How to Replace Keys in a Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical keyboards are renowned for their superior performance and tactile feedback. That’s why they remain the preferred choice of gamers and typists alike. But like any piece of technology, mechanical keyboards can suffer wear and tear over time, which can lead to keys becoming faulty or even completely unresponsive. In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of replacing keys in a mechanical keyboard.
Why Do Keys Stop Working?
Mechanical keyboards use a combination of a physical switch and LED lighting to register keystrokes. Over time, the physical switch can become worn or even break, resulting in the key no longer working. Similarly, the LED lighting can become faulty or the solder pads can become corroded or broken. All of these things can cause keys to stop working, and they will need to be replaced.
Tools and Materials Needed
Before you start, here’s a list of the tools and materials you’ll need to replace keys in a mechanical keyboard:
- A replacement key with the same type of switch
- A Phillips head screwdriver
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Cotton swabs
- Solder iron
Step 1: Remove the Faulty Key
The first step is to identify the faulty key and remove it from the keyboard. To do this, turn the keyboard upside down and locate the two Phillips head screws that are holding the key in place. Use the screwdriver to remove the screws, then carefully remove the faulty key and set it aside.
Step 2: Clean the Switch
Now that the key has been removed, you can clean the switch. This is important, as any dust or dirt that has built up over time can cause the new key to malfunction. To clean the switch, use a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol. Dip the swab in the alcohol and then use it to gently scrub the switch. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as you don’t want to damage the switch. Once you’ve cleaned the switch, let it dry for a few minutes.
Step 3: Install the New Key
Now that the switch has been cleaned and dried, you can install the new key. Place the new key into the switch and make sure it’s seated correctly. Then, use the Phillips head screwdriver to re-secure the key in place.
Step 4: Solder the LED Lights
If your mechanical keyboard uses LED lighting, you’ll need to solder the lights in place. To do this, you’ll need a soldering iron, solder, and tweezers. Start by heating up the soldering iron and then use it to apply a small amount of solder to the LED pins. Then, use the tweezers to carefully place the LED in place. Once the LED is in place, use the soldering iron to secure it.
Step 5: Test the Key
Once you’ve installed the new key and soldered the LED lights, it’s time to test the key. Turn the keyboard on and press the key to make sure it’s working properly. If the key is not working, you may need to adjust the solder connections or clean the switch again.
Replacing keys in a mechanical keyboard can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and materials, it can be done without too much difficulty. Just make sure you take the time to clean the switch and solder the LED lights correctly and you should have no problem replacing your mechanical keyboard keys.
Q1: How often do I need to replace my mechanical keyboard keys?
A: It depends on how often you use your mechanical keyboard, but generally speaking, you should replace the keys every 1-2 years.
Q2: Can I replace the keys myself?
A: Yes, you can replace the keys yourself, as long as you have the right tools and materials. You can find detailed instructions online.
Q3: What type of switch should I use to replace my keys?
A: You should use the same type of switch as