SP-Star Duck vs. Durock T1

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

Overview

If you're in the market for a new mechanical keyboard switch, you may find yourself torn between the SP-Star Duck and the Durock T1. Both switches offer a tactile typing experience, but with their own unique characteristics. The Duck switches are known for providing a more subtle tactile feel, creating a gentle bump when typing, and producing a clean and crisp sound profile. On the other hand, the T1 switches offer a medium bump when pressed, reminiscent of rain falling on a window, and provide a comfortable typing experience. The Duck switches can be described as neutral, mild, buttery, and polished, while the T1 switches are stepped, low-pitched, neutral, accented, and polished. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can determine the best switch for your specific needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

58g

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 housing materials of the SP-Star Duck and the Durock T1 keyboards are quite similar in terms of their impact on the sound profile. Both keyboards utilize polycarbonate for their top housings, which leads to a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile. This is because polycarbonate is a relatively stiffer plastic, allowing for a more clear and resonant sound. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate is beneficial for those who plan to use RGB lighting, as it enhances the visual effect. Therefore, users can expect similar results when it comes to the sound produced by pressing down on keys and the aesthetic appeal in terms of lighting effects.

Where the two keyboards differ is in their choice of housing material for the bottom housing. The Duck features a polycarbonate bottom housing, while the T1 uses nylon. The nylon bottom housing of the T1 creates a deeper and fuller sound profile compared to the sharper sound produced by the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Duck. This is because nylon is a relatively softer plastic that absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. The bottom housing has a significant impact on the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on a key, while the top housing affects the sound when releasing a key.

Ultimately, while the housing materials of the top and bottom housings may differ between the SP-Star Duck and the Durock T1, they both contribute to the overall sound profile of the keyboards. The polycarbonate top housing in both keyboards creates a sharp and crisp sound profile, ideal for users seeking a more responsive typing experience. On the other hand, the choice of bottom housing material sets them apart, with the nylon bottom housing of the T1 offering a deeper and fuller sound compared to the polycarbonate bottom housing of the Duck. Users can select their preferred sound profile and overall typing experience based on these differences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the SP-Star Duck tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch, it is important to note that the specific force values for actuation are unavailable for both switches. However, in terms of bottom out force, the SP-Star Duck has a force of 58 grams, which falls under the medium category, while the Durock T1 has a bottom out force of 67 grams, making it medium-heavy.

Considering weight, some individuals prefer a lighter switch as it allows for longer typing sessions, making it ideal for work or extended gaming periods. On the other hand, there are those who prefer a stronger push feel, providing a more substantial typing experience. For these individuals, switches with heavier forces are more suitable.

While the actuation forces of both the SP-Star Duck and the Durock T1 are unknown, we can assume that their similarities in terms of bottom out force will lead to somewhat similar results when it comes to typing experience. However, it is worth noting that the Durock T1 has a slightly heavier bottom out force of 67 grams, making it a better choice for those who prefer a more pronounced keystroke sensation.

Travel distance

Both the SP-Star Duck tactile switch and the Durock T1 tactile switch have a travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key using either of these switches, you will experience the same amount of travel distance. Both switches provide a satisfying tactile feedback, allowing for a comfortable typing experience. Whether you choose the SP-Star Duck or the Durock T1, you can expect a consistent and reliable travel distance of 4 mm.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

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

In terms of sound, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch offers a clean and crispy sound profile, providing a more subtle tactile typing experience. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch features a low-pitched sound that resembles rain falling on a window. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement and a neutral sound profile, making them suitable for various users, whether beginners or advanced, and for use at home or work. It is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps chosen, which can further enhance or modify the sound produced. Overall, while the sound profiles differ between the Duck and T1 switches, they both offer satisfying options depending on the user's preference.

When it comes to feel, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch provides a mild and comfortable typing experience. The switches offer a gentle tactility, falling into a safe middle-ground zone that is approachable to most users. They are described as buttery and polished, meaning they offer a smooth and refined keystroke with reduced friction and smooth key travel. On the other hand, the Durock T1 tactile switch is described as stepped and accented. Stepped switches have a two-stage feel, allowing users to feel some pre-travel and/or post-travel. Accented switches provide a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or too subtle. Additionally, the T1 switches are also described as polished, indicating a smooth typing experience with reduced friction and improved key travel. Both switches offer a comfortable and satisfying typing experience, with different characteristics that may appeal to individual preferences.

Considering the available information, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch and Durock T1 tactile switch differ in their sound and feel qualities. The Duck switch provides a more subtle and clean sound profile with gentle tactility, making it suitable for those seeking a quieter typing experience. The T1 switch, on the other hand, offers a low-pitched sound resembling the sound of rain falling on a window, along with stepped and accented tactility. Both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement and a neutral sound profile, making them versatile options for a range of users and purposes. In terms of feel, the Duck switch offers a mild, buttery, and polished typing experience, while the T1 switch provides a stepped, accented, and polished feel. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on personal preferences for sound, tactility, and typing experience.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you're looking for a more subtle tactile typing experience with a clean and crispy sound profile, the SP-Star Duck tactile switch is perfect for you. It has a bottom out force of 58 grams, which falls in the medium range. The Duck switch offers a mild and buttery feel, providing a gentle typing experience that is approachable to most users. In terms of sound, the Duck switch is described as neutral, making it suitable for various environments and skill levels.

On the other hand, if you prefer a medium bump when pressing down and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on the window, the Durock T1 tactile switch is an excellent choice. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it falls into the medium-heavy category. The T1 switch has a stepped and accented feel, offering a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming. In terms of sound, the T1 switch is described as low-pitched and neutral, providing a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches.

Ultimately, your choice between the SP-Star Duck and the Durock T1 will depend on your personal preferences for tactile feel and sound. Consider your typing style and the environment in which you'll be using the keyboard to determine which switch is the right fit for you. Remember that both switches offer comfortable and enjoyable typing experiences, so you can't go wrong with either choice. Happy typing!

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