Gateron Luciola vs. Durock Piano

An in-depth look at the Gateron Luciola and the Durock Piano switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two options that stand out are the Gateron Luciola and the Durock Piano, both of which are linear switches. The Gateron Luciola is particularly noteworthy for its eye-catching feature of glowing in the dark. In addition to this unique characteristic, these switches offer a medium heft, providing a satisfying typing experience that is smooth and bouncy. They also produce a distinctive sound profile, often compared to the sound of a hollow "can of spray paint being shaken." On the other hand, the Durock Piano switches are celebrated for their proprietary material blend, which results in an exceptionally pleasant typing feel. Users commonly report a gliding push sensation when using these switches, along with a deep, creamy sound signature. While these general pointers give an initial impression of each switch, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

Mystery material

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22mm double-staged long spring; black-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Gateron Luciola and the Durock Piano have different housing materials for both their top and bottom housings. The Luciola features a proprietary INK blend top housing, which produces a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound that is often described as clacky. In contrast, the Piano utilizes a proprietary POM blend top housing, offering a uniquely satisfying and deep sound profile. While the Luciola's top housing generates a thin and higher-pitched sound, the Piano's top housing delivers a deeper and more resonant tone.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the Luciola employs the same proprietary INK blend as its top housing. This results in a consistent sound profile throughout the switch's operation, characterized by a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound. On the other hand, the Piano incorporates a proprietary POM blend bottom housing. Although the exact details of this blend are unknown, it guarantees a uniquely satisfying and deep sound profile. Therefore, the bottom housings of both switches contribute to the switch's overall sound, with the Luciola providing a clacky tone and the Piano offering a deeper and more resonant sound.

When it comes to the overall feel of the switches, the difference in housing materials is not only reflected in the sound but also in the tactile experience. Because the Luciola's top housing is made of the INK blend, it may produce a slightly sharper feel when releasing a key compared to the Piano's POM blend top housing. However, the bottom housing of both switches will have a more noticeable impact on the feel when bottoming out a key. The Luciola's INK blend bottom housing provides a pointed and relatively high-pitched sensation, while the Piano's POM blend bottom housing contributes to a satisfying and deep tactile experience. Despite these variations, both switches promise a comfortable and responsive feel for users.

In summary, the Gateron Luciola and the Durock Piano differ in their housing materials for both the top and bottom housings. The Luciola's proprietary INK blend offers a clacky and relatively high-pitched sound profile, whereas the Piano's proprietary POM blend delivers a uniquely satisfying and deep sound. While the bottom housing primarily affects the bottom-out sound and feel of the switches, the top housing has more influence on the sound when releasing a key. However, both switches guarantee a comfortable and responsive tactile experience, showcasing the versatility and quality of their respective housing materials.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Luciola linear switch and the Durock Piano linear switch, there are some similarities and differences to consider. The actuation force of the Luciola is 55 grams, whereas the Piano's actuation force is unknown. However, both switches have a medium level of actuation force. This means that when typing on either switch, a similar amount of force is required to trigger a keystroke.

Moving on to the bottom out force, the Luciola requires 60 grams of force to fully press the key, while the Piano is slightly heavier with a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, making it medium-heavy. This means that the typing experience on the Piano switch might feel slightly more substantial compared to the Luciola, as it requires a slightly greater amount of force to fully bottom out the keys.

Considering weight, some individuals prefer a lighter switch as it allows them to type for longer periods of time without experiencing fatigue. In this regard, the Luciola might be a better choice, as it is lighter than the Piano in terms of both actuation and bottom out force. On the other hand, those who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience may lean towards the Piano switch, as it requires a heavier force for bottoming out the keys.

Overall, while both switches can provide a similar typing experience in terms of actuation force, the Piano switch offers a slightly heavier bottom out force, providing a more pronounced tactile feedback. However, it ultimately depends on personal preference and typing style when deciding between the two switches.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Gateron Luciola linear switch and the Durock Piano linear switch, it is clear that the Luciola has a shorter travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Piano has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. The difference may seem minimal, but it can have an impact on the typing or gaming experience. The Luciola with its shorter travel distance can provide a quicker response time, which is favored by gamers who require swift reactions. On the other hand, the Piano's longer travel distance offers a sense of depth and a more substantial feel. Some individuals may find the shorter travel distance of the Luciola too abrupt, while others may appreciate its responsiveness. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing or gaming experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Luciola has an MSRP of $7.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Luciola for $6.50.

The Durock Piano has an MSRP of $6.70 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Piano for $5.57.

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.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Gateron Luciola switches have a unique "can of spray paint being shaken" sound profile, which can be best described as hollow, crisp, bright, and percussive. These switches also have a chirpy and high-pitched sound, adding a distinctive acoustic signature to your typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock Piano switches offer a deep, creamy, and bassy sound profile. They provide a richer tone with a lower frequency range, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Gateron Luciola switches are known for their smooth and bouncy typing feel. They have a snappy and buttery sensation, offering a super responsive and fluid keystroke experience. These switches can be described as polished, as they provide a sleek and refined finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Durock Piano switches offer a gliding push feel, giving you a frictionless and silky smooth typing experience. They minimize resistance and enhance the overall smoothness of the typing feel.

In conclusion, the Gateron Luciola and Durock Piano switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Luciola switches have a distinctive hollow and percussive sound with a bouncy and polished typing feel, while the Piano switches provide a deep and creamy sound with a gliding push and frictionless typing feel. Both switches excel in their own characteristics, and ultimately, the choice between them would depend on personal preferences and desired typing experience. However, if you are seeking a similar result to the Luciola switches, the Piano switches can provide a comparable smooth typing feel, albeit with a different sound profile.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for eye-catching switches that glow in the dark, with a medium heft, smooth and bouncy typing feel, and a hollow sound profile reminiscent of a can of spray paint being shaken, then the Gateron Luciola linear switch is a great choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer switches that are one of the most pleasant to type on, offering a gliding push feel and deep, creamy sound signature, then the Durock Piano linear switch is the way to go.

In terms of sound, the Luciola switches are known for being clacky, chirpy, marbly, and high-pitched. If you enjoy a sharp, snappy sound or a unique acoustic signature, these switches will suit your preference. On the other hand, the Piano switches have a bassy sound profile, offering a deeper and richer tone similar to bass tones.

When it comes to feel, the Luciola switches are described as snappy, buttery, and polished. These switches are super responsive, smooth and fluid, and offer a sleek typing experience with reduced friction. Meanwhile, the Piano switches are known for being frictionless and silky, providing an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience without any sense of resistance or friction.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Luciola and Durock Piano linear switches depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize visual aesthetics, medium heft, and a unique sound profile, the Luciola switches are a great option. On the other hand, if you value a pleasant typing experience with a gliding push feel and a deep, creamy sound signature, the Piano switches are the way to go. Consider your desired sound and feel, and choose the switch that best suits your needs.

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