Kailh Box Jade vs. Durock Piano

An in-depth look at the Kailh Box Jade and the Durock Piano switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Kailh Box Jade, a clicky switch, and the Durock Piano, a linear switch. The Box Jades are perfect for those who seek a medium-heavy typing experience accompanied by a clicky sound profile and an invigorating tactile feel. Typing on these switches provides crisp clicks and crunchy tactile bumps, adding a satisfying element to every keystroke. On the other hand, the Durock Pianos stand out for their proprietary material blend, resulting in one of the most pleasant linear switches to type on. When using the Piano switches, users commonly experience a gliding push feel and a deep, creamy sound signature. These switches offer a frictionless typing experience characterized by a silky smoothness. Both switches have their unique advantages, providing different typing experiences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can thoroughly evaluate and decide on the best switch for your specific needs and preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Mystery material

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Kailh Box spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Kailh Box Jade and the Durock Piano differ in their choice of housing materials, particularly in the top housing. The Box Jade features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharp, high-pitched, and crisp sound profile. This is due to the relatively stiffer plastic of polycarbonate, which allows for a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting. On the other hand, the Piano utilizes a proprietary POM blend top housing, offering a uniquely satisfying and deep sound profile. While the exact details of this blend remain unknown, the POM material contributes to the switch's overall sound experience. Despite their differences, both top housings contribute significantly to the sound when a key is released.

Similarly, the Kailh Box Jade and the Durock Piano vary in terms of their bottom housing material. The Box Jade employs a nylon bottom housing, known for eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound experience. In contrast, the Piano utilizes a proprietary POM blend bottom housing, which also promises a uniquely satisfying and deep sound profile. While the specific composition of this blend remains undisclosed, it contributes to the overall sound produced by the switch. The bottom housing plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed.

When comparing the two switches, it is important to note that the top and bottom housings have different impacts on the sound and feel. Pressing down on either the Box Jade or the Piano will primarily exhibit the qualities associated with the bottom housing. The material of the bottom housing significantly influences the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing exerts a greater influence on the sound when a key is released. While the specific materials may differ, both top and bottom housings contribute to the overall sound experience of the switches, albeit in different ways.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Box Jade clicky switch and the Durock Piano linear switch, it is evident that they have notable differences. The Box Jade has an actuation force of 50 grams, providing a relatively light and effortless keystroke initiation. On the other hand, the actuation force of the Piano switch is unknown, making it difficult to ascertain its specific characteristics in terms of typing effort. In terms of bottom out force, the Box Jade requires a force of 60 grams to fully depress the key, providing a slightly heavier and more substantial typing experience compared to its actuation force. On the contrary, the Piano switch has a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, indicating a medium-heavy pressure required to completely press the key. In terms of weight, the Box Jade can be considered lighter due to its lower bottom out force, making it suitable for longer typing sessions or extended gaming sessions. Conversely, the Piano switch offers a heavier push feel, suitable for those seeking a more substantial typing experience. If one desires a similar result in terms of force, selecting the Piano switch with an actuation force matching the Box Jade's 50 grams would likely provide a comparable experience. Overall, the actuation and bottom out forces of these switches highlight the various options available to users based on their preference for lighter or heavier typing experiences.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Kailh Box Jade clicky switch to the Durock Piano linear switch, it is evident that the Box Jade has a shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Piano has a longer travel distance of 4 mm. For those who enjoy a more traditional feel, the Piano's 4 mm travel distance provides a hearty depth when pressing down on the keys. On the other hand, the Box Jade's shorter 3.6 mm travel distance is favored by gamers who seek faster response times. These shorter travel distances have become increasingly prevalent in recent times. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches boils down to personal preference and the desired level of responsiveness.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Piano has an MSRP of $6.70 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Piano for $5.57.

The Kailh Box Jade 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 Kailh Box Jade is best described as high-pitched and crunchy. With every press, you can expect a sharp and crisp sound that is reminiscent of stepping on piles of autumn leaves. This switch offers a more rich and bassy sound profile, which may not be to everyone's taste. On the other hand, the Durock Piano switch produces a deep and creamy sound signature that can be characterized as bassy. It offers a lower frequency range that adds depth and richness to the typing experience. Keep in mind that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors like the keyboard board and keycaps used. While the sound profiles of these switches vary, both the Box Jade and Piano provide distinctive and enjoyable auditory feedback.

When it comes to feel, the Kailh Box Jade offers an accented and invigorating typing experience. It falls into the category of a medium tactile switch, providing a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or too subtle. The Box Jade switch has a moderate to firm actuation force, delivering a snappy and reactive feel that immerses you in the typing sensation. On the other hand, the Durock Piano switch is described as frictionless and silky. It offers an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience, minimizing any sense of resistance or friction when pressing the keys. The Piano switch enhances the overall smoothness of typing, making it a pleasure to use.

In conclusion, the Kailh Box Jade and Durock Piano switches offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Box Jade provides a high-pitched and crunchy sound profile with a medium tactile feel that is invigorating. On the other hand, the Piano switch delivers a deep and creamy bassy sound signature, coupled with a frictionless and silky smooth typing experience. Depending on personal preference, one may favor the crisp clicks and tactile bumps of the Box Jade or the gliding push feel and smooth sound of the Piano. Both switches bring their own unique characteristics to the table, and choosing between them ultimately comes down to individual preference and the overall typing experience one seeks to achieve.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you desire a medium-heavy typing experience with a clicky sound profile and tactile feedback, the Kailh Box Jade switch is the ideal choice for you. These switches provide crisp clicks and crunchy tactile bumps that enhance your typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a smooth and effortless typing experience with a deep and creamy sound signature, the Durock Piano linear switch is the way to go. The proprietary material blend of the Piano switch offers a gliding push feel and a pleasant, bassy sound. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your preferences for sound and feel. If you prioritize a high-pitched and crunchy sound with an accented and invigorating feel, the Box Jade is the right switch for you. However, if you value a bassy sound with a frictionless and silky smooth feel, the Durock Piano is the more suitable option. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference and typing experience.

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