SP-Star RedBlue vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard switch, two options worth considering are the SP-Star RedBlue, a linear switch, and the Durock T1, a tactile switch. The RedBlue switches offer a medium-light typing experience, making them a great choice for those who prefer a lighter touch while typing. These switches also have a relatively higher-pitched sound profile, adding a touch of uniqueness to your typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 switches are known for their super comfortable typing feel, thanks to a medium bump when pressing down. The sound produced by these switches resembles the soothing sound of rain falling on a window. Both switches offer their own unique benefits and characteristics. 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

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

57g

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 SP-Star RedBlue and the Durock T1 switches both feature a polycarbonate top housing, which contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a stiff plastic material that allows for clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucent nature of polycarbonate is beneficial for switches that are equipped with RGB lighting. Therefore, users of both the RedBlue and T1 switches can expect similar results in terms of sound and aesthetics due to their shared use of polycarbonate in the top housing.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the RedBlue utilizes polycarbonate while the T1 employs nylon as the material of choice. The polycarbonate bottom housing on the RedBlue continues the trend set by the top housing, providing a sharper and crisper sound profile. On the other hand, the nylon bottom housing on the T1 introduces a different element. Nylon is known for being softer and has the ability to absorb more sound compared to harder plastics. As a result, switches with a nylon bottom housing will produce a deeper and fuller sound profile, creating a slightly duller and rounder sound.

In terms of overall performance, the different housing materials in the RedBlue and T1 switches will impact the sound and feel in distinct ways. The bottom housing, whether it is polycarbonate or nylon, will have a greater influence on the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down a key. Conversely, the top housing, which is polycarbonate for both switches, will shape the sound when releasing a key. While the RedBlue and T1 switches share similarities in their top housing materials, the choice between polycarbonate and nylon for the bottom housing will result in different typing experiences and sound profiles.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we find some interesting differences. Starting with the actuation force, unfortunately, the specific figure for both switches is unknown. However, both switches can provide similar results in terms of actuation force. Moving on to the bottom out force, we see that the RedBlue has a bottom out force of 57 grams, which can be considered medium-light. On the other hand, the T1 has a heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, placing it in the medium-heavy range.

Considering weight, the RedBlue switch would be lighter compared to the T1 switch. This lighter weight can be advantageous for individuals who prefer extended typing sessions or lengthy gaming sessions, as it reduces the strain on their fingers. Conversely, the T1 switch would provide a stronger push feel, resulting in a more substantial typing experience. This can be appealing to those who prefer a heftier switch and a more pronounced tactile feedback.

In summary, while the actuation force of both switches is unknown, they can deliver similar performance in this aspect. However, the bottom out force of the RedBlue is medium-light at 57 grams, while the T1 is medium-heavy at 67 grams. The choice between the two switches ultimately depends on personal preference regarding typing experience and the desired weight of the keyboard.

Travel distance

The SP-Star RedBlue linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key equipped with either of these switches, you will experience a consistent distance of travel from the top to the bottom. Whether you choose the RedBlue or the T1 switch, you can expect similar results in terms of the distance you feel when pressing down. Both switches offer a comfortable and predictable travel distance for an enhanced typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star RedBlue has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the RedBlue for $5.40.

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

When it comes to sound, the RedBlue linear switch offers a relatively higher-pitched sound profile. This means that when the switch is pressed and released, you can expect a sound with a higher frequency and potentially a sharper tone. On the other hand, the T1 tactile switch has a sound profile that reminds us of rain falling on a window. This suggests a more mellow and soothing sound, possibly with a lower pitch. Both switches are described as low-pitched and neutral, indicating that they offer a moderate sound profile suitable for a variety of purposes. It's important to note that the actual sound produced by a switch is influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the RedBlue linear switch provides a mild and polished typing experience. The mild characteristic means that the switch offers a gentle typing sensation without any pronounced characteristics. It falls within a safe and approachable middle-ground zone, making it suitable for most users. Additionally, the switch is described as polished, indicating a smooth and refined finish that results in reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the T1 tactile switch is referred to as stepped, meaning it has a two-stage tactile feel. This implies that there is some pre-travel and/or post-travel, providing a more mild tactile sensation compared to switches with a single, pronounced bump. The T1 switch is also described as accented, suggesting a medium amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Like the RedBlue, the T1 switch is also polished, providing reduced friction and smooth typing.

Taking all the available information into account, the RedBlue linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch offer distinct differences in both sound and feel. The RedBlue switch has a higher-pitched sound profile, while the T1 switch offers a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. In terms of feel, the RedBlue switch provides a gentle and polished typing experience, while the T1 switch offers a stepped and accented tactile feel. Both switches share the characteristic of being low-pitched and neutral, making them suitable for a wide range of users and purposes. If you're looking for a similar sound and feel between the two switches, you can expect a moderate sound profile with medium actuation force requirements. Additionally, both switches provide the benefit of being polished, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you prefer a medium-light typing experience with a higher-pitched sound profile, then the SP-Star RedBlue linear switch would be the right choice for you. These switches are particularly well-suited for those who enjoy a more gentle typing experience and a sleek typing feel, thanks to their mild and polished characteristics. Additionally, the RedBlue switches are described as having a low-pitched, neutral, and thocky sound profile.

On the other hand, if you value comfort and enjoy a medium bump when pressing down, accompanied by a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, then the Durock T1 tactile switch is the way to go. These switches provide a satisfying typing experience with their stepped or accented tactility, making them a great option for users who want a noticeable but not overwhelming tactile feedback.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your personal preferences for typing feel and sound. Both the SP-Star RedBlue and Durock T1 switches offer unique characteristics, so consider what typing experience you desire before making your final choice.

Mentioned in this article