Breaking in switches - to lube or not to lube?


#1

This is something I have a personal concern with. Before “breaking in” any switches, I had lubed my Geekmaker 67g Creamy switches with Krytox 205g0, without wearing the switches in, and had sent them off to Qlavier to assemble into my board that I had commissioned from him. I’ve been using the keyboard consistently at work for the last 5-6 days, and I’ve noticed that the sound and feel has changed on a good portion of the keys (mostly the ones on the left-hand side as QWERTY is a bit more left-hand-centric).

What I’m wondering is: should I have had the switches soldered stock, broken them in for a few weeks, and then desoldered and lubed them? They still feel very smooth, but their acoustics and slight sluggishness from the lube towards the bottom-out have changed. My thought is I’m just breaking them in with the lube and eventually they’ll all sound/feel the same, but wanted to hear what more people thought.


#2

I don’t think it’s all about break in. I bought a switch tester and lubed 5 Zealios switches is different ways (heavy grease, oil only, mixture, plus different parts). At the time the grease only ones were very sluggish and bogged down.

It’s been just sitting there for a couple of weeks. Now they all feel pretty different. I feel as the lube drys/settles into the switch it will start to feel different. As you use the switches I expect that will make it happen quicker.

When I get around to lubing all the switches I think I will make sure I spend some time working the lube into the switches before storing them. Maybe mount them in the switch tested and just work them over a bit.


#3

I appreciate the response. I did have them stored before sending them over, and then there was the period of time between when I sent them and when I received the board back. My next board coming in is hotswap so this won’t even be an issue, but I think if I’m going to be lubing switches, I want to do it right before I put it into the board and see if that makes a major difference.

I’ve got a few Holy GSUS switches in a switch tester I fiddle with everyday and they’ve stayed pretty consistent, so perhaps it’s because I let them sit and are now using them quite a lot. I’ve got a couple left over, so I might lube a few and keep playing with them on the switch tester and see if the same thing happens. if it doesn’t, I may have to desolder them and relube.


#4

Also turns out that the plate supports switch top removal (thanks Qlavier and Laserboost!), so I’ll work them in for the next few weeks to make sure they’re all as even as I can get, and then open the tops and re-lube.


#5

So I ended up relubing them, and they do sound better now, but obviously the more I use them the louder they’re getting again. They do seem to feel better this time around, though, and when I leave them overnight it tends to feel different than if I use them all day. They all sound pretty similar, although the left-hand side does sound a bit louder as it is generally used more.

Was hoping it would stay feeling really cushiony, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.