KTT Lightning vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the KTT Lightning and the Durock T1 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 KTT Lightning, a linear switch, and the Durock T1, a tactile switch. The Lightning switches from KTT are a top choice for those seeking speed and responsiveness. Designed with milliseconds in mind, these switches can make all the difference in high-pressure gaming situations. Typing on the Lightning switches provides a slick and satisfying feel, accompanied by a distinct clacky sound profile. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switches offer a different typing experience. Known for their superb comfort, these tactile switches feature a noticeable medium bump when pressed down. The sound they produce brings to mind the soothing patter of raindrops on a window. Both switches have their unique characteristics and advantages. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities, so you can best decide on the perfect switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

43g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

50g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The KTT Lightning and the Durock T1 both utilize polycarbonate as their top housing material. This choice results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile for both switches. The stiffness of polycarbonate contributes to a clear and resonant sound, making it an ideal material for achieving precise sound characteristics. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate is especially advantageous for those who plan to use RGB lighting, as it allows the light to shine through the housing, creating a visually appealing experience. Therefore, users can expect similar sound and visual effects when using either the KTT Lightning or the Durock T1.

In terms of the bottom housing material, both the Lightning and the T1 employ nylon. Typing on switches with nylon bottom housings elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile. This can be attributed to the softer nature of nylon, which absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. As a result, the sound produced by these switches is rounder and duller. The bottom housing plays a significant role in influencing the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch when pressed down, contributing to a more immersive typing experience. Thus, users can expect a similar typing experience in terms of sound quality when using either the KTT Lightning or the Durock T1.

When considering the overall impact of housing materials on switch performance, it is important to recognize that the top and bottom housings contribute distinct qualities. The bottom housing of a switch, whether nylon or polycarbonate, influences the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on a key. On the other hand, the top housing material has a greater impact on the sound produced when releasing a key. Therefore, while the KTT Lightning and Durock T1 may differ in their use of housing materials for the top and bottom, users can expect similar sound and feel experiences due to the specific qualities associated with each material.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the KTT Lightning linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it becomes clear that there are notable differences between the two. The Lightning switch has an actuation force of 43 grams, which denotes a relatively light touch required to trigger a keystroke. In comparison, the T1 switch's actuation force is currently unknown, making it difficult to directly compare. However, in terms of bottom out force, the Lightning switch requires 50 grams of force to fully press down, while the T1 switch demands a heavier 67 grams of force.

Considering weight is crucial for various reasons, as individual preferences play a significant role in the typing experience. For those who prioritize extended typing sessions and gaming, a lighter switch would be ideal, as it allows for prolonged use without excessive strain. On the other hand, individuals seeking a more substantial and pronounced keystroke may lean towards options with heavier forces.

In this case, the Lightning switch is the lighter option, providing a lighter actuation force of 43 grams and a bottom out force of 50 grams. The T1 switch, on the other hand, holds a medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams, with its actuation force currently unspecified. While the exact actuation force of the T1 switch remains unknown, it can be inferred that compared to the Lightning switch, it would likely require a higher force for actuation. As a result, users opting for the T1 switch can expect a slightly heavier typing experience.

Travel distance

The KTT Lightning linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have different travel distances. The Lightning switch has a travel distance of 3 mm, which is shorter than the T1 switch's travel distance of 4 mm. A 4.0 mm travel distance is more traditional, while a 3.0 mm travel distance is shallower. However, shorter travel distances have become popular, especially among gamers who value faster response times. For those who prefer more responsiveness, the Lightning switch with its shorter travel distance would be a good option. On the other hand, some people may find short travel distances to feel too abrupt and prefer a switch with a longer travel distance like the T1 switch, which provides a more substantial depth when pressed. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on individual preferences and the desired typing or gaming 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 KTT Lightning comes in at $3.41 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 KTT Lightning is known for its clacky sound profile. This means that when pressed, it produces a sharp and snappy sound that can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the Durock T1 has a low-pitched sound, which means it has a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. The T1 is also described as having a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for most intents and purposes. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Overall, if you prefer a sharp and snappy sound, the KTT Lightning would be a better choice, while if you prefer a more mellow and bass-heavy sound, the Durock T1 would be a great option.

In terms of feel, the KTT Lightning offers a subtle typing experience with a gentle resistance. While it is not as light and feather-like as some switches, it still provides a light typing feel. The Lightning switch is also described as having a polished finish, which results in reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is referred to as a stepped switch, meaning it has a more mild tactile feel with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. It is also described as accented, providing a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. Additionally, like the Lightning, the T1 also has a polished finish, resulting in smooth key travel and reduced friction. Overall, if you prefer a switch with a gentle resistance and a sleek typing experience, the KTT Lightning would be a good choice. However, if you prefer a switch with a more mild tactile feel, the Durock T1 would be a better fit.

In conclusion, the KTT Lightning linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Lightning provides a clacky sound profile, which is sharp and snappy, while the T1 has a low-pitched sound that is more bass-heavy and mellow. In terms of feel, the Lightning offers a subtle typing experience with a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the T1 is a stepped switch with an accented tactile feel, providing a medium amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle and also featuring a polished finish. It is important to consider personal preferences when choosing between the two switches. However, if you are looking for a similar typing experience in terms of sound and feel, both switches offer a polished finish, resulting in smooth key travel with reduced friction.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you're looking for a switch that prioritizes speed and responsiveness, the KTT Lightning linear switch would be a great choice for you. With a light bottom out force of 50 grams, it provides a slick typing feel, making it perfect for situations where milliseconds can make a difference between winning or losing. Additionally, the clacky sound profile adds to the satisfying typing experience.

On the other hand, if comfort and a medium bump are your top priorities, the Durock T1 tactile switch would be an ideal option. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it offers a medium-heavy resistance, resulting in a comfortable typing experience. The sound of rain falling on a window adds a soothing element to the overall typing feel.

In terms of sound, the Lightning switch produces a clacky, high-pitched, and chirpy sound, which is great if you prefer sharp and crisp sounds. On the contrary, the T1 switch has a low-pitched sound profile that brings a more mellow and bass-heavy tone.

When it comes to feel, the Lightning switch is described as subtle and polished. Its gentle resistance and smooth key travel provide a light typing feel, making it suitable for shared spaces. Similarly, the T1 switch offers a stepped or accented tactile feel, providing a noticeable amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. Like the Lightning switch, it also has a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, choosing between the KTT Lightning and Durock T1 switches depends on your personal preferences and the typing experience you desire. Consider factors such as speed, comfort, sound, and feel to make an informed decision that suits your needs.

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