A Comprehensive Guide to Lubricating Mechanical Keyboard Switches

February 22, 2023

If your mechanical keyboard has a rough tactile experience, you can improve it by lubricating the switches. It’ll make them smoother and lower-pitched, which will improve the typing experience.

To lube your switches, you’ll need some tools and components. You’ll need disposable gloves, a keycap puller, switch puller, switch opener or flathead screwdriver, small brush, and lubricant.

Tools

Lubricating mechanical keyboard switches can be a time-consuming process, and many people struggle to get it right on their first try. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though; you just need to have the right tools and know how to use them correctly.

Before you begin lubricating your switches, you need to remove them from the keyboard. This is a crucial step, as it can help you avoid accidentally breaking the contacts while putting the switch back together. If you have a hot-swappable keyboard, it’s especially important to lubricate the switches before reassembling.

You’ll need a few different tools to do this, including a switch opener and a small flathead screwdriver (which you can also use for this purpose). The key is to be careful around the tabs on the switches, so that they don’t snap off.

Tweezers are another essential tool for lubricating your switches, as they allow you to pick up tiny parts without getting grease on your fingers. Any tweezers will do, but you may also want to consider investing in a pair of tweezers specifically designed for this purpose.

The final tool you’ll need for lubricating your switches is a pipette or syringe to drip the lube into the gaps of each switch. This will save you from wasting a lot of lube, and will prevent the lube from getting on your hands or onto the switches’ protruding legs.

Lube Type

If you have a mechanical keyboard, you may want to lube your switches. This is a simple process that can help give your keyboard a smoother feel and reduce background noise. It also makes them easier to re-switch, so you won’t have to take your hands off the keys as much.

Switches are made up of several parts, such as an upper housing, a spring, a stem, and copper “contact leaves.” These components work together to actuate keystrokes when the user presses on them.

The bottom housing connects these components and clasps them into place. It also contains a passthrough for the copper “contact leaves” that send signals to your PCB.

Once you have opened up the switch, apply a lube to the bottom housing and stick it in the area where the stem hits. Make sure to not get any on the metal contacts that are present on the stem or it can cause damage to the switch.

You can use any lube that is non-flammable, but you should look at the ingredients to ensure it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Some lubes are made from natural products, such as olive oil, while others are petroleum-based.

Most lubes on the market come in liquid or spray form, so you can apply them directly to your switches. Some lubes can be used with a brush, but it’s best to use a smaller brush to lube the switches because you want an even coat of lube on all sides of the switch.

Choosing the right lube for your switches can be tricky, as there are many different types available. Some lubes are water-based, which can damage the plastic of your switches over time, so you should opt for a non-water-based lube.

Applying the Lube

There are numerous types of switches on mechanical keyboards and each one requires a different type of lubricant. The lube helps to reduce friction and improve the operation of the switches. It also makes the switches feel smoother and easier to press.

There’s a lot to learn about lubing your switches, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can follow a few simple steps to get started.

First, you need to remove the keycaps from your keyboard. You can do this using a keycap puller (an aluminum keycap puller is safer than plastic).

Next, you need to open the switch. To do this, you can use a switch opener or a pair of tweezers. Once the switch is open, you can apply some lube to the area where the stem comes into contact with the upper housing.

After the lube has dried, you can reassemble your switches. Just make sure to not bend the cross-point contacts or you may cause the switch to no longer work.

If your switches are extremely rough or scratchy after lubing, you might have missed some areas. Try reopening the switch and wiping off any lube you might have used.

You should also be careful not to over lube your switches. Unless you’re working with very tactile switches, it’s better to under lube your switches instead of over lubing them.

A lube that’s too thick can be hard to press down and is likely to break the spring. This is a common mistake when lubing your switches and can be avoided by applying the lube in small amounts.

You can lube your switches without desoldering them by dripping a bit of lube onto the switch with a brush. It’s important to remember that lubes can be very messy so you need to be prepared with some cleaning tools, including a cotton swab and tweezers.

Reassembling

Mechanical keyboard switches are an important part of the keyboard experience, but they can wear out over time. If this is the case for your keyboard, you can reassemble your switches to improve your typing experience.

To reassemble your switches, you’ll need a few tools. First, you’ll need a switch puller and a switch opener. These are both relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

You’ll also need a soldering iron and a solder pump. A soldering iron will help you heat up the joints between the circuit board and each switch, while a solder pump will allow you to remove solder easily.

Once you’ve reassembled your switches, you can test them to ensure that they are functioning correctly. If they aren’t working properly, you can adjust your lube accordingly to improve their performance.

There are many different types of mechanical keyboard switches available. Some are better than others, but they all share a few common traits.

For starters, most mechanical keyboard switches are linear or tactile. Linear switches have a linear actuation point, which means that they only require a small amount of pressure to press them down. Tactile switches have a more tactile feel, though they require more pressure to actuate.

Actuation points and actuation forces vary among switches, but they’re usually measured in grams. A lower actuation point and force can be more convenient for long typing sessions.

Some switches are also clicky, which makes a louder sound when pressed. These are more popular in gaming, but they can tire your fingers out if you’re doing repetitive tasks for prolonged periods.