4 Ways to Silence Your Noisy Mechanical Keyboard

4 Ways to Silence Your Noisy Mechanical Keyboard

The feel and sounds of the keys they’re pounding away on all day are often just as important to keyboard enthusiasts as the history of their hardware.

However, it’s difficult to imagine a keyboard with a more intriguing past than this strange layout rescued from a Minuteman III nuclear missile silo.

The Nuclear Keyboard, as the YouTube channel Pointless Tinkering refers to this Cold War relic, was purchased on eBay along with a matching trackball accessory because of its fascinating layout,

It includes special function keys labelled with ominous labels like “GO TO VOICE,” “INITIATE,” and a big blue “ABORT” button that should really be a standard button on every keyboard.

There was no doubt when this keyboard was obtained that it was created and utilised by the military.

Why Mechanical Keyboards Are Loud?

The mechanism by which mechanical keyboards work is the primary cause of their noise.

The force you put on a keyboard key is transferred to the spring via a slider under the keycap, which then activates the electrical circuit.

The transmission of force causes noise, yet this is how your system receives keyboard input.

The slider beneath your keys may grow rough with time, adding frictional noise, or you may have purchased a mechanical keyboard with loud, clicky switches from the start. In any case, noise is noise.

Let’s look at several easy DIY ways to silence mechanical keyboards now that you know why they’re louder.

Change Your Work Surface

The surface you use for your keyboard has a big impact on whether the noise is reduced or amplified.

Your mechanical keyboard is likely to be noisier when used on an old desk with dents. See whether putting it on a smooth surface makes a difference.

The placement of your keyboard also contributes to the noise created by your clicks. The force applied to your keyboard spring is usually softened someplace beneath the support.

There’s nothing to explain why it sounds louder when it’s half on the table and half away from it. It’s the same reason that typing on a lap makes your keyboard seem louder.

As a result, you should first check its location and, if possible, adjust your working surface. If you can’t afford a new one, buying a desk pad would be a better choice.

Using a Desk Mat

Maybe you have a mouse pad handy. Place your keyboard on the pad and type to test if the pad muffles the sound of your keyboard. Consider getting a desk mat if this is the case.

When you type on a keyboard, some force is delivered to the working surface. This vibration in a surface tends to increase vibrational noise, amplifying the degree of noise.

As a result, dampening the force before it reaches the desk is critical. A desk mat can assist you in this by serving as a damper.

If transferring to a smooth surface and using a desk mat to absorb vibrational noise hasn’t silenced your keyboard, you’ll need to open it up and make some mechanical modifications.

Using O-Rings as Dampers

Overtones are usually reduced by using O-rings around the edge of the drumhead. They dampen noise induced by key presses in keyboards.

After removing the keycaps from your keys one by one, install the O-rings on the switches. With each keystroke, it will now reduce some noise, making your keyboard a little quieter.

If you do this, your keys may become sloppy, defeating the purpose of purchasing a clicky mechanical keyboard in the first place. Aside from that, frequent keystrokes cause them to wear down over time. As a result, they must be replaced on a regular basis.

So, if this is something you can live with, go ahead and put O-rings in place. If it doesn’t work, try some of the other fixes on the list.

Add Foam Inside Keyboard

Foam might help to lessen your keyboard’s internal vibrating noise. It’s a simple and inexpensive approach to reduce overall keyboard noise.

The only disadvantage is that it takes a long time; otherwise, it’s as simple as removing the plastic clips or unscrewing your keyboard, then inserting the foam between the bottom and the PCB.

Two prominent foam alternatives are Sobrathane and Neoprene. Sobrathane will most certainly minimise noise, but it will also make your keyboard heavier.

Neoprene, on the other hand, is lightweight and affordable, but it does not attenuate noise as effectively as Sobrathane.

If you’re on a budget, you can also use the same packing foam that came with your keyboard. If you’ve already taken it to the garbage, get some shelf liner from a nearby store and use it instead.

Calm Down Your Noisy Keyboard

This time-consuming but successful procedure can also be used to quiet a noisy keyboard. Each switch’s spring and stem are lubricated to decrease frictional noise.

Because you’ll have to desolder the switches while removing them, adding lube and reinstalling them will take a long time,

So this isn’t an ideal solution for most people. It is, nonetheless, worthwhile if you have the time.

Furthermore, avoid using too much lubrication, since it will begin to function as resistance. If you do this, you risk rendering some of your keys inoperable.

Finally, make sure the lube you’re using is safe for plastic. You should only attempt this patch if you are confident in your abilities.

Vaishabh Jalmi
I am a technologist, an electronics engineer, and a writer with a keen interest in the latest developments in technology, design, and engineering. I have an engineering degree in electronics from one of the top universities in India. My experience spans different domains of information technology including hardware, software, embedded systems, and networking. I have built my career on this passion for innovation by working at companies like Intel Corporation, General Electric Company (GE), Cisco Systems, Inc., PTC India Private Limited, Teamwork Software Ltd., etc. As a tech writer, I have written for some reputed publications like MakeUseOf and TheNextWeb. This has helped me hone my writing skills while also making it easier to understand complex topics related to technology.