A mechanical keyboard can be a great upgrade over a standard keyboard for typing comfort, speed, and precision. Mechanical keyboards feature high-quality mechanical switches that provide tactile feedback and support for n-key rollover, resulting in a faster, more satisfying typing experience for many.
However, with so many mechanical keyboard options available, choosing the right one for your needs can be daunting. This guide will walk you through the basics of how mechanical keyboards work, the different types of mechanical switches, and other factors to consider when choosing a mechanical keyboard. We'll also provide some recommendations to help you select a high-quality, affordable mechanical keyboard for gaming, work, or everyday use.
Once you've chosen a mechanical keyboard, we'll share some tips to help you get used to the feeling of mechanical keys and leverage the advanced features of your new keyboard. If you're ready to ascend to mechanical keyboard mastery, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to choose and start dominating on a mechanical keyboard.
➨ Why Choose a Mechanical Keyboard?
Mechanical keyboards have become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason. Unlike traditional rubber dome keyboards, which use a single rubber dome to register each keystroke, mechanical keyboards feature individual mechanical switches for each key.
① This design offers several advantages over traditional keyboards. Firstly, mechanical keyboards are more durable and longer-lasting than rubber dome keyboards. Mechanical switches are rated for tens of millions of keystrokes, making them a better investment in the long run.
② Secondly, mechanical keyboards offer a more satisfying typing experience. The individual mechanical switches provide tactile and audible feedback with each keystroke, which can improve typing accuracy and speed. Additionally, many people find that the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard makes typing more enjoyable.
③ Thirdly, mechanical keyboards offer greater customization options. Many mechanical keyboards come with customizable RGB lighting, allowing users to choose their favorite colors and lighting effects. Additionally, some mechanical keyboards allow users to swap out the keycaps, which can be a fun way to personalize the keyboard.
④ Finally, mechanical keyboards are often preferred by gamers. The tactile feedback of the mechanical switches can improve gaming performance, and the design of the switches can reduce the likelihood of accidental key presses. Additionally, many mechanical keyboards come with gaming-specific features such as anti-ghosting technology and programmable macro keys.
⇨ Our Top 5 Picks of Best Mechanical Keyboards to Buy
1. RisoPhy USB Wired-Best Ultra Slim Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
RisoPhy USB Wired-Best Ultra Slim Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
RisoPhy Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, RGB 104 Keys Ultra-Slim LED Backlit USB Wired Keyboard
The RisoPhy Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a highly recommended product for gamers and daily computer users alike. Its ultra-slim design and durable ABS keycaps make it a perfect travel companion, while the spill-resistant feature ensures that accidental spills won't damage the keyboard. The keyboard also features anti-ghosting technology, which prevents multiple key presses from being registered incorrectly, and hotkeys and media keys, which allow for quick access to frequently used commands.
In addition, the keyboard is designed with blue switches, which provide a tactile and audible response for a satisfying typing experience. The RGB backlighting feature adds a touch of personalization and style, allowing users to customize the keyboard's lighting to their preference.
Durable ABS keycaps
Hotkeys and media keys
Blue switches for tactile and audible response
RGB backlighting feature
Pros and Cons:
👍 Durable and spill-resistant design
👍 Customizable RGB backlighting
👍 Blue switches provide a satisfying typing experience
👍 Hotkeys and media keys for quick access to frequently used commands
👍 May not be suitable for users who prefer quieter keyboards
2. USB Apex 5- Best Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries USB Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries USB Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Per-Key RGB Illumination – Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy Frame – OLED Smart Display
The SteelSeries USB Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a high-performance keyboard designed for gamers who demand fast and accurate keystrokes. It features a durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame that can withstand the wear and tear of intense gaming sessions. The keyboard also has per-key RGB illumination, which allows users to customize the lighting to their liking.
One of the standout features of the Apex 5 is its OLED Smart Display, which provides users with real-time information such as game stats, Discord messages, and music information. This feature is highly useful for gamers who want to keep track of their performance without having to switch between windows.
The keyboard uses hybrid blue switches, which provide a tactile and clicky response that is perfect for gaming. Additionally, it comes with a detachable wrist rest, which provides additional comfort during extended gaming sessions.
