The Best Mechanical Keyboards | Buyers Guide

We find the best mechanical keyboard for gaming!

Best Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards have slowly but surely taken over the majority of gamer’s desks, with membrane now firmly taking a back seat. Finding the best mechanical keyboard for your needs can sometimes be tricky for first-time buyers, I mean, what brands produce high-quality options? And what switches should you go for?

In this article, we are not only going to showcase the very best mechanical keyboards out there but we will also go over what makes them the better option and why these durable boards can potentially improve your gaming performance.

Technically, esports has popularised these types of boards to no end, with many large gaming peripheral companies getting on board and competing to bring you their idea of the best keyboards.

With that in mind, let’s have a rundown of our top selections.

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Pick
The Best Mechanical Keyboard
02
Runner Up
Another Great Mechanical Keyboard For Gaming
03
Compact Pick (60%)
The Best Compact Mechanical Keyboard

Best Mechanical Keyboards: First Look

01
Editor's Pick
The Best Mechanical Keyboard
Steelseries Apex pro

SteelSeries Apex Pro

0 /5
Editor's Rating

This full-size mechanical keyboard is packed with some of the latest and greatest features. You can choose from an array of switches, it includes an ergonomic wrist rest, and the design is up there with the best.

The best thing about the Steelseries Apex Pro is its versatility. Not only do you get a large array of mechanical switches to choose from, but you can also change the actuation force setting. This mechanical keyboard is built to last and with its included wrist rest and media keys, it’s the best for gaming.

02
Runner Up
Another Great Mechanical Keyboard For Gaming
Corsair K95 Xt

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Narrowly missing out to the Apex Pro’s versatility, the Corsair K95 is still a fantastic mechanical gaming keyboard.

The K95 Platinum XT reminds us of the fantastic Corsair K70 and looks pretty similar aside from the included macro buttons. This mechanical keyboard narrowly missed out on the top spot as the best mechanical keyboard for gaming but it is still highly regarded by the team.

03
Compact Pick (60%)
The Best Compact Mechanical Keyboard
ducky one2 mini

Ducky One2 Mini

0 /5
Editor's Rating

For a more compact mechanical keyboard, look no further than Ducky’s One2 Mini. This 60% board is of the highest quality and constructed with care to give you something of beauty.

Not only is the Ducky One2 Mini a high-performing mechanical keyboard, but its unique style is also one of the best out there. Furthermore, its compact design not only oozes class but also makes it highly convenient for traveling and small desk space. A truly great mechanical board all round.

04
Wireless Pick
The Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Best wireless keyboard

Logitech G915

0 /5
Editor's Rating

This full-size wireless mechanical keyboard features some of the best technology on the market. Aside from its charming low profile design, the Lightspeed feature means this performs almost as if it were wired.

The Logitech G915 may be the priciest keyboard on the list but it brings its own superb features to the table. The board is great for both typing and gaming and features onboard profile switching, dedicated media controls, and macros, and its low profile design is something to be marveled at. This is hands down one of the best wireless keyboards out there.

05
Budget Pick
The Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard
Redragon K552 R KUMARA

Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The Redragon K552 RGB is another 60% mechanical keyboard that won’t break the bank. This budget-friendly board is highly responsive and features a sturdy metal base.

While the Redragon K552 RGB may only be available in clicky blue style switches, it comes in at a fraction of the price when compared to all the other boards on this list. Don’t let the low price tag fool you, this mechanical keyboard performs excellently for both gaming and typing, although it is rather loud!

How We Choose

Choosing the right mechanical keyboard can be a long and arduous task, especially when you consider the number of different options available out there.

Making sure you get the right board for your specific needs is crucial, I mean, you don’t want to waste your money. That being said, the process can often require almost seemingly endless research, comparisons and user reviews, well don’t worry, WePC is here to help.

We go through all that research before finally narrowing down our selections and bringing them all into one place.

