Gateron Oil King vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, the Gateron Oil King and the Durock T1 are two popular options that offer different experiences. The Gateron Oil King is a linear switch known for its smoothness and a sound profile that resembles the satisfying snap of a dark chocolate bar. With its categorization of low-pitched, creamy, silky, bassy, buttery, and polished, it provides a pleasant and buttery typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is a tactile switch that offers a medium bump when pressed and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window. Its categorization of stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished adds to the overall comfort while typing. Choosing between these switches depends on personal preference, so let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best decision.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

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

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

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

Color coated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Oil King and the Durock T1 switches provide distinct differences in sound profiles. The Oil King's nylon top housing creates a deeper and fuller sound, giving a rounder and duller tone. In contrast, the T1's polycarbonate top housing produces a sharper and crisper sound, resulting in a higher-pitched tone. Both materials have their merits depending on personal preference. However, if you are looking for a switch that utilizes RGB lighting, the translucent polycarbonate of the T1 would be more suitable.

When it comes to the bottom housing, the Oil King employs Gateron's proprietary INK blend. This creates a pointed and high-pitched sound, described as clacky. On the other hand, the T1 incorporates a classic nylon bottom housing, known for its ability to elicit a deeper and fuller sound. The nylon material is softer, absorbing more sound and thus producing a duller and rounder tone. Depending on the desired sound profile, users can choose between the clacky and high-pitched INK blend of the Oil King or the deeper and fuller sound of the T1's nylon bottom housing.

It's important to note that if a switch has different top and bottom housings, each housing material will contribute its characteristics to different aspects of the keypress. The bottom housing will affect the bottom-out sound and feel when keys are pressed down, while the top housing will impact the sound when keys are released. While the Gateron Oil King and Durock T1 offer differences in their housing materials, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and feel. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences and the desired sound profile for typing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Oil King linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are a few notable similarities and differences. In terms of actuation force, the Gateron Oil King requires 55 grams of force to trigger a keystroke, while the T1's actuation force is unknown. However, both switches have a medium-heavy bottom out force. The Gateron Oil King has a bottom out force of 65 grams, whereas the T1 has a slightly higher bottom out force of 67 grams.

The weight of a switch is an important consideration for many users. Those who prefer a lighter switch may opt for the Gateron Oil King, as its actuation force is lower. This lighter actuation force allows for longer typing periods, making it suitable for work or extended gaming sessions. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a more substantial typing experience may be drawn to the Durock T1. With its higher bottom out force, the T1 offers a stronger push feel, providing a satisfying and tactile typing experience.

While we do not have information on the specific actuation force of the T1, we can expect it to be similar to the Gateron Oil King in terms of overall feel. Both switches fall within the medium-heavy category in terms of bottom out force, ensuring a solid and responsive keystroke. Ultimately, the decision between the Gateron Oil King and the Durock T1 will depend on personal preferences for a lighter or heavier typing experience.

Travel distance

Both the Gateron Oil King linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will feel a total travel distance of 4 mm from the top of the switch to the bottom. In terms of travel distance, both switches offer a similar experience, providing consistent feedback and responsiveness to the user. Therefore, regardless of whether you choose the Gateron Oil King or the Durock T1, you can expect to achieve similar results in terms of the travel distance experienced when typing on keys equipped with these switches.

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 Gateron Oil King comes in at $6.50 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

The Gateron Oil King linear switch is best known for its buttery smoothness and a sound profile reminiscent of a dark chocolate bar snapping. This switch offers a low-pitched and bassy sound, which provides a more bass-heavy and mellow tone during key presses. The sound is characterized by a lower frequency range, resembling the depth and richness associated with bass tones. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch is super comfortable to type on and offers a medium bump when pressed down. The sound of the T1 switch is described as rain falling on the window and is also low-pitched, but with a more neutral profile. It provides a moderate sound suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you are using the switch at home or work.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Oil King linear switch is known for its creamy, silky, buttery, and polished sensation. Typing on these switches offers a smooth and buttery typing experience, with a silky and exceptionally smooth feel that minimizes resistance when pressing and releasing keys. The smooth and refined finish of these switches results in a sleek typing experience, with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch offers a stepped and accented feel. Stepped switches provide a mild tactile experience with pre-travel and/or post-travel sensations, while accented switches offer a medium amount of tactility without being overwhelming or subtle. The T1 switches also feature a polished finish, providing reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the Gateron Oil King linear switch excels in providing a buttery smoothness, with a low-pitched and bassy sound profile. It offers a creamy, silky, buttery, and polished typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch offers a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a sound resembling rain falling on the window. It has a low-pitched and more neutral sound profile and provides a stepped and accented feel. Both switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel, allowing users to choose based on their preferences. However, it's important to note that the final sound and feel of the switches also depend on other factors such as the user's choice of keyboard board and keycaps.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are looking for a smooth and buttery linear switch with a low-pitched and bassy sound profile, the Gateron Oil King would be a great choice for you. The Oil King offers a medium-heavy bottom out force of 65 grams, providing a slightly heavier typing experience. With its creamy, silky, and polished feel, typing on the Oil King will feel like gliding your fingers across the keys effortlessly. The sound profile of the Oil King is reminiscent of a dark chocolate bar snapping, which adds to the overall satisfying typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile switch that offers a moderate bump and a low-pitched sound profile, the Durock T1 would be the better option. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, the T1 also provides a medium-heavy typing experience. The T1 offers a stepped, accented, and polished feel, providing a mild tactile feedback without being overwhelming. The sound of the T1 is described as rain falling on the window, creating a calming and pleasant ambiance while typing.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Oil King and the Durock T1 depends on your personal preference for linear or tactile switches, as well as the specific typing experience and sound profile you desire. Both switches offer their unique characteristics and advantages, so consider your preferences and needs before making a decision.

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