mechanical keyboard with some keycaps removed

Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards 2020 (Under $50 / $100)

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Popular for both gaming and productivity, mechanical keyboards have a distinct feel. When using a mechanical keyboard, each keystroke provides tactile feedback and results in a satisfying click. Just a few minutes of using a mechanical keyboard is enough to sell most gamers and computer users on the improved responsiveness. The problem is that the average mechanical keyboard is much more expensive than its plastic counterpart. However, that does not mean that a good mechanical keyboard has to cost an arm and a leg. Keep reading to see our picks for the top budget-friendly mechanical keyboards to buy in 2020.

Thing to Consider When You Buy a Mechanical Keyboard

Ask any computer user who has made the switch to a mechanical keyboard and they will most likely tell you that they are unlikely to change back anytime soon. This is for 2 reasons. First, mechanical keyboards are very smooth and satisfying to use. Second, because mechanical keyboards are made to last, they probably won’t need to buy a replacement for the next several years.

All the keyboards on our list below provide users with the responsive experience they expect from a mechanical keyboard. Remember, you are likely to have your mechanical keyboard for several years, so it’s important to take a few minutes now and make sure you find an option that has the right features for you.

Switch Type

Every mechanical keyboard has a different type of switch used for its keys. We go into detail about this at the bottom of our article.

The most famous type of switch is the Cherry MX brand, which is subdivided into Blue, Black, Brown and Red type switches. Blues are the noisiest, most ‘clicky’ switches, with the most tactile feedback, whereas Reds have no sound whatsoever, and have a minuscule actuation force (i.e., no resistance on the keys as you depress them). If they’re not using Cherry MX switches, mechanical keyboards will use a broad equivalent instead. In general, although not as a rule as it is a personal preference, Cherry MX Blue switches are good for typists and productivity, while Cherry MX Red switches are good for gaming.

 

Number Pad

Especially for users that plan on using their computer for work as well as gaming, a number pad on the right side of the keyboard is usually a must-have. Some gamers choose mechanical keyboards without the number pad in order to save desk space. These keyboards are often called 10 keyless keyboards.

Design

Not only are mechanical keyboards fun to use, but they can also elevate the look of your battle station. Some gamers believe style features like programmable color-changing lighting is worth spending a few extra dollars for.

Durability

All the mechanical keyboards on our list are durable, but some have been tested to extreme limits. Some of the keyboards below have been laboratory-tested to handle millions of clicks.

Convenience

Some keyboards offer additional convenience features like  removable cords and OLED displays that can display information during play.

Media Controls

Most users like their keyboard to have controls that can control their computer’s volume and other media controls like fast forward and rewind. While most keyboards have secondary media functions that can be used by pressing the function key in combination with another key, some include dedicated buttons for media control.

Anti-Ghosting

When you press multiple keys at once, some of the keys may not register on cheaper keyboards. The insufficiency is defined by gamers as “ghosting.” If you take gaming seriously, then you want to spend money on anti-ghosting keys.

Now that you have an understanding of the key things to look out for, let’s go over the best low-cost, high-performance mechanical keyboards on the market today.

Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $50

1. Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $50: Redragon K552 KUMARA Mechanical Keyboard

Why we like it: The Redragon K552 KUMARA is compact mechanical keyboard. Thankfully, the small size does not make it any less useful.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Switch Type: Custom (Cherry MX Red Equivalent)
  • Number of Keys: 87
  • Number Pad: No
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design Features
The Redragon K552 KUMARA is small, but it’s a great option for both gaming and typing. Its custom switches are Cherry Red equivalent. The high-quality switches will ensure a long lifespan for the Redragon K552 KUMARA.

The double-shot injection molded keycaps are designed to allow proper red backlighting so that you will never miss a keypress, which is a nice addition considering how affordable the keyboard is for a mechanical version. Users can adjust the brightness setting of the backlight too.

The K552 KUMARA keyboard incorporates a metallic plate for the foundation of the keys. It, alongside the aircraft-grade aluminum base, makes the keyboard very durable. All the keys are anti-ghosting, and it includes ten multimedia keys.

Convenience
The Redragon K552 KUMARA is compact. There are only 87 keys, meaning you get to keep the mouse close by for both gaming and typing purposes. Even though the USB is not detachable, you can pack it without the risk of damage. However, the unit is a bit heavier than most 10 Keyless designs, which is an issue if you are planning on going to lots of LAN parties.

