How Long Does Lube Last on a Mechanical Keyboard? A Complete Guide

Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts know that their keyboards require proper maintenance to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. One way to maintain a mechanical keyboard is by lubricating the switches with high-quality lube. But just how long does lube last mechanical keyboard before it needs to be reapplied? Let’s explore this question in today’s article.

Lubrication is vital for mechanical keyboards as it reduces the friction between the switches, resulting in smoother keystrokes. However, not all lubes are created equal, and their longevity varies depending on several factors. Some lubes could last for years, while others may need to be reapplied every few months. So, it’s essential to choose the right type of lube for your keyboard and know when it needs to be re-lubed.

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of mechanical keyboards’ lubes, their lifespan, and how to tell when it’s time to reapply. Whether you are a seasoned mechanical keyboard user or just getting started, understanding lube maintenance is crucial to get the most out of your keyboard. So, let’s get started and learn how to keep our mechanical keyboards running smoothly for years to come.

Types of lubricants used for mechanical keyboards

A great mechanical keyboard deserves to be well-maintained to keep its optimal performance, and one of the best ways to do that is by lubricating its switches. There are several types of lubricants available in the market, and each has its unique features. In this article, we will explore the different types of lubricants used for mechanical keyboards to help you decide which one to use for your keyboard.

  • Synthetic Grease: This type of lubricant is widely used for its long-lasting effect and excellent performance in reducing friction. It is made of silicone oil and a thickening agent known as a soap, making it ideal for use in mechanical keyboards. Also, synthetic grease is non-conductive, which means it won’t damage any electric components of your keyboard.
  • Paste Lubricant: This type is slightly thicker than grease, making it perfect for situations where you don’t want to apply too much lubrication. It is made of silicone oil and uses solvents to suspend the silicone particles, which can be corrosive to some plastics. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the paste lubricant you intend to use is compatible with your keyboard’s materials.
  • Dry Lubricant: This type is a powder composed of solid lubricants such as graphite, molybdenum disulfide, and PTFE. It is ideal in situations where moisture could cause issues or where you desire to apply lubricant in hard-to-reach areas. Dry lubricant is also not messy and runs less risk of causing damage to your keyboard components.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lubricant

Choosing the right type of lubricant for your mechanical keyboard involves considering several factors, including the type of switches, the keyboard’s materials, how often you use your keyboard, and your climatic conditions. If you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures or high humidity levels, it would be more appropriate to go for a thicker lubricant.

How Long Does Lube Last on a Mechanical Keyboard?

The longevity of lubricant applied to a mechanical keyboard varies depending on several factors. These include the type of lubricant used, the frequency of use of the keyboard, and the environmental conditions. Generally, lubricants should last at least six months, but some dense lubricants can last up to a year or more under normal conditions.

Type of Lubricant Longevity
Synthetic Grease 6 months to 1 year
Paste Lubricant 6 months to 1 year
Dry Lubricant 6 to 9 months

If, over time, you start to notice that your keyboard is becoming noisy again, it may be time to reapply the lubricant. Also, ensure that you don’t overapply the lubricant, as it can cause the switches to become mushy, making them hard to press.

Ultimately, regular maintenance of your mechanical keyboard, including cleaning and lubrication, goes a long way in keeping it in great shape. Knowing the different types of lubricants and their longevity will help you make an informed decision when choosing which one to use for your keyboard.

Factors that affect the longevity of keyboard lubrication

Keyboard lubrication is essential for smooth typing and prolonging the lifespan of mechanical keys. However, the longevity of the lube depends on various factors such as:

  • Type of lubricant: The type of lube used has a significant impact on its lifespan. Some lubricants have a shorter lifespan than others, and it is crucial to choose a high-quality lubricant that is durable and long-lasting.
  • Frequency of use: The amount of time you spend typing on your keyboard affects how often you should apply lube. If you are an avid typist, you may need to apply it more frequently than someone who only uses their keyboard occasionally.
  • Climate: The climate you live in can also affect the lifespan of your keyboard lubrication. If you live in a hot and humid environment, your lube may not last as long as someone living in a cooler climate.

