5 Keyboard Mods Everyone Can Do
When it comes to upgrading your mechanical keyboard, you may not know where to begin. Using these tips, you’ll be able to show off your mechanical keyboard to friends, family, and the internet in no time at all. You’re about to enter the mechanical keyboard enthusiast community, so buckle up and check for more mechanical keyboard mod guides on HelveticaForever.
1. Invest in new keycaps
What is the most frequently used part of your keyboard? Your keycaps, that is! It’s time to get rid of your dull and cheap keycaps and upgrade to an awesome set of high-quality keycaps because you spend the majority of your time on your keyboard either typing or looking at your keycaps. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to purchasing keycaps, check out our buyer’s guide.
What is needed for keycap upgrades
A new set of keycaps and a keycap puller are required to upgrade your keyboard’s keycaps. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still find a great set of keycaps in a wide variety of price ranges. If your set doesn’t come with a keycap puller, you can buy one online for a very reasonable price or you can make your own by following this guide on how to remove keycaps. With the keycap puller, remove your old keycaps and install the new ones. Some of our favorite keycaps are coming up in the following section.
Recommendations for new keycaps
It is common for the keycaps that come with stock keyboards to be made of cheap ABS plastic, which quickly wears down and develops a greasy appearance. A new set should be made of PBT plastic, which is more durable and has a better sound/feel. You can learn more about ABS and PBT keycaps here. The Cherry profile is generally regarded as the best for typing and gaming because it is the most user-friendly. It’s worth a look at the other profiles as well, as they’re all quite unique.
2. Switches can be upgraded too
The satisfying sound and feel of mechanical keyboard switches, whether clicky, linear, or tactile, is the entire appeal of these keyboards. Make your switches even better by following these tips.
Replace your old switches with better ones!
Cherry MX switches on many keyboards aren’t the best quality or durability. The switches can be removed and replaced with new ones if you don’t like them If your keyboard is not hot-swappable, this may be a difficult process because you will need to solder/de-solder switches to change them.
The smoother and less scratchy are switches – the better
The smoothness and stability of your switches can be improved without purchasing new ones, however. Lubricating clicky switches would be a bad idea. Switches with tactile or linear actuators are the primary focus of this design. You’ll need to remove the switches from your keyboard to lubricate them, so it’s a more time-consuming process. For the more experienced keyboard enthusiast, this is the way to go.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to do all of that work yourself, you can purchase switches that have already been lubricated. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the best lubricant. The use of a hot-swappable keyboard greatly simplifies the transition.
It’s common for switches to feel unstable when they’re in use. Occasionally, manufacturing tolerances slip and switches don’t fit snugly into the keyboards as they should. Adding switch film to the switches would be a great idea in order to keep them in place and secure.
You have to remove the switch and dismantle it in order to apply the film. Lubricating the switches is an excellent opportunity to perform this step simultaneously with lubricating the switches. There’s a great video tutorial available if you want to follow along with it.
3. Modifications to the stabilizer
Improve the sound and stability of your stabilizers with bandages, lubricant, and clips.
While modifying a stabilizer may seem daunting at first, it is actually quite simple. After purchasing a new keyboard, the first thing I do to it is modify the stabilizers. Stabilizers in your keyboard can be beefed up using the Band Aid, lubrication, and clip modification.
If the stabilizers hit the PCB (printed circuit board), place a few band aids with sticky parts cut off to dampen the impact and produce a more satisfying *thud* sound. After that, you lubricate the stabilizers and clip the extra bottom part of the stabilizer to make them more stable. In order to make things clearer, I’ve added an instructional video to the post above.
4. Make mechanical keyboard soundproofed
Is the sound of your keyboard too loud for you? Or does it make an obnoxious metallic *ting* noise every time you press a key? We’ll show you how to make your keyboard sound better and quieter with a few simple modifications.
Purchase a desk mat
One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve the sound quality of your keyboard is to use a desk mat. Your keyboard will vibrate less and therefore make less noise if you rest it on a mat. In order to improve the sound quality of his custom mechanical keyboards, Twitch streamer “TaehaTypes” has been known to use 4-5 desk mats stacked up. Wow, what a sight that must have been. Anyway, who can be critical of the eye-catching designs on some of the available desk mats.
Put on O-Rings
O-rings can be attached to the bottom of your keycaps to reduce the amount of noise your keyboard makes. Additionally, they’re inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk. You can simply slide them onto the bottom of your keycaps. O-rings can make keystrokes mushy and unresponsive for some users, while others prefer to use three or four O-rings per key. You can use them however you like, but they are a simple solution for soundproofing your keyboard.
Foam to reduce noise
If you already own a Philips screwdriver and don’t mind spending a few bucks on some foam, this is an easy way to quiet your keyboard. In order to replace the PCB, you’ll need to disassemble your keyboard and place a piece of foam under the case. Depending on how your keyboard is put together, this may be a simple or a time-consuming process. A few screws might be all that’s needed to remove a keyboard’s switches, while others require the removal of all of the switches.
5. Make custom USB cable
Custom USB cables are an excellent way to jazz up your desk setup. These are awesome, and they’re available in a variety of designs and hues. A USB-C to USB-A power cable is required for these to work with keyboards that have a detachable power cable. To learn more about custom USB cables, including where to buy them, check out our other post. Depending on the look you’re going for, the cables can either be straight or coiled. Coiling cables are more expensive, but they’re also more likely to unravel over time, making them look messy. Just keep an eye out for it. To avoid having to unplug the entire cable from your PC when switching between USB-C, micro-USB, and mini-USB, many cables include an aviator. My testing of keyboards for the blog is always on, so this saves me a ton of time.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the simplest modifications you can make to your mechanical keyboard to improve its performance. Some may require more time than others, but the beauty of this pastime is that you get to choose how far to go into it. All the mods are summarized here, starting with a new USB cable and ending with a custom keycap upgrade. To that end, we’ve compiled this list in the hopes that it will inspire you to get creative with your mechanical keyboard.