How We Test

From gaming mice to mousepads, we like to get hands-on with all the peripherals we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is a way we can be sure that a specific option is the best for the job.

Products must pass our testing which is largely a lot of gaming, with some other boring stuff but most if not every recommendation will have gone through a strict testing process.

With a gaming keyboard, especially mechanical ones, we need to assess build quality, construction, performance, and finally, value.

This process enables us to provide you with an accurate take on how well a keyboard performs and, ultimately, if it’s worth your hard-earned cash.

Things To Consider

Whether you’re buying a new mouse, a new monitor, or one of the latest CPUs, knowing what to look for is a vital part of the purchasing process. The same applies when buying a new keyboard, even more so when it’s a mechanical one because of the price tag that comes with it.

In this section, we’re going to give you a brief rundown of the most important aspects of a keyboard and why you should consider them before buying:

Sizes

Firstly, we need to understand the different form factors and which one best suits your needs. Are you looking for a full-sized keyboard with all the standard keys, or something smaller and more refined like a TKL keyboard (TenKeyLess)?

A full-sized keyboard is just that; it’s a keyboard that features all the generic keys, letters, ‘Fn’ buttons, and the number pad to the right of the arrow keys. Full-sized keyboards aren’t just letters and numbers though. They also have room to accommodate dedicated media keys such as volume controls, and play/pause/skip controls as well.

Manufacturers didn’t just stop at TKL boards, a whole range of form factors have been developed over the years, giving consumers a plethora of different options to choose form. Sizes can start from anywhere as small as 40% right up to 100%. TKL boards offer computer enthusiasts all the versatility of a generic, full-sized board, at 80% of the size. Saying that, you do lose the separate number pad.

Keyboards Size Comparison

For the hardcore ‘WASD’ gamers out there, you can go even smaller if you wish. Both 40% and 60% keyboards are available in their masses. These keyboards usually accommodate only the most essential keys such as letters and the primary function keys.

Switches: Mechanical Vs Membrane

Switches, for me, might be the main aspect of a mechanical keyboard and the one thing you need to consider most when looking to purchase one. Understanding the difference between each key switch can affect the price of the board, the longevity, and most importantly, your in-game performance.

Mechanical Switch vs Membrane Switch

Choosing the switches most suitable for your needs comes down to a few simple questions. How loud would you like the key clicks to be? How much resistance would you like the switch to have? How responsive do you want the switch to be? If you can answer these simple questions, you can start to decipher which switch is going to be best suited to you. Notoriously, Cherry MX red switches are most widely used within the gaming sector. This is due to their high responsiveness and low actuation point. Each switch has a specific set of pros and cons, so don’t worry if you aren’t looking for these two traits.

We’re going to touch upon the main switches further down the article and go into greater detail of what they offer.

Most people choose mechanical switches for the tactile feel they have and the “clicky” sound they produce. The Cherry MX Blue switches, for example, offer a very clicky, tactile feel which can be quite loud when in use. Other switches in the range offer a much quieter click actuation and require more pressure. There are a ton of different actuation styles, and one is sure to suit your specific requirements, so don’t worry!

The difference between membrane and mechanical keyboards is hugely significant. However, you wouldn’t know this by looking at them. Gamers lean towards mechanical style keyboards for several different reasons, but ultimately, it’s because they offer far superior durability and higher responsiveness.

Mechanical switches are often louder than other styles of keyboards for the simple fact that the key switches are much more tactile and well made. There are several superb mechanical switch options available, and many offer their own unique pros and cons.

Cherry MX Switches

The most popular and best-known switches we see incorporated in today’s keyboards come to the table from a company called Cherry Industrial. The Cherry MX switch, which they are most known for, is the most popular type of switch used in mechanical keyboards today.

There are a number of different Cherry MX switches which range from Blue to Brown and pretty much everything in between.

