- Soldering Iron
- Solder Sucker
- Replacement Switches of your choice
- Screwdriver (One that fits your specific keyboard)
- Key-cap Puller (Optional)
This repair guide will walk you through how to repair a faulty switch on your mechanical keyboard. Follow these steps for most mechanical keyboard types. This repair requires basic soldering skills but it relatively straight-forward.
Step 1 – Reveal the PCB
- First identify the broken switch and remove the key-cap from it. We need to remove it in order to remove it from the PCB.
- Using your screwdriver, remove the screws from the back cover and place them aside. Keep them safe as we’ll need them later on.
- Pry off the back cover carefully to reveal the PCB. Great, your half way there!
Step 2 – De-solder the broken switch
- Identify the legs for the broken switch. Most Gateron/Cherry switches have two legs but other brands may have three.
- If your switches have two legs we can identify the legs of the broken switch by counting the legs from left to right (or vise versa), in multiples of two. E.g If the third switch from the left is broken it will be legs five and six.
- Hold the hot Soldering Iron in one hand and the Solder Sucker in the other. Touch the pad of each leg with the Iron and when the solder becomes liquid use the Solder Sucker to remove the solder. Repeat this for both legs. You may have to repeat this step multiple times.
- The switch should now be free and should come away from the PCB when pulled. At this stage you may use some solder wick to clean the surface of the PCB where we removed the switch, although this is not necessary.
Step 3 – Solder the new switch
Congratulations, you’ve completed the hardest part of this repair!
- Place the legs of the new switch into the holes where we removed the old one. It is important that the new switch has the same orientation as all the other ones. Remove another key-cap if you need to use it as a reference.
- Once positioned, apply some solder using the Iron. Apply just enough solder so it makes contact with the pads, but not too much.
- Now would be a good time to test that the switch works.
- If your repair was successful you can go ahead and place the back cover in place again and re-apply the screws.
- Replace your key-cap’s and your good to go!
If you completed all the above steps your keyboard should be back to full working condition.