Mechanical keyboards are quite versatile, depending on what your preferences are. There are many different types of mechanical switches, with the three main types being tactile, clicky, and linear, which you can learn more about here. Each switch type offers a different feel, and even those of the same type made by different companies offer a unique typing experience. It all comes down to personal preference, and thankfully, many options are available in a wide variety of switches to suit your needs.
We've tested over 165 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best keyboards with mechanical switches available to buy. Also, see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards.
The best mechanical keyboard we've tested is the Ducky One 3. This brightly-colored unit comes in a variety of sizes, color schemes, and switch types, so you can find a variant that satisfies all your needs. Regardless of what version you get, you'll find a well-built board with PBT keycaps that feel great to type on and a hot-swappable PCB, so even if you don't like your stock switches, you can change them out for whichever you want. It has a wired-only connection and has a matching colorful USB-A to USB-C cable that's removable, so you can easily replace it if it gets damaged.
It also offers incredible performance thanks to its very low latency, making it a versatile choice if you want one keyboard to use for both work and gaming. In short, it's an easy choice for a high-performing keyboard that you can configure to best suit your setup and your aesthetic.
Like the Ducky One 3, the Razer Pro Type Ultra is a versatile mechanical keyboard suitable for both work and play. Unlike the Ducky, the Pro Type Ultra is wireless. It connects with a USB receiver, which is also fully compatible with the Razer Pro Click mouse, so you only need one receiver for both devices. Or, you can connect it via Bluetooth with up to three devices. Inside the board, it uses Razer's linear Yellow switches, which provide a very light typing experience, meaning you won't feel fatigue in your fingers after a long work day. Thanks to the included wrist rest, you won't feel fatigue in your wrists either. The switches also have a short pre-travel distance, which makes keypresses feel responsive.
It also has incredibly low latency, so it's well up to the task of gaming in any genre, from fast-paced FPS games to more casual puzzles or simulations. It's important to note that the keyboard only comes with linear switches installed, so if your primary use is for typing, you may prefer the older version of this keyboard, the Razer Pro Type, as it has tactile switches installed that let you know when a key's been registered. Unfortunately, that model doesn't include a wrist rest.
If you're looking for your first mechanical keyboard and don't have a ton of money to spend, the Keychron K4 is the best budget mechanical keyboard we've tested. While it doesn't come fully loaded with extra features, it does offer a comfortable and satisfying typing experience. You can get this keyboard in the standard offering of switch types: tactile Brown, linear Red, or clicky Blue, or you can get a hot-swappable version that allows you to plug and play with the switches you want. The ABS keycaps feel nice to the touch, though they may be prone to developing shine from finger oil over time. However, they're very easy to remove and replace if you want to eventually.
It's a wireless keyboard that connects using Bluetooth and supports pairing with up to three devices at once. It's also fully compatible with both Windows and macOS, and you can use the switch on the top of the keyboard to toggle between operating systems. It also includes additional keycaps and a keycap puller so you can change the layout to best fit what operating system you're working on. Overall, for the price point, it's the best full-size mechanical keyboard you can find.
Compact keyboards are having their moment right now. They're easier to bring back and forth from home to the office rather than lugging a bulky, full-size unit, and they also free up more desk space for gamers to make dynamic mouse movements. So, if you're looking for a compact keyboard, we recommend the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. This well-built unit comes in a variety of switch types and brands, so you can find a feeling that works for you. It connects wirelessly with up to four devices using a Bluetooth connection, great to use at work in a multi-device setup, or you can use it in a wired mode, where its latency is extremely low.
As a bonus, it comes with additional colorful keycaps for personalization. However, due to its compact size, it doesn't have arrow keys, but you can access the arrow keys as hotkeys if you need them. Though, if you'd prefer dedicated arrow keys, there are options, like the Keychron K6, which is a bit cheaper but offers similar wireless performance.
If you're new to mechanical keyboards, you may be interested in a low-profile option, as they feel similar in design to non-mechanical boards. We recommend the Keychron K3 (Version 2). Everything about this sleek keyboard is low-profile, from the solid plastic chassis to the Gateron Low-Profile stock switches and tile-like keycaps. Every component is as thin as possible without sacrificing any mechanical feel. It comes in a compact form factor with dedicated arrow keys, and you can also purchase a carrying case separately if you want to bring it around with you. Like all Keychron boards, it also has a toggle on the top left side that allows you to switch from Windows to macOS for full compatibility between operating systems. Since you can connect it with up to three devices on Bluetooth, it's a great choice to use with an iPad, tablet, or other mobile devices.
However, if you want something a little more funky-looking that's still low-profile, we recommend the NuPhy Air75. While it's a much more expensive option, it does offer a higher build quality and has companion software with a suite of customization options.
Often, ergonomic keyboards have a wave-like design with a peak in the middle that splits into two descending key clusters, so you have one for each hand. With mechanical ergonomic keyboards, the designs get a bit more unique. It's why we recommend an ergonomic mechanical keyboard that's more straightforward, like the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. At first, a fully-split keyboard may not seem straightforward, but it doesn't take long to get used to, especially if you touch type. You can place each half wherever feels comfortable, as long as it's within reach of the connection cable that links the two halves. Setting the pieces apart at a distance is intended to keep your wrists a more natural distance apart, which helps alleviate strain during long typing sessions. However, it's quite a bulky unit and doesn't have any incline settings, as you have to purchase a lift kit separately.
If you'd prefer something smaller but still with a split design, the Dygma Raise sounds like your best bet. Together, the two halves make one comfortable compact keyboard with comfy wrist rests, but you can also fully separate the pieces if you'd prefer a split-style for gaming or work. It's also one of the most customizable keyboards you can get right from a manufacturer, but this translates to a pretty steep price tag.
While lots of these picks cater to a newbie crowd, we know we have to show our keyboard enthusiasts some enthusiasm too. So, if you're looking for your next keyboard customization project, we recommend going with the Keychron Q2. This keyboard comes with premium materials that are hard to find at a decent price point in group buys or online marketplaces. It also comes with a handy packet of tools, including a hex key, switch puller, and keycap puller, to make playing around and customizing the keyboard that much easier. It has a hot-swappable PCB with south-facing LEDs built-in that display a full range of RGB backlighting. It also has screw-in stabilizers that you can easily replace with Cherry or Durock stabilizers.
As this is part of Keychron's Q-series of boards, they offer many different sizes under different model names. The Keychron Q3 is a TKL keyboard with the same design and features, while the Keychron Q4 is a compact (60%) keyboard. Regardless of what size variant, or layout you choose, you'll have the perfect base to begin building your new favorite keyboard.
Jun 30, 2022: Replaced the EVGA Z15 with the Keychron K4 for consistency across articles; moved EVGA Z15 to Notable Mentions. Added a new category for 'Best Customizable Mechanical Keyboard' with the Keychron Q2 as the main pick.
Jun 02, 2022: Complete overhaul of the article to better reflect user needs.
May 06, 2022: Text updated for clarity and accuracy; no changes to picks.
Apr 08, 2022: Picks verified for accuracy and availability; no changes to picks.
Mar 11, 2022: Replaced the Ducky One 2 with the Ducky One 3 for 'Best Mechanical Keyboard For Typing'.
Whether you're looking for the best compact, the best full size, 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.