Kailh Sage vs. Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp)

An in-depth look at the Kailh Sage and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options are the Kailh Sage and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp). The Kailh Sage is a clicky switch that offers a distinct and invigorating typing experience. With its heavy weight and refreshingly sharp clickiness, it provides a satisfying crunch with each keystroke. On the other hand, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) is a tactile switch that is perfect for those who desire both a tactile feel and silence. It is specifically designed for noise-sensitive environments, offering a medium bump, padded bottom-out feel, and subdued audio feedback. Categorized as 'Stepped', 'Accented', 'Muted', and 'Polished', this switch provides a more polished and subtle typing experience. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can 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

When comparing the housing materials of the Kailh Sage and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp), it is evident that both switches utilize polycarbonate for their top housings. This choice of material contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile for both switches. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for RGB lighting to be effectively showcased in both switches. Therefore, if you are seeking a switch with similar sound characteristics and the ability to incorporate RGB lighting, both the Sage and the Silent T1 (Shrimp) would provide comparable results.

Moving on to the bottom housings, both the Sage and the Silent T1 (Shrimp) employ nylon. Nylon is a tried-and-true material for switch housings, known for producing a deeper and fuller sound profile. This is due to nylon being a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. Consequently, both switches offer a similar auditory experience in terms of bottom-out sound. The bottom housing has significant influence over this aspect of the switches' overall sound and feel.

In summary, while the materials used for the top and bottom housings may differ between the Kailh Sage and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp), the impact on the overall sound profiles can be observed in distinct ways. The polycarbonate top housing creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound when releasing a key, while the nylon bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller sound upon pressing down on a key. Therefore, depending on your specific preferences for sound characteristics, either switch can provide a satisfactory typing experience.

Weight

When comparing the Kailh Sage clicky switch and the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch, there are notable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. Unfortunately, the specific actuation force for both switches is unknown, making it difficult to compare them accurately in this regard. However, the bottom out force, which measures the force required to press the key all the way down, can be compared. The Kailh Sage has a bottom out force of 70 grams, which falls under the medium-heavy category. On the other hand, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) has a slightly lighter bottom out force of 67 grams, also classified as medium-heavy. While both switches have a similar bottom out force, it is important to note that the actuation force could potentially differ. If the actuation forces are the same or very similar, users can expect comparable results in terms of triggering a keystroke. When considering weight, some individuals may prefer a lighter switch for longer typing sessions or extended gaming periods, while others may opt for a heavier switch to provide a more substantial typing experience. Overall, it can be said that the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) has a slightly lighter bottom out force compared to the Kailh Sage.

Travel distance

The Kailh Sage clicky switch has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) tactile switch has a slightly longer travel distance of 4 mm. Both switches fall within the range of traditional travel distances, with the Sage being on the shallower side and the Silent T1 offering a bit more depth. Shorter travel distances are often favored by gamers, as they provide faster response times. If you prioritize quick and responsive typing or gaming, the Sage may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a more substantial and satisfying keystroke that offers a greater sense of depth, the Silent T1 with its slightly longer travel distance might be more suitable. Ultimately, the decision between these two switches will depend on your personal preference for travel distance and the typing experience you desire.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) has an MSRP of $7.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Silent T1 (Shrimp) for $5.57.

The Kailh Sage 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

In terms of sound, the Kailh Sage switch offers a crunchy typing experience. This is most commonly associated with clicky switches and sounds similar to stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. On the other hand, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch produces a muted sound. This means that it has a softer and quieter audio feedback compared to regular or clacky switches. The Silent T1 is designed to minimize the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards, making it ideal for noise-sensitive environments. It's important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the choice of keyboard and keycaps.

In terms of feel, the Kailh Sage switch is described as invigorating and sharp. It offers pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel. The distinct and strong tactile bump can be felt with each keypress, providing an immersive typing sensation. On the other hand, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) switch is described as stepped, accented, and polished. The stepped feel refers to a two-stage tactile experience with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. The accented feature means that it provides a medium amount of tactility, neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, the switch has a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction, smooth key travel, and a sleek typing experience.

Conclusion

Bringing it all together, if you're looking for a clicky typing experience and enjoy a heavier switch, the Kailh Sage is the way to go. The Sage offers a refreshingly sharp clickiness and is best known for its distinct clicky typing experience. Additionally, if you enjoy a crunchy sound while typing, the Sage will deliver that satisfying crunch that is commonly associated with clicky switches. In terms of feel, the Sage provides an invigorating and sharp tactile feedback, creating an immersive typing sensation.

On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile and silenced switch, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) is the perfect choice. The Silent T1 combines the tactile feel with a quieter typing experience, making it ideal for noise-sensitive environments. It offers a medium bump and a padded bottom-out feel, providing a comfortable typing experience. Furthermore, if you enjoy a muted sound while typing, the Silent T1 will minimize the noise typically associated with mechanical keyboards.

To sum up, if you prioritize a clicky typing experience and a heavier switch, the Kailh Sage is the switch for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a tactile and silenced switch, the Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) is the better option. Consider your preferences for sound, feel, and typing environment when choosing between these two switches. Ultimately, the choice between Kailh Sage and Durock Silent T1 (Shrimp) depends on your personal preferences and typing needs.

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