Gateron Luciola vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

The Gateron Luciola and the Durock T1 are two mechanical keyboard switches that offer unique features and typing experiences. The Luciola stands out for its eye-catching glow-in-the-dark design, while the T1 is well-known for its comfortable and tactile typing experience. The Luciola switch provides a smooth and bouncy typing feel along with a distinct hollow sound profile reminiscent of a can of spray paint being shaken. On the other hand, the T1 switch offers a medium bump when pressed, giving it a satisfying tactile feedback while typing, and produces a calming sound similar to rain falling on a window. Both switches have their own distinctive characteristics that may appeal to different individuals depending on their personal preferences and typing style. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these 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

67g

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

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

22mm double-staged long spring; black-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Luciola and the Durock T1 have distinct differences in terms of sound profile and aesthetics. The Luciola utilizes Gateron's proprietary INK blend for both the top and bottom housing. This results in a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound that is described as clacky. On the other hand, the T1 features a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting. In terms of sound, the Luciola may offer a slightly softer and less sharp tone compared to the T1 due to the characteristics of the INK blend.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Luciola and the T1 once again diverge in their material choice. The Luciola employs its proprietary INK blend, which contributes to the switch's high-pitched and clacky sound profile. On the contrary, the T1 incorporates a nylon bottom housing. Typing on switches with a nylon bottom housing elicits a deeper and fuller sound due to the relatively softer nature of nylon as compared to harder plastics. The nylon bottom housing absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound profile. This provides a contrasting experience to the crisper sound produced by the Luciola's INK blend bottom housing.

When it comes to the overall experience of using these switches, the contribution of the top and bottom housings should be considered. For switches with different materials in the top and bottom housing, such as the T1, the qualities of each material will be divided between the key press and key release. The bottom housing primarily affects the sound and feel of bottoming out, while the top housing has a greater impact on the sound during key release. In the case of both the Luciola and the T1, there will likely be noticeable differences in sound and feel due to the distinct materials used in their respective housings. However, if a user is seeking a similar result in terms of sound profile, the Luciola's INK blend and the T1's polycarbonate top housing may provide comparable experiences, albeit with some subtle variations.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Luciola linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we can see some notable differences. The Luciola has an actuation force of 55 grams and a bottom out force of 60 grams, which falls within the medium range. On the other hand, the T1's actuation force is unavailable, implying that the specific force required to trigger a keystroke is not known. However, the T1 does have a bottom out force of 67 grams, which is categorized as medium-heavy.

Considering weight as an important factor, it is worth noting that individuals who prefer lighter switches may appreciate the Luciola more. A lighter actuation force allows for longer periods of comfortable typing, which can be beneficial for those using the keyboard extensively during work or extended gaming sessions. On the contrary, some users may prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. For such individuals, the heavier bottom out force of the T1 can offer a satisfying tactile feedback.

It is important to mention that while the actuation and bottom out forces differ between these two switches, the overall feel and performance can still be similar. This is because the actuation force determines the force required to trigger a keystroke, and although the specific value is unknown for the T1, it is safe to assume that it falls within a comparable range. Additionally, since bottoming out is a measure of pressing the key all the way down, both switches provide a relatively similar experience in this aspect.

In conclusion, the Gateron Luciola linear switch is lighter in terms of actuation and bottom out forces, while the Durock T1 tactile switch is slightly heavier, specifically in the bottom out force category. However, both switches offer comparable results and can cater to different preferences based on an individual's desire for a lighter or more substantial typing experience.

Travel distance

The travel distances of the Gateron Luciola linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch provide a point of contrast between the two. The Luciola has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the T1 offers a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of traditional standards, the T1 falls within the more common range of 4.0 mm, whereas the Luciola offers a slightly shallower depth. However, with the increasing prevalence of shorter travel distances, the Luciola's 3.6 mm can cater to those looking for faster response times, such as gamers. On the other hand, individuals who prefer a more substantial key press may find the T1's longer travel distance to offer a more satisfactory experience. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on personal preference and the desired level of responsiveness or depth.

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 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

In terms of sound, the Gateron Luciola switch has a unique "hollow can of spray paint being shaken" sound profile. This means that it produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, with a crisp, bright, and percussive tone. Additionally, the Luciola switch is described as slightly chirpy, giving it a distinctive acoustic signature. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch has a low-pitched sound profile, which means it features 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 a variety of purposes. However, it is important to note that the sound produced by a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the Gateron Luciola switch provides a smooth and bouncy typing experience. It is described as snappy, which means it is super responsive and lively due to longer or dual-staged springs. The Luciola switch is also referred to as buttery, indicating a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. This switch offers a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. It is further described as polished, meaning it has a refined finish resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch is characterized as stepped, which means it provides a tactile experience with two stages. Unlike highly tactile switches, the T1 switch has a milder tactility, allowing users to feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel. It is also described as accented, which implies a medium amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Similar to the Luciola switch, the T1 switch is also referred to as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the Gateron Luciola linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have distinct subjective qualities. The Luciola switch offers a snappy and bouncy typing feel with a unique hollow sound profile, while the T1 switch provides a comfortable typing experience with a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches have polished finishes, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. While the Luciola switch leans towards a more responsive and lively experience, the T1 switch offers a milder tactility. Depending on your preferences, either switch can provide a satisfying typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you value a medium heft, smooth and bouncy typing feel, and an eye-catching glow-in-the-dark feature, the Gateron Luciola linear switch is a great choice for you. These switches have a medium bottom out force of 60 grams, providing a comfortable typing experience. They also produce a clacky, chirpy, marbly, or high-pitched sound when pressed, depending on your preference. Additionally, the Luciola switches are described as snappy, buttery, or polished in terms of feel, ensuring a responsive and pleasant typing sensation.

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and a medium bump when pressing down, the Durock T1 tactile switch is the way to go. With a slightly higher bottom out force of 67 grams, these switches offer a medium-heavy feel. They produce a low-pitched or neutral sound profile, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow tone or a moderate sound suitable for various purposes. In terms of feel, the T1 switches can be described as stepped, accented, or polished, offering a tactile sensation without being overwhelming or scratchy.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Luciola linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Consider factors such as typing feel, sound profile, and any additional features that may be important to you, such as the glow-in-the-dark capability of the Luciola switches. By carefully analyzing these aspects, you can select the keyboard switch that best aligns with your needs and enhances your overall typing experience.

Mentioned in this article