Mechanical keyboards have a distinct feel. They have great tactile feedback on every stroke. The function of mechanical keyboards makes them popular for gaming and typing.
The problem is mechanical keyboards are not always cheap. Finding the best mechanical keyboard on a budget is a process of comparing numerous features. If you are not patient enough, you may end up with a cheaply constructed keyboard that does not come close to fulfilling your gaming and typing needs.
We’ve compiled the Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $50 and $100. We believe this article will help you find the best keyboard for your needs when shopping on a limited budget.
- Features to Consider in Cheap Mechanical Keyboards
- Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $50
- Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $100
- Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards
Features to Consider in Cheap Mechanical Keyboards
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.
The keys have a prominent bump when the key is pressed down followed by a click sound.
The keys also have a bump midway through pressing, but a click sound does not follow it.
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 their numerous patented options: MX Black, MX Blue, MX Brown, and MX Red.
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 version.
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 has branded their switches as orange, green, and yellow switches. Razer Orange Switch is much like the Cherry MX Red switch. It has 45cN actuation force with tactile feedback and no click sound.
Razer 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.
The Razer 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 is mostly important to gamers. Gamers have the option between investing in a single color backlighting keyboard or RGB lighting. RGB lighting allows you to allocate a color to every key for ultimate keyboard mastery.
Backlighting is also resourceful in that it provides illumination when in low-light environments. It is a special, distinct feature of mechanical keyboards as cheaper versions rarely have more than one color of backlighting.
Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $50
The Redragon K552 KUMARA is small, but a great option for both gaming and typing. Its custom switches are Cherry Blue equivalent so expect tactile feedback and maximum durability. 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 key press. The unit features red backlighting which is a nice addition considering how affordable the keyboard is for a mechanical version. Users may adjust the brightness setting to suit your exact illumination.
The K552 KUMARA keyboard incorporates a metallic plate for the foundation of the keys. It helps confirm the durability of the accessory alongside the aircraft-grade aluminum base. All the keys are anti-ghosting, and it includes ten multimedia keys.
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. Consequently, we don’t foresee you carrying it over long distances.
The Redragon K552 KUMARA is a reliable keyboard from a favorite 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.
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 awhile. 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 guesswork as to whether or not the key was confirmed is no longer a problem.
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 punching and heavy use in offices.
All 104 keys are fully anti-ghosting. The keyboard also supports N-key rollover that is applicable to gaming. The unit 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.
The EagleTec KG011 is not dedicated to gaming yet it has a few features for that purpose. Instead, it performs with excellence for typing and office work. The keyboard is designed to stay durable with a base plate and anti-spill protection.
The TOMOKO Mechanical Keyboard provides a water-resistant design, even equipped with drain holes. It ensures your keyboard will remain functional and not water-logged even in the event of an accidental spill. The product has a keycap puller that you can even remove for a more detailed clean.
TOMOKO produced blue switches with an audible click and crisp tactile feedback for the keyboard. It provides high accuracy that eliminates typos and errors in typing. Additionally, you can count on the keyboard for coding purposes and entry of data thanks to the tactile feedback. All 87 keys are anti-ghosting for seamless key presses. You can press on several keys at once so that you can input multiple combinations without conflicting inputs.
The keyboard is constructed with top-quality parts and attention to detail. The ABS is complemented by a metal base. The keys are laser printed and deliver a cascading form. The construction helps keep your hand at a comfortable angle to prevent fatigue from hours of typing or gaming.
There is no doubt TOMOKO has built a dependable model for multiple purposes. The keyboard is ergonomic to offer maximum comfort and minimize hand fatigue. It is a utilitarian keyboard that you will love to use either in the office or as a spare keyboard at home.
When you think of a cheap gaming keyboard it may lack several features, however, Bluefinger got it right with its version of a cheap mechanical keyboard. The keyboard is backlit and offers three different colors including purple, blue, and red LED. You can alter these colors at any time using the function keys. There are three alternate breathing modes too.
