Gateron Ink Black V2 vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

Introducing the Gateron Ink Black V2, a sought-after linear switch, and the Durock T1, a tactile switch for mechanical keyboards. These switches offer distinct characteristics that cater to different preferences and typing styles. The Ink Black V2 has earned its reputation as a community favorite with its exceptionally smooth downstroke and satisfying clack. It falls under the category of being low-pitched, bassy, chirpy, mild, and polished. On the other hand, the T1 provides a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump when pressed down, accompanied by a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished, it adds an extra dimension to each keystroke. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make an informed decision about the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

70g

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

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Color coated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials for the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the Durock T1 switches offer contrasting characteristics in terms of sound profile and aesthetics. The Ink Black V2 features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which provides a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile described as clacky. On the other hand, the T1 utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Additionally, the clear nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches that incorporate RGB lighting. While both materials offer distinct sound profiles, the polycarbonate top housing in the T1 provides a more resonant and transparent tone compared to the INK blend in the Ink Black V2.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Ink Black V2 utilizes the same proprietary INK blend as the top housing, resulting in a similar pointed and high-pitched sound that is often described as clacky. In contrast, the T1 employs a nylon bottom housing, which elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, leading to a duller and rounder tone. Therefore, the T1's nylon bottom housing contributes to a more muted and substantial sound during typing compared to the INK blend in the Ink Black V2.

Considering the overall performance of the switches, the housing materials play a significant role. The bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed, while the top housing affects the sound when a key is released. In this regard, the INK blend in the Ink Black V2 and the nylon bottom housing in the T1 offer distinct characteristics. However, for those seeking a clacky sound profile with a pointed and high-pitched tone, both switches provide similar results through their respective INK blend top housing. Nevertheless, for users who prioritize a sharper, crisper sound with RGB lighting compatibility, the polycarbonate top housing of the T1 would be the preferred choice. Similarly, those desiring a deeper and fuller sound with a softer and more absorbent nature may opt for the T1's nylon bottom housing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are some similarities and differences to consider. In terms of actuation force, the Gateron Ink Black V2 requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the exact actuation force for the Durock T1 is unknown. However, both switches fall within the medium-heavy category, suggesting that they would provide a substantial typing experience.

Moving on to bottom out force, the Gateron Ink Black V2 requires 70 grams of force to press all the way down, whereas the Durock T1 has a documented bottom out force of 67 grams. This indicates that the Ink Black V2 is slightly heavier in terms of bottom out force.

Considering the weight aspect, some individuals might prefer a lighter switch, as it allows for longer typing sessions and can be advantageous for tasks like working or engaging in lengthy gaming sessions. On the contrary, those seeking a more pronounced typing experience may favor switches with heavier forces.

In conclusion, while the actuation force for the Durock T1 is unspecified, both the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the Durock T1 fall under the medium-heavy category in terms of actuation force. Additionally, the Ink Black V2 has a slightly heavier bottom out force compared to the confirmed 67-gram force of the T1. Ultimately, those desiring a smoother, lighter keystroke may lean towards the Gateron Ink Black V2, while individuals seeking a more substantial typing experience may find the Durock T1 to be a suitable choice.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we find that both switches have the same travel distance of 4 mm. Therefore, pressing down on a key with either switch will result in a similar tactile experience. The travel distance refers to the distance the switch travels from the top to the bottom, and in this case, both switches offer an equal distance. Thus, users can expect a consistent feel when using either the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch or the Durock T1 tactile switch.

Price comparison

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 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 Ink Black V2 provides a low-pitched and bassy sound profile during key presses. The switch has a more mellow tone and offers a deeper, richer sound associated with bass tones. It also has a unique chirpy characteristic that sets it apart from other switches. On the other hand, the Durock T1 has a low-pitched sound profile similar to the Ink Black V2, but it is described as having a more neutral sound. This means it has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, making it suitable for various purposes. It is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Gateron Ink Black V2 offers a mild and polished typing experience. The switch provides a more gentle typing experience with a safe, middle-ground feel. It has a smooth and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction, smooth key travel, and a sleek typing experience, which can be attributed to either the materials used or factory lubing. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is described as a stepped and accented switch. Stepped switches have two stages of tactility, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel, giving them a more mild tactile feel compared to hypertactile switches. The T1 provides a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle, making it a medium tactile switch. Additionally, the T1 also has a polished switch feel with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Taking into consideration the available information, the Gateron Ink Black V2 linear switch is known for its smooth downstroke, rich clack, low-pitched and bassy sound, mild feel, and polished typing experience. The Durock T1 tactile switch, on the other hand, offers a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump, low-pitched and neutral sound, stepped and accented tactile feel, and polished typing experience. While the sound and feel of the two switches differ slightly, they both offer satisfying qualities for keyboard enthusiasts. Whichever switch you choose, you can expect a pleasant typing experience and the ability to customize the sound and feel further based on your choice of keyboard board and keycaps.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are looking for a smooth and classic linear switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force, the Gateron Ink Black V2 would be a great choice for you. It offers a rich clack sound and a low-pitched, bassy sound profile during key presses. The Ink Black V2 also provides a mild and polished typing experience, with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch that is super comfortable to type on, the Durock T1 would be a suitable option. With a medium-heavy bottom out force, the T1 offers a medium bump when pressing down and a low-pitched sound profile. It provides a stepped feel, where you can feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel, and an accented tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Similar to the Ink Black V2, the T1 also has a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Consider your preferences for linear or tactile switches, bottom out force, sound profile, and typing experience when deciding between the Gateron Ink Black V2 and the Durock T1. Whether you prioritize a smooth linear switch with a rich clack or a comfortable tactile switch with a rain-like sound, both switches offer their unique qualities to meet your needs.

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