Let’s take a look at what each switch has to offer:

Cherry MX Blue

The Blue switch is a close approximation of the buckling-spring switch, only with a new-style mechanism that is both tactile and clicky. The great thing about the Cherry MX Blue switches is how audible they are. They remind me of the ’90s. You can clearly hear each individual keystroke.

Even though these switches are ideal for typists, they’re not the friendliest in terms of noise output. For example, I used to use the Redragon K552, which uses switches similar to Cherry Blues. Anyway, long story short. The board is no longer in use, thanks to a work colleague. True story.

That being said, they have great responsiveness and a loaded spring-back response after each click. They aren’t the best for gaming though, as they require a higher actuation pressure.

Cherry MX Red

The Cherry MX Reds are one of the most popular switches used in today’s gaming keyboards because of how responsive they are. They also have a much lower actuation force meaning they can be utilized faster and for longer. These traits make the Cherry Reds a popular choice with gamers. However, the same can not be said for typists. The low actuation pressure means mistakes are made much more frequently.

Cherry MX Black

The Cherry Blacks have the highest actuation force in the Cherry family (60cN), making them fairly unpopular with the gamers out there. However, typists love this style of switch because they offer the most accurate key clicks. Where the Cherry MX Blacks fall down in speed and reactivity, they make up for in precision.

Cherry MX Brown

The Brown variety is one that offers lesser actuation force than others in this list, again making them more suited towards gamers looking to get the edge over there FPS competition. They are extremely clicky, similar to the Cherry MX Blues but have a lesser total travel distance. This means reaction speeds increase dramatically.

Cherry MX Speed Silver

These are comparable to the Cherry Mx Reds in terms of actuation. Unlike any of the other switches on this list though, the Cherry MX Speed Silvers offers a much shorter actuation point of 1.2mm. The total travel distance is also much shorter too, offering 3.4mm over the more frequently used 4mm in other Cherry switches.

Our 5 Best Mechanical Keyboards

01
Editor's Pick
Steelseries Apex pro

SteelSeries Apex Pro

Size

Full-size (100%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

OmniPoint mechanical switches in Whisper Quiet, Hybrid Blue, Blue, Brown, and Red

Wrist rest

Detachable

02
Runner Up
Corsair K95 Xt

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT

Size

Full-size (100%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Cherry MX mechanical switches in Blue, Brown, Speed XT Silver, Speed

Wrist rest

Detachable

03
Compact Pick (60%)
ducky one2 mini

Ducky One2 Mini

Size

61-key (60%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Cherry MX mechanical switches in Blue, Brown, Red

Wrist rest

N/A

04
Wireless Pick
Best wireless keyboard

Logitech G915

Type

Full size (100%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Low-Profile GL Switches in Clicky, Linear, and Tactile

Wrist Rest

Not included

05
Budget Pick
Redragon K552 R KUMARA

Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB

Size

Tenkeyless (60%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Greetech Blue

Wrist Rest

N/A

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Pick
Steelseries Apex pro

SteelSeries Apex Pro

Size

Full-size (100%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

OmniPoint mechanical switches in Whisper Quiet, Hybrid Blue, Blue, Brown, and Red

Wrist rest

Detachable

Pros

Can customize actuation distance

Stunning design with vibrant RGB

OLED Smart Display

Magnetic wrist rest

Fantastic build quality

Cons

Expensive

Not the best for typing

Rubber wrist rest is comfy but a dust magnet

The SteelSeries just pips the Corsair K95 to the post as the best mechanical gaming keyboard on our list. This keyboard is packed with premium features and with its aircraft-grade aluminum, this is one durable board.

Visually, Steelseries has done a superb job. The Apex Pro is visually epic, with some Vibrant RGB illuminating every key.  As mentioned, this is incredibly well built and the aluminum body beneath the floating keycaps is a lovely touch, adding both weight and aesthetics. The included magnetic wrist rest may be a bit of a dust magnet but it’s comfy and helps with the overall ergonomics of the board nicely. Unlike other premium boards, the feet will fold away if you push the board back but this is a minor grip at best.

