How To Change The keys of a Mechanical Keyboard

Reliable, resistant, precise… You are the proud owner of a mechanical keyboard that met your expectations in every way. Quick key return, optimization of typing speed, you are fully satisfied with your purchase which gives you unparalleled comfort.

Your keyboard has countless advantages.

However, despite your satisfaction, you want a change: a more pleasant touch, a desire for originality with unusual colors, a need for cleaning …

Short! You want to customize your keyboard, take care of it to offer you a unique experience.

The change of keys seems the ideal approach to complete your project. The mechanical keyboard allows this operation to be carried out quite easily.

So you start on Youtube to watch tutorials, but you still doubt the viability of your project. You really want to have all the cards in hand before you start. I’ll let you in on a secret: I too have taken the same approach. And you’re right.

To avoid ending up with a keyboard without an unusable key, you have to prepare and organize yourself thoroughly.To accompany you, I, therefore, offer you guidelines.

Step 1: the choice of keys.

You’ve made up your mind, you’re going to change your keys. You go online and search for the keyset (a set of keys) of your dreams.

In front of your screen, you are spoiled for choice: red, blue, fluorescent, in the colors of manga heroes, for gamers, for the typist… You are reassured by the abundance of the offer.

After a few hours of searching, you have found the gem. You draw your credit card ready to click on the “Pay” or “Order” button.

STOP! Have you checked the compatibility of the keys with your keyboard?

Vigilance is essential. Change ” easy” all keys does not mean that ‘ they are all compatible. You absolutely must check it out. If the acronyms PBT, ABS, OEM, Cherry are foreign to you, take a few minutes to discover them.

By quickly learning about the characteristics of a button, your choice will be easier and you will avoid disappointment when you receive your order.

I reassure you, I will go straight to the point.

The key material.

The 2 most common materials are PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene).

The keys in ABS are the most popular and the most used. Less expensive than their counterparts, they can be damaged quite quickly (degradation accompanied by the erasure of the lettering).

These keys are available in two thicknesses.

The thicker offer comfort ‘ use and ‘ soundproofing.

The ABS keys are particularly popular: they offer the possibility of having a backlit keyboard.

More resistant, thicker, more comfortable, keys made of PBT are rarer because of their higher cost. They do, however, provide a much more pleasant feeling to the touch.

They are also available in 2 sizes (“thin” for thin and “thick” for thick). Again, for your comfort and soundproofing, privileged égiez thickness.

The profile.

And yes! Not all keys are the same. Their profile, defined by the height and strike angle, is well defined.

Each “line” on your keyboard has keys with a specific profile.Cannot place letter B right next to letter A, 2 rows above.

These profiles, ultimately specific to each row, give relief and ergonomics to your keyboard for optimal typing sensations.

By respecting the homogeneity of each row, 2 profiles of keys are at your disposal

The switch.

The switch is a plastic switch, with a spring, present under each key.

To put it simply, the switch is undoubtedly the key element of your comfort. Gamers and typists have different needs.

A switch is characterized by its noise, its feeling, and the pressure necessary to “activate” the button.

A switch with less resistance allows a higher activation of the keys. Perfect for gaming. Difficult for typing.

If you want to be more efficient in your daily practice, you may need to change the switches on your entire keyboard. The only change keys may not ê be enough.

The keyboard.

I reassure you, we are coming to the end!

The format of the keyboard is to be considered with attention if you do not want to end up with a multicolored keyboard for lack of sufficient parts or with an incomplete keyboard with unsuitable too small keys.

There are 2 main keyboard formats: ANSI and ISO. One difference, but one difference in size: the keys in the row with the space bar are of different sizes.

The ANSI format is the most common.

Finally, what type of keyboard do you have? Full size with 104 or even 105 keys or a 60% keyboard without a numeric keypad, or directional arrows on dedicated “spaces” to your right?

Inform yourself well before ordering.

Step 2: The organization.


That’s it! You have received your new keys, you hasten to open the package to discover them.

Carry away with your enthusiasm, knife in hand, you are ready to “jump” the keys of your keyboard.

Wait a minute! Take the time to organize yourself!

Take advantage of this “change of look” to do a little spring cleaning. You will be surprised at the “treasures” hidden under your keys.

Your new keys will thank you.

Bring yourself:

  • from your smartphone;
  • the key extractor that was provided to you when you purchased the keyboard;
  • a disinfectant solution;
  • Cotton Swabs and paper towels;
  • a vacuum cleaner (preferably table-top).


Sit on a table spacious enough to work in good conditions.

Ready? Let’s go!

Step 3: removing the keys.

This operation lasts 5 to 10 minutes. First, turn off your computer and then unplug your keyboard. (If you have a wireless keyboard, feel free to remove the batteries.)

Next, take a photo of your keyboard to keep track of the key layout. Take your key extractor and remove them from the top and left of your keyboard. To find your way around, do this operation in horizontal rows from left to right.

If you have never used this tool, you should stand vertically on the key, clip in and gently pull upwards. Never force! You risk damaging a switch or a key.

Some keys that are a little longer, such as the space bar or the enter key, may require a little more vigilance.Place the keys on your workspace in the same order as the keyboard. It can help you.

Step 4: cleaning the keyboard.

Your keyboard is now empty of keys. It’s time to tackle cleaning your mechanical keyboard! Allow a good hour to get it right.

First, turn your keyboard over and shake it over a trash can to remove the first impurities. Then, grab a cotton swab and soak the ég è surely one end in the cleaning solution of your choice.

Don’t drown your keyboard! Watch out for electrical components !! Clean the spaces between the switches with soaked cotton swabs. (You will need to use more than one as they deteriorate during the operation.)

Dry with the dry end of the Cotton Swab or a paper towel, always gently.

Perform the same operation on the contours of the keyboard. This time, you can directly and lightly soak a paper towel sheet and pat dry. Conclude the cleaning with a “blow” of the vacuum cleaner.

Step 5: insert the keys.

C ‘ is a big time! You will be able to marvel at your keys. You insert them one by one until you hear a click.

Always remain vigilant and carefully install the large keys (space, enter, etc.).

Reconnect your keyboard (or reinstall batteries for wireless keyboards), then turn your computer back on. You have seen that changing the keys of a mechanical keyboard requires meticulousness and organization.

Now that you know the best practices, customize the keyboard of your dreams, and do not hesitate to keep me informed in the comments of the progress of your project.


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Shafqat is a hardcore gamer since childhood. He develops his passion for writing due to gaming. He is a programmer. He started writing about 4 years ago.


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