What’s The Best Mechanical Keyboard? (Updated July 2017)

TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ (TL;DR)

If you don't want to read the entire guide (which is admittedly quite long) this TL;DR shows you our Editor's Pick.

Aesthetically speaking, this keyboard looks modern as it is designed with an Aircraft grade black anodized brushed aluminum that creates a sleek look, but with guaranteed durability.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

  • Multicolor RGB LED backlighting.
  • Smooth and linear key response with wide actuation zone.
  • No signal degradation due to the 100% anti-ghosting feature
  • Detachable wrist rest

Before you go to Pitchfork Emporium...

Before you roast me for picking old models - pleeeeaase read this first. Like all my guides, this guide is more biased towards budget gamers - that means some of my top picks aren't the latest mechanical keyboard models for the sake of price. 

This doesn't mean, however, that I'm skimping out on quality. Believe it or not, models that are more or less 1 year old still performs fine! If you're not playing competitively (like collegiate tournaments, for example) these keyboards will suit you just fine.

Ten Best Mechanical Keyboard for 2017

Image

Mechanical Keyboard

Switch

Availability

Corsair Gaming K65

(Editor's Choice)​

Cherry MX Speed RGB

Corsair K70 Rapidfire

Gold contact Cherry MX

Razer Ornata

(Awesome Runner-Up)

Mecha Membrane Tech (Membrane + Mech Switches

CM Storm QuickFire TK

Cherry MX (Color depends on region)

Razer BlackWidow

Razer Mechanical Switch

Sarepo
(Semi Mech Keyboard)

-

Logitech G910 Orion Spark (Best for MMO)

Romer-G

SteelSeries Apex M800

QS1 Switch

DAS | Division Zero X40

Alpha-Zulu Tactile

HyperX Alloy FPS 

Cherry MX Blue

Corsair Gaming K65: Our Currently Best Mechanical Keyboard

If you are looking for a mechanical keyboard that is not lacking in quality, the Corsair Gaming K65 RGB Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is your best shot.

Aesthetically speaking, this keyboard looks modern as it is designed with an Aircraft grade black anodized brushed aluminum that creates a sleek look, but with guaranteed durability.

It comes with a fun feature of multicolor RGB LED backlighting that lightens the keys of your keyboard in a huge array of colors.

This unit is also equipped with a 100% Cherry Red MX RGB mechanical key switches that enable smooth and linear key response with a reasonably wide actuation zone.

While this keyboard eliminates the ten-key a beneficial feature for those who do not usually work with numbers on their keyboards), it is also equipped with an easy-access multimedia keys.

The Corsair Gaming K65 RGB Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard comes with a detachable wrist rest, which allows you to work in whichever position you please.

This model is also perfect for gamers since it has a 100% (according to them, at least) anti-ghosting feature along with a full-key rollover which equates to the fact that there will be no signal degradation and can easily produce a better gaming (or typing) experience. Moreover, it is also capable of USB connectivity.

However, the Corsair K65 RGB is not as lightweight as other mechanical keyboards since it weighs roughly 3.2 pounds. In addition to this, it comes with a more expensive price tag, but the value for your money is surely maximized.

PROS

  • Multicolor RGB LED backlighting.
  • Smooth and linear key response with wide actuation zone.
  • No signal degradation due to the 100% anti-ghosting feature
  • Detachable wrist rest

CONS

  • On the heavier side at around 3.2 pounds.
  • Pricey relative to other mechanical keyboards.

Verdict

This is probably the best mechanical keyboard on the market today. The features are well thought of and the capabilities that are promised of this keyboard are all fully functional.

All the disadvantages attached to this model are also typical of the other mechanical keyboard so this can be disregarded since they are seemingly immaterial.

Corsair K70 Rapidfire: Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard

Another mechanical keyboard from the Corsair line is the K70 RGB Rapidfire and it is said to be the fastest mechanical keyboard from their product line.

When compared to the K65, the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire is more expensive, but it is also lighter when it comes to the item weight.

Similar to the Corsair K65, the frame on this unit is made with Aircraft grade black anodized brushed aluminum that makes this model lightweight and more durable.

This unit is also equipped with a 100% Cherry Red MX RGB mechanical key switches that enables smoother and faster key response with an actuation zone of 1.22 mm and a 45g force.

