What is the best lube for keyboard switches and stabilizers? The world of mechanical keyboards is one of high performance coupled with the need for semi-regular maintenance. You aren’t going to be running lubrication on your switches and stabilizers monthly. However, a little touch-up is a great way to improve the responsiveness of your keyboard.
Today’s guide will be taking a closer look at the best of the best when it comes to lubricating your keyboard switches and stabilizers. As with any form of lubrication, a little goes a long way. Hopefully, with some of these choices, you should be well on your way to a comfortable and enjoyable typing experience for many months to come.
After reviewing the options, here are our top picks for the best lube for keyboard switches and stabilizers:
- Best Overall: Krytox 205g0
- Runner-Up: Permatex Dielectric Grease
- Best for Clicky Switches: Krytox GPL 105
- Best for Linear Switches: Tribosys 3203
- Best for Easy Application: Tribosys 3204
- Best for Tactile Switches: Krytox 105 Oil
- Best Budget Option: CAIG Labs DeoxIT
Best Overall: Krytox 205g0
- For linear keyboard switches like Cherry MX Red, Gateron Red, and more
- Enough for an entire TKL keyboard and stabilizers or 104+ key switches
- Will make your new mechanical keyboard feel broken in and will prolong switch life
- Improves keyboard sound when applied to stabilizers
- Apply a small amount to the bearing surfaces of each keyswitch with a size 00 brush
For the top lube for keyboard switches and stabilizers, you’ve got the Krytox 205g0. This is marked primarily for linear switches but can also be used with clicky and tactile options. Krytox is a reputable brand in the keyboard grease market, and this small jar is enough to cover every switch in a full-size keyboard.
The method of application suggested is to use a fine-tip paintbrush. This should give even coats to the various components and parts of your keyboard while making sure you don’t go overboard. Check out the Krytox 205g0 Keyboard Switch Grease on Amazon.
|The Krytox grease improves keyboard wear.||The 205g0 is a fairly expensive lubricant.|
|One application should last for months of use.||Effective application requires steady hands.|
Runner-Up: Permatex Dielectric Grease
- 3-ounce tube
- Excellent lubricant on rubber, plastic, and ceramic surfaces
- Insulates around electrical connections
- Protects against dirt and corrosion
- Store in a cool, dry location
You’d be forgiven for thinking this is intended more for car parts. Permatex Dielectric Grease is one of the most stable compounds you’ll find for lubricating your keyboard switches and stabilizers, however.
As far as the choices for best lube for keyboard switches and stabilizers, this is a sterling choice that is priced affordably for any user. The tube as a whole will last for quite a while. It is quite easy to be wasteful with the grease as a whole, unfortunately. Gentle application isn’t really its intended purpose as it is originally meant for more large-scale parts and mechanisms. Check out Permatex 22058 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease on Amazon.
|This dielectric grease is extremely affordable.||It is quite easy to waste product when trying to go for gentle coatings.|
|You’ve got plenty of lubricant for your switches and stabilizers.||The grease itself is on the thicker side, so it is easy to overapply.|
Best for Clicky Switches: Krytox GPL 105
- 0.35 fluid ounces
- Vacuum packed in plastic box to prevent leaks
- Oil is great for springs as well as mechanical switches
- Eliminates the scratching sound of the mechanical keyboard
Krytox is back again with another general-purpose lubricant. The Krytox GPL 105 line of lubricant comes in a jar, which can be fantastic for clicky and tactile keys as a whole. This is a thinner lubricant, so light coatings are recommended over heavier applications.
You’ll find the Krytox GPL 105 works best on the springs and switches of a mechanical keyboard. You could use it for the stabilizers, but you’re better off with a cheaper dielectric grease. The major drawback of the GPL 105 is its overall cost. You’re spending quite a bit just to perform maintenance on your mechanical keyboard. Check out the Krytox GPL 105G0 Lube Oil on Amazon.
|The lubricant itself is thin and light.||This is one of the most expensive lubricants on the market.|
|Since you use so little, the jar can go a long way.||The GPL 105 isn’t well-suited for application on keyboard stabilizers.|
Best for Linear Switches: Tribosys 3203
- Comes in a 3ml Luer syringe for easy application
- Enough to lubricate approximately 250 switches
- Can be used on any switch type with a light, thin layer
- Makes the keyboard feel broken in and the switches feel smooth
- Dampens noise and eliminates scratching sound
Linear switches have a different set of needs from tactile and clicky options. As such, the best lube for keyboard switches and stabilizers isn’t going to be a universal fit. While any dielectric grease is worth considering for a linear switch, Tribosys’s 3203 is worth a look.
This is a lubricant that comes in a syringe, meaning you don’t need to consider any special method of application. You could just dab it on a sterile surface and paint it on the switches and springs. Tribosys 3203 has a light viscosity, which means the application is easy as a whole. However, it is an expensive specialty lubricant to keep on hand. Check out Tribosys 3203 Lubricant on Amazon.
|Its light viscosity makes for easy use.||You can sometimes use too much lubricant when applying it to your keyboard parts.|
|The syringe packaging makes the actual application process simple.||The overall cost is quite high compared to other dielectric grease.|
Best for Easy Application: Tribosys 3204
- Packed in a 7.5ml Luer syringe for quick and easy application
- Blunt tip included
- Optimized for switches and stabilizers
- Increases smoothness and dampens the scratching noise
- Makes the keyboard feel broken in
The 3204 lubricant from Tribosys is one of the easiest to apply to any keyboard switch or stabilizer. However, you’re going to be paying a significant cost just to use it. Like the 3203, the lubricant itself is packaged in an easy-to-use syringe. The overall application process is fairly simple as a whole using the syringe, placing dabs on a surface, or simply applying it to your parts.
