Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to tactile mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring and the Durock T1. The Shadow (Ink) Double Spring is best suited for those seeking a medium-high level of tactility, thanks to its long, two-staged spring design. Typing on these switches offers deep, resonating thocks, making for a satisfying experience. On the other hand, the T1 switch prioritizes comfort, providing a medium bump when pressed and producing a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. While these general descriptions certainly give a sense of each switch's characteristics, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision for your specific preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

63g

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

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

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

20mm dual-stage spring

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials used in the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring and the Durock T1 switches have several similarities and differences. Both switches utilize polycarbonate in their top housing, which contributes to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, creating a clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate makes it ideal for switches with RGB lighting. Thus, users can expect similar sound characteristics and aesthetic appeal from the top housings of both switches.

However, when it comes to the bottom housing, the materials differ. The Shadow (Ink) Double Spring uses polycarbonate, while the T1 incorporates nylon. While polycarbonate lends itself to a sharper sound profile, nylon brings a deeper and fuller sound. This is because nylon is a softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound experience. Consequently, the bottom housing of the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring would provide a sharper bottom-out sound and feel, while the T1's nylon bottom housing would contribute to a deeper and fuller sound.

It is important to note that the top and bottom housings play distinct roles in the overall sound of a switch. The bottom housing has more of an impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when the key is pressed down, while the top housing affects the sound when the key is released. Both the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring and the T1 switches, despite their differences in housing materials, offer unique sound profiles due to the split qualities between their top and bottom housings.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, we find some similarities and differences. In terms of weight, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring is the lighter option, with an actuation force of 55 grams and a bottom out force of 63 grams, both falling within the medium range. On the other hand, the T1 offers a heavier typing experience, with an actuation force of unavailable grams and a bottom out force of 67 grams, considered medium-heavy.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring would be a suitable choice as its actuation and bottom out forces are lighter than the T1. This lighter weight allows for longer typing sessions without excessive fatigue, making it ideal for work or extended gaming sessions. However, for individuals who enjoy a more substantial push feel while typing, the T1's heavier forces provide a satisfying tactile experience.

It is worth noting that without the specific actuation force measurement for the T1, it is challenging to provide an exact comparison. But, based on the given information, it is clear that the T1 has a heavier bottom out force compared to the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring. In conclusion, individuals seeking a lighter typing experience should opt for the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring, while those desiring a heavier and more pronounced tactile feedback may find the T1 more suitable.

Travel distance

The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either of these switches, you will experience a consistent 4mm travel distance. Therefore, you can expect similar results in terms of the tactile feedback and overall typing experience provided by both switches. Both switches offer a satisfying key press with a similar depth, making them suitable choices for those who prefer a moderate key travel distance.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring has an MSRP of $4.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring for $3.57.

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, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is known for its clacky and high-pitched profile. When pressed, these switches produce a sharp and snappy sound that can be described as crisp, bright, and percussive. On the other hand, the Durock T1 switch has a low-pitched sound profile. It offers a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. If you prefer a rich and bassy sound, the T1 would be a suitable choice for you. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, both the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring and the T1 switches share some common qualities. They are both described as accented switches, providing a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, both switches are described as stepped switches, meaning that they have a two-stage feeling with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. This mild tactile feedback allows for a comfortable typing experience. The Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is also known for its sharp and snappy tactile feedback, while the T1 switch offers a polished feel due to its smooth and refined finish. The T1 switch may provide reduced friction and smoother key travel, potentially enhancing the overall typing experience.

Considering the available information, the Aflion Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch and the Durock T1 switch differ in sound and offer slightly different tactile feels. The Shadow switch has a clacky, high-pitched sound profile, while the T1 switch has a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. Both switches share accented and stepped qualities, providing a medium amount of tactility with mild pre-travel and/or post-travel. However, the Shadow switch offers a sharper and snappier tactile feedback, while the T1 switch may provide a polished feel with reduced friction. Overall, if you enjoy a medium-high level of tactility and deep thocks in sound, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch would be a great choice. If you prefer a medium bump and a rain-like sound, the Durock T1 switch would be a suitable option.

Conclusion

In summary, if you are seeking a tactile switch with a medium-high level of tactility and enjoy the deep, resonating thocks when typing, the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring switch is perfect for you. It offers a medium-bottom out force of 63 grams and provides a sharp and snappy clacky sound when pressed. The feel of this switch is characterized by its sharp, accented, snappy, bouncy, and stepped qualities, making each keypress distinct and lively.

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and enjoy a medium bump when typing with a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window, the Durock T1 switch is a great option. It has a slightly higher bottom out force of 67 grams, making it medium-heavy. The T1 switch produces a low-pitched sound, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. The feel of the T1 switch is described as stepped, accented, and polished, offering a smooth and refined typing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Shadow (Ink) Double Spring and the Durock T1 switches depends on your personal preferences. Consider whether you prefer a sharper and clacky sound with distinct keypress feedback (Shadow) or a mellower sound with a smooth and comfortable typing experience (T1). Both switches offer different qualities and cater to different preferences.

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