It is important to note that the lifespan of your keyboard lubrication is subjective and can vary depending on the factors listed above. However, in general, most keyboard lubes can last anywhere from six months to two years.

When it comes to applying lube to a mechanical keyboard, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a small amount of lube. Over-lubricating your keyboard can cause more harm than good and may result in a buildup of dirt and debris.

Additionally, it is essential to clean your keyboard regularly to ensure the longevity of your lubrication. Dirt and debris can cause friction between the keys, leading to a shorter lifespan of the lube.

Type of Lubricant Lifespan
Silicone-based lubricants 12-18 months
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-based lubricants 18-24 months
Perfluoropolyether (PFPE)-based lubricants 24-36 months

In conclusion, the lifespan of your keyboard lubrication depends on various factors such as the type of lubricant, frequency of use, and climate. Choosing a high-quality lube, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and regular cleaning of your keyboard can help prolong the life of your lubrication and ensure smooth typing for years to come.

Methods of lubrication for mechanical keyboards

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, proper lubrication is vital in ensuring a smooth and responsive typing experience. There are various methods of lubrication available for mechanical keyboards, each with its own pros and cons. In this article, we will explore the different methods of lubrication for mechanical keyboards and help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.

  • Brush-on Lubricants: These lubricants come in small bottles with a brush attached to the lid. They are designed to be applied directly to the keyboard switches, providing a thin layer of lubrication that can last for several months. Brush-on lubricants are easy to apply and are ideal for those who want a quick and simple solution.
  • Spray Lubricants: Spray lubricants are perfect for those who want an even coating of lubrication over their switches. They come in a can and can be applied directly to the keyboard switches. The disadvantage of spray lubricants is that they can be messy and difficult to apply evenly.
  • Thin Lubricants: Thin lubricants such as Krytox GPL 205 and Tribosys 3204 are popular choices for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. These lubricants are applied using a small brush and provide a thin layer of lubrication that lasts for several months. Thin lubricants are perfect for those who want a long-lasting solution and don’t mind spending some time applying the lubricant to their switches.

Among these three methods, thin lubricants are highly favored by mechanical keyboard enthusiasts as they provide the smoothest and most responsive typing experience. These lubricants are also highly versatile and can be used on various types of switches, making them a popular choice for those who own multiple mechanical keyboards.

It is important to note that the lifespan of the lubricant depends on various factors such as usage patterns, environment, and type of lubricant used. Generally, a well-lubricated keyboard can last up to six months before requiring reapplication of the lubricant.

Types of lubricants for mechanical keyboards

When choosing a lubricant for your mechanical keyboard, it is important to select one that is compatible with your switch type and provides the desired level of smoothness. Here are some of the most popular types of lubricants for mechanical keyboards:

Lubricant Switch type Pros Cons
Krytox All switch types Smooth, long-lasting lubrication Expensive
Tribosys All switch types Smooth lubrication, affordable Less long-lasting compared to other lubricants
Super Lube All switch types Affordable Not as smooth as other lubricants
DuPont Teflon Linear switches Provides a unique sound and feel Not as well-suited for tactile switches
Christo-Lube Linear switches Provides a unique sound and feel, long-lasting lubrication Expensive

When choosing a lubricant, it is important to keep in mind that not all lubricants are created equal. It is advisable to do some research and read reviews before purchasing a lubricant to ensure that it is compatible with your switch type and provides the desired level of smoothness.