Overall
The Redragon K552 KUMARA is a reliable keyboard from a great brand. It is comfortable to type and game on. The space-saving model does not sacrifice any performance features. The red backlighting is an incredible feature on a mechanical keyboard this affordable.

Pros
  • Small profile for crowded desks
  • Durable keys on a metal base plate
  • Uniform red backlighting owing to the double-shot injection molded keycaps
  • 12 multimedia keys
  • Removable keycaps for cleaning
Cons
  • The keyboard does not have macro keys
 

2. EagleTec KG011 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Why we like it: The EagleTec KG011 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is carefully constructed with robust components to improve its longevity.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Switch Type: Custom (Cherry MX Blue equivalent)
  • Number of Keys: 104
  • Number Pad: Yes
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
The EagleTec KG011 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard features an aircraft-grade aluminum body and a sturdy ABS base plate. As a result, you can expect to invest in a keyboard that will withstand a lot of abuse and last for a while. The keycaps of the model offer double-shot injection molding which displays the backlight uniformly while preventing fading of the letters.

The keyboard is also comfortable for general typing due to the custom-built blue switches. The KG011 has commendable tactile feedback and an audible click when the key actuates. It will save you typing time and also help you type more precisely.

The EagleTec KG011 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is not one of those keyboards that will have keys that start to stick barely a year after purchasing it brand new. The mechanical switches are built to withstand consistent, heavy use in offices.

Convenience
All 104 keys are fully anti-ghosting. The keyboard also supports N-key rollover that is applicable to gaming. It can withstand common liquid spills. All you need to do is wipe down the keyboard as soon as possible after an accident happens at work or home. The WASD and arrow keys are interchangeable while the WIN key can get disabled during gaming. These features allow the EagleTec KG011 to function well if you are a gamer.

Verdict
The EagleTec KG011 is not dedicated to gaming, but it has a few features for that purpose. Instead, it performs excellently at typing and office work. The keyboard is durable with a base plate and anti-spill protection.

Pros
  • High-quality aircraft-grade aluminum and ABS construction
  • It uses precise, custom mechanical switches
  • Blue LED backlighting
  • Interchangeable WASD and arrow keys
  • Durable keyboard that can withstand spills when cleaned up ASAP
Cons
  • It is not customizable for gaming

3. Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Why we like it: The EagleTec KG011 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is carefully constructed with robust components to improve its longevity.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Switch Type: Custom (Cherry MX Blue equivalent)
  • Number of Keys: 104
  • Number Pad: Yes
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
With a non-slip surface, the Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard features curved keys in an ergonomic layout that make this an excellent budget choice for both gaming and office work. Each key is backlit by its own red LED and is attached to the aluminum plate backing with custom-designed switches. The keys offer medium resistance and make a satisfying click sound when pressed.

The Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard features N-Key rollover ensuring that every keypress is accurately registered, no matter how many keys are pressed at the same time. The keyboard attaches to a PC with a gold plated high-speed USB cable to guarantee instant input responsiveness. There are six levels of brightness as well as a “breathing” mode for the lights.

Convenience
This mechanical keyboard offers secondary media functionality in the F-keys when the function button is pressed. This allows Windows or Mac users to mute, adjust the volume, or change media tracks with the press of a button. Even though the keyboard has a compact design, it still features a full number pad, making it useful for productivity.

Overall
Even though it lacks many of the bells and whistles of a more expensive keyboard, the Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard offers a very satisfying user experience at a very low price point. Some users may want to spend a few extra dollars for a model with multi-colored lights.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Custom switches provide medium resistance and a satisfying clicking sound
  • Compact keyboard with full number pad
Cons
  • Only one color of LED
 

4. AUKEY Mechanical Keyboard

Why we like it: The AUKEY Mechanical Keyboard offers durable, clicky keys and a unique and colorful LED backlighting design.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Type of Switch: Custom (Cherry MX Blue equivalent)
  • Number of Keys: 104
  • Number Pad: Yes
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
Each of the six rows of keys on the AUKEY Mechanical Keyboard is brightly backlit with a different color. This create an attractive rainbow effect that brings a lot of style to any PC setup. There are 9 preset lighting effects that allow users to personalize the look of the keyboard. This keyboard not only looks great, but it also performs really well. It features N-key rollover and feels very responsive when gaming or typing.

The Otuemu Blue switches are responsive and click every time they are pressed. The keys are made to last and have been tested to have a lifespan of 50 million presses each. The keyboard is also spill-proof and abrasion-resistant. The connecting cord is hard-wired to the keyboard and is nearly five feet long, so users who need a little bit more flexibility with positioning may also want to add an extension cord.

