Are your mechanical keyboard switches not functioning like they used to? There’s a good chance they might require keyboard switch lube.

Why use lube on keyboard switches?

As time goes on, keyboard switches might not behave as they once did and can start to produce a squeaky-like sound, which is due to friction build-up over time. Lube helps to mitigate that. Keyboard switch lube functions the same way that most other things that require lube functions: It quietens the component, makes the parts operate smoother and more efficiently, and helps with overall longevity.

It’s important to note that keyboard switches range in design and functionality, and for the most part, there are three main types of keyboard switches: Linear, tactile, and clicky.

Image: Razer

What is a tactical keyboard switch?

Tactile switches provide tactile feedback. They’re ideal for typing because you receive a slight indication of each keypress without needing to bottom out the keys. Upon toggling each key, tactile switches provide a noticeable bump during the middle of travel to let you know that your keypress registered.

What type of lube should I use for tactile switches?

The biggest thing to remember about lubing tactile switches is not to take away from the tactility of the switch. Typically, a tactile switch is quiet when used, so the best lube for the job is one that maintains the switch’s initial level of sound. For this reason, a thinner lube is generally best.

Recommended tactile switch lubes

The golden rule when considering keyboard lube is that the lube should reduce friction without impacting the desired level of resistance.

TriboSys 3203

Image via RNDKBD

TriboSys 3203 is a military-grade and general-purpose lubricant that’s ideal for tactile switches. It’s suitable for medium and low-profile tactile switches because TriboSys 3202 maintains a smooth tactile switch function without dampening the ‘bump’ feeling.

TriboSys 3203 aims to achieve switch smoothness without rounding off too much of the stock key feel, which is why it’s ideal for tactile switches, where the idea is to soften the imperfections of the switch without losing too much tactility.

Also, for people just getting into lubing switches for the first time, Tribosys 3204 features a reduced viscosity, making it more forgiving and easier to achieve a consistent feel upon application.

TriboSys 3204

Image via omegakeys

TriboSys 3204 is thicker than 3203, acting as a happy middle ground between tactility and smoothness. It’s the ideal balance between buttery greases like Krytox 205g0 and thinner lubes like TriboSys 3203.

If you also have a linear switch keyboard, then bonus, because TriboSys 3204 works for both tactile and linear — it’s considered a medium-grade grease that’s versatile for both of these switch types.

Krytox 205g0

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While TriboSys 3203 is ideal for low and medium profile switches, Krytox 205g0 is a go-to candidate for high tactility switches. The reason being is Krytox 205g0 is a thicker lube, which works better for high-profile switches due to the longer travel distance of the switch.

With low to medium switches, thicker lube hinders their smoothness. For that reason, Krytox 205g0 shouldn’t be used for low and medium-profile tactile switches.

If you don’t have one already, it’s also recommended to use a dedicated keyboard switch brush. Brush’s are a great way to hold lube evenly to help achieve consistent lube application.