Gateron Silent Ink Black vs. Durock T1

An in-depth look at the Gateron Silent Ink Black and the Durock T1 switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard and can't decide between a linear switch or a tactile switch, two great options to consider are the Gateron Silent Ink Black and the Durock T1. The Silent Ink Black is a linear switch, known for its quiet typing experience, making it the perfect choice for environments that require minimal noise. It offers a cushion-like bottom-out feel and minimal audio feedback, providing a satisfying and smooth typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 is a tactile switch that offers great comfort while typing. It features a medium bump when pressing down, giving you a tactile feedback that enhances typing accuracy and speed. Additionally, the sound produced by the T1 is reminiscent of the gentle rain falling on a window, creating a soothing and pleasant auditory experience. However, let's dive a bit deeper beyond these generalities so that you can make an informed decision and choose the best switch for your specific needs and preferences.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

60g

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

70g

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

Proprietary INK blend

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Proprietary INK blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Color coated

Spring

Gold-plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Gateron Silent Ink Black and the Durock T1 switches produce different sound profiles. The Silent Ink Black's proprietary INK blend top housing creates a pointed and high-pitched sound, described as clacky, that is not overly sharp. On the other hand, the T1's polycarbonate top housing generates a sharper and crisper sound. The use of polycarbonate, a stiffer plastic, enhances the clarity and resonance of the sound. Additionally, the polycarbonate housing allows for the use of RGB lighting, making it aesthetically pleasing.

Moving on to the bottom housings, both switches have distinct characteristics. The Silent Ink Black's INK blend bottom housing contributes to its thin and higher-pitched sound profile, which is often described as clacky. In contrast, the T1's nylon bottom housing elicits a deeper and fuller sound. Nylon, being a softer plastic, absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound profile. This gives the T1 switch a different acoustic experience compared to the Silent Ink Black.

When comparing the overall impact of the housing materials on the sound and feel of the switches, it is important to note that the top and bottom housing materials play different roles. The bottom housing primarily affects the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the key. In contrast, the top housing influences the sound when releasing the key. Therefore, while the Silent Ink Black and the T1 switches may have different housing materials for the top and bottom, the overall effect on the typing experience may have similarities in terms of the perception of sharpness, pitch, and clackiness.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is clear that the Silent Ink Black requires a lighter actuation force with 60 grams compared to the T1's unspecified force. Similarly, the Silent Ink Black has a heavier bottom out force of 70 grams as opposed to the T1's 67 grams. This indicates that the Silent Ink Black is overall lighter in terms of force required for both actuation and bottoming out. This lighter force can be advantageous for individuals seeking a more comfortable typing experience, especially during long periods of usage, such as for work or gaming sessions. On the other hand, the T1 with its slightly heavier force may provide a more substantial typing experience for those who prefer a stronger push feel. However, it is worth noting that without knowing the exact actuation force of the T1, it is difficult to make a direct comparison. Nonetheless, both switches fall within the medium-heavy category, ensuring a satisfying keystroke response.

Travel distance

The Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. Both switches travel a distance of 4 mm from the top to the bottom when pressed, providing a consistent tactile experience. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of the travel distance when using either of these switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Gateron Silent Ink Black has an MSRP of $8.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Silent Ink Black for $8.35.

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

The Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch is known for its quieter typing experience, making it suitable for environments that require minimal noise. It offers a cushion-like bottom-out feel and minimal audio feedback. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch provides a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump when pressing down. The sound of the Silent Ink Black is described as muted, producing a softer and quieter sound compared to regular switches. In contrast, the T1 has a low-pitched sound, which is more bass-heavy and mellow. Additionally, the T1 is described as having a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various purposes. When it comes to feel, the Silent Ink Black is referred to as silky and polished, providing an exceptionally smooth typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel. The T1, on the other hand, is described as stepped and accented, offering a mild tactile experience that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Both switches have a polished finish, contributing to a sleek typing experience. In conclusion, the Gateron Silent Ink Black and Durock T1 switches offer different qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Silent Ink Black is quieter and offers a cushiony bottom-out feel, while the T1 provides a medium bump and a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. However, both switches have a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preferences and the desired typing experience.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you are looking for a quieter typing experience in environments that require minimal noise, the Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch is a great choice. With its medium-heavy bottom out force of 70 grams, this switch offers a cushion-like bottom-out feel and minimal audio feedback. It is described as having a muted sound, producing a softer and quieter tone compared to regular mechanical switches. Additionally, the Silent Ink Black switch is known for its silky and polished feel, providing an exceptionally smooth typing experience with reduced friction.

On the other hand, if you prioritize comfort and enjoy a tactile typing experience, the Durock T1 tactile switch is worth considering. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, this switch offers a medium bump when pressing down, reminiscent of rain falling on a window. It is described as having a low-pitched sound, featuring a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. The T1 switch is also accented, providing a prominent amount of tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Similar to the Silent Ink Black switch, the T1 is also polished, resulting in smooth key travel and reduced friction.

Ultimately, the choice between the Gateron Silent Ink Black linear switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch depends on your specific preferences and typing needs. If you value a quieter typing experience with a linear switch, go for the Silent Ink Black. However, if you prefer a tactile switch that offers comfort and a medium bump, the T1 is an excellent option. Consider your environment, desired sound profile, and preferred typing feel to make the best decision for your mechanical keyboard setup.

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