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Comparing TriboSys 3203 & 3204 Switch Lubes

Comparing TriboSys 3203 & 3204 Switch LubesPhoto from Unsplash

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If you’ve been doing research on the optimal switch lubricant to use for tactile switches, odds are that you’ve come across Tribosys 3203 and Tribosys 3204. Let’s dig in to the differences between these two lubes and the reasons why they are generally recommended for tactile switches over other alternatives, such as Krytox 205g0.

What are TriboSys lubricants?

TriboSys is a brand and registered trademark owned by the Miller-Stephenson Chemical Company. Miller-Stephenson supplies the majority of switch lubricant in the United States, as they are the primary supplier to keyboard vendors for both the Krytox and TriboSys branded lubricants. Unlike Krytox, TriboSys is a brand that is developed and owned by Miller-Stephenson entirely.


Tribosys 3203 and 3204 gained popularity among keyboard enthusiasts due to their thinner consistency when compared to Krytox 205 grade 0. Although they are considered Grade 0 lubricants, they use a thinner viscosity base oil, meaning they are not as “thick” as 205g0. Also, 3203 is thinner than 3204. You can think of Tribosys 3204 as being one step down in thickness from Krytox 205g0 and Tribosys 3203 being one step thinner than 3204.

Why are thinner lubes more popular for tactile switches?

Generally speaking, lubing switches serves two purposes: firstly to smoothen the travel of a switch and secondly to dampen the sound of a switch (not to silence the switch but to remove unwanted rattling). With these goals in mind, you might think it best to go with the thickest lube possible—after all, in theory that should maximize the dampening and smoothening properties of a lubricant, right? But thick lubricants pose several challenges: they can introduce drag on the switch, meaning it will be sluggish to press and return, and when used on a tactile switch, thick lubricants will reduce the tactility of the switch.


What is the difference between TriboSys 3203 and TriboSys 3204?

The primary difference between Tribosys 3203 and 3204 is the thickness (or viscosity) of the base oil used to create the lubricants. They are both considered Grade 0 lubricants, but you’ll find 3204 is slightly thicker, closer to the thickness of Krytox 205g0.

For the most part, you can use TriboSys 3203 and TriboSys 3204 interchangeably to lube tactile switches (or linear switches), but I’d recommend going with the thicker 3204 if you’re lubing a linear switch and the thinner 3203 if you’re lubing a tactile switch to ensure that your switch does not lose any tactility.


In conclusion, both Tribosys 3203 and 3204 are great choices for lubing your switches. Specifically, they are a great choice for lubing tactile switches because they are relatively thin lubricants which will smoothen and dampen a switch without overpowering the tactility of the switch, but you can use them for linear switches as well (just don’t expect the same smoothening power of a thicker lubricant).

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