7 Best Mechanical Keyboards | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. These mechanical keyboards can help you type more quickly and more accurately, and will last far longer than a typical membrane keyboard. Being more comfortable and reliable than standard keyboards, they are favored by gamers and those who spend long hours clicking at the keys. Skip to the best mechanical keyboard on Amazon.
7 Best Mechanical Keyboards | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 5
Best Inexpensive
The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Elite mechanical keyboard has a sleek modern look right down to the font used on the keycaps. Its standard keys are fully programmable and it has 5 additional gaming keys with on-the-fly macro recording.
The Logitech G710 Blue Mechanical gaming keyboard is designed for the fastest fingers out there, so try it out whether you're a hardcore typist pounding out a hundred WPM or a gamer who likes to play at top speed.
There's a reason the TeckNet Phoenix Mechanical-Feel keyboard can come with a mouse and still cost so little relative to other units, and that's the fact that it's not a true mechanical keyboard, but merely rather feels like one.
This Redragon K552 KUMARA LED backlit mechanical gaming keyboard is priced nearly 50% lower than many options on the market, but it performs admirably in almost all situations, from gaming to office use to classroom applications.
  • 87 standard conflict free keys
  • gold plated usb connector
  • double-shot injection molded keycaps
Brand Redragon
Model B016MAK38U
Weight 2.3 pounds
This Azio MGK1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was designed with protracted use in mind. It has a comfortable palm rest that helps reduce hand and wrist strain, and its anodized aluminum face plate endures near constant use.
  • easy access volume wheel
  • white led backlighting
  • windows key lock for gaming
Brand Azio
Model MGK1
Weight 3.6 pounds
The EagleTec KG011 Office/Industrial LED backlit mechanical keyboard has a crisp, clean look thanks to its white construction and blue lighting. It's perfect for keeping you calm during a workday or during a trying tournament.
  • full numeric keypad
  • features splash-proof keys
  • satisfying audible click sound
Brand EagleTec
Model KG011
Weight 2.6 pounds
The Havit HV-KB366L RGB backlit wired mechanical gaming keyboard looks awesome with its multicolored lighting and feels great under your fingers, whether you're typing a document or blazing through a game. Just know that all back lit modes are per-programmed.
  • has n-key rollover technology
  • 4 levels of brightness
  • great reviews from users
Brand Havit
Model HV-KB378L-UK
Weight 3.9 pounds

What Makes Mechanical Keyboards Different?

All keyboards might seem the same to the average user, but for those who demand more of their computers, the distinct differences between keyboard types can make a huge difference to their functionality. Firstly, keyboards are equipped with different types of switch technology. Changing the key switch mechanism results in a significant change in the operation of the keys themselves. In essence, not only does the feel of the keyboard change based on the key switch mechanism, but the actual force required to perform a keystroke changes as well.

The switches in mechanical keyboards are made of a few different parts. These parts include the key, a plastic stem, two metal contacts, and a spring. The plastic stem is a part of the key itself, and moves between two metal contacts as the key is pressed down. When these contacts touch one another, the keyboard sends the signal to the computer that the key has been pressed. The spring attached to the underside of the key forces the key back up to its resting position until it is pushed again on the next keystroke. It is this switching mechanism which defines a mechanical keyboard, giving it the snappy feel many users favor.

Mechanical keyboards are also considered to be of better quality than regular keyboards. Over years of manufacturing, large companies have looked for cheaper ways to produce keyboards. This search resulted in a more commonly used alternative called the rubber-dome keyboard. These don't have as many moving parts as mechanical keyboards. Instead, they have a circuit board which uses a carbon composite and a rubber or silicone pad running across the entire board. Small rubber or silicone bumpers lie under each key, and when pressed they push the corresponding switch on the board. These types of keyboards are cost-efficient, but many users see them as lower quality.

Why Are Mechanical Keyboards So Prevalent In Gaming?

Internet gaming is generally a fast-paced, action-oriented environment. When compared to other fast-paced activities, such as physical sports, gaming is much more cerebral in nature. This has its benefits. Increased brain activity from video games has been linked to better cognitive performance, hand-eye coordination, and even social skills.

Because most of the action takes place in the mind, physical action is generally limited to the movement of the hands over the keyboard and mouse. As the fate of a game can be determined in milliseconds, it is vital that a gamer make their keystrokes as efficient as possible.

Mechanical keyboards can help do just that. Where other keyboards require an average of four millimeters of movement to perform a keystroke, a mechanical keyboard requires just two millimeters of movement. Cutting the distance of a keystroke in half may not seem like much, but when combined with a reduced force required to perform a keystroke, many gamers view mechanical keyboards as much more efficient tools.

Another key benefit of mechanical keyboards is their durability. Because of the build of their switch mechanism, they wear down much more slowly than rubber-domed keyboards. Mechanical keyboards can handle years of use and still have the same springy feeling as the day they were first unboxed. The buoyant nature of rubber-domed keyboards is much more likely to wear down over time due to the aging process of elastomers, like silicone.

Are Mechanical Keyboards Right For You?

The number of ways in which the keyboard has been innovated over time is astounding. Whether or not the mechanical key switch is the pinnacle of the computer keyboard is yet to be seen, but they do appear to offer great benefit to users. Gamers are not alone in their use of mechanical keyboards. There are a few key benefits that may make them the smartest choice for a variety of people.

Mechanical keyboards are designed for longevity. This is useful for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a keyboard. If spending hours a day working from a computer is a job requirement, a mechanical keyboard may empower that work longer than a standard keyboard.

The use of computers in professional environments is always increasing, and using mechanical keyboards may be important to promote a higher standard of work. The mechanical switch mechanism provides the brain more useful feedback than a membrane keyboard. The snappy feel from the spring beneath the keys provides a small level of resistance that can help the user type faster. This translates to more productivity over time.

There are some drawbacks to using mechanical keyboards, however. While their complicated build makes them last longer, they also tend to be a bit more costly than other keyboards. In addition, spring-loaded keys have a tendency to click a bit louder than other keyboards. In a quiet office, this may be distracting to coworkers who are used to the quiet strokes of membrane or rubber-dome keys.

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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information