Kailh Plum vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, the Kailh Plum and the Durock T1 are two popular options worth considering. The Plum stands out for its unique characteristics, as it feels hefty but doesn't feature a significant tactile bump like many other tactile switches. Its sound profile is described as neutral and enjoyable, making it a good choice for those who prefer a quieter typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 is praised for its exceptional typing comfort, offering a medium bump when pressed and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches have their own strengths and appeal, so let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities to help you make the best decision for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

70g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.70 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.60 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The Kailh Plum and the Durock T1 both utilize polycarbonate for their top housing, resulting in similar sound profiles. The use of polycarbonate in both switches creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound experience. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for RGB lighting customization, making it particularly suitable for those looking for visually appealing keyboards. Therefore, users can expect comparable results in terms of sound and lighting effects when using either the Plum or the T1.

In terms of the bottom housing material, both the Plum and the T1 employ nylon. This choice of material imparts a deeper and fuller sound profile to the typing experience. Nylon's softer nature absorbs more sound than harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Thus, users can anticipate a similar sound response and feeling when pressing down on the keys of either switch. The bottom housing material plays a significant role in the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch, contributing to a satisfying typing experience.

While the two switches share similarities in their housing materials, the specific qualities of each material are distributed between the top and bottom of the switch. The bottom housing has a more pronounced impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed. Conversely, the top housing affects the sound that occurs when a key is released. Therefore, users can expect variations in sound profiles based on the specific combination of top and bottom housing materials present in each switch.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Plum tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are a few key points to consider. Starting with the actuation force, both switches have an unavailable measurement. This suggests that the force required to trigger a keystroke is not specified, making it difficult to make a direct comparison in this aspect. Moving on to the bottom out force, the Plum switch weighs in at 70 grams, which can be described as medium-heavy, whereas the T1 switch has a slightly lighter bottom out force of 67 grams, also falling into the medium-heavy range.

Considering the weight factor, it becomes evident that some individuals prefer a lighter switch to enable longer typing or gaming sessions without unnecessary strain. In this case, both switches provide a similar outcome since the actuation force is unavailable for both. On the other hand, those seeking a more substantial typing experience may prefer a heavier push feel, as it provides a sense of satisfaction and feedback while pressing the keys. However, in terms of bottom out force, the Plum switch is on the heavier side with 70 grams, while the T1 switch is slightly lighter at 67 grams.

Ultimately, the decision between these switches would depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience. If a lighter switch is favored, both options would provide similar results since the actuation force measurement is unavailable. However, if a slightly heavier bottom out force is preferred, the Plum switch would be the suitable choice, while the T1 switch offers a slightly lighter alternative.

Travel distance

The travel distance of the Kailh Plum tactile switch is 3.6 mm, while the Durock T1 tactile switch has a travel distance of 4 mm. This makes the T1 slightly longer in terms of travel distance. The Plum falls into the category of shorter travel distances, which is becoming more popular, especially among gamers who value faster response times. On the other hand, the T1 offers a more substantial depth which some individuals may prefer. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference - if you prioritize quick responsiveness, the Plum would be a suitable option. However, if you prefer a switch that provides a deeper feeling, the T1 would be the better choice. In either case, you can expect to have a similar overall experience as both switches provide tactile feedback.

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 Kailh Plum comes in at $6.25 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 Kailh Plum tactile switch is known for its unique combination of weightiness and a moderate tactile bump. This sets it apart from other tactile switches that typically have a strong correlation between tactility and weight. The sound profile of the Plum switch is described as neutral and enjoyable. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch offers a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump when pressing down. The sound of the T1 switch is likened to the sound of rain falling on a window and has a low-pitched, bass-heavy and mellow tone.

Based on the information provided, the Plum switch has a neutral sound profile, while the T1 switch has a low-pitched sound profile. In terms of feel, both switches fall under the "stepped" descriptor, which means they have two stages of tactile feedback. The Plum switch is also described as mild, offering a gentle typing experience in the safe middle ground zone. The T1 switch, apart from being stepped, is also described as accented, providing a medium level of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, the T1 switch is polished, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the Plum and T1 switches have different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Plum switch offers a unique combination of weightiness with a moderate tactile bump and a neutral sound profile. The T1 switch provides a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a low-pitched, bass-heavy sound reminiscent of falling rain on a window. Both switches are stepped, but the Plum switch has a mild feel, while the T1 switch is also accented and polished, offering a more prominent level of tactility and a smoother typing experience. Overall, both switches provide distinct qualities that can enhance the typing experience, and the choice between them will depend on personal preferences.

Conclusion

All in all, if you are looking for a unique tactile switch with a medium-heavy weight and a moderate sound profile, the Kailh Plum tactile switch would be a great choice. The Plum offers a hefty feel without a huge tactile bump, making it stand out among other tactile switches. Additionally, the sound profile is described as neutral and enjoyable. On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and enjoy a medium bump with a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window, the Durock T1 tactile switch would be more suitable. The T1 offers a super comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and low-pitched sound. Both switches have a moderate actuation force and a stepped feel, but the T1 also offers accented and polished options for an even smoother typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the Kailh Plum and Durock T1 tactile switches depends on your personal preferences for weight, tactility, sound, and feel.

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