Last Updated on November 11, 2022
How To Desolder A Keyboard Switch: If you think desoldering is a very complicated thing, through this article we want to make you think that desoldering switches will look very easy. You just need to remember and learn some steps which are quite easy to do.
If you are able to desoldering switches, you will find that replacing switches and soldering or desoldering switches can be fun. Through this article I will explain how to desoldering mechanical keyboard switches like a pro! Make sure you read all the steps that we explain without skipping a beat. Before you buy a soldering iron and try it without a clear guide.
Necessary Tools for Desoldering Switch
To desolderimg switch, there are several important tools that you must prepare, either by buying or borrowing your friend’s. Here are some of the tools you will need:
1. Soldering kits to simplify your soldering process
Some of the simple tools you need to proceed with desoldering switches include Desoldering Pump, Tweezers, Scrapers, Cutters, Leader-free Soldering Cord, and Desoldering Wick.
You don’t need too many tools that are purchased separately, we highly recommend that you buy these simple kits in a single purchase package on Amazon.
2. Soldering Iron With Brass Stand and Cleaner
We highly recommend a temperature-adjustable soldering iron, as some types of mechanical keyboard PCBs cannot withstand a certain temperature, having a temperature-adjustable soldering iron makes desoldering a switch easier.
We recommend the TS100 or TS80 soldering iron as they are very small and easy to use. Both of these soldering irons have a screen to monitor the temperature you are using, you can also change the temperature of the soldering iron according to your needs.
We also recommend that you have a stand for soldering, but you can use an iron case or bowl instead of a stand for your soldering iron. The main benefit of a soldering stand is to keep the soldering iron tip cleaner and safer when used many times, this is also to avoid small objects sticking that will make your solder uneven in distributing heat to the soldering tip.
3. Solder Wick and Desoldering Pump, Spare nozzle, Solder Sucker & Desoldering Wick
This is a tool that will be used to suck solder tin and layer solder points so that the PCB board is not directly exposed to the soldering tip, you really need this tool for the safety and security of your PCB. We recommend one of the very affordable products you can get on Amazon.
4. Soldering wire
This is an object that is very easy to find at your nearest electronics store, the price is also very cheap depending on the size of the solder wire you buy. Specifications of a good solder wire that you must buy, make sure this writing is listed on the package of the solder wire you buy: 60/40 Sn/Pb or 63/37 Sn/Pb. 60/40 Sn/Pb means 60% tin and 40% lead. The more the number of soldering leads the better and easier to use.
If you’re too lazy to get out of the house to buy one, we recommend one of the good quality solder wire products you can buy on Amazon.
5. Outdoor , Desk, Glasses, Fan
Soldering will work better in open spaces or rooms with adequate airflow. You can also use a fan which is useful for removing smoke when soldering, glasses are also needed, whatever glasses you use the important thing is that you can see objects clearly and protect your eyes from smoke and heat.
6. Your Mechanical Keyboard’s PCB
Make sure you’ve unlocked all of your keycaps sets and removed the PCB from the mechanical keyboard case.
How to Desolder a Keyboard Switch
Make sure you have all the equipment ready, turn on the soldering iron and set the minimum temperature at 390 degrees Celsius. Make sure your mechanical keyboard PCB has been removed from the casing along with the keycaps you have removed and only the Switch is attached to the PCB.
1. Put the PCB on the table with the base
Place the PCB on a table with a desk mat or cloth with the switch side facing down, all you need is to remove the switch pins that are attached to the PCB.
2. Heat the Soldering Iron to a temperature of 320 or 390 degrees
The high temperature of 390 will make it easier to find the soldering tin attached to the switch pins and PCB. This will speed up the sucker soldering tool work.
3. Prepare Solder Sucker
Soder sucker is used to suck tin that has been melted by a soldering iron at a temperature of 320 to 390 degrees. When you see the tin has started to melt immediately use a solder sucker to suck up the melted tin.
4. Heat the Pad Where the Switch Pin Is
Take your soldering iron and apply pressure to the 390-temperature soldering tip with the tin-coated switch pins.
