Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity among enthusiasts and professionals alike due to their tactile feedback, durability, and customizable features. However, even the finest mechanical switches can benefit from a little extra care to enhance their performance and extend their lifespan. One effective method to achieve smoother keystrokes and reduce friction is to lube your mechanical switches. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of lubing your mechanical switches step by step.
What is Keyboard Lubing?
Lubing a mechanical keyboard involves applying a lubricant to various parts of the key switches to reduce friction, resulting in a smoother and quieter typing experience. Proper lubing can also help prevent dust and debris from getting into the switches, which can extend the lifespan of your keyboard.
What You’ll Need
Before you begin lubing your mechanical switches, gather the following tools and materials:
- Lubricant: You’ll need a suitable keyboard lubricant. There are different types of lubricants available, such as grease and oil, each with its own characteristics. For mechanical switches, a thick grease is often preferred, as it provides better long-term protection.
- Keyboard Keycap Puller: To access the switches, you’ll need to remove the keycaps from your keyboard. A keycap puller will make this task much easier.
- Switch Opener (Optional): Some keyboards may require a switch opener tool to access the switches themselves. This tool is particularly useful for keyboards with top housing that is difficult to remove.
- Brushes and Cleaning Supplies: A small brush or cotton swabs can help you clean the switches and remove any existing dirt or debris before applying the lubricant.
- Workspace: Set up a clean and well-lit workspace with enough room to disassemble your keyboard comfortably.
- Patience: Lubing switches can be a time-consuming process, so be prepared to spend some time on it.
The Lubing Process
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of lubing your mechanical switches:
1. Prepare Your Workspace
Clear your workspace and ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials at hand. Make sure to unplug or turn off your keyboard before you begin.
2. Remove Keycaps
Use the keycap puller to gently remove all the keycaps from your keyboard. Be careful not to damage the keycaps or the switches during this process.
3. Open the Keyboard (if necessary)
Some keyboards have a top housing that needs to be removed to access the switches. If your keyboard requires this step, use a switch opener or the appropriate tools to carefully open it.
4. Clean the Switches
Inspect each switch for any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a brush or cotton swab to clean the switches, ensuring they are free from any contaminants.
5. Apply Lubricant
Dip a small brush or apply a small amount of lubricant to the moving parts of the switch. Focus on the areas where friction occurs, such as the sliders and contact points. Be careful not to over-apply, as excess lubricant can cause issues.
6. Reassemble the Keyboard
If you disassembled your keyboard, carefully put it back together, ensuring all components are correctly aligned and secured.
7. Replace Keycaps
Using the keycap puller, reattach all the keycaps to their respective switches. Make sure they are seated properly and evenly.
8. Test Your Keyboard
Plug in or turn on your keyboard and test it to ensure that the lubrication has improved the typing experience. Pay attention to the smoothness of keypresses and any reduction in noise.
9. Fine-Tune as Needed
If you find that some keys are still not as smooth as you’d like, you can repeat the lubing process for those specific switches or adjust the amount of lubricant applied.
Tips and Considerations
- Choose the Right Lubricant: Different switches may require different types of lubricants, so do some research to determine the best lubricant for your keyboard’s switches.
- Don’t Rush: Take your time when applying the lubricant to ensure even coverage and avoid spills.
- Be Consistent: Apply the same amount of lubricant to each switch to maintain consistency in your typing experience.
- Experiment: If you’re new to lubing, consider practicing on spare switches or an old keyboard to gain experience and confidence.
- Maintenance: Depending on usage, you may need to reapply lubricant after a few months or even years to maintain optimal performance.
Lubing your mechanical switches can significantly improve your typing experience by making it smoother and quieter. While it may take some time and patience, the results are often well worth the effort. With the right tools and materials, you can enjoy a more satisfying typing experience and extend the lifespan of your beloved mechanical keyboard.