Kailh Sage vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Kailh Sage 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 Kailh Sage and the Durock T1. The Sage switches are well-known for providing a distinct clicky typing experience, with a weight that some might find heavy but others may appreciate for its satisfying feel. The sharp clickiness of the Sage switch is invigorating and can add a certain crunchiness to your typing experience. On the other hand, the T1 switches offer a different tactile experience that is characterized by a medium bump when pressing down. Typing on the T1 is super comfortable, and the sound it produces is reminiscent of rain falling on a window. These switches have a stepped, low-pitched feel that is both neutral and accentuated. Now that we've covered some generalities about these two switches, let's dive deeper to help you make an informed decision on which switch is best for you.

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 Sage and the Durock T1 both feature polycarbonate top housings, which contribute to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. The use of polycarbonate in the top housing ensures a more clear and resonant sound, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an enhanced auditory experience. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate allows for RGB lighting, making it especially beneficial for individuals who desire a visually appealing keyboard. Similarly, the T1 also utilizes polycarbonate in its top housing, offering comparable results in terms of sound and aesthetics.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Sage and the T1 both incorporate nylon, but with different effects. Typing on switches that use nylon bottom housings elicits a deeper and fuller sound profile, thanks to nylon being a softer plastic that absorbs more sound. This results in a duller and rounder sound, which some typists may prefer due to its more muted nature. Both the Sage and the T1 provide this characteristic, giving users a satisfying typing experience.

It is important to note that when there are differences in top and bottom housing materials, the qualities of each housing material will be divided between the top and the bottom of the switch. The bottom housing will largely influence the bottom-out sound and feel when the switch is pressed down. On the other hand, the top housing will have a more significant impact on the sound produced when a key is released. Therefore, even though the Sage and the T1 may have different housing materials, the overall experience of using these switches will still be similar in terms of sound and feeling.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Kailh Sage clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we find some similarities and differences. Unfortunately, the specific actuation force for both switches is unknown. However, we do know that both switches fall into the medium-heavy category for bottom out force. The Kailh Sage has a bottom out force of 70 grams, while the Durock T1 has a bottom out force of 67 grams.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the weight of a switch is an important factor to consider. Lighter switches allow for longer typing periods, making them ideal for work or extended gaming sessions. Unfortunately, without the knowledge of the actuation force, we cannot determine whether the Sage or T1 offers a lighter option in terms of triggering a keystroke.

On the other hand, some individuals prefer a more robust and substantial typing experience, requiring a stronger push feel. In this case, a heavier switch would be preferred. Both the Kailh Sage and the Durock T1 fall into the medium-heavy category for bottom out force, suggesting that they provide a similar level of resistance for those seeking a more substantial typing experience.

In conclusion, while the specific actuation forces for the Kailh Sage and Durock T1 switches are unknown, we can compare their bottom out forces. Both switches fall into the medium-heavy category, with the Sage having a slightly higher bottom out force of 70 grams compared to the T1's 67 grams. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches will depend on personal preferences for weight and typing experience.

Travel distance

The Kailh Sage clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have different travel distances. The Sage has a travel distance of 3.6 mm, while the T1 has a travel distance of 4 mm. In terms of travel distance, the T1 is slightly longer than the Sage. The T1 falls within the more traditional range of 4.0 mm, while the Sage is on the shorter side. Shorter travel distances, like the one offered by the Sage, are often favored by gamers who prioritize faster response times. On the other hand, some individuals may find shorter travel distances too abrupt and prefer switches with more depth. If this is the case, the longer travel distance of the T1 may be more suitable. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on individual preferences and requirements. However, it's important to note that both switches provide a noticeable tactile feel and satisfying key press experience.

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 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

The Kailh Sage clicky switch is best known for its distinct clicky typing experience, with a heavy weight and a refreshingly sharp clickiness. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch is described as super comfortable to type on, with a medium bump when pressing down and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window.

When it comes to sound, the Sage switch is described as crunchy, which means it produces a sound similar to stepping on piles of crisp and crunchy autumn leaves. On the other hand, the T1 switch is described as low-pitched, with a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. Additionally, the T1 switch is also considered neutral, offering a moderate sound profile suitable for most intents and purposes.

In terms of feel, the Sage switch is characterized as invigorating, offering pronounced feedback, moderate to firm actuation force, and a snappy and reactive feel. It is also described as having a sharp tactile bump that can be distinctly felt with each keypress. On the other hand, the T1 switch is described as stepped, providing a mild tactile feel with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. It is also considered accented, offering a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, the T1 switch is polished, resulting in a smooth and refined finish, reducing friction and providing a sleek typing experience.

Based on this information, the Sage switch offers a distinct clicky typing experience with a heavy weight and sharp clickiness. It produces a crunchy sound and provides an invigorating and sharp tactile feel. On the other hand, the T1 switch is super comfortable to type on, with a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window. It offers a low-pitched sound profile and a stepped, accented, and polished feel. Both switches have their own unique qualities and can provide satisfying typing experiences in their respective categories, whether you prefer the distinct clickiness of the Sage or the comfortable and tactile feel of the T1.

Conclusion

To sum up, when deciding between the Kailh Sage clicky switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer a heavier typing experience with a sharp clickiness, the Sage switch would be a great choice for you. On the other hand, if you value comfort and enjoy a medium bump when pressing down, the T1 switch would be more suitable. In terms of sound, the Sage switch produces a crunchy sound reminiscent of stepping on autumn leaves, while the T1 switch has a low-pitched and neutral sound profile. When it comes to feel, the Sage switch offers an invigorating and sharp tactile feedback, whereas the T1 switch provides a stepped, accented, and polished typing experience. Consider these factors and choose the switch that aligns best with your preferences and typing style.

Mentioned in this article