The Best Mechanical Keyboard Stabilizers - 2024

Stabilizers can arguably make or break a keyboard and you want to know what the best ones are. I mean, who wouldn’t want the best for their keyboard, right? The problem is that there are so many different stabilizers to choose from. How do you choose the best ones? Well, let me give you my personal tier list of what I think the best stabilizers are for your custom mechanical keyboards.

Remember, this is my personal list. You may disagree, and that’s fine! I have been building keyboards for clients for nearly four years now and after trying so many different stabilizers I have preferences and reasons why I pick and choose certain ones for clients. From them being reliable, to even just cost. So again, this isn’t an attack on your favourite brand of stabilizers. I will also not be covering plate mounted stabs, this list is just for PCB mounted. Let’s start this thing.

Now, since I don’t usually rank things in a tier list, let me give you some criteria of what I am looking for.

    1. Price
    2. Installation
    3. Use cases
    4. Modding
    5. Problems/Notes

       

I am highlighting “Use Cases” because this will be situational and I want to make it clear that some stabs will just not work on certain boards that require things like o-ring mounts. Also the problems / notes are to mention issues outside of the realm of the previous points and just other thoughts.

Important notes:
I also am well aware there a lot of different brands of stabs and I intend to try as many as I can, but for stabs that are not present on the list, I will add them as I go! 

There are also some affiliate links in this list, they help me make pages like this and upkeep this website. Again, these do not affect rankings at all.

Last page update - 06\24\2024

Table of Contents

Cherry Clip-In Stabilizers

Cherry clip-in stabs are iconic in my mind. They are cheap, they are relatively easy to mod and they work on a variety of different builds where screw in stabs may not. I have used over 100 units of these stabilizers. They are manufactured by Cherry who also make some of my favourite switches currently!

Price 5/5

You can buy these for about $10 USD or $13 CAD at some places and even less if you buy these in bulk. Which is almost half the price of fancier stabilizers. For people on a budget, these are still one of my favourite options.

Installation 4.5/5

Cherry stabilizers are installed by popping them into the PCB. They anchor themselves into the PCB after they are pushed in and then sit snug. They are very easy to install. While I have never had one pop out of a PCB in the dozens upon dozens I’ve used, some people also toothpick mod these to hold them more securely.

Use Cases 4.5/5

These can be used for almost all projects. They are a bit finicky for thinner PCBs but still usable. I would still personally opt for a screw in stabilizers for 1.0mm or 1.2mm PCBs since not all included shims are made the same.

Modding 4/5

You do need to clip the extra legs off the stem. It isn’t the biggest deal in the world. I don’t know why Cherry doesn’t just offer this stock. I follow my normal rule of 205g0 lubricant on where plastic meets plastic and Loctite dielectric grease (or XHT BDZ) where plastic meets metal. Depending on how you personally mod stabilizers, this will require some extra love and tuning. Overall, they are a bit more involved than other stabilizers.

Problems / Notes

One single issue that I have encountered for these stabs is for tighter keycaps, these can sometimes be annoying. Specifically PBT keycaps that have tighter stem tolerances. They can pull the clipped in portion off the PCB and you can risk damaging the stabilizer. Though this is true for all clip ins. I have only had this happen to me two times ever, and only one time did it cause permanent damage. I wanted to chalk this up to more of a keycap issue, but in this cause both parties are to blame. 

Stabilizer housings are consistent in quality and stock wires are great too. Some people do prefer aftermarket wires from their clip ins. I don’t mind 

Another note is the sound profile. Cherry clip-in stabs tend to be a tad scratchy sounding, so keep that in mind!

Total: 18/20

Knight Stabilizers

The Swagkeys Knight Stabs are probably the most requested stabilizer for this page that I have seen to date. Everyone has been recommending them, and for a while, even now, these were almost impossible to find in stock. Well, I got my hands on a few sets and after thorough testing here is my scores for this.

Price 4.5/5

The Swagkeys Knight Stabs come in around $15 USD before shipping and it’s not a bad price considering how awesome these things are. I think they do a great job at balancing cost with how well they actually work! These do get a bit of a bump of value though since they come with stabilizers shims (which are meant for thinner PCBs) included with them.

