How To Lube Mechanical Keyboard Switches
Are you tired of using a mechanical keyboard with scratchy and unresponsive switches? Or do you want to prolong the life of your beloved keyboard? One solution is to lubricate the switches. In this article, we’ll explain how to lube mechanical keyboard switches.
What is Switch Lubrication?
Switch lubrication is applying a thin layer of lubricant to the mechanical switches in your keyboard. This can help reduce friction, resulting in smoother and more consistent key presses. Additionally, switch lubrication can prevent wear and tear on the switches, potentially increasing their lifespan.
Before You Begin
Before you start lubing your switches, there are a few things you should consider:
- Is your keyboard under warranty? If so, opening it up and modifying it may void the warranty.
- Are you comfortable with taking apart your keyboard? If not, seek help from someone experienced with keyboard modding.
- What type of lubricant should you use? We recommend using a high-quality switch lubricant, such as Krytox or Tribosys.
- Do you have the necessary tools? You’ll need a screwdriver, a brush or applicator, and some cleaning supplies.
Step 1: Disassemble Your Keyboard
The first step in lubing your switches is to disassemble your keyboard. Depending on the model, this may involve removing screws, clips, or other fasteners. Keep track of all the pieces you remove; you’ll need to reassemble your keyboard later.
Step 2: Remove the Keycaps
Once you’ve disassembled your keyboard, it’s time to remove the keycaps. You can use a keycap puller or pull them off with your fingers. Place the keycaps safely so they won’t get lost or damaged.
Step 3: Clean the Switches
Before applying any lubricant, cleaning the switches thoroughly is important. This will help remove any dirt, dust, or other debris that may be affecting the performance of your switches. You can use compressed air, a brush, or a cleaning solution to clean the switches.
Step 4: Apply the Lubricant
Now it’s time to apply the lubricant. Use a small brush or applicator to apply a thin lubricant layer to each switch. Be sure to apply the lubricant evenly and avoid applying too much, which can cause the switches to become mushy or unresponsive.
Step 5: Reassemble Your Keyboard
After you’ve lubed all the switches, it’s time to reassemble your keyboard. Put all the pieces back together in the reverse order you disassembled. Be sure to test each key to ensure that it’s working properly.
Types Of Lubricant
Different lubricants can be used for mechanical keyboard switches with unique properties and characteristics. Here are some common types of lubricants used for keyboard switches:
PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) lubricant
This type of lubricant is known for its low friction and resistance to heat and chemicals. It is often used in industrial applications but also for keyboard switches.
Silicone grease is a versatile lubricant for various applications, including keyboard switches. It is known for its water resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures.
Krytox is a high-performance lubricant commonly used in aerospace and automotive applications. It is known for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and pressures and is often used in high-end mechanical keyboards.
Tribosys 3204 is a popular lubricant among keyboard enthusiasts. It is a thick lubricant known for its ability to smooth out switch travel and reduce noise.
When choosing a lubricant for your keyboard switches, it is important to consider factors such as viscosity, durability, and compatibility with your specific switches. Be sure to research and choose a high-quality lubricant suitable for your keyboard’s needs.
How Often Should You Lubricate Your Keyboard Switches?
The frequency with which you should lubricate your keyboard switches will depend on several factors, including the type of switches you have, how often you use your keyboard, and the type of lubricant you use. As a general rule, it is recommended to lubricate your switches every six months to a year or whenever you notice a decrease in performance or an increase in noise.
How to Apply Lubricant to Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
Applying lubricant to mechanical keyboard switches requires basic keyboard disassembly, so proceeding cautiously and following the proper steps is important. Here is a general overview of how to apply lubricant to your keyboard switches:
- Remove the keycaps – Use a keycap puller to remove the keycaps from your keyboard gently.
- Open the switch – Use a switch opener or a small flat-head screwdriver to open the switch housing.
- Apply the lubricant – Using a small brush or applicator, apply a small amount of lubricant to the moving parts of the switch, such as the stem and sliders.
- Reassemble the switch – Close the switch housing and snap it back into place.
- Repeat for all switches – Repeat the process on your keyboard.
- Replace the keycaps – Once all switches have been lubricated and reassembled, replace the keycaps and test your keyboard to ensure proper function.
Using a high-quality lubricant and applying it sparingly is important, as over-lubrication can lead to performance issues. Additionally, follow any instructions provided by your keyboard manufacturer or the lubricant you use.
Q: How often should I lube my switches?
It relies on how often you use your keyboard and how quickly the lubricant wears off. Some people lube their switches every few months, while others do it once a year or less.
Q: What kind of lubricant should I use?
We recommend using a high-quality switch lubricant, such as Krytox or Tribosys.
Q: Can I use any lubricant?
No, not all lubricants are suitable for use on mechanical keyboard switches. Using the wrong type of lubricant can damage your switches and void your warranty.
Q: Can switch lubrication fix a broken switch?
No, switch lubrication is not a fix for a broken switch. If a switch is broken or unresponsive, it may need to be replaced.
Q: Will switch lubrication make my keyboard quieter?
Switch lubrication can help reduce the noise level of your keyboard, as it can help reduce the amount of friction between the switches and the keycaps. However, the degree to which it reduces noise will depend on various factors, such as the type of switches you have and the amount of lubricant you apply.
Switch lubrication is a simple and effective way to improve the performance of your mechanical keyboard switches. You can enjoy a smoother, more consistent typing experience by reducing friction and preventing wear and tear. Just be sure to use high-quality lubricants and follow the proper steps for disassembling and reassembling your keyboard. With a little bit of care and maintenance, your keyboard can last for years to come.