Hybrid mechanical switches
Per-key RGB illumination
Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame
OLED Smart Display
Detachable wrist rest
Pros and Cons
👍 Durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame
👍OLED Smart Display provides real-time information
👍Per-key RGB illumination allows for customization
👍Hybrid blue switches provide a tactile and clicky response
👎The keyboard may be a bit noisy for users who prefer quieter keyboards
👎The keyboard's wrist rest is not adjustable
3. Havit Wired Compact PC Mechanical Keyboard
Havit Wired Compact PC Mechanical Keyboard
Havit Mechanical Keyboard, Wired Compact PC Keyboard with Number Pad Red Switch Mechanical Gaming Keyboard 89 Keys for Computer
The Havit Mechanical Keyboard is a compact and versatile keyboard that's perfect for both office work and PC gaming. Its compact size and number pad make it a great fit for desks with limited space. The keyboard features mechanical red switches which provide a smooth and tactile typing experience, making it perfect for gamers and office workers alike.
The keyboard is also designed with durability in mind, featuring a solid aluminum frame and double-shot keycaps that won't wear down over time. Additionally, the keyboard is compatible with a variety of operating systems, including Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Linux.
While the keyboard only supports single-color backlighting, it still adds a touch of style to any desk setup. Overall, the Havit Mechanical Keyboard is a great option for those who want a compact, durable, and reliable keyboard for both work and play.
Compact size keyboard with number pad
Mechanical red switches
Solid aluminum frame
Double-shot keycaps for durability
Compatible with multiple operating systems
Pros and Cons:
👍 The compact size is perfect for desks with limited space
👍 Mechanical red switches provide a smooth and tactile typing experience
👍 Durable aluminum frame and double-shot keycaps
👍 Compatible with multiple operating systems
👎 Only supports single-color backlighting
👎 No multimedia keys
4. Logitech G PRO-Ultra Portable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Logitech G PRO-Ultra Portable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Ultra Portable Tenkeyless Design, Detachable Micro USB Cable, 16.8 Million Color LIGHTSYNC RGB Backlit Keys
The Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is an ultra-portable and high-performance keyboard designed for gamers and business professionals alike. It features a compact tenkeyless design that is perfect for on-the-go use, and the detachable micro USB cable makes it easy to pack up and take with you.
Moreover, the keyboard also features 16.8 million color LIGHTSYNC RGB backlit keys, which allows users to customize the lighting to their preference. The keyboard's RGB lighting can also be synchronized with other Logitech G products for a more immersive gaming experience.
One of the standout features of the G PRO is its use of Romer-G mechanical switches, which provide a smooth and tactile typing experience. Additionally, the keyboard features a durable and sleek design that is perfect for both gaming and business use.
Ultra-portable tenkeyless design
Detachable micro USB cable
16.8 million color LIGHTSYNC RGB backlit keys
Romer-G mechanical switches
Durable and sleek design
Pros and Cons
👍 Compact and portable design
👍 Customizable RGB lighting
👍 Romer-G mechanical switches provide a smooth and tactile typing experience
👍 Durable and sleek design
👎 No wireless connectivity option
👎 No dedicated media keys
5. Hexgears X5- Wireless Mechanical Keyboard with Kaihl Box Gold Switch
Hexgears X5- Wireless Mechanical Keyboard with Kaihl Box Gold Switch
Hexgears X5 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard with Kaihl Box Gold Switch, Dark Knight Computer Keyboard for Gaming, Typing, Ergonomic 108-key Typewriter Keyboard
The Hexgears X5 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is a high-performance keyboard designed for gamers, typists, and anyone who demands a smooth and accurate typing experience. It features Kaihl Box Gold Switches, which provide a tactile and responsive typing experience, making it perfect for both gaming and typing.
Moreover, the keyboard also features an ergonomic design, with a built-in wrist rest that provides additional comfort during long typing or gaming sessions. Additionally, the keyboard is backlit, allowing users to work or play in low-light conditions. The X5 also comes equipped with hotkeys and media keys, allowing for quick access to frequently used commands.
Also, the X5 is wireless and rechargeable, making it a great fit for those who prefer a cable-free setup. The keyboard is also compatible with a variety of devices, including laptops, PCs, desktops, and Macs.
Kaihl Box Gold Switches
Ergonomic design with built-in wrist rest
Hotkeys and media keys
Wireless and rechargeable
Pros and Cons
👍 Ergonomic design with built-in wrist rest provides additional comfort
👍 Wireless and rechargeable
👍 Backlit keys allow for use in low-light conditions
👍 Kaihl Box Gold Switches provide a tactile and responsive typing experience
👎 Only supports single-color backlighting
👎 No compatibility with gaming consoles other than the computer-based MacOS
Key Switches 101: Understanding the Different Types of Mechanical Switches
If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard, one of the most important factors to consider is the type of key switch the keyboard uses. Not all key switches are created equal, and the type of switch you choose can have a big impact on your typing or gaming experience. Here's a breakdown of the different types of mechanical key switches:
➯ Cherry MX switches:
Cherry MX switches are some of the most popular mechanical switches on the market. They come in a variety of colors, each with a different tactile feedback and actuation force. For example, Cherry MX Red switches are linear and require a light touch, while Cherry MX Blue switches are tactile and clicky and require a bit more force to actuate.
