The 6 Best Mechanical Keyboards - Summer 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Mechanical Keyboards
134 Keyboards Tested
  • Store-bought keyboards; no cherry-picked units
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Generally, mechanical keyboards are quite versatile, depending on what your preferences are. How they're made differs from other types of keyboards, like 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, and you can learn more about them here. It all comes down to personal preference, and thankfully, a lot of options are available in a wide variety of switches to better suit your needs.

We've tested over 130 keyboards, and our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards are listed below. If you're looking for a keyboard to play games, check out the best gaming keyboards. Also, see our recommendations for the best keyboards and the best wireless keyboards.


  1. Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: SteelSeries Apex Pro

    9.5
    Gaming
    2.9
    Mobile/Tablet
    8.0
    Office
    8.0
    Programming
    5.6
    Entertainment / HTPC
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best mechanical keyboard we've tested for gaming is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It's a fantastic gaming keyboard that has a unique pre-travel distance setting. This allows you to change the operating force of the OmniPoint switches on a per-key basis; a lower setting makes for a responsive gaming experience and setting it higher helps with typing accuracy.

    It's packed with extra features. All keys are macro-programmable, and there are dedicated media keys, making it easy to play your music while gaming. There's even an OLED screen at the top right on which you can display anything you want, from an image to a GIF. It has good ergonomics with one incline setting and a wrist rest. It's a very well-built keyboard that comes with doubleshot ABS keycaps, and even though they aren't as good as PBT keycaps, they still feel durable.

    Sadly, the linear switches may not be for everyone when typing. Even when setting the pre-travel distance to its highest, there's still no tactile feedback, which may cause some unintentional key presses if you're not used to it. Still, if that doesn't bother you, the typing quality feels great, and you shouldn't notice any fatigue during long sessions. Overall, this is the best mechanical keyboard for gaming that we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Compact Mechanical Keyboard: Obinslab Anne Pro 2

    8.9
    Gaming
    7.9
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.6
    Office
    8.4
    Programming
    5.6
    Entertainment / HTPC
    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Compact (60%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best compact mechanical keyboard that we've tested is the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. It's a 60% compact model with Bluetooth support that can pair with up to four devices at once. It's available with a variety of Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches, and the Gateron Brown switches we tested feel light and fairly responsive.

    It has customizable RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys and a very low wired latency, but it's significantly higher over Bluetooth and isn't recommended for gaming. All of its keys are macro-programmable, and you can set macros directly from the board or by using the ObinsKit software. It's compatible with a variety of operating systems, including Android and iOS, but some buttons don't work, and not all customizable features are available.

    Unfortunately, because of its compact size, it doesn't have a dedicated function row, a NumPad, or arrow keys, which may bother some people. Also, it doesn't come with a wrist rest or incline settings. Nevertheless, this is an excellent compact gaming keyboard that's versatile enough for many uses.

    See our review

  3. Best Mechanical Keyboard For Typing: Razer BlackWidow Elite

    9.5
    Gaming
    2.7
    Mobile/Tablet
    8.0
    Office
    8.2
    Programming
    5.5
    Entertainment / HTPC
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best mechanical keyboard for typing is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. There are two incline settings, and it comes with a plushy wrist rest, which should help increase comfort during long periods of typing. It's available with tactile Razer Orange, clicky Razer Green, and linear Razer Yellow switches to suit your feedback preference.

    There are nice extra features, like dedicated media keys and a volume control knob on the top right, a USB and audio passthrough, and many macro-programmable keys. It's compatible with Razer Synapse 3 where you can customize the RGB backlighting, remaps keys, and set macros. You can save your changes to the onboard memory so that they remain when you switch computers, but note that only the keybindings are saved.

    Unfortunately, it's wired only, and you can't pair it with multiple devices at once. Also, it uses ABS keycaps instead of better quality PBT keycaps, but they still feel fairly nice to type on. All in all, this mechanical gaming model is a great option for typing, and it's one of the best keyboards for writers that we've tested.

    See our review

  4. Ergonomic Alternative: Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    TenKeyLess (80%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you prefer something with even better ergonomics, then check out the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It doesn't have as low latency as the Razer BlackWidow Elite, but it's still low and shouldn't pose a problem for typing. However, what sets the Kinesis apart is that it has a fully split design, so you can place each half how you like. Although it may take some time to get used to the unique design, it offers great typing quality, and it's available in a variety of Cherry MX switches; we tested the Cherry MX Browns. It's considered a TKL keyboard with 10 dedicated macro keys, and you can reprogram any key through the dedicated software, which is also available on macOS. Our unit doesn't have any incline settings, but you can buy a 'Lift Kit' separately.

    If you want the best mechanical keyboard for typing, you can't go wrong with the Razer, but if you want something with more customizable ergonomics, then check out the Kinesis.

    See our review

  5. Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

    9.1
    Gaming
    6.0
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.8
    Office
    8.5
    Programming
    7.7
    Entertainment / HTPC
    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best wireless mechanical keyboard we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. This full-size model has excellent build quality thanks to the aluminum faceplate that makes it more solid. It has good ergonomics, with two adjustable incline settings and a detachable wrist rest. It also features full RGB backlighting that's great to work or play in the dark.