Convenience
In addition to being able to control your computer’s media using the secondary keys on the top of this keyboard, there are also easy function keys for controlling the LED lights on the keyboard. There are 8 convenient lighting presets for players. Some presets are for popular game genres while some others are for specific games like League of Legends. Switching between the different modes is effortless.

Overall
Thanks to the high-quality Otuemu Blue switches and its distinctive look, it is easy to recommend the AUKEY Mechanical Keyboard to any gamer or computer user who is looking for a good deal on a mechanical keyboard that is built to last.

Pros
  • Unique rainbow LED lighting with 8 different presets
  • Tested for over 50 million presses per key
  • Keys are clicky and responsive
Cons
  • Connecting cord is only 5 feet long

5. PICTEK TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Why we like it: With an attractive LED rainbow blacklight, the PICTEK TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard offers a high-quality mechanical keyboard experience at a very low price.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Type of Switch: Custom (Cherry MX Blue equivalent)
  • Number of Keys: 87
  • Number Pad: No
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
The PICTEK TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a compact, budget-friendly keyboard that looks great and is designed for superior performance while gaming. The keys are designed using an ergonomic key structure and the individual lights behind each key make each character glow. While the keyboard does not offer full N-key rollover, the keyboard has been designed with ghosting in mind, and has been wired to avoid conflicts between the keys.

Each LED light can only display one color, but the attractive color choices and rainbow design give this keyboard an impressive look. There are 27 different backlighting modes, many of which highlight specific keys or groups of keys for specific games. There are also 5 levels of brightness. This is one of the least expensive mechanical keyboards we reviewed, in part because it does not include a number pad.

Convenience
The PICTEK TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a convenient, plug-and-play option that does not require any additional software or any time-consuming setup. With 27 built-in lighting modes, illuminated control schemes for most popular games like Fortnite and League of Legends are easy to access. There are 12 multimedia keys that allow one-touch control of volume, movies, and music on your system when used with the function keys

Overall
The PICTEK TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of the least expensive mechanical keyboards on the market. Incredibly compact and fun to look at, it is a tremendous value. This mechanical keyboard is a great budget pick for a second keyboard for bringing to LAN parties or gaming tournaments, but the absence of a number pad and a single color scheme make it an underwhelming choice for daily use.

Pros
  • Great price
  • Unique rainbow LED design and 27 lighting presets
  • Keys are responsive and durable
Cons
  • No number pad included
  • Only one color scheme
 

Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $100

1. Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $100: Logitech G610 Orion Red Backlit Mechanical Keyboard

Why we like it: The Logitech G610 Orion Red Backlit Mechanical Keyboard offers a sturdy build that gamers will love. Its many customization features support MOBA and FPS games.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Type of Switch: Cherry MX Red
  • Number of Keys: 104
  • Number Pad: Yes
  • Media Keys: Dedicated

Design
The Logitech G610 Orion is a full-size keyboard that is oriented towards gaming. It is smooth and comfortable to use because of the Cherry MX Red switches that are effortless to press. Therefore, it is quick and easy to key in commands. The lack of clicks also provides no distractions while gaming.

The keyboard allows you to create macros using the function keys for gaming purposes. The unit also has media keys and a gaming mode key that disables the Windows key. Volume adjustment is by a large volume wheel next to the playback controls.

The white LED backlighting is very intuitive. You can change the color effects and the brightness of every key. It helps aid players with its ability to be customized with different spells and profiles that you create in the game. All the lighting customization effects can get saved and synced with all Logitech devices, not just your own keyboard!

Convenience
It is super easy to control your profiles after you create them using the Logitech G software. The software assists you with setting up a specific profile for a certain game. It stops you from having to create the profile every time you play.

Overall
The Logitech G610 Orion is not an average pick. The keyboard delivers intuitive personalization and gaming features. It is a terrific companion for gaming due to its capacity to create macros and other customization such as lighting effects.

Pros
  • Cherry MX Red switches are efficient in fast key presses
  • Offers creation of macros using the function keys
  • The keyboard has dedicated media controls
  • White LED backlighting is customizable
  • Durables keys up to 50 million keystrokes
Cons
  • Only one color LED display

2. SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Why we like it: The SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard combines per-key RGB lighting and an OLED smart display, with hybrid mechanical gaming switches to offer a premium mechanical keyboard experience at an affordable price.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Type of Switch: Hybrid
  • Number of Keys: 105
  • Number Pad: Yes
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
The SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard includes several features that can’t be found in any other budget mechanical keyboard. The most interesting is the customizable OLED smart display that makes it easy to configure and switch keyboard lighting profiles. It can also be used to display information from the game that you are playing, as well as incoming messages from Discord.

