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The 7 Best Mechanical Keyboards - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards have exploded in popularity. Many different kinds of switches are available, each offering its own typing feel and sound profile. If you're looking for some help getting started, check out our guide for how to choose mechanical switches. Alternatively, check out our recommendations for the best mechanical switches.

We've tested over 225 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best models with mechanical switches. If you're interested in a mechanical keyboard for a specific use, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best keyboards for typing, or the best keyboards for programming.

  1. Best Mechanical Keyboard

    The best all-around mechanical keyboard we've tested is the Keychron Q5 Max. This wireless keyboard has premium-feeling construction, a heavyweight aluminum case, and top-of-the-line typing quality right out of the box. It offers versatile wireless connectivity, supporting Bluetooth, which provides the best battery life and support for multi-device pairing, or a 2.4GHz connection, which offers excellent raw performance that can easily handle casual or competitive gaming.

    It also has a double gasket-mounted design, which means the interior components are all held between shock-absorbing rubber pieces. This provides a softer, slightly cushioned typing experience without the abrupt sensation of bottoming out your keypresses. There are even additional layers of sound-dampening foam sandwiched between components inside, which further helps round out the sound profile and minimize case ping. That said, although the stabilizers come pre-lubed from the factory, we did notice they sound a bit inconsistent on the unit we bought and tested.

    It's also worth noting that the Q5 Max is only one size variant in Keychron's wider Q Max series, which offers a range of other sizes and layouts. Each entry in the series offers virtually the same experience, so we recommend checking out Keychron's website to browse for a size and layout that best fits your needs. Each variant is also designed to be fully customizable and includes a small toolkit and impressively thorough instruction materials to walk you through its setup and functionality. You can fully deconstruct your keyboard and replace switches and sound-dampening material, re-lube the stabilizers to even out their sound performance, or swap out the keycaps if you crave a more personalized keyboard experience.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Mechanical Keyboard

    For a less expensive option at an upper mid-range price point, we recommend the Razer Pro Type Ultra. This wireless model has a straightforward but refined design that blends well into an office or home environment. Unlike the Keychron Q5 Max, this keyboard includes a wrist rest in the box, which can help reduce fatigue and minimize wrist strain, especially if you're at your keyboard for long stretches at a time. However, the other standout difference between this keyboard and our top pick is that it doesn't offer anywhere near the same degree of hardware customizability. It also has a plastic rather than solid aluminum case and doesn't quite deliver the same high-end typing feel because it has a stiffer-feeling, traditional top mount design and cheaper-feeling ABS keycaps.

    That said, much like our top pick, this keyboard's conservative design also hides a surprising gaming performance, making it a great choice for your home setup to get some well-deserved gaming time when you're off the clock. Also, this keyboard is only available with linear switches. While these switches are quiet and smooth to type on, they don't have the tactile bump some typists prefer. If that's important to you, check out the Logitech G715, which is typically a bit more expensive but has a similar look and a wider selection of switches. It also has a cloud-shaped wrist rest that adds a playful touch to any setup.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Mechanical Keyboard

    The NuPhy Air75 V2 is an incredible keyboard at a solid mid-range price point. It isn't currently available from most online retailers, but you can find it on Nuphy's website here. This compact mechanical unit features excellent build quality and a slim, surprisingly ergonomic, and comfortable design, even without a wrist rest. Its low-profile keycaps are also very thin but feel very stable and pleasant to type on, and their low profile ensures you don't have to strain your hands upwards to reach them.

    This compact keyboard makes a great choice if you're looking for an on-the-go unit or if you find yourself moving workstations throughout the day. With its excellent wireless connectivity options, you don't have to worry about bringing a cable around. You can pair the keyboard with up to three devices using Bluetooth or use it with its included USB receiver. Its battery capacity isn't one of its strong suits, so you can expect to charge it somewhere between every couple of days and once a week, depending on your usage. Nuphy also offers this keyboard in several different sizes, including the smaller NuPhy Air60 V2 and the larger NuPhy Air96 V2.

    Alternatively, if you like what this keyboard offers but prefer a high-profile option, check out the NuPhy Halo75, part of Nuphy's very similar Halo lineup of keyboards. The Halo75 offers better overall acoustics and a slightly better typing experience thanks to additional silicone-dampening material. However, it isn't as portable as the Air75 V2 and isn't as comfortable to use without a wrist rest.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard

    We recommend the Keychron V5 Max as a less expensive option. This keyboard is essentially a budget version of our top pick, the Keychron Q5 Max. While it doesn't feature the solid aluminum frame found on the more premium Keychron's Q Max series boards, it has a surprisingly sturdy plastic frame. It also boasts a gasket mount design for a softer typing experience, along with high-quality PBT keycaps and layers of sound-dampening foam inside the board to help reduce the ping and rattle while you type.

    Like the more premium Q5 Max, this keyboard is part of a wider V Max lineup. We recommend any of these variants as they share the same basic construction and set of features; the major difference is their size and layout. Each variant is also designed to be easy to configure to your needs. Everything from the internal hardware components to the software and firmware is customizable, making these keyboards a great budget-friendly base to start with if you're planning on tinkering with your build and adding and removing components over time. If wireless connectivity isn't your priority, we recommend checking out the original Keychron V Series keyboards. These wired-only models are typically available for cheaper and also come in a variety of sizes and layouts.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

    For an even cheaper option, we recommend the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61. This lightweight keyboard has a tiny footprint, making it a great companion for smaller workspaces or use on the go. It's a wireless unit that supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices using Bluetooth, so you don't have to worry about cables except when charging. Speaking of charging, this keyboard's major weak point is its battery life—although it can last up to 10 hours before recharging. While this keyboard doesn't offer the same premium-feeling build quality as some of the options above, it does have a hot-swappable PCB, which means you can pull out the stock switches and replace them with switches you prefer to control how your keyboard feels and sounds.

