KTT Laurel vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

The KTT Laurel and the Durock T1 are two popular mechanical keyboard switches that offer unique experiences. The Laurel, a linear switch, is best known for its medium-light actuation force and full POM housing, providing a perfect balance of responsiveness and comfort. It boasts a short travel distance and a long pole design, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a smooth typing experience. Additionally, the Laurel switch emits a subtly low-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the T1, a tactile switch, is renowned for its exceptional typing comfort. When pressing down, users will encounter a medium bump, reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Its sound profile is also low-pitched, further adding to its satisfying typing experience. The T1 switch is categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished. Both switches have their merits, so let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you determine the best switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.50 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

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

POM

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22m spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the KTT Laurel and the Durock T1 have distinct differences in terms of sound profiles. The Laurel features a POM top housing, which produces a deeper and more muted sound. This creates a pleasing and unique sound experience. In contrast, the T1 utilizes a polycarbonate top housing, resulting in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to the stiffer nature of polycarbonate, which allows for a clear and resonant sound. If RGB lighting is a priority, the T1's translucent polycarbonate top housing is especially beneficial. Overall, the housing materials in the top of the switches greatly affect the sound when keys are released.

Switching our focus to the bottom housings, the Laurel features a POM bottom housing that contributes to its deeper and more muted sound profile. This creates a rich and satisfying typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 utilizes a nylon bottom housing, which elicits a deeper and fuller sound. The softness of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound profile. When pressing down on the switches, the bottom housing's impact on the bottom-out sound and feel becomes apparent. Therefore, the bottom housing materials play a crucial role in determining the overall sound and tactile experience of the switches.

While the KTT Laurel and the Durock T1 have different housing materials for both the top and bottom, it is worth noting that they both offer unique and pleasing sound profiles. The POM top and bottom housings in the Laurel create a consistent deep and muted sound experience, while the polycarbonate top housing of the T1 produces a sharper and more distinct sound. Additionally, both switches prioritize sound quality and aim to provide a satisfying typing experience. So, despite the differences in housing materials, users can expect similarly impressive results from either switch.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, some notable differences arise. The Laurel boasts a relatively light actuation force of 43 grams, making it more sensitive and requiring less effort to trigger a keystroke. In contrast, the actuation force of the T1 is unknown, making it difficult to directly compare. Moving on to the bottom out force, we find that the Laurel requires 50 grams of force to fully depress the key, while the T1 has a heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, providing a more substantial typing experience. This distinction suggests that the Laurel offers a lighter touch, ideal for extended typing sessions, while the T1 offers a firmer and weightier feel, catering to those who prefer a stronger push during use. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on individual preferences and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distances of the KTT Laurel linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is clear that the Laurel has a shorter travel distance of 3.5 mm while the T1 has a longer travel distance of 4 mm. The Laurel falls into the category of shorter travel distances, which is often preferred by gamers for faster response times. On the other hand, the T1 provides a more hearty depth due to its longer travel distance. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference. If you prioritize responsiveness, the Laurel would be the suitable option, while those who prefer a deeper pressing sensation may opt for the T1. Nonetheless, both switches will provide similar results, ensuring a satisfying typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The KTT Laurel has an MSRP of $4.42 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Laurel for $3.95.

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.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, both the KTT Laurel and the Durock T1 switches have a low-pitched profile. Low-pitched switches generally have a deeper and mellower sound compared to higher-pitched switches. However, it's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard and keycaps used. Therefore, while both switches have a similar low-pitched sound, the actual sound experience may vary depending on other factors.

In terms of feel, the KTT Laurel switch is described as "snappy." Snappy switches are known for their responsiveness, often achieved through longer or dual-staged springs, which make typing feel more lively. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch is described as "stepped," "accented," and "polished." Stepped switches provide a mild tactile experience with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Accented switches offer a medium level of tactility that is not overwhelming nor subtle. Polished switches have a sleek and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Durock T1 provides a comfortable typing experience with its stepped, accented, and polished qualities.

In conclusion, the KTT Laurel and the Durock T1 switches have some differences in terms of sound and feel. The Laurel offers a subtly low-pitched sound profile, while the T1 features a low-pitched sound with a neutral overall tone. The Laurel provides a snappy feel, focusing on responsiveness, while the T1 offers a stepped, accented, and polished feel for a comfortable typing experience. While both switches share some similarities in qualities, such as low-pitched sound, they ultimately provide different experiences. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the individual's preferences for sound and feel.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are looking for a medium-light linear switch that offers a balance of responsiveness and comfort, the KTT Laurel is the ideal choice for you. With its full POM housing, short travel, and long pole design, this switch provides a snappy and smooth typing experience. Additionally, the Laurel switch has a low-pitched sound profile, adding to the overall pleasant typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch that is super comfortable to type on, the Durock T1 is the perfect option. It features a medium bump when pressing down, giving you a satisfying tactile feedback. The T1 switch also has a low-pitched sound profile, similar to the Laurel switch, providing a mellow and relaxing typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the KTT Laurel and the Durock T1 depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize a linear switch with a light feel and snappy response, go for the Laurel. If you prefer a tactile switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force and a comfortable typing experience, the T1 is the way to go. Both switches offer their own unique features, ensuring a pleasant typing experience for different preferences and needs.

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