Expert Tips on How to Lube Keyboard Switches

Welcome to the world of mechanical keyboards. This guide covers the often-overlooked art of lubing switches, teaching you ‘how to lube keyboard switches’ for a smoother typing experience

This guide delves into why and how to lube your mechanical keyboard switches, enhancing not just the performance but also the overall user experience.

Why Lube Switches Improved acoustics Smoother actuation Reduction in rattle and scratchiness Enhanced overall feel
Lubricant Choices Tactile Switches: Krytox 0g0  Linear Switches: Krytox 0g0 Clicky Switches: Super Lube Synthetic Grease
General Lubrication Tips Use a fine brush Apply a small amount Be consistent Test after a few switches
Essential Tools Lubricant Small brush Switch opener Switch puller and tweezers Additional DIY tools (e.g., flathead screwdriver, cotton swabs)
Work Area Preparation Clean, flat surface Organized small parts
Switch Components Stem: Plastic, determines switch type Spring: Varies in stiffness and length
Lubing GuidePrepare tools and workspace Disassemble switch Lube spring, stem, housing Reassemble and test
Lubing Methods Traditional: Full disassembly, thorough lubrication Easy: No disassembly, quicker but less thorough
Maintenance Regular checks  Relubing every  months Clean before relubing
Alternatives to Manual Lubing Prelubed switches Factorytuned switches Dry lubricants Switch films Hotswappable keyboards
FAQ Lube every  months Use specific lubricants for keyboard switches

Why Lube Your Keyboard Switches?

Lubing switches in your mechanical keyboard can lead to several improvements:

  • Improved Acoustics: Lubing reduces the harsh sounds produced during typing, leading to a more pleasant and less intrusive sound profile.
  • Smoother Actuation: It ensures smoother key presses, reducing friction between switch components.
  • Reduction in Rattle and Scratchiness: Lubrication minimizes the rattle of stabilizers and the scratchy feeling of key presses.
  • Enhanced Overall Feel: Overall, it contributes to a more satisfying and premium typing experience.

Choosing the Right Lubricant

Tactile Switches:

  • Preferred Lubricant: Krytox 0g0
  • Reason: This lubricant is thicker in consistency, which is beneficial for tactile switches. The thickness helps to enhance the tactile feedback that these switches are known for. It ensures that the bump in the switch is still noticeable, providing a satisfying tactile response.
  • Application Tips: When applying Krytox 0g0 to tactile switches, it’s important to use a light hand. Overlubricating can lead to a mushy feel, which might diminish the tactile sensation. Focus on the slider rails and avoid applying too much lubricant on the tactile legs.

Linear Switches:

  • Preferred Lubricant: Krytox 0g0
  • Reason: This lubricant is thinner compared to 0g0, making it ideal for linear switches. The thin consistency allows for a smoother travel down the switch without adding unnecessary resistance. It helps in reducing friction, resulting in a buttery smooth keystroke.
  • Application Tips: The goal with linear switches is to achieve a smooth, consistent glide without affecting the actuation force. Apply the lubricant evenly on the slider rails and the bottom housing where the stem makes contact. Be careful not to overlubricate as it can make the switch feel sluggish.

Clicky Switches:

  • Preferred Lubricant: Super Lube Synthetic Grease
  • Reason: Clicky switches require a lubricant that doesn’t dampen their characteristic click sound. Super Lube Synthetic Grease is light enough to maintain the clicky feedback while being effective in reducing any undesirable spring noise or metallic ping.
  • Application Tips: With clicky switches, the lubrication process is more about precision than quantity. Apply a very thin layer on the spring and the areas where metal contacts metal. Avoid lubricating the click mechanism itself (like the click jacket or click leaf) as this can diminish the clicky sound.

General Lubrication Tips:

Tools: Use a fine brush for precise application.

