So wondering how to use a keycap puller may sound funny to some of you keyboard gurus out there, but I can completely understand why some people would ask this sort of question.
When I got my first mechanical keyboard, it came with one of those keycap removers and I didn’t want to risk breaking my brand new keyboard, so I asked the very same question.
In addition to doing a review on the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum (which you can check out here if you haven’t read it yet), I’m going to try to release some posts related to mechanical keyboards to answer any other questions you may have.
Use it On The Correct Keyboard!
First off, this tutorial is intended for mechanical keyboards only. Most keycap pullers I’ve heard of are designed for removing keys off of mechanical keyboards (I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word key used so many times in a single sentence).
If you don’t know what kind of keyboard you are using, most keyboards have their model information on them, so just look underneath your keyboard to see what model it is, then look up online if that keyboard is a mechanical or a membrane one.
Or a quicker way of determining if your keyboard is mechanical or not is the way it feels when it types.
Membrane keyboards typically have a soft feel when the key is pressed all the way down, versus a mechanical keyboard which has a hard feel to it.
Mechanical keyboards tend to be loud too, but I’ve seen some pretty noisy membrane keyboards out there too. If you want to read more about mechanical and membrane keyboards, I’ve written a post here about them.
Keycap Puller Alternatives
If you don’t have a keycap puller, there are some cheap alternatives for making your own. Such as bending a paper clip into the shape of a “U” with the end of the tips curved like a hook, so it can grip the key underneath.
But keycap pullers are usually cheap and are a really useful tool to have on you.
Breaking Down The Process – For Little Keys
As I break down the process step by step below, I’m going to tell you how to do it using my Corsair K95 as an example.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the same keyboard as me because this knowledge should be applicable to most mechanical keyboards because it’s really simple. If your keyboard has back lighting, you may want to turn it off before removing any keys.
Step 1: Get your keycap puller ready by holding it with your thumb and index finger.
(Do NOT remove the Space bar with these steps! For removing the Space bar go further down to “How to Remove Bigger Keys Like the Space Bar” for instructions on how to do it after reading through this particular section.)
Step 2: Align the tool you are holding in the center of the key you want to remove.
Step 3: Push down on the keycap puller until the little hooks on the end of it slide and grip under the key.
Step 4: Pull up on the keycap remover.
Step 5: That’s about it!
Tip: I find that it works best to grip the thinnest side of a key with the keycap puller tool.
How to Remove Bigger Keys Like the Space Bar
Removing the Space bar is a bit more of a different story. So listen carefully to the steps below for removing it.
Step 1: Using the information you learned before, you’re going to have to remove two keys near the Space bar.
Step 2: In my case, I’ll need to remove the “ALT” key located to left of my Space bar and the other “ALT” key located to the right of my Space bar. (I guess “Step 2” could be skipped, but it might make your life easier).
Step 3: After I’ve removed both of the ALT keys, I’ll need to use my keycap remover tool in the very center to pry the Space bar out of its place WITHOUT lifting it up completely yet.
Step 4: In my case I have two grips attached to the edges of the Space bar, but sometimes there will be a metal wire instead.
For people with no metal wire
If there isn’t a metal wire, you can use your fingers after disconnecting the main middle part of the Space bar to detach these two plastic bits holding it down on the sides.
For people with the metal wire
If there is a metal wire you will see that it is hooked through two different sides.
All you need to do after detaching the middle part of the Space bar like you did in Step 3 is to slide one of the wires out from under the wire holder, then slide the other wire hook out from under the other wire holder.
In a nutshell, just look at where the metal wire is running through the holes under the Space bar and maneuver the Space bar out of the wire hooks.
Start with one side, then work with the other and it should come off.
All in all, it’s similar to removing a smaller key except you have to remove the two Space bar clip grips too.
As you can see, it’s really simple to remove keys with a keycap puller. It’s almost as easy as putting two Lego bricks together and taking them apart.
Now that you know though, you can feel comfortable removing keys off of your mechanical keyboard!
Anyways, I hope you found this post useful, hopefully I can answer some more questions you may have related to keyboards with any future posts that come out. Or even feel free to leave me a question below and I’d be happy to get back to you!