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Things that click, can be smashed on and other stuff

Should you lube your mechanical keyboard switches? And how to

Intro

Dive into the world of mechanical keyboards and soon you will read about people lubing switches.
People will talk about things like smoothness, spring-ping, switch openers. You might start to feel overwhelmed or unsure. You may ask yourself: “Can’t I just use my mechanical keyboard the way it is, what lube do I need, what tools do I need?’
In this article I will try to explain a bit about lubing along with some advice about what to look for.

If you are going to lube your switches it is important to choose the right lube.

The purpose of lubing switches.

The main purpose of lubing switches is to make keypresses feel more smooth and consistent. When lubed up the stem will slide in and out the housing a lot easier. The Crunchy sounds from bottoming out can also be reduced significantly.

You can always buy pre-lubed switches. However, lubing switches is also an important part for enthousiasts to make their keyboard feel unique

What do you need for lubing your switches?

Types of lubricant

If you are going to lube your switches it is important to choose the right lube. If your switch is of the tactile kind you will want a thinner lube. On the other hand when lubing a linear switch you should go for a bit thicker substance. For best results lubing the springs should be done with an oil-like substance.

Tactile switches

My go to lubricant for tactile switches is Trybosis 3203. It gets the switch smoother without reducing the tactile feeling. That is, if you lube it right, more on that later.
Thanks to its low viscosity it is quite easy to apply with a brush.

Linear switches

For linear switches the most used lube is Krytox GPL205 grade 0. This lube has more viscosity and is more buttery-like. An alternative to this could be Trybosis 3204. Linear switches are a bit easier to lube in that you don’t have to worry about not getting the stuff on the stem legs.

Clicky switches

Personally I’d leave these alone. But if you want to lube these do the same as with the tactiles.

Springs

For the springs I recommend Krytox 105. Since The springs need to be as flexible as possible a thin oil is preferred here over a thicker lube.

What you need

Lubricant

First off you will need your choice of lubricant. For tactile switches Trybosis 3203. For linear Krytox GPL205 or Krytox 3204 and Krytox 105 for springs.

Jar of Trybosis for tactile switches
Trybosis 3203

Brushes

I recommend at least two small brushes. Grade 0 or 00 for example.

Switch opener for mechanical keyboard switches

A switch opener lets you open up the switches easy, fast and safe. There are several options here for example one from Homepage Homepage” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored”>Ali-express or Epomaker.

Square shaped switch opener for most switches.
Switch opener

Switch puller

For taking out your switches you will need a switch puller. I recommend something like this. Its a lot less prone to making scratches then some other alternatives and gets your switches out easy. An alternative is this 2-in-1 from Epomaker.

Switch puller from Ali-express

Jewelry crown

This is a handy tool to pick up your stem without getting the grease all over your fingers.

Use a jewelry crown to hold the switch without getting grease all over your hands.
Jewelry crown

Tip: here you can find a complete package!

Shout out to Alex from Phoberos, Real cool guy who sells genuine lube on Etsy. He delivered fantastic service when my lube got lost in transit.

Optional

A Lubing station is an optional accessory which can come in handy while lubing a lot of switches at a time and you want to put the parts away safely.

Lubing the switches

Opening up your mechanical keyboard switches

Open up the switches by putting the switch in the opener and gently press down until the top housing gets off. After gently removing the top take out the stem and spring.

Akko CS jelly purple on a switch opener
Opening a switch by pressing it down gently

Housing

When lubing the housing a tend to do this only with the bottom of the housing. First paint on of the sides, then the other and then gently go around the outside of the center hole. All this with a very thin layer, you should not see any white residue.

Image of lubing the bottom
The highlighted part which should be lubed: both sides and around the outside of the center hole

Stem

Spring

The springs can be lubed with a brush but to avoid this tedious task many people tend to “bag-lube” the springs. Simply put about a pea-size of Krytox 105 in the bag and “paint” the inside of the bag. After this put the springs in, ad a bit of air by blowing in it and shake that thing!