As you would expect from a premium board such as the Apex Pro, this is packed with features. Lighting aside, this comes with dedicated media keys including a volume bar, an OLED display, USB passthrough, and you can change the amount of pre0travel distance or actuation force for a more responsive gaming experience or accurate typing one.

The keyboard is available in plenty of different switch options which are known as OmniPoint, meaning “all points”, so there is something for everyone with this mechanical keyboard. Regardless of which switch you use, typing is highly satisfying, with minimal typos occurring. The responsive nature of this mechanical keyboard combined with the ability to set your preferred actuation point made this one of the best keyboards I have ever used for gaming.

Overall the SteelSeries Apex Pro mechanical keyboard is a great option but not just for gamers. This versatile keyboard ticks a lot of boxes and you can fully customize this with SteelSeries reliable software.

02
Runner Up
Corsair K95 Xt

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT

Size

Full-size (100%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Cherry MX mechanical switches in Blue, Brown, Speed XT Silver, Speed

Wrist rest

Detachable

Pros

Dedicated media and macro keys

Brushed aluminium design with vibrant RGB

OLED Smart Display

Plush padded wrist rest

Excellent build qulity

Cons

Expensive

No USB pass through

The Corsair K95 just narrowly missed out as the best gaming mechanical gaming keyboard but that doesn’t mean it’s not a superb board. This has as many useful features as our top pick plus some extra dedicated macro buttons for the MMO players out there.

Visually, the board is still as pleasant to look at as the older Corsair K70 but I’d much prefer to see a low profile version with low profile keycaps. Visually not much has changed since the older K70, with the same indented aluminum plate and floating keycaps. The keycaps are made from PBT and the wrist rest features soft plush padding, all giving this durable keyboard a premium feel. The RGB is as vibrant as ever and backlights each individual key. Furthermore, the lighting is easily customizable with the iCUE software.

Other features with this mechanical keyboard include; dedicated media keys with volume bar, stream deck software for the dedicated macro keys, the previously mentioned PBT caps, and wrist rest. Corsair has done away with the USB passthrough which isn’t the biggest of deals but it is something I always utilized.

The Corsair K95 is built using Cherry MX switches and comes with a variety, albeit less than the Apex Pro. The Blue mechanical switches are superb for typing and when combined with the wrist-rest you get an ergonomic delight. Beware though, the Blues are loud. Gaming couldn’t be better with this keyboard, especially when you utilize the Cherry MX speed switches. This is one fast actuating mechanical keyboard.

Overall this is a great gaming mechanical keyboard and only just misses out on the top spot. The K95 is versatile, feature-packed, and looks excellent, a great board.

Check out our full review of the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum RGB Keyboard here.

03
Compact Pick (60%)
ducky one2 mini

Ducky One2 Mini

Size

61-key (60%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Cherry MX mechanical switches in Blue, Brown, Red

Wrist rest

N/A

Pros

Beautiful, compact design

PBT keycaps

USB-C detachable cable

Amazing RGB backlighting

High quality construction and materials used

Cons

Expensive

Limited features due to size

Ducky are no strangers when it comes to high-quality mechanical keyboards and the Ducky One2 Mini follows suit at just 60% the size. This is the perfect mechanical keyboard for traveling with or if you are tight of space at your desk.

Despite lacking dedicated media keys or a number pad, this is covered in hotkeys and is a very versatile board in terms of functionality. We have received and tested many of the Ducky range and absolutely love their products. Visually this may seem simplistic but that is what makes this so aesthetically pleasing. The entire black set of PBT keycaps look and feel of the highest quality and really let that vibrant RGB lighting shine through. This has some weight to it too, the base is incredibly heavy and the whole product oozes class. The features are built directly into the board and there is no software to download, which in my book is a bonus.