It has a virtually no signal degradation due to the hundred percent anti-ghosting feature and the full-key rollover with USB connectivity which also guarantees higher accuracy with every click.

In addition to this, it is also equipped with an advanced lighting control and large font keycaps that is able to produce a more dynamic and a more vibrant multi-color backlighting.

The Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire is also designed with the power of the CUE support for a more sophisticated macro programming and for a more dramatic lighting effects and animations with unlimited customization option for your gaming needs. The FPS and MOBA key set of the K70 also allows you to be more in control.

Moreover, the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire only weighs 2.6 pounds and it comes with a detachable soft-touch wrist rest that enables the user to customize the presence of the wrist rest according to your preference.

Additionally, it is designed with a USB pass-through port for easier connections. It also eliminates the ten-key for a more comfortable usage of your keyboard and easier access to other keys.

PROS

  • Experience fast, smooth, and accurate clicks
  • Sophisticated macro programming system
  • Dramatic lighting effects/animations
  • Plethora of customization options

CONS

  • More expensive than mechanical keyboards from the same line.

Verdict

This unit is pricier than the K65, but it has the same standard features. However, it is worth the added expense if you are looking to spend for some of its added features, but if you are only looking for the basic features of a mechanical keyboard, the Corsair K65 can give better value for your money than this model.

Razer Ornata: Awesome Runner Up

The Razer Ornata Expert is another mechanical keyboard that is designed to combine the soft cushioned touch of a membrane rubber dome with the crisp tactile click of a mechanical switch.

The design of this keyboard also includes a custom designed keycap with a shorter length to decrease the time that it takes for the actions of the user to register on the system.

This definitely makes for easier and faster typing.​

This model also has individually programmable backlit keys that produce dynamic lighting effects that is set easily through the Razer Synapse, a feature that offers 16.8 million customizable color options.

Gamers will also find the ergonomic wrist rest to be useful as it enables them to experience added comfort while playing.

This is also one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards that have a 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting feature that is also lightweight at only 2.1 pounds. This means that a user can click ten keys together with its anti-ghosting capabilities. It is also designed with fully programmable keys with an on the fly macro recording.

However, the Razer Ornata Expert also has certain downsides such as it difficulty in detecting signals and feedbacks from each click. There are also times when the keys get stuck once you press it down.

PROS

  • Affordable with plenty of options
  • Membrane + mechanical switches = awesome
  • Dynamic lighting effects
  • Quick reaction

CONS

  • Keys would sometimes get stuck when you press it down.
  • Difficulty in detecting feedback from each click.

Verdict

The Razer Ornata Expert is a cheaper alternative to the pricier mechanical keyboard. The basic features might be lacking and there might be certain disadvantages, but it is still a great mechanical keyboard for beginners.

CM Storm QuickFire TK – Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The CM Storm QuickFire TK is a compact mechanical gaming keyboard that is equipped with the Cherry MX Red Switched with a Fully LED backlight. The Full LED backlight on this model has 3 various modes and 5 different brightness levels that enable optimum visibility even in the darkest rooms.

The CM Storm QuickFire TK is also one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards around and equipped with a USB 2.0 interface. It’s super lightweight as well at only 1.2 pounds.

Moreover, it is equipped with an N-Key Roll Over in USB mode ensures that even the wildest key combinations can be registered perfectly and the signal sent to the system is easily detected.

There is also a detachable braided USB cable and cable routing groves found on the underside of the keyboard.

It is also designed with a one of a kind numeric pad block design that combines both navigation and command keys. The CM Storm QuickFire TK is designed with an embedded blue steel backplate that provides maximum firmness and sturdiness.

However, the firmware updates for CM Storm QuickFire TK are distributed for Windows EXEs only and Mac users would not be able to update their firmware unless they are able to look for a PC user who is willing to update it for them. Moreover, the keyboard is sometimes undetectable and it needs to be unplugged and plugged a couple of times to ensure that signal from the keyboard can be properly detected.

PROS

  • Compact since nav and command keys are combined.
  • Backlight offers 3 various modes and 5 different brightness levels.
  • N-Key Roll Over
  • Detachable braided USB cable and cable routing groves

CONS

  • Firmware updates made for Windows EXEs only.
  • Some signal issues need a “switch off-switch on” solution.

