Guide: Lubricant for Keyboards explained

Lubing your switches is one of the most popular mods that keyboard enthusiasts perform to their keyboards. It is also one of the most noticeable mods, making your switches smoother, reducing spring ping, reducing stab rattle, and improving the overall acoustics of the board.  In a sea of options, lubricants are no different. Switch lubricant comes in many different brands, formats, pricing options, and viscosities that one has to be aware of before starting the lubing process.  

Please, note that this is a very “quick-and-dirty” guide to explore all the different options available in the hobby. This is not an in-depth guide on how to lubricate Lubricants: Grease or Oil? An important detail regarding lubrication is that we have 2 different types of products.  Grease is a viscous, almost pomade-type of lubricant that is used to lubricate all the different components of a switch, especially where there is friction. Typically, this is applied using a brush and gently applying product on the rails of the switch, or stem.  Oils, on the other hand, is a more liquid-based lubricant, typically used for springs. Lubricants for Mechanical Switches Krytox 205g0  (Grease) Krytox 205g0 is the “go-to” lube for many around the globe. This Teflon-based lubricant is popular for its buttery smooth feel and medium to high viscosity, making it perfect for lubing stabs and switches alike.  As with other higher viscosity lubricants, one must be careful not to over-lube, especially with tactile or clicky switches. Doing so, may completely ruin the feeling of a switch, remove tactility or clickies altogether. With great power comes great responsibility.  We recommend applying Krytox 205g0 on: Stabilizers tips and housing Linear Switches Tactile Switches (avoid the legs to not reduce tactility) Spring tips (in the absence of oil) Click here to view this product on Eloquent Clicks Krytox XTH-BDZ  (Grease) Krytox XTH-BDZ is a lesser-known lubricant, due to fulfilling a very specialized role. This lube is the most viscous lubricant in the keyboard market and of this list (yes, thicker than toothpaste)

  It is so thick that we recommend getting a brand new brush to apply this lube. Because of this thickness, it is used when there is a danger to melt PTFE lubricants, like mechanical keyboard stabilizers. This is what makes the XTH-BDZ special, it excels at lubing stabs, but is unsuited to lube switches, springs, and other components. We recommend applying Krytox XTH-BDZ on: Stabilizers Krytox GPL 105  (Oil) Krytox GPL 105, like the 205, is the “go-to” oil for many in the keyboard hobby. Just like other oils, this is mostly applied on springs in order to reduce spring ping and rattle, as well as to ensure a swift and buttered press.  This is generally applied by placing the springs on a plastic Ziploc bag and mixing the oil in order to consistently lube all of the springs.  We recommend applying Krytox GPL 105 on: All the springs! Click here to view this product on Eloquent Clicks Tribosys 3203 (Grease) Tribosys 3203 is considered a thinner lube, low to medium viscosity grease. Within this spectrum, 3202 is one of the thinner greases in the market. This is preferable when wanting to add smoothness to the switch, without completely removing the stock feel. This lube is ideal for tactile styled switches where you want to soften some of the imperfections of the switch without losing too much tactility We recommend Tribosys 3203 on: Linear switches (if you prefer them thinly lubed) Tactile Switches Spring tips (in the absence of oil) Click here to view this product on Eloquent Clicks Tribosys 3204 (Grease) Tribosys 3204 adds even more smoothness and viscosity than the 3203. We consider this grease a medium or medium to high viscosity lube, closer to Krytox 205g0 viscosity.  We recommend Tribosys 3204 on: Linear Switches  Tactile Switches (if applied carefully) Dampen Switch Sounds Spring tips (in the absence of oil) Stabilizers Click here to view this product on Eloquent Clicks Other great alternatives! Super Lube’s synthetic oil is a nice alternative to Krytox GPL 105.  Super Lube’s Grease is also an alternative to Krytox 205g0, although a bit thinner than the 205. Both of these alternatives can often be found for cheap, if available. 

Conclusions: So what do I buy? Well, that depends on what you are lubing, what your goal is, and your budget.  As with many other things within the mechanical keyboard space, many things are just preference and taste, and there is rarely a “best” solution. However, we can give you a few pointers.  Krytox 205g0 is usually a safe bet since you will be able to lube many other things, and it excels at lubing linear switches which is famous for that fantastic “buttery feel” Krytox XTH--BDZ is honestly impressive for its soft feel and long-lasting duration on stabs. It is considered “the best '' lube for stabs. However, you will not be lubing much else with this lubricant. Tribosys 3203 is a thinner grease that will get the job done in most situations. While it might lack the punch of higher viscosity, it is perfect for tactile switches and it will be difficult to “over lube” your components. Krytox GPL 105 is a very good oil solution for springs!

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