Kailh Box Navy vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

If you are in search of a mechanical keyboard switch that provides a heavy typing experience and captures the nostalgic sound and feel of vintage buckling keyboards, then the Kailh Box Navy switches are an ideal choice. With their sharp, resonant, and invigorating clicky sound signature, these switches offer a crunchy and stiff typing experience. On the other hand, if comfort and a soothing typing experience are your priority, then the Durock T1 tactile switches are worth considering. These switches offer a medium bump when pressed down, providing a satisfying tactile feedback, and their low-pitched and polished sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you decide on the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

90g

Bottom-out force

67g

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

Yes

Stem construction

Box

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

Kailh Box spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Kailh Box Navy and the Durock T1 both have polycarbonate top housings, which means they will provide a similar sound profile. The use of polycarbonate in the top housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that want to showcase RGB lighting. This means that if you are looking for a switch with a clear housing that produces a clear and resonant sound, both the Box Navy and the T1 would be good choices.

However, there is a difference in the bottom housing material between the two switches. The Box Navy features a nylon bottom housing, while the T1 also utilizes nylon for its bottom housing. Nylon is known to absorb more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This means that when typing on both the Box Navy and the T1, you can expect a similar duller and rounder sound. The qualities brought by the nylon bottom housing will mainly impact the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch when pressed down.

Overall, the main difference between the Kailh Box Navy and the Durock T1 lies in their bottom housings, while they share the same polycarbonate top housing characteristics. The choice between the two switches will depend on whether you prefer a switch with more impact and resonance on the bottom-out sound or a sharper and crisper sound when you release a key. Both switches offer unique sound profiles that cater to different preferences, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference when choosing between the two.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is evident that they offer different experiences based on weight. The Box Navy exhibits a heavier profile, with an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 90 grams, providing a substantial typing experience. On the other hand, the T1's actuation force is not specified, but its bottom out force of 67 grams falls into the medium-heavy range.

For those seeking a lighter typing experience, the T1 may be preferable, as it allows for longer periods of typing with less strain. This makes it ideal for individuals who type extensively at work or engage in long gaming sessions. However, for users who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing feedback, the Box Navy's heavier forces would be a better fit.

While the actuation force of the T1 is unknown, it is important to note that both switches provide a clicking sound when pressed, adding to the tactile feedback. Therefore, despite the variance in forces, both switches offer similar results in terms of auditory feedback.

Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preference and typing style. Those who favor a lighter touch may opt for the T1, while users seeking a more forceful and satisfying keystroke would lean towards the Box Navy.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is evident that the T1 has a longer travel distance of 4 mm, while the Box Navy offers a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm. In terms of traditional standards, the T1 falls within the average range with a 4.0 mm travel distance, whereas the Box Navy falls on the shallower end. However, the preference for shorter travel distances has been gaining popularity, especially among gamers who prioritize faster response times. In this case, the Box Navy switch would be the more suitable choice. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial feel when pressing down on a key may find the longer travel distance of the T1 to be more satisfying. Ultimately, the decision between the two switches boils down to personal preference and the desired level of responsiveness or depth.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

The Kailh Box Navy 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 Navy clicky switch offers a resonant and crunchy sound profile. Typing on these switches will provide a higher-pitched and immersive auditory experience, reminiscent of the vintage buckling keyboards from the 80s. The sound is clean, sharp, and similar to stepping on crisp autumn leaves. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch produces a low-pitched sound with a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. This switch has a neutral sound profile, suitable for various purposes and preferences. It offers a moderate actuation force requirement, making it suitable for beginners and advanced users alike.

In terms of feel, the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch provides a sharp, invigorating, and stiff tactile experience. It has a strong and crisp tactile bump that can be distinctly felt with every keypress. The switch requires a higher amount of force to actuate and bottom-out, offering a more tactile typing sensation. Conversely, the Durock T1 tactile switch offers a stepped, accented, and polished feel. It has a mild tactile feel with some pre-travel and/or post-travel, providing a medium amount of tactility. The switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Overall, both the Kailh Box Navy clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer unique subjective qualities. If you prefer a heavy typing experience with a distinctive sound signature, the Box Navy switches are a great choice. They provide a resonant and crunchy sound, along with a sharp and invigorating tactile feel. On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort during typing and enjoy a low-pitched sound, the Durock T1 switches offer a neutral sound profile and a stepped, accented, and polished tactile experience. Regardless of your choice, it's important to consider other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps, as they can also affect the overall sound and feel of the switches.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are seeking a heavy typing experience with a satisfying clicky sound, the Box Navy switches would be a perfect fit for you. Their 90 gram bottom out force gives them a hefty feel reminiscent of vintage buckling keyboards from the 80s. Additionally, the sound profile of the Box Navy switches is resonant and crunchy, creating an immersive auditory experience akin to stepping on piles of autumn leaves.

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and a medium-heavy bottom out force, the T1 tactile switches would be a great choice. The T1 switches offer a medium bump when pressing down, providing a comfortable typing experience. The sound of the T1 switches is low-pitched and neutral, featuring a bass-heavy and mellow tone suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, using them at home or work.

In terms of feel, the Box Navy switches have a sharp, invigorating, and stiff tactile profile. The prominent and crisp tactile bump along with the high feedback intensity make each keypress distinct and satisfying. On the other hand, the T1 switches have a stepped, accented, and polished feel. The stepped nature of the T1 switches provides some pre-travel and/or post-travel, while the accented tactility strikes a balance between being prominent and subtle. The polished finish ensures smooth and friction-free key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between Kailh Box Navy clicky switches and Durock T1 tactile switches depends on your preferences for typing experience, sound profile, and tactile feel. Consider whether you prefer a heavy, clicky typing experience with a resonant sound (Box Navy) or a comfortable, medium-heavy tactile experience with a low-pitched sound (T1). Additionally, factors like your typing style, environment, and personal taste should also be taken into account when making a decision.

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