The keyboard is going to remain in good working condition with ABS. The product exhibits solid, dependable quality. Its keys have great tactile feedback that accounts for the quick and accurate responses needed in typing and even more so with gaming. All the keys are fully anti-ghosting. It offers up to 19 keys rollover to provide multiple keying. The 10 media hot keys come in handy to allow quick control of your music such as skipping a song or increasing the volume.
The Bluefinger Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is loaded with incredible features including double-shot injection molding to the keycaps. It ensures the lighting is uniform and that the keycaps will stay in top notch condition. The keyboard is customizable in a variety of colors with the function keys. Users can function a single color switch, or alternate three different colors for a truly personalized setting.
The Bluefinger Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is comfortable and effortless to use. The accessory gives you a cracked surface that is trendy with gamers these days. The model is an entry-level version that will provide you with basic gaming performance because of the few customizable options.
Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $100
The Rosewill (RK-9000V2 BR) Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a good option for everyday gaming despite the lack of any backlighting. The keyboard that features Cherry MX Brown switches. The switches deliver high responsiveness to get you punching keys with speed so that you are not left behind in intensive games.
It has an N-key rollover function that comes in handy to allow you to make numerous key combinations. It is an essential aspect of gaming since you can flash out enemies using simultaneous key presses. The unit also provides shortcut keys that help you control your audio set-up without leaving the keyboard.
The Rosewill (RK-9000V2 BR) Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is built to last with 50 million keystrokes lifespan.
An essential feature of the model is the metal base plate. The base plate provides a solid foundation for the keys even if the body is composed of matte plastic. The keyboard is wired and is sold with a USB cable. There are complaints about the cable connector as it does not have any support for the cable.
The Rosewill (RK-9000V2 BR) Mechanical Gaming Keyboard remains a favorite among casual gamers and typists despite a few flaws. It is stable on the desktop thanks to the wide rubber feet. The robust build is founded upon the metal base plate. We believe it is a good pick in terms of durability and physical performance.
If you are looking to own a cheap and portable mechanical keyboard, then you will love the Havit HV-KB390L. It functions adequately as a mechanical keyboard since it uses Kailh Blue switches. The switches are tactile and clicky that work well in the hands of professional typists and clerks.
You will find that there is a click after every keypress. It lets you know when the key actuates so that you can proceed with typing without repetitions. The keyboard minimizes errors so that you can cover more work and meet deadlines with the help of the unit.
The keyboard is very portable without a number pad. It weighs just 1.5 pounds. As a result, you can pack the keyboard and take it to meetings. The setup is just 7mm thick to give it a low profile that will sit nicely in a bag or with a desktop.
The keyboard is backlit in one color that Havit defines as ice-blue. It is a cool color since it is catchy yet not distracting in the office. You may also customize the lighting to personal preferences. The keyboard features five custom modes as well as 13 presets (alongside several sub-effects). So you can save a variety of different light settings and quickly reference them at any time with shortcut keys. The only potential for disturbance is the sound of the clicks.
The Havit HV-KB390L is an easy pick for a cheap, compact mechanical keyboard. The keys have tactile feedback to eliminate hassles during keying which gives you satisfactory clicking in the process. It is an entry-level mechanical keyboard that typists will appreciate.
Logitech is best known for their innovative products that favor specific users. The G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is both functional and highly capable of meeting your needs in gaming and typing. You can feel every keystroke thanks to the tactile keys that bump when the key actuates.
It saves you from waiting for the key to bottom out before the key is registered. It is more of gaming-oriented accessory given that it offers six programmable G-keys that give you access to 18 functions for modifying and personalizing a game. Every G-key delivers three macros.
The keyboard also provides 110 anti-ghosting keys and 26-key rollover. It is a sure way to make numerous combinations with different keys when gaming. We like that the keys are not clicky so you won’t be dealing with any noise that can serve as a distraction for others. Each keycap has a dampening ring that keeps out the sound while the keys maintain their high responsiveness.
