Mechanical keyboards are generally versatile for many uses, but it all depends on what your preferences are. How they're made differs from other types of keyboards, such as ones with rubber dome and scissor switches. Even within the product market, there are many different types of mechanical switches made by various companies. The three main types of switches are tactile and silent, tactile and clicky, and linear and silent. Linear switches are generally good for gaming, and tactile ones offer better feedback while typing.
We've tested over 50 keyboards so far, and listed below are our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards. We have yet to review many professional mechanical keyboards, but we'll update the article once we do. See our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best keyboards for gaming, and the best wireless keyboards.
The best mechanical keyboard for typing we've tested so far is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. It has a well-built design with a comfortable wrist rest, and it provides good tactile feedback. We tested the variation with Razer Orange switches (tactile, silent), which is the best option for an office environment, but the keyboard is also available with Razer Green (tactile, clicky), and Razer Yellow (linear, silent) switches.
This keyboard has an excellent typing experience thanks to its stable keys. It also has good spacing between keys, which helps cut down on the number of typos. It comes with full RGB lighting that's bright enough for well-lit environments, which is customizable through its software.
However, this keyboard is only fully compatible with Windows computers. The programming software isn't compatible with macOS or Linux. The scroll lock and pause break buttons don't work on macOS, but all buttons are functional on Linux. This keyboard offers great performance for typing in an office environment with its good tactile feedback and comfortable feel.
If you feel like typing for long periods puts too much strain on your wrists, an ergonomic keyboard might be able to help, and the ErgoDox EZ is the best mechanical keyboard with such a design. It might not be as easy to use as the Razer BlackWidow Elite, but it has a very unique key layout in a fully split design, on top of having an ortholinear key alignment. It features a lot of blank keycaps, which allows you to create keybindings that are comfortable and easy for you to reach. The keyboard can also support up to 32 different layers, which gives you a lot of customization options. Additionally, It's a hot-swap board so you can put on your favorite mechanical switches and change them easily without any soldering, which is great and very useful. There are also models with full RGB backlighting and underglow as well.
If you prefer a typical key layout, the Razer is one of the best mechanical keyboards for typing, but if you really want ergonomic design, the ErgoDox is definitely one of the better options available.
The best mechanical keyboard in a compact format that we've tested so far is the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. Being 60% the size of a standard keyboard, it's suitable for any computer setup. Gamers will love the excellent RGB lighting and customization on every key, as well as programmable macro keys. A USB-C cable is included for wired gaming, but it can connect to four devices via Bluetooth, and it's easy to switch between each.
Despite being small and compact, this keyboard is well-built with solid plastic as a frame. It's available in a wide variety of switches, but our tested unit used the Gatreon Brown tactile switches. It has a low actuation force, making it easier for gaming with this type of switch. The keys are also very stable, giving it an excellent typing experience.
Unfortunately, due to its small size, ergonomics aren't very good, and typing on it for a while may start to feel uncomfortable. There are also no arrow keys, so the W, A, S, D keys act as substitutes with the Fn key. This is a great compact mechanical keyboard, and it's also excellent for gaming.
If you need dedicated arrow keys for navigating through text easily, then go for the Vortex Race 3. It might not support full RGB like the Obinslab Anne Pro 2, although there are models that do have RGB backlighting, and it can't be used wirelessly via Bluetooth. On the other hand, the Vortex has a full metal frame that is very sturdy and feels durable. Its wired design also means it's fully compatible with macOS and Linux, and there's no software to download. It offers a great typing quality and it comes with nice PBT doubleshot keycaps. It also has colored keys to make it a bit more stylish as well.
If you're a fan of compact designs and want to use your keyboard wirelessly, then the Obinslab is a great option, but if you write a lot and need the navigation keys, go with the Vortex instead.
The best mechanical keyboard for gaming we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. You can change the amount of pre-travel distance for each key, making it great for both gaming and typing. Its software has a ton of customizable features, including the RGB backlighting, which makes the keys easy to read in a dark environment.
