Ever wondered why professional gamers almost exclusively use mechanical keyboards?
”Once you go mechanical, you never go back”. That is almost always the truth as mechanical keyboards provide an amount of responsiveness and feel that membrane keyboards cannot compete with.
So with that in mind, this is a list of our absolute favorite mechanical keyboards for gaming in 2020.
If you are not entirely sure what a mechanical keyboard is. We have made a complete guide at the bottom of this list. Also, the switches between the keyboards vary a lot. So we made a comprehensive guide explaining the different mechanical switches.
Note: At the bottom, you can see what professional players use these keyboards.
Our Top 3 Picks
1. Razer Huntsman Elite
Switches: Razer Opto-Mechanical (clicky) / Durability: 100 million keystrokes
- The Razer Opto-Mechanical switches are the quickest & most durable on the market
- Incredibly comfortable to use, especially with the magnetic wrist rest
- High-end luxury design
- Sensitivity can take some time getting used to
Ever since the first Razer Blackwidow keyboard, it has been clear that Razer knows exactly what it takes to make a fantastic mechanical keyboard. However, the Huntsman Elite is the first keyboard to use the brand new Razer Opto-mechanical switches that use an optical light sensor instead of actuation. Quite literally making it work at the speed of light.
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The Razer, Huntsman Elite, is one of the most expensive on this list, but when you look at what the keyboard can do, it is pretty understandable.
The Razer optomechanical buttons are faster and more responsive than any other switch on the market, making it spectacular for competitive gamers. They have also been tested to endure up to 100 million clicks, which are unheard of — making it both the fastest and the most durable mechanical switch on the market. That said, the Huntsman Elite needs to be tamed and can take some time getting used to. The actuation point is very low at only 1.5mm and only requires a force of 45g, which is incredibly sensitive and might cause you to make quite a lot of misclicks at first. Nevertheless, if you learn to use this keyboard to its full potential, it is incredible.
Aside from performance, it also has an excellent ergonomic design with a magnetic wrist rest that makes it comfortable to use for hours on end.
200$ for a mechanical keyboard is very expensive. While the frame, switches, and overall design are of exceptionally high quality, it doesn’t feel more luxurious than the G Pro or Apex M750. So unless you are obsessed with having the fastest switches on the market or love Razer, then this keyboard might not be worth it for you. Although you could always get the non-elite version and still get the same core performance but without a few of the extra features and gimmicks.
Like any other high-end Razer product, it, of course, comes with full Chroma lighting but few Razer products before it has looked this spectacular.
The Razer Huntsman Elite is expensive but also extremely powerful in the right hands. Its sensitivity can take some time getting used to, but the potential upside of having the most responsive keyboard on the market is also tremendous.
2. Logitech G Pro
Switches: Romer G Switches (Quiet) / Durability: 70 million keystrokes
- Feels very luxurious
- An array of features such as GameSense, ImageSync, Discord Chat integration, and more.
- QX2 switches from SteelSeries is extremely responsive & feels great
- Only 1 type of switches
The G Pro series from Logitech has been rather hit or miss. With a superb mouse and a rather average headset on offer. However, the G Pro keyboard is a slam dunk from Logitech, and you can feel that it is made for high-end competitive gaming. I can certainly understand why it is so popular among professional gamers in the Esports scene.
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The G Pro keyboard uses Logitech’s G-Romer switches, which I was happy to see. They are among the most durable on the entire market with durability tests having them last up to 70 million clicks, which is insane. Logitech also claims that these are 25 percent or 10ms faster in their actuation than regular switches. While it is hard for me to say if those exact numbers are correct, I will say that this keyboard feels like one of the most responsive ones out there.
The Romer-G is neither loud nor silent but hits the sweet, quiet spot in the middle. It sounds a lot like the classic Cherry MX Red switch, which in my opinion, is a good thing. It gives you much of the same responsive feel as a loud mechanical switch but without waking up the entire household.
As it has been designed solely for competitive gaming, it has, of course, been stripped of the numeric keypad, which I prefer myself as a gamer. However, as a writer, I miss the keypad at times. So if you often use your numeric keypad, then this might be a deal-breaker for you. But for the serious gamer that wants to climb the ladder and perform better than ever, the Logitech G Pro is impressive.
