How to Lube Tactile Switches
Tactile switches are becoming increasingly popular for improving a user’s gaming experience, enabling faster inputs and better responses. But with greater use comes the need to know how to lube tactile switches, which can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the process. In this blog post, we’ll explain step-by-step exactly what you need to do in order to make sure your tactile switches are properly lubricated and running as smoothly as possible. Read on for tips on selecting the right lubricant, preparing your equipment, and applying lubricants correctly – plus advice on avoiding common mistakes!
What Can You Not Lubricate on a Tactile Switch?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of lubing tactile switches, let’s go over what you should not attempt to lubricate. Specifically, you should never attempt to lube the contact points inside the switch or directly on the PCB board itself. Doing so could cause permanent damage and potentially lead to connectivity issues down the line.
What Kind of Lubricant Should You Use?
The kind of lubricant you use will depend on what type of tactile switch you have. Generally speaking, it’s best to stick with a silicone-based lubricant like Tri-Flow Super Lube or similar to ensure optimal performance and less risk of damaging your switches. Note that not all silicone-based products are created equal – read up on their features before deciding which one is right for you. Additionally, make sure whatever lubricant you choose is safe to use with electrical components.
10 Methods How to Lube Tactile Switches
1. Use a Water-Based Lubricant
Water-based lubricants are the safest to use with tactile switches. They won’t damage the switch contacts and are easy to clean off if they get on other parts of the keyboard. If you’re looking for a long-lasting lubricant, try silicone-based lubes, which are also safe to use. Though they are slightly more difficult to clean off the switch contacts, they will last longer and reduce friction.
2. Use a Silicone-Based Lubricant
Silicone-based lubricants are also safe to use with tactile switches. They provide a smoother feel than water-based lubricants and don’t dry out as quickly. However, they can be a bit messier to use and may require more precautions when cleaning up. Additionally, silicone-based lubricants shouldn’t be used with other silicone products, including rubber feet and switch housing pieces. If in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid using a silicone-based lubricant.
3. Use a Petroleum-Based Lubricant
Petroleum-based lubricants should be used sparingly on tactile switches. They can damage the switch contacts and are difficult to clean off if they get on other parts of the keyboard. Although petroleum-based lubricants might seem to help with some issues, it’s best to avoid using them on tactile switches. If you must use a petroleum-based lubricant, make sure to remove any excess using a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol.
4. Use a Dry Lubricant
Dry lubricants can be used on tactile switches, but they may not provide as smooth of a feel as other types of lubricants. They’re also more difficult to clean off if they get on other parts of the keyboard. Try to use a more specialized lubricant if possible. If you do use a dry lubricant, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and be careful not to get it on any other parts of the keyboard. This type of lubricant can help keep dirt and dust from accumulating in the switch, which can cause performance issues and excessive noise.
5. Use a Graphite-Based Lubricant
Graphite-based lubricants can be used on tactile switches, but they may not provide as smooth of a feel as other types of lubricants. They’re also more difficult to clean off if they get on other parts of the keyboard. To apply the graphite-based lubricant, spray a small amount onto the tactile switch and work it into the switch with your fingers or a cotton swab.
Once done, wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean cloth. It is important to note that graphite-based lubricants may gradually wear away over time. Therefore, it may be necessary to reapply it periodically in order to maintain the desired level of smoothness.
6. Use a Conductive Grease
Conductive grease can be used on tactile switches to help improve their electrical conductivity. However, it can be difficult to clean off if it gets on other parts of the keyboard. Use it sparingly and only on switches that need it. Make sure to use a non-corrosive, silicone-based grease that won’t damage the switch or its contacts.
7. Use an Anti-Static Spray
Anti-static spray can help reduce static buildup on tactile switches, but it can also damage the switch contacts if it’s not used properly. To use it safely, make sure to spray the switch with the anti-static product and then let it air dry for several minutes. After that, you can gently brush away any dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the switch.
Be careful not to scrub too hard, as you could rub off the conductive material that helps the switch work correctly. Additionally, avoid spraying directly on the electrical contacts, as this could cause a short circuit. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the product safely.
8. Use Compressed Air to Clean the Switches
Compressed air can help remove dust and debris from tactile switches, but it can also cause the switches to become less responsive over time. If you choose to use compressed air, take care to hold the can of air at an angle and slowly move it back and forth over the switch. This will help avoid any buildup of debris in the switch and keep it working at its best. Additionally, be sure to use an approved cleaning solution for your switch before using compressed air.
9. Regular Maintenance is Important
Regular maintenance of your switches and keypads is important to keep them in good working condition. Inspect switches and keypads for wear and tear, as well as any signs of corrosion or damage. Make sure to clean the switches regularly with an approved cleaning solution. This will help keep them functioning properly and prevent any build-up of dirt or debris that can interfere with their operation.
10. Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Clean the Switches
Vacuuming can help remove dust and debris from tactile switches, but it can also cause the switches to become less responsive over time. Additionally, vacuuming can damage delicate electronic components if not done carefully. The best way to clean switches with a vacuum is to hold the vacuum nozzle at least an inch away from the switch and use low suction.
Be sure to vacuum the area surrounding the switch as well in order to draw any debris away from it. If using a brush attachment, be sure it is not too stiff or sharp, as it could damage the switch.
You Can Check It Out To Lube Switches
Things to Consider When Lubing Tactile Switches
1. Type of Lubricant:
Some lubes may not be compatible with certain switch types or materials, so make sure to use the right lubricant for your switch. This could be silicone grease, graphite powder, or vegetable oil. It’s best to use something that is designed specifically for switches and will provide long-lasting protection without causing damage.
2. Application Method:
The method of how you apply the lube is important so that it reaches where it needs to go and doesn’t cause any issues with the electrical contacts or pins inside the switch body. With tactile switches, applying lubricant too liberally can reduce their responsiveness and affect the keystroke feel, so make sure to follow instructions carefully when using different types of lubricants.
Before applying lube, make sure that all debris is removed from the switch, as this can cause problems with lube flow and electrical contact. Additionally, double-check that all parts are securely fastened, and there are no broken pieces.
4. Check Compatibility:
Always make sure to verify that the lubricant you’re using is compatible with your particular switch type or contact material. This will help ensure the longevity and performance of the switch. It’s also important to keep in mind that some lubes may not be suitable for use in damp or wet environments, which could be an issue if you plan on using your keyboard outdoors or near sources of water.
There are a few things more frustrating than a keyboard that doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe the spacebar feels stiff, or you can hear and feel every key press. If your goal is to create a smooth writing experience, lubing your switches is the way to go! Lubing your switches will reduce noise, make them smoother, and generally improve the typing experience.
While it may seem daunting at first, lubing your tactile switches is a relatively simple process that anyone can do. With just a few tools and some patience, you’ll have smooth-writing switches in no time.
Thanks for reading our blog post on how to lube tactile switches! We hope you found it helpful and informative. Happy cleaning!