Verdict

The CM Storm QuickFire TK is actually an average purchase. It is not as bad as one would think, but it is definitely not an impressive mechanical keyboard, since there are several other mechanical keyboards with better features within a similar price range.

Razer BlackWidow: Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard

Another budget Razer mechanical keyboard that is available on the market today is the Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Keyboard. One of its key features is the Mechanical Key Architecture that ensures superior tactility and a quicker response time.

It has a USB wire function and equipped with fully programmable keys and five added keys for gaming that has an on-the-fly macro recording system. Moreover, it is one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards on the market and it is also one of the lightest weighing only 0.8 ounces.

The Razer BlackWidow has optimized its actuation force of 50g and has reduced its actuation distance of 2 mm, the keys on the BlackWidow will allow you to actuate the commands on your key quicker when compared to any other standard gaming keyboard.

PROS

  • 10 customizable software profiles with an on-the-fly switch system.
  • Great response times
  • Plenty of programmable keys

CONS

  • Instances where certain keys simply stop working.

Verdict

The Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Keyboard might be a great choice for those who are on a tight budget. Moreover, it has several standard features that are common in a mechanical keyboard, but it also carries all the disadvantages that are usually found in them.

SAREPO: Semi Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

If you are looking for a semi mechanical gaming keyboard, the 3.4 pound SAREPO Semi Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a great choice as it is equipped with an LED music equalizer mode, 9 multi-colored backlight, an illuminated USB wired gaming keyboard that has 19 anti ghosting key for MAC and Windows.

In general, the LED illuminated keyboard has a music equalizer mode wherein the LED lights flash to the beat of your music or game audio and the colors of the light can automatically spark and skip in accordance to the external sound volume or a song and it could change the color when you press the dancing model.

This is also a great gaming keyboard with a backlight feature that comes with a crack design in 3 Color Settings.

This provides you great customization option based on certain lighting conditions as it has 3 adjustable brightness levels. It is also equipped with 19 anti-ghosting keys that enable multiple keys to work simultaneously, with a large extend base and an arrow key setting.

The SAREPO Semi Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is also extremely sensitive and responsive, along with the fact that the ARC keycaps are designed ergonomically. Moreover, the function keys is able to feature up to 9 different LED color modes that can be accessed while holding them down.​

PROS

  • Music equalizer mode where LED lights flash to audio.
  • 19 anti ghosting key for MAC and Windows.

CONS

  • Instances when keys got stuck when pressed down.

Verdict

It is a cheap keyboard that should not be branded as a mechanical keyboard. This budget keyboard is not ideal for your gaming needs, but it is great for the individual’s daily use.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark: Best MMO Mechanical Keyboard

Logitech boasts of the world’s fastest RGB mechanical gaming keyboard in the form of the G910 Orion Spark.

It is equipped with an exclusive Romer-G Mechanical Switches that enables up to 25 percent faster actuation.

Moreover, the G910 is also equipped with an Arx Control App and a smartphone dock which quickly provides access to an in-game data on your mobile phone or tablet without being able to interrupt the game.

In terms of programmable keys, the G910 provides you with 9 G-keys which enable you to create custom game macros to execute complex commands with an even quicker speed and enhanced accuracy.

This model is also engineered with one-touch control panels that enable a quicker access to the play, pause, mute, volume and skip buttons. In addition to this, it comes with a personalized individual key lighting from a palette of 16 million colors.

Despite its great features, the keyboard itself feels unstable at times as the frame appears to be made from plastic material.

PROS

  • Up to 25 percent faster actuation compared to most models.
  • Arx Control App and a Smartphone dock
  • One-touch control panel.

CONS

  • Plastic material makes it appear like it is not durable and unstable.

Verdict

This 4.5 pound mechanical keyboard is a dream come true for dedicated gamers as it is designed to cater to their gaming needs. However, it is not meant for typing or for other basic functionalities of a keyboard.

SteelSeries Apex M800: Customizable Mechnical Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries has created a mechanical keyboard that has been designed with gamers in mind and it is called the SteelSeries Apex M800 Customizable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.

It is engineered with the competition-grade mechanical QS1 Switch function that has a 60 million click lifetime, a linear design and a smooth finish.

