KTT Lightning vs. SP-Star Polaris Purple

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the KTT Lightning and the SP-Star Polaris Purple offer distinct experiences for different preferences. The KTT Lightning is a linear switch that is perfect for those who demand speed and precision in their typing or gaming sessions. These switches are known for their approachability and are ideal when milliseconds can determine victory or defeat. Typing on the KTT Lightning provides a slick feel and a clacky sound profile. On the other hand, the SP-Star Polaris Purple is a tactile switch that offers an exhilarating typing experience. The standout feature of the Polaris Purple is its big tactile bump, which provides an added level of feedback and satisfaction while typing. Additionally, the sound profile of the Polaris Purple is described as snappy. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits your personal preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.00 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

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 Lightning and SP-Star Polaris Purple share a similarity in their use of polycarbonate for their top housing. This material choice results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches designed to utilize RGB lighting. Whether it's the Lightning or the Polaris Purple, users can expect similar results in terms of the sound characteristics and the aesthetic appeal when it comes to the top housing.

However, where these switches differ is in their choice of material for the bottom housing. The Lightning utilizes nylon, which creates a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is attributed to the softer nature of nylon, allowing it to absorb more sound and produce a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Polaris Purple features a polycarbonate bottom housing, which shares similar traits to the top housing. The relatively stiffer nature of polycarbonate contributes to a clearer and more resonant sound profile.

When using a switch with different top and bottom housings, such as the Lightning, the qualities of each material are divided between the top and bottom of the switch. Pressing down on the switch will result in the user experiencing the characteristics of the bottom housing, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the sound when releasing a key is more affected by the properties of the top housing. This distinction highlights the importance of considering both the top and bottom housing materials when selecting a switch based on desired sound profiles and typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Lightning linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch, we can see some notable differences. The actuation force of the Lightning switch is 43 grams, providing a relatively light touch required to trigger a keystroke. In contrast, the Polaris Purple's actuation force is unavailable, meaning we do not have specific information about it. However, when it comes to bottom out force, the Lightning switch requires 50 grams, while the Polaris Purple exerts a heavier pressure of 67 grams. This makes the Polaris Purple switch more substantial in terms of typing experience, as it demands a stronger push to reach the bottom out point. Those who prefer a lighter feel may find the Lightning switch more appealing, allowing them to type for longer periods without fatigue. On the other hand, individuals seeking a more robust typing experience may favor the weightier Polaris Purple switch. Nonetheless, it is important to note that without information on the actuation force of the Polaris Purple, a direct comparison in this aspect is difficult.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the KTT Lightning linear switch and the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch, it is evident that there is a noticeable difference. The Lightning has a travel distance of 3 mm, which is considered relatively shallow, while the Polaris Purple boasts a longer travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of traditional standards, the 4.0 mm travel distance is the most commonly seen, offering a sense of familiarity. However, the demand for shorter travel distances has increased, particularly amongst gamers who value faster response times. If responsiveness is your priority, opting for the Lightning with its 3 mm travel distance would provide that advantage. On the other hand, some individuals find shorter travel distances to be too abrupt, preferring a more substantial depth to their keystrokes. In such cases, the Polaris Purple with its 4 mm travel distance would be the more suitable option. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches will depend on individual preferences and the desired feel when typing or gaming.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Polaris Purple has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Polaris Purple for $5.00.

The KTT Lightning 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 Lightning switch produces a clacky sound when pressed. This means that the sound is sharp, crisp, and percussive, creating a noticeable auditory feedback. On the other hand, the sound profile of the SP-Star Polaris Purple switch is described as neutral. This means that it has a moderate sound profile that is suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you use it at home or in an office setting. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the KTT Lightning switch offers a subtle typing experience. It has a gentle resistance that is not too light but still maintains a lightweight feel while typing. Additionally, the switch has a polished finish, resulting in smooth and refined key travel. This reduces friction and provides a sleek typing experience. On the other hand, the SP-Star Polaris Purple switch provides a mild typing experience. It offers a more gentle feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Similar to the Lightning switch, the Polaris Purple switch also has a polished finish, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Taking into account the available information, the Lightning switch is best suited for situations where speed and milliseconds make a difference, such as gaming or situations where quick response times are crucial. It has a clacky sound profile and a subtle, polished feel. On the other hand, the Polaris Purple switch is known for its large tactile bump, providing an exhilarating typing experience. It has a neutral sound profile and a mild, polished feel. Both switches offer a smooth typing experience due to their polished finish.

If you are looking for a switch with a clacky sound and a subtle, polished feel, the KTT Lightning switch would be a suitable choice. If you prefer a switch with a neutral sound and a mild, polished feel, the SP-Star Polaris Purple switch would be a great option. The choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and intended usage. Keep in mind that while the switches have different subjective qualities, they both offer a smooth typing experience due to their polished finish.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are someone who values speed and requires a light switch for competitive gaming or fast typing, the KTT Lightning linear switch would be the ideal choice for you. Its light bottom out force of 50 grams ensures quick and effortless keystrokes, while the slick type feel and clacky sound profile provide a satisfying experience. On the other hand, if you prioritize a tactile typing experience and prefer a switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force, the SP-Star Polaris Purple tactile switch is the way to go. Its big tactile bump adds excitement to each keystroke, and the snappy sound profile enhances the overall typing experience. Additionally, both switches have their own polished feel, which ensures smooth key travel and reduced friction. Ultimately, whether you opt for the Lightning or the Polaris Purple, you can expect a top-notch mechanical keyboard switch that suits your specific preferences and requirements.

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