TKC Kiwi vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to tactile mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options that come to mind are the TKC Kiwi and the Durock T1. The Kiwi switches are known for their medium to medium-strong bump at the top of each key press, providing a satisfying tactile feedback that enhances the typing experience. With a snappy sound profile, the Kiwi switches offer an immersive and enjoyable typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 switches are highly regarded for their comfort during typing. They feature a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, creating a soothing atmosphere while typing. Both switches are categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities, so you can best decide on the switch that suits your preferences and needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

N/A

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

UHWMPE

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

UHWMPE

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold coated spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the TKC Kiwi and the Durock T1 switches are quite different, leading to distinct sound profiles and aesthetic qualities. The Kiwi features a UHWMPE top housing, which results in a bright sound signature with resonant clacks while typing. In contrast, the T1's polycarbonate top housing creates a sharper and higher-pitched sound profile. Additionally, the clear nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for showcasing RGB lighting effects. While both materials offer a unique auditory experience, the Kiwi's UHWMPE produces a more vibrant sound compared to the crisper sound of the T1's polycarbonate.

Moving on to the bottom housing, the Kiwi's UHWMPE material persists, offering a bright and resonant sound when typing. On the other hand, the T1 utilizes nylon for its bottom housing, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound compared to the bright and resonant clacks of the UHWMPE bottom housing. Although both bottom housing materials provide a unique auditory experience, the nylon of the T1 gives it a deeper tonality that some typists may prefer.

In terms of overall typing experience, the difference in housing materials between the two switches translates into noticeable variations in sound and feel when pressing and releasing a key. The bottom housing plays a more significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel, while the top housing has a greater impact on the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, the choice between the TKC Kiwi and the Durock T1 will ultimately depend on individual preferences for sound profiles and typing sensations. Nonetheless, both switches offer distinctive qualities that enhance the typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the TKC Kiwi tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The TKC Kiwi has an actuation force of 43 grams, while the actuation force of the Durock T1 is unknown. However, both switches have a bottom out force of 67 grams, which falls under the medium-heavy category.

Considering weight is an important factor for keyboard users, as it affects their typing experience. For those who prefer a lighter touch, the TKC Kiwi's lighter actuation force of 43 grams would be more suitable. This allows for longer periods of comfortable typing, making it ideal for work or prolonged gaming sessions. On the other hand, some individuals prefer a stronger push feel, seeking a more substantial typing experience. For these users, the heavier force of the Durock T1 tactile switch, although unknown, would likely provide the desired feedback.

Regardless of the differences in actuation force, both switches share the same bottom out force of 67 grams, resulting in a similar experience when fully pressed. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on individual preferences and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

Both the TKC Kiwi tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel the key travel 4 mm from the top to the bottom. Therefore, you can expect similar results in terms of the travel distance when using either the Kiwi or T1 switches. Neither switch is shorter or longer than the other; they offer the same key travel experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

The TKC Kiwi comes in at $8.00 per 10 switches.

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, both the TKC Kiwi and the Durock T1 switches have a low-pitched profile. This means they produce a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Additionally, both switches are described as having a neutral sound profile, meaning they have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile suitable for most intents and purposes. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by other factors such as the keyboard and keycaps used.

Moving on to the feel, both the Kiwi and T1 switches are described as stepped and accented. Stepped switches have a two-stage feel, providing some pre-travel and/or post-travel, making the tactile feedback feel more mild in comparison to switches with a more pronounced bump. Accented switches, on the other hand, offer a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. This means that both switches provide a noticeable amount of tactile feedback without being too intense or scratchy. Additionally, both switches are described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in a sleek typing experience. The use of materials and factory lubing contributes to reduced friction and smooth key travel for both switches.

Considering all the available information, it can be concluded that the TKC Kiwi and Durock T1 switches share similar qualities in terms of sound and feel. They both have a low-pitched sound profile and neutral actuation force, delivering a satisfying typing experience. Additionally, both switches feature a stepped and accented tactile feedback, providing a comfortable and noticeable bump without being overwhelming. The polished finish also ensures a smooth and effortless typing experience for both switches. Given these similarities, it can be expected that using either the TKC Kiwi or Durock T1 switches will yield comparable results in terms of both sound and feel.

Conclusion

In closing, when choosing between the TKC Kiwi tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, consider your preferences for typing experience. The Kiwi switches are designed to enhance typing with a medium to medium-strong bump at the top of each key press, providing a satisfyingly snappy sound profile. They are also lightly factory lubed, ensuring a smooth and effortless typing experience right out of the box. On the other hand, the T1 switches are super comfortable to type on, with a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window.

Both switches have low-pitched sound profiles, which feature a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. They also fall under the neutral category, with a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile suitable for most intents and purposes, whether you're a beginner or advanced user, or using them at home or work.

In terms of feel, both switches are described as stepped, providing a mild tactile experience with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. They are also accented switches, offering a medium amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, both switches are polished, resulting in a smooth and refined finish that reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel.

Overall, if you prioritize a snappy typing experience with a factory-lubed switch, the Kiwi would be the better choice for you. However, if you prefer a comfortable typing experience reminiscent of rain falling, the T1 switches would be more suitable. Consider these factors to determine which switch aligns with your preferences and ultimately enhances your typing experience.

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