Moreover, it is considered to be one of the fastest mechanical keyboards on the market as it has an actuation rate that is 25% faster than any other traditional mechanical keyboard.

The SteelSeries Apex M800 keyboard has a low-profile design, with quicker key presses, and densely packed keycaps that will deliver optimal gaming ergonomics which causes less finger fatigue.

In addition to this, it can support the synchronized pressing of all keys in game mode, which is supplementary to the zero ghosting function.

There is also six dedicated quick-access macro key that is strategically placed for easy access with a one-touch control over media, volume and brightness with F keys. There are also tactile bumps on the W-key to aid in providing a quicker return to WASD.

It is designed with a swappable rubber feet so that the user can adjust the keyboard’s angle to fit to their needs. Moreover, all the keys are individually programmable to any keyboard, mouse or media key and it is equipped with 16.8 million color individually illuminated keys, full RGB LED, with 8 brightness levels. It is also customizable with various lighting modes such as the Breathe, Wave, and Trigger modes.

However, the SteelSeries Apex M800 keyboard is pretty expensive when compared to other mechanical keyboard. The keys on this unit are quite unsteady and thus, it can produce a really irritating sound.

PROS

  • 60 million click lifetime, a linear design and a smooth finish.
  • Actuation rate 25% faster than regular mech keyboards.
  • 6 dedicated quick-access macro key

CONS

  • Pricey and Keys feels wobbly.

Verdict

The SteelSeries Apex M800 is a great mechanical keyboard that caters to your gaming needs, but it might be wiser to purchase another keyboard that can maximize the value of your money.

Das Keyboard X40 (Division Zero X40)

Another keyboard that costs over a hundred dollar is the Division Zero X40 and it is engineered with the Alpha-Zulu Tactile mechanical gaming switches that ensures professional gaming grade durability and speed with over 60 million actuations.

The Alpha-Zulu Tactile switch has a soft, tactile bump halfway through the key press and a gold-plated cross point contacts.

It is designed with an interchangeable aluminum top panel that enables easy customization in order for the mechanical keyboard that can match your gaming style and space.

Moreover, this model is equipped with five programmable macro gaming keys for a quicker and a more efficient gaming. It is also designed with a red backlighting to help dilate the eyes, avoid any eye strain, and improve the user’s vision as they play in the dark.

Moreover, the Division Zero X40 is able to permanently support a full n-key rollover (NKRO) with a hundred percent anti-ghosting simultaneous key press capability and it also features a USB 2.0 pass-through cable with two male, type-A Gold plated connectors and two separate cables with gold connector for the user’s microphone and headset.

However, the keys are easily removed and are also quite wobbly. This can cause extreme noise as the user begins using the keyboard. This is a usual occurrence among mechanical keyboards.

PROS

  • Offers 60 million actuations.
  • Interchangeable aluminum top panel
  • Supports a full n-key rollover with a hundred percent anti-ghosting.

CONS

  • Keys are wobbly and unsteady.

Verdict

This model is great for gamers who spend long hours in front of their computer as it is engineered to provide extreme comfort as they use it. It is also great for those who wish to use this keyboard for daily use.

HyperX Alloy FPS

The final mechanical keyboard on this list is the HyperX Alloy FPS. It is designed with a solid metal frame with a compact and minimalist design that is perfect for those long gaming sessions and it allows the user to save desktop space.

It is also equipped with Cherry MX Blue mechanical keys which uses Cherry’s pioneering Gold Crosspoint technology.

Moreover, it comes with a detachable cable that makes it portable and can be easily transported, but it does not compromise its functionality and durability.

Professional gamers would find the 100 percent anti-ghosting feature and the full N-key rollover functions to be extremely convenient. In addition to this, it is also designed with the HyperX red backlit keys with dynamic lighting effects and additional colored textured keycaps for all of your FPS gameplay.

PROS

  • Solid metal frame with a compact and minimalist design.
  • Detachable cable
  • 100 percent anti-ghosting feature and the full N-key rollover functions
  • Cheap and lightweight.

CONS

  • Instances where certain keys just stopped working, but this seems to individual defects, not for the entire product line.

Verdict

The HyperX Alloy FPS is a great mechanical keyboard purchase. For a cheaper price, it carries features that are more common in pricier models. It carries portability, functionality, and durability in one unit.