A Beginner’s Guide To Lubricating Your Keyboard Switches

A Beginner's Guide To Lubricating Your Keyboard Switches


The art of taking care of your mechanical keyboard switches may appear intricate and daunting for a novice taking their first steps into servicing their own switches. However, the process is actually pretty straightforward, not to mention therapeutic. In fact, we will say that lubricating your keyboard switches is basically a right of passage for anyone looking to venture into the mechanical keyboard hobby. So, are you ready to bring your custom keyboard to the next level? Let us share some helpful pointers to help you get started!

Why is it essential to lubricate your keyboard switches?

Why is it essential to lubricate your keyboard switches

Before getting into the how let us first discuss the why. So, why do mechanical keyboard enthusiasts take the time to maintain and lubricate their keyboard switches? That is because they understand that the feel and sound of the keyboard can be improved significantly by applying a bit of lubrication to those switches.


So, you must regularly lubricate your keyboard switches if you want the best-sounding, smoothest feeling, and highest-quality mechanical keyboard. Don’t believe us? Listen to a sound clip of a keyboard before and after lubrication. Do you notice the difference? Adding lubricant undoubtedly makes the key stabilisers feel and sound better and the key joints and springs much quieter. It also helps the switch gloss over any surface imperfections and makes the keystrokes feel buttery smooth. 

What are the tools you need?

6 tools you require

As you can see, lubricating your keyboard switches can improve your custom keyboard in various ways. However, ensure you have the following tools ready before you begin.

1. Lubricant

Needless to say, this tool is a no-brainer. However, it is not as simple as grabbing a random lubricant. The type of keyboard switch you use will determine which type of lubricant you need. For tactile switches, you require one that is thinner or with a lower viscosity. Tribosys 3203 or Krytox 203 are the most optimal. But we recommend using Krytox 105 if you are a beginner.


Meanwhile, linear switches require the opposite – a lubricant that is thicker or with a higher viscosity. The Krytox 205G is the ideal choice, offering perfect consistency and viscosity for your linear switches. As for clicky switches, you should avoid lubricating them, as it may produce inconsistent sound between each keyboard switch.


Learn More: A Beginner’s Guide To Mechanical Keyboard Switches

2. Small brush

You will require a small brush to apply the lubricate precisely to the switches. A #2 or 5-mm sized paint brush will be perfect for the job.

3. Soldering tools or switch puller

You will find it much easier to remove your keyboard switches if you use a hot-swappable keyboard, as all you need is a switch puller to pry them out of the keyboard. However, a soldering iron is necessary to de-solder the keyboard switches if they are soldered onto the printed circuit board (PCB). Ensure you have soldering wire in hand to re-solder the keyboard switches after lubricating them.

4. Switch opener or flathead screwdriver

After removing the keyboard switches, open them up to lubricate them. The easiest option is getting a switch opener. However, a flathead screwdriver will suffice if you do not have a switch opener at hand. Please be gentle to avoid snapping off the plastics on the keyboard switches.

5. Tweezers

A pair of tweezers will come in handy when picking up the tiny components of the disassembled switches without getting lubricant on your fingers.

6. Clean workspace area

Lastly, we recommend having a dedicated workstation to lubricate the keyboard switches without making a mess. Lay down newspaper or paper towels to prevent the area from getting greasy.

A step-by-step guide to lubricating keyboard switches

Once you have the necessary tools, it is time to get started. By adhering to the step-by-step instructions below, you will be taking apart and lubricating your keyboard switches like a pro in no time!

Step #1: Remove the keyboard switch from the keyboard

Ensure you disconnect your keyboard from your computer beforehand. Removing the keyboard switches is straightforward if you have a hot-swappable keyboard. A switch puller is all you need to pry them out of the keyboard. Meanwhile, you require a soldering iron to de-solder the keyboard switches if they are soldered onto the PCB.

Step #2: Pull apart the keyboard switch

We recommend getting a switch puller, as this tool makes it easy to pull apart your keyboard switches. However, a flathead screwdriver will suffice too. Work your way around the keyboard switch by loosening the four clips holding the upper and lower housing together. The tricky part is ensuring the keyboard switch does not snap back together during this process. A simple workaround is to stick your fingernail between the upper and lower housing after loosening the clip.

Step #3: Lubricate the components

We recommend lubricating the lowering housing first. Take special care when lubricating the lower housing and avoid the metal lead if possible, as it can damage the keyboard switch. Do not neglect to lubricate the inside floor of the keyboard switch, the part where the stem rails hit, and the inside and outside of the cylinder. 


Subsequently, you can move on to the spring. There are two primary methods to lubricate the spring. You can apply lubricant to the entire spring with a paintbrush or lubricate every spring at once by placing them in a single bag. Once you are done, you can set the spring on the lower housing to avoid making a mess and getting lubricant all over the workstation.


Lubricating the stem is relatively straightforward. Just be careful with the legs. However, we recommend doing this for linear switches only. While you can lubricate the legs on a tactile switch, doing so will reduce the tactile bump, defeating the purpose of using the latter switch. But regardless of the switch type, you must lubricate the rails and the cylindrical area where the spring contacts the stem.


Finally, you only need to lubricate the sections where the rails of the stem come in contact with the upper housing. You can ignore the rest of the upper housing.

Step #4: Reassembling the keyboard switch

Now that all the essential parts are lubricated, it is time to reassemble them back together. Line every component up again and snap the keyboard switch together (Please be careful with the metal leaf). Test the keyboard switch and ensure it actuates properly and nothing feels wonky. Disassemble and reassemble it again if something does not function correctly.

Step #5: Install the keyboard switches into the keyboard

After the keyboard switches are lubricated and reassembled, install them back into your keyboard using a soldering wire to re-solder these components to the PCB. Conversely, press them into the sockets if you have a hot-swappable keyboard, and they are good to go. Now, all you need is to reconnect your mechanical keyboard to your computer to test and ensure everything is functioning correctly.


With this step-by-step guide, you can confidently embark on the process of lubricating your mechanical switches, thus enhancing your keyboard’s performance and overall typing experience. So, grab the essential tools, take your time, and enjoy a keyboard that sounds and feels just the way you want it. Happy typing!


If you seek quality, durable keyboard switches, look no further than The Masked Studio! We offer an extensive selection of keyboard switches – liner, tactile, and clicky – from various popular brands. Visit our website today to browse our comprehensive catalogue

Other Related News




Connect with



Connect with