Signs that indicate that it’s time to lubricate your mechanical keyboard

As a mechanical keyboard owner, it’s essential to keep your device in top condition as much as possible. One crucial step towards ensuring that your keyboard is functioning optimally is lubrication. Mechanical keyboards require regular lubrication to reduce friction between switches and prevent wear and tear. Hence, you must know when it’s time to lubricate your keyboard. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to lubricate your mechanical keyboard:

  • Your keyboard emits a scratching sound when you type. If you notice that your keyboard produces a scratching sound when you type, it’s a clear indication that it needs to be lubricated. This sound is due to friction between the switch components, which can wear off if left unchecked.
  • Your keyboard keys feel rough when pressed. When you type, and your keys feel rough against your fingers, it’s another sign that you need to lubricate your keyboard. This roughness is an indication of friction between your keys’ components, which can wear off with time.
  • Your keyboard keys fail to spring back into place. Typically, when you press your keys, they should spring back into place quickly. However, with constant use, the switches’ components can wear out, causing the keys to become sluggish and fail to bounce back into their original position. When this happens, it’s time to lubricate your keyboard.

Aside from these signs, it’s also essential to lubricate your keyboard regularly to ensure that it functions optimally. Frequent lubrication can prolong your keyboard’s lifespan and prevent the need for costly repairs.

How to lubricate your mechanical keyboard

If you notice any signs of wear and tear on your mechanical keyboard, the best course of action is to lubricate it. Here are some tips on how to lubricate your mechanical keyboard:

  • Clean your keyboard: Before you lubricate your keyboard, ensure that it’s clean. Use a soft-bristle brush to remove debris and dust from the switches and keyboard plate. Using canned compressed air can also be helpful to remove debris and dust from hard-to-reach areas.
  • Disassemble your keyboard: Depending on your keyboard’s model, you may need to disassemble it before lubrication. In most cases, this involves removing the keycaps and exposing the switches’ internals. Once you’ve gained access to the switches, use a soft cloth to remove any visible dirt and debris.
  • Apply lubricant: Once you’ve cleaned the components, it’s time to apply the lubricant. There are different types of lubricants available, including silicone and Teflon-based. Apply a small amount of lubricant on the switch stem and springs to reduce friction between the components.

Type of lubricant to use for your mechanical keyboard

When it comes to lubricating your mechanical keyboard, using the right type of lubricant is essential. Here are some types of lubricants that you can use:

Type of Lubricant Description
Silicone-based Silicone lubricants are ideal for mechanical keyboards as they are non-conductive and don’t attract dirt and debris. They are easy to apply and have a long-lasting effect, reducing the need for frequent reapplication.
Teflon-based Teflon-based lubricants are ideal for reducing friction on switches. They are highly effective in preventing wear and tear, thanks to their non-stick properties.
Petroleum-based Petroleum-based lubricants can be used, but they are less recommended compared to silicone-based and Teflon-based lubricants. They have a risk of turning sticky over time and could attract dirt and debris, making the switches prone to failure.

Using the right type of lubricant ensures that your keyboard functions optimally and prolongs its lifespan.

In conclusion, to keep your mechanical keyboard functioning optimally, you must lubricate it regularly. Recognizing the signs that indicate that your keyboard needs lubrication can help you take appropriate measures to ensure that your device is in top condition. Lubrication also ensures that your keyboard serves you better and reduces the need for costly repairs.

Importance of Proper Maintenance for a Mechanical Keyboard’s Longevity

Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and longevity, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to wear and tear. Proper maintenance is essential for ensuring that your mechanical keyboard continues to function optimally for years to come. In this article, we will explore the importance of proper maintenance and provide some tips for keeping your keyboard in top condition.

1. Regular Cleaning

  • Dust and debris can easily accumulate under the keycaps and affect the performance of your keyboard.
  • Regular cleaning with compressed air or a keyboard cleaning gel can help keep your keyboard clean and free of debris.
  • It is important to clean your keyboard on a regular basis, ideally every few months, depending on usage.

2. Keep Your Keyboard Dry

Spilling liquids on your keyboard can cause serious damage. Although many keyboards have spill-resistant features, it is still important to keep your keyboard dry. If you do spill liquid on your keyboard, make sure to disconnect it immediately, clean it thoroughly, and let it dry completely before reconnecting it.

