Step-by-step guide to desoldering keyboard switches

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2024 by

If you’re an avid keyboard enthusiast, you may have encountered the need to replace your keyboard switches at some point. Whether it’s due to a faulty switch or simply wanting to try out different types, desoldering and replacing keyboard switches can be a daunting task. But fear not, with this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to desolder your keyboard switches like a pro.

Gather your tools

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary tools. You will need a soldering iron, solder, desoldering pump or wick, tweezers, and a switch puller. It’s also recommended to have a soldering mat or a heat-resistant surface to work on.

Prepare your keyboard

Keyboard switches

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Start by removing all keycaps from your keyboard. This will give you access to the switches and make it easier to work on. Next, flip your keyboard over and unscrew the backplate. Carefully remove the backplate and set it aside.

Heat up your soldering iron

Plug in your soldering iron and let it heat up. It’s recommended to set the temperature between 350-400 degrees Celsius for desoldering. While you wait, you can use this time to identify which switches need to be replaced.

Desolder the switches

Using your soldering iron, heat up the solder on the switch’s pins. Once the solder is melted, use your desoldering pump or wick to remove the excess solder. Repeat this process for all the pins on the switch. Once the solder is removed, use your tweezers to gently pull out the switch from the PCB.

Clean up the PCB

After removing the switches, you may notice some leftover solder on the PCB. Use your desoldering pump or wick to remove any excess solder. It’s important to have a clean and flat surface for the new switches to be soldered onto.

Solder the new switches

Soldering keyboard switches

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Place the new switch onto the PCB and make sure it’s aligned correctly. Using your soldering iron, heat up the pins and apply a small amount of solder to each pin. Be careful not to use too much solder as it can cause a short circuit. Once all the pins are soldered, repeat this process for the remaining switches.

Test the switches

Before putting your keyboard back together, it’s important to test the switches to ensure they are working properly. You can use a switch tester or simply plug in your keyboard and test each switch individually.

Reassemble your keyboard

Once you’ve confirmed that all the switches are working, you can reassemble your keyboard. Place the backplate back on and screw it in place. Then, put all the keycaps back on and your keyboard is ready to use.

By following these steps, you can easily desolder and replace your keyboard switches. Remember to take your time and be careful when working with hot soldering irons. Happy soldering! Have any tips or tricks for desoldering switches? Let us know in the comments.

Hamza Sarfraz

About the Author: Hamza Sarfraz

Hamza Sarfraz is a seasoned SEO and digital marketing expert based in Pakistan with 4 years of experience. Specializing in technology and health, he has a knack for simplifying complex topics into compelling narratives. Leveraging deep SEO insights, Hamza consistently delivers high-quality content that resonates with audiences and adds value to businesses. Discover more about him on his LinkedIn profile.

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