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How to Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard: Here’s The Ultimate Guide!

Last Updated on November 13, 2022

We will explain to you in detail How to Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard so that you can replace the switches on your keyboard more easily and according to the rules without having to damage the switches or your keyboard.

In the past, if keyboard aficionados or gamers wanted to modify the way their switches and typing feel, they had to buy a new keyboard or go through the trouble of soldering. Due to the availability of hot-swappable mechanical keyboards, this is no longer necessary.

We will demonstrate in detail how to change switches on a hotswap keyboard because it is quite simple and quick to do so.

The best part is that you can quickly purchase various switches to test out until you locate the finest one for you.

To Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard, You Will Need:

  • Keycap Puller
  • Switch Puller
  • Container for Replacement Switches (to store the older switches in)

Let’s get going now! Check out the video below to show how to replace switches on a hot-swappable keyboard.

Video: How to Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard

Want More Specifics? Check out this detailed guide!

1. Check your switches and hot-swappable keyboard.

3 Pin and 5 Pin Switch
3 Pin and 5 Pin Switch

It’s crucial to know whether your switches are 3-pin or 5-pin before we begin to demonstrate how to achieve this. Some hotswap keyboards only have 3-pin sockets, meaning 5-pin switches won’t fit, even though most of them have 5-pin sockets, which by nature support 3-pin switches.

In essence, each switch includes a larger spherical plastic “pin” in addition to two metal pins that protrude from the bottom. While the metal pins are actually for the electrical connection, the plastic pin serves as a mount to help keep the switch in place. A “3-pin switch” is a switch that looks just like this. A “5-pin switch” is one that has 2 additional, smaller plastic legs.

To get around this, some enthusiasts cut off the extra pins (which are actually plastic legs for stability rather than pins), but to save time and money, we advise merely checking ahead.

2. Remove the Keycaps with a Keycap Puller

You will need your keycap puller, which is typically provided with a hotswap keyboard, for this stage. It’s very simple to do this; all you have to do is use the keycap puller to take the keycaps form the switches stem.

To avoid hurting anything, we advise being careful and not being too hard when doing this.

3. Remove the Switches With a Switch Puller

Remove the Switches With a Switch Puller
Remove the Switches With a Switch Puller

Take your Switch Puller and remove the switches after removing the keycaps. Given that there are typically several keys to be done, this could take some time.

There is a simple method for doing this that makes things simpler. When using the switch puller, check that the tiny “hooks” on the prongs’ ends fit into the plastic tabs on the switch’s top and bottom sides. Simply depress the plastic tabs and use the switch puller to remove the switch after that.

We advise using caution when doing this, just as when removing keycaps. The switches or the keyboard itself could be harmed if done too forcefully. Don’t worry too much; they are made to be rather rugged. Just be careful not to yank them out violently.

Put the switches in a container after this is finished so you can utilize them later.

4. Install the New Switches and Put the Keycaps Back On!

It’s time to install the new switches after removing all of the older ones from the keyboard. Although it is a very simple technique, caution must be exercised to prevent bending of the metal switch pins.

hotswap sockets
Hotswap sockets

Note: The bigger pcb socket hole is for the plastic pin and the smaller switch shocket hole is for the metal pin.

Simply align the switch pins with the socket on the keyboard, then gently press them into place to accomplish this. The switches should fit into the hotswap sockets without any issues if everything was aligned properly. Next, using your fingers to carefully press the keycaps into position, replace them on the switch.

Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard
Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard: Install the new switch to the hot swap pcb

5. Test Your Hot Swappable Keyboard

The last step is this. You’ve succeeded! All that’s left to do is test your keyboard to ensure that everything is operating as it should. You should keep an eye out for any keys that aren’t registering keystrokes because this could indicate that the switch isn’t fully inserted or that it’s not positioned properly. If so, it’s possible that one of the pins was harmed. You can correct this by using pliers or your fingers to carefully straighten the pin once more.

We advise making use of this convenient, free online keyboard tester tools to check the functionality of your keyboard.

Note: It is recommended that you install the keycaps on the keyboard at the end only after making sure all the functions on the keyboard can work properly!

Conclusion: How to Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard

Replace Switches On A Hot-Swappable Keyboard is very easy, you just need to remember a few steps such as:

  • Prepare tools such as Keycap Puller, Switch Puller, and Container to place old switches.
  • Remove the keycaps on the switch you want to replace.
  • Line up the keycaps in order so you don’t forget their position when you reinstall them later.
  • Open the switch using the switch puller, find the hook side at the bottom of the switch and press and pull!
  • After pulling the switch, you will see if the Shocket PCB supports a 3 pin switch or a 5 pin switch.
  • Install the new switch on the Shocket PCB, the larger one is for the plastic on the 5 pin switch and the smaller one is for the metal pin.
  • Next, test your keyboard using an online keyboard tester to make sure all the functions on the keyboard keys work normally.
  • Finally, put your keycaps back into the stem switches after making sure all key functions are working normally.
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