3. Avoid Excessive Force

Mechanical keyboards are built to withstand heavy use, but excessive force can still cause damage. Avoid pounding on your keyboard or using excessive force when typing. This can lead to broken switches or other components that may require replacement.

4. Store Your Keyboard Properly

When not in use, it is important to store your mechanical keyboard properly. Keep it in a cool, dry place to avoid exposure to humidity, which can cause damage to the key switches and other components. Additionally, it is recommended to keep your keyboard covered to avoid dust and other debris from accumulating on the surface.

5. Lubrication

One of the most important aspects of keyboard maintenance is lubrication. Switches that are not properly lubricated can lead to increased friction and wear over time, eventually leading to the failure of the switch. It is recommended to lubricate your mechanical keyboard switches every 6 months to maintain their longevity. The type of lubricant used will depend on personal preference, but many enthusiasts prefer to use a thin layer of silicone grease.

Steps to Lubricate Your Keyboard
1. Disassemble Keyboard
2. Remove Switches
3. Clean Switches
4. Apply Lubricant
5. Reassemble Keyboard

In conclusion, proper maintenance is essential for ensuring that your mechanical keyboard functions optimally for years to come. Incorporating regular cleaning, keeping your keyboard dry, avoiding excessive force, storing your keyboard properly, and lubricating your switches are all key aspects of keyboard maintenance that can help extend the longevity of your beloved keyboard.

How often should you lubricate your mechanical keyboard?

If you’re wondering how often you should lubricate your mechanical keyboard, the answer is that it depends on a few factors. Generally speaking, you should lubricate your switches whenever they start to feel scratchy or wobbly. However, different types of switches and lubes may require different maintenance schedules. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Switch type: Switch type can affect how often you need to lubricate your keyboard. Some switches, such as Cherry MX blacks, are known for being scratchy out of the box. Others, like Gateron yellows, are smoother and may not need to be lubed as often.
  • Lube type: Some lubes, like thick Krytox mixes, can last for years without needing to be reapplied. Others, like thin Tribosys blends, may require more frequent maintenance.
  • Usage: The more you use your keyboard, the more quickly it will wear out and require maintenance. If you’re a heavy typist or gamer, you may need to lubricate your switches more often than someone who uses their keyboard sparingly.

Ultimately, the best way to determine when to lubricate your mechanical keyboard is to pay attention to how it feels. If your switches start to feel rough or inconsistent, it’s time to consider lubing them. You may also want to consider investing in lube films, which can help extend the lifespan of your lubed switches.

Here is a general guideline for how often you should lubricate different types of switches:

Switch Type Lube Type Maintenance Schedule
Cherry MX Blacks Krytox thick blends Every 2-3 years
Gateron Yellows Tribosys thin blends Every 1-2 years
Zealios Krytox thick blends Every 2-3 years

Again, these are just general guidelines and your individual keyboard may require more or less maintenance depending on several factors. However, with proper maintenance, your lubed mechanical keyboard can provide a smooth and satisfying typing experience for years to come.

Comparison of different lubricants for mechanical keyboards

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, lubrication is an important aspect that can impact the typing experience. Here, we will explore and compare different types of lubricants.

  • Silicone grease: This is a popular lubricant used by many mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. It offers a smooth and consistent feel to the switches, and lasts for months before needing reapplication.
  • Krytox: Krytox is a high-performance lubricant that is commonly used in aerospace and automotive industries. Due to its high cost, it is usually used in niche applications in mechanical keyboards. It offers a more consistent feel than silicone grease and lasts longer.
  • Dielectric grease: This lubricant is commonly used in electrical applications due to its insulating properties. It can be used in mechanical keyboards, but requires more frequent reapplication compared to silicone grease or Krytox.

When selecting a lubricant, it is important to consider the type of switch being used, personal preference, and the environment in which the keyboard is being used. Additionally, some lubricants can cause degradation of certain types of plastic, so it is important to research and select the appropriate lubricant for your specific keyboard.

