Mechanical keyboards have been around for almost as long as personal computers. The basic switch technology used in these keyboards first emerged in the 1980s. However, it is safe to say that mechanical keyboards have never been as popular or varied as they are now. If you’re just getting into the trend, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of options available. Allow us to ease some of the uncertainty. Below are the best mechanical keyboards we have reviewed in various categories – best overall, on a budget, for gaming, wireless, and so on. Not everything makes the list, for example, while G.Skill’s KM250 is a great deal, the larger and very different KM360 design is not. Each mechanical keyboard selection excels in its class and is well worth both your attention and money. If you’re looking for even more options, check out our roundup of the best gaming keyboards as well.
1. Keychron Q Series – Best mechanical keyboard overall
Keychron’s Q series offers great hardware, excellent wireless performance, and unbeatable value. Each keyboard in this series has a fantastic build quality, near-endless customization, and a fair price. The Q boards come in various sizes and layouts, from tiny 40% to a massive 108-key layout. They all include aluminum frames, RGB lighting, hot-swap switches, internal sound damping, and easy programming with QMK or VIA.
2. Keydous NJ80-AP – Best typing experience, best wireless
This unassuming board has amazing typing experience and high-quality parts. It offers Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless, long battery life, and high-quality hardware like exotic BOX switches, PBT keycaps, and hot-swap switch sockets. It is the best wireless mechanical board.
3. Razer BlackWidow V4 75% – Best mechanical keyboard for gaming
Razer’s latest high-end board fuses gaming keyboards and custom boards. It features excellent switches, hot-swap sockets, comfy wrist rest, and a “thocky” typing feel. It hits all the right features gamers want while offering enough customization options.
4. Keychron K3 Pro – Best low-profile mechanical keyboard
Keychron’s K Pro series has the features of the Q Pro keyboards but with a smaller size and weight. The K3 Pro offers a compact layout and comfort, requiring no extra programming or muscle memory for most users. It also offers at least some customization choices, such as RGB lighting and hot-swappable switches.
5. Keychron C3 Pro – Best mechanical keyboard under $50
The C3 Pro is a budget-friendly pick with fantastic gasket mounting, programming with VIA and QMK, and decent switches. Despite the internal foam, it is a little noisier than other keyboards in its range.
6. Keychron Q11 – Best ergonomic mechanical keyboard
The Q11 offers fantastic features like an aluminum body, hot-swap sockets, PBT keycaps, and VIA programming. It also has a split layout, essential for ergonomic customization.
7. Model F Ultra Compact – Best old-school mechanical keyboard
This reproduction of the famous IBM Model M offers an excellent typing feel, classic layout, durable build, and modern USB connections. It is like no other, but it may be harder on both your fingers and your wallet.
8. Roccat Vulcan II – Best RGB mechanical keyboard
The Vulcan II offers incredible RGB lighting, good media controls, and included wrist rest. It is bright and distracting, with super-smooth lighting animation.
If you’re just getting into mechanical keyboards, you’ll be most interested in how it “feels” to use one. Mechanical switches offer a deeper and more satisfying press on each key and come in a variety of switch varieties, from smooth and linear to loud and clicky. The only way to truly know which switch is best for you is to try them out.