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How I Lube MX-Style Mechanical Keyboard Switches

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Hi, and welcome to my highly-anticipated guide on how I lube MX-style mechanical keyboard switches, featuring the Cherry Black as it's my most recent and first Cherry switch, and it's black so it will show the lube in harsh lighting the best, which is crucial as this will be an image-heavy tutorial to show exactly where I have applied lube on the switch.

 

This will be a guide on how I personally lube MX-style switches, and may differ from other hobbyists. I use this method for all types of switches, whether they are linear or tactile, the process is the same. I also use Krytox 205g0 lube in this tutorial, which is a notoriously rigid and thick lube, so for 205g0, you must apply less than you already would with a thinner lube such as Tribosys 3204 or 3203.

 

As a frequent switch luber, going from an unlubed switch to a lubed switch is crucial for switch typing feeling, and I highly recommend you try lubing yourself to feel the benefits. Lubing a single switch should take around 1 minute if you have the technique down to a second nature, and you will have to repeat this process 60-100 times depending on how large your keyboard is, so prepare a a few hours to properly lube all your switches. Do not rush the process as inconsistent lube across your switches can mess up your typing experience as some keys will feel smoother, scratchier, stickier, or heavier than others. Take your time and make sure all of your lube jobs are done with care and attention.

 

WIthout further ado, let's begin and I will show you how I lube my MX-style keyswitches.

 

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Here are the items you will need to start the lubing process:

 

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In my case, to take apart the switch, I simply use the four-fanged side of the ai03 opener and ensure the logo on the switch is facing the keyring so the four legs on the top housing are on the fangs. I simply press down and the switch will open itself.

  • If you do not have an opener, you can also use a flat-head screwdriver and wedge the screwdriver in between the switch housings to open up the switch.

 

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When opened up, the switch should consist of four components, from left to right:

  • Bottom housing
  • Top housing
  • Spring
  • Stem

 

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We will be lubing these components in this order, as I find this order makes the most sense to maintain consistency, efficiency, and minimise sticky fingers.

 

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To begin, I dip my brush in the lube, I make sure that all my bristles are covered in a thin film of the lube. I like to have a bit more on my brush than others so that I feel the effects of the lube even more once the lubing process is done and I type on my keyboard. Ideally, you'd want just enough that you can see the bristles are damp with the lube.

 

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I start by taking the bottom housing:

  • I lube the slider columns at each side of the housing, ensuring there is a visible film of lube on each of the slider columns
  • I also lube the outside of the center pole to ensure the spring once re-attached does not wobble or experience ping

 

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When I have completed the bottom housing, it should look something like this:

  • The slider columns are nice and covered in lube
  • The center pole is also covered

 

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For the spring, I find I have enough lube left over from the lubing the housing to lightly coat the spring in the remainder of the lube on the brush.

 

For the spring, I lube the top of the spring and put it back into the housing with the lubed side facedown to meet the center pole.

 

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Once the lubed side of the spring is put back into the housing, I then lube the exposed top side which is sticking up from the housing and lube that side with the remainder of the lube that I have on my brush.

 

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When the spring is complete, it should look like this:

  • Column sliders coated
  • Center pole coated
  • Spring top and bottom coated

 

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For the stem, I reload my brush with lube once more, but this time with an even thinner coat than for the housing and spring, since too much lube can ruin the feel, especially in the stem where it's the part that moves the most.

 

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I start by lubing the sliders of the stem, making sure the entirety of the side is covered in a thin coat of the lube.

 

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It should look like this:

 

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I then also lube the front, which should look like this:

  • Note that since this is a linear switch, it is okay to lube the legs
  • If this was a tactile switch like a Cherry MX Brown, do not lube the legs as you lose tactility

 

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And finally, the back of the stem as well as the bottoms of the stem walls too:

 

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I then place the stem back into the spring, making sure I do not touch the sides of the lubed stem.

 

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And that's it, that is how I lube MX-style mechanical keyswitches.

 

When all is said and done, it should finally look like this:

  • Housing slider columns coated
  • Housing center pole coated
  • Spring top and bottom coated
  • Stem walls, side, front, legs, & bottom coated

 

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Now, all that is left to do is put the top housing on, and you have now completed lubing an MX-style switch.

 

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I hope this was a helpful guide on how to lube MX-style mechanical keyboard switches, I had been meaning to make one for a while and I finally got the time to make one. I feel like I have made a guide that is easy enough to follow that anybody who wants to try getting into lubing their swithces can follow through with ease.

 

Like I said at the beginning, this is how I personally lube my switches, and my technique may differ from other hobbyists in the mechanical keyboard scene, and that's okay, because this method I feel comfortable with and I'm sure anybody who follows this guide would enjoy the result this method of switch lubing delivers.

 

Thank you for reading my very image-heavy guide, and happy lubing!

mechanical keyboard switches aficionado & hi-fi audio enthusiast

switch reviews  how i lube mx-style keyboard switches

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Comment section: you lube those switches. Platonically of course. 

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