Gateron North Pole V2 vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Gateron North Pole V2 and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, there are a plethora of options available, each with its own unique characteristics. Two popular choices, the Gateron North Pole V2 and the Durock T1, offer distinct experiences for the user. The North Pole V2, a linear switch, is best described as gummy, providing a deep and muted sound profile accompanied by a satisfying chewy typing feel. On the other hand, the T1, a tactile switch, offers a medium bump when pressing down and emits a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches have their merits, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preference; however, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

65g

Bottom-out force

67g

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

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

Ink Housing Material

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron North Pole V2 and the Durock T1 switches have some similarities and differences. Both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housings, which results in a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The translucent nature of polycarbonate also makes it ideal for switches that plan to use RGB lighting. In terms of aesthetics and sound, the North Pole V2 and the T1 switches will provide similar results with their polycarbonate top housings.

However, when it comes to the bottom housings, the North Pole V2 and the T1 switches differ. The North Pole V2 uses polycarbonate for its bottom housing, while the T1 utilizes nylon. Typing on the North Pole V2, with its polycarbonate bottom housing, will offer a more clear and resonant sound profile due to polycarbonate's stiffness. On the other hand, the T1, with its nylon bottom housing, will elicit a deeper and fuller sound profile. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound.

It's important to note that the qualities brought by the housing materials of the switches will be split between the top and bottom housing. When pressing down on the switch, you'll primarily feel the impact of the bottom housing, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the sound when you release a key will be influenced more by the top housing. Therefore, while the North Pole V2 and the T1 may differ in their bottom housing materials, the overall typing experience will still exhibit some similarities due to the shared characteristics of their polycarbonate top housings.

Weight

When comparing the Gateron North Pole V2 linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, their actuation forces and bottom out forces play a significant role in determining the overall typing experience. The North Pole V2 linear switch has an actuation force of 50 grams, providing a light and effortless keystroke initiation. In contrast, the actuation force of the T1 tactile switch is unknown, making it difficult to directly compare. However, both switches have a bottom out force of 67 grams, resulting in a medium to heavy feel when bottoming out the keys.

For those who prefer a lighter switch, allowing for longer typing sessions without fatigue, the Gateron North Pole V2 would be an ideal choice due to its lower actuation force. This feature makes it suitable for work environments or extended gaming sessions where comfort is essential. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a more substantial typing experience, with a stronger push feel, might prefer the T1 tactile switch. With both switches having the same bottom out force, users can expect similar results in terms of the resistance they encounter when pressing the keys fully. Ultimately, the choice between these switches will depend on personal preference for lightness or heaviness in the typing experience.

Travel distance

The Gateron North Pole V2 linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch possess an identical travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will experience the same distance of travel. Whether you opt for the North Pole V2 or the T1, you can expect similar results in terms of the tactile experience and the distance the switch travels from the top to the bottom.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron North Pole V2 has an MSRP of $6.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the North Pole V2 for $5.70.

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 North Pole V2 linear switch offers a deep and muted sound profile. It can be described as subdued, producing a dampened sound when pressed. This switch provides a more subtle sound signature compared to most switches. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch has a low-pitched sound. It features a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Additionally, the T1 is described as having a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for most intents and purposes.

When it comes to feel, the North Pole V2 linear switch is known for its gummy and creamy typing experience. Bottoming out on this switch feels like bottoming out on a trampoline or a gummy bear, providing a unique sensation. The switch also has a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and sleek typing experience with reduced friction. Conversely, the T1 tactile switch is described as stepped and accented. It provides a medium amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Similar to the North Pole V2, the T1 switch also has a polished finish, resulting in smooth key travel.

Overall, the Gateron North Pole V2 linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer different subjective qualities. The North Pole V2 provides a gummy and creamy typing feel with a deep and muted sound profile. On the other hand, the T1 offers a medium bump while typing and a rain-like sound. Both switches have a polished finish, ensuring smooth key travel. Depending on personal preference, users can choose the North Pole V2 for a chewy typing feel and subdued sound, or the T1 for a comfortable typing experience with a medium tactile feedback and low-pitched sound. Additionally, factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used can also influence the sound and feel of the switches.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are looking for a linear switch with a medium-heavy bottom out force, a deep and muted sound profile, and a satisfying chewy typing feel, the Gateron North Pole V2 would be a great choice. Its gummy and creamy feel will provide a unique and smooth typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch with a slightly higher bottom out force, a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, and a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump, the Durock T1 would be the way to go. The T1 offers a stepped and accented feel, providing a medium amount of tactility without being overwhelming. Both switches have a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences for linear or tactile switches and the specific typing experience you are seeking.

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