Outemu Red Panda vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Outemu Red Panda and the Durock T1. The Red Panda is known for its light-medium tactility, which provides a satisfying typing experience. It also offers a unique raindrop-like bottom-out sound and a clackier, higher-pitched top-out sound, giving it a distinctive auditory profile. On the other hand, the T1 is praised for its exceptional comfort during typing sessions. It offers a medium bump when pressing down and its sound is reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Additionally, the T1 is categorized as stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished, providing a range of qualities that may appeal to different preferences. However, let's delve deeper beyond these generalities to help you make an informed decision on the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

50g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

60g

Bottom-out force

67g

Pre-travel

1.80 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

3.30 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Partial box

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 housing materials of the Outemu Red Panda and the Durock T1 switches share many similarities. Both switches feature a polycarbonate top housing, which creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is due to polycarbonate's stiffness, allowing for a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it especially useful for switches with RGB lighting. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics when comparing the top housings of these two switches.

However, there is a difference in the bottom housing material. The Red Panda utilizes a nylon bottom housing, while the T1 also utilizes a nylon bottom housing. Nylon is known for eliciting a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing on switches. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Therefore, users can expect a slightly different typing experience in terms of sound when comparing the bottom housings of these two switches.

When it comes to the overall performance and feel of the switches, the bottom housing has a more significant impact. Pressing down on the switches will primarily exhibit the qualities of the bottom housing, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel. On the other hand, the top housing will have a more noticeable impact on the sound when releasing a key. Therefore, while the switches may have similar polycarbonate top housings, the differentiation in the bottom housing materials can contribute to a varying typing experience between the Outemu Red Panda and the Durock T1 switches.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, there are noticeable similarities and differences. The Red Panda has an actuation force of 50 grams, providing a medium level of resistance to trigger a keystroke. In contrast, the actuation force of the T1 switch remains unknown. Moving onto the bottom out force, the Red Panda requires 60 grams of force to fully press the key, again falling into the medium category. On the other hand, the T1 switch has a bottom out force of 67 grams, slightly heavier and categorized as medium-heavy.

Considering the weight of the switches, both the Red Panda and the T1 offer options suitable for different preferences. For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Red Panda's actuation and bottom out forces provide a comfortable level of resistance, making it ideal for extended typing sessions or prolonged gaming sessions. On the contrary, individuals seeking a more substantial and forceful keystroke may favor the T1 switch with its slightly heavier bottom out force. This can enhance the typing experience, giving a satisfying push feel to each keystroke.

However, due to the unavailable information regarding the actuation force of the T1 switch, it becomes challenging to draw a direct comparison between the two switches in terms of actuation force. Nonetheless, if the actuation forces are similar, users can expect comparable results in terms of triggering a keystroke. Ultimately, the decision between the Red Panda and the T1 switch would depend on personal preference and the desired typing experience - lighter with the Red Panda or heavier with the T1.

Travel distance

When comparing the travel distance of the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is clear that there is a difference between the two. The Red Panda has a travel distance of 3.3 mm, while the T1 has a travel distance of 4 mm. With 4.0mm being the more traditional travel distance, the T1 falls into this category. On the other hand, the Red Panda offers a slightly shorter travel distance. Gamers, in particular, may prefer this shorter travel distance as it allows for faster response times. However, it is important to note that some individuals may find shorter travel distances to feel too abrupt. In contrast, the T1 with its longer travel distance may provide a more satisfying depth for those who prefer it. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on individual preference and the desired level of responsiveness or depth.

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 Outemu Red Panda comes in at $3.40 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

When it comes to sound, the Outemu Red Panda tactile switch offers a unique experience. Typing on these switches produces a light-medium level of tactility, accompanied by a bassier, raindrop-like bottom-out sound. On the other hand, the top-out sound is clackier and higher-pitched. This combination of sounds creates a satisfying and distinct auditory experience.

In comparison, the Durock T1 tactile switch has its own characteristic sound profile. It is described as having a low-pitched sound, which is typically bass-heavy and mellow compared to higher-pitched switches. Additionally, the sound is neutral, meaning it provides a moderate tone that is suitable for most scenarios.

Please note that the sound produced by a switch is also influenced by other factors, such as the keyboard board and keycaps used. Therefore, the Red Panda and T1 switches can provide different sound experiences depending on these additional factors.

Moving on to the feel of the switches, the Outemu Red Panda is described as providing a mild typing experience. As a mild mechanical keyboard switch, it offers a gentle and approachable feel for most users. The sound and feel of these switches fall within a safe, middle-ground zone, making them suitable for a wide range of preferences.

In contrast, the Durock T1 switch offers a stepped feel. This means that it provides a two-stage tactile experience, with some pre-travel and/or post-travel sensation. The T1 switch is also described as accented, which means it offers a medium amount of tactility that is prominent enough to be noticeable without being overwhelming or subtle. Additionally, the T1 switch is polished, resulting in a smooth and refined typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Based on the available information, the Red Panda and T1 switches offer different subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Red Panda provides a unique combination of raindrop-like bottom-out sound and clackier, higher-pitched top-out sound, along with a mild and approachable feel. On the other hand, the T1 switch offers a low-pitched and neutral sound, accompanied by a stepped, accented, and polished feel.

It's important to consider that personal preferences may vary, and the best way to determine your preferred switch is to try them firsthand. However, if you are seeking a switch with similar qualities, the T1 switch's low-pitched sound and accented feel may provide a comparable experience to the Red Panda, although not identical.

Conclusion

To conclude, if you're looking for a mechanical keyboard switch with a medium bottom out force, the Outemu Red Panda is an excellent choice. It offers a light-medium amount of tactility, resulting in a comfortable typing experience. The bottom-out sound is reminiscent of raindrops falling, while the top-out sound has a satisfying clackier and higher-pitched tone. The Red Panda also produces a thocky sound when pressed and released, adding to the overall typing experience. On the other hand, if you prefer a slightly heavier switch, the Durock T1 with its medium-heavy bottom out force of 67 grams is a great option. It provides a medium bump when pressing down, reminiscent of rain falling on a window. The T1 has a low-pitched sound profile, giving it a bass-heavy and mellow tone. Additionally, the T1 is described as a stepped, accented, and polished switch, offering a smoother and refined typing experience. Overall, both switches have their unique characteristics, and your choice between the two will depend on your preference for the bottom-out force, tactility, and sound profile that suits your typing style.

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