  • Amount: Less is more. Start with a small amount; you can always add more if needed.
  • Technique: Be consistent in your application. Ensure that each switch receives a similar amount of lubricant for uniformity in feel and sound.
  • Testing: After lubricating a few switches, test them on your keyboard to ensure you’re happy with the feel before proceeding with the rest.
Essential Tools for Lubing Keyboard Switches

Essential Tools for Lubing Keyboard Switches


  • Types: Depending on the switch type (tactile, linear, or clicky), different lubricants are recommended. For example, Krytox 0g0 is popular for tactile switches, while Krytox 0g0 is preferred for linear switches.
  • Purpose: The lubricant reduces friction between moving parts of the switch, leading to a smoother keystroke and often a more pleasant sound.
  • Storage: Keep your lubricant in a cool, dry place to maintain its consistency and effectiveness.

Small Brush:

  • Type: A finetipped brush, often synthetic, is ideal for precise application of lubricant.
  • Purpose: The small brush allows for controlled application, ensuring that you don’t overlubricate the switch components.
  • Cleaning: Clean the brush after use with a solvent like isopropyl alcohol to prevent the bristles from sticking together.

Switch Opener:

  • Design: These are specially designed tools that fit around the housing of a switch, allowing you to open switch without damage.
  • Purpose: A switch opener ensures a quick and safe way to open switches for lubrication, significantly reducing the risk of damaging the switch compared to improvised methods.
  • Alternatives: In a pinch, a small flathead screwdriver can be used, but there’s a higher risk of damaging the switch.

Switch Puller and Tweezers:

  • Switch Puller: This tool is used to remove switches from a keyboard plate or PCB. It grips the sides of the switch, allowing you to pull it out without exerting force on the board.
  • Tweezers: Fine tweezers are useful for handling small parts like switch springs or stems. They offer precision and control, especially when applying lubricant to these small components.
  • Handling: Both tools are essential for handling switches and their parts without getting lubricant on your fingers, which can be transferred to other parts of the keyboard.

Additional DIY Alternatives:

  • Flathead Screwdriver: Can be used to pry open switches, but requires caution to avoid damage.
  • Fine Tweezers: Handy for manipulating small parts, especially if you don’t have a switch puller.
  • Cotton Swabs: Can be used for lubrication in the absence of a fine brush, though they offer less precision.

Work Area Preparation:

  • Surface: Use a clean, flat surface. A silicone mat or a piece of cloth can protect the surface and the keyboard parts.
  • Organization: Keep small parts like springs and stems organized to avoid losing them. A small tray or compartments can be helpful.

Patience and Practice:

  • Skill Development: Lubricating switches is a skill that improves with practice. Start slow and focus on consistency.
  • Testing: After lubricating a switch, test it before reassembling the entire keyboard to ensure you’re satisfied with the feel.

Understanding Keyboard Switch Components


  • Description: The stem is the part of the switch that moves vertically when a key is pressed. It’s the component that directly interacts with your finger.
  • Material: Typically made from plastic, stems come in various shapes and colors, which can affect the switch’s feel and sound.
  • Functionality: The design of the stem determines the type of switch (tactile, linear, or clicky). For example, tactile stems have a bump on them to create a noticeable tactile feedback when pressed, while linear stems are smooth for a consistent keystroke.


  • Description: The spring sits under the stem and provides the necessary force to return the key to its original position after being pressed.
  • Variability: Springs can vary in stiffness and length, affecting the actuation force (how hard you need to press the key) and the reset speed (how quickly the key returns to its original position).
  • Customization: Enthusiasts often swap springs to alter the typing feel. A heavier spring increases the actuation force, while a lighter one makes the key easier to press.

Additional Considerations:

  • Mounting Style: How the switch is mounted to the keyboard (plate mount or PCB mount) can affect the feel and sound. This is determined by extra plastic pins on the bottom housing.
  • Lubrication: Applying lubricant to the stem, spring, and housing can significantly improve the switch’s smoothness and reduce unwanted noise.
  • LED Compatibility: Some switches are designed to be compatible with SMD LEDs or have slots for throughhole LEDs for backlighting purposes.