It also offers a lot of customization through the Logitech software that will allow you to configure your keys, macros, and the LED lighting. You can even set specific keybindings to specific games, so you don’t have to make across-the-board changes.
The design is precisely what I would expect from Logitech. Strong, durable, and on point. It’s very compact and quite slim but also feels very qualitative.
The Logitech G Pro is a no-nonsense professional gaming keyboard that is used by a ton of pro gamers around the world, and it is one of the best if you want to maximize your in-game performance.
3. SteelSeries Apex 7
Switches: Custom SteelSeries Switches / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Aircraft Grade Aluminum frame provides unmatched durability
- One of the best looking keyboards on the market
- The custom SteelSeries switches feel smooth and responsive
- A lot of cool features such as the magnetic wrist rest & OLED display
- A bit pricey
Very few keyboards on the market scream ”luxury” on the level that the new Apex 7 from SteelSeries does. Everything from the thin aluminum body to the OLED smart display in the top right corner just oozes of quality and innovation. And after testing it out, I can attest that it not only looks good but also plays incredibly well.
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Immediately after unboxing the brand new Apex 7, it is very apparent why SteelSeries are well-known for their attention to detail and quality. The board is built with an Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy, which fits nicely with the high-quality magnetic wrist rest and custom SteelSeries Switches. The SteelSeries Apex 7 hits an almost perfect score in both design and quality.
However, the Apex 7 keyboard is not only a pretty face but also an extraordinarily well-performing mechanical keyboard with a lot of cool features.
It uses SteelSeries’ own custom mechanical switches, which are very reminiscent of the popular Cherry MX switches, both in feel and sound – which is excellent. They come in all the classic variants such as tactile & clicky, quiet, silent, and even a hybrid. All of them have an actuation point of 2.0mm and are fairly standard, so I was a bit sad to see that you cannot get the keyboard with a more sensitive or speedy option. That said, I am impressed with the responsiveness and overall performance of the SteelSeries switches, and if you love Cherry MX switches, then you will love these as well.
The SteelSeries Apex 7 is also an incredibly feature-rich keyboard with a magnetic wrist rest, on-board profile keys, an additional USB port, full RGB lighting, and much more. However, the most unique of these features is its OLED Smart Display in the top right corner that gives you on-the-fly updates as you play and display useful information such as volume and illumination percentage or the name of the song that is currently playing. Is it an essential feature? Not at all. Is it a cool feature? Definitely.
The SteelSeries Apex 7 is one of the best looking and feeling keyboards I have ever had the joy of testing, and despite being a bit pricey, it still offers a lot of value for your money. In terms of quality, it is second-to-none in its price range, and its performance and feel are up there with the best of them. In other words, it is one of my favorite mechanical keyboards of the past decade, and I would recommend it to any gamer looking to spice up their setup.
4. Corsair K95 Platinum
Switches: Cherry MX Speed, Brown, Red, Blue, Silent, Low Profile / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
The Corsair K70 was one of our absolute favorites last year, and with the new K95 version, it has gotten even better. This beauty comes with custom high-speed Cherry MX switches, which is Cherry’s fastest ones yet and works splendidly for high-end competitive gaming. The K95 Platinum is a competitive beast but also has a substantial price tag.
- Custom high-speed Cherry MX key switch is excellent
- Unparalleled quality
- A lot of quality features like wrist rest, G-keys, media control & more.
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Just like the Corsair Strafe, the K95 Rapidfire feels and looks extraordinary with its brushed aluminum frame. Pretty much all Corsair keyboards feel quite luxurious, but this mech keyboard takes it to the next level. And I can honestly say that this beauty is not only luxurious in design and quality but performance as well. It even has a gunmetal version if you don’t think the regular aluminum is for you.
What’s really great about the K95 version is that it comes with custom made Cherry MX switches. The high-speed Cherry MX model which is the fastest in the series yet. I love this new custom high-speed option. Although, much like the Razer optomechanical switches, these high-speed keys are really sensitive and can be tough getting used to. But once you do, you have one of the fastest and most responsive keyboards on the market. It is also available in classic Cherry MX Brown for those that want a quiet version.
Since Corsair calls this a Platinum keyboard, we have to talk about quality, and this one takes the cake. It is undoubtedly the one on the list with the most qualitative feeling to it, and that is quite the accomplishment. The aluminum frame is of unparalleled quality, and it looks and feels great!
The detachable wrist rest is a welcome addition, compared to the other some of the older Corsair models. It works well for long gaming sessions, but can always be removed if it doesn’t suit you.
Compared to the K70 or strafe version, it also has six custom G-keys, which can be used as additional keybindings or custom macros.
The biggest downside to this mechanical wonder is its price. It is one of the more expensive options on the list but definitely also one of the most qualitative ones. It is also pretty large due to the additional media control and G-keys, which is something to consider as it is less portable than most other options on this list.
If you want quality, performance, and durability, this is as good as it gets. Concerning quality, it is also second-to-none. This also means that it is rather expensive and whether or not it is worth your money is up to you. I will say though that this keyboard will almost certainly be with you for years to come, making it a worthwhile investment.
5. HyperX Alloy Elite
Switches: Cherry MX Blue, Brown, & Red / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Good amount of value for money
- Convenient media outlet
- Comes in a loud, quiet, and silent version
- NGenuity software could use some work
HyperX might mostly be famous for their outstanding headsets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also create one of the top mechanical keyboards on the market. As always with HyperX, competitive gaming has a considerable focus, and it is no coincidence that a lot of Esports athletes love this keyboard.
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The HyperX Alloy Elite is a premium keyboard with convenient media control keys, a game mode, textured gaming keys, wrist rest, and standard Cherry MX switches. And while I love playing around with Logitech’s, Razer’s, and SteelSeries’ switches, there is something comfortably familiar about the classic Cherry MX switches. They are very reliable and offer great performance. It is not for nothing that almost the entire mechanical keyboard market utilizes these exact switches. It also means that you can choose between the Blue, Brown, and Red switches. So you have the option between loud, quiet, or silent, which is always nice to have.
The design is pretty flawless, and the subtle wrist rest makes it one of the most comfortable options for extended gaming sessions. Combine the ergonomics with the textured gaming-specific keys, and you have a keyboard with excellent grip and stability.
Like most high-end keyboards, the Alloy Elite can be fully customized through the proper software, and everything from LED lighting patterns to macro profile settings is fully adjustable.
HyperX Alloy Elite offers a lot of features and quality that you usually have to pay a bit more for. So aside from being relatively high-end in terms of pricing, it feels like quite the bargain.
6. SteelSeries Apex M750
Switches: SteelSeries QX2 Linear Mechanical Switch(clicky) / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Feels very luxurious
- An array of features such as GameSense, ImageSync, Discord Chat integration, and more.
- QX2 switches from SteelSeries is extremely responsive & feels great
- Only 1 type of switches
SteelSeries has long been one of the most popular brands in professional gaming and, in particular, when it comes to their keyboards. So it should come as no big surprise that their premium keyboard, the Apex M750 is among the very best on the market. Filled with luxury features and superb performance.
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This high-end mechanical beauty from SteelSeries comes packed full of features and impressive gimmicks, but the most impressive feature is its fundamental design and performance.
It uses the latest version of SteelSeries’ very own QX2 linear mechanical switches, which is better than ever. They have a distinct ”clicky” sound and offer extreme tactile feedback and responsiveness. On the plus side, the loud noise makes it feel even more responsive and feels good to use. But on the other hand, it can be a problem if you live in a house with thin walls as your roommate or spouse might end up getting a bit annoyed by the loud clicking – At the of the day though it is one of the best switches on the market in terms of pure performance.
The Apex M750 is one of the more expensive keyboards, but it certainly also feels like a luxury product. With its full aluminum frame and durable switches, it feels like one of the most qualitative options on the market.
As I mentioned, it comes with an array of features and gimmicks, so let us take a look at those.
