Sound and feel are some of the most appealing aspects of mechanical keyboards. With that, enthusiasts have developed ways of modifying their keyboards to improve their typing experience. One of the most common and immediately effective aftermarket modifications mechanical keyboard enthusiasts perform is lubing switches.
Lubing switches may improve the sound of your switches by deepening and cleaning up those clacks and thocks. It can also enhance the feel of your switches, removing internal scratchiness and smoothing out the overall typing experience.
In this article, we will be going through five reasons to lube your mechanical keyboard switches. And by the end of this article, you should be able to be inspired to start lubing and modifying your mechanical keyboard switches.
What is Keyboard Switch Lubing?
Before we get started, let us first talk more about mechanical keyboard switch lubing. Switch Lubing is the process of adding lube on the points of friction, or contact points, in the switch to reduce scratchiness and rattle and produce a smoother bottom out and sound. It instantly improves the switch’s sound and feel. It’s a popular mod since it allows you to use less costly switches, like Gateron Yellows, without worrying about getting an unpleasant key feel.
However, it is essential to note that everything is contingent on the switch. Some switches are quite smooth and do not require lubrication, as they have been factory lubed. In comparison, others are scratchy when stock and would benefit significantly from lubing. There are also cases wherein lube makes a minimal difference to the switch.
How Long has Keyboard Switch Lubing Been Around?
One of the oldest recent resources for lubricating mechanical keyboard switches is a Reddit topic from July 17th, 2014. However, TaehaTypes, a keyboard content creator, popularized this modification by posting and streaming typing tests with ‘lubed’ switches.
The videos and streams of other keyboard content producers have also contributed to the mod’s success, with “lubed (and filmed) switches” frequent in build discussions.
Reasons To Lube Your Keyboard Switches
Satisfying and Smooth Feel
Scratchiness occurs when you press down on a key and feel some friction as the key travels. A scratchy switch can feel like fine sandpaper rubbing up against a smooth surface, while a smoother switch, on the other hand, will have consistency throughout the actuation. Lubing switches instantly enhances the feel of your switches.
Lubricating your mechanical keyboard switches lower friction, which in turn lessens or eliminates scratchiness. The typing experience is significantly more satisfying since lubing modifies the contact points in a switch to produce a more smooth and enjoyable bottom out.
Once you’ve felt what a lubed switch feels like, with the keys gliding smoothly across the board, you’ll never want to go back to scratchy switches.
Enhanced Sound Profile
Lubricating switches also results in an immediate improvement in sound quality. Properly lubricated switches provide a substantially richer sound. The lube’s thicker consistency reduces some higher-end frequencies, such as ping, providing your ears with a more enjoyable typing experience.
Depending on the switch, lubricating it can also provide a distinct sound profile that can help either lower pitch or mute the switch.
Reduces Spring Ping
Springs within the switches can get stretched or twisted, resulting in a loud pinging sound. You may considerably decrease this noise by properly lubricating springs as lubrication helps ensure proper actuation.
You can quickly and easily lube the springs by gathering all the switch spings into one Ziploc bag, adding drops of lube oil, and then shaking it for about 30 seconds.
Lubing switches can be quite therapeutic and fun. The process of doing all those modifications is a relaxing and tranquil experience; you can see the inner workings of your keyboard and get to know it better. Sometimes, we need activities like these to help give us a break from our daily lives.
It is also a rewarding experience to know that you have done all those modifications by hand, and you might be able to enjoy your keyboard more after that fact.
One of the great things about the mechanical keyboard hobby is that you can customize and alter your keyboard tailored to your liking. It is one way of taking ownership but also personalization.
In this hobby, there is an inevitable element of wanting to make your keyboard more unique in any way you can. The outcome would also be gratifying since you have made those personal modifications to your keyboard.
One of the main takeaways of this article is that when it comes to lubing switches, it all comes down to personal preference. The majority of enthusiasts lubricate their switches to improve the sound and feel of their switches, but some lube their switches to eliminate spring ping, feel a sense of ownership, or make their keyboards sound and feel more personal. However, the choice is entirely yours.
Lubed switches are generally more pleasant. However, as mentioned, everything is dependent on the switch. Some are relatively smooth and do not require lubricating as they come from the factory, lubed. In contrast, others have some scratchiness when stock and benefit significantly from lubing; other switches may only benefit minimally.
Lubing switches is also somewhat of a rite of passage in the keyboard hobby. After you’ve gone through the process of lubricating and enjoying your optimized switches, you’ll notice a plethora of lubrication tools, procedures, sound testing, and more.
It is also pretty gratifying to see all your hard work pay off and achieve what you want to accomplish with your keyboard. There is an air of satisfaction in being able to do so and knowing that you have done it all yourself.
If you have time to spare, It is worth trying if you want to spice up your keyboard and try something new. It is a popular and accessible mod since you can use it on cheaper switches. But, enthusiasts recommend it to lube your switches if you plan to build a custom one from scratch.
That’s also one of the great things about the keyboard collecting hobby. You can do so many things to your keyboard to make it uniquely yours.
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