Cheap Lube from a Hardware Store


#1

Is it safe to get just some random PTFE spray lube from a hardware store for lubing switches? Is it even worth it? I tried some Rubik’s cube lube from aliexpress once and didn’t notice any difference. Also, it tended to gather into droplets when applying it to the switch stem.

Note: I’m from Urop and don’t have access to any popular brands from U.S.


#2

A lot of people will say that most cheap lubes from generic hardware stores will separate and/or dry out fairly quickly, as they’re not designed for use in tiny parts. While some people may report success with some of these kind of lubes, what I would say is that if you’re going through all the effort of opening up and lubing each individual switch in a custom keyboard build, spend the 5 or 10 of your metric currency of choice on some lube that is intended for this. My recommendation is Tribosys 3204, just be careful to use (probably) even less than you think you need and keep your application consistent between all switches.

Edit - if by Urop you mean Europe: https://mykeyboard.eu/catalogue/tribosys-3204-switch-lubricant-5ml_448/


#3

Superlube is okay, just don’t apply too much.


#4

I use lithium grease and it works well. it doesn’t separate and it is very cheap.


#5

Never tried it with mechanical switches, but I used white lithium grease on the sliders in some old Apple membrane boards I restore and it worked well.


#6

It’s thin enough to use on switches and thick enough to use on stabilizers, but I don’t know if it has great lubricity compared to other lubes. It’s good for dampening spring ping, though if you want to use other stuff for other parts of switches.


#7

Superlube/lithium grease is fine for stabilizers but I’d never recommend it for switches. As others have said, if you’re gonna do it, do it right. I’d also endorse Tribosys and have used it and enjoyed it on both linears and tactile.


#8

Admittedly, the sliders on a membrane keyboard have lower tolerances than an MX style switch.


#9

I bought some thick silicone grease ages ago on aliexpress for a couple of dollars and it has been perfect for years. I was hoping there was some kind of thinner on par lube, too. That thick one is gives unpleasantly heavy feel to switches.