It has all the basics covered, such as 100% anti-ghosting, RGB lighting, and programmable buttons and macros. However, it also comes with Discord chat integration that will light up the keyboard when you get messages, get muted, and more. The next cool gimmick is the Imagesync. This allows you to upload an animated GIF, and the SteelSeries software will create a custom LED lighting pattern of off that GIF. It’s a bit silly but fun to play around with. It also has GameSense, which will light up the keyboard in specific ways when in-game events happen, such as when your ultimate is ready in DOTA 2. Gamesense only works with certain games though such as CS:GO and DOTA 2.
All and all, the SteelSeries Apex M750 has a tremendous amount of customizability and can be personalized to your own preferences.
It might not be cheap, but I certainly feel like it is worth the price tag.
7. Fnatic Streak & MiniStreak Pro
Switches: Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Red & Red Silent / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Incredible ergonomics
- Designed specifically for competitive gaming
- Very responsive & great tactile feedback
- Wrist rest can sometimes be a bit difficult to attach
Fnatic has found success in every corner of the Esports world, from League of Legends to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, so it is not surprising they would know a thing or two about how to craft a stellar keyboard for professional players. Which is exactly what the Streak is. A mechanical keyboard crafted solely for competitive gaming with incredible responsiveness and tactile feedback.
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The Fnatic Streak comes with a lot of options. Firstly, you can choose between the regular Streak or miniStreak. If your sole focus is competitive gaming, then the compact and focused design of the miniStreak, but if you cannot live without a number pad, then the regular Streak is there for you. It also comes with four different distinct types of Cherry MX mechanical switches. So whether you want it loud and clicky, silent and tactile, or something in between the Streak provides it.
Fnatic was kind enough to send us both the regular Streak Pro and the miniStreak, and we absolutely love them both. However, the large Streak does have one issue that can be annoying. It has a smaller ‘Enter’ button, which can be irritating and take some time getting used to. If you aren’t already, that is.
”Built to be David, not Goliath” is how Fnatic themselves put it, and they nailed it. The Streak has a slim, lightweight design but still has top-tier performance and feels incredibly durable. While the performance of the Streak is up there with the very best, the real star of the show is the design, particularly on the miniStreak. Making an ergonomic keyboard can be tough, but Fnatic absolutely nailed it, and the optional wrist wrest takes the comfort above and beyond.
Both Streak’s come with full RGB lighting if you choose the Pro version and looks absolutely stunning and fully customizable with the OP software. It also comes with a few additional features such a dedicated media keys and FN-lock as well as a Fnatic button that turns the LED lighting way down, which is excellent for those moments where you want zero distractions.
The Streak and miniStreak are among the absolute best performing mechanical keyboards on the market and comes with a somewhat affordable price tag and exceptional design. Without a doubt, one of our favorites on the market right now.
8. Logitech G512
Switches: Romer-G Tactile, Romer-G Linear or GX Blue / Durability: 70 million keystrokes
- Slim, simplistic carbon design looks & feel great
- Romer-G switches provide you with excellent tactile feedback & responsiveness
- It’s available with 4 different types of switches
- Logitech software can cause minor problems when trying to alter the LED lighting
The term ”Logitech quality” got taken to a whole other level with the new G512 carbon mechanical keyboard, and we love it. The entire build and frame feels unbelievably strong and sturdy but also have most of the same powerful tools as the Logitech G Pro.
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Super-fast response & a shorter actuation time is one of the main reasons to get a mechanical keyboard over regular membrane options. And the Logitech G512 with the aid of their Romer-G switches offer it in spades.
The G512 is also a straightforward keyboard with its slim and compact design; it leaves little room for anything but the bare essentials. So if you want a quality mechanical keyboard with high-end performance, then the G512 is definitely a good choice, but if you enjoy gimmicks and sprinkles like media control, wrist rests, and so on, then it is not for you.
The G512 uses Romer-G switches, which are Logitech’s switch line instead of the Cherry MX, which most other mechanical keyboards use. The difference one could say between the Cherry MX and the Romer-G is that the latter has more of a bump than a click, which makes it feel a bit smoother.