StepbyStep Guide to Lubing Your Switches


  • Gather Your Tools: Ensure you have all necessary tools and materials, including lubricant, a switch opener, a small brush, tweezers, and a clean workspace.
  • Organize Your Workspace: Lay out a mat or cloth to protect your surface and organize small parts. Having a tray or small containers can help keep springs, stems, and housings organized.

Disassemble the Switch:

  • Using a Switch Opener: Place the switch in the switch opener according to the tool’s instructions. Gently press down until the top housing separates from the bottom housing.
  • Handling Components: Use tweezers to carefully remove the stem and spring from the bottom housing. Place them in your organized workspace.

Lube the Spring:

  • Applying Lubricant: Dip your brush lightly into the lubricant. Gently apply a thin and even coat to the spring. Focus on both ends of the spring, as these are the areas that typically produce noise through friction.
  • Avoid OverLubrication: Excessive lubricant can attract dust and make the switch feel gummy.

Lube the Stem:

  • Sides of the Stem: Apply a thin layer of lubricant to the sides of the stem. These are the parts that slide against the housing during actuation.
  • Contact Points: Pay special attention to the areas where the stem makes contact with the housing, such as the rails and the bottom part where it hits the housing upon bottoming out.

Lube the Housing:

  • Bottom Housing: Apply a small amount of lubricant to the inside where the spring sits and where the stem slides.
  • Top Housing: Some enthusiasts also apply a very thin layer of lubricant to the inside of the top housing where it makes contact with the stem. This can further reduce friction and noise.

Reassemble the Switch:

  • Careful Assembly: Place the spring back into the bottom housing, followed by the stem. Ensure the stem is correctly oriented.
  • Top Housing: Carefully align the top housing with the bottom and press them together until you hear or feel a click, indicating the switch is securely closed.


  • Functionality Check: After reassembling, test the switch to ensure it’s working correctly. It should feel smoother and quieter than before.
  • Consistency: If you’re satisfied with the result, proceed with the rest of your switches. If not, adjust the amount of lubricant or your technique as needed.

PostLubing CleanUp:

  • Clean Your Tools: Clean your brush and any other tools with isopropyl alcohol or a similar solvent to remove residual lubricant.
  • Store Lubricant Properly: Ensure your lubricant is tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place.

Traditional vs. Easy Lubing Methods

Traditional Lubing Method:

  • Disassembly Required: This method involves fully disassembling the switch, which includes removing the top housing, stem, and spring.
  • Thorough Lubrication: Each component (spring, stem, and housing) is individually lubricated. This allows for a more precise and even application of lubricant.
  • Tools Needed: Requires specific tools like a switch opener, tweezers, and a fine brush for application.
  • Time and Skill: It’s a more timeconsuming process and requires a bit of skill and patience, especially in handling small parts and applying the right amount of lubricant.
  • Benefits: Results in a more consistent and thorough lubrication, often leading to a better overall feel and sound of the switch.
  • Drawbacks: The time and effort required can be significant, especially for a full keyboard.

Easy Lubing Method:

  • No Disassembly: Lubricant is applied without taking the switch apart. This is done by accessing the stem and spring through the gaps in the switch housing.
  • Targeted Lubrication: Lubricant is typically applied to the sides of the stem and the top of the spring, as these are the most accessible areas.
  • Tools: May still require a fine brush or a needle applicator for more precise application.
  • Time and Ease: Much quicker and easier than the traditional method, making it more suitable for beginners or those looking for a quick fix.
  • Benefits: Saves a lot of time and is less risky in terms of potentially damaging the switch during disassembly and reassembly.
  • Drawbacks: The lubrication may not be as thorough or evenly distributed as the traditional method. It might not reach all the friction points, especially inside the housing.


  • Effectiveness: The traditional method is generally more effective in enhancing the switch’s performance and feel. It allows for a more comprehensive application, ensuring that all friction points are adequately lubricated.
  • Convenience: The easy method is more convenient and less intimidating, especially for those new to lubing switches or with a limited amount of time.
  • Risk: The traditional method carries a higher risk of damaging the switch if not done carefully, whereas the easy method is less invasive.
  • Suitability: The traditional method is preferred by enthusiasts and those seeking the best possible result. The easy method is suitable for those who want a quick improvement without the hassle of full disassembly.