Installation 4/5

Just like all other screw in stabilizers, these work great. 

Use Cases 4/5

These can be used for almost all projects. But, just like other screw in stabilizers, these will usually not work with things like o-ring mounting boards. The added bonus of getting those shims is that you don’t have to really worry for 1.2mm PCBs if they don’t come with them. Please keep in mind, depending on the PCB these shims may or may not work. For example on certain 1.2mm hotswap boards they may have sockets blocking the area for shims underneath.

Modding 5/5

These absolutely the easiest stabilizers I have modded to date.  They are just as easy to mod as the Staebies, but lack the issues of them. I can’t recommend these enough for people newer in the hobby. I do recommend just using some 205g0, the thicker greases didn’t work all too well for these.

Problems / Notes

I have no issues with these stabs at all. I love them and will use them when I can. To be realistic though, they don’t offer any large benefit over something like Durock stabs or Mode stabs to me and that’s okay. They are just easier to mod for me and may offer less “ticking” noise then it’s competition. The reason there is the new silicone double injection mold. Basically, both the crown and housing are injection-treated at areas where the stem is in contact with the housing and it allows them to absorb the impact of the wire much better, which means less plastic-on-plastic noise.

These are super solid and the only other stab I’d recommend higher than this are Cherry Clips due to pricing on those and use cases.

Total: 17.5/20

Mode Stabilizers

These are Mode’s answer to making a well priced screw in stabilizers that just works. And they really do work well. To note, I have tested about 6 sets of these total as they are still relatively new. Also Mode sponsors my Twitch channel but that does not affect rankings or my thoughts on these stabilizers.

Price 4.5/5

These are very well priced at $12 USD per set and as of this article, Mode is offering buy 4 get 1 free for those who need many sets. They are pretty no frills, so don’t expect anything innovative here. While the clip-in stabilizers do ring in cheaper, these are probably one of the best deals for screw in stabilizers. 

Installation 4/5

These are your standard screw in experience. They don’t ‘lock in’ like Durock stabs do, so I do recommend installing them one stabilizer at a time.

Use Cases 4/5

You can use these on almost all builds with the exception of most o-ring keyboards. For 1.2mm and 1.0mm PCB’s you will usually need a shim still with these.

Modding 4/5

I follow my normal rule of 205g0 lubricant on where plastic meets plastic and Loctite dielectric grease (or XHT BDZ) where plastic meets metal. Like most stabilizers on this list and depending on how you mod things, you may need to tune these after install.

Problems / Notes

The Mode Stabilizers are rather unproblematic. They come in good packaging, the wires are solid and the housing on the sets I’ve used all seemed consistent. Quality of all the units and housing were great and I was more than happy using these in builds.

Sound profile wise these have no scratch when modded correctly and feel smooth!

Total: 16.5/20

Durock Stabilizers

If you’ve been in the hobby a while, you’ve definitely seen Durock stabilizers. I feel like these get a lot of flack and I never understood why. 

Price 3.5/5

Depending on where you shop, these tend to go for $17 USD a pack. Which is $5 dollars more than Mode’s. It’s not terribly expensive for a decent set of stabs, but $5 goes a long way!

Installation 4.5/5

Durock stabilizers are another standard screw in experience. However, I find on almost all PCB’s these tend to long into the PCB before you screw them down due to tolerances of the housings. I love this and it makes the process of installing them simple.

Use Cases 4/5

You can use these on almost all builds with the exception of most o-ring keyboards. For 1.2mm and 1.0mm PCB’s you will usually need a shim still with these.

Modding 3.5/5

As per the usual, I follow my normal rule of 205g0 lubricant on where plastic meets plastic and Loctite dielectric grease (or XHT BDZ) where plastic meets metal. Depending on how you mod things, you may need to tune these after install. Some people find tuning Durock stabilizers very finicky.

