Kailh Box Switch Stem Measurements and Possible Problems


That’s pretty great customer service. Maybe I’ll contact novelkeys and see what they have to say about replacement


Let us know what you hear :slight_smile:


Posted this in another thread a few weeks ago. Reposting in this thread incase this helps anyone. I have re-tooled my own box switches using a dremel. Results were positive, i’m basically getting rid of all the nubs, reducing the stem to thinner than a standard cherry stem.


Are we still sure that it’s the nubs? Could it be possible that the stems are made from a harder material that is causing the stress?


So I just concluded my week long testing of using Box Jades and Maxkey Lime. Halfway through the week I took the caps off and reinstalled them to simulate standard use.

I took each cap off and examined it, and tried each on a Cherry stem.

I found that all of the caps looked to be damage free, and all fit relatively tightly on the cherry stem. I would be fairly confidant in using Maxkey SA on new box switches worry free. If I get brave I will try a similar test with GMK.


Thank you for your testing. I have really waffled back and forth on box switches since they had their stem issue. I’m more confident that the Tada68 build that is next on my list can rock v2 Jades with Maxkey White on Black SA (assuming that set has a 1.75u shift, havent cecked).


Novelias x SA Lime keyboard chores in the future? :thinking:
I have to measure more switches and keycaps soon :eyes:


That’s actually an interesting result considering that early on when Lime R1 came out people were having cracking issues with some of the stems. I wonder how many of those issues were actually on box switches but people were more inclined to blame it on the caps first :thinking:


Just thinking out loud here. Have we seen any problems with Non-box Kailh switches (including Halos)? Considering the stems are also 1.30mm and (presumably) made of the same plastic as BOX stems, wondering if there could be an issue there.

And if not, then what’s the difference between them and the BOX stems?


The nubs on the BOX stems are bigger than on the non-BOX ones. Maybe this is the problem?


Are the BOX Switches 1.30 ± .02mm plus the width of the nubs? Or are they 1.30 ± .02mm including the nubs? I was under the impression it was the latter, but the former would certainly explain the cracking/stretching more easily. I also thought the great people here measuring were putting their calipers over the nubs? Therefore the nubs are included in total width

Thanks for any clarification. Mainly just thinking out loud and trying to decide if I should put a GMK set on Kailh normals/Halos


I have not measured myself, but thought that others were measuring at the nubs. Actually, I do not know if the nubs add more thickness on the BOX switches, but they are certainly wider on the BOX switches than on the other switches.

Also, I have not checked my GMK set on Halos for damage, but did not notice a looser fit after taking them off and placing them on the switches again.


I bit the bullet and mounted a full GMK set to my new box reds. It wasn’t that big of a deal since it is my Aero set that everyone seems to hate :slight_smile:

Anywho, I too will be reporting back in a week or two. Very good start though. No cracking at all at first mount. Time will tell. This is in stark contrast to the old box stems because I could easily hear the keycaps crack when I put them on the first time.


I have a Contra with pre-retooled box white switches and grab bag DSA caps on it. I haven’t removed the caps a lot, but have not noticed any cracking/stress so far.

I am also putting together a board for someone with retooled box navy and Royal navy DSA caps. So far, there doesn’t seem to be a problem and I’ve had to remove caps a few times.

I don’t know if there was evidence of cracking as much with DSA caps, but I just wanted to add my experience with both pre-retool and retooled switches.



Patiently waiting for your experience.


Me too! Would love to know whether I can safely pop some Box Royal Clears on my M60-A whenever it shows up.


It’s been about 5 or so days since I put my Maxkeys SA lime on my Novelias. Will check tonight to see if there is any damage although I assume they will be fine since my SA lime has historically been on the loose side.


It’s been 10 days since I put a set of GMK caps on my re-tooled box reds. No signs of stress or cracks on any caps. I’ve used it daily. I’ve removed and remounted them several times.

There are so many factors to account for, so no blanket statements.

I can say for sure that this batch of box reds (from Novelkeys) does not put stress on GMK Aero keycaps. Also, The keycaps don’t feel significantly looser when i put them on Gateron blacks like my other caps that were previously damaged did.

I would assume that retooled box reds (from Novelkeys) are safe to use on GMK caps. But you know what happens when you assume :slight_smile:


I should be even safer with PBT caps, shouldn’t it.


That sounds promising. Still not sure I want to risk my Laser set.