    A hot-swappable PCB also allows you to easily replace broken or malfunctioning switches without soldering anything, which can increase the life span of your keyboard. You can also buy a few different variants of this keyboard with various wireless connectivity options and backlighting colors. These options can help you save money if you don't need RGB lighting or a USB receiver.

    See our review

  6. Best Mechanical Keyboard For Gaming

    If you're a mechanical keyboard lover looking for the best pick for gaming, look no further than the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This keyboard's switches use magnets to register keypresses rather than a fixed physical mechanism. This technology lets you precisely adjust every key's actuation and reset points, effectively adjusting how sensitive each keypress is. In practice, if you want a super sensitive WASD cluster for movements while gaming, you can set the actuation point down to 1mm. You can also create a profile with deeper actuation points on all keys for typing.

    While the actuation point is one of the—no pun intended—key features of this keyboard, it also has a whole host of other features, like incredibly low latency, USB passthrough to plug in a headset or mouse dongle, a nice wrist rest, a volume wheel, and even an OLED screen in the top right corner to display gifs and system or keyboard settings.

    If you're looking for a more compact alternative and don't mind ditching some of the extra hardware features on the SteelSeries, like the OLED screen and the wrist rest, the Wooting 60HE is worth a look. Its switches also allow you to dial in precise actuation and reset points. However, the Wooting performs a bit better overall, and it offers some more advanced software options, including the ability to bind multiple inputs to the same key and a separate 'Analog Mode,' where your switches can measure gradual input, allowing them to act as substitutes for gamepad controls or joysticks. The latter feature is great if you're a fan of flight or racing games or any other game that requires an extra level of precision.

    See our review

  7. Best Modular Mechanical Keyboard

    If you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard that you can customize from the ground up, we recommend the NuPhy Gem80. This TKL model is only available as a barebones kit. All the internal components—including a PCB, sound-dampening materials, and stabilizers—are in place out of the box, but you have to buy and install your own switches and keycaps separately.

    The customization doesn't end there, either. The Gem80 also comes with an array of different mounting hardware, including several different types of gasket mounting hardware, to adjust how soft and springy your typing experience is. You can buy this keyboard as a wired or wireless model that supports Bluetooth and a 2.4 GHz connection. It boasts impressive wired and wireless raw performance either way, making it more than suitable for gaming at a casual or competitive level. It's also compatible with VIA for additional software-level customization.

    The only real downside to this keyboard and the reason it isn't jockeying for a position as our best pick in this article is the added complexity of adding your own switches and keycaps, which isn't something everyone will be comfortable with. It's also worth noting that the added cost of switches and keycaps means the total package of this keyboard is about the same price as our top pick, which comes fully assembled. One final issue worth considering is that this keyboard is only available in a TenKeyLess form factor. So, if you prefer a more conventional full-size model with a Numpad or an even smaller compact layout, we recommend looking at the Keychron Q5 Max or Keychron V5 Max keyboards featured above.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Logitech MX Mechanical: The Logitech MX Mechanical is Logitech's flagship mechanical productivity board and a mechanical take on their enduringly popular Logitech MX Keys. It's a great choice if you're already in Logitech's peripheral ecosystem, but you can find cheaper keyboards that feel more satisfying to type on, like the Keychron V5 Max. See our review
  • Mountain Everest Max: The Mountain Everest Max is a mechanical keyboard with a modular numpad, media dock, and wrist rest that you can place on or around the keyboard to your liking. However, it doesn't offer the same in-depth customizability as other options in a similar price range, like the Keychron Q5 Max or the NuPhy Gem80. Additionally, its companion software is only available on Windows, and you can only create a limited number of profiles. See our review
  • Epomaker TH80 Pro: The Epomaker TH80 Pro is a standout alternative to the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 if you need a larger form factor with dedicated arrow keys and a function row and are willing to give up some portability. Thanks to its higher-quality PBT keycaps, the Epomaker offers better gaming performance and a better typing experience. The downside is that it's typically quite a bit more expensive, and its PBT keycaps don't have shine-through legends. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 16, 2024: We've audited this article and confirmed all our picks for relevance, pricing, and stock availability, but we haven't changed our recommendations.

  2. Apr 17, 2024: We've overhauled the picks in this article, adding the Keychron Q5 Max as our new best pick, the Keychron V5 Max as our new budget pick, and the NuPhy Gem80 as our new best modular pick at the end of the article. In each case, these new picks offer significantly better wireless performance, build quality, and overall typing quality over the models they're replacing.

  3. Feb 29, 2024: We've reviewed our picks for relevance, price, and availability and confirmed they remain the best choices for their categories.

  4. Feb 08, 2024: We've reviewed and confirmed our picks for their relevance, price, and availability. We aren't making any changes to our lineup with this update.

  5. Jan 11, 2024: We've checked all our picks to confirm current pricing and availability but haven't changed our recommendations with this update.

All Reviews

Whether you're looking for the best compact mechanical keyboard, the best full size mechanical keyboard, or the best TKL mechanical keyboard, the above recommendations are what we think are currently the best options available. We factor in the price (a cheaper product wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no keyboard that is difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our mechanical keyboard reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no product is perfect for every use, most keyboards are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them. Be sure to know your key switch preferences before choosing.