Problems / Notes

Despite the criticism Durock stabs get, I really haven’t found them to be problematic while using them in the slightest. In fact, I don’t get the hate they receive. The other key note here is I really do feel these work better using a thicker grease where the wire is.

Quality wise, they are good. They do come in bags and depending on how they get shipped, the wires can potentially get damaged in transit, but this is 

Sound profile wise these sound and feel smooth!

Total: 15.5/20

TypePlus x YIKB Stabilizers

The TypePlus stabilizers are interesting. I was sent a lot of these to take a look at, including some prototype samples that they wanted some input on. These stabs try to stand out by having a unique wire hook that aim to minimize to contact of the wire and the stems. 

Price 4/5

The price of these are $15 dollars and include stabilizer shims in the box. They are also adhesive and probably one of the nicest stab shims I have ever used, so kudos to them. Price wise, they are not the cheapest, but meet a perfect middle ground of pricing with some decent little add-ons in the box.

Installation 3/5

These are more involved and can be confusing if you take them out of the box and mix up parts. They have a left and right housing / stem. Once you get the hand of these, it’s really easy.

Use Cases 4/5

These work with everything with the exception of most o-rings builds. Even on 1.2mm PCBs these are easy to install making great use of those stab shims.

Modding 4/5

These we’re very easy and really only required 205g0. I did test these with some thicker greases and they worked, but they are really not needed just because how wire sits in the housing. 

Problems / Notes

These felt great to use, but even after around six sets I still have to really take my time assembling these, which is by no means a bad thing. I will note that the packaging on these are great and on all the retail sets I had used, the wires were exceptional (for now). I appreciate that these aim to be different with a unique wire shape, but this also means you can’t use other wires. Which means TypePlus has to make sure that these parts do not get damaged in shipping and ship out with good QC. So far, so good with them and I applaud TypePlus for this!  

Total: 15/20

C³ EQUALZ Stabilizers

C³ stabilizers are interesting. I am not even sure if these are still being made honestly. As of right now it does seem like some vendors carry these or they have listings on Amazon for a premium. 

Price 3/5

Prices vary here, but it seems like these go for $18 USD to $20 USD. These used to come in such a variety of colours, which was so much fun, but it seems like it’s just standard colors now.

Installation 4/5

Pretty normal install here, screw them in and away you go. 

Use Cases 4/5

These work with everything with the exception of most o-rings builds.

Modding 4/5

I actually quite liked C³ stabs! They also come with a lot of extra stuff you can use to mod them. They did take a slight bit more lube than the Durock stabs I found, but they were easy to get good sounding. 

Problems / Notes

I actually quite liked these stabs and it’s sad to see these being phased out in a way with less vendors carrying them. It is hard to recommend these when you can get much cheaper stabs that do the exact same thing. The thing they had going for them was all the fun color choices, but it seems it is no longer a thing.

Total: 15/20

TX AP (Rev 4) Stabilizers

This is where this list starts to get interesting. Next up we have the TX AP Stabilizers, please note I will not be discussing previous revisions of this stabilizer as they don’t make them anymore.

Price 3/5

Pricing depends on where you shop but I have picked these up for $18 USD a pack. These do come in either white or black and have variations of different packs like sets made for long pole switches and smaller packs for alice boards. 

Installation 4.5/5

Near top points for install here. They are just as simple as the Cherry clip in stabilizers. They even come with a plastic wedge in case you have a PCB where the clip in portion is loose.

Use Cases 3/5

You can use these on almost all builds. They even come in 1.2 mm variants which makes these a pretty good pick up! However, since these switches are tighter in tolerances, they do not play well with things like slightly warped keycaps, plates that impact the sides of the stabilizers and anything else that would touch the alignment of the stabilizers.

This can result in a slower return of the stabilizers and friction on the way down. It can make the stabilizer sluggish. This was more of an issue in previous revisions, but it still persists in the AP version of this stab. I have used a lot of TX AP stabilizers at this point and have first hand experience of this happening on occasion.

Modding 4.5/5

These are very finicky with certain lubes. In fact, the less you use, the better (which can be seen as a good thing). They also don’t play super well with thicker lubricants. I would strongly recommend using a thin coat of 205g0 for everything here. Just using that, they are surprisingly easy to lube.