Special Considerations for Different Switch Types

General Tips for All Switch Types:

  • Consistency is Key: Regardless of the switch type, consistent application across all switches is crucial for a uniform typing experience.
  • Testing: After lubing a few switches, it’s a good idea to test them in your keyboard to ensure you’re satisfied with the feel and sound before proceeding with the rest.
  • Patience and Practice: Lubing switches is a skill that improves with practice. Take your time and focus on the quality of your work.
Maintaining Lubed Switches on keyboard

Maintaining Lubed Switches

Regular Checks for Consistency:

  • Feel and Sound Assessment: Periodically, type on each key to check for any inconsistencies in feel or sound. Pay attention to any changes like stickiness, scratchiness, or uneven resistance.
  • Auditory Inspection: Listen for any irregularities in sound, such as increased noise or a change in the sound profile of certain keys. This can indicate uneven wear or drying out of lubricant.

Relubing Schedule:

  • Frequency: The need for relubing depends on usage, environment, and the type of lubricant used. As a general guideline, plan for relubing every  to  months.
  • UsageBased: Heavily used keyboards or those in environments with more dust or varying temperatures may require more frequent maintenance.
  • Lubricant Longevity: Some lubricants may last longer than others. Keep track of how your chosen lubricant holds up over time.

Cleaning Before Relubing:

  • Removing Old Lubricant: Before applying new lubricant, it’s advisable to clean off the old lubricant. This can be done using a solvent like isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush or cloth.
  • Avoiding Residue BuildUp: Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of grime and old lubricant, which can affect the switch’s performance.

Environmental Considerations:

  • Dust and Debris: In dusty environments, more frequent cleaning and maintenance might be necessary.
  • Humidity and Temperature: Extreme temperatures and high humidity can affect the longevity and consistency of the lubricant.

Handling and Storage:

  • Careful Handling: When opening switches for maintenance, handle them carefully to avoid damage to the components.
  • Proper Storage: Store your keyboard in a clean, dry place to minimize exposure to dust and environmental factors that can degrade the lubricant.


  • Keep Records: Document when you lube your switches and the type of lubricant used. This can help in establishing a maintenance routine and understanding the longevity of different lubricants.

Learning from Experience:

  • Adjust Techniques: As you maintain your switches, you might find that certain techniques or lubricants work better for your specific needs. Use this as a learning experience to refine your approach.

Community Insights:

  • Engage with the Community: Keyboard enthusiasts often share their experiences and tips online. Engaging with these communities can provide valuable insights into maintaining lubed switches.

Advanced Tips and Tricks

Experimenting with Different Lubricants

Types of Lubricants:

  • SiliconeBased: Longlasting and waterproof, ideal for water play but not suitable for silicone toys.
  • WaterBased: Compatible with all toys and easy to clean, but may require frequent reapplication.
  • OilBased: Great for longer sessions, but not recommended with latex condoms or certain toys.

Sensory Variations:

  • Warming Lubricants: Provide a gentle heating sensation, enhancing sensitivity.
  • Cooling Lubricants: Offer a tingling, refreshing experience, great for adding a new dimension to your play.
  • Flavored Lubricants: Add a taste element to your experience, ideal for oral play. Ensure they are sugarfree to avoid potential infections.

Unique Combinations for Feel and Sound

Mixing Lubricants:

  • Combine a siliconebased lubricant with a waterbased one for a balance between longlasting effect and easy cleanup.
  • Mix warming and cooling lubricants for a unique sensory experience.

Custom Experience with Thin and Thick Lubricants

Thin Lubricants:

  • Generally waterbased, more natural feeling, and easier to spread.
  • Ideal for a more sensitive experience where natural sensation is a priority.

