Aflion Panda vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Aflion Panda and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Aflion Panda and the Durock T1 stand out as excellent options. The Panda is widely recognized for its unparalleled tactile sensation, offering a hyper-tactile experience that sets a new standard for those who prioritize a high level of tactility and a sonorous audio feedback. Its "thocky" sound profile adds to the overall typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 boasts a super comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a sound that resembles the soothing patter of rain falling on a windowpane. While both switches provide a tactile sensation, they offer unique characteristics. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for your typing preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

67g

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

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

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Single-stage 15mm long spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Aflion Panda and Durock T1 both utilize polycarbonate for their top housing, which results in similar sound profiles. Polycarbonate is known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound when typing on the switches. This is due to its stiffness, which allows for a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, both housings are translucent, making them suitable for switches that plan to use RGB lighting. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics when using either the Panda or T1 switches with polycarbonate top housings.

On the other hand, the housing materials for the bottom of the switches differ between the Panda and T1. The Panda incorporates a nylon bottom housing, which elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon is a relatively softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound when typing on the switches. Similarly, the T1 also features a nylon bottom housing, offering users a comparable typing experience in terms of sound. The bottom housing plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the switch, and both the Panda and T1 deliver similar qualities in this aspect.

In summary, while the top housings of the Aflion Panda and Durock T1 are made of polycarbonate and produce comparable sound profiles, differences arise in their bottom housings. Both switches utilize nylon for the bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound when typing. The bottom housing impacts the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, which is where users will notice the dissimilarity between the Panda and T1. However, when it comes to the sound experienced upon releasing a key, the impact of the top housing becomes more prominent, and users can expect similar results from both switches in this regard.

Weight

When comparing the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Aflion Panda has an actuation force of 50 grams and a bottom out force of 60 grams, which can be considered medium in terms of force. On the other hand, the actuation force of the Durock T1 is not available, while its bottom out force is 67 grams, falling into the category of medium-heavy.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Aflion Panda would be a suitable choice as it requires less force for actuation and bottoming out. This lighter actuation force allows for longer typing sessions, making it a favorable option for users who spend extended periods typing or gaming. Conversely, individuals who enjoy a more substantial keystroke and prefer a stronger push feel might lean towards the Durock T1. Its slightly heavier bottom out force provides a more pronounced typing experience, giving users a feeling of added stability and responsiveness.

Although the actuation force of the Durock T1 is not specified, it is important to note that similar results to the Aflion Panda may still be achieved if the actuation forces are similar or have a negligible difference. However, in terms of the bottom out force, it is evident that the Durock T1 is heavier than the Aflion Panda. Considering these differences in force, users can make a decision based on their personal preferences, whether they prioritize a lighter typing experience or a stronger push feel.

Travel distance

Both the Aflion Panda and the Durock T1 tactile switches have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will feel a consistent distance of 4 mm. Therefore, you can expect to achieve similar results in terms of travel distance regardless of which switch you choose.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Panda has an MSRP of $5.20 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Panda for $3.56.

The Durock T1 has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the T1 for $4.90.

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 Aflion Panda switch is known for its resonant profile, providing a higher-pitched sound with a clean and sharp tone. This creates an immersive auditory experience for the user. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch offers a low-pitched sound, which results in a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. This switch has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various purposes and users, whether they are beginners or advanced typists. It's important to note that the sound of the switch can also be influenced by other factors, such as the keyboard and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Aflion Panda switch is characterized as accented and invigorating. This means that it offers a medium amount of tactility, providing a prominent feedback without being overwhelming. It also has a snappy and reactive feel, enhancing the typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch is described as stepped, accented, and polished. The stepped feature of this switch means that it has two stages of tactility, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Similar to the Panda switch, the T1 switch also provides a prominent amount of tactile feedback without being too subtle or overwhelming. Moreover, the T1 switch has a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Considering all the available information, the Aflion Panda tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer distinct qualities in terms of both sound and feel. The Panda switch is known for its resonant and thocky sound profile, providing an immersive auditory experience. It also offers an invigorating feel, combining pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy typing sensation. On the other hand, the T1 switch offers a low-pitched and neutral sound, creating a more bass-heavy and mellow tone suitable for different users and purposes. Its feel is characterized as stepped, accented, and polished, offering a mild tactility with pre-travel and/or post-travel stages and a smooth typing experience.

If you are seeking a similar sound and feel to the Aflion Panda switch but are unable to acquire it, the Durock T1 switch can provide a comparable experience. While it may not be an exact match, the T1 switch offers a comfortable typing experience with its medium bump and rain-like sound reminiscent of falling drops on a window. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preference, as both have their own unique qualities to offer.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you value an unparalleled, hyper-tactile sensation and a deep thocky sound profile, the Aflion Panda tactile switch would be the right choice for you. With a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, it offers a super responsive tactile force and a full-bodied, sonorous audio feedback. On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort while typing and enjoy a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, the Durock T1 tactile switch is your ideal option. It features a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams and provides a super comfortable typing experience with a medium bump. Additionally, the T1 has a low-pitched sound profile, creating a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to the higher-pitched sound of the Panda. Overall, both switches have their unique characteristics and choosing between them depends on your personal preferences for tactile feedback, sound, and typing comfort.

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