KTT Ash Gray vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the KTT Ash Gray and the Durock T1 are two popular options that offer unique qualities. The Ash Gray switch is designed to provide a tactile response that is both substantial and unobtrusive. With a light touch and crisp actuation, this switch offers a delightful blend of tactile feedback without overwhelming your fingertips. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is known for its super comfortable typing experience, featuring a medium bump when pressing down and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches fall under the tactile category, but the Ash Gray is categorized as easy-to-press and mild, while the T1 is described as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished. These general pointers may help you narrow down your options based on your preference for pressure sensitivity and sound profile. However, let's dive into a deeper analysis to help you make the best decision when considering these two switches.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

38g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

53g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

18mm spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The KTT Ash Gray and the Durock T1 both feature polycarbonate top housings. This material is known for creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile in switches. Due to its translucency, polycarbonate is especially useful for switches that plan to use RGB lighting. Both the Ash Gray and the T1 can provide similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics with their polycarbonate top housings.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the Ash Gray utilizes a nylon material, while the T1 also features a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is a classic switch housing material that elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. The Ash Gray's nylon bottom housing will contribute to the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, enhancing the overall typing experience.

In terms of overall performance, the top and bottom housings play different roles in the switch. The bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on a key, while the top housing influences the sound when you release a key. Therefore, both the Ash Gray and the T1 will provide similar sound profiles when it comes to letting go of a key, thanks to their shared polycarbonate top housings. However, the Ash Gray's nylon bottom housing may offer a slightly different typing experience in terms of the bottom-out sound compared to the T1's nylon bottom housing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are some notable differences. The Ash Gray switch has an actuation force of 38 grams, providing a medium-light touch to trigger a keystroke. In comparison, the actuation force of the T1 switch is unavailable, making it difficult to directly compare. However, we do know that the T1 has a bottom out force of 67 grams, indicating a medium-heavy feel when pressing all the way down.

Considering the weight aspect, those who prefer a lighter feel for longer typing periods or extended gaming sessions may favor the Ash Gray switch. Its actuation force of 38 grams allows for a more effortless keystroke initiation. On the other hand, individuals seeking a more substantial typing experience with a stronger push may opt for the T1 switch. With its higher bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a more weighted and tactile sensation when fully pressed.

While the actuation force of the T1 switch remains unknown, it is evident that its bottom out force is heavier than the Ash Gray switch. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on an individual's preference for a lighter or heavier touch.

Travel distance

Comparing the travel distances of the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we can see that the Ash Gray has a shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the T1 has a longer travel distance of 4 mm. The Ash Gray falls into the category of shorter travel distances, which are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among gamers who seek quicker response times. Opting for the Ash Gray would provide a more responsive typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 with its longer travel distance may be preferred by those who enjoy a deeper and more substantial keystroke. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preferences for travel distance and the desired typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Ash Gray has an MSRP of $3.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ash Gray for $2.55.

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 KTT Ash Gray switch is described as having a neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate actuation force requirement and produces a moderate sound. The sound is not too loud or too soft, making it suitable for most purposes. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch is described as having a low-pitched sound. This means that it produces a bass-heavy and mellow tone, which can be reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches offer different sound profiles, so the choice depends on personal preference and the other factors such as the keyboard and keycaps being used.

In terms of feel, the KTT Ash Gray switch is known for being easy to press. It offers gentle resistance during key presses and requires minimal force to activate. This light actuation force makes typing effortless and comfortable, reducing finger fatigue during extended typing sessions. The switch provides a responsive and low-impact typing feel, enhancing the overall typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch is described as a stepped and accented switch. Stepped switches have two stages of tactile feedback, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Accented switches provide a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. These qualities result in a typing experience that is neither too intense nor too mild. Again, the choice between these switches depends on personal preference and typing style.

Overall, the KTT Ash Gray switch combines a light touch with a crisp actuation, offering a delightful blend of tactile feedback. It has a neutral sound profile and is easy to press, providing a comfortable and effortless typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch is super comfortable to type on, with a medium bump and a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. It offers a stepped and accented feel, providing a moderate level of tactility without being overwhelming. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on the individual's preferences for sound, feel, and typing experience. Both switches offer unique qualities that can enhance the typing experience, and depending on personal preference, similar results in terms of sound and feel can be achieved with either switch.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when choosing between the KTT Ash Gray tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it ultimately boils down to personal preference and typing style. If you prefer a lighter touch with a subtle yet satisfying tactile feedback, the Ash Gray switch would be an excellent choice for you. It has a medium-light bottom out force of 53 grams, making typing effortless and reducing finger fatigue during extended use. The sound profile of the Ash Gray is described as neutral, making it suitable for any environment, whether at home or work.

On the other hand, if you prefer a slightly heavier actuation force and a more pronounced tactile response, the Durock T1 switch would be a better fit. With a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, this switch provides a comfortable typing experience with a noticeable medium bump. The sound profile is described as low-pitched, which offers a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches.

Consider your typing preferences, whether you prefer an easy-to-press switch with a gentle resistance or a switch with a more pronounced tactility. Both switches offer a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for beginners and advanced typists alike. Additionally, both switches can be used in various settings, whether at home or work.

In the end, make your decision based on what feels most comfortable and enjoyable for your typing experience. Whether you choose the Ash Gray or the T1, both switches offer their unique qualities that can enhance your overall typing satisfaction. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make.

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