Kailh Box Switch Stem Measurements and Possible Problems


Hope you’re feeling better. That sucks.


Thanks bud! Yeah I’m back at work already, but still got fluid on my knee. So I’m better, not 100% though. They’re talking about scoping it out which will have to wait till the offseason if it can.


How long did you spend compressing the stem with the metal cap?


It wasn’t compressing the stem so much as filing it down slightly. Each stem took several minutes each of inserting and removing the cap repeatedly and then more time inserting and rocking along the x axis.


Depending on how Kira shakes out, I might end up doing this with the Box Royals that are shipping. Fortunately, I have some orphan GMK caps to test with before committing my Carbon set to the cause.


I just switched my Kira preorder from box royals to speed coppers, waiting on the fixed stems at novelkeys.

The metal keycap method takes a long time per stem, and is very rough on the fingers. I have reproduced the results with 10 switches, but I don’t know if I will attempt more. I do have another method to test once supplies come in this week.


So today i received my 1.5mm chisel, and set about cutting some jade stems!

It works, is fairly fast to do, but you need to be VERY careful. This thing is sharp, and it is very easy to take off too much material. The amount that needs to be removed is .03 mm or so, so think half the thickness of hair.


Instead of a chisel, could a very small jeweler’s file be used to remove just a hair of the plastic on the stem? I would think it would be easier to control how much of the plastic is being taken off compared to a chisel. if it’s just .03mm that needs to be taken off, a pull or two with a good file would do that. It’d be quicker than using a metal keycap by far, and easier/more accurate than pushing a chisel into the plastic. I don’t have any box switches yet, otherwise I’d try myself.


but how do you get a file down to the base of the stem inside the box? At least with the chisel you could make sure you go to the very bottom of the stem.

IDK, i’ve never used a jeweler’s file before


Yesterday I shaved the stems on 100 Jade Switches, and was fairly consistantly at 1.25mm +/- .03. It took under a minute for each, but I cannot stress enough how careful you need to be, I suggest having a firm base to hold the switches. After removing the material I tested each stem with a variety of keycaps (GMK, SA, DSA) to confirm that they were not too thin now, finding only one sent caps flying - it measured 1.18mm.


Thanks for testing, good sir (or madam). I’ll order a file and get to work. 1000 or so switches to shave.

Are you just removing material form the horizontal stem line?


I used the chisel I linked above. Just the horizontal x-axis, you want to look to remove the ‘nubs’ detailed in previous images.


Which one do you think worked better? Metal keycap or the chisel? I want to try out with my Box Navies, Jades, and Hako Trues.


My nantucket set does have prob with box orange. Removed immediately


Chisel was easier by far


Thanks! Shaved 60 Hako Trues last night using a home made chisel. On to 90 Box Jades and 140 Box Navies.


My caliper just came in, now I’m waiting on the Kira switch tester. I’m hesitant to buy a tool I have no further use for after this, so I’ll test the needle files/x-acto set I have already before buying the wee chisel.

While I’m waiting, My readings on the Cherry MX switch tester on my desk shows a range of 1.25-1.27 mm, and a sampling of unused Gateron Blacks show a range of 1.27-1.30 mm


I got a chisel and spent 5 min on 6 switches. 1 feels like it may be still too tight, the rest are now too loose. I think it would be safer to just desolder and replace these things.


Yeah. Some of them became too loose but not enough that the caps pop out.


Have you tried the plastic wrap/Scotch tape fix?