Below is a comparison table of the different types of lubricants:

Type of Lubricant Longevity Consistency Applicator Type Cost
Silicone grease Months Smooth, consistent Syringe, brush, dropper Inexpensive
Krytox Years Highly consistent Syringe, dropper Expensive
Dielectric grease Weeks Smooth, but degrades over time Tub, brush Inexpensive

Ultimately, the choice of lubricant comes down to personal preference and specific keyboard requirements. By considering the type of switch being used, the environment in which the keyboard is being used, and the longevity and consistency desired, mechanical keyboard enthusiasts can select the right lubricant for their needs and enhance their typing experience.

Best Lubrication Practices for Different Mechanical Keyboard Switch Types

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, lubrication is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable typing experience. However, not all switches are created equal, and different lubrication practices may be necessary depending on the type of switch. Here are some best practices to keep in mind for each switch type.

Linear Switches

  • Use a thin lubricant, such as Krytox 205 or Tribosys 3204
  • Apply the lubricant only to the stem, not the housing or spring
  • Avoid over-lubricating, as it can lead to a sluggish typing experience

Tactile Switches

  • Use a slightly thicker lubricant, such as Krytox 105 or Tribosys 3203
  • Apply the lubricant to both the stem and the contact leaf
  • Again, be careful not to over-lubricate, as it can affect the tactile feedback

Clicky Switches

Clicky switches typically have a built-in click mechanism that provides audible and tactile feedback, so lubrication is not usually necessary. However, if you do choose to lubricate these switches, use a very light lubricant, such as Krytox 103 or Christo-Lube MCG 111.

Custom Switches

If you have a custom switch with unique characteristics, such as novel stem shapes or materials, it’s essential to research the specific lubrication requirements for that switch. Here’s an example of how you place the keycaps when you clean your keyboard and lubricate them.

Step Keycap
1 Remove all keycaps
2 Clean keycaps and switches with isopropyl alcohol
3 Apply lubricant to switches as needed
4 Replace keycaps in correct positions

No matter what type of switch you have, remember to take your time, work carefully, and experiment to find the optimal lubrication levels for your preferences.

The Impact of Lubricants on Keyboard Sound and Feel

Lubricants play a crucial role in enhancing the performance and longevity of mechanical keyboards. Properly lubricated keys can provide a smooth and consistent typing experience, reduce noise levels, and prevent wear and tear on the switches. Here are some of the key factors that impact the sound and feel of a mechanical keyboard when using lubricants:

  • Viscosity: The thickness and viscosity of the lubricant will affect the overall sound and feel of the keyboard. A thicker lubricant will create a smoother feel and lower noise levels, but can also reduce the tactile feedback of the switches
  • Type of lubricant: Different types of lubricants can impact the sound and feel of mechanical keyboards in various ways. Popular options for keyboard lubrication include silicone, Teflon, and Krytox
  • Application method: The way in which the lubricant is applied can also make a difference in the sound and feel of the keyboard. A proper application will ensure that the lubricant gets into the switch housing without over-lubricating or leaving too much excess

While lubricants can have a positive impact on the sound and feel of a mechanical keyboard, it’s important to note that over-lubrication can be detrimental to performance. Too much lubricant can result in an inconsistent feel, reduced tactile feedback, and may cause switches to stick or become sluggish. Additionally, the effects of lubrication can wear off over time, so it’s important to reapply lubricant as necessary to maintain peak keyboard performance.

Here’s a table summarizing some of the common types of lubricants and their properties:

Lubricant Type Viscosity Key Properties
Silicone Low Durable, Water-resistant
Teflon Medium Low-friction, Easy to apply
Krytox High Durable, High-performance, Temperature-resistant

Ultimately, the choice of lubricant will depend on personal preference and the specific properties and needs of your keyboard. Proper lubrication and maintenance can ensure that your mechanical keyboard continues to perform at its best, delivering a satisfying typing experience with minimal noise and wear.

