Updated

The 9 Best Mechanical Keyboards - Winter 2020
Reviews

Best Mechanical Keyboards
34 Keyboards Tested
  • Store-bought keyboards; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Mechanical keyboards are generally versatile in what type of use it's needed for, 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 offer better feedback while typing.

We've tested over 25 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 for gaming.


  1. Best Mechanical Keyboard For Typing: Razer BlackWidow Elite

    Test Methodology v0.8
    8.1
    Mixed usage
    9.3
    Gaming
    1.0
    Mobile/Tablet
    8.0
    Office
    8.2
    Programming
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    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 amount 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.

    See our review

  2. Ergonomic Alternative: Kinesis Freestyle Pro

    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    TenKeyLess (80%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you're looking for a keyboard designed for better ergonomics, the Kinesis Freestyle Pro is a good option. It has a split keyboard design unlike the Razer BlackWidow Elite, so you can set it up however you like while typing, although this may take some time to get used to. It uses Cherry MX Brown switches, which are silent and good for an office environment. Like the Razer, the switches are tactile, but require less actuation force, meaning the typing experience may feel a bit lighter. Unlike the Razer, this keyboard is fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. Despite its ergonomic design, it doesn't come with wrist rests or any incline settings, but both can be purchased separately.

    If you want an included wrist rest for longer typing sessions, the Razer is one of the best mechanical keyboards for typing. However, if you're looking for a more ergonomic option or you work with a macOS or Linux computer, the Kinesis might better suit your needs.

    See our review

  3. Best Compact Mechanical Keyboard: Obinslab Anne Pro 2

    Test Methodology v0.8
    8.2
    Mixed usage
    9.0
    Gaming
    7.7
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.4
    Office
    8.6
    Programming
    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Compact (60%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    The best compact mechanical keyboard we've tested is the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. With a size 60% of a standard keyboard, it's suitable for any computer set up. 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.

    See our review

  4. Better Typing Experience Alternative: Ducky One 2 Mini

    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Compact (60%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you're looking for a better typing experience, the Ducky One 2 Mini offers a better feel. Without a programmable software, it isn't as excellent for gamers as the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. With the Cherry MX Brown switches on the keyboard we tested, the tactile keys are both silent and give good feedback. It's available in a variety of switches and sizes, including 60%, 65%, TKL, and full-size. The typing quality on the keyboard is one of the best we've tested so far. The keys are stable and the spacing between keys is big enough to help reduce typos. It's a wired keyboard, so it can only be connected to one device at a time.

    If you're looking for a good compact mechanical keyboard for gaming, the Obinslab is the best option we've tested, but if you want a better typing experience, the Ducky is a great alternative.

    See our review

  5. Best Mechanical Keyboard For Gaming: SteelSeries Apex Pro

    Test Methodology v0.8
    8.1
    Mixed usage
    9.5
    Gaming
    1.0
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.9
    Office
    8.2
    Programming
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    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's not 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.

    See our review

  6. MMO Gaming Alternative: Corsair K95 PLATINUM

    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you're looking for a keyboard for MMO gaming, the Corsair K95 PLATINUM might be a better option. It's not as well-built as the SteelSeries Apex Pro and you can't customize the pre-travel distance, but it has dedicated macro keys that the SteelSeries doesn't have, which is great for quick extra actions. However, with Cherry MX Speed linear switches, this keyboard has a very low pre-travel distance, comparable to the lowest settings on the SteelSeries. It's also available in the tactile Cherry MX Brown switches. Each key is macro-programmable and individually lit. You can control the brightness of the backlighting directly on the keyboard.

    If you want the quickest keyboard for gaming, the SteelSeries is the one of the best choices we have, but if you need six extra macro keys, go for the Corsair.

    See our review

  7. Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboard: Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED

    Test Methodology v0.8
    7.8
    Mixed usage
    9.1
    Gaming
    5.9
    Mobile/Tablet
    7.1
    Office
    7.8
    Programming
    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    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, the typing quality is only decent. It's easier to make typos, and it doesn't come with a wrist rest. That said, this is an amazing wireless mechanical keyboard if you plan on using it for gaming.

    See our review

  8. More Affordable Alternative: Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED

    Connectivity Wireless
    Size
    Full-size (100%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    If you want to go for a more affordable alternative, check out the Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED instead. 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 G915, but 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.

    See our review

  9. Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard: Redragon K552-RGB

    Test Methodology v0.8
    6.5
    Mixed usage
    6.9
    Gaming
    1.7
    Mobile/Tablet
    6.7
    Office
    6.6
    Programming
    Connectivity Wired
    Size
    TenKeyLess (80%)
    Mechanical
    Yes

    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, with double-shot ABS keycaps, giving a heavy and robust feel. This keyboard is average for overall use, but like most of the other 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's customizable, and there are 18 different lighting effects. The keyboard is also available in eight different styles, with various backlight colours, 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.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL: As an 80% compact keyboard, the Apex 7 is fantastic for gaming, but you can't change the pre-travel distance like the Apex Pro. See our review
  • HyperX Alloy Origins: The linear switches make the Alloy Origins another great gaming keyboard, but not so much for typing and programming. See our review
  • Logitech G815 LIGHTSYNC RGB: The G815 is a wired equivalent to the G915 with a unique design, but it isn't Bluetooth compatible. See our review
  • ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO: Comparable to the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but the Vulcan 120 doesn't have full compatibility on all operating systems. See our review
  • Razer BlackWidow Lite: The BlackWidow Lite is more affordable alternative to the BlackWidow Elite but without a wrist rest, making the ergonomics much worse. See our review
  • Corsair K68 RGB: The K68 RGB is a good choice for gamers who don't mind using the noisy tactile blue switches. See our review

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 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.

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion