These are the Best Mechanical Keyboards to buy in 2022
The PC market continues to make headlines due to the global chipset crisis, not to mention the scarcity of GPUs worldwide. But today, we’re looking at an important PC component that’s often overlooked or is usually an afterthought when buying or building a PC, despite being a key member of the board. There are many keyboards available in various shapes and sizes at different price points, and we’ve got a list of some of the best mechanical keyboards you should consider for your next purchase.
Why should you buy a Mechanical Keyboard?
Before we dive into some of the recommendations, let’s understand what exactly a mechanical keyboard is. Basically, a keyboard is defined by the switch it uses.
Cheaper keyboards usually incorporate a rubber-dome or a membrane switch system wherein a keypress pushes onto a silicone dome, connecting the circuit to register what the user is typing. These often require a large amount of force for actuation and give off mushy feedback due to the silicon underneath. These are relatively silent and don’t offer audible feedback, while the overall lifespan is comparatively less and inconsistent due to the decay properties of the silicon sheet underneath.
When you press a key on a mechanical keyboard, an actual physical switch, including a spring-based pushback mechanism, comes into play. Depending on the type of key switch, you get a certain tactile or linear feedback as you type along. While that in itself makes a huge difference, these switches also last really long, with certain manufacturers claiming up to 50-80 million keystrokes.
In short, mechanical keyboards should offer a longer shelf life, and you can expect a much better typing experience thanks to the wide variety of switch options. Having said that, mechanical keyboards do need maintenance over a period of time, as is with any mechanical part. There is also the issue of key wobble and chatter that can potentially lead to a slow or inconsistent response of the keys.
Navigate this guide:
- Best full-size mechanical keyboard: Corsair K100 RGB
- Best wireless full-size mechanical keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3
- Best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard: Keychron K2-V2 (Hot-Swappable)
- Best 60% mechanical keyboard: Razer Huntsman Mini
- Best customizable mechanical keyboard: Glorious GMMK Pro
- Best mechanical keyboard for office: Das Keyboard 4 Professional
- Best mechanical keyboard for multiple OS: Keychron K4 V2
- Best budget mechanical keyboard: Redragon K552
Best full-size mechanical keyboard: Corsair K100 RGB
The best full-sized mechanical keyboard has to be Corsair’s K100 RGB. Not only is it one of the most expensive ones, but this keyboard has it all. It comes with a polling rate of up to 4000Hz and 0.5ms response time, making it the fastest keyboard that money can buy. It also comes with Corsair’s OPX optical-mechanical key switches that use a beam of infrared light to register an actuation, which means a fast and precise keypress registration at a 1.0mm actuation point. Corsair also sells the K100 with Cherry MX Speed Silver switches with an actuation distance of 1.2mm.
The keyboard also offers macro support, a dedicated control wheel for various functions, and to top it off, per-key RGB backlighting with a 44-zone three-sided RGB edge lighting. It also comes with highly durable construction and premium design, making it one of the most desirable keyboards on the market.
Best wireless full-size mechanical keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is the best mechanical keyboard for those who don’t like wires. It’s a full-size keyboard that’s great for gaming or just regular typing. It’s available with Razer’s Green switches for a clicky, tactile feel, or you can go for the Yellow switches that are linear, silent, and offer a smooth keystroke. The BlackWidow V3 Pro comes with a premium design, including a plush leatherette wrist rest and double-shot ABS keycaps.
You can use the keyboard with Razer’s HyperSpeed wireless tech using a USB dongle for low latency or go the traditional way using Bluetooth or wired. There are also some dedicated media keys, a volume control wheel, and individually RGB-backlit keys that can be controlled using Razer’s software.
Best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard: Keychron K2-V2 (Hot-Swappable)
Keychron is home to some of the best mechanical keyboards on the market and the company has plenty of options to choose from. As such, the Keychron K2-V2 is our pick for the best tenkeyless keyboards out on the market right now. Tenkeyless keyboards, in case you don’t know, are the ones that don’t have a 10-key numeric keypad on the right side. These keyboards take up less space on the desk compared to full-sized ones, which is why they’re more popular among gamers who prefer having more space for mouse movements.
Coming back to the Keychron K2-V2, we suggest you pick up the ‘Hot-Swappable’ version of the board that lets you swap out the switches. The Keychron K2-V2 comes fitted with Gateron mechanical hot-swappable switches and you get the option to choose between either Blue, Red, or Brown switches out of the box. Additionally, you also get to choose between either RGB or White backlight for the board. One of the best things about the Keychron K2-V2 is that it works in both wired as well as wireless modes and is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
The Keychron K2-V2 (Hot-Swappable) is one of the best tenkeyless keyboards on the market right now. One of the best things about this mechanical board is that it lets you swap out the existing switches for new ones.
Alternate best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard: Logitech G915 TKL
Logitech makes some of the best gaming peripherals, and the G915 TKL is a pristine wireless mechanical keyboard. It’s an ultra-thin keyboard with low-profile keycaps backed by Logitech’s custom-made low-profile GL switches available in either clicky, tactile, or linear type. Using the company’s Lightspeed wireless technology, the G915 TKL comes with a response rate that’s as good as a wired keyboard, while the battery can last about 40 hours with the RGB lighting enabled. Although I really wish Logitech would stop using micro-USB for charging its peripherals.