Hold for 2 seconds until the solder attached to the pin begins to melt. We highly recommend a temperature of 390 degrees as it melts the lead faster, making it easier for the solder sucker to suck.
5. Suck melted tin with a solder sucker while melting tin with a soldering iron
While heating the tin attached to the switch pin while sucking up the melted tin. First, Pump by pressing and locking the plunger. Use a soldering iron that has a temperature of 390 degrees while pressing on the pin to be removed. When the tin looks melted, suck it using a solder sucker, repeat again until the tin is completely used up so that the switch pin attached to the PCB can be removed.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all the tin is released on the switch. Congratulations, you have successfully desoldering the switch from your mechanical keyboard PCB.
The Easiest Way To Desolder Switch
This is the easiest way to desoldering switches but you have to spend a little money to buy this tool. You only need one tool for desoldering the switch. You just need to buy a desoldering gun.
Using the Desoldering Gun is the easiest way to desoldering switches. This tool can do 2 jobs at once, namely melting tin and directly sucking it up. By using this tool you do not need to use a soldering iron and solder sucker separately, this one tool can do both jobs simultaneously. Unfortunately this tool is quite expensive, and you can buy it on Amazon.
If you want to desoldering all the switches on your mechanical keyboard faster, or you have a mechanical keyboard repair business, the desoldering gun is a great tool for desoldeing switches.
You just need to set the temperature from 390 to 400 degrees. Place the tip of the desoldeing gun on the lead or switch pin you want to desolder like you would with a soldering iron.
Desoldering Gun works to heat and suck the melted lead automatically, this will make your life easier without getting any risk on your keyboard’s mechanical PCB.
Why Desoldering Your Switch?
Desoldering switches have many purposes such as, you will replace your broken switch, replace your old switch with a newer switch. If you want to lubricate the switch, you must also desoldering your switch, opening the stabilizer also requires desoldering the switch.
What is the Best Soldering Wire to Use?
We highly recommend that you use a solder wire with a higher lead presentation with specifications such as 60/40 Sn/Pb or 63/37 Sn/Pb. The more the amount of lead, the easier it will be to use it.
What Solder Sucker Should You Use?
Solder sucker is used to suck up lead that has been melted by a soldering iron quickly. When the solder is melted, the solder sucker can quickly suck up the melted lead. We recommend the MOGAOPI Solder Wick and Sucker because you get a few extra tools for a pretty reasonable price on Amazon.
What Soldering Iron Should You Buy?
We recommend the TS100 or TS80 soldering iron as they are very compact and small. Using it is also very easy. The presence of a screen to display the temperature is important when desoldering switches. The TS100 or TS80 soldering iron is well-qualified for desoldering your mechanical keyboard switches. You can buy a TS100 or TS80 soldering iron on Amazon for a fairly affordable price.
My Switch Is Still Not Working After I Replace It, What Should I Do?
There are two possibilities that happened. The first is that the switch is faulty and the second is that the PCB on the switch that you soldered on is faulty. Make sure you use a keyboard tester and use a tweezer to check if all the buttons on your PCB are working or not before soldering your switches.
My Solder Feels Hot, Is This Normal?
In certain types of solder it takes 5 to 10 minutes to get to the maximum temperature, you just have to wait for it. Experiment with melting the solder wire to see if it’s hot or not. If you can’t melt the solder wire, it means it’s not hot enough.
Video Tutorial How to Desolder a Mechanical Switch Like a Pro!
Desoldering switches on a mechanical keyboard PCB is something that can be learned. You only focus on how to get the switch pins off the tin layer attached to the PCB.
All the tools we recommend are optional, you can use the soldering kit you have, using ordinary tools such as cheap soldering irons you can do that too. We only recommend you to have a solder sucker to suck up the melted lead, as this is the safest way.
The easiest is to use a Desoldering Gun but this costs a lot of money.
Kizaru is a fan, collector, and has a huge addiction to mechanical keyboards. Kizaru has a collection of dozens of mechanical keyboards that come in different sizes and use different switches. He also frequently contributes to various forums that discuss keyboards such as Reddit and GeekHack.