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Gateron Ink Yellowvs. Durock Light Tactile

An in-depth look at the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Light Tactile 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 Ink Yellow and the Durock Light Tactile. The Gateron Ink Yellow is a linear switch that stands out for its shorter travel, giving users a typing experience between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With a smooth and clacky feel, this switch offers a pleasing typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock Light Tactile is a tactile switch that boasts a gentler tactility in comparison to other tactile switches available. It provides users with an angelic tactility and a jelly-like sound signature, offering a unique typing experience. While both switches share categories such as 'Neutral' and 'Mild', the Gateron Ink Yellow is categorized as 'Clacky' while the Durock Light Tactile is considered 'Polished'. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Ink Yellow
Light Tactile
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear
BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

$5.50

$4.25 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

52g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

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 spring

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Light Tactile switches differ in terms of their composition and resulting sound profile. The Ink Yellow switch utilizes a proprietary INK blend for both its top and bottom housing. This blend creates a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, described as clacky. On the other hand, the Light Tactile switch features a polycarbonate top housing, which produces a sharper and crisper sound profile. The stiffer nature of polycarbonate contributes to a more clear and resonant sound, making it particularly suitable for switches with RGB lighting. In contrast, the Light Tactile switch's nylon bottom housing offers a deeper and fuller sound due to its softer composition, absorbing more sound and resulting in a duller and rounder sound.

While the housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and Durock Light Tactile switches differ, they ultimately provide similar results in terms of sound profile. Both switches produce a higher-pitched sound, although the specific characteristics of the sound differ. The INK blend of the Ink Yellow switch creates a relatively high-pitched sound without excessive sharpness, while the polycarbonate top housing of the Light Tactile switch produces a sharper and crisper sound. Despite these distinctions, users can expect a satisfying and thin sound profile from both switches, often described as clacky.

Notably, the choice between the two switches will also have an impact on the feel and sound produced while typing. The bottom housing material plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel, whereas the top housing has a greater influence on the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, individuals who prioritize the feel during typing may find the qualities of the bottom housing more crucial in their decision-making process. In contrast, those who focus on the sound when releasing a key should consider the impact of the top housing material.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch, there are some notable similarities and differences. In terms of actuation force, the Ink Yellow requires 60 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the Light Tactile requires slightly less at 52 grams. This means that the Light Tactile switch has a lighter actuation force and may be preferred by those who prefer a lighter touch. However, both switches have the same bottom out force of 67 grams, which means that once you press all the way down, you will experience a similar resistance or pressure with both switches. This could provide a similar typing experience in terms of bottoming out, regardless of the initial actuation force. If weight is a consideration, the Ink Yellow might be considered slightly heavier than the Light Tactile due to its higher actuation force, but both can still be classified as medium-heavy switches. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on individual preferences for actuation force and typing experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch, the Ink Yellow offers a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Light Tactile has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. Both distances fall within the range of what is considered standard for switch travel. The Ink Yellow's shorter travel distance may appeal to gamers who prioritize fast response times, allowing for quicker keystrokes. On the other hand, the Light Tactile's longer travel distance may be favored by those who prefer a more substantial and immersive typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preference for travel distance and the desired level of responsiveness.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Ink Yellow 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 Yellow for $7.35.

The Durock Light Tactile has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Light Tactile for $4.25.

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

When it comes to sound, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch is known for its neutral sound profile with a clacky characteristic. This means that when you press the switch, it produces a sharp and snappy sound that can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the Durock Light Tactile switch has a more neutral sound profile without the clacky characteristic. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, making them suitable for most intents and purposes. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the choice of keyboard board and keycaps.

Turning to the feel of the switches, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch offers a mild typing experience. It falls into a safe, middle-ground zone, providing a more gentle typing feel compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Additionally, the Ink Yellow switch is described as polished, meaning it has a smooth and refined finish. This results in a sleek and enjoyable typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Durock Light Tactile switch shares similar qualities in terms of feel. It also offers a mild typing experience, providing a gentle tactile feedback that contrasts with sharper tactile switches. Like the Ink Yellow, the Light Tactile switch is also polished, ensuring a smooth and refined typing experience.

In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow and Durock Light Tactile switches differ slightly in sound, with the Ink Yellow having a clacky characteristic while the Light Tactile is more neutral. However, both switches offer a similar mild typing experience with a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined feel. Whether you choose the Ink Yellow or Light Tactile, you can expect a pleasant typing experience that falls within the middle-ground zone. Remember that the overall sound and feel of the switches can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps 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 summary, if you are looking for a switch with a shorter travel and a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the way to go. This switch offers a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It has a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams. The Ink Yellow switch is also described as having a neutral sound profile, with the option for a clacky sound if that is your preference. In terms of feel, the Ink Yellow is considered mild and polished, providing a more gentle and refined typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a super gentle tactility and a jelly-like sound signature, then the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch is the better choice. This switch stands out with its angelic tactility, which is a refreshing contrast to the sharper tactile switches commonly found in the market. The Light Tactile switch also features a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams. It is described as having a neutral sound profile, offering a moderate sound experience suitable for most purposes.

Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a shorter travel, smoothness, and clackiness, along with a mild and polished feel, then the Ink Yellow switch is the one for you. However, if you prefer a super gentle tactility and a jelly-like sound, along with a mild and polished feel, then the Light Tactile switch is the better option. Consider your typing preferences and the specific qualities you value the most in a switch before making your final decision.

Mentioned in this article

Ink Yellow

Ink Yellow

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Yellow switches
Light Tactile

Light Tactile

BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.25 per 10 switches

Try the Light Tactile switches