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Krytox 205g0 switch lube in a syringe and palette
Krytox 205g0 is one of the most used lubricants in the world of mechanical keyboards, and a top pick among the keyboard community. You may have heard it by some alternate names: GPL 205 Grade 0 or Krytox GPL 205g0, amongst others. Builders use this high performance grease to lube keyboard switches, stabilizers, and everything and anything that needs lubricating, especially to silence that pesky space key.
The Krytox 205g0 composition is somewhat secretive–trade secret they call it. It is an industrial use lubricant produced by The Chemours Company and sourced by different manufacturers per continent–Miller-Stephenson sources it for North America. The science we know is that the end result resembles a mix of Krytox GPL 105 oil and Krytox GPL 205 Grade 2 grease. Krytox GPL 205 is a chemically stable grade 2 grease that is thickened with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a fluorocarbon-based polymer. The urban legend among mechanical keyboards enthusiasts and specialists is that Krytox 205G0 grease is a diluted, more viscous version of Krytox GPL 205–also known as Krytox 205G2–and Krytox GPL 105 mixed at a 1:1 ratio.
In short, Krytox 205g0 is a white-colored grease that is semi-viscous, remains stable and keeps its integrity for a long time, is not harmful if you swallow it–don’t do it, it tastes awful–and is non-conductive.
205 grade 0 is mostly used to lube the housings and stems of stabilizers like the Durock V2 stabs, and it’s the perfect viscosity to lube linear switches. Here at Kinetic Labs, we like to package it in Luer-lock syringes so that you always know how much Krytox 205g0 you have left and you can lock your syringe for air-tight conservation. Syringes come with a 14G 1/2 inch blunt needle that allows you to use precise amounts of Krytox 205g0 for your switches and it fits in just about everything you’d want to inject or “plug” like your stabilizers:
Plugging Krytox 205g0 directly into stabilizers
To learn how to lube your linear switches with Krytox GPL 205 grade 0, give TeahaType’s tutorial a watch and arm yourself with patience:
To lube your mechanical keyboard switches with 205 grade 0, you will need a couple of things: a switch opener, a brush–Taeha prefers a pointy 0 or 2/0 size brush but I prefer a flat 0 size brush, a stem holder, and some tweezers. Open your switch, reserve each part of your switch in a bowl or container–you are ready to start your work:
Opening a Salmon switch with a switch opener
Depending on the type of switch you’re using (MX-style or Kailh-style), you’ll need a switch opener that opens your switch (most switches are MX style switches).
Salmon switch bottom housing
Get a little dollop of lube on both sides of your brush, paint an equal amount of lube on each rail of the bottom housing, then paint the leaf, then turn your brush in a 360 degrees motion in and around the center hole.
Salmon switch spring
Use your tweezers to hold your spring and paint a thin coat of lube in and around the spring, making sure you don’t have any blobs or thick white traces left when you’re done. Place the spring back in the bottom housing.
Salmon switch stem
Use your stem holder–or your fingers–to hold the stem, then like you did for the bottom housing, apply an equal dollop of lube on each slider of the stem, then paint the front and back of the stems including the legs. I like to lube the pole, but not everyone does.
Salmon switch top housing
There’s no need to lube the top housing unless you are using a very scratchy switch that has not been broken in.
There’s some community debate surrounding this, so feel free to experiment with your own switches to find the lubing technique that you like best and let us know about it in the comments below.
Salmon switch components
A well-lubricated switch should have parts that have a nice and even shiny coating of Krytox 205g0 while there are no white blobs or accumulations of lubricant anywhere. Re-assemble your switch, et voilà!
The thing to remember is that evenness is the name of the game when lubricating your switches with 205 grade 0. It’s always easier to add lube than to remove lube, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different amounts of 205g0 on a few of your switches to find out what you like best. Once you’ve found out, rinse and repeat, consistently.
Practice makes perfect, so don’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t manage to have evenly lubed switches (or keyboard stabilizers) on your first attempt. And so you know, over time and use, Krytox 205 grade 0, and lubricants in general, will distribute itself where it needs to go inside the switch.
In time, Krytox GPL 205 grade 0 tends to separate slightly–you’ll see a little coat of oil on top of the 205G0 grease. This is why you always want to shake well or mix your Krytox 205 grade 0 on a palette to give it its best integrity.
When lubing many switches at a time, you might want to gather all your springs and a pea size dollop of Krytox 205 grade 0 in a container or an inflated baggy. Then shake real good for a couple minutes–it’s called bag-lubing and will evenly coat your springs with Krytox 205 grade 0.
Certain switches have more stem wobble and looser housings than others–you might want to add switch films to help with these issues during your lubing process.
If you are going to build more than one keyboard or you have a hot-swap PCB and want to swap your switches regularly, get a lubing station. It will help you be more efficient and organized.
Lubricants have different sounds to them and they give your switches a certain sound signature of their own. Krytox 205g0 tends to give your switches a deeper or ‘thockier’ sound.
Some mechanical keyboard builders, myself included, like to use Krytox GPL 205 Grade 0 to lube tactile switches too (despite it usually being recommended for linear switches and stabs). The trick is to not apply 205G0 to the leaf inside the bottom housing and the stem front legs–that’s reserved for Tribosys 3203 or Carbon GS1. But don’t tell anyone, it’s a trade secret…
Below is a collection of the most frequently asked questions that we’ve received about 205g0: