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Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular among gamers, typists, and computer enthusiasts due to their exceptional typing experience and durability. The mechanical switches in these keyboards can last for millions of keystrokes, but they can also become scratchy and loud over time. To restore the smooth and quiet typing experience, you can lubricate the switches. In this article, we will explain the benefits of lubing mechanical keyboard switches, the tools you need, and the steps to follow.
Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many users choosing them for their tactile feel and satisfying click sound. However, just like any other mechanical device, mechanical keyboard require maintenance to keep them running smoothly. One of the key ways to ensure that your keyboard is functioning optimally is by lubricating the switches. Lubing mechanical keyboard switches has several benefits, including:
Improved Smoothness: Lubing the switches will reduce friction between the switch components, resulting in a smoother keystroke. This is particularly beneficial for users who type a lot or play fast-paced games.
Reduced Noise: Lubing the switches can also reduce the noise generated by the switches. This is because the lubricant reduces friction, which is the primary source of noise.
Enhanced Durability: Lubing the switches can extend the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard. The lubricant protects the switches from wear and tear, reducing the risk of damage or failure.
Personalization: Lubing the switches allows you to personalize your keyboard to your preferred level of smoothness and noise reduction. This can enhance your typing and gaming experience.
The durability of a mechanical switch is another factor that sets it apart from rubber dome switches. Rubber dome switches have a limited lifespan, as the flexible rubber dome can become worn or damaged over time. Mechanical switches, on the other hand, are built to last. The metal components of a mechanical switch are more durable and resistant to wear and tear, making them a more long-lasting option. Before you start lubing your mechanical keyboard switches, you need to gather the following tools:
Lubricant: You will need a lubricant specifically designed for mechanical keyboard switches, such as silicone grease or dielectric grease.
Tweezers: You will need tweezers to hold the switch components while you apply the lubricant.
Keycap Puller: A keycap puller is a tool used to remove the keycaps from the switches.
Q-Tips or Cotton Swabs: You will need Q-tips or cotton swabs to apply the lubricant to the switch components.
Cleaning Solution: You may need a cleaning solution to remove dirt or debris from the switches before you lubricate them.
Now that you have all the tools you need, let’s go through the steps to lubricate your mechanical keyboard switches:
Disassemble the Keyboard: Start by removing the keycaps from the switches using a keycap puller. You can also remove the plate and PCB if you want to reach the bottom of the switches.
Clean the Switches: Clean the switches with a cleaning solution and a cotton swab to remove any dirt or debris.
Apply the Lubricant: Take a small amount of lubricant on a Q-tip or cotton swab and apply it to the switch components. Pay special attention to the stem, where the keycap makes contact with the switch, and the housing, where the stem slides into.
Reassemble the Keyboard: Once you have lubricated all the switches, reassemble the keyboard, making sure to properly align the keycaps and the plate.
Test the Keyboard: Test the keyboards to make sure that the lubricant has been applied correctly and that the keyboard is working properly.
Before you start lubricating your keyboard switches, you’ll need to gather a few key materials. These include:
Before applying lubricant to your switches, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Dirt and debris can get caught in the switches and cause friction, reducing the smoothness of the key presses. To clean the switches, use a small screwdriver to remove the keycaps. Then, use the isopropyl alcohol and swabs to clean each switch thoroughly.
Once the switches are clean and dry, it’s time to apply the lubricant. A few drops of lubricant should be enough for each switch. To apply the lubricant, use the swabs to carefully apply it to the stem and bottom housing of each switch. Be sure not to use too much lubricant, as this can cause the switches to become gummy and affect the actuation force of the keys.
After the lubricant has been applied, it’s time to reassemble the keyboard. Replace the keycaps and make sure they are securely in place. Then, turn on the keyboard and test each key to make sure that the lubrication has not affected the actuation force or the sound of the keys. It’s important to note that not all switches are the same. Different types of switches may require different types of lubricants and techniques. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the type of switch your keyboard uses before attempting to lubricate them. If everything seems to be working well, you’re done!
Lubing mechanical keyboard switches is a simple process that can enhance the performance and lifespan of your keyboard. It’s important to note that lubricating your keyboard switches is not a one-time process. Over time, the lubricant will wear off and the switches may start to feel sticky or crunchy again. To keep your keyboard functioning optimally, it’s recommended to lubricate the switches every six to twelve months. Lubricating your mechanical keyboard switches is a simple and effective way to keep your keyboard functioning smoothly. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a smooth and quiet typing experience with just a few tools and some patience.