If you’re attempting to build your own keyboard from scratch or fix your stuck spacebar and are wondering what the heck a stabilizer is, hopefully I can help you understand. We’ll go over the specifics of what a stabilizer is and some of the different styles.
Keyboard stabilizers are installed underneath the keycaps of the larger sized keys to help minimize the key rattle.
The stabilizers get installed directly in the PCB (print circuit board) and help, well, stabilize the keys. Trust me, nobody wants rickety keys!
Try gently pressing on the corner of your keys and if they rock back and forth, your stabilizers need help. You can swap them out for a better set of stabilizers or even mod them to increase the performance
Stabilizers are incredibly effective and come in all shapes in sizes. The most common sizes are 2u, 6.25u, and 7u.
A standard keyboard will require four 2u stabilizers and one 6.25u (for the spacebar). However, I would highly recommend that you search for the sizes of your specific keyboard or PCB plate. Different keyboards require a wide variety of stabilizer and key cap sizes.
There are also different styles of stabilizers. The most widely used are:
- PCB Snap In (AKA Stab In)
- PCB Screw In
- Hook in (Costar only)
Much like the different sizes, the type you will choose is based mainly on your PCB mounting plate or whatever your keyboard currently uses.
You can find out what is compatible with your PCB by the shape of the mounting hole. If your PCB plate has the notch shown in the picture below, that means it is compatible with both PCB mount and snap-in styles.
If you’re still confused about which styles are compatible, you can reach out to the company you purchased the board from to get the specifics of what works and doesn’t work.
Overall, the screw-in style is the most secure of the options and has the least amount of rattle. They remain in place when taking off the key caps, unlike the snap-in style which have a tendency to dislodge.
The Snap-in style are the most common and in general have a little bit of rattle, but overall are a decent and cheap option. But as mentioned above, you need to be careful when removing keycaps as they might get removed as well.
The hook-in style is only available with Costar stabilizers, you can read more about it here. This style hooks into the keycaps and can be quite a pain to tinker with after installation. Otherwise, these are a great option to pick.
Hopefully this list helped and if you have any questions, corrections, or additions to this list please let us know!