The One2 Mini is a brilliant board. The one I tested was using the linear Red switches from Cherry MX but the board is available in Blue and Brown also. The Browns are probably the best of both worlds, offering great feedback without the deafening sound that Blues can make. Of course, you get PBT caps and some additional colored caps to give your board a more unique feel. This is a high-performance mechanical gaming keyboard, that is for sure.

This is still one of my favorite boards ever made and is certainly one you have to try for yourself, nothing looks quite like it.

04
Wireless Pick
Best wireless keyboard

Logitech G915

Type

Full size (100%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Low-Profile GL Switches in Clicky, Linear, and Tactile

Wrist Rest

Not included

Pros

Amazing low priofle design

G-keys and dedicated media keys

Very luxurious mechanical keyboard

LIGHTSPEED wireless

Cons

Very expensive

Logitech has a wide range of amazing products but none more so than the Logitech G915 wireless mechanical gaming keyboard. This may be one of the dearest keyboards to exist but you are paying for quality,  features, and, mostly, convenience.

This keyboard is incredibly low profile with low profile keycaps too. The design is one of the best but I am a sucker for the low profile boards. Aside from the ultra-thin design, we see some impressive features under the hood too.  With this mechanical keyboard, you get Logitech’s well known Lightspeed technology, Bluetooth, onboard profiles, programmable G-keys (macros), and dedicated media controls. That’s a lot of positives from this board and guess what, the build quality is amazing too.

This is of course wireless, which utilizes the Lightspeed technology making this perform as if it were wired. Furthermore, they advertise a 30+ hour battery life, which isn’t too shabby.

For typing, the keyboard remained comfortable, easy to use, and there were little to no errors during testing. The low profile design could be something to get used to for some but it’s just a really sleek mechanical keyboard. This comes in a variety or Romer-G switches from clicky to linear, with the linears being the best for gaming.

This mechanical keyboard is one of the best if not the best wireless option available and while it may be expensive, the competition doesn’t really come close. The G915 is absolutely superb.

05
Budget Pick
Redragon K552 R KUMARA

Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB

Size

Tenkeyless (60%)

Backlight

RGB

Switch

Greetech Blue

Wrist Rest

N/A

Pros

Fully mechanical

Heavy metal base

Responsive switches

Compact design

Cons

Very loud

The Redragon K552 RGB is the only board on this list that is fully mechanical. While it doesn’t feature the highly coveted Cherry MX switches, it still bears the title of being mechanical and is a solid option.

The actual switches on this board are called Greetech Blue and are the off-brand equivalent to Cherry MX Blue switches. These are tactile switches requiring approximately 80g of actuation force.

Another bonus is the keyboard’s RGB backlighting, with a few lighting modes, brightness settings, and breathing speed, that are all customizable.

For those wanting to stick their toe in the world of mechanical keyboards, there are few other options at this price point. The Redragon K552 gives you 87 keys with double-shot injection keycaps all for an incredibly low cost.

Yes, you’re going to deal with a tenkeyless design and lack of programmable macros, but this board is a great choice for those who prefer mechanical boards. The lovely compact design and heavy metal base show that this keyboard means business.

You can read our full review of the K552 Kumara RGB here.

Final Word

Our featured selections are some of the very best mechanical keyboards in their respective categories. Hopefully, finding the best for your needs is now a simplified process, giving you more time in-game.

Of course, the best mechanical keyboards out there bring a hefty price tag along with them for their premium features, build-quality, and engineered switches. We have tried our best to select products to cover various gamer’s needs with each board offering excellent performance.

The best out there at the moment is the SteelSeries Apex Pro mechanical gaming keyboard. Not only is this packed with all the features you’ll ever need but you can also adjust the actuation force on your switches, making it more responsive if you desired.

Every selection will bring you joy regardless of if you are typing or gaming. Choosing the best mechanical keyboards just got a whole lot simpler. What mechanical keyboard do you currently have? Head over to the WePC community to let us know what your using and the switches you prefer.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Monitor & PC Product Specialist
at
WePC
For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO – a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast – dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD’s Ryzen 3600X.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.