Gateron CJ vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Gateron CJ, a linear switch, and the Durock T1, a tactile switch. The Gateron CJ stands out for its unique and enjoyable presentation of a linear switch. Typing on the CJ switch provides higher-pitched clacks and an impossibly smooth push feel. It is categorized as chirpy, neutral, mild, low-pitched, and thocky. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is best known for its super comfortable typing experience. With a medium bump when pressed down, using the T1 switch evokes the sound of rain falling on a window. The T1 switch is categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision on the best switch for your needs.

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

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron CJ and the Durock T1 exhibit distinct differences in terms of sound profile and aesthetics. The CJ's proprietary INK blend top housing offers a satisfyingly thin and higher-pitched sound, which is often described as clacky. In contrast, the T1's polycarbonate top housing produces a sharper and crisper sound due to its stiffness. Furthermore, the transparency of the polycarbonate makes it an excellent choice for switches with RGB lighting. While both top housings provide an overall higher-pitched sound, the T1's polycarbonate produces a more defined and resonant tone compared to the CJ's INK blend. However, if you are seeking a clacky sound with RGB lighting, both switches can deliver similar results.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the CJ's POM housing offers a unique and pleasing sound profile that leans towards the deeper side while maintaining relative muteness. In contrast, the T1's nylon bottom housing generates a deeper and fuller sound due to the nylon's ability to absorb more sound. The nylon housing's softer nature contributes to a duller and rounder sound, showcasing a distinction from the CJ's POM housing. With distinct sound profiles, the bottom housings of these switches provide different auditory experiences, allowing users to choose based on their personal preferences.

When it comes to the overall feel and sound upon pressing and releasing a key, the housing materials play a significant role. While the bottom housing primarily impacts the bottom-out sound and feel, the top housing is more influential in terms of the sound produced when releasing a key. This means that the CJ's POM bottom housing will contribute to a deeper and relatively more muted sound experience when pressing a key, while the T1's nylon bottom housing will elicit a fuller sound profile. On the other hand, the top housing will determine the sound when you let go of a key, with the CJ's INK blend offering a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, and the T1's polycarbonate creating a sharper and crisper tone.

In conclusion, the Gateron CJ and the Durock T1 exhibit differences in sound profiles and aesthetics due to their unique housing materials. While the CJ's INK blend top housing offers a clacky and higher-pitched sound, the T1's polycarbonate top housing produces a sharper and more resonant tone. Similarly, the CJ's POM bottom housing provides a deep and muted sound, while the T1's nylon bottom housing creates a fuller and rounder sound. Understanding the distinct qualities of each housing material allows users to choose between these switches based on their desired auditory experience.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron CJ linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, a few differences become evident. The CJ switch has a lighter actuation force of 50 grams, while the T1 switch's actuation force is unknown. However, both switches have a similar medium bottom out force, with the CJ switch requiring 60 grams and the T1 switch slightly heavier at 67 grams. The weight of these switches is worth considering, as it impacts the typing experience. Those who prefer a lighter feel may find the CJ switch more suitable for extended typing sessions or long gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals seeking a more substantial typing experience may prefer the T1 switch's heavier force. Overall, while the actuation forces differ, both switches offer a medium bottom out force, resulting in similar results in terms of typing pressure.

Travel distance

The Gateron CJ linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have equal travel distances of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will experience the same amount of travel distance. Therefore, if travel distance is a crucial factor for you, both of these switches will provide similar results.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron CJ has an MSRP of $6.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the CJ for $5.35.

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

In terms of sound, the Gateron CJ linear switch offers a unique and enjoyable presentation. It produces higher-pitched clacks and has an incredibly smooth push feel. This gives it a chirpy and low-pitched sound profile, with a slightly squeaky acoustic signature. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch provides a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. It has a low-pitched and neutral sound profile, which means it features a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for various purposes. It is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors like the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Gateron CJ linear switch falls into the mild category. It offers a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. With its mild qualities, the CJ switch is approachable to most users, striking a safe balance between comfort and performance. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch provides a stepped and accented feel. It has a tactile bump that feels like it has two stages, offering some pre-travel and/or post-travel sensation. This type of switch provides a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, the T1 switch features a polished finish, resulting in a smoother keystroke and reduced friction.

Considering all the available information, the Gateron CJ linear switch stands out for its unique and enjoyable sound profile with higher-pitched clacks and a smooth push feel. It offers a chirpy and low-pitched sound, while also providing a mild and comfortable typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch offers a low-pitched sound similar to rain falling on a window. It provides a stepped and accented feel, with a prominent amount of tactility that is not overwhelming. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for different typing preferences and purposes. As with any switch, the final result will also depend on the keyboard board and keycaps used.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are someone who enjoys a unique and enjoyable linear switch experience, the Gateron CJ would be a great choice for you. With a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, it offers a smooth push feel and higher-pitched clacks when typing. The CJ also falls under the category of a chirpy switch, which means it has a unique acoustic signature that sets it apart from others.

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and a tactile typing experience, the Durock T1 is the switch for you. With a slightly heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, it provides a medium-heavy feel. The T1 offers a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window. It falls under the categories of low-pitched and neutral switches, offering a mellow tone and making it suitable for various purposes.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron CJ and the Durock T1 depends on your personal preferences and typing style. If you prefer linears with a unique sound and smooth feel, go for the CJ. If you value comfort, tactility, and a mellow sound, go for the T1. Both switches have their own strengths and can enhance your typing experience in different ways.

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