A mechanical keyboard uses a physical switch under a key to determine when the key is pressed. As a result, they are more susceptible to damage than membrane keyboards.
But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be repaired. In fact, many keyboards can be fixed relatively easily.
Switches on a mechanical keyboard determine how each key works. Some keys have a “bump” or click midway through their travel, while others are linear and require a single push to register the keystroke.
The switch itself is made up of a few key components. The stem, for example, varies in height and shape to determine the total distance the key can travel and how far it needs to be pressed to register a keystroke. It also includes a coil spring that protects and guides the stem and provides resistance to actuate the key. The switch’s upper housing secures all these parts and guides them to the cross-point contact when the key is pressed.
These are all important parts, and if one is damaged or broken, the rest of the switch can’t work properly. That can cause a variety of problems, including incorrect keystroke registration and missed keystrokes.
Fortunately, switching out switches can be a relatively easy process. In most cases, you’ll only need to remove the faulty switches from the keyboard and replace them with fresh ones. However, some keyboards may have soldered switches that need to be desoldered and replaced before you can re-assemble them.
A good tool to have around when repairing switches is a soldering iron with a stand. This will help you ensure that you’re performing accurate repairs and won’t end up accidentally damaging the board.
You can also use a contact cleaner to clean the contacts of a faulty switch. This will usually solve the problem, but if it doesn’t, you should desolder and replace the switch.
To desolder the switches on a keyboard that has soldered switches, start by touching up any cold or dull solder joints on each of the keys. This is not difficult, but you’ll need to be comfortable with a soldering iron if you want to get the job done right.
Next, take the solder sucker and lay down a little bit of solder onto each joint. Make sure that the solder is heated up before sucking it out.
Once the solder is liquefied, you can begin sucking it out of the joint. Keep at it until the switch is completely free of solder.
Keycaps on mechanical keyboards are removable, which makes them easy to replace if they become damaged. However, this is a delicate task and it should be performed by an experienced mechanic or a professional.
Most mechanical keyboards are built with a pincer-like tool that allows you to remove the keycaps without breaking them, making this process easy and safe. To start, you should disconnect the USB cable from your keyboard so that you don’t accidentally open it while removing the keys.
Once you have the wires disconnected, you can begin to remove each keycap by gently pressing down on the top of the key and then pulling straight up. Make sure that you don’t twist or pull at an angle, which can cause the switch to snap under the keycap.
After all the keys are removed, you can then clean them off and replace them with new ones. Be sure that you purchase the right size for your keys, as bigger or smaller keycaps can be difficult to install on a keyboard.
In addition to this, you should also be aware of what kind of plastic your keycaps are made of. ABS plastic is a cheaper option that can be more susceptible to fading, but PBT plastic is better for durability and doesn’t absorb the oils from your fingers.
There are many different types of keycaps, and choosing the right one can be confusing. There are even some variations on the shape and profile of these keycaps, so it’s important to understand what you want before buying.
Before buying a keycap, it’s a good idea to read reviews and compare prices from different retailers. You should always choose a quality brand with a strong customer feedback record.
If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of options out there for cheap keycaps. You can find a great selection at Amazon (opens in new tab), and sites like Esty and Instagram are good places to look for unique and custom caps that won’t break the bank.
If you’re looking for something more expensive and a little more fancy, check out Tai-hao. They have a wide range of keycaps available, and they’re known for their high-quality construction. They’re also very popular among gamers.
Stabilizers are an essential part of any mechanical keyboard and one that can make or break the typing experience. The best stabilizers are well tuned and lubed to create a great typing feel that will give you a pleasant experience for your fingers.
The most common stabilizer type used on pre-built mechanical keyboards are plate-mounted stabilizers. These stabilizers are attached directly to the plate of your keyboard so that you can easily remove them for repair or replacement without having to disassemble the entire keyboard.
You can also choose to modify your stabilizers with custom modifications. For example, you can use different types of glue to hold the stabilizer bar and stem together or you can put a small piece of wood under the stabilizer bar to add more stability to the stabilizers.
If you have a keyboard that uses a scissor switch, you can install a stabilizer for every key on your keyboard to keep your keys in place while you’re typing. These types of stabilizers are a little more difficult to install than the standard Cherry style stabilizers, but they are worth the effort to get a better typing experience with your keyboard.
The circuit board is an important part of any mechanical keyboard. It contains the circuitry, resistors, and diodes that convert key presses into electrical signals that the computer can read. This allows the computer to interpret what application is running and translate the signal into the correct keystroke for that application.
This signal is then sent to the computer through a wired USB connection or wirelessly over a dongle. Once the computer receives the signal, it can interpret what application is running and send that information to the user’s screen.
Often, the circuit board is made of copper traces. These traces are designed to conduct electricity quickly and efficiently, which is vital for sending information back and forth between the circuits on the board and the switches and other components on the keyboard.
To fix a damaged circuit board, start by using a soldering iron to melt a small amount of solder onto one of the pads on the board. Then, touch the tip of your soldering iron to the switch terminal and the pad on the board. This should create a bond that will help the circuit board to function properly again.