Additionally, the keyboard supports Bluetooth (when low-latency is not required) and includes dedicated media control keys along with a volume scroll wheel. If tenkeyless is not your thing, Logitech also has a full-sized version of this keyboard that’s worth checking out.
Best 60% mechanical keyboard: Razer Huntsman Mini
Hands down the best compact 60% keyboard, the Razer Huntsman Mini is a delight for customers who like to keep things minimal. Razer offers the keyboard with newly updated linear red switches with a 1.2mm actuation distance and 48g actuation force. In comparison, the clicky purple switches come with a 1.5mm actuation distance and 45g actuation force. It features solid-looking PBT keycaps and a USB Type-C cable for connectivity.
Of course, it comes with Razer’s Chroma RGB lighting, a solid aluminum chassis, onboard memory for up to five profiles, and side-printed secondary functions on the keycaps. The Huntsman Mini is available in either Black or Mercury (White) color options.
Best customizable mechanical keyboard: Glorious GMMK Pro
‘Mechanical keyboard customization’ is too big of a topic that demands a separate article by itself. There are simply too many customization options to be explored but all of them are enabled by a solid platform a.k.a the base. Without getting into too many details, we wanted to introduce the Glorious GMMK Pro barebones kit for those who’re looking to get their hands on a fully-customizable keyboard. As a barebones kit, you will essentially have to buy the mechanical switches and the keycaps separately to complete the build. Glorious lets you customize the whole thing and check out a complete keyboard on its website, but we recommend picking up the barebones kit and trying different modifications out yourself.
The idea is to explore the world of mechanical keyboards and not limit yourself to some basic customization. The Glorious GMMK Pro happens to be one of the more premium options, but you can also start with a more basic barebones kit if it’s your first time getting into the customizable mechanical keyboard world. The advantage of buying a barebones kit like the GMMK Pro is that you can easily tear down the entire keyboard to adds mods or swap out the switches, keycaps, and more. This particular barebones kit comes with a gasket-mounted plate, Goat stabilizers, a fully programmable knob, and more.
Best mechanical keyboard for office: Das Keyboard 4 Professional
Das Keyboards is a popular name when it comes to mechanical keyboards. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is recommended for office use cases as it doesn’t offer any flashy lighting effects, nor does it come with a bold design. Rather, it features a toned-down black finish, some media keys, and a large volume knob. The keyboard is available with Cherry MX Brown tactile switches or Cherry MX Blue click switches. It also offers n-key rollover, an anodized aluminum top panel, and a magnetically detachable footbar that doubles as a ruler. Yeah, an actual ruler!
Best mechanical keyboard for multiple OS: Keychron K4 V2
Keychron started as a Kickstarter project, but today offers a wide range of keyboards. One of the best offerings is the Keychron K4, a full-size keyboard with a 96% layout, available with a variety of customization options. You can get the keyboard with white or RGB backlighting and there is the option of an aluminum frame for more rigid construction. The keyboard comes with Gateron Red, Blue, or Brown key switch options, and you can also opt for the hot-swappable variant to quickly move between switches.
The keyboard is great for both Windows and Mac operating systems and it offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or regular wired connection via USB.
Best budget mechanical keyboard: Redragon K552
If you’re on a tight budget, say under $50, you can check out the Redragon K552. It isn’t the most premium mechanical keyboard, but overall the keyboard should serve you well for most use cases. It’s a tenkeyless keyboard with clicky Outemu Blue switches that mimic Cherry MX Blue, but there’s also a variant with linear Red switches. Fully compatible with Windows and Linux, the Redragon K552 can also be used with macOS but with limited functionality. Other notable features include full RGB backlighting with 18 different effects, a splash-proof metal and plastic chassis, n-Key rollover, 12 multimedia keys, and the option of a white color variant.
Overall the keyboard is pretty good and responsive for gamers although it might offer higher latency than most keyboards. It’s also suitable for typing and office use cases as the keys are light, but they can get noisy so the keyboard might not fit well with users looking for a silent experience.
Best Mechanical Keyboards to buy in 2022: Final Thoughts
There’s no shortage of mechanical keyboards on the market, but these are the ones we think are worth considering. From a barebones kit like the GMMK Pro to a full-sized RGB deck like the Corsair K100 RGB, we’ve added plenty of options to the list. The Keychron K2-V2 (Hot-Swappable) is a great option to consider mainly because works in both wired and wireless modes and is compatible with both macOS and Windows. Those leaning towards a small keyboard can check out the Razer Huntsman Mini, which we think is one of the best 60% keyboards out there.
The good thing about a lot of these keyboards is that you can customize them — either while purchasing before checkout or manually by yourself after you get them. You can truly fine-tune your experience by adding different types of switches and styles of keycaps. We recommend checking out our beginner’s guide to mechanical keyboards to learn more. Alternatively, you can also join our XDA Computing Forums to discuss anything and everything related to computing including mechanical keyboards.