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KTT Phalaenopsisvs. Kailh Sage

An in-depth look at the KTT Phalaenopsis and the Kailh Sage switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the KTT Phalaenopsis and the Kailh Sage are two popular choices with distinct characteristics. The Phalaenopsis is well-known for its beautiful translucent design, boasting a light actuation force of 37g that makes typing effortless and minimizes finger fatigue even during prolonged usage. With a satisfying and discernible tactile bump of 50g, each keystroke is a delightful experience. On the other hand, the Sage offers a distinct clicky typing experience, with a weight that is considered heavy and a refreshingly sharp clickiness. While the Phalaenopsis is categorized as bassy, stepped, and thocky, providing a soothing typing experience, the Sage falls under the category of invigorating, sharp, and crunchy, delivering a more intense and crispy sound. Both switches have their own unique appeal and benefits, making it important to dive deeper into their characteristics to determine the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Phalaenopsis
Sage
BrandKTT
CategoryTactile
BrandKailh
CategoryClicky

$4.73

$4.15 per 10 switches

$6.25 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

37g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

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

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

22mm gold-plated spring

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The KTT Phalaenopsis and the Kailh Sage both utilize polycarbonate as the material for their top housing. This choice of material creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile for both switches. The stiffness of polycarbonate contributes to a clear and resonant sound, which is especially advantageous for switches intended to be used with RGB lighting. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for a visually appealing aesthetic when combined with lighting effects. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and visual experience when using either the Phalaenopsis or the Sage.

In terms of bottom housing materials, the Phalaenopsis retains the use of polycarbonate while the Kailh Sage incorporates nylon. The polycarbonate bottom housing of the Phalaenopsis contributes to a sharper and crisper sound profile, similar to its top housing. On the other hand, the nylon bottom housing in the Sage provides a different typing experience by eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound overall. Consequently, individuals who prefer a more robust and resonant typing sound may be more inclined towards the Phalaenopsis, while those seeking a quieter and mellower sound may find the Sage more suitable.

While the top and bottom housing materials differ between the Phalaenopsis and the Sage, it's important to note that their respective qualities impact different aspects of the switch's functionality. When pressing down on either switch, the feel and sound qualities associated with the bottom housing will be most noticeable. The choice of bottom housing material has a significant influence on the bottom-out sound and the overall tactile experience. Conversely, the top housing material has a stronger impact on the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, users can expect variations in sound and feel based on the housing materials selected for both the top and bottom portions of these switches.

Weight

When comparing the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch and the Kailh Sage clicky switch, one noticeable difference is in their actuation and bottom out forces. The Phalaenopsis has an actuation force of 37 grams and a bottom out force of 50 grams, indicating a lighter touch needed to trigger a keystroke and a relatively light resistance when fully pressed. In contrast, the exact actuation force of the Sage switch is unknown, but it is known that it has a bottom out force of 70 grams, which suggests a medium to heavy resistance when fully pressed.

Considering weight, the Phalaenopsis offers a lighter typing experience, making it ideal for those who prefer extended typing sessions or long gaming sessions without experiencing too much fatigue. However, for individuals seeking a more substantial typing experience that provides a stronger push feel, the higher bottom out force of the Sage switch may be more preferable. It is worth mentioning that both switches offer tactile feedback, with the Phalaenopsis being a tactile switch and the Sage being a clicky switch. Therefore, if one is primarily concerned with the actuation and bottom out forces, the Sage switch would provide a heavier and more substantial experience compared to the lighter touch of the Phalaenopsis switch.

Travel distance

In terms of travel distance, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch has a distance of 4.0mm, while the Kailh Sage clicky switch has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.6mm. The Phalaenopsis falls into the category of a more traditional travel distance, providing a depth that many users are accustomed to. On the other hand, the Sage offers a slightly shallower travel distance, which can be advantageous for gamers looking for faster response times. Opting for the shorter travel distance may result in a more responsive typing or gaming experience. However, it is important to note that some individuals may find the shorter travel distance to be too abrupt, lacking the desired depth. Therefore, those who prefer a hearty feeling when pressing down on a key may find the switch with the longer travel distance to be more suitable for their needs. Overall, the choice between these switches ultimately depends on personal preferences and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Phalaenopsis has an MSRP of $4.73 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Phalaenopsis for $4.15.

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.

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Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the KTT Phalaenopsis and Kailh Sage switches offer noticeably different experiences. The Phalaenopsis switches are described as both "bassy" and "thocky," which means they produce a deep, rich sound profile with a satisfying "thud" or "knock" when pressed and released. On the other hand, the Sage switches are labeled as "crunchy," which suggests a sound similar to stepping on piles of crisp autumn leaves. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors like the keyboard layout and keycaps chosen.

In terms of feel, the Phalaenopsis and Sage switches also provide contrasting tactile experiences. The Phalaenopsis switches are classified as "stepped," meaning they have two stages of feedback. While they still offer a discernible tactile bump, it is less intense compared to hypertactile switches. The Sage switches, on the other hand, are described as "invigorating" and "sharp." This indicates that they provide pronounced feedback, snappy and reactive feel, and a strong, crisp tactile bump with each keypress.

Taking all the available information into consideration, it is evident that the KTT Phalaenopsis and Kailh Sage switches have distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Phalaenopsis switches offer a delightful typing experience with their bassy and thocky sound profile, along with a mild tactile bump that minimizes finger fatigue during prolonged typing sessions. On the other hand, the Sage switches provide a heavy and refreshingly sharp clicky typing experience, with a crunchy sound akin to autumn leaves. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches would depend on individual preferences and desired typing sensations. However, it is worth noting that if one desires a similar satisfying tactile bump, the Sage switches may offer comparable results due to their strong and crisp tactile feedback.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a light and effortless typing experience with minimal finger fatigue, the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch would be a great choice for you. With a bottom out force of 50 grams, it provides a satisfying and discernible tactile bump, enhancing each keystroke. The Phalaenopsis switches are also known for their bassy and thocky sound profile, which adds a deep and rich sound to each key press. In terms of feel, the Phalaenopsis is considered a stepped switch, providing a mild tactile experience with some pre-travel and/or post-travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a heavier typing feel and enjoy a distinct clicky sound, the Kailh Sage clicky switch would be more suitable for you. With a bottom out force of 70 grams, the Sage switch offers a refreshing sharp clickiness that adds a satisfying feedback to your typing experience. The Sage switch is described as invigorating and sharp, providing a snappy and reactive feel with each keypress. Additionally, the Sage switch produces a crunchy sound similar to stepping on piles of autumn leaves.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Phalaenopsis tactile switch and the Kailh Sage clicky switch depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a lighter and effortless typing experience with a bassy sound profile, go for the Phalaenopsis. If you prefer a heavier typing feel with a distinct clicky sound, the Sage switch would be a better fit. Consider both the bottom out force, sound, and feel descriptions to make an informed decision that aligns with your typing preferences.

Mentioned in this article

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis

BrandKTT
CategoryTactile

$4.73

$4.15 per 10 switches

Try the Phalaenopsis switches
Sage

Sage

BrandKailh
CategoryClicky

$6.25 per 10 switches

Try the Sage switches