Gateron Oil King Switch Review

Hey all,

With as little marketing and as much mysterious design choices as I saw behind the new Gateron Oil King Switches, I just couldn’t help but go on a deep dive with them to see how they stack up against other recent strong preforming Gateron switches. Who’s to say if Gateron is kicking of 2022 by digging in the right direction - straight towards oil?

Article: Gateron Oil King Switch Review — ThereminGoat's Switches
Scorecard Repository: GitHub - ThereminGoat/switch-scores: PDF Repository of switch score sheets.

As always, big thank you to everyone who reads these reviews week in and out. The support is always warming to hear, and is part of what keeps me going 60 something reviews deep now. :heart:

Goat :goat:


Dude. Your measurement spreadsheet is freaking epic. Unbelievable work … most sincerest thank yous.


I had lots of questions about these Oil Kings, and you answered every one of them - enjoyable and informative as always, mister Goat.

Looking at all those great photos, I found myself with a new query about these switches; something about that top housing jumped out to me:

That little curve right there.

I had a hunch these might be North-facing friendly with caps like GMK, and wanted to ask if you’ve seen this subtle shape alteration on any other switches / were familiar with it already.

Looking at a handful of other Gaterons I have nearby, I actually do see this feature on one of them: a Cap V2. I gave it a try with a GMK key that had interference with a KS-3, and what do you know - no interference with the Cap V2.

I can’t say 100% of keycaps won’t interfere with these new Gateron tops, but I can definitely say they drastically improve the situation if you’re stuck with (or prefer) North-facing sockets.

1 Like

TL;DR version:

Oil King indeed.

As intriguing as how that lube stays in place is, this killed my interest:

As for the sound of the Oil King switches, this is unfortunately the area that I feel like Gateron still needs to improve on the most, but not by all that much.

Second mystery is how its sound could be lacking with that stubby stem poll.


well in the end sound is still very subjective and preferences differ. the normal inks (8008 version) were rated 4/10 points by ThereminGoat in terms of sound. I however like the sound of inks in general very much (especially on a POM plate).

Nevertheless, I read all reviews with great interest, as they provide a very good insight (so far unsurpassed in the level of detail).


The name makes me think of Donkey Kong.

1 Like

Consider using new Cherry switches for your comparisons, as you can’t buy the straight topped ones anymore. I know it’s not a huge difference in smoothness, but people are hanging on your every word for these things, best to be accurate.

1 Like

Just was messing around with my batch of Oil Kings & found that putting a Cherry top housing on them really deepens the sound up. Makes these what you’d expect from the description (Ink thermoplastic bottom, nylon top, POM stem). There is a caveat though. I tried top housings from hyperglides which were too tight for the slider. Then I tried some from retools which were better, but still to tight IMO. After that I went to a batch of MX blacks that’s not quite vintage but made well before the retools & those finally fit right. I also tried vint black top housings which worked well too, although I wouldn’t recommend harvesting vints for tops on Oil Kings TBH. So you’ll need to search out pre-retooled Cherry switches for this mod (hey finally a use for those scratchy bastards! LOL)

I also tried a bunch of other top housings of varying materials & from different manufactures with them. Nothing else that fit right really made a drastic change in sound. OG Cream top housings had a interesting sound, but it was on the higher pitched side & was still pretty close to stock Oil King sound IMO. Sorry to necro this thread, but I figured the info was worth it.


Coincidentally, I happened to have some pre-retooled Cherry MX Black switches, and these switches are incredibly tactile to press. Just a couple of hours before I saw this review, I ordered Gateron Oil Kings, which was quite a coincidence. So, I decided to try replacing the top housing of the Oil Kings with the pre-retooled Cherry MX Black top housing, and I “might” like it (I had a Gateron Oil King tester before purchasing switches for my entire keyboard).

What’s your opinion after these two months about the housing swap? Do you like it?