Thick Lubricants:

  • Often silicone or oilbased, providing a cushioning effect.
  • Better for activities requiring more intense lubrication or for longer sessions.

Mixing for Custom Experience:

  • Start with a thin layer for natural sensation, then add a thicker lubricant for enhanced comfort and endurance.
  • Adjust the ratio based on personal preference and the specific activity.

Safety and Comfort

Allergies and Irritations:

  • Always patch test a new lubricant on a small skin area.
  • Be aware of any allergies to ingredients commonly found in lubricants, like glycerin or parabens.

Compatibility with Condoms and Toys:

  • Ensure the lubricant is compatible with any condoms or toys being used to avoid damage or reduced effectiveness.


  • Regularly clean any toys used with lubricants.
  • Avoid sharing lubricants to prevent the spread of bacteria or infections.

Experimenting with different lubricants and their combinations can significantly enhance your experience.

When choosing activities and toys, prioritize safety and compatibility, similar to how keycaps fit switches in keyboards. Comfort and safety are key in exploring new experiences

Alternatives to Manual Lubing

Alternatives to Manual Lubing

. PreLubed Switches

  • Overview: Prelubed switches come with factoryapplied lubricant, offering a smoother experience right out of the box. This option eliminates the need for manual lubing, saving time and effort.


  • Convenience: No need for the timeconsuming process of disassembling and manually lubing each switch.
  • Uniformity: Factoryapplied lubrication ensures a consistent feel across all switches.
  • Ready to Use: Ideal for those who want a betterthanstock experience without the hassle of DIY lubing.


  • Quality Variance: The amount and distribution of lubricant may vary, leading to less precision compared to manual lubing.
  • Limited Customization: You’re limited to the lubricant type and amount used by the manufacturer.

Recommended Brands:

  • Cherry MX: Known for their quality and durability, Cherry MX prelubed switches offer a good balance between smoothness and tactile feedback.
  • Gateron: These switches are often praised for their smooth operation and are a popular choice among enthusiasts for their prelubed options.

. Factory Tuned Switches

  • HighEnd Options: Some premium switches come with factory tuning that goes beyond just lubing, including adjustments for reduced wobble and optimized actuation.
  • Customization Services: There are services where professionals will tune and lube your switches according to your preferences, offering a middle ground between DIY and factory options.

. Dry Lubricants

  • PTFE (Teflon) Based Powders: These can be applied without disassembling the switch, offering a less messy alternative to traditional lubes.
  • Spray Lubricants: Some aerosolbased lubricants are designed for keyboard switches, providing an easier application process.

. Switch Films

  • Stabilization: While not a lubricant, switch films can reduce stem wobble and create a tighter fit, indirectly improving the smoothness of the switch action.
HotSwappable Keyboards

HotSwappable Keyboards

  • Ease of Replacement: For those who want to experiment with different switches without soldering, hotswappable keyboards allow for easy switch replacement, including prelubed varieties.

Considerations for Alternatives

  • Performance vs. Authenticity: While prelubed switches are convenient, they may not match the feel or sound of meticulously handlubed switches.
  • Cost: Prelubed or professionally tuned switches can be more expensive than standard switches.
  • Maintenance: Over time, factoryapplied lubricant may degrade, necessitating eventual manual maintenance.

Alternatives to manual lubing like prelubed switches, factorytuned options, dry lubricants, and switch films offer varying degrees of convenience and performance enhancements.

While they may not completely replicate the custom feel of manually lubed switches, they provide viable options for those seeking improved keyboard performance with less effort.

As always, personal preference and specific use cases will dictate the best choice for each individual.


Lubing your mechanical keyboard switches is a journey towards a more personalized and satisfying typing experience. It’s a simple yet effective way to elevate your keyboard from a tool to an extension of your personal preference and style.

FAQ Section

Q: How often should I lube my switches?

A: Typically, every  months, depending on usage.

Q: Can I use any grease for lubing switches?

A: It’s best to use lubricants specifically designed for keyboard switches like Krytox or Tribosys.

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