Mechanical switches accessories

Mechanical switches come with a few accessories that make using them a little better and more efficient. The main accessories that are worth learning about are keycap-switch puller and the o-rings. Each of these accessories performs a different function. The keycap-switch puller functions to remove keycaps and switches. The keycap-switch puller usually has looped tongs on one side for removing keycaps and a set of tongs for removing switches.

The work of o-rings is to dampen sound that keycaps produce when you bottom out. Even though they can’t silence the keyboard completely, they reduce the amount of noise they make when they are being used. O-rings are located around the stem of the switch. There are three factors that you should pay attention to when you are picking o-rings. These factors are described below.

Diameter and thickness

The diameter is the distance across the top cross-section of your o-ring. Since there are different types of switches on the market, you will need to be careful with how you choose the diameter of your o-ring. In case you are not sure with how you should choose the diameter; it is important if you researched the brand of your switch. The diameter is usually measured in millimeters.

The most common thickness of most o-rings is 0.4mm. The thickness of the o-ring functions to shorten the keycap travel distance. This is the distance that the keycap travels before bottoming out. If the thickness of the o-ring is too small, it may not cause any significant reduction in keycap travel distance.

Hardness of the o-ring

Part of the description of o-rings is their hardness. The hardness is described using a combination of numbers and letters such as 60A.  the A in this case refers to the hardness scale that manufacturers to measure how flexible rubber is, while the 60 refers to the level of hardness with 0 implying that the rubber is very soft and 100 implying that it is very hard.

This information should allow you to pick the hardness level that best fits your gaming style. It is however best to use o-rings of hardness between 40- and 50A. This range of hardness is preferable because harder o-rings have lower capability to reduce noise.

Installing your o-rings

The process of installing o-rings is very simple and straightforward. You will need a keycap puller to remove the keycaps. Onces the keycaps are off, flip them so that you can see their stems. Next, place the o-ring onto the keycap stem. After you have placed the o-ring in place, you should try to press it gently so that it sits well in place. While pressing, you should not distort or twist it. Finally, return the keycap into place and enjoy using your small mechanical gaming keyboard to play your favorite games. You can repeat this process for all the keys on your keyboard if you prefer, but it is better if you only install them on keys you need for your gaming experience.

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