Problems / Notes

As mentioned, these stabilizers can get cranky with certain keyboards, it’s very few and far between thanks to the new Rev 4 AP version of these stabilizers, but still worth mentioning. I would still feel very confident in recommending these.

Otherwise, there is little to no scratch and they feel very smooth! 

Total: 15/20

 

Gateron V2 Stabilizers

Gateron has had these stabs for quite a while now and I feel like they are an underdog when it comes to stabilizers. They have a few different colour options and even have a long pole version for those odd cases you may need it.

Price 3.5/5

Price wise they are not bad at all! They come in at about $16 USD + depending on where you shop and what versions you get and come nicely packed in a box. 

Installation 4/5

Very standard screw in stab experience here. I have had luck with using these on 1.2mm PCBs but I still recommend using the shim here. They don’t clip into the board as nicely as Durock stabs.

Use Cases 4/5

Here is my typical blurb — like most other screw-ins, you can use these on almost all builds with the exception of most o-ring keyboards. I didn’t notice any oddities about them at all.

Modding 3.5/5

They are pretty standard to modify, in fact I mod them the exact same way I do Durock stabilizers. They are easy to tweak once installed. One small note: I know they come nicely boxed up, but I have had some weird wires from a few packs. Please keep in mind I have only used about 8 sets of these total.

Problems / Notes

These are a pretty decent set of stabs, but I can’t ignore the few odd packs I’ve had with weird wires. I have been told it was a problem early on with the sets.

Total: 15/20

Wuque WS Stabs V3 Stabilizers

The WS Stabs are designed by Wuque. I was happy that they didn’t give up on stabilizers, I was worried when I saw their Aurora line up slowly disappear. They are interesting stabilizers as they essentially come pre holee mod without the downsides of doing it yourself (the mod falling out).

Price 2.5/5

These come in at $20 USD a pack when not on sale, but I typically see these go on sale here and there. I can understand the premium here as you do get something different in the box.

Installation 3/5

As far as screw in stabilizers go, it’s a pretty standard install here. The only odd thing to install on WS stabilizers are the wires being clipped into the bottom. Some may find it awkward but once you get the hang of it, it’s no biggie. It’s technically beneficial if you tend to pop wires a lot from taking off keycaps, which on most modern stabs shouldn’t be an issue anyways. They are also very messy to resemble and you will get your fingers full of lube.

Use Cases 4/5

I’ve used a fair number of these now and haven’t had any issues! These are screw stabilizers though, so like every other set, they may not work in most o-ring builds. 

Modding 4.5/5

These can be in either a TPU or silicone variant where the wire will have additional protection from rattling. They tend to work best with 205g0 for everything as thicker lubes aren’t really needed nor work well with the additional plastic in there.

Problems / Notes

These are good if you are struggling to get a set of stabs lubed. The extra protection against the rattling wire will probably make a bunch of people happy! But if you’re comfortable tweaking stabilizers, then the extra cost here may be wasted and getting a cheaper set would be better in the long run.

Total: 14/20

GSV2 Stabilizers

This is Glorious’ v2 stabilizer. For the record, I will not be reviewing the v1 stab (GOAT Stabs) or letting it affect this score. Their V1 stab was abysmal.  Also note this is a set of stabs I have only used a small handful of.

Price 5/5

At $10 USD a pack, you really can’t say anything bad about these. They come with washers and the standard items a screw in stab has, all in a decent box!

Installation 3.5/5

A very standard install here. Again, they don’t quite ‘lock in’ like Durock stabilizers do, so installing them one stab at a time is recommended. I also found myself needing shims here for 1.2mm PCB usage.

Use Cases 4/5

You can use these in all builds with the exception of some o-ring mounted units. There was nothing that hindered the stabs from working properly.

Modding 1/5

Modding these is standard fare, however all of the wires I have tried were not ‘balanced’ or straight. I actually ended using other wires I had laying around from other sets of stabs. I sadly have to dock these points because of that reason from my own personal experience. I have heard people had some wonderful stabs from this, but I can’t share that experience.