The linear OmniPoint switches on the minimal settings offer a good solution for gaming but might be too sensitive for some. The pre-travel is measured at only 1mm on minimal, but you can increase it to 3.8mm on max settings.
However, the switches are linear, so it isn't an ideal keyboard for typing because it won't offer great tactile feedback. It comes with a detachable wrist rest, which attracts dust easily. That said, this is a fantastic gaming keyboard because of its customizable actuation forces on each key.
If you like the SteelSeries Apex Pro but mainly play MMO games, then go for the Corsair K95 PLATINUM XT. You might not be able to customize the actuation point of the switches, but it comes with a dedicated column of dedicated macro keys. These six extra inputs are great for having quick access to even more spells and abilities in-game. While we reviewed the variant with Cherry MX Blue switches, the keyboard is also available in tactile and silent Brown and linear Speed switches. This is a small but nice upgrade from the Corsair K95 PLATINUM, now that it has doubleshot PBT keycaps, which should be more durable than the ABS keycaps from the previous model. It has full RGB lighting and you can set your preferred lighting settings inside the iCUE software.
If you want one of the quickest keyboards for gaming, the SteelSeries is one of the best choices we have, but if you need six extra macro keys, go for the Corsair.
The best wireless mechanical keyboard we've tested so far is the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. It's a fantastic full-size gaming keyboard with a unique design. What sets this keyboard apart from others is its low profile, so the keys have very low pre-travel and travel distances. Our unit came with tactile keys, but it's available with clicky and linear switches as well. It has a fantastic build quality, with a metal frame and hard plastic on the back.
Like most gaming keyboards, the RGB lighting is customizable on every key, plus it comes with five macro programmable keys on the left side. The Logitech G HUB software is user-friendly and allows you to save as many profiles as you need. The wireless versatility is also great, as you can connect up to two devices at once and switch between them with a press of a button.
On the other hand, typing quality is only decent. It's easier to make typos, and the keyboard doesn't come with a wrist rest. That said, this is an amazing wireless mechanical keyboard if you plan on using it for gaming.
If you want to go for a more affordable alternative, check out the Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED. This keyboard doesn't have RGB backlighting like the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED does, but it's still a good wireless keyboard for gaming with six macro-programmable keys, which is one more than the other Logitech. If you game in a well-lit environment, this is a good option. This keyboard uses Romer-G Tactile switches, which are similar to the GL Tactile used on the other Logitech; they require a bit less actuation force and the pre-travel distance is very similar. Along with the built-in wrist rest, this makes the typing experience better, so it's significantly better than the other Logitech for an office environment. This keyboard also has great wireless versatility and uses 2x AA batteries, and the battery life is rated for about 18 months by the manufacturer.
If you want to game and use the best wireless mechanical gaming keyboard we've tested, the G915 is the go-to choice. However, if you also plan on using your keyboard for typing, the G613 is a great affordable alternative.
The best budget mechanical keyboard we've tested so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. This is a compact keyboard with an impressive build quality; it has double-shot ABS keycaps, giving it a heavy and robust feel. This keyboard is average for overall use, but like most mechanical keyboards we've tested, it's good enough for gaming. This keyboard is available in a variety of clicky blue switches, which offer good tactile feedback but can be noisy for some.
It comes with full RGB backlighting, but because it doesn't have a programmable software, the customization has to be done through the keyboard. Each key is customizable, and there are 18 different lighting effects. The keyboard is also available in eight different styles with various backlight colors, and you can get it in either black or white.
However, it doesn't have a great typing quality because the sound of the tactile click doesn't quite line up with the actuation point. The ergonomics are alright and the high build of the keyboard might require a wrist rest, which it doesn't come with. Overall, if you're looking for a decent gaming keyboard at an affordable price, this is a solid choice.
03/26/2020: Changed some picks as we reviewed more products. The text has been updated.
03/05/2020: Switched the K95 PLATINUM for the K95 PLATINUM XT. Minor text updates.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best mechanical keyboards for most people. 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 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.