This page is your go-to for figuring out everything you need to build your own custom mechanical keyboard.
We have done the research and tested all of these products that we recommend.
Whether you are modifying your current mechanical keyboard, finding the tools to build your first custom, or just looking for a few more tools to add to your arsenal, this list will provide you will all of the essentials and then some items that are nice to have.
Download the Cheat Sheet Below:
We included the parts for a custom 60% mechanical keyboard for under $200 that will look, sound, and feel absolutely fantastic.
Full disclosure: Switch and Click participates in the Amazon Associates program, and we’ll earn a commission on qualifying purchases made through the links on this page (at no extra cost to you). Despite this, we recommend only products that we love and have tested ourselves.
Recommended Starter Build (Under $200):
60% Keyboard Case
Aluminum case available in a variety of different colors. Comes with matching aluminum feet, 4 rubber bumpons, and screws.
Plate that supports multiple different layouts such as split space bar, split backspace, ISO/ANSI, and switch top removal. Also supports a variety of bottom rows too.
60% PCB: DZ60 RGB
Has RGB underglow, and fully programmable via QMK firmware. Supports 5-pin switches and a variety of different layouts.
Uses a Mini-B USB port to connect.
All-Around Favorite Switches: Gateron Yellow
Gateron Yellows are extremely smooth linears that are a little bit heavier than reds. With lubricant, they are smoother than even the most premium stock switches.
Cherry PCB Stabilizers
Comes in a pack to support 60% keyboards with 4 2u stabilizers and 1 6.25u stabilizer. Also has the option to pick a 7u stabilizer for the space bar. Authentic Cherry stabilizers with high-quality, be sure to lube them.
Keycaps for Shine-Through
A great affordable option with thick double-shot PBT keycaps and available with all 104 keys to fit 60%, TKL, and full-sized layouts.
Essential Tools – You NEED These
Adjustable Soldering Iron: TS100
The TS100 is great for soldering switches on as well as helping you desolder switches in case mistakes are made. This is essential unless you have a hot-swappable board. It’s extremely portable and has a temperature reading screen.
Solder Wire: Kester 63/37 SN/PB
Solder is essential. Having lead solder makes it much easier to desolder switches. It’s a good size and easy to store when not in use.
Precision Screwdriver Kit
Having a screwdriver kit with different bit varieties will come in handy when opening up cases, opening up switches without a switch opener, and putting your keyboard together.
Nice Tools to Have (Makes Life a LOT Easier)
Keeps you safe when your soldering iron is not in use, highly recommended despite not being essential. Also comes with a place to clean your soldering iron’s tip.
Having a USB cable that can fit multiple different ports is extra convenient, especially one that is stylish and matches your setup.
Tools for Lubing & Filming Switches
Having a switch opener makes your life a million times easier and saves time too. Rather than breaking your nails trying to open each one, just press each switch and then separate them. Easy peasy.
Switch films help tighten up your switches and prevent switch wobble, which makes them sound and feel crispy and thocc-y.
Switch Lube for Switches
Having the right switch lube makes the job much easier. For the type of lube, 205g0 is a great all-around lube for linear and tactile switches. This is usually a more viscous lube.
Lube for Bag Lubing Springs
Springs are much easier to lube via throwing them in a bag with a few drops of lube in it. Then shake it all around. You need a thin lube for this.
Ziploc Bags (for Bag Lubing Springs)
To bag lube, you need bags. These bags fasten to a close and let you shake all of the springs around without worrying about any blowouts, because that could get messy real fast.
Having a nice pair of tweezers lets you pick up the springs easier without lubing up your fingers in the process. Tweezers are always handy when dealing with tiny objects.
Tools for Modding Stabilizers
These are great for the bandaid mod and to protect your fingers in case you get cuts, I suppose.
Stabilizers need a thicker lubricant, usually Krytox 205g0 is used. Adds extra smoothness to your stabs, making them sound and feel much better.
Tools for Sound Dampening
A thin layer of sponge material that can fit inside your keyboard case to reduce reverb.