Each key operates on a hybrid mechanical switch that is durable and makes a satisfying tactile click when pressed. This keyboard is exceptionally durable, made from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. Each key is lit by a dynamic RGB LED that is capable of displaying countless colors. Up to five onboard profiles can be saved in the keyboard’s memory and can be quickly switched while in use. The SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard also features reactive typing effects.

Convenience
Because of the onboard OLED display, the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of the easiest keyboards to configure. The ability to customize the display to show information from a game or from messaging services is very convenient. This keyboard also comes with a premium magnetic wrist-rest that will keep you comfortable during a long workday or an all-nighter while gaming.

Overall
The SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a great choice for gamers who don’t mind spending a few extra dollars for premium features. The OLED display makes the keyboard easy to configure and adds extra convenience during use.

Pros
  • Individually lit keys capable of displaying millions of color options
  • OLED smart display is customizable and provides additional functionality while gaming
  • Comes with a premium magnetic wrist-rest
Cons
  • More expensive than other mechanical keyboards we reviewed
 

3. Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Why we like it: With a detachable plush wrist-rest and individually backlit keys, the Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard is a premium mechanical keyboard at an amazing price.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Switch Type: Hybrid
  • Number of Keys: 104
  • Number Pad: Yes
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
Razer is the #1 selling brand of computer gaming peripheral and the Ornata Chroma is their budget-friendly mechanical keyboard. The keyboard uses a unique type of switch called “High-Performance Mecha-Membrane.” This means that the keys provide satisfying and tactile feedback, but also provides a soft cushion when pressed.

The Razer Ornata Chroma is one of our favorite looking mechanical keyboards as well. Its individually backlit keys sync with popular games for a tremendously immersive experience. There is also support for fully programmable macros. This allows users to set any key or combination of keys to execute whatever commands they want. The included Synapse software makes this customization easy.

Convenience
Thanks to the comfortable foam wrist-rest, the Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard is comfortable during long sessions of gaming as well as typing, emailing, or chatting. We were especially impressed by how convenient the wrist-rest is to attach and remove from the keyboard using the magnets lining the front edge. This keyboard is one of the most plug-and-play options we reviewed, generating light shows that are well synchronized to many games without any customization needed.

Overall
With a price tag approaching our $100 limit, the Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard is one of the most expensive options on our list. However, the excellent responsive feel of the patented Mecha-Membrane keys and beautiful lights make this a great choice for gamers who want a premium mechanical keyboard without breaking the bank

Pros
  • High-performance “Mecha-Membrane” switches provides a satisfying click and soft feel
  • Backlit keys automatically synchronize with many popular games
  • Comfortable wrist-rest
Cons
  • One of the most expensive options on our list

4. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro

Why we like it: The ultra-compact design of the HyperX Alloy FPS pro makes it a great choice for limited desk space. As the name suggests, it is particularly well suited for first-person shooting games.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Type of Switch: Cherry MX Red
  • Number of Keys: 87
  • Number Pad: No
  • Media Keys: Secondary

Design
The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro uses a mini-USB cable to connect to your computer. While the cord that comes with it does a good job, we appreciate the option to swap it out with a longer cord when necessary. This keyboard has an exposed steel frame and uses Cherry MX Red switches. There are 6 lighting presets with dynamic lighting effects that make this keyboard look awesome.

This keyboard is designed for gamers, users who do lots of typing will probably want to opt for a larger keyboard with a number pad. At only 14 inches wide, the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro can save a lot of space, which is especially helpful for players who want to make as much room as possible for their mousepad.

Convenience
The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro was made with FPS players in mind, and the portability of this keyboard reflects that. Perfect for taking to a tournament or a LAN party, the compact design and detachable cable make it very easy to connect the HyperX regardless of the PC setup you are using. The compact design of this keyboard also allows users to position it in a variety of ways that would not be possible with a full-width keyboard.

Overall
The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is a great looking, high-performing compact keyboard at a great price. It is far better suited for gaming than productivity.

Pros
  • Compact and portable design
  • Optimized for use with first-person shooter (FPS) games
  • Detachable mini-USB cable
  • Six lighting presets
  • Great for LAN parties and gaming tournaments
Cons
  • No number pad
 

5. Best Wireless Keyboard Under $100: Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming

Why we like it: The Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is priced under $100 and offers a ton of value. The keyboard features wireless capabilities without lag. The wireless function works well if you switch positions often while gaming.

