Durock Light Tactile vs. TKC Tangerine

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that offer unique features and advantages are the Durock Light Tactile and the TKC Tangerine. The Light Tactile switch from Durock stands out for its gentle tactility, providing a pleasant typing experience with a soft and smooth feel. In contrast to its sharper tactile counterparts, the Light Tactile switch offers a more angelic and jelly-like sound signature. On the other hand, the Tangerine switch, categorized as a linear switch, takes typing to the next level with its incredibly smooth feel and pleasure-inducing keystrokes. The use of UHWMPE housings in these switches, a rarity in the mechanical keyboard market, contributes to their frictionless and buttery smoothness. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your typing needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

52g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

62g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

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

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

UHWMPE

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

UHWMPE

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated spring

Spring

Gold coated spring

Housing materials

When comparing the housing materials of the Durock Light Tactile and the TKC Tangerine, we can see significant differences. The Light Tactile features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a stiffer plastic that produces a clear and resonant sound. In contrast, the Tangerine utilizes a UHWMPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) top housing. This newer material offers a bright sound signature, providing resonant clacks when typing on switches with such housings. Both materials allow for the use of RGB lighting due to their translucency. Thus, although they differ in composition, both the Light Tactile and Tangerine result in enhanced sound profiles and compatibility with lighting effects.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the Light Tactile employs a nylon material which elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softer nature of nylon absorbs more sound, leading to a duller and rounder sound. In comparison, the Tangerine showcases a UHWMPE bottom housing. This material, like its top counterpart, offers a bright sound signature. It provides resonant clacks, contributing to a lively typing experience. With these divergent bottom housings, the Light Tactile and Tangerine present distinct auditory characteristics, with the former emphasizing a deeper sound and the latter enhancing brightness and resonance.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the top and bottom housing materials play different roles in the overall typing experience. While the bottom housing greatly influences the bottom-out sound and feel of a key press, the top housing has a greater impact on the sound produced when a key is released. In the case of the Light Tactile, with its polycarbonate top and nylon bottom housing, users will experience a clear and resonant sound when releasing a key, while the bottom-out sound and feel will be deeper and fuller due to the nylon. Similarly, the Tangerine's combination of UHWMPE top and bottom housings will result in bright clacks when letting go of a key, complemented by resonant feedback during bottom-out. Therefore, although the specific materials differ, both switches offer unique characteristics based on the split between their top and bottom housings.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock Light Tactile tactile switch and the TKC Tangerine linear switch, there are some notable differences. The Light Tactile switch has an actuation force of 52 grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it a medium-heavy switch. On the other hand, the Tangerine switch's actuation force is unknown, but it has a bottom out force of 62 grams, which is considered medium.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Light Tactile switch may be more suitable as it requires less force to type and offers a smoother actuation. This lighter actuation force can be beneficial for prolonged typing sessions or extended gaming sessions. However, for individuals who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience, the Tangerine switch may be a better choice. Its slightly heavier bottom out force of 62 grams provides a more tactile feedback, making each keystroke feel more pronounced.

Although the available information does not provide a direct comparison of the actuation forces between the two switches, it is likely that the Durock Light Tactile switch will have a lighter actuation force compared to the Tangerine switch. However, both switches offer similar bottom out forces, with the Tangerine switch being slightly lighter at 62 grams. Ultimately, the choice between these two switches will depend on personal preference for typing experience - whether one prefers a lighter or heavier touch.

Travel distance

The Durock Light Tactile tactile switch and the TKC Tangerine linear switch have the same travel distance, both measuring 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will experience a consistent 4 mm distance of travel. Therefore, both switches will provide similar results in terms of the distance you feel when pressing down on a key.

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 TKC Tangerine comes in at $6.30 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

When it comes to sound, the Durock Light Tactile switch offers a neutral sound profile. This means that it produces a moderate sound when pressed, making it suitable for most purposes. On the other hand, the TKC Tangerine switch has a high-pitched sound, which gives it a sharp and crisp sound when typing. If you prefer a richer and bassy sound profile, the Tangerine switch would be a good choice.

In terms of feel, the Light Tactile switch provides a mild typing experience. It offers a more gentle tactility compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. Additionally, the Light Tactile switch is described as polished, meaning that it has a smooth and refined finish resulting in a sleek typing experience. This is due to either high-quality materials used or factory lubing, which reduces friction and ensures smooth key travel.

The TKC Tangerine switch, on the other hand, offers a frictionless and buttery typing experience. It provides an extremely smooth and effortless feel, minimizing any sense of resistance or friction when pressing the keys. This switch also falls under the polished category, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel for a sleek typing experience.

In conclusion, the Durock Light Tactile and TKC Tangerine switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Light Tactile switch provides a neutral sound profile and a mild, polished typing experience. On the other hand, the Tangerine switch offers a high-pitched sound and a frictionless, buttery, and polished typing experience. Depending on your preferences, either switch can provide a satisfying typing experience. If you prefer a gentler tactility and neutral sound, the Light Tactile switch is a good option. If you prefer smoothness, a high-pitched sound, and frictionless feel, the Tangerine switch would be more suitable. It's important to consider factors such as your choice of keyboard board and keycaps, as these can also influence the overall sound and feel of the switches.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you're looking for a gentle and smooth typing experience with a more moderate sound profile, then the Durock Light Tactile switch is the way to go. It offers a mild and polished feel, making it approachable to most users. The Light Tactile switch is particularly praised for its angelic tactility and jelly-like sound signature, providing a refreshing contrast to sharper tactile switches. On the other hand, if you prioritize an incredibly smooth keystroke and enjoy a high-pitched clack sound, the TKC Tangerine linear switch is the better choice. With its frictionless and buttery feel, typing on the Tangerine switch becomes a pleasure. Additionally, the UHWMPE housings contribute to the smoothness, making these switches stand out in the world of bespoke mechanical switches. Ultimately, your decision should be based on whether you prefer a lighter bottom out force and gentle tactility (Light Tactile) or prioritize a silky smooth keystroke and high-pitched sound (Tangerine). Choose the switch that aligns best with your typing preferences and enjoy a personalized typing experience.

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