Gateron Baby Raccoon (V2) vs. Durock Mamba

An in-depth look at the Gateron Baby Raccoon (V2) and the Durock Mamba switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing the perfect mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that stand out are the Gateron Baby Raccoon and the Durock Mamba, both of which are linear switches. The Baby Raccoon has gained recognition for its bright sound signature and an exceptionally crisp typing feel, thanks to its lengthened switch stems. These switches are often described as "marbley" and offer a unique typing experience. On the other hand, the Mamba pays homage to the legendary Kobe Bryant and provides users with a delightful gliding typing sensation and a rich, creamy auditory experience. With its neutral and mild characteristics, the Mamba offers a pleasing typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

63g

Bottom-out force

60g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Ly

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

POM

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

20mm long spring

Spring

Extended long spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Baby Raccoon and the Durock Mamba differ significantly. The Baby Raccoon uses a polycarbonate top housing, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This material is known for its stiffness, providing a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the transparency of polycarbonate allows for effective RGB lighting. On the other hand, the Mamba features a polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend top housing. This blend creates a pleasant sound profile that is not particularly sharp but leans towards the brighter side. While both materials offer unique sound characteristics, the Baby Raccoon's polycarbonate top housing provides a sharper sound, while the Mamba's blend creates a brighter sound.

When it comes to the bottom housing, the Baby Raccoon utilizes a nylon material, which offers a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the contrary, the Durock Mamba uses a POM bottom housing, which creates a pleasing and unique sound that tends to be deeper and relatively more muted. Both housing materials bring distinct sound qualities to the switches. The Baby Raccoon's nylon bottom housing contributes to a fuller sound, while the Mamba's POM housing produces a deeper, more muted sound.

Considering the impact of the top and bottom housing materials on the overall switch sound, it is essential to note that each housing plays a specific role. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing become prominent, affecting the bottom-out sound and feel. In the case of the Baby Raccoon, the nylon bottom housing would enhance the depth and fullness of the typing sound. Conversely, the top housing takes center stage when releasing a key, influencing the sound produced. Thus, for both the Baby Raccoon and the Mamba, the specific characteristics of their respective top housings dictate the sound experienced upon key release. Despite the differences in housing materials, the impact on sound perception is consistent, underscoring the importance of both top and bottom housings in switch design.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Baby Raccoon linear switch and the Durock Mamba linear switch, we can see some similarities as well as differences. The Baby Raccoon has an actuation force of 55 grams, which is the force required to trigger a keystroke, and a bottom out force of 63 grams, which measures the force exerted when pressing all the way down. In comparison, the Mamba's actuation force is unavailable, making it difficult to determine its exact force requirement for triggering a keystroke. However, it has a bottom out force of 60 grams, which is close to the Baby Raccoon's bottom out force. Thus, both switches can provide a medium typing experience, with the Baby Raccoon being slightly lighter in terms of actuation force but slightly heavier when it comes to bottoming out. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preference, with some users favoring a lighter feel for prolonged typing sessions, while others may prefer a slightly stronger push for a more substantial typing experience.

Travel distance

The Gateron Baby Raccoon linear switch and the Durock Mamba linear switch have slight differences in their travel distances. The Baby Raccoon has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Mamba has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm. Although both switches have relatively short travel distances, the Mamba is the shorter of the two. These shorter travel distances are becoming increasingly popular, especially among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive typing experience, the Mamba's slightly shorter travel distance may be the better choice for you. However, some individuals find short travel distances to be too abrupt, leading them to prefer switches with longer travel distances. Ultimately, the choice between the Baby Raccoon and the Mamba will depend on your personal preference for travel distance and typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Mamba has an MSRP of $6.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Mamba for $5.17.

The Gateron Baby Raccoon (V2) comes in at $5.50 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

In terms of sound, the Gateron Baby Raccoon linear switch is best described as resonant, marbly, and high-pitched. Typing on these switches will provide a higher-pitched sound profile with clean and sharp tones. The marbly adjective suggests a resonant, high-pitched, and clean sound, similar to tapping on a solid piece of marble or the sound of two billiard balls colliding. On the other hand, the Durock Mamba linear switch is described as neutral and thocky. This means the sound profile is moderate and suitable for various purposes, whether you're a beginner or advanced user. Additionally, the switch produces a deep, rich, and satisfying "thock" or "knock" sound when pressed and released. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors like the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Baby Raccoon switch offers a creamy, bouncy, invigorating, and polished typing experience. The switches are smooth and buttery to type on, providing a silky sensation reminiscent of gliding your fingers effortlessly across the keys. The bouncy characteristic adds a spring-like or elastic feedback, giving the keys a lively feel and rebound when pressed. With an invigorating switch, you'll experience pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel, creating an immersive typing sensation. Lastly, the polished attribute indicates a switch with a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience due to either the materials used or factory lubing. Reduced friction and smooth key travel can be expected.

On the other hand, the feel of the Durock Mamba switch is described as mild and also polished. A mild mechanical keyboard switch offers a gentler typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. This makes the Mamba switch approachable to most users, as its qualities fall within a safe, middle-ground zone. Like the Baby Raccoon, the polished attribute suggests a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Taking into account the available information, the Gateron Baby Raccoon linear switch offers a bright sound signature, while providing a refreshingly crisp and marbly typing feel. The longer switch stems contribute to a unique tactile experience. On the other hand, the Durock Mamba linear switch pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and provides a gliding typing sensation with a rich and creamy auditory experience. Both switches have their own unique qualities in terms of sound and feel, catering to different preferences. If you enjoy resonant, high-pitched sounds and a creamy, bouncy typing feel, the Baby Raccoon switch would be a suitable choice. Conversely, if you prefer a neutral sound profile with a thocky typing feel, the Mamba switch would be a great option. Considering the available information, it is important to choose a switch that aligns with your personal preferences and typing style.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when choosing between the Gateron Baby Raccoon linear switch and the Durock Mamba linear switch, it ultimately depends on your preference for sound and feel. If you prefer a bright and resonant sound profile with a higher-pitched and clean sound, the Baby Raccoon offers a refreshing and crisp typing experience with its distinctive marbly switches. On the other hand, if you prefer a more neutral sound profile with a deep and satisfying "thocky" sound, the Mamba provides a rich and creamy auditory experience reminiscent of Kobe Bryant's legacy.

In terms of feel, if you enjoy a smooth and buttery typing experience with a silky sensation and effortless keystrokes, the Baby Raccoon's creamy and polished switches would be your ideal choice. However, if you prefer a more gentle and approachable typing experience that falls within a safe middle-ground zone, the mild and polished switches of the Mamba would suit your needs.

Ultimately, both switches offer their own unique characteristics and it's important to consider your personal preferences when making a decision. Whether you value the bright and resonant sound profile and crisp typing feel of the Baby Raccoon or the neutral sound profile and deep "thocky" typing sensation of the Mamba, there is a switch that will cater to your preferences.

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