    It can be used wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth or with its proprietary receiver. You can pair it with up to three different devices at the same time, and switching between them is easy thanks to the switch on the left side. The latency is low even when using it over Bluetooth, which is fantastic. The unit we tested uses clicky Razer Green switches, which feel light to type on and give great tactile feedback. It also offers plenty of extra features, like macro-programmable keys and a volume control wheel.

    Unfortunately, the switches on our unit are fairly loud and could bother people around you, but you can also choose linear Razer Yellow switches, which should be quieter. It's also quite large, especially with the wrist rest attached, so it may take a lot of space on your desk. That said, this is an amazing option that should satisfy most people, and it’s also one of the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard: Logitech G413

    9.0
    Gaming
    2.7
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.8
    Office
    7.5
    Programming
    4.6
    Entertainment / HTPC
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best mechanical keyboard we've tested in the budget price range is the Logitech G413. This is a simple full-size keyboard that features Logitech's proprietary Romer-G tactile switches. It's impressively well-built with a plastic frame and a brushed aluminum plate on top. It doesn't come with a wrist rest, but its relatively low profile makes it comfortable to type on without one.

    The Romer-G switches are similar to Cherry MX Browns but with a softer tactile bump. They're responsive due to their short pre-travel distance, although they feel somewhat stiff and might cause some fatigue over time. Typing noise is pretty quiet, which is great for noise-sensitive environments. There's backlighting for gaming in the dark, although it's limited to a single red color. It's a wired-only keyboard with a braided cable that ends in two USB-A connectors, one of which is for the USB passthrough.

    Sadly, the ABS keycaps feel cheap and may develop a shine quickly through regular use. Logitech's G HUB software lets you customize the keyboard, and it's available for both Windows and macOS. You can program macros to the function row and create custom profiles, but unfortunately, there's no onboard memory to save the settings. Overall, it's not the most feature-rich model, but most people should be happy with it for its wallet-friendly price.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Razer Huntsman Mini: The Razer Huntsman Mini is a fantastic compact gaming keyboard, but it's wired-only, unlike the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. See our review
  • Corsair K100 RGB: The Corsair K100 RGB is an excellent alternative to the SteelSeries Apex Pro, especially if you play MMOs, as it has six dedicated macro keys. However, it doesn't let you adjust the actuation force and the pre-travel distance like the SteelSeries. See our review
  • Razer Pro Type: The Razer Pro Type is a good typing keyboard with multi-device pairing capabilities, but it doesn't have a wrist rest or dedicated media keys like the Razer BlackWidow Elite. See our review
  • Dygma Raise: The Dygma Raise is a good alternative to the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB, but it's quite expensive and hard to find at major retailers. See our review
  • Ducky One 2 SF: The Ducky One 2 SF is a good alternative to the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 if you want a compact mechanical keyboard with dedicated arrow keys. However, it's wired-only and doesn't come with any customization software. See our review
  • Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED: The Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED is a good alternative to the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro if you prefer low-profile switches. However, it doesn't have a wrist rest like the Razer, and only the macro keys are programmable on the keyboard. See our review
  • Razer Huntsman: The Razer Huntsman is more expensive than the Logitech G413, but every key is macro-programmable, and it has RGB backlighting. See our review
  • Razer Huntsman V2 Analog: The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is an exceptional gaming keyboard, but it's much more expensive than the SteelSeries Apex Pro, and its analog feature is a bit buggy and hard to get used to. See our review
  • EVGA Z20: The EVGA Z20 is a fantastic gaming keyboard with optical switches, but the pre-travel distance isn't customizable like the SteelSeries Apex Pro. See our review
  • SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL: The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is a lower-end version of the SteelSeries Apex Pro with standard mechanical switches, so you can't customize their pre-travel distance. See our review
  • Corsair K65 RGB MINI: The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is an incredible gaming keyboard and it's available in a compact size, but it's not available in as many switches as the Obinslab and it's wired-only. See our review
  • Drop SHIFT: The Drop SHIFT is a great overall 96% sized keyboard with outstanding typing quality, but it's also very costly. See our review
  • ZSA Moonlander: The ZSA Moonlander is a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard with a fully split ergonomic design. It has significantly more incline settings than the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB, but it's much more expensive and only available from the ZSA website. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jul 01, 2021: Added the ZSA Moonlander to Notable Mentions.

  2. Jun 04, 2021: Updated text for clarity; replaced the EVGA Z15 with the EVGA Z20 in Notable Mentions.

  3. May 07, 2021: Moved the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 to 'Best Compact' and moved the Razer Huntsman Mini to Notable Mentions; added the SteelSeries Apex 7, Corsair K65 Mini, and Drop SHIFT to Notable Mentions.

  4. Apr 09, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. No change in recommendations.

  5. Mar 12, 2021: Added the Corsair K100 RGB to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

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 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.

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