Users are able to adjust the lighting of the keyboard with the dual-zone backlighting, The WASD keys can remain visible even in low light settings. Consumers are also treated to the USB 2.0 pass through where you can connect the mouse or headset.
The Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is an excellent product based on its responsiveness and the quiet input of the keys. The accessory uses Cherry MX Brown switches that offer both gaming and typing functionality. It is an affordable model that will come close to the performance of other expensive options.
It is apparent that you get more value for your money with Corsair than with any other gaming keyboard in the price range. The Corsair Strafe Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a hub of customization since every key is programmable. You can reassign different functions to all the keys and even create macros that will give you an advantage over opponents.
The model uses Cherry MX Red switches. The type of switches are linear and thus require very little actuation force. It allows you to press fast and comfortably so that you won’t be wasting time going over a command.
Users are offered all 104-key rollover and are 100% anti-ghosting no matter how many keys you press at the same time. Every key will register quickly. The responsiveness of the keyboard should set you up for success in any game.
The keyboard is constructed with textured keycaps. The design produces simple keying as you can feel each key. It also has red backlighting that is a soft red under each key. You can personalize it using six default presets. The feature allows you to create a lighting pattern with the help of Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software. The CUE software is a thoughtful support system since you will be able to create macros and save the button sequences that you record.
If you want a keyboard that is more gaming-oriented, the Corsair Strafe is an excellent pick. It is fully customizable, backlit, and provides dedicated macro keys and gaming mode key. It is also well made with a high-quality plastic exterior that screams plenty of long-term use.
The Logitech G610 Orion is a full-size keyboard that is oriented towards gaming. There are many people agree that 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 provide 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 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 aide players with the ability to keep up 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!
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 avoids you from having to create the profile every time you are playing the game.
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.
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 at 1ms response time. You will discover that you nearly forget it is a wireless keyboard because of the 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.
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 down Windows 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.
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 good range. Your computer does not need to remain close to you for seamless gaming thanks to the Bluetooth 4.2 adapter.
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 account for their exaggerated prices. When searching for an affordable mechanical keyboard all you have to do is look for the features that actually matter and/or provide
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 results in high accuracy and responsiveness. Mechanical keyboards are different from membrane keys – you will know when you make an entry or not.
Mechanical switches have the longest lifespan. Some keyboards guarantee over 50-70 million keystrokes which is impressive. 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 leaving their feel after a couple of years. Regardless of how you feel about the subject, mechanical keys will rarely get stuck or produce cluttering keys.
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 produce several advantages otherwise. For example, mechanical switches respond halfway through the action so keys produce letters and numbers quickly, and therefore allows you to type faster. Additionally, the responsiveness of mechanical keyboards helps you minimize errors and typos. It is especially important of a typist or writer that may enter in thousands of words on a daily basis.
Wide Variety of Use
There are a variety of switches to select from with a mechanical keyboard. There are red, brown, blue, black, green, and many others from different brands. The variety of switches serves distinct roles. Some are designed more for people that type a lot (blue switches), while others are primary geared toward gamers (red and brown switches).
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.
Mechanical keyboards have a little extra weight and others present more keys when designed for gaming. Consequently, they are more bulky compared to your average keyboard. It makes transporting them around destinations a little more tricky.
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 your place of employment.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Cheap Mechanical Keyboard
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.
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.
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. It helps gamers compete with those that rely on a very expensive keyboard.
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 than you want to spend money on anti-ghosting keys.
The best cheap mechanical keyboards are built by reputable brands. Cheaper mechanical keyboards may lack a few of the advanced features of more expensive models, but at least you are getting the product from a reliable and dependable manufacturer. Some of the top brands are highlighted in our review of the ten best cheap mechanical keyboards.
You don’t have to save 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 model, you can improve your speeds and gaming performance with one of these Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards.