Gateron Ink Black V2vs. SP-Star Duck
Introducing the Gateron Ink Black V2, a beloved linear switch in the mechanical keyboard community, and the SP-Star Duck, a fantastic tactile option. If you value a smooth downstroke and a satisfying clack, the Ink Black V2 is the switch for you. It boasts a low-pitched, bassy sound profile that is sure to please any keyboard enthusiast. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle tactile typing experience, the Duck switches are a perfect choice. They offer a gentle tactility and a clean, crispy sound profile. Both switches are categorized as mild and polished, ensuring a comfortable and refined typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the switch that fits your needs perfectly.
By the numbers
$7.24 per 10 switches
$5.40 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Top housing material
Bottom housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Bottom housing material
The Gateron Ink Black V2 and SP-Star Duck have contrasting housing materials that result in different sound profiles. The Ink Black V2 utilizes a proprietary INK blend for both the top and bottom housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. This sound profile is described as clacky, offering a satisfying and thin auditory experience. In comparison, the Duck features polycarbonate housing for both the top and bottom, creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. The relatively stiffer polycarbonate plastic results in a clearer and more resonant sound, making it ideal for those who prioritize clarity in their typing experience.
While the housing materials of the Ink Black V2 and Duck differ, they both offer desirable qualities. Both switches present a higher-pitched sound profile, although the Ink Black V2's sound is not overly sharp. The use of polycarbonate in the Duck's top and bottom housing provides a more pronounced sound, enhancing the auditory experience. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for RGB lighting, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the switch. In this regard, the Ink Black V2, with its proprietary INK blend, may offer a similar result in terms of clarity and thin sound, but without the ability to incorporate RGB lighting.
It is important to note that the top and bottom housing of a switch plays a role in different aspects of the typing experience. When pressing down on the switch, the qualities of the bottom housing become evident, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. However, when releasing the key, the top housing becomes more influential in producing the sound. In the case of the Ink Black V2 and Duck, the contrasting materials used for the top and bottom housing would result in a division of these qualities between the two parts of the switch. This means that the sound and feel during key presses and releases would be affected differently, offering unique typing experiences for each switch.
When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch, there are some notable differences. The Ink Black V2 has an actuation force of 60 grams, which means it requires a moderate amount of force to trigger a keystroke. In contrast, the Duck's actuation force is unavailable, so it is difficult to make a direct comparison. However, the bottom out force of the Ink Black V2 is 70 grams, making it slightly heavier than the Duck's 58 gram bottom out force.
Considering weight, some people prefer lighter switches as it allows them to type for longer periods without experiencing fatigue. This is particularly advantageous for those who use keyboards for work or engage in prolonged gaming sessions. On the other hand, some individuals prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. For these individuals, heavier forces are more suitable.
While the Ink Black V2 provides a slightly heavier actuation force and bottom out force compared to the Duck, it is worth noting that the exact actuation force of the Duck is unknown. However, assuming the actuation force of the Duck is similar to its bottom out force, it can be inferred that the Duck's keystrokes would require a lighter touch than the Ink Black V2. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on individual preference and typing style.
The Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4mm. This means that both switches will provide a similar experience in terms of the distance it takes for the switch to travel from the top to the bottom. Whether you choose the Ink Black V2 or the Duck, you can expect to feel a consistent 4mm travel distance when pressing down on a key. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, there is no difference between the two switches as they both offer the same length of travel.
Which switch is more bang for your buck?
The Gateron Ink Black V2 has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ink Black V2 for $7.24.
The SP-Star Duck has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Duck for $5.40.
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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The Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch is well-regarded for its smooth downstroke and rich clack. It offers a low-pitched sound profile, which gives it a bass-heavy and mellow tone during key presses. Additionally, these switches have a slight chirp to them, which adds a unique acoustic signature. On the other hand, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch provides a more subtle tactile typing experience. The sound profile of the Duck switches is characterized as clean and crispy, with a neutral sound profile that falls in the middle ground in terms of actuation force requirement and sound. Both switches offer a mild typing experience, making them approachable to most users. They also have a polished finish, resulting in smooth and refined key travel. Overall, while the Ink Black V2 emphasizes a low-pitched and bass-heavy sound profile with a touch of chirp, the Duck switches offer a clean and crispy sound with a gentle tactility. Despite their differences, both switches provide a mild and polished typing experience that many users will appreciate.
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 $15, 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.
To sum up, if you are looking for a classic linear switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force, the Gateron Ink Black V2 is a great choice. It offers a smooth downstroke and a rich clack sound. The Ink Black V2 has a low-pitched and bassy sound profile, which can be characterized by a deeper and more mellow tone. In terms of feel, it provides a mild and polished typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle tactile typing experience, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch is perfect for you. It has a medium bottom out force and a gentle tactility when typing. The sound profile of the Duck switch is neutral, making it suitable for various purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user and whether you plan to use it at home or work. In terms of feel, the Duck switch offers a mild and polished typing experience, with a buttery and seamless keystroke sensation.
Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the SP-Star Duck tactile switch depends on your preference for linear switches or tactile switches. If you enjoy the smoothness and rich sound of a linear switch with a slightly heavier bottom out force, the Ink Black V2 is a great option. However, if you prefer a more gentle tactile feel and a neutral sound profile, the Duck switch is the way to go. Consider your typing preferences and requirements to make the best choice for your mechanical keyboard.