How to Open Mechanical Keyboard Switches
It has become quite trendy to have a custom keyboard recently and a lot more people are getting into the hobby. If you do plan on building your own keyboard one of the main things you need to do is to lube your switches.
This is the foundation of all custom keyboard builds therefore no matter how good your switches are stock, they will most likely be better after lubing (there are certain stock switches that are decent or come factory lubed but most keyboard enthusiasts will encourage you to lube your switches yourself).
The first step you need to take in order to lube your switches is to open up your mechanical switch. If you are a veteran then this is no issue at all, but what if you have no clue how to open your switches at all, or lack the usual tools?
Opening Your Mechanical Switches – The Easy Way
The easiest way to open up your mechanical switches to get them lubed or filmed is to use a switch opener. These little tools can be found for cheap and are available in multiple colors and styles.
The main reason behind getting a switch opener is because it makes the process of opening switches extremely easy. Most switch openers come with both inserts for the Cherry MX style switches and Kailh type switches which have a latch type mechanism.
All you have to do is take your switch and align it with the metal inserts and push the switch down. With that, the top housing of the mechanical switch will come off and you can proceed with your lubing task.
Opening Your Mechanical Switches – The Okay Way
If you didn’t do enough research or maybe you just didn’t get your switch opener in time but want to lube some switches you can also open up a mechanical switch using a pair of tweezers. This little tool is available in most households and is decently effective at opening mechanical switches.
All you have to do is pick up your tweezers and switch and push the 2 tips of the tweezers under the switch clips. Once inserted, push the tweezers up until the clips come undone on one side. Hold the switch open with your fingers and do the same thing on the other side.
This process takes a bit longer than using a switch opener and is a lot more tedious but in a pinch can do the job fine.
Opening Your Mechanical Switches – The Hard Way
The worst-case scenario is when you do not have a switch opener or a pair of tweezers but you really need those mechanical switches opened. The only option left for you is to find a flat head screwdriver and use that instead of tweezers.
The process is the same – take the screwdriver and push it under the clips that hold the switch top housing in. This time though you will have to do it individually for each switch and will have to keep the gap open with your fingers for longer so you have enough tip to go over all 4 clips (or the 2 latches in a Kailh switch).
This will take considerably more time than a switch opener or tweezer method since you now are opening each clip individually and after a while, you will definitely feel your fingers burning up from holding the top housing away from the bottom housing so the clips do not fall back in place.
These are the 3 main methods you should know about when dealing with mechanical switches and our honest advice for anybody wanting to lube their switches is to get a switch opener prior to starting the process since that will make your job A LOT easier.
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