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Gateron Ink Yellowvs. Durock Mamba

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options to consider are the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba, both of which are linear switches. The Ink Yellow is known for its shorter travel, making it a great choice for those seeking a typing experience that falls between that of a laptop and a standard mechanical keyboard. With its pleasant smoothness and clackiness, this switch offers a unique tactile feedback. On the other hand, the Mamba switches pay tribute to Kobe Bryant and provide a gliding typing sensation accompanied by a rich and creamy auditory experience. While both switches are categorized as neutral and polished, the Ink Yellow falls into the clacky category, while the Mamba is known for its thocky sound. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Ink Yellow
Mamba
BrandGateron
CategoryLinear
BrandDurock
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

$6.50

$5.17 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

60g

Pre-travel

1.50 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Total travel

3.50 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Ly

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

POM

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Extended long spring

Housing materials

The Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba differ in their top housing materials. The Ink Yellow utilizes a proprietary INK blend, which is known for its pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. It offers a satisfying thin and clacky sound. On the other hand, the Mamba features a Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend top housing. This unique blend provides a pleasant sound profile that leans towards the brighter side, without being too sharp. Both switches offer distinct sound profiles, with the Ink Yellow being described as clacky and the Mamba having a slightly brighter tone. However, they do share the characteristic of not being overly sharp.

In terms of their bottom housing materials, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba differ once again. The Ink Yellow uses the same proprietary INK blend as its top housing, resulting in a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile. This translates into a satisfying and somewhat clacky sound when bottoming out. On the other hand, the Mamba incorporates a POM bottom housing. This choice of material creates a deeper and relatively more muted sound profile. While the Ink Yellow's bottom housing contributes to its clacky sound, the Mamba's POM bottom housing adds a deeper and more restrained touch to its overall sound profile.

It's worth noting that the impact of the housing materials differs depending on which part of the switch you focus on. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing come into play, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. This means that the bottom housing material will affect the overall experience of how the switch feels and sounds when fully pressed. Conversely, when releasing a key, the sound is influenced by the properties of the top housing. Therefore, the top housing material plays a bigger role in determining the sound when you let go of a key. While the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba exhibit differences in their housing materials, understanding the impact of each housing on the sound and feel of the switch allows for a richer comparison between the two.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Mamba linear switch, there are some notable similarities and differences. The Gateron Ink Yellow has an actuation force of 60 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it a medium-heavy switch. On the other hand, the actuation force of the Durock Mamba is unavailable, but it has a bottom out force of 60 grams, classifying it as a medium switch.

In terms of weight, both switches offer a decent range of options. Those who prefer lighter switches may find the Gateron Ink Yellow more suitable for their needs, as it allows for longer periods of typing or gaming without causing excessive strain. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals who bring their keyboards to work or engage in extended gaming sessions.

However, for those seeking a more substantial and satisfying typing experience, the Durock Mamba may be a better choice. While the actuation force of the Mamba is unknown, the bottom out force of 60 grams provides a noticeable push feel, adding a sense of solidity to each keystroke.

In summary, the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba switches have different actuation and bottom out forces, with the former being medium-heavy and the latter falling into the medium range. If weight is a crucial factor, the Ink Yellow may be favored by those who prefer lighter switches, while the Mamba could appeal to individuals seeking a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience.

Travel distance

The Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch and the Durock Mamba linear switch have identical travel distances of 3.5 mm. This means that when pressing down on a key with either switch, you will experience the same travel distance of 3.5 mm. Therefore, in terms of travel distance, both switches will provide similar results.

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 Mamba has an MSRP of $6.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Mamba for $5.17.

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, both the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba switches are described as having a neutral sound profile, meaning they have a moderate sound that is suitable for most purposes. However, the Ink Yellow is also described as clacky, producing a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, while the Mamba is described as thocky, producing a deep and satisfying sound. It's important to note that the sound of a switch also depends on factors such as the choice of board and keycaps. Overall, if you are looking for a crisp and bright sound, the Ink Yellow would be a good choice, while if you prefer a deeper and richer sound, the Mamba would be more suitable.

In terms of feel, both the Ink Yellow and the Mamba switches are described as providing a mild and gentle typing experience. They are both in the safe middle-ground zone, offering a more approachable feel for most users. Additionally, both switches are described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience. This is achieved through either the materials used or factory lubrication. With both switches, you can expect reduced friction and smooth key travel. Therefore, if you are looking for a comfortable and polished typing experience, both the Ink Yellow and the Mamba switches will deliver similar results.

In conclusion, when comparing the subjective qualities of the Gateron Ink Yellow and the Durock Mamba linear switches, we find that they share some similarities. Both switches offer a mild and gentle typing experience, along with a polished finish that ensures smooth and refined key travel. However, they differ in sound characteristics, with the Ink Yellow being described as clacky and the Mamba as thocky. If you prefer a crisp and bright sound, the Ink Yellow is a good choice, whereas if you prefer a deep and satisfying sound, the Mamba is more suitable. Overall, both switches provide a pleasant typing experience and would be suitable options depending on your personal sound preference.

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

To sum up, if you're looking for a typing experience between that on a laptop and on a standard mechanical keyboard, with a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, smoothness and clackiness, and a neutral and clacky sound profile, the Gateron Ink Yellow linear switch would be a great choice for you. On the other hand, if you want a tribute to Kobe Bryant, a gliding typing sensation, a rich and creamy auditory experience, a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, and a neutral and thocky sound profile, then the Durock Mamba linear switch is the one for you. Both switches offer a mild and polished feel, ensuring a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. Ultimately, the decision between these switches comes down to personal preference and the specific qualities you prioritize in your keyboard.

Mentioned in this article

Ink Yellow

Ink Yellow

BrandGateron
CategoryLinear

$7.50

$7.35 per 10 switches

Try the Ink Yellow switches
Mamba

Mamba

BrandDurock
CategoryLinear

$6.50

$5.17 per 10 switches

Try the Mamba switches