If you are new to the mechanical keyboard hobby, chances are you don’t have many of the shiny, glamorous tools many people have, but, here at The Tech Frontier, we are ready to help.
The tools here are definitely some of the most essential tools. If you plan to mod your keyboard, definitely look into these tools so you can have the best experience possible.
Antistatic Switch Puller
These pullers are a godsend, and they are relatively cheap for about 8 dollars. Not only that, they include two in the box!. So if you happen to lose one, want to pull switches with a friend, or plan to dual wield switch pullers they got you covered. You can find them here on amazon.
Keycap Puller/Switch Opener
To get to your switches you are likely going to have to pull some keycaps off too. For that we have you covered! This package also comes with an MX Style aluminum switch opener which is quite the invention. But if you don’t need one of those we got you covered with just the puller. Note this puller is much better than the cheap plastic ones you get since they won’t scratch your keycaps and you can multiple at once. Conveniently this also comes with a switch puller on the other end of the keycap puller but it is not very good, which is why we recommend the antistatic one above. You can find the combo here and just the puller here.
In a hobby like this, a screwdriver is like your lifeline. Chances are you will have to open up your keyboard at some point or another, whether you want to foam, desolder, or more. This little screwdriver kit is amazing for its price. While it’s not the quality of an iFixit kit, this set has more bits and tools and is definitely more worth it for this type of work. You can find it on Amazon for about 20 to 30 dollars here.
While you may have the tools to build a hotswap mechanical keyboard or to mod your current board, there are some tools you will need if you want to solder a board.
Temperature Adjustable Soldering Iron: TS 100
If you are soldering anything the TS100 is a fantastic option. The TS100 also has you covered if you need to desolder. The TS100 is great because not only is it temperature adjustable but it has a screen and it is very portable. The TS100 is considered one of the best soldering irons that you can get and is used by many enthusiasts. There are some cheaper alternatives but few pack as much in one package. If you want the TS100, check it out on Amazon here.
Solder Wire: Kester 63/37 SN/PB 1LB
For any soldering job, the actual solder is essential. Having leaded solder makes the job a lot easier when working with mechanical keyboard switches too. This solder is very easy to use, is of good quality, and also is easy to store. If you want some solder wire for yourself check it out here on Amazon.
Solder Sucker: Engineer SS-02
If you make a mistake and need to desolder then the Engineer SS-02 is a great tool to use. The SS-02 is high quality, isn’t too expensive, has easy maintenance, and is very easy to use. You can get the SS-02 here on Amazon but if you want something a bit cheaper and you are fine using something with lesser quality then Amazon’s Choice has a cheaper option to consider at about half the price found here.
Solder Fume Exhaust Fan: Kotto Solder Smoke Absorber
While soldering is an essential part of many fun projects but can also be dangerous. The fumes that come up from the soldering are toxic if inhaled. While a little bit is ok ventilation is very important. For this, we recommend a soldering fan. Kotto’s Solder Smoke Absorber is had the Amazon’s Choice badge and gives you to flexibility to solder inside or outside. Even with the windows closed. You can find the fan here on Amazon. If you want to save your money and not get a soldering fan then we would recommend that you only solder outside or next to an open window.