The best lube for linear keyboard switches

Lube those switches for longevity.

linear keyboard switches lube
Image: Linus Tech Tips

Are your mechanical keyboard switches not functioning like they used to? Then they might require a bit of switch lube.

Why use lube on keyboard switches?

As time goes on, keyboard switches might not behave as they once did and can start to produce a squeaky-like or noisy overall sound, which is due to friction build-up over time. Lube helps to mitigate that. Keyboard switch lube functions the same way that most other things that require lube functions: It quietens the component, makes the parts operate smoother and more efficiently, and helps with overall longevity.

It’s important to note that keyboard switches range in design and functionality, and for the most part, there are three main types of keyboard switches: Linear, tactile, and clicky.

Keyboard switch type
Image via Razer

What is a linear keyboard switch?

Linear switches produce a smooth, consistent actuation without any tactile feedback. They’re like standard keyboard switches, in that they don’t have any audible bump or click with each keystroke of the key—opposed to tactile or clicky. Linear switches are enjoyed by gamers or users who prefer smooth typing movements, as the consistent keystrokes allow for more precision.

In comparison, tactile switches have small bumps with each keystroke—producing moderate noise, whereas Clicky switches have small bumps and produce a loud, clicky noise.

What type of lube should I use for linear switches?

Since linear switches are known for their smooth and quiet characteristics, they tend to become noisy and squeaky over time. Because of that, a thicker lube is recommended to retain quietness.

Recommended linear switch lubes

TriboSys 3204

linear keyboard switch lube
Image via omegakeys

TriboSys 3204 acts as a solid middle ground between tactility and smoothness. It strikes a balance between buttery greases like Krytox 205g0, and thinner lubes like TriboSys 3203. It’s worth mentioning that it’s considered a grade 0 lubricant, meaning the applicator can work with the lube as if it is a grease yet yield the performance of oil when spread thin and uniformly. If you have tactile switches as well, then good news, because TriboSys 3204 gets the job done for those switch types too.

Krytox GPL 205 Grade 0

Image via pantheonkeys

Krytox 205g0 is a grease lubricant featuring a thicker grade and, when thinned out, transforms into an ideal consistency for Linear switches—just be sure to use a very light application amount. You can also use Krytox 205g0 for Tactile switches, it’s just not as recommended compared to other alternatives. Additionally, Krytox GPL 205g0 doubles down as lube for stabilizers too.

In short, TriboSys 3204 and Krytox GPL 205g0 are tried and true options for lubing Linear switches. They’re both easily applied with a brush, stable and durable, and both help maintain the quietness and smoothness of Linear switches, thanks to their thicker viscosities.

If you don’t have one already, it’s recommended to use a dedicated keyboard switch brush. Brush’s are a great way to hold lube evenly to help achieve consistent lube application.

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