Gateron Oil King vs. Jwick Taro

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the Gateron Oil King and the Jwick Taro. The Oil King is a linear switch that is widely loved for its buttery smoothness and a sound profile that resembles the snap of a dark chocolate bar. It is known for its low-pitched, creamy, silky, bassy, and polished characteristics. On the other hand, the Taro switch is a tactile switch that offers a cozy typing experience with its snappy, medium-level of tactility. Typing on these switches produces acute and crisp clacks, and they are categorized as neutral, buttery, and stepped. Both switches have their unique qualities and choosing between them depends on personal preferences and typing style. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities, so you can best decide on the perfect switch for your needs.

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

3.70 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

No

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

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

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Oil King and the Jwick Taro switches differ significantly in terms of sound profile. The Oil King utilizes a nylon top housing, which results in a deeper and fuller sound. The nylon material's softer texture absorbs more sound, creating a duller and rounder sound profile. In contrast, the Taro features a polycarbonate top housing that produces a sharper and crisper sound. Polycarbonate's stiffer nature allows for a clearer and more resonant sound profile. Additionally, the Taro's clear housing is ideal for showcasing RGB lighting effects. While their top housings vary, both switches utilize a nylon bottom housing. This material contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile, as nylon's softer plastic absorbs more sound. Thus, both switches offer a similar experience in terms of their bottom-out sound and feel.

When considering the impact of the housing materials on the switches, the bottom housing plays a significant role in determining the bottom-out sound and feel. The Gateron Oil King's proprietary INK blend bottom housing showcases a pointed and relatively high-pitched sound profile, creating a satisfying clacky feel. On the other hand, the Jwick Taro's nylon bottom housing, similar to the nylon top housing, elicits a deeper and fuller sound due to its softer plastic composition. In both switches, pressing down on the switch will result in feeling and hearing the qualities of the bottom housing.

Conversely, the top housing has a more pronounced influence on the sound when releasing a key. The Gateron Oil King's nylon top housing contributes to a duller and rounder sound profile, highlighting the softer nature of nylon as it absorbs more sound. Conversely, the polycarbonate top housing of the Jwick Taro creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound. Thus, when releasing a key on both switches, the sound profile will be influenced by the materials used in the top housing.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Oil King linear switch and the Jwick Taro tactile switch, there are some notable similarities and differences. The Oil King has an actuation force of 55 grams, whereas the Taro's actuation force is not available. Both switches, however, have a similar bottom out force with the Oil King at 65 grams and the Taro at 67 grams. In terms of weight, the Oil King can be considered lighter compared to the Taro due to its lower actuation force. This lighter actuation force of the Oil King can be advantageous for individuals who prefer a keyboard that allows them to type for longer periods without experiencing fatigue. On the other hand, the Taro may be a better choice for those who enjoy a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience, given its slightly heavier bottom out force. Overall, the actuation and bottom out forces of the Gateron Oil King and Jwick Taro switches offer different options for users with varying preferences.

Travel distance

The Gateron Oil King linear switch has a travel distance of 4 mm, while the Jwick Taro tactile switch has a slightly shorter travel distance of 3.7 mm. The Oil King's travel distance of 4 mm falls into the more traditional range, while the Taro's 3.7 mm distance is on the shallower side. However, shorter travel distances are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among gamers who desire faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive feel when typing or gaming, the Taro's shorter travel distance would be a good choice. On the other hand, some individuals may find shorter travel distances too abrupt, and instead prefer a switch with a longer travel distance, such as the Oil King. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches should be based on personal preference and desired typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Jwick Taro has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Taro for $4.25.

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

In terms of sound, the Gateron Oil King linear switch offers a low-pitched and bassy sound profile. This results in a more mellow and deeper tone during key presses, reminiscent of a dark chocolate bar snapping. On the other hand, the Jwick Taro tactile switch provides a neutral sound profile. This means that it has a moderate sound that is suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced user, and whether you are typing at home or at work. It is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. However, if you are looking for a similar sound experience, both the Oil King and Taro switches offer a buttery and smooth typing sensation, resulting in a seamless and fluid keystroke experience.

In terms of feel, the Gateron Oil King linear switch offers a range of descriptors including creamy, silky, buttery, and polished. These descriptors indicate a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The Oil King switch provides a silky sensation, allowing your fingers to effortlessly glide across the keys. Similarly, the Jwick Taro tactile switch is described as buttery, offering a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. Additionally, the Taro switch has a stepped feel, meaning it has two stages of tactility, providing a mild tactile feedback with some pre-travel and/or post-travel.

Considering the available information, the Gateron Oil King linear switch offers a low-pitched and bassy sound profile, with a creamy, silky, buttery, and polished typing experience. On the other hand, the Jwick Taro tactile switch provides a neutral sound profile and a buttery typing sensation with a stepped feel. Both switches offer a smooth and fluid keystroke experience. While the sound and feel qualities of these switches may differ, they both provide enjoyable typing experiences. Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Oil King and Jwick Taro switches will depend on personal preferences for sound and tactile feedback.

Conclusion

To sum up, when choosing between the Gateron Oil King linear switch and the Jwick Taro tactile switch, you should consider your preferences for sound and feel. The Gateron Oil King offers a low-pitched and bassy sound profile, which is characterized by a more mellow and rich tone. In terms of feel, the Oil King provides a creamy, silky, buttery, and polished typing experience, with smooth and fluid keystrokes and reduced friction. On the other hand, the Jwick Taro has a neutral sound profile, which offers a moderate sound suitable for various purposes. In terms of feel, the Taro switch provides a buttery typing experience with its smooth and fluid keystrokes, as well as a stepped tactile sensation that offers a mild pre-travel and/or post-travel feeling. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches depends on whether you prefer a linear switch with low-pitched, bassy sound and a creamy, silky, buttery, and polished feel (Gateron Oil King), or a tactile switch with a neutral sound and a buttery feel, along with a stepped tactile sensation (Jwick Taro).

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