Tips for Applying Lubricant to a Mechanical Keyboard Without Damaging It

Proper lubrication is essential for maintaining a high-quality mechanical keyboard. Without sufficient lubrication, the switches can become sticky or scratchy, and the overall feel of the keyboard can deteriorate over time. However, applying lubricant improperly can cause serious damage to the keyboard, so it’s important to follow some basic tips to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

  • Use the Right Kind of Lubricant: Not all lubricants are created equal, and using the wrong kind could actually cause more harm than good. The best type of lubricant for a mechanical keyboard is a thin, synthetic oil that won’t gum up the switches. Popular options include Krytox and Tribosys. Avoid using WD-40 or other spray lubricants, as these can damage the plastic and metal components of the keyboard.
  • Apply the Lubricant Sparingly: When it comes to lubrication, less is usually more. Over-applying can cause the switches to feel mushy or unresponsive, and can even attract dust and debris. Apply a small amount of lubricant to each switch stem, using a small brush or applicator. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than a drop of oil per switch.
  • Be Careful with the Stabilizers: The stabilizers on a mechanical keyboard can be delicate, so it’s important to exercise caution when lubricating them. Use a thin brush to apply lubricant to the inside of the stabilizer housing, being careful not to get any on the stabilizer wire or mechanism. You can also try adding a small amount of lubricant to the stabilizer bar itself, but be sure not to overdo it.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to have a clean and organized workspace when lubricating your keyboard. Lay down a clean cloth or mat to protect your desk, and use a pair of tweezers or a suction cup to remove the keycaps. Take your time and work methodically, taking breaks if necessary to avoid hand fatigue. Done correctly, lubrication can greatly enhance the feel and performance of your mechanical keyboard, and make typing a more enjoyable experience.

If you’re unsure about performing the lubrication yourself, or if you don’t have the necessary tools, consider taking your keyboard to a professional for servicing. A qualified technician can perform a thorough cleaning and lubrication, as well as diagnose any underlying issues that may be affecting your typing experience.

Do: Don’t:
Use a small brush or applicator to apply lubricant sparingly Over-apply lubricant, which can cause switches to feel mushy or unresponsive
Choose a thin, synthetic oil that won’t gum up switches (e.g. Krytox or Tribosys) Use WD-40 or other spray lubricants, which can damage the keyboard components
Be careful when lubricating stabilizers, avoiding the wire or mechanism Apply too much lubricant to the stabilizer bar or housing

By following these guidelines, you can keep your mechanical keyboard feeling and performing like new for years to come.

FAQs – How long does lube last on a mechanical keyboard?

Q1. What is meant by lubing a mechanical keyboard?

Lubing a mechanical keyboard simply means adding lubricant to its switches in order to reduce friction and make them smoother.

Q2. What is the lifespan of a well-lubed mechanical keyboard?

A properly lubed mechanical keyboard can last for up to 5 years or more.

Q3. How often should I lube my mechanical keyboard switches?

It is recommended that you lube your mechanical keyboard switches at least once a year to ensure their smooth operation.

Q4. Can I relube my mechanical keyboard switches?

Yes, you can relube your mechanical keyboard switches after the previous lube has worn off.

Q5. What is the best lube to use on a mechanical keyboard?

There are different types of lubes that can be used for mechanical keyboards including silicone grease, Krytox lube and Tribosys 3204, which are known to be some of the best.

Q6. Can I apply lube to my keyboard’s stabilizers?

Yes, you can apply lube to your keyboard’s stabilizers to make them smoother.

Q7. How do I know when to relube my mechanical keyboard?

You will know it’s time to relube your mechanical keyboard when the switches become scratchy, feel rough or squeaky.

Closing Thoughts

We hope that these FAQs have helped answer some of your questions about how long lube lasts on a mechanical keyboard. Remember to follow the recommended interval of once a year and use only high-quality lubes; your keyboard will thank you for it. Thank you for reading, and please visit again soon for more information and resources on mechanical keyboards.