I'm a keyboard enthusiast. I love typing on all sorts of keyboards, but my favorite is the mechanical keyboard. These keyboards have been around for decades and they're still being manufactured today.
They're not just used in offices anymore; gamers are using them as well- everyone loves their clicky sound and satisfying tactile feedback when you press down on the keys. There's no denying that mechanical keyboards feel amazing to type on, but they sometimes can require some maintenance!
The first thing you want to do is take a look at the switches on your keyboard. You can usually tell by looking if they're lubed or not, but it's best just in case that we open up our mechanical keyboards and check! If there are no signs of lubrication (such as an oily residue), then don't worry - this guide will show how easy maintenance for these types of keyboards, what kind of lubricant should be used and the different kinds of tools...
Why lube your keyboard switches?
Although they don't require as much maintenance, lubing your mechanical keyboard switches is an important step that will make them last for years and feel even better to type on.
Your fingers can slip off the keys more easily when a switch isn’t properly maintained; this makes it difficult or impossible during fast typing sessions because your fingers can’t find the keys when they need to.
Lubricating your switches will also make them quieter; this is great for those who use their mechanical keyboard in a shared space such as an office or dorm room!
Lubing switches also help for gaming. When you press a key that doesn’t have lube on it, the switch will slam into place. This can cause your fingers to feel cramped and less comfortable while typing or gaming for long periods of time because they are being forced against each other by an unmoving object (the keyboard).
It's also worth noting that generally it's only recommended to lube linear and tactile mechanical switches. You can lube blue clicky switches but due to the nature of the clicky mechanism it's not really recommended.
What lube should you use?
There are many different lubricants out there, so it may take a little bit of experimentation to find what you like. Some people swear by the more expensive “contact” or silicone oil, while others say that it doesn't last long enough and prefer something less thick such as petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline).
Keyboard switch parts
Mechanical keyboard switches are not as complicated as they may seem. Each switch is composed of four separate components: the stem, the spring, the bottom housing and the top housing.
There may be some components inside like springs that need attention too, so make sure those get cleaned out before reassembling everything back together again with new grease applied where needed most! It doesn’t matter what type of switch mechanism has been used either – every single one needs regular care from time-to-time.
Tools need to lube mechanical switches
The right lubricant is important to ensure that the switches will be lubed properly.
There are many types of lubricants, but it's important to know what type you're using for your keyboard and its specific switch design before applying any product! For example: some keyboards use silicone-based grease while others might require a more viscous oil or even something like graphite powder (though this is usually only used in extreme circumstances).
It’s also worth noting not all oils work well on every surface - so if possible try out different products with each keycap removed from their corresponding mechanical keyswitch first just make sure they'll do an adequate job without damaging anything else inside too much beforehand ! The best way find which one works right? Trial & error 😉
Tweezers come in very handing while lubing to pick up small components, like the tiny springs found in keyboard switches.
You'll need a brush to apply the lube to the different parts of each mechanical switch.
4. Cotton swab
A cotton swab is needed for dabbing up any extra lube that might spill over onto other parts of the keyboard or switches.
5. Flathead Screwdriver or something similar
To lube your switches you will need something to open them up with. A flathead screwdriver will work, but something like a guitar pick or plastic card can also be used to pry the switch open and get at that juicy lube inside!
6. Clean deskspace or working area
People often overlook this important aspect, but you really need to make sure you have a flat clean and spacious working area to do this.
Steps to lube your mechanical keyboard switches
1. Brush off the dirt and dust from the keyboard with a soft brush
Before starting to lube your keyboard you need to clean it.
This will ensure that the dirt and dust from your keyboard won't get into any of its crevices. This is important because you don’t want to create more work for yourself later on when it comes time clean up after lubing! You can use a soft brush in order do this, or even just some compressed air if there's not too much grime built-up inside - but be sure whatever tool(s) are used they're gentle enough so as avoid damaging anything (especially with those delicate switches).
2. Clean the keyboard's switches with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol
Next, you need to ensure that each switch is cleaned with rubbing alcohol and a q-tip. You can use the same brush or compressed air to do this, but be sure that it's not too harsh on those delicate switches!
Cleaning each switch with rubbing alcohol and then using your fingers (or another tool) is also an option - as long you're gentle enough so they don't get damaged in any way
You'll want all of them cleaned before proceeding further down below... After doing one side make note which was done first; repeat for other half until complete
3. Apply a small amount of lubricant to each switch on the top and bottom contact points
Now you're ready to lube one switch at a time . Open a switch using the small flat head screwdriver, but be careful not to damage it. You do also get switch opener tools like this from Amazon, that work much better.
Apply a small amount of lubricant to each switch on the top and bottom contact points.You'll want all it evenly distributed, so use your fingers or another tool (like an old toothbrush or small artist type paintbrush) for this process
If you're using liquid lube then make sure not too much is used as that can cause problems with how they work over time. Often less is more, especially if you're a beginner. Here's a great post on Imgur that walks you through where to lube your switches.
4. Wipe off any excess grease from around the base of the switch
If there's excess fluid simply wipe off any extra from around switches, or dab with a cotton swab, before proceeding
Next up: testing!
5. Test your work!
Now we get into what actually happens after applying some new grease onto those mechanical keyboard keys....It's time to test your work and see if anything has changed in feel or responsiveness.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 for each individual key
If you followed steps 2 to 5, then should now have lubing of a single switch - repeat these instructions for each key on your mechanical keyboard to lubricate them all.
7. Reassemble the keyboard
After you're done lubing each switch, and if everything feels good again then you just need to reassemble the keyboard. Don't forget to clean off any final dirt and dust before and after reassembly, and then you should be good to try out your new lubed up baby!
If the keys don't feel as good or responsive after applying more grease try using less next time and vice versa if they're too slippery with excess oil applied
It might take a little bit of practice and patience before getting used with your new lubed mechanical switch experience! But don't worry; all those hours spent typing are worth every minute now. Your keypresses should a lot smoother and quieter now.
Good luck and enjoy your new lubed mechanical keyboard switch experience!!!
Happy Typing and gaming!! 😀