Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) vs. Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry

An in-depth look at the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are endless options to choose from. Two popular options are the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry. The Milky Yellow Pro is a linear switch that is known for its smoothness and satisfyingly thick resistance. With its low, "thocky" sound, it is highly versatile and perfect for both gaming and typing. On the other hand, the NovelKeys Blueberry is a tactile switch that offers a very sharp tactile bump, giving typists a sharp and invigorating typing feel. While it has a lower-than-average sound frequency, it still provides a satisfying typing experience. Both switches offer a buttery feel and fall into the low-pitched and textured categories. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences perfectly.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

55g

Bottom-out force

62g

Bottom-out force

80g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

3.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

POM

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry switches utilize different housing materials for both the top and bottom housing components. The Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) features a nylon top housing, which results in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is due to nylon's relatively softer composition, allowing it to absorb more sound and creating a duller, rounder sound. On the other hand, the NovelKeys Blueberry utilizes a POM top housing, which produces an incredibly pleasing and unique sound. The sound profile of the Blueberry switch is on the deeper side and relatively more muted compared to the Milky Yellow Pro.

In terms of the bottom housing, both the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) and the NovelKeys Blueberry switches incorporate nylon and POM respectively. The nylon bottom housing in the Milky Yellow Pro contributes to its deep and full sound profile, similar to its top housing characteristics. The softer nylon material absorbs more sound and contributes to a duller and rounder feel when typing. In contrast, the POM bottom housing of the Blueberry switch adds to its unique sound profile. This deeper sound with a relatively more muted quality is largely influenced by the POM material.

When considering the overall performance and feel of a switch, the housing materials of the top and bottom components play a significant role. If the top and bottom housings are different, each material will impart its characteristics to the respective parts of the switch. The bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when you press down on a key, while the top housing influences the sound when you release the key. Therefore, the combination of housing materials in each switch contributes to the distinct typing experience and sound profile achieved with the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry switches.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry tactile switch, some noticeable differences arise. The Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) boasts a lighter actuation force of 50 grams, making it ideal for those seeking a swift and effortless typing experience. In contrast, the NovelKeys Blueberry takes a slightly stronger push, as it requires an actuation force of 55 grams. This slight difference may not be noticeable to some, but for those who prefer a more substantial typing feel, the NovelKeys Blueberry provides a satisfying feedback. Moving on to the bottom out force, the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) requires 62 grams of force to fully press the keys, providing a balanced and moderate resistance for typists. On the other hand, the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry exerts a heavier bottom out force of 80 grams, offering a more pronounced tactile experience. Therefore, individuals who prefer a lighter touch and lesser effort may gravitate towards the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3), while those seeking a more pronounced keystroke and a stronger mechanical response may opt for the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry.

Travel distance

The Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel the same distance traveled. Both switches provide a consistent and satisfying typing experience in terms of travel distance. So, whether you choose the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) or the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry, you can expect similar results in terms of the feeling and distance traveled when using these switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) has an MSRP of $2.33 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) for $2.30.

The Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry has an MSRP of $6.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the NovelKeys Blueberry for $6.25.

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 Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) provides a bassy and low-pitched sound profile. It produces a thocky sound that resembles a deep "thud" or a soft "knock" when the key is pressed and released. On the other hand, the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry offers a lower-than-average sound frequency with a clean and sharp resonance. While it is also described as low-pitched, it lacks the thocky characteristic of the Milky Yellow Pro. It is important to note that the sound of both switches will also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Milky Yellow Pro is known for its buttery and textured keystrokes. It offers a smooth and fluid typing experience, providing a seamless and effortless sensation. On the other hand, the Blueberry switch is described as snappy, offering a super responsive typing experience. It has a dual-staged spring system that creates a more alive feel. Similar to the Milky Yellow Pro, the Blueberry also has a buttery feel and noticeable texture. Additionally, it is mentioned to be invigorating, providing pronounced feedback and a snappy and reactive feel. It is also worth mentioning that the Blueberry switch is described as stiff, requiring a higher amount of force to actuate and/or bottom out compared to other switches.

In conclusion, the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch and the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry tactile switch offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Milky Yellow Pro provides a deep and rich thocky sound with a smooth and uniform typing experience. It is a great all-purpose switch suitable for both gaming and typing. On the other hand, the Blueberry switch offers a lower-than-average sound frequency with a clean and sharp resonance. Its typing experience is characterized by snappiness and reactivity. While their qualities differ, both switches provide a buttery feel and have noticeable texture. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the intended use of the keyboard. However, it is important to consider that individual experiences may vary depending on factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you value a smooth and buttery typing experience and enjoy a lower, "thocky" sound profile, the Gateron Milky Yellow Pro (KS-3) linear switch would be the ideal choice for you. With its medium bottom out force of 62 grams, it strikes a balance between gaming and typing, making it versatile for all-purpose use. On the other hand, if you prefer a sharp tactile bump and a slightly deeper but not "thocky" sound, the Kailh NovelKeys Blueberry tactile switch would suit your preferences better. With its heavier bottom out force of 80 grams, it offers a snappy and invigorating typing sensation. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on whether you prioritize smoothness and a lower sound frequency (Milky Yellow Pro) or a sharper tactile feel and higher-pitched sound profile (Blueberry).

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