How to Lube Keyboard Switches: A Detailed Guide

Lube Keyboard Switches

Hello Reader technogigs!

Are you tired of your keyboard switches sounding like a typewriter from the 1950s? Or are your fingers getting sore from pressing down on stiff switches? Then you’re in luck because in this article, we’ll show you how to lube your keyboard switches to restore that smooth and satisfying typing experience.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about lubing keyboard switches, from the materials you’ll need, the steps to follow, the advantages and disadvantages of lubing your switches, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). So let’s get started!

Introduction

When it comes to typing on keyboards, there are two types of people: those who prefer a tactile response with a loud click, and those who prefer a softer, silent touch. However, both types of switches can benefit from lubing. And while keyboard enthusiasts have been lubing their switches for years, it’s becoming more mainstream due to the rise of mechanical keyboards among gamers and professionals.

Lubing keyboard switches involves applying a thin layer of lubricant to the switch mechanism to reduce friction, smooth out the feel, and reduce the noise level. The process may sound daunting, but with some patience and attention to detail, you can make your keyboard sound and feel like a dream.

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to lube your keyboard switches.

Gather the Materials Needed

To lube keyboard switches, you’ll need the following materials:

Materials Description
Lubricant A high-quality lubricant such as Krytox or Tribosys 3204. Avoid using WD-40 or other silicone-based lubricants.
Switch opener A tool to open your keyboard switch. You can use a switch puller or a pair of tweezers.
Cotton swabs For applying the lube and cleaning the switch parts.
Syringe A tool to apply a small amount of lube. You can use a dental syringe or a pipette.
Switch films (optional) Thin films to place over the switch stem to reduce wobble and noise.
Keyboard switches Your preferred keyboard switches.

Preparation

Before you start lubing your switches, here are some tips:

Tip 1: Choose the Right Lubricant

Using the wrong lubricant can damage your switches and make them worse than before. Avoid using WD-40 or other silicone-based lubricants, as they can cause corrosion and damage to the switch material. Instead, choose a high-quality lubricant specifically designed for keyboard switches, such as Krytox or Tribosys 3204.

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Tip 2: Choose the Right Switches

Not all switches are the same and will require different amounts of lube. Switches with clear housing will require less lube than switches with opaque housing, as they let more light through. Make sure to research the type of switch you have and the amount of lube required.

Tip 3: Remove Dust and Debris

Use compressed air to remove dust and debris from your keyboard and switch. You can also use a small brush to clean the switch parts.

Tip 4: Lubricate in a Clean Environment

Lubricating your switches can be messy, so it’s best to work in a clean environment away from food and drink to avoid contamination.

Tip 5: Practice Patience

Lubing switches can take time and practice. Don’t rush the process and take your time to ensure that each switch is lubricated properly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Lube Keyboard Switches

Now that you’ve gathered all of your materials and prepared your workspace, it’s time to lube your keyboard switches. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open the Switches

Use a switch opener such as a switch puller or a pair of tweezers to open the switch. Gently insert the opener into the slots on the side of the switch and lift the top housing off.

Step 2: Clean the Switch Parts

Use a cotton swab to clean the switch parts, including the stem, spring, and housing. Make sure to remove any debris or dust that could affect the switch’s performance.

Step 3: Apply the Lube

Put a tiny amount of lubricant on the end of your syringe’s plunger, or use a toothpick to apply the lube to the three contact points of the stem. You only need a small amount, so don’t overdo it. Too much lube can cause the switch to feel mushy or reduce the typing speed.

Step 4: Reassemble the Switches

Carefully reassemble the switch by placing the top housing back on and pushing down until it clicks into place.

Step 5: Repeat the Process

Repeat the process for each switch on your keyboard until all switches are lubed.

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Strengths and Weaknesses of Lube Keyboard Switches

As with any process, there are both advantages and disadvantages to lubing your keyboard switches. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of lubing keyboard switches:

Strengths

Improved Typing Experience

Lubing your keyboard switches can improve your typing experience, making it smoother and more satisfying. Your fingers will glide over the switches with less friction, which helps with long typing sessions.

Reduced Noise Level

If you’re tired of hearing the loud clicking of your switches, lubing them can reduce the noise level and make your keyboard quieter. It’s especially helpful if you work in a shared space or open office environment.

Increased Longevity of Switches

Lubricating your switches can help keep them lasting longer and reduce the likelihood of dust buildup. You’ll also experience fewer issues with sticky or broken switches.

Weaknesses

Time-Consuming Process

Lubing switches can take a long time, depending on the number of switches you are modifying. It can also be a messy process, which requires more time to clean up.

Difficulty of the Process

Lubing switches can be difficult for beginners. If you’re not comfortable taking apart your keyboard switches, you may want to seek help from a professional.

Voided Warranty

Lubing switches can void your keyboard manufacturer’s warranty, as it involves opening up the switch housing. If your keyboard is still under warranty, consider seeking professional help or waiting until the warranty has expired before attempting to lube your switches.

FAQs

Here are some common questions and answers about lubing keyboard switches:

1. How often should you lube your keyboard switches?

You don’t need to lube your keyboard switches too often unless you’re experiencing issues with your switches. Otherwise, it’s best to lube your switches once a year or every two years, depending on how often you use your keyboard.

2. Can you lube keyboard switches on all types of keyboards?

You can lube keyboard switches on any keyboard that has switchable switches, such as a mechanical keyboard. However, it’s not recommended to lube switches on membrane keyboards.

3. Can you remove the lube from the switches?

Yes, you can remove the lube from the switches by opening up the switch and cleaning it thoroughly. However, it’s best to avoid removing the lube as the switch’s performance and lifespan may be affected.

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4. Can you lube your switches without opening them up?

No, you cannot lube your switches properly without opening them up. The lube needs to be applied to the stem’s contact points, which are only exposed when you open the switch.

5. Is there a difference between using oil and grease to lube your switches?

Yes, there is a difference. Oil is thinner and more liquid, while grease is thicker and has a higher viscosity. Lubricating oil works better for switch springs, while grease is better for the switch stem contacts.

6. What should you do if you accidentally overlube your switches?

If you accidentally overlube your switches, you should clean them thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol or contact cleaner. Avoid using a lot of force when cleaning the switch, as it can damage the switch’s internal workings.

7. Are all lubes created equal?

No, not all lubes are created equal. Using the wrong lubricant on your switches can damage them, reduce their lifespan, or make them perform worse. Always use a high-quality lubricant specifically made for keyboard switches.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to lube your keyboard switches, it’s time to take action and give it a try! Remember to choose the right lubricant, prepare your workspace, be patient, and have fun. While there are some disadvantages to lubing your keyboard switches, the benefits are worth it. Increased typing comfort, reduced noise, and increased longevity of switches are just a few of the reasons to give it a try.

If you’re still unsure about lubing your switches, we recommend seeking help from a professional or doing more research before attempting it yourself. Lubing your switches can be a time-consuming and messy process, but the satisfaction of a smooth typing experience is worth it. Happy typing!

Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational purposes only. Always be careful and seek professional help when dealing with your keyboard switches. We are not responsible for any damage or harm caused during the process of lubing your keyboard switches. Please use caution and follow all safety guidelines.