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Outemu Crystalvs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options that often come up are the Outemu Crystal and the Durock T1. The Crystal switch is known for its unique linear typing experience, combining a fairly elastic feel with a medium-light weight. This gives it a distinct typing feel that some may find appealing. Additionally, the Crystal switch has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for those who prefer a quieter typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is a tactile switch that offers a highly comfortable typing experience. With a medium bump when pressing down, it provides a satisfying tactile feedback that many typists prefer. The sound of the T1 switch is often likened to rain falling on a window, creating a soothing auditory experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Crystal
T1
BrandOutemu
CategoryLinear
BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$3.40 per 10 switches

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

55g

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

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Outemu Crystal and Durock T1 switches share many similarities. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housings, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The relatively stiffer plastic of polycarbonate contributes to a clear and resonant sound, making it an ideal choice for those who value the auditory feedback of their typing experience. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate allows for the incorporation of RGB lighting, adding a visually appealing element to the switches.

Where these switches differ is in their bottom housings. The Outemu Crystal features a polycarbonate bottom housing, similar to its top housing, maintaining consistency in sound qualities. Conversely, the Durock T1 utilizes a nylon bottom housing. This material choice brings a deeper and fuller sound profile to the typing experience. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, those who prefer a more muted and subdued typing sound may find the nylon bottom housing of the T1 appealing.

Regardless of the differences in bottom housing, it is important to note that the top and bottom materials play distinct roles in the overall sound and feel of the switch. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing dominate, affecting the bottom-out sound and feel. Meanwhile, the top housing influences the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, both the Outemu Crystal and Durock T1 switches offer unique typing experiences, catering to different preferences in sound and tactile feedback.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are noticeable differences between the two. The Crystal switch has an actuation force of 45 grams and a bottom out force of 55 grams, which can be described as medium-light. On the other hand, the T1 switch's actuation force is currently unknown, but it has a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it medium-heavy.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Crystal switch is an ideal choice as its actuation and bottom out forces are lower. This allows for longer typing sessions without causing fatigue. However, for individuals who desire a more substantial feel and enjoy the sensation of a stronger push, the T1 switch with its higher bottom out force provides a satisfying typing experience.

It's important to note that although the actuation force of the T1 switch is currently unavailable, its higher bottom out force suggests that the force required to trigger a keystroke may also be higher than that of the Crystal switch. Therefore, those seeking a similar result to the Crystal switch's actuation force may find the T1 switch to be slightly heavier in terms of actuation force.

Ultimately, the choice between these two switches will depend on individual preferences and typing style. Some may prioritize a lighter weight for longer typing sessions, while others may prefer a heavier force for a more tactile typing experience. Both switches offer distinct advantages, and it's important to consider these factors when selecting the ideal switch for your keyboard.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a switch is an important factor to consider when choosing a keyboard, as it directly affects the typing experience. In the case of the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, both switches have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that regardless of which switch you choose, you can expect to have a similar typing experience in terms of the distance the switch travels from the top to the bottom. Both switches offer a comfortable amount of travel distance, allowing for precise and responsive keystrokes.

Sound tests

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 Outemu Crystal comes in at $3.40 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.

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Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Outemu Crystal linear switch has a neutral sound profile with a unique chirpy characteristic. This means that the switch produces a sharp and crisp sound when pressed, setting it apart from other switches. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch has a low-pitched sound profile that is more bass-heavy and mellow. This provides a soothing sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When considering the feel of the switches, the Outemu Crystal linear switch is known for its polished feel. This indicates that the switch has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek typing experience. The reduced friction and smooth key travel make it a pleasure to type on. In contrast, the Durock T1 tactile switch has a stepped feel. This means that it has two stages of tactility, with a mild bump that can be felt during the keystroke. Additionally, the T1 switch is described as accented, providing a prominent amount of tactile feedback without being overwhelming or subtle. Like the Crystal switch, the T1 switch is also polished, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Based on the available information, the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer unique experiences in both sound and feel. The Crystal switch provides a linear typing experience with a neutral and chirpy sound profile. Its polished feel ensures smooth key travel. On the other hand, the T1 switch offers a comfortable typing experience with a low-pitched sound reminiscent of falling rain. Its stepped and accented feel provides a moderate level of tactile feedback. Both switches have a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction. It's important to note that individual preferences may vary, and the choice between these switches ultimately depends on personal preference and typing style. However, if you're looking for a similar typing experience, you can achieve comparable results by considering factors such as keycaps and the keyboard board used.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $10, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

In closing, when choosing between the Outemu Crystal linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, you need to consider your preferences and priorities. If you are looking for a unique, linear typing experience with a medium-light bottom out force, the Crystal would be a suitable choice. It offers an elastic feel and a neutral sound profile, which can enhance your typing experience. On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and enjoy a medium bump while typing, the T1 tactile switch would be a great option. With a medium-heavy bottom out force, it provides a comfortable typing sensation reminiscent of rain falling on a window. In terms of sound, the Crystal offers a chirpy or high-pitched sound, while the T1 has a low-pitched and neutral sound profile. When it comes to feel, the Crystal provides a polished typing experience with reduced friction, while the T1 offers a stepped, accented, and polished feel. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on your personal preferences for typing feel, typing sound, and bottom out force. You should carefully consider these factors to select the switch that best suits your needs and enhances your overall typing experience.

Mentioned in this article

Crystal

Crystal

BrandOutemu
CategoryLinear

$3.40 per 10 switches

Try the Crystal switches
T1

T1

BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Try the T1 switches