for a deeper sound profile, the Laurel's POM top housing may provide a slightly more muted tone. Meanwhile, the U4T's proprietary blend contributes to a rich and deep sound due to the softness of the "boba plastic." So, even though their materials vary slightly, both switches offer similar results of a satisfyingly deep and unique sound experience when letting go of a key.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the POM bottom housing of the Laurel plays a significant role in creating the switch's deeper sound. Similarly, the proprietary Gazzew blend bottom housing of the U4T, with its "boba plastic," contributes to the rich and deep sound profile. Pressing down on these switches will allow you to feel the qualities of the bottom housing, which impacts the bottom-out sound and feel. Therefore, regardless of the specific material used, both switches offer a tactile experience that enhances the overall sound when pressing down on a key.

In conclusion, while the KTT Laurel and the Gazzew U4T differ in their housing materials, they share commonalities in delivering a pleasing and unique sound experience. The Laurel's POM top and bottom housings result in a deeper and somewhat muted sound, while the U4T's proprietary Gazzew blend, known as "boba plastic," provides a rich and deep sound profile. Whether it's the top or bottom housing, both switches offer a tactile and sonically satisfying experience, depending on the specific moment of key interaction.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, it becomes evident that they have distinct characteristics. The Laurel switch has a relatively lighter actuation force of 43 grams, making it easier to trigger keystrokes effortlessly. In contrast, the U4T switch's actuation force is unavailable, making it difficult to determine its specific weight. However, it is worth mentioning that the U4T switch has a heavier bottom out force of 62 grams, providing a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel. In terms of weight, the Laurel switch is lighter overall, making it suitable for extended typing periods and lengthy gaming sessions. Alternatively, the U4T switch offers a slightly heavier typing experience, which may be favored by users seeking a more robust sensation. Although the actuation and bottom out forces differ between the two switches, their corresponding weights showcase varying preferences in typing experiences.

Travel distance

The KTT Laurel linear switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Gazzew U4T tactile switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of their travel distances, the U4T is 0.5 mm longer than the Laurel. The Laurel falls into the category of shorter travel distances, which is preferred by gamers looking for faster response times. On the other hand, the U4T falls into the more traditional range of travel distances. While both switches will provide similar results, with the Laurel offering a slightly shallower travel and the U4T offering a slightly deeper travel, the choice ultimately depends on personal preference. For those seeking a more responsive typing experience, the Laurel's shorter travel distance may be the preferable option. However, if a more substantial keypress with a deeper travel distance is desired, the U4T would be the better choice.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Laurel has an MSRP of $4.42 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Laurel for $3.95.

The Gazzew U4T comes in at $6.50 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 Laurel linear switch is best known for its medium-light weight and linear operation. It features a full POM housing, which provides a comfortable typing experience. The Laurel switch strikes a balance between responsiveness and comfort, offering a snappy feel due to its longer or dual-staged springs. In terms of sound, the Laurel switch has a subtly low-pitched profile, which gives it a mellow and bass-heavy tone.

On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch is known for its harmonious fusion of thockiness and sharp tactility. It offers a strong and crisp tactile bump with each keypress, providing a distinct and satisfying feedback. The U4T switch produces a bassy 'thock' sound, which is characterized by a deep and rich tone resembling a deep thud or soft knock.

When comparing sound profiles, the KTT Laurel switch has a low-pitched sound, while the Gazzew U4T switch has a bassy thocky sound. Both switches offer auditory satisfaction, but the Laurel switch has a more mellow and bass-heavy tone, while the U4T switch provides a deep and rich sound.

In terms of feel, the Laurel switch is described as snappy, thanks to its super responsive and lively typing experience. This is achieved by longer or dual-staged springs. On the other hand, the U4T switch is sharp tactile, offering high feedback intensity with a strong and crisp tactile bump that can be distinctly felt with each keypress.

Overall, the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch offer different qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Laurel switch provides a subtly low-pitched sound and a snappy feel, making it suitable for those who prefer a mellow tone and a responsive typing experience. On the other hand, the U4T switch offers a bassy thocky sound and a sharp tactile feel, ensuring auditory and tactile satisfaction for those who enjoy a deep and rich sound profile with intense feedback. 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.

Conclusion

To sum up, when choosing between the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Gazzew U4T tactile switch, there are a few factors to consider. The Laurel switch, with its light bottom out force of 50 grams, is an excellent choice if you prefer a medium-light linear switch that offers a perfect balance of responsiveness and comfort. It features a full POM housing, short travel, and a long pole design. Additionally, the Laurel switch has a subtly low-pitched sound profile, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow tone during key presses.

On the other hand, the Gazzew U4T tactile switch is best suited for those seeking a medium bottom out force of 62 grams and a combination of thockiness and sharp tactility. With its bassy 'thock' sound profile, the U4T switch offers a deeper and richer sound during key presses, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. Its assertive tactile feedback, characterized by a strong and crisp tactile bump, ensures a satisfying typing experience with each and every keypress.

Ultimately, your choice between the Laurel and U4T switches will depend on your personal preferences. If you value a light linear switch with a low-pitched sound profile and snappy feel, the Laurel switch is the way to go. However, if you prefer a tactile switch with a deeper, bassy sound profile and a sharp, intense tactile feedback, the U4T switch would be the better option. Consider your typing style and the overall experience you desire as you make your decision.

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