How to lube keyboard switches with a paintbrush and grease


#1

This video shows what I do when I lubricate keyboard switches with grease and a paintbrush. This video can help even someone who doesn’t know anything about lubing keyboard switches and just wants to see what it involves and how they could get started.

Disclaimer: In this video I’m lubing a linear switch but if you’re lubing a tactile switch, you might want to skip lubing the legs of the stem and the leaf bumps, because this decreases the tactility of the switch.

I will go slowly in the video, trying to be sure you can see what I’m doing.

My choices of where to apply lube are based on experience and on the results of an experiment I did and documented here:

I wanted to show 2 different ways to open the switch, using a special opener tool or using regular tweezers. Both methods work fine.

The grease I typically use for this method is Tribosys 3204, which you can purchase from keyboard vendors such as switchmod.net, novelkeys.xyz, 1upkeyboards.com, etc. Other greases I like to use are Krytox 205g0 and Christo Lube MCG 129.

Tools:
Painbrush: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V4EG6D6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Tweezers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FZPFQHM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4 Prong Pick-Up Tool: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RB3KZ4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Switch Opener tool: https://kiiboss.studio/products/kiiopener_mx.html

In case you are opening Halo switches or BOX switches: https://kiiboss.studio/products/kiiopener_kailh.html

Acrylic switch holder / modding station: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=525320012520

Or https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Keyboard-Axis-Board-for-Machanical-Keyboard-Black-Axis-Blue-Brown-Red-Gray-Green-White-Axis-Acrylic/32802439596.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.37e34c4dgCIZli

A 3d printed option: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3294929


#2

Are the three greases you mentioned using basically the same? I am having a hard time understanding when you would use Christo Lube MCG 129 vs. Tribosys 3204.


#3

I hate to say this but I don’t quite feel prepared to answer your question, because I don’t have all the factors sorted out in my mind yet. I plan to do some head-to-head comparisons with these lubes and note the differences in how they feel and summarize it.

What I can tell you for now is that in terms of the viscosity of the base oil used in these greases, from lowest to highest, they seem to be:
Tribosys 3203
Tribosys 3204
Christo Lube MCG 129
Christo Lube MCG 111
Krytox 205g0
Christo Lube MCG 112

However, in terms of how soft and easy to apply they are with a paintbrush, it’s more like:
Tribosys 3203, 3204, and Krytox 205g0 (all grade 0)
Christo Lube MCG 111 (grade 1.5)
Christo Lube MCG 129 (grade 2)
Christo Lube MCG 112 (grade 2)

What I can recommend for now is using 3203 on tactile switches, and for linear switches it really depends on how buttery you want them. 3203 will feel less buttery than 3204, which is less buttery than MCG 129, which is less buttery than MCG 111, which is less buttery than 205g0, which may or may not be similar in butteryness to MCG 112

Some prefer an even less buttery feel and use the lower viscosity oils like krytox vpf 1514. There are also krytox oils that some feel are easier to work with even though the viscosity is similar in the base oil so they still lubricate well, like krytox 104 and 105.

Sorry I couldn’t do better for now!


#4

For Christo, how much are you typically applying? Brushed smooth (no more white) or something a bit thicker?


#5

If I’m brushing i don’t like to see any white, i like a thin coat