In a perfect world, you should lubricate your switches every 6 months to a year to keep them smooth. However, the frequency of lubrication depends on a few factors you might want to consider.
In this article, we’ll cover switch lubrication frequency, lifespan, and maintenance tips.
Should you lubricate pre-lubed switches?
If your switches came pre-lubed, and you’re not satisfied with the job you could re-lube them with your own lube of choice. But, you may not know what kind of lube the manufacturer used or if you can clean it. Some lubes are notorious for removing which is why some enthusiasts avoid pre-lubed switches. Remember that cleaning lubricants can be challenging, as some resist solvents. To protect yourself, wear gloves, use a plastic sheet, and have a clean microfiber cloth ready.
After you’ve cleaned the factory lube, you may apply your own lube of choice.
How Often to Lubricate Switches?
If you use your keyboard extensively, regular lubrication might be necessary. You’ll get a feel for when it’s time to lube again. I recommend lubing every three to six months.
Should You Clean Your Switches Before Re-Lubing?
Clean off the dust, dirt, and any leftover lube before lubing your switches again. Do not apply another layer of lube if you have not fully removed the previous one and thoroughly cleaned each switch.
Beware of Over-Lubing!
This section might be more suited for a “how to lubricate your switches” post, but I must emphasize it.
Applying more lube won’t improve performance; in fact, it can make your switches feel worse. Always use a small amount; quality matters more than quantity. If you see visible chunks of lube after lubing, you use too much.
How to Choose the Right Lubricant
The quality of the lubricant is crucial. Low-quality lubes can dry out over time, reducing switch smoothness. This is another reason why some enthusiasts dislike pre-lubed switches.
Choosing the right lubricant can be tedious. Everyone recommends something different. In my experience, you should be looking at one of two options for the best performance:
Krytox 205g0 is a community favorite and the best all-purpose solution. It’s a thicker Grade 2 grease lube, thinned out to be perfect for linear and tactile switches. This is my personal favorite and the one I recommend.
TriboSys 3203 is another good choice and the second-most popular option. It’s a Grade 0 grease made for all switch types, with a semi-fluid texture for precise use. The reason I prefer Krytox 205g0 is because it’s easier to apply and clean up, there is no difference in performance between the two.
It’s a good idea to lube your mechanical keyboard switches every six months to keep them smooth and quiet. But, how often you use them can vary based on what you like and how much you use your keyboard. With good lube and the right conditions, lubed switches can last over a year. To make your switches last longer and type better, follow good maintenance practices.