Novelkeys stabilizers are the worst I have ever used

So I finally decided to give some of the NK stabs I got a try today. I put them in another build for my Meridian so only 2us, but I shaved the NK off the best I could with a razor blade & sanded the area lightly with 1500 grit sandpaper after that. So far so good with them. I tested them before I soldered everything in & couldn’t get them to catch at all even pressing the cap at aggressive angles. Definitely not an ideal thing to need to do to your stabilizers & that will keep me from buying more till they remove the NK stamping from the slider. Although I wanted to report in that they are very useable with a little extra work if you already have some.

1 Like

Yeah I’ve owned two pair and had the same issue… even tried to shave it down, which helped a bit but not worth the money imo

This is :exploding_head:

Finally had a chance to look at the build I mentioned earlier, that used these stabs with no apparent issues. NK Black switches, 21kb PBT caps.

I can manually replicate the problem, with an extreme stem angle. The left stem in the photo below is the one showing the angle at which I can begin to feel the stem catching on the housing. The switch in this build (NK Black) doesn’t have much wobble, and definitely not to that degree.

Lining up the switch and left stab stem in resting position, the stab stem has visible clearance with the bottom inside edge of the housing:

So at least in this case, with these caps and switches, there just isn’t enough play for the logo to ever come into contact with the housing. But it’s also clear that it wasn’t because my stabs were different in some way - I just got lucky.


Based on my tests, factors that seem to matter are:

  • stab wire position (above or below)
  • key row
  • key size
  • keycap profile

2U Return key (R3) key with stab wire below being the worst.

UPDATE: Left out keycap profile which affects the angle of the keypress like key row.

1 Like

Mine never caught and are just like every other stabs. Simple fine mini file took it off the letters after 3 rubs. Another option is to just use inserts from Cherry stabs.

Yeah, this is exactly my problem!! I was trying to find someone else to verify, but looks like you beat me to the punch! I think i hit my spacebar edge with my thumb, so maybe it’s exaggerated for me, but man is it a brutal click. They are already average or below stabs, and this makes them feel like like the worst stabs ever. I did file off the “NK_” then sand it down with some super fine grit, and that fixed the “catching” problem, even if it didn’t make them good, it at least kept them from being the worst stabilizers ever. Seems like someone at NK should have caught this.


Removing “NK_” label using Dremel

At Dremel set to around 12000 RPM, first few took ~10 seconds then, with practice, the rest took only a few seconds each.


  1. Any buffing or polishing wheel made out of cotton should work.
  2. Keep the Dremel stationary, moving the stab stem instead.
  3. Experiment to find out how much pressure to apply.
  4. Check the “_” part which seems to linger the longest.
  5. Afterward, remove excess plastic with whatever you got handy: hand, hanky, etc. I used micro-mesh (grit 8000).

Today I was dealing with these suckers. I don’t know if I want to even try to bother fixing the NK_ label. The secondary issue I’m having is that, for some reason, these stabilizers seem so finicky when using dielectric grease. Even the smallest amount in the wire hole will find a way of working out on under the stem. Luckily it was a hotswap board, so not that big of an issue, but I had to completely remove the stabilizers and clean them off with isopropyl. They were sticking to the PCB from the leaked grease. I’ve lubed several dozen stabilizers this way and I’ve never had a problem like this. Might just trash them. I’m currently using them lube free, just rattling like crappy cheap stabilizers.


I went w/205g0 on the wire side, nothing on the stab stem, and no spill so far.


I’m gonna be assembling an NK87EE for my sister as a present for her first job after finishing school and already got some Owlstabs to swap out the NK stabs asap. Never used the Owlstabs before but assuming they have to be better than the NK stabs.


I did almost the same as @donpark, but lubed everything on the set I have in use with 205g0 & haven’t had the sticking issue. Although thanks for relaying the info about dielectric grease. I’ll be sure to avoid using it with any of the remaining NK stabs I got, if I do ever bother to use them. Even though I managed to get the ones I have in use well tuned hearing a secondary issue on top of the logo issue turns me off from them even more. Hopefully Mike will see the issues & make some changes for a V2. I do think these could be good stabs without the protruding logo on the stems & whatever plastic they’re made from that allows dielectric to run right off it.


Just gonna necro this thread real quick; does anyone know if these have been fixed?


I can tell you the ones that shipped with my NK87EE not long ago aren’t any different.

1 Like

I’m finding that even 205g0 seem to drain-off after a couple of months. And they don’t play well with North-facing washers I often use to address stab/keycap height issues. I’m going to have to rebuild boards I used them now. Sheesh.