Editor’s Rating:

Specifications

  • Type of Switch: Cherry MX Red
  • Number of Keys: 88
  • Number Pad: No
  • Media Keys: Dedicated

Design
The Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a 10 Keyless model with wireless functionality. Yes, you get to have all the freedom you need when it comes to moving from one desk to another or gaming from the comfort of your couch. It does not suffer input delays and dropouts despite its low retail price.

The unit connects wirelessly via 2.4GHz band with a 1ms response time. You will discover that you nearly forget it is a wireless keyboard because of its flawless operation and connection. The Cherry MX Red switches give you precise performance because of their superfast actuation force.

All the 87 keys have key rollover and are full anti-ghosting. You get additional media keys on the top side of the keyboard. These keys are vital, since you control music from the couch and have to frequently get up from your sofa to change the volume on the computer.

Convenience
The Corsair K63 presents blue backlighting. The keyboard has options for changing the brightness from dim to bright according to your individual preference. It also has a key to lock the Windows key so that you don’t keep toggling between the two when gaming.

The accessory also provides 15 hours of battery life. It is a portable unit that is easy to pack and use on the go. It is dependable for hours of gaming. Additionally, your data is protected from privacy instructions because of the 128-bit AES Encryption.

Verdict
Now you can ditch the wire and play from your favorite position in the house. The Corsair K63 brings you freedom, convenience, and a practical solution. You get to enjoy long hours of gaming with superior connectivity. The keyboard also has a good range. Your computer does not need to remain close to you for seamless gaming thanks to the Bluetooth 4.2 adapter.

Pros
  • Compact 10 Keyless design
  • 1ms 2.4GHz fast wireless connectivity
  • Wide Bluetooth range for flexible gaming
  • Cherry MX Red switches offer rapid actuation
  • CUE software allows the creation of macros
Cons
  • The palm rest clips feel flimsy

Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards


Computer enthusiasts and gamers all rave about mechanical keyboards. While they make a great addition to your PC, they are also not very cheap.

Every manufacturer is looking to include as many features as they can in order to provide the most value in this competitive market. When searching for an affordable mechanical keyboard, all you have to do is look for the features that actually matter to you and/or provide customization.

Advantages of a Mechanical Keyboard

Mechanical keyboards have the classic feel where you can hear the click in every stroke. They are constructed with mechanical switches, which result in high accuracy and responsiveness. Mechanical keyboards are different from membrane keys, which most keyboards use, in that you will know when you make a keypress or not.

  • Highly Durable: Mechanical switches have the longest lifespan. Some keyboards guarantee over 50-70 million keystrokes. It is far more durable compared to keyboards with rubber domes. The lifespan helps make mechanical switches a good investment since your money should stretch further.

It is important to note that there are some complaints about mechanical keys losing their feel after a couple of years. Yet this is only to expected after very heavy use as they are built to last.

  • Great Feedback and Responsiveness: When you press any key on a mechanical keyboard it is hard to miss the click that follows. Mechanical keyboards are noisy as a result, yet they produce several advantages otherwise. For example, mechanical switches respond halfway through the action so keys produce letters and numbers quickly, and therefore allow you to type faster. Additionally, the responsiveness of mechanical keyboards helps you minimize errors and typos. It is especially important for a typist or writer that may be writing thousands of words on a daily basis.
 

Disadvantages of a Mechanical Keyboard

It is only fair that we discuss the cons of a mechanical keyboard after examining its numerous advantages over a stock keyboard.

  • Bulky: Mechanical keyboards have a little extra weight and others present more keys when designed for gaming. Consequently, they are bulkier compared to your average keyboard. It makes transporting them around destinations a little more tricky.
  • Noisy: There are some mechanical keyboards that feature a click sound. Though the sound is relayed on purpose, it does make them noisy. So they don’t always work well in a library or at the workplace.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

Full-Size Keyboards vs. 10 Keyless Keyboards vs. 60% Mechanical Keyboards

The size of your keyboard is a significant consideration. Full-size keyboards are either ANSI 104 or ISO 105 keyboards. They have all the keys, including the number pad. The 10 Keyless keyboard does not have the number pad, yet includes all other buttons including the function keys. The final design to consider are 60% mechanical keyboards. The style does not have the function row, number pad, or arrow keys. As a result, 60% mechanical keyboards are the most compact keyboards available.

