Posted On 06/19/2015 By In How-To

HOW-TO: How to swap springs in Cherry style switches

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Being able to swap out springs is a very handy skill to posses, and one that is incredibly easy to learn. Swapping out springs allows you make switches that have exactly the actuation force you want them to have. For this guide I will be using Gateron Blues (purchased from Massdrop) that come stock with a 45g spring, and will be swapping them out for a 67g spring purchased from mechanicalkeyboards.com. These switches will eventually go into my Quark build as the modifier keys, with the alphas being Cherry Greens (80g springs). Swapping out the springs will allow me to have slightly easier to press modifier keys, without it being glaringly obvious that they are are much lighter than the alphas, which I think would feel a little odd.

One thing to note is that swapping out springs in a plate mounted keyboard is a bit more difficult than swapping springs in bulk switches (as used in this example) or PCB mounted keyboards. This is because you will have to desolder all of the switches to swap out the springs, and solder them back when you are done. While you have your switches apart to swap springs, you could also do further tuning by adding stickers and lubricating them, which I will do a quick guide on later.

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Buy my tweezers on Amazon

For tools, you can get the job done with a single small flathead screwdriver, though I highly recommend a pair of nonmagnetic tweezers. To begin you want to pop out the clips on one side of the switch. This can be easily achieved by simply pushing up the tweezers under the clips. This action should pop them without the need to pull out on the clips, as this could damage them.

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Very careful pop the clips of the other side, but maintain a grip on the top and bottom of the switch as the spring can send parts flying if you aren’t careful. It can be helpful to hold the clips you popped on the first side with a finger nail, or additional tweezers so you don’t accidentally push the clips back down as you unclip the other side. Nobody wants to be stuck in an endless loop of clip popping.

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Once you have the switch disassembled you will have a bottom case, top case, spring, stem, and in this case the clicking mechanism that is on the stem.

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Replacing the spring is as easy as it sounds. The hardest part is not getting your springs mixed up in the process, so having some bowls or extra containers nearby to put extra parts in is recommended.
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Make sure to put the stem and clicking mechanism are aligned the correct way. You want to make sure the flat side is facing the front of he switch, and the side that sticks out is aligned with the back (where the gold contact plate is).
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When replacing the top cover you can easily align it by making sure the hole in the top case is aligned with the two little holes on the bottom of the case. If you have LED’s, this is where they would be installed in the the switch. Simply align the case parts and press.

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All done! After making sure all 4 clips are secured, give the switch a few presses just to make sure it feels correct and clicks (if it is supposed to).

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