KTT Mint vs. Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring

An in-depth look at the KTT Mint and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to comparing and contrasting mechanical keyboard switches, the KTT Mint and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring offer distinct options for different typing preferences. The Mint stands out for its satisfyingly smooth linear switch, providing a light and fleeting type feel. With a long pole stem, it delivers a poppy thockiness that appeals to many users. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring offers a tactile switch with a medium level of tactility. This variant of the Aflion Shadow switch features a lower actuation and bottom-out force, making it approachable and comfortable to use. Additionally, it boasts a deep and thocky sound profile. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your typing needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

48g

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

55g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 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

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

15mm spring

Spring

20mm single-stage spring

Housing materials

The KTT Mint and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring share a commonality in their use of polycarbonate for the top housing. This material provides both switches with a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The stiffness of polycarbonate contributes to a clear and resonant sound, making it an ideal choice for users looking to enhance their typing experience. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate in the top housing allows for compatibility with RGB lighting, adding a visually appealing aspect to both switches.

Where the two switches differ is in their choice of bottom housing material. The Mint utilizes a nylon bottom housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon's softer composition absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring opts for a polycarbonate bottom housing. This choice reinforces the sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile characteristic of polycarbonate, contributing to a more distinct typing experience.

Due to the variation in the top and bottom housing materials, the qualities brought by each material are divided between the two parts of the switch. When pressing down on these switches, the characteristics of the bottom housing, whether nylon or polycarbonate, will be felt, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the sound produced when releasing a key will be more influenced by the properties of the top housing material. This distinction highlights how the choice of housing materials can impact different aspects of the typing experience.

In summary, while both the KTT Mint and Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring employ polycarbonate for their top housing, their bottom housing materials diverge. The Mint features a nylon bottom housing that elicits a deeper and fuller sound, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring utilizes polycarbonate for a sharper and crisper sound. Understanding the impact of these housing materials on sound profiles and user experience allows individuals to select a switch that best suits their typing preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Mint linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch, we can see some similarities and differences. Both switches fall under the medium-light category in terms of actuation force and bottom out force. The Mint has an actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 53 grams, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring has an actuation force of 48 grams and a bottom out force of 55 grams. Although the Mint is slightly lighter in both aspects, the difference is minimal and both switches provide a similar typing experience in terms of force required. Those who prefer a lighter touch may lean towards the Mint, as it allows for longer typing periods without strain. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a slightly more substantial typing experience may opt for the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring. Ultimately, the decision will come down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user.

Travel distance

The KTT Mint linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch share the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that both switches will provide a similar experience when pressed down, as they will travel the same distance from the top to the bottom. Therefore, users can expect comparable tactile feedback and typing feel from both switches. Whether a user chooses the Mint or the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch, they can be confident in getting a consistent travel distance of 4 mm.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring has an MSRP of $4.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring for $3.57.

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

In terms of sound, the KTT Mint linear switch is known for its low-pitched sound profile. Low-pitched switches typically have a deeper and more bass-heavy tone, giving off a mellow and satisfying sound when typing. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch does not have any specific sound descriptors mentioned. However, 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.

Moving on to the feel, the KTT Mint linear switch is described as mild, offering a gentle typing experience. This means that the switch provides a comfortable and approachable feel, suitable for most users. Additionally, the Mint switch is also polished, which indicates a smooth and refined finish resulting in a sleek typing experience. This is achieved through the use of high-quality materials or factory lubing, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch is described as bouncy. This means that when typing on these switches, users can expect a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation. The keys have a lively feel, providing a rebound effect when pressed.

Taking all the available information into account, the KTT Mint linear switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Mint switch provides a low-pitched sound profile with a mild and polished feel, resulting in a satisfyingly smooth and gentle typing experience. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch offers a medium level of tactility with a bouncy feel, providing a more tactile and lively typing experience. However, it is important to note that individual preferences can vary, and the choice between these switches ultimately depends on personal preference and typing style. If you prefer a smooth linear switch with a satisfying sound, the Mint switch would be a good choice. If you are looking for a tactile switch with a medium level of tactility and a bouncy feel, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch would be recommended.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a smooth and fleeting typing experience with a light and poppy thockiness, then the KTT Mint linear switch would be a great choice for you. Its medium-light bottom out force of 53 grams offers a comfortable typing feel. Additionally, its low-pitched and neutral sound profile makes it suitable for various environments, whether for work or home use.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch with a medium level of tactility, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch is highly recommended. With a slightly higher bottom out force of 55 grams, it offers a very approachable tactility. The switch also features a deep and thocky sound profile, which adds to the overall typing experience.

In terms of feel, the Mint switch is described as mild and polished, providing a gentle and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch is described as bouncy, offering a lively and elastic feedback sensation with a nice rebound when pressed.

Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on your personal preference for either a linear or tactile typing experience. Both switches have their unique qualities and characteristics, so it's important to consider factors such as typing feel, sound profile, and bottom out force to make an informed decision.

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