Generally, mechanical keyboards are quite versatile, depending on what your preferences are. Even within the product market, there are many different types of mechanical switches. The three main types of switches are tactile, clicky, and linear, and you can learn more about them here. Even switches of the same type made by different companies offer a different feel and typing experience. 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. Also, see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards.
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 pre-travel distance 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.
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. 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.
The Ducky One 2 is the best mechanical keyboard for typing that we've tested. It's a versatile keyboard that's available in different sizes, color schemes, and switch types. This keyboard is the full-size variant, and we also tested the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL, which is a smaller version that has the same features.
While the full-size model we tested doesn't have RGB backlighting, there are variants with it, so you can choose what you prefer. We tested the Cherry MX Brown switches, but you can also buy it with a variety of Cherry MX switches, so your experience will change depending on the switches. The Brown switches on our unit are light to press, and the typing quality feels outstanding because the switches provide good tactile feedback and the doubleshot PBT keycaps feel great.
You can reprogram any of its keys, but since it doesn't have dedicated software, all programming has to be done directly on the keyboard. Also, it has limited ergonomics because it doesn't come with a wrist rest, but you still shouldn't experience much fatigue. All things considered, typing is fantastic and it's the best mechanical keyboard for office use.
If you prefer something with even better ergonomics, then check out the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It doesn't have doubleshot PBT keycaps like the Ducky One 2 and typing isn't as good, but it's still great. 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, 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 Ducky, but if you want something with more customizable ergonomics, then check out the Kinesis.
The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is the best mechanical keyboard we've tested with wireless capabilities. It's a high-end gaming keyboard and the main advantage is that it has a USB receiver and can connect with up to three devices at once. Switching between the USB and Bluetooth connections is easy via a switch on the left side.
It's available in two types of switches: linear Razer Yellow or clicky Green switches, which is what we tested. The Green switches are clicky, so they're not the best for a quiet environment, but they have low pre-travel distance and are light to press. Typing quality feels great thanks to the solid-feeling doubleshot ABS keycaps, and the keys feel stable. Ergonomics are good as it comes with a detachable plushy wrist rest and two incline settings.
Every key is macro-programmable through the Razer Synapse 3 software, which unfortunately is only available on Windows and macOS. It has onboard memory if you want to save your settings on a Windows PC and transfer them over to another computer. Latency is very low, even when using Bluetooth, which is great. All in all, this is the best mechanical keyboard with wireless connectivity.
If you prefer something smaller, then look into the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. It doesn't have a wrist rest like the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, but with the compact design and low profile, you might not need one. It's available with a variety of switches, and the Gateron Brown switches on our unit offer good tactile feedback, are quiet, and typing quality is excellent, but it may take some time getting used to the compact 60% design. It doesn't have a function row or dedicated arrow keys, but you can program any key to whatever you like. It doesn't have a USB receiver, so you have to use it wirelessly over Bluetooth, and latency is a bit high with it. It's fine for typing, but if you're a gamer, it may be better to use it wired.
If you want the best mechanical keyboard in the wireless category, you can't go wrong with the Razer, but if you need space on your desk and prefer a smaller keyboard, check out the Obinslab.
The best mechanical keyboard that you can get for cheap is the Logitech G413. Although it's a no-frills keyboard with basic features, it still offers good performance for most uses. Our unit has a Carbon finish with red backlighting, and there's another Silver variant with white backlighting, but each model is only available with the Romer-G Tactile switches.
It's fantastic for gaming because it has minimal latency for a responsive gaming experience, and the switches are light with a shorter pre-travel distance than comparable switches. They provide good tactile feedback and good typing quality if you also need to use it for office use, and if that's the case, the switches are quiet. It's a full-size keyboard so it has a Numpad and media keys hotkeys, making it easier to skip through your music while working and gaming.
Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a wrist rest, but you still shouldn't experience too much fatigue on it. While you can set macros to the function keys through the Logitech G HUB software, those are the only keys you can customize as you can't reprogram any other. If that doesn't bother you, it's the best mechanical keyboard for cheap.
Aug 27, 2021: Replaced the Razer BlackWidow Elite with the Ducky One 2 because it's hard to find; added the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL and Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT to Notable Mentions.
Jul 30, 2021: Moved the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 to 'Compact Alternative' for consistency; updated Notable Mentions.
Jul 01, 2021: Added the ZSA Moonlander to Notable Mentions.
Jun 04, 2021: Updated text for clarity; replaced the EVGA Z15 with the EVGA Z20 in Notable Mentions.
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.
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.