This is a newer formulation compared to the 3203, which some users are simply raving about. It has a medium viscosity, meaning it should be more forgiving for beginners. It isn’t as thick as the Tribosys 205g0 lube from the same manufacturer. Check out the Tribosys 3204 Lubricant on Amazon.
|The syringe packaging keeps the formulation smooth and consistent.||It is quite expensive even for a small tube.|
|The overall consistency of the lubricant is forgiving for application.||The consistency might be too thick for some users.|
Best for Tactile Switches: Krytox 105 Oil
- Packaged in 5ml dropper
- Great for lubing springs and for bag lubing switch components
- Removes spring rattle and pinging
- The oil's consistency provides dampening and smoothness
- Give your keyboard that broken-in feel
The Krytox 105 oil is similar functionally to the previously mentioned GPL 105. However, where it differs is in the overall method of application. This is an oil and comes in a dropper bottle. It is a thicker oil as a whole, which makes it a great fit for springs and switches for tactile keyboards.
As a whole, this bottle can go a long way before needing replacement. However, the thicker consistency can really let you overdo it when it comes to the springs. The last thing you need when lubricating your keyboard is excess oil leaking everywhere. Check out the Krytox 105 Oil Lubricant Dropper on Amazon.
|It has a thick consistency which is great for springs.||It is one of the most expensive lubricants found for mechanical keyboards.|
|The bottle itself goes a long way for general use.||You can easily overdo an application on springs when using the bag method.|
Best Budget Choice: CAIG Labs DeoxIT
- 5-ounce spray can
- Adjustable valve so you can use the amount you need
- General treatment for connectors, contacts, and other surfaces
- Lubricates, cleans, protects, and improves conductivity
- Safe on plastics
If you simply need a ton of lubricant for hundreds of keyboards, CAIG Labs DeoxIT has you covered. This is a larger five-ounce spray can, which means the actual application process is going to be quite messy as a whole. If you can live with that, you’ve got plenty of uses across multiple keyboards.
This is an industrial product, meant more for the lubrication of plastic pieces and reducing friction. While this might seem like overkill for most users, this is a very cost-effective choice to get a quality lubricant for your switches and stabilizers that will last through multiple uses. Check out CAIG DeoxIT FaderLube Lubricant on Amazon.
|You’ve got plenty of lubricant to last multiple uses.||DeoxIT is a spray bottle, so it can be quite messy to use for beginners.|
|The cost as a whole is quite affordable given how many uses you’ll get.||This isn’t the best fit for all switch types.|
Choosing the Best Lube for Keyboard Switches and Stabilizers: Step by Step
When choosing the best lube for keyboard switches and stabilizers, there are three main considerations for most buyers.
- Method of application
- Switch type
Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more detail.
The overall thickness of any grease or oil is going to go a long way in determining the feel. Too thick of an application and you might feel your keys start to get sluggish. If you’re using thinner oils and lubricants, you’ll want to use, applying light coatings as a whole. The viscosity also plays an important role in determining the best fit for your switches and stabilizers.
Method of Application
There are two primary methods of application you’re going to find with any grease or lubricant for keyboard switches and stabilizers. One common method is to apply it directly to the switch, spring, or stabilizer. This is usually done with a paintbrush or a similarly delicate implement. You want precision here, rather than a liberal coating.
The messier alternative is spray bottles. This is more commonly seen in general dielectric lubricants. Spray bottles are messier and lack the same precision you’ll see with something like an applied grease or thicker oil. However, the quality of the lubrication often makes up for the difficulty of the application itself.
Any mechanical keyboard enthusiast knows there are a plethora of options when it comes to switches. As you can imagine, there is going to be a different need for lubricants depending on the switch type. You don’t want to go for a liberal coating all over the switch, spring, and stabilizer for something like a linear switch.
You’ll want to look up the best practices for your particular switch type, as well as for your chosen lubricant. This can go a long way in making sure you aren’t just making a mess of your keyboard deck when in the process of going about regular maintenance.
What to Know About Picking the Best Lube for Keyboard Switches and Stabilizers
Not every keyboard is going to need regular lubrication as part of the upkeep. Switches like clicky switches aren’t going to benefit from regular lubrication. Instead, you’ll want to only lubricate the spring, which can go much further overall for most users.
Stabilizers as a whole benefit primarily from dielectric grease applications. You can use other products, but a cheap dielectric grease can go a long way.
Using the Best Lube for Keyboard Switches and Stabilizers: What It’s Like
Using a lubricated mechanical keyboard can be a transformative experience. Most mechanical keyboards have a break-in period for the switches themselves. This can be a short period of time, depending on your regular use. However, you can circumvent this entirely by lubricating your keyboard ahead of time. This gets your keyboard in tip-top shape with a little extra work.
Lubricating your switches and stabilizers also goes a long way in improving the longevity of your keyboard. Reducing the internal friction keeps the wear and tear on the keyboard to a minimum.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Om.Nom.Nom/Shutterstock.com.