Durock T1 vs. TKC Tangerine

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

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Durock T1, a tactile switch, and the TKC Tangerine, a linear switch. The T1 is best known for its super comfortable typing experience, with a medium bump that provides a satisfying tactile feedback. The sound it produces is reminiscent of rain falling on a window, creating a soothing ambience. On the other hand, the Tangerine switches offer a next-level typing experience with their incredibly smooth feel. Each keystroke feels like a pleasure, thanks in part to the rare UHWMPE housing material used. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can best decide on the ideal switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

Bottom-out force

62g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

N/A

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

UHWMPE

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

UHWMPE

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold coated spring

Housing materials

The Durock T1 and the TKC Tangerine differ in their choice of housing materials. The T1 features a polycarbonate top housing, while the Tangerine utilizes a UHWMPE top housing. Both materials offer unique characteristics to enhance the typing experience. The polycarbonate top housing of the T1 creates a sharper and crisper sound profile, ideal for those seeking a high-pitched sound. In contrast, the UHWMPE top housing of the Tangerine provides a bright sound signature, resulting in resonant clacks during typing. While they differ in sound profile, both housings are optimal for use with RGB lighting due to their translucency.

Moving on to the bottom housings, the T1 incorporates a nylon material, while the Tangerine employs a UHWMPE bottom housing. Nylon has long been a popular choice for switch housings, as it generates a deep and fuller sound profile. Its softer nature absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound, which adds a sense of depth to each keystroke. Conversely, the UHWMPE bottom housing of the Tangerine contributes to its bright sound signature, offering resonant clacks when typing. Both materials bring unique qualities to the table, enabling users to tailor their typing experience according to their preferences.

It's worth noting that the impact of the housing materials is split between the top and bottom of the switch. The bottom housing of a switch, whether it be nylon in the case of the T1 or UHWMPE in the Tangerine, predominantly influences the bottom-out sound and feel when a key is pressed. On the other hand, the top housing, whether it be polycarbonate or UHWMPE, plays a more significant role in the sound produced when a key is released. Despite their differences, it's clear that the choice of housing materials greatly impacts the overall typing experience, providing users with diverse options to suit their preferences.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock T1 tactile switch and the TKC Tangerine linear switch, it is important to consider their weight. The T1 has an unavailable actuation force and a bottom out force of 67 grams, which is considered to be medium-heavy. On the other hand, the Tangerine switch has an unavailable actuation force and a bottom out force of 62 grams, which is classified as medium.

For those who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Tangerine switch would be a suitable option as it has a lower bottom out force. This allows for extended typing sessions without causing too much fatigue. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy a more substantial typing feel may lean towards the T1 switch, which has a slightly heavier bottom out force. This would provide a stronger push feel, resulting in a more satisfying keystroke experience.

While the actuation forces for both switches are unavailable, it is safe to assume that they would provide similar results, as the actuation force is the force required to trigger a keystroke. In terms of weight, some individuals may prefer a lighter switch for longer typing sessions or gaming sessions, while others may opt for a heavier switch for a more substantial typing experience. Ultimately, the choice between the Durock T1 tactile switch and the TKC Tangerine linear switch will depend on personal preference and typing style.

Travel distance

Both the Durock T1 tactile switch and the TKC Tangerine linear 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 feel a consistent 4 mm of travel from the top to the bottom. This similarity in travel distance ensures that you will get a similar experience with both switches in terms of how they feel when typing or gaming. You can expect a satisfying amount of travel with both switches, providing a comfortable keystroke and allowing for accurate typing.

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 TKC Tangerine comes in at $6.30 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

When it comes to sound, the Durock T1 has a low-pitched sound, offering a more bass-heavy and mellow tone compared to higher-pitched switches. On the other hand, the TKC Tangerine has a high-pitched sound with a sharp and crisp tone. If you prefer a richer and bassy sound, the T1 would be a better choice, while if you prefer a sharper and crisper sound, the Tangerine is the way to go. It's important to note that the sound of the switches can also be influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, the T1 is described as a stepped and accented switch. This means that it has a medium amount of tactility with some pre-travel and/or post-travel. It provides a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or too subtle. Additionally, the T1 is also polished, resulting in a smooth typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

On the other hand, the Tangerine is described as a frictionless and buttery switch. It offers an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience with minimal resistance or friction when pressing the keys. The Tangerine switch provides a fluid travel and a seamless, effortless, and uniform typing sensation. Like the T1, the Tangerine switch is also polished, ensuring a sleek typing experience with reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Based on the available information, the T1 and Tangerine switches have distinct characteristics. The T1 is known for its comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a low-pitched sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window. On the other hand, the Tangerine switch offers an incredibly smooth feel with a high-pitched clack and the use of UHWMPE housings. Both switches provide a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

While the switches have their own unique qualities, it's important to consider personal preferences when choosing between them. If you prefer a tactile switch with a mellow and bass-heavy sound, the T1 would be a great choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a linear switch with a sharper and crisper sound and an extremely smooth feel, the Tangerine switch would be the better option. Consider your preferences and requirements to find the switch that suits your typing style and enhances your overall typing experience.

Conclusion

In closing, if you prioritize a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a low-pitched, mellow sound, the Durock T1 tactile switch is a great choice for you. It offers a stepped and accented feel, providing a mild tactility that is neither overwhelming nor subtle. Additionally, the T1 features a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and a smooth key travel.

On the other hand, if you desire an incredibly smooth typing experience and a higher-pitched, crisp sound, the TKC Tangerine linear switch is the ideal option. With UHWMPE housings, the Tangerine switch offers a frictionless and buttery feel, providing an effortless and uniform typing sensation. Similar to the T1, the Tangerine switch also features a polished finish for reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, the choice between the Durock T1 and the TKC Tangerine depends on your personal preferences. If you value a tactile switch with a comfortable typing experience and a low-pitched sound, the T1 is the way to go. However, if you prioritize an exceptionally smooth typing experience and a higher-pitched sound, the Tangerine switch is the perfect fit. Regardless of your choice, both switches offer unique qualities that can enhance your typing experience.

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