Why do we lube switches and stabilizers in the custom world? Once, again sound and feel lol.
In the case of switches, we lube them to make them feel smoother while typing. Some lower end switches are scratchy when you really pay attention so lubing them helps make it smoother. Additionally, lubing them and adding a thin layer of film called switch film helps change the sound of the switch, often making it sound deeper but that really depends on the person’s lubing technique and how consistent they can reproduce it.
Some switch housings like Gateron are not very tight out of the factor so adding a thin film in it tightens up the switch to reduce wobble too. For stabilizers, unlubed stabilizers are very rattly, if you don’t know what that sounds like just rapidly tap on the spacebar on a gaming keyboard. Lubing it helps smoothen out the stabilizer so it sounds even and tight. Here’s a sound comparison.
What types of lube should you use ? Here’s the general guideline after talking to Kok Why from Keys.my, one of the largest keyboard lube sellers in Malaysia.
Linear switches: Krytox 205g0 Tactile switches: Trybosys 3203 / Krytox 203g0 (tactiles use a thinner lube as a thick lube might reduce the tactility too much) Clicky switches: please don’t lube clicky switches unless you want to turn them into tactile switches.
Switch springs use different oils depending on spring weight 67g tactiles (holy panda, T1 etc.) GPL 106 45-70 linears (GPL 105) 45 below (GPL 104)
Stabilizers Krytox 205g0 on wire and stems Krytox 205g0 on stems with Dielectric grease for wire
disclaimer: there are many many more types of lube such as Christo Lube, Teflon powder and XHT BDZ but I don’t know much about those and have never tried any so I recommend Krytox as it is a time and tested solution for lubing.
If you want to know how to lube switches and stabs, here are guide videos by Taeha Types, one of the biggest figures in the custom keyboard community.