SP-Star Polaris Gray vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the SP-Star Polaris Gray and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the SP-Star Polaris Gray and the Durock T1. The Polaris Gray is a linear switch, best suited for those who prefer a bouncy typing experience. These switches are known for their clean and clacky sound profile, categorized as low-pitched, neutral, mild, thocky, and polished. On the other hand, the T1 is a tactile switch that offers a super comfortable typing experience. It features a medium bump when pressing down and produces a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window. Categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished.

Both switches have their unique advantages, making them attractive options for different preferences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

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

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 SP-Star Polaris Gray and the Durock T1 share many similarities. Both switches feature polycarbonate top housings, which contribute to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The stiffer nature of polycarbonate plastic enhances the switch's clarity and resonance. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for the effective use of RGB lighting. Therefore, if you are looking for a switch with a clear housing and desire a vibrant and distinct sound profile, both the Polaris Gray and the T1 would provide similar results.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the two switches differ in material composition. The Polaris Gray employs a polycarbonate bottom housing, while the T1 incorporates a nylon bottom housing. Polycarbonate bottom housings continue the trend of sharper and crisper sound profiles. This can be attributed to its stiffer nature and the impact it has on the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the T1's nylon bottom housing offers a contrasting typing experience. Nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a deeper and fuller sound profile. This creates a rounder and duller sound when typing on T1 switches.

In summary, the Polaris Gray and the Durock T1 share polycarbonate top housings, which provide similar benefits in terms of sound profile and compatibility with RGB lighting. However, their bottom housings differ significantly in material composition. The polycarbonate bottom housing of the Polaris Gray focuses on maintaining the sharp and crisp sound, while the nylon bottom housing of the T1 offers a deeper and fuller typing experience. Choosing between the two switches will ultimately depend on personal preference and the desired auditory and tactile feedback.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is important to note that both switches have an actuation force that is unavailable in terms of grams. However, in terms of bottom out force, both switches have a weight of 67 grams, which can be considered medium-heavy.

Weight is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a switch, as it directly impacts the typing experience. For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Polaris Gray switch may be more suitable, as it allows for longer periods of typing without fatigue. This lighter actuation force can be ideal for individuals who use their keyboards extensively for work or engage in long gaming sessions.

On the other hand, for users who enjoy a more substantial typing feel and prefer a stronger push, the Durock T1 switch with its medium-heavy bottom out force may be the preferable option. This heavier force can provide a satisfying sensation and a more tactile typing experience for those who appreciate a bit of resistance.

Overall, while the actuation force remains unknown for both switches, users can expect similar results in terms of bottom out force as both switches have a weight of 67 grams. The choice between the Polaris Gray and the Durock T1 ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired typing experience, with the Polaris Gray offering a lighter feel and the Durock T1 providing a heavier, more pronounced keystroke.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a switch is an important factor to consider when choosing a keyboard switch. The SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch both have a travel distance of 4 mm, ensuring a similar experience when pressing down on a key. The matching travel distance means that users can expect consistent feedback and tactile response from both switches. Therefore, whether you opt for the Polaris Gray or the T1, you can anticipate a comparable travel distance, providing a satisfying typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Polaris Gray has an MSRP of $5.60 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Polaris Gray for $5.00.

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, both the Polaris Gray and the T1 switches are described as having a low-pitched sound profile. This means that they produce a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. Additionally, both switches are also described as having a neutral sound profile, which means they have a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile suitable for most intents and purposes. However, the Polaris Gray is also described as having a thocky sound, which is a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed, similar to a deep "thud" or a soft "knock". It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the choice of board and keycaps.

In terms of feel, the Polaris Gray is described as offering a mild typing experience. This means that it provides a more gentle typing experience compared to switches with more pronounced characteristics. It also has a polished finish, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the T1 switch is described as stepped and accented. The stepped feel of the T1 switch means that it has two stages, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. The accented characteristic refers to a medium amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Similar to the Polaris Gray, the T1 switch also has a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Based on the available information, it can be concluded that both the Polaris Gray and the T1 switches provide a comfortable typing experience. They both have a low-pitched sound profile and a neutral actuation force requirement, making them suitable for a wide range of users. The Polaris Gray offers a bouncy typing experience with a clean and clacky sound profile, while the T1 provides a super comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches have a polished finish, resulting in smooth key travel and reduced friction. Overall, whether you choose the Polaris Gray or the T1, you can expect similar results in terms of comfort and typing experience.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prefer a bouncy typing experience with clean and clacky sound, then the SP-Star Polaris Gray linear switch would be a great choice for you. These switches have a bottom out force of 67 grams, providing a medium-heavy feel. In terms of sound, the Polaris Gray switches offer a low-pitched and thocky profile, which produces a deep and satisfying sound when pressed. Additionally, they have a mild and polished feel, resulting in a gentle and smooth typing experience. On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort while typing and enjoy a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, then the Durock T1 tactile switch would be the better option. Like the Polaris Gray, the T1 switches also have a bottom out force of 67 grams, giving them a medium-heavy feel. Their sound profile is described as low-pitched and neutral. As for the feel, the T1 switches are accented and polished, providing a medium tactile experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between the Polaris Gray and the Durock T1 depends on your personal preferences in terms of typing experience, sound, and feel.

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