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Durock Light Tactilevs. Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring

An in-depth look at the Durock Light Tactile and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, there are numerous options available in the market. Two popular choices are the Durock Light Tactile and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring, both falling under the category of tactile switches. The Light Tactile switch from Durock stands out for its gentle tactility, providing a contrasting experience to the sharper tactile switches commonly found. Typing on these switches offers a heavenly tactility accompanied by a jelly-like sound signature. On the other hand, if you are looking for a tactile switch with a medium level of tactility, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring is highly recommended. This variant features a lower actuation and bottom-out force, offering a more approachable tactility. Additionally, it boasts a deep and thocky sound profile. However, let's delve deeper into the specifics of each switch to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences.

By the numbers

Light Tactile
Shadow (Ink) Single Spring
BrandDurock
CategoryTactile
BrandAflion
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.25 per 10 switches

$4.50

$3.57 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

52g

Actuation force

48g

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

55g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated spring

Spring

20mm single-stage spring

Housing materials

Comparing the housing materials of the Durock Light Tactile and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring, both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housing. This material creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The translucency of polycarbonate is ideal for those who want to use RGB lighting as the light can pass through easily. They are likely to deliver similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics due to their shared polycarbonate top housing.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, there is a difference between the two switches. The Light Tactile employs a nylon bottom housing, which produces a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. On the other hand, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring opts for a polycarbonate bottom housing. Polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic, contributing to a more clear and resonant sound profile. Aesthetically, the clear housing is likely to be made of polycarbonate. Therefore, if the bottom-out sound and feel are of utmost importance, the Light Tactile's nylon housing may be preferred.

In terms of functionality, the qualities brought by the top and bottom housing materials will have a split effect on the overall experience of pressing a key. The bottom housing, whether it is nylon or polycarbonate, will have a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the top housing, which is polycarbonate in both switches, will have a greater influence on the sound when releasing a key. It is important to consider this split effect when selecting a switch to ensure that it aligns with personal preferences for both pressing down and letting go of keys.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch and the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch, it is clear that there are both similarities and differences. The Light Tactile switch has a slightly higher actuation force of 52 grams compared to the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch's 48 grams. However, when it comes to bottom out force, the Light Tactile switch requires a heavier force of 67 grams while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch requires a lighter force of 55 grams.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch might be the better option as it has a lower actuation force and a lighter bottom out force. This can be beneficial for individuals who type for extended periods of time or engage in marathon gaming sessions, as it reduces fatigue and allows for smoother typing.

On the other hand, the Durock Light Tactile switch offers a slightly heavier actuation force and bottom out force. This can provide a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel. The added resistance can give a tactile feedback and enhance the typing sensation, making it ideal for individuals who prioritize the feedback and precision in their keystrokes.

Overall, while both switches have their unique characteristics, the Light Tactile switch leans towards a heavier and more substantial typing experience, while the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch offers a lighter and more effortless typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience of the user.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch is 4 mm, while the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring tactile switch also has a travel distance of 4 mm. Therefore, both switches offer the same travel distance, ensuring a consistent experience when pressing down on a key. This similarity in travel distance means that users can expect similar results and a familiar feel when using either of these switches.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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.

The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring has an MSRP of $4.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring for $3.57.

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 Durock Light Tactile switch offers a neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound level. This makes it suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user and whether you use it at home or work. On the other hand, the sound profile of the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch is unknown. It is worth noting that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the Durock Light Tactile switch provides a mild typing experience. It offers a more gentle tactility compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. This makes it approachable and comfortable for most users. Additionally, the Light Tactile switch is described as polished, indicating that it has a sleek and refined finish. This results in smooth key travel and reduced friction, enhancing the overall typing experience. On the other hand, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch is described as bouncy. This means that it provides a spring-like or elastic feedback sensation, giving the keys a lively feel and a rebound when pressed.

Taking all the available information into account, the Durock Light Tactile switch stands out for its gentle tactility and jelly-like sound signature. It offers a safe middle-ground feel, making it suitable for a wide range of users. Additionally, its polished finish provides a smooth and refined typing experience. The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch, on the other hand, offers a medium level of tactility and a deep, thocky sound profile. It provides a bouncy feel to the keys, giving them a lively feedback. While the sound profile and additional details about the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switch are unknown, it can be inferred that it offers a different experience from the Durock Light Tactile switch. However, if you are looking for a switch with a similar level of tactility and sound, the Light Tactile switch would be a good choice.

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 wrap up, if you are searching for a switch with a lighter actuation force and a more gentle tactility, the Durock Light Tactile is the way to go. Its medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams provides a satisfying tactile feedback without being overwhelming, making it a great choice for those who prefer a softer typing experience. Additionally, its angelic tactility and jelly-like sound signature create a unique and pleasant typing sensation. On the other hand, if you are looking for a switch with a medium level of tactility and a deep, thocky sound profile, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Single Spring is recommended. With its lower actuation and bottom-out force of 55 grams, this switch offers a very approachable tactility that is suitable for most users. Furthermore, its bouncy feel provides a spring-like feedback sensation, giving your keystrokes a lively and responsive touch. Ultimately, your choice between these two switches will depend on your personal preferences for actuation force, tactility, and sound profile.

Mentioned in this article

Light Tactile

Light Tactile

BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.25 per 10 switches

Try the Light Tactile switches
Shadow (Ink) Single Spring

Shadow (Ink) Single Spring

BrandAflion
CategoryTactile

$4.50

$3.57 per 10 switches

Try the Shadow (Ink) Single Spring switches