KTT Sea Salt Lemon vs. SP-Star Duck

An in-depth look at the KTT Sea Salt Lemon and the SP-Star Duck switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that you might come across are the KTT Sea Salt Lemon and the SP-Star Duck. The Sea Salt Lemon is a linear switch that is best known for its buttery smooth typing experience, thanks to its progressive spring and KTT's dry-lube design. Categorized as 'Low-pitched', 'Neutral', and 'Mild', this switch offers a delightful feel while typing. On the other hand, the Duck switch provides a more subtle tactile typing experience. It has a clean and crispy sound profile, along with a gentle tactility when typing. Categorized as 'Neutral', 'Mild', 'Buttery', and 'Polished', the Duck switch is perfect for those who prefer a tactile feedback. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

58g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

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

13mm progressive spring

Spring

Gold plated

Housing materials

The KTT Sea Salt Lemon and the SP-Star Duck both feature polycarbonate top housings. This material is known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. Its relatively stiffer plastic composition leads to a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate is particularly useful for switches that plan to use RGB lighting. The same can be said for the Duck's polycarbonate top housing, as it shares the same characteristics and benefits.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the Sea Salt Lemon utilizes nylon while the Duck features a polycarbonate bottom housing. Nylon, being a softer plastic, elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing on switches. It absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Duck maintains the sharp and crisp sound profile associated with this material. While the bottom housing has more impact on the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, the top housing plays a larger role in the sound when a key is released.

In summary, both the Sea Salt Lemon and the SP-Star Duck share the benefits of polycarbonate top housings, including a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. They are especially ideal for switches planning to incorporate RGB lighting due to their translucency. However, their bottom housings differ, with the Sea Salt Lemon utilizing nylon for a deeper and fuller sound profile, while the Duck continues with a polycarbonate bottom housing for a sharper and crisper sound. The choice between the two would depend on the desired sound experience for each individual.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Sea Salt Lemon linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch, there are some notable differences. The Sea Salt Lemon has an actuation force of 45 grams, while the actuation force of the Duck is unavailable. However, both switches have a medium-light feel when it comes to bottoming out, with the Sea Salt Lemon requiring 53 grams and the Duck requiring 58 grams of force.

In terms of weight, the Sea Salt Lemon switch is lighter in terms of actuation force compared to the Duck. This may be favored by individuals who prefer a lighter touch, allowing them to type for longer periods of time without fatigue. It is a suitable choice for those who use their keyboard extensively at work or during long gaming sessions. On the other hand, the Duck switch offers a slightly heavier bottoming out force, providing a more substantial typing experience for users who prefer a stronger push feel.

Overall, while there is a difference in actuation force between these switches, they both offer similar results in terms of medium-light bottom out force. Thus, if one is seeking a comparable typing experience, either switch would be suitable. The choice ultimately depends on personal preference, with the Sea Salt Lemon offering a lighter actuation force and the Duck providing a slightly heavier bottom out force.

Travel distance

Both the KTT Sea Salt Lemon linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when pressing down on a key with either of these switches, you will experience a consistent 4 mm distance of travel from the top to the bottom. The travel distance is essential in providing feedback and determining the tactile feel of the switch. Therefore, if you are looking for a keyboard with a similar travel distance, both the Sea Salt Lemon and the Duck switches will provide you with the same results.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Duck has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Duck for $5.40.

The KTT Sea Salt Lemon comes in at $2.80 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

The Sea Salt Lemon linear switch is best known for its buttery smooth typing experience, thanks to its progressive spring and KTT's dry-lube design. On the other hand, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch offers a more subtle tactile typing experience, with a gentle tactility when typing and a clean and crispy sound profile.

In terms of sound, the Sea Salt Lemon switch is low-pitched, which gives it a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. It is also described as having a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you are using them at home or at work. Similarly, the Duck switch also has a neutral sound profile, making it versatile for various use cases.

When it comes to feel, both switches offer a mild typing experience. A mild switch provides a gentle typing experience, with qualities that stand in a safe middle-ground zone. The Duck switch is also described as buttery and polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek and effortless typing experience. It offers reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Overall, both switches offer desirable qualities. The Sea Salt Lemon switch provides a buttery smooth typing experience with a low-pitched sound profile, while the Duck switch offers a gentle tactility and a clean and crispy sound. These switches are suitable for different preferences and can be paired with various keyboards and keycaps to achieve the desired sound and feel. If you are looking for similar results, considering the similarities in their sound and feel descriptors, either switch can provide a satisfying typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you're looking for a linear switch with a medium-light bottom out force and a buttery smooth typing experience, the KTT Sea Salt Lemon switches are the way to go. They offer a lovely representation of what a linear switch can be with their progressive spring and dry-lube design. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle tactile typing experience with a clean and crispy sound profile, the SP-Star Duck switches are perfect. They have a medium bottom out force and provide a gentle tactility when typing. Both switches have a neutral sound profile and offer a mild typing experience, but the Duck switches also boast a buttery and polished feel. Ultimately, the choice between the Sea Salt Lemon and Duck switches will depend on your personal preferences for linear or tactile switches and the level of smoothness and tactility you desire in your typing experience.

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