Problems / Notes

If you luck out with wires, then modding them is straight forward, but out of all sets I have used (around 6 sets) all of them I swapped out wires. Perhaps this is an area of improvement for Glorious. Since all of these sets were for clients, I can’t comment on how they hold up in the long run.

Total: 13.5/20

Staebies V2.1 Stabilizers

Designed by Zambumon in collaboration with AEBoards, these stabilizers are commonly considered “end game” by a lot of people I’ve spoken to. 

Price 2/5

These come in at a whopping $22 USD a pack (as per the norm, this depends on where you shop). These do come in either black or clear.  

Installation 4/5

It’s a pretty standard install here for screw-ins. The only real difference here is the screws that come with this stabilizer are hex vs phillips screws. I’ve had good luck using these for 1.2mm PCBs.

Use Cases 2.5/5

You can use these on almost all builds with the exception of most o-ring keyboards. They are going to score lower simply because they suffer from the same thing that TX stabs do, only more common. The tolerances within the stabilizer housing where the stem sits is tight. This means whenever there is pressure put on these, they could cause friction and interfere with the stabilizer. There have been many builds where I’ve had to just take it apart and replace the Staebies with something else. 

Modding 4.5/5

These may be on the nice stabilizers to mod. They do well with every type of lube I’ve thrown at it, and tend to not take much lubricant to sound and feel good. This is the strongest point about the Staebies and those tighter tolerances come into play here as positive for modding.

Problems / Notes

The weakest point here is the price point. At that cost they are near double what the Mode stabilizers cost and you don’t really get any real added benefit here. I have noticed in the long run Staebies tend to hold up better and don’t need to be returned as often, but the potential to run into issues can be a turn off.

Total: 13/20

QMX Stabilizers

QMX Stabilizers is GMK’s new offering into the stabilizers market and it’s a bit of an interesting one! The new design touts four key features. 

  • Noise-reducing design
  • Optimized guidance of both slider and wire
  • Minimized rattling on the housing
  • Advanced overall performance


There are some trade offs here though so let’s dive in.

Price 3.5/5

These come in at a premium of $22 USD a pack however you get a fair number of stabilizers in the pack, which is great. A total of 8 sets of stabilizer housings and a bunch of wires, even a 6u wire! It garners extra points for what’s in the box despite the price.

Installation 3/5

They are screw-in stabilizers and install to the PCB easily enough. The housing install and the awkward one.  They stem needs to be pulled out from the housing on a bit of an angle due to a small stopper piece on it.  I have also had good luck with 1.2mm PCBs here as well. 

Use Cases 4/5

Like most other screw ins, you can use these on almost all builds with the exception of most o-ring keyboards.Despite the tolerances of the housings, they actually have very little friction even on tighter plates that push against them and I have not run into the same issue like TX AP or Staebies stabs.

Modding 1.5/5

These are awkward to mod. I typically recommend lightly lubing a stabilizer and tuning it after install, but you just can’t do that here. Thicker greases or over application of lube tend to make this really sluggish and squishy sounding, so you have to be careful with modding these. If lube settles here and they need to be tuned, you would need to disassemble your board and these stabs to tune them. For that I have to give them low points here. 

Problems / Notes

They are quiet stabs and with a minimal application of lube, they can be rattle free and smooth. I just really wish they didn’t completely enclose the stem that way you can mod these as you need.

Total: 12.5/20

Wrapping up

So what is the best stabilizer on the market right now? Well, in my opinion it’s the Cherry clip in stabilizer for pure value. But, I feel like there are some very good stabilizers that may have something that better suits how you build a board. In fact, even the Mode or Durock stabs are great. And there have been boards where I swear picking something like a Staebie stabilizer was the best choice.

I will have more stabilizers as I use them and feel them out that I will update this page with. I will also mark when I add edits in so you can better see what is new! 


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To do list

  • Owlabs v2
  • Cherry Scew Ins

Thanks for reading!