Gateron Ink Yellowvs. Durock Lupine
When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two options that stand out are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Lupine, both of which fall under the linear switch category. The Ink Yellow is renowned for its shorter travel, providing a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. This switch offers a delightful smoothness and clackiness, making it a popular choice among typists. On the other hand, the Lupine captivates users with its two-stage long springs, delivering a consistent weight distribution while pressing down and a powerful upward movement upon rebound. These switches produce a classic clacky sound profile that is both satisfying and nostalgic. However, let's delve deeper beyond these generalities to help you make an informed decision on the best switch for your needs.
By the numbers
$7.35 per 10 switches
$4.25 per 10 switches
Top housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Top housing material
Bottom housing material
Proprietary INK blend
Bottom housing material
Two-stage long spring
The housing materials of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Lupine differ in terms of their properties and resulting sound profiles. The Ink Yellow utilizes a proprietary INK blend for both the top and the bottom housing. This blend creates a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound, which is described as clacky. On the other hand, the Lupine features a polycarbonate top housing, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The use of polycarbonate makes the Lupine's top housing stiffer, leading to a clearer and more resonant sound. In terms of aesthetics, the Ink Yellow's housing is not translucent, while the Lupine's polycarbonate top allows for enhanced RGB lighting.
In terms of the bottom housing, the Ink Yellow and the Lupine use different materials. The Ink Yellow's proprietary INK blend bottom housing, similar to its top housing, provides a pointed, high-pitched, and clacky sound profile. On the other hand, the Lupine utilizes a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is known for producing a deeper and fuller sound due to its softer nature, which absorbs more sound than harder plastics. This results in a duller and rounder sound profile compared to the Ink Yellow's bottom housing.
When it comes to the overall impact of the housing materials, the qualities of the bottom housing play a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel of a switch. The differing materials used in the bottom housings of the Ink Yellow and Lupine will affect these aspects differently. However, the top housing has more influence on the sound produced when a key is released. Therefore, while the Ink Yellow and Lupine may provide different sound profiles due to their housing materials, the resulting satisfaction in terms of sound can be achieved with both switches.
When comparing the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Lupine linear switch, there are some notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Gateron Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, placing it in the medium-heavy category. On the other hand, the actuation force of the Durock Lupine is not available, but it has a bottom out force of 62 grams, which is considered medium.
Considering the weight aspect, some individuals prefer lighter switches as it allows them to type for extended periods without fatigue. This makes them suitable for work keyboards or long gaming sessions where endurance is necessary. In contrast, there are those who prefer a more substantial typing experience and opt for switches with heavier forces. These individuals enjoy the stronger push feel that provides a sense of solidity during typing.
In terms of weight, the Gateron Ink Yellow can be considered heavier due to its higher bottom out force of 67 grams. This provides a more robust typing experience for users who appreciate a firmer keystroke. The Durock Lupine, on the other hand, has a bottom out force of 62 grams, making it slightly lighter in comparison. Although the actuation force of the Lupine is unknown, it is likely to provide a similar result to the Ink Yellow, given their both being linear switches.
In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Lupine linear switches have differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. While the Ink Yellow is medium-heavy with an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, the Lupine falls in the medium weight category with an unknown actuation force and a bottom out force of 62 grams. Those looking for a heavier typing experience may prefer the Ink Yellow, while the Lupine offers a lighter option for those seeking a more prolonged typing experience.
The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch has a travel distance of 3.5 mm, while the Durock Lupine linear switch has a slightly longer travel distance of 3.7 mm. Both of these switches have shorter travel distances compared to the traditional 4.0 mm, indicating that they are designed to provide a faster response time. Gamers, in particular, tend to prefer switches with shorter travel distances, as it allows them to actuate keys more quickly. However, for those who enjoy a deeper and more tactile feel when pressing down on keys, the Durock Lupine with its slightly longer travel distance may be more suitable. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches depends on individual preferences for either a more responsive or a more substantial typing experience.
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 Lupine has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Lupine 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.
Not sure what switch is best for you?
Take a short quiz and we'll suggest some great switches for you to try at homeBegin the switch quiz
When it comes to sound, the Gateron Ink Yellow switch is best described as having a neutral and clacky sound profile. This means that it produces a moderate and crisp sound when pressed, giving a satisfying tactile feedback to the user. On the other hand, the Durock Lupine switch also has a neutral sound profile but leans towards being high-pitched. This results in a sharper and crisper sound compared to the Ink Yellow switch. If you prefer a more classic clacky sound, the Ink Yellow switch would be the better option. However, if you enjoy a higher-pitched sound, the Lupine switch would be more suitable. It is worth noting that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard case and keycaps used.
In terms of feel, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and Durock Lupine switches offer a mild typing experience. This means that they provide a gentle and approachable feel for most users. Both switches also possess a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience. This can be attributed to factors such as the materials used or factory lubing. As a result, you can expect reduced friction and smooth key travel with both switches. Whether you choose the Ink Yellow or Lupine, you can enjoy a comfortable and polished typing experience.
Overall, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and Durock Lupine switches have their unique subjective qualities. The Ink Yellow switch offers a shorter travel, making it suitable for those seeking a typing experience between a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. It provides a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, producing a neutral and clacky sound. On the other hand, the Lupine switch showcases two-stage long springs, delivering a consistent weight distribution when pressed and a more powerful upward movement on the rebound. It produces a neutral sound profile with a higher-pitched tone. Both switches offer a mild and polished feel, ensuring a comfortable typing experience. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preference, whether you prefer a shorter travel and classic clacky sound (Ink Yellow) or a two-stage spring and higher-pitched sound (Lupine). However, it's important to note that while they may not be identical, you can expect similar results in terms of sound and feel from both switches.
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 switch with a shorter travel distance and a pleasant smoothness and clackiness, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch is the way to go. It offers a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, providing a typing experience between that on a laptop and on a standard mechanical keyboard. In terms of sound, the Ink Yellow offers a neutral and clacky sound profile, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. Additionally, the Ink Yellow provides a mild and polished feel, offering a gentle typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.
On the other hand, if you prefer a switch with a two-stage long spring and a more powerful upward movement on the rebound, the Durock Lupine linear switch is the better choice. It has a medium bottom out force of 62 grams, ideal for those who prefer a consistent weight distribution while typing. In terms of sound, the Lupine produces a neutral and high-pitched sound profile, providing a sharp and crisp sound when pressed. Like the Ink Yellow, the Lupine also offers a mild and polished feel, resulting in a comfortable and sleek typing experience.
Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Lupine depends on your personal preferences. Consider factors such as travel distance, bottom out force, sound profile, and typing feel to determine which switch aligns best with your typing style and preferences. Whether you prioritize a shorter travel distance and clackiness or a two-stage long spring and a distinct sound profile, both switches offer excellent options for a satisfying typing experience. In the end, it's all about finding the switch that complements your typing preferences and enhances your overall typing experience.