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Gateron Ink Redvs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, there are numerous options to consider, each with its own unique characteristics that appeal to different preferences. Two popular switches worth comparing and contrasting are the Gateron Ink Red and the Durock T1. The Gateron Ink Red, a linear switch, is widely praised for its lower actuation force, making it a perfect choice for those with a lighter typing style. Known for their satisfyingly smooth experience, the Ink Reds also offer a crispy and clacky sound profile, making them a delight to type on. On the other hand, the Durock T1 stands out as a tactile switch, providing exceptional comfort during typing sessions. With a medium bump sensation on each key press, the T1 delivers a sense of satisfaction while producing a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. While these general descriptions can give you an idea of what to expect, it's important to delve deeper into the specific qualities and characteristics of each switch to determine which one best suits your needs and preferences.

By the numbers

Ink Red
T1
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear
BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

45g

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

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

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Red and the Durock T1 have distinct differences in their housing materials. The Ink Red features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. It offers a satisfying thin and higher-pitched sound that is often described as clacky. On the other hand, the T1 utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, creating a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The use of polycarbonate imparts stiffness to the housing, resulting in a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the clear nature of polycarbonate makes it perfect for incorporating RGB lighting into the switch. Though they differ in sound characteristics, both switches offer a unique and satisfying typing experience.

In terms of bottom housing, the Gateron Ink Red and the Durock T1 again differ in materials. The Ink Red utilizes its proprietary INK blend for the bottom housing, resulting in a similar high-pitched sound profile as the top housing. It retains the satisfying thin and clacky sound that is consistent throughout the switch. On the other hand, the T1 employs a nylon bottom housing, offering a deeper and fuller sound profile. Due to the softer nature of nylon, it absorbs sound more effectively, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. The use of nylon in the bottom housing of the T1 brings a unique acoustic characteristic to the switch, enhancing the overall typing experience.

While the top and bottom housings of the Gateron Ink Red and the Durock T1 differ, it is important to note that the qualities exhibited by each housing material are split between the top and the bottom of the switch. When pressing down on either switch, you will primarily feel the impact of the bottom housing, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing plays a larger role in the sound produced when you release a key. Both switches offer unique acoustic profiles, and despite the differences in materials, they deliver satisfying typing experiences with their distinct sound characteristics.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Red linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are noticeable differences. The Ink Red has an actuation force of 45 grams, while the T1's actuation force is unknown. However, they both have a medium level of actuation force, meaning they require a moderate amount of pressure to register a key press.

Moving on to the bottom out force, the Ink Red requires 60 grams of force to fully depress the switch, while the T1 has a slightly heavier bottom out force of 67 grams. This makes the T1 a medium-heavy switch in terms of the force needed to fully press a key.

Considering weight as an important factor, the lighter actuation and bottom out forces of the Ink Red may be preferred by individuals who value longer typing sessions or extended gaming sessions. The lighter forces allow for a smoother and easier typing experience, reducing fatigue and strain on the fingers. On the other hand, those who seek a more substantial typing experience might opt for the T1 switch with slightly heavier forces. This provides a stronger push feel and a more satisfying tactile feedback.

In conclusion, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch offers a lighter actuation and bottom out force, while the Durock T1 tactile switch has a slightly heavier bottom out force. Both switches provide medium actuation forces, catering to users who prefer a moderate key press sensation. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences and desired typing or gaming experience.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Red linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. When pressing down on a key, both switches will provide a similar tactile feedback and experience as they have equal travel distances. The user will feel the same distance being covered whether they choose to use the Gateron Ink Red or the Durock T1 switch. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, there is no difference between the two switches, ensuring a consistent and reliable typing experience.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Red 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 Red for $7.35.

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.

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Typing experience

In terms of sound, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch offers a unique crisp and clacky sound profile, which sets it apart from other switches. This switch has a moderate actuation force requirement, making it suitable for various typing styles and purposes. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch provides a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. The bass-heavy and mellow tone of the T1 switch creates a more soothing auditory experience. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch is known for its silky and polished experience. It offers an exceptionally smooth typing feel with minimal resistance when pressing and releasing keys. This smoothness enhances the overall typing experience and reduces friction. The mild characteristics of the Ink Red switch make it approachable to most users. Similarly, the Durock T1 tactile switch is described as having a stepped and accented feel. This means that it provides a medium amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. Like the Ink Red switch, the T1 switch also has a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Taking into consideration the available information, it is evident that the Gateron Ink Red and Durock T1 switches offer different subjective qualities. In terms of sound, the Ink Red switch has a crispy and clacky profile, while the T1 switch provides a low-pitched and soothing tone. In terms of feel, the Ink Red switch offers a silky and polished typing experience with minimal resistance, while the T1 switch provides a stepped and accented feel with medium tactility. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for various purposes. It's important to keep in mind that individual preferences for sound and feel may vary, and other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps can also impact the overall typing experience.

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.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you prefer a lighter typing style and a smooth and effortless typing experience, the Gateron Ink Red linear switch would be a great choice for you. With a bottom out force of 60 grams, it offers a medium actuation force that is suitable for most intents and purposes. The Ink Red is known for its satisfyingly smooth feel and crispy and clacky sound profile. It is also described as having a neutral or chirpy sound, which sets it apart from other switches. Additionally, the Ink Red is described as silky, mild, and polished, offering an exceptionally smooth and refined typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and enjoy a tactile typing experience, the Durock T1 tactile switch would be a suitable option. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a medium-heavy actuation force. The T1 is known for its super comfortable feel and a medium bump when pressing down, reminding some users of rain falling on a window. It is described as having a low-pitched and neutral sound profile, which provides a bass-heavy and mellow tone. The T1 also offers a stepped, accented, and polished feel, providing a mild tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Ink Red and the Durock T1 depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer a lighter linear switch with a smooth feel, opt for the Ink Red. If you prioritize comfort and enjoy a tactile typing experience with a mellow sound, go for the T1. Both switches offer unique qualities and can greatly enhance your typing experience based on your individual needs.

Mentioned in this article

Ink Red

Ink Red

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Red switches
T1

T1

BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Try the T1 switches