The Behavior of the Switch

Keyboards respond differently when you press down on a button. Some typists or gamers have a preference toward one style over another. If you are unsure of which behavior works best for you, it doesn’t hurt to try out a few different styles before you determine the one with the best fit for your fingers.

  • Clicky Switches: The keys have a prominent bump when the key is pressed down followed by a click sound.
  • Tactile Switches: The keys also have a bump midway through pressing, but a click sound does not follow it.
  • Linear Switches: These are simple to operate switches. They move up and down without any bump or click sound. In essence the switches are silent.

Type of Switch

There are many different types of switches featured on a mechanical keyboard. In this section, we will examine popular types like Cherry MX switches, Kailh, Steel Series, and Romer-G. Cherry MX is the most famous switch brand because of its numerous patented options: MX Black, MX Blue, MX Brown, and MX Red. Most mechanical keyboard manufacturers categorize their switches in relation to Cherry MX’s standards.

Cherry MX Blue

Cherry MX Blue switches have a distinct click and tactile feedback. Writers and professional typists prefer them because they allow you to feel the keypress as soon as it is registered. It will enable you to type fast because of the small actuation distance.

Cherry MX Black

Cherry MX Black switches are linear. They require clicking until they bottom out because of the lack of tactile feedback. The switches have a high actuation force which is not ideal for typists. However, if you are a fan of first-person shooter games you will probably prefer the Cherry MX Black switches

Cherry MX Brown

Cherry MX Brown switches have a good balance of actuation force, distance, and tactile feedback. They are preferred for most games since you can feel when you make a keypress. They allow you to press multiple keys with fewer mistakes. Typists will also favor these switches because they are not loud like Blue switches.

Cherry MX Red

Cherry MX Red switches have the least actuation force in the Cherry MX line. They don’t have that much tactile feedback because the key is linear. It goes straight up and down. You will not feel tired after hours of gaming because of less actuation force and small actuation distance.

Razer Switches

Razer has branded their switches as orange, green, and yellow switches. Razer’s Orange Switch is much like the Cherry MX Red switch. It has a 45cN actuation force with tactile feedback and no click sound.

Razer’s Green Switch is tactile and clicky. It offers a long actuation distance and an average actuation force of 50cN. The switches are used for many gaming keyboards.

Razer’s Yellow Switch has the shortest actuation point at only 1.2mm. It is linear in that it does not have tactile feedback and remains silent. These switches are normally used in fast-paced gaming.

Kailh and Romer-G Switches

Kailh has similar switches to Cherry MX switches. The red version is a linear switch, and the brown is a tactile switch. Meanwhile, blue is a tactile and clicky switch.

Romer-G is a tactile switch seen in some Logitech mechanical keyboards. It is weighted like the Cherry MX Red at 45cN.

Key Backlighting

Key backlighting is mostly important to gamers. Gamers have the option of investing in a single color backlighting keyboard or RGB lighting. RGB lighting allows you to allocate a color to every key for the ultimate personalized setup.

Backlighting is also resourceful in that it provides illumination when in low-light environments. It is a special, distinct feature of mechanical keyboards, and cheaper versions rarely have more than one color of backlighting.

Ergonomics

Your keyboard is something you plan to use every single day. The last thing you want is fatigued hands before you have finished typing your first article of the day. It is why you will need to consider a keyboard with the right key height and ergonomics. Additionally, keyboards with a wrist-rest are more comfortable. You should consider buying a separate wrist-rest if the keyboard does not already include one.

Keycaps

Once you decide on a style and type of switch, you will want to examine the quality of the keycaps. Some keyboards feature printed letters while others are lasered. Cheap keyboards are prone to have the lettering get shiny and wear off with extended use. However, if you can get your hands on a double-shot molded keycap model, you will have better odds of increasing the lifespan of the keyboard.

Customization

If you are looking to get a cheap mechanical gaming keyboard, you will need to consider if it comes with any customizable features. Customizable options include features like macros and programmable keys.

Ready for a Mechanical Keyboard?

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to own a mechanical keyboard. We have scoured the market to give you only the most functional and practical affordable mechanical keyboards. All of the keyboards listed are reliable for typing and/or gaming.

The keyboards presented are ergonomic upgrades with mechanical switches for satisfying clicks that will earn comfortable key presses. Whether you want a wireless, compact, or 10 Keyless models, you can improve your typing speeds and gaming performance with one of these amazing, and cheap, Mechanical Keyboards.