Bag lubing is a time-saving alternative to lubing every spring by hand.
Bag-lubing can safe a lot of time

Done

And that’s it! you can put your switches bag together and enjoy the smoothness!

My lube station with the Akko CS Jelly Purples
Disclaimer

Opinions are my own. This article may contain referral links. By using these links you support this website and allow us to get products in for review and testing.

Akko Jelly Purple switches review: great tactiles on a budget?

Akko Jelly Purple Switch

From brown and yellow to Jelly Purple

In the past I have used Cherry brown and Gateron brown switches. Personally I found the Gateron switches better to type on and a bit smoother overall. After a while I wanted to change things up and I tried Gateron yellow switches which I used for quite a while. When I recently bought my Akko 3098B (review here) I had a couple of options to choose from. After having a hard time deciding what switch I wanted, I eventually went with the CS Silver switches. Unfortunately I discovered myself making a lot more mistakes while typing. This is mainly because the silvers are very light to press and a lot faster then what I was used to. Great for gamers, but not so for me. After Akko offered me to test some of their other switches and share my findings I decided to try out the Akko CS Jelly Purple switches.

Unboxing the Akko Jelly Purple switches

The packaging itself has tape with the purple Akko logo on it. Inside I found two boxes each contains 45 switches. The little boxes come with a wrapper covered with a plastic bag. There is no mistaking the switches that are inside with a nice looking picture of the switches and matching color. When opening the box the switches are found in an easy to open plastic container. Personally I appreciate this as it reduces the chances of getting bended pins. Other switches I ordered in the past on sites like Ali-express came in a jar or plastic bag and usually some switches had bend pins. Because of the excellent packaging absolutely zero of the Akko Jelly Purple switches had this issue.

Another Purple switch?

The Jelly Purple switches are part of the CS line of switches. The CS line are switches created after feedback from customers. Mostly these are upgraded versions of existing Akko switches. The Akko Jelly Purple is an improved version of the Lavender Purple switch. The biggest difference is the operation force which went from 36gf to 40gf. The tactile force as also increased from 50gf to 56gf.

NameAkko CS Lavender PurpleAkko CS Jelly Purple
Type:TactileTactile
Operation force36gf +/- 5gf40gf +/- 5gf
Total travel4.0 +/- 0.5 mm4.0 +/- 0.5 mm
Pre-travel1.9 +/- 0.3 mm2.0 +/- 0.3 mm
Tactile position0.5 +/- 03 mm0.5 +/- 03 mm
Tactile force50gf +/- 5gf56gf +/- 5gf
Differences between the two purple switches

Both switches are of the tactile kind which offer a subtle “bump” while pressing the switch. Personally I really like feeling feedback while typing as it helps me make less mistakes. Other differences between the two purple switches are the fully transparent housing and the dustcover. Apart from keeping dust and your nasty eating habits away from the switch it also helps against wobbling.

Using the Jelly Purple switches

After testing the switches for about two weeks I can say I absolutely love these. They are great for typing but I don’t mind gaming with them either. I am no pro gamer but for my casual sessions I have no complaints. Comparing the jelly purple switch to my Gateron brown these feel smoother and have less ping. I did lube the switches which I usually recommend but the effect was not as big as with the Gateron switches.

Compatibility and RGB

Akko uses 3-pin switches which makes them usable for almost any hot-swap board. The CS switches do not cause interference with Cherry profile keycaps which is great. For those of you who can’t get enough of that rainbow puke there is some good news! Because the bottom of the switch is transparant colors really pop. If you want to go all Akko also sells clear keycaps! The Silver switches have the same transparant top housing but a solid bottom. I have added some pictures which show the difference side by side.