➯ Kailh switches:
Kailh is a Chinese company that produces mechanical switches that are similar to Cherry MX switches. They offer a variety of switch types, including linear, tactile, and clicky switches.
➯ Gateron switches:
Gateron switches are another Cherry MX clone that has gained popularity in recent years. They offer a similar experience to Cherry MX switches but are often more affordable.
➯ Topre switches:
Topre switches are a bit different than other mechanical switches. They use a unique electrostatic capacitive design that provides a tactile and quiet typing experience. They are often more expensive than other switches but are highly regarded for their typing feel.
➯ Buckling spring switches:
Buckling spring switches are a type of switch used in classic IBM Model M keyboards. They provide tactile and audible feedback that some people find highly satisfying. However, they are less common than other types of switches and can be harder to find.
Mechanical Keyboard Maintenance: How to Keep Your Keyboard in Top Shape
Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and longevity, but like any piece of equipment, they require proper maintenance to keep them in top shape. Here are some tips for maintaining your mechanical keyboard:
✅ Keep it clean: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate between the keys of your keyboard. Use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris, or use a small brush to gently sweep away dust and dirt. Avoid using water or cleaning solutions on your keyboard, as they can damage the switches.
✅ Replace keycaps: If your keycaps become worn or damaged, you can replace them to give your keyboard a fresh look. Keycaps can be purchased online or from specialty stores, and they can be easily removed and replaced with a keycap puller.
✅ Lubricate switches: Over time, the switches in your keyboard can become dry and scratchy. To keep them feeling smooth, you can lubricate the switches with a specialty switch lubricant. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the stem of each switch and then press the key several times to distribute the lubricant.
✅ Avoid spills: Spilling liquid on your keyboard can damage the switches and cause them to malfunction. To avoid spills, keep drinks and food away from your keyboard, and consider using a keyboard cover if you're working in a messy environment.
✅ Store it properly: If you're not using your keyboard for an extended period of time, store it in a dry and cool place to avoid damage from humidity or extreme temperatures.
Buyer Guide-What to Look For When Buying a Mechanical Keyboard?
If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard, there are several key factors to consider before making a purchase. Here are some things to look for when buying a mechanical keyboard:
The type of switch a keyboard uses is one of the most important factors to consider. Different switch types offer different tactile feedback and actuation forces, so it's important to choose a switch that feels comfortable for you. Cherry MX switches are some of the most popular switches and come in a variety of colors, each with a different feel.
➯Size and layout:
Mechanical keyboards come in a variety of sizes and layouts. Full-sized keyboards include a number pad, while tenkeyless keyboards do not. Some keyboards also include additional macro keys or media controls. Consider your needs and preferences to choose the right size and layout for you.
Many mechanical keyboards come with backlighting, which can be helpful for working or gaming in low-light conditions. Some keyboards also offer RGB lighting, which allows for more customization options.
Keycaps can be made from a variety of materials, including ABS plastic, PBT plastic, and even metal. PBT plastic is often preferred for its durability and resistance to shine.
Mechanical keyboards are often more durable than traditional rubber dome keyboards, but build quality can still vary. Look for keyboards with sturdy construction and quality materials.
Consider the reputation of the brand when making a purchase. Look for well-known brands with a history of producing quality mechanical keyboards.
A mechanical keyboard is a great investment for anyone who spends a lot of time typing or gaming. Mechanical keyboards offer a more tactile and satisfying typing experience than traditional rubber dome keyboards, and they are often more durable and longer lasting.
When buying a mechanical keyboard, it's important to consider factors such as switch type, size and layout, backlighting, keycap material, and build quality. By choosing the right keyboard for your needs, you can enjoy a comfortable and efficient typing or gaming experience for years to come.
Remember to also properly maintain your mechanical keyboard by keeping it clean, replacing worn or damaged keycaps, lubricating the switches, and storing it properly when not in use. With proper care, your mechanical keyboard can provide a satisfying typing experience for years to come.