Gateron New North Pole V2 vs. Kailh Sage

An in-depth look at the Gateron New North Pole V2 and the Kailh Sage switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, the Gateron New North Pole V2 and the Kailh Sage are two excellent options to consider. The New North Pole V2, a linear switch, stands out for its crisper typing experience due to the absence of a rubber dampener, while still ensuring a frictionless and smooth glide that users have grown fond of. On the other hand, the Sage, a clicky switch, offers a distinct and invigorating typing experience with its heavy weight and refreshingly sharp clickiness. Both switches have their own unique qualities that make them desirable options for different preferences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

62.5g

Bottom-out force

70g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.70 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

Ink Housing Material

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated 15.4mm

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron New North Pole V2 and the Kailh Sage switches have some similarities and differences. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housings, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a stiff plastic that enhances clarity and resonance in the sound produced. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that feature RGB lighting. Hence, both switches will provide similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics with their polycarbonate top housings.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the two switches differ. The New North Pole V2 employs a polycarbonate bottom housing, contributing to the overall sound profile with its stiffness and resonance. On the other hand, the Kailh Sage utilizes a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is known for creating a deeper and fuller sound profile due to its relatively soft nature. It absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, the Sage switch will deliver a different typing experience in terms of bottom-out sound and feel compared to the New North Pole V2.

It's important to note that the qualities brought by the top and bottom housings of a switch are divided between the two parts. The bottom housing mainly affects the bottom-out sound and feel when the key is pressed, while the top housing influences the sound when the key is released. Therefore, while there may be some differences between the two switches in terms of their bottom housings, the impact on the overall typing experience may not be drastically different. Both switches boast quality materials that enhance the overall sound profile and provide a satisfying typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation and bottom out forces of the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch and the Kailh Sage clicky switch, there are some notable differences. The New North Pole V2 has an actuation force of 50 grams, while the Sage's actuation force is listed as unavailable. However, both switches have a medium level of actuation force, meaning they require a similar amount of pressure to register a keystroke.

In terms of bottom out force, the New North Pole V2 has a force of 62.5 grams, which is slightly lighter than the Sage's bottom out force of 70 grams. This means that the Sage offers a slightly more substantial typing experience, as it requires a heavier push to fully press the keys.

The weight of a switch is an important consideration for individuals who have specific preferences. Those who prefer a lighter typing experience may favor the New North Pole V2, as its lighter actuation and bottom out forces allow for longer typing sessions without straining the fingers. On the other hand, individuals who desire a more robust and tactile typing experience may lean towards the Sage, as its heavier bottom out force provides a stronger push feel.

Overall, while both switches have medium actuation forces, the New North Pole V2 is slightly lighter in terms of bottom out force compared to the Sage. Choosing between the two ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch is 4 mm, while the Kailh Sage clicky switch has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm. The 4.0 mm travel distance of the New North Pole V2 is considered the most traditional, while the 3.6 mm travel distance of the Sage is categorized as shallower. This difference in travel distance can be significant for certain individuals depending on their preferences. Gamers, for example, often prefer shorter travel distances as it allows for faster response times. In this case, the Sage switch would be the preferred option. However, for some users, a shorter travel distance may feel too abrupt or lacking in depth. For those who prefer a more satisfying keystroke, the New North Pole V2 with its longer travel distance would be the better choice. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches will depend on individual preferences for either responsiveness or a more substantial typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron New North Pole V2 has an MSRP of $6.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the New North Pole V2 for $5.70.

The Kailh Sage comes in at $6.25 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

When it comes to sound, the New North Pole V2 switch does not have a specific descriptor provided, but based on the information given, it can be assumed that it offers a quieter typing experience without the distinct click that the Sage switch has. The Sage switch, on the other hand, is described as "crunchy," which means it produces a sound similar to stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. This indicates that the Sage switch has a noticeable clickiness to it.

In terms of feel, the New North Pole V2 switch is described as having a polished, creamy, and frictionless sensation. This means that the switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. It can be compared to the feeling of gliding your fingers across the keys with ease, allowing for effortless keystrokes. On the other hand, the Sage switch is described as invigorating and sharp. This indicates that it offers a more pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel. The Sage switch has a strong and crisp tactile bump, which can be felt distinctly with each keypress.

Taking all the available information into consideration, the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch and the Kailh Sage clicky switch offer different subjective qualities. The New North Pole V2 provides a frictionless typing feel with a polished, creamy, and possibly quiet typing experience. On the other hand, the Sage switch offers a distinct clicky typing experience with an invigorating and sharp feel. These differences in sound and feel cater to different typing preferences. However, it is important to note that the final sound and feel of the switches can also be influenced by other factors such as the choice of keyboard board and keycaps.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a medium-bottom out force and a crisper typing experience without a rubber dampener, the Gateron New North Pole V2 linear switch is a great choice for you. This switch maintains the seamless glide and smoothness that users have enjoyed with the North Pole lineup. In terms of sound, the New North Pole V2 provides a sound that is yet to be described. On the other hand, if you prefer a distinct clicky typing experience with a medium-heavy bottom out force, the Kailh Sage clicky switch is the way to go. These switches offer a refreshing sharp clickiness and a crunchy sound, reminiscent of stepping on piles of autumn leaves. In terms of feel, the New North Pole V2 provides a polished, creamy, and frictionless typing experience, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Sage, on the other hand, offers an invigorating and sharp tactile feel, creating an immersive typing sensation with its pronounced feedback and crisp tactile bump. Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron New North Pole V2 and the Kailh Sage will depend on your preference for linear switches with a smooth typing experience or clicky switches with pronounced feedback and sharp tactile bumps.

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