Lubing the Jelly Purple

Many enthusiasts recommend lubing switches. Not only does this make switches feel smoother it can also reduce unwanted ping. For lubing tactile switches I can recommend using Trybosis 3203. If you want to retain the tactile feeling of the switch you should avoid lubing the legs. You can find many tutorials online to help you out. When examining up close I noticed the switches having a bit of oil on them. After contacting Akko this was confirmed. They told me all switches have some factory lube on them but the pre-lubed versions get an extra more precise lubing treatment by hand.

Lubing the Akko Jelly Purple switches with Trybosis
Lubing is an optional step

Conclusion

I am very pleased with the overall feeling of the jelly purple switches from Akko. In fact I liked them so much that they are my daily driver for the moment and I ordered some extra ones myself. I find myself making less mistakes while typing compared to the CS Silver switches. This is of course very personal but if you like tactile switches I don’t think you can go wrong with the Jelly Purple switch. Want to order the switches right away and support our site, click here.

This review was originally posted in Dutch on Tweakers.net

Disclamer

This product was send to me by the Akko. Opinions are my own. This review may contain referral links. By using these links you support this website and allow us to get products in for review and testing.

The mechanical keyboard rabbit hole. Once in, it’s hard to get back out.

Back when I had my first computer a keyboard was a keyboard. Never would I have thought about a mechanical keyboard or things like different switches. It was just Something that just came with the computer my parents bought in the store. I personally didn’t pay much attention to it. I remember it being this big clunky creamy-white thing with green indication lights on it. All I cared about was playing games on it (Red alert and Magic carpet were the first games I had on the PC)

“After plugging in my old membrane board I immediately knew this was a relationship that wouldn’t last”

About 10 years ago I accidently dropped my laptop and my wife said to me: why don’t you try to build your own computer instead of buying a new laptop? At first I thought to myself: no way I can build a computer. Why not just get one from the store? I decided to go online anyway and put Google and YouTube to work. After diving into the world of computer parts, visiting forums and watching YouTube videos I started the adventure of building my first rig.

I didn’t pay much attention to my mouse and keyboard. I just grabbed a set from the local store and went with it. It was a simple set from Logitech, it got the job done. After a while I started thinking what I could do to “perfect” my build. Well as we all know, that is the first step into an endless loop. After changing my gpu a couple of times, I started reading more and more posts about people using mechanical keyboards and I started to get interested.


I started reading about different switches, of which at the time most mainstream boards had a selection of brown, blue and red. I watched and read reviews and opinions on these types of switches and after a while I bought my first mechanical keyboard. It was a Coolermaster Masterkeys with Cherry brown switches. I was instantly in love! The sound, the weight, the looks, never did a keyboard genuinely got me enthusiastic.

Two years or so went by until disaster struck; My cat decided it was time to puke over my beloved mech! After plugging in my old membrane board I immediately knew this was a relationship that wouldn’t last. I went online, thinking I would just order the current version of my beloved mech. Then I saw already a lot had changed. Mechanical keyboards where getting even more populair and more and more brands were pumping out boards. Brands like Razer, Logitech, Corsair, Cooler master and many others were offering all kinds of cool boards.

My previous board had red lights in it which I thought was really cool but man Unicorns were starting to puke all over these things! Eventually I bought a newer version of my trusted board instead a little less bulky and R&B lights (yes no G!).

A year or two ago I started looking at boards again. And this time the landscape had once again changed drastically in my eyes. People were getting more and more serious about mechs. Apart from the usual suspects brands like Leopold, Hyperx, Akko, Glorious, Ducky and many more were pumping out beautiful and many different keyboards. No longer was it just about looks. Things like size, colors, feeling, Hot-swap, low profile and colored keycaps were a thing now. All this was already happening in the enthousiast scene but now it started to get the attention of the average consumer as well.


After a whiIe bought myself a Glorious TKL board which really launched my enthusiasm for the mechanical keyboard hobby. Then I began experimenting with different switches, keycaps, lubing, modding. At first I started with small stuff like cheap keycaps on sites like Ali Express and Soon I found myself getting deeper and deeper in the rabbit hole…