The key switches can endure up to 70 million clicks, and when you combine that with the carbonated design, you have a peripheral that will be with you for years to come.
9. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro(Compact & 104 key version)
Switches: Cherry MX Blue, Red, Brown / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Simple, yet effective performance
- Available in a full 104 key size as well
- Pure performance without all the bells & whistles
The HyperX Alloy FPS version might not be as flashy or feature-filled as the Alloy Elite, but what it doesn’t have in gimmicks it more than makes up for in simplistic, effective performance. It comes in both a compact and full 104 key version, and there is a reason that this keyboard is used by professional gamers like Shroud, s1mple, and automatic.
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Having a compact keyboard can make a world of difference and especially when it comes to competitive shooters. Most high-end players will use a much slower mouse speed than in other genres to achieve the highest possible precision. This means that they move their mouse a lot, and leaves less room for a keyboard, especially on tournament setups. So with a compact keyboard like the miniStreak or the Alloy FPS Pro, you have more room to move your mouse around unhindered.
The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is very affordable compared to some of our other favorite keyboards, but don’t let that fool you. It has excellent performance and feels ultra-responsive at all times, which is really something you notice once you play a competitive game like Counter-Strike. This is due to the Cherry MX mechanical switches, which come in 3 different variants on the Alloy FPS Pro. So you can get it in a loud & clicky version, a quiet version, or even a completely silent one.
As I mentioned, it doesn’t have anything but the bare necessities, but if your only concern is performance, then this mechanical beauty has all you need.
In case you happen to enjoy have additional features like a numeric keypad, RGB lighting, etc. Then you are in luck. It also has a full-sized RGB version that packs the same punch.
I can certainly understand why some of the world’s biggest esports athletes use this keyboard. It is the definition of effectiveness, without all the bells and whistles that sometimes get in the way.
10. Razer BlackWidow Elite
Switches: Razer Green(clicky), Razer Orange(silent), Razer Yellow(silent) / Durability: 80 million keystrokes
- New Elite version design is excellent
- Razer switches has outstanding performance across the board
- You can choose between 3 different Razer Switches
- No quiet version, only loud or silent
The original Blackwidow was great, the V2 was even better, and now with the Elite version, Razer has nearly perfected the recipe. It is the perfect choice if you love Razer but want the traditional mechanical switches over the new optomechanical ones.
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I don’t think this entry on the list comes as a surprise to gamers familiar with mechanical gaming keyboards. Partly because the first Blackwidow was the most popular and well-known mechanical keyboard on the market for a very long time. But also because it is such a truly fantastic piece of gaming equipment.
I’m not shy about saying that I rarely find Razer’s products to live up to the hype. Usually, it seems like the entire focus is to make their gear look as cool as possible, and that their actual performance is the second priority for them. But sometimes we have to give credit, where credit is due. This is, alongside the Razer DeathAdder and the Huntsman, the best piece of gaming gear Razer has ever produced.
You, of course, get the option between all 3 of Razer’s award-winning mechanical switches that offer top-end performance as well as astounding durability.
This keyboard embodies all the best from Razer, without any of the letdowns. It has a beautiful LED lighting, with more customization options than you will ever need, combined with a crisp tactile mechanical feel, which is both reliable and responsive. And while quality is usually where Razer lets us down, the Razer Blackwidow Elite is incredibly sturdy, with the durability of around 80 million keystrokes. It has fully programmable keycaps, which only adds to the endless array of customization options.
The new Elite version also comes with the same top-tier design as the Huntsman with full media control, additional USB and jack ports, as well as a soft, magnetic wrist rest that clicks onto the keyboard effortlessly.
This is not just one of the best keyboards; it’s one of the most well-polished pieces of gaming equipment ever made. All these fantastic things do have a catch, though. It is quite pricey, and one of the most expensive on this list. But that does not mean it isn’t worth every penny, it indeed is.
I concede to Razer. The Blackwidow Elite is one of the best mechanical keyboards ever made, and certainly among our favorites of the year.
11. Logitech G815 / G915
Switches: Custom Low-profile GL Switches / Durability: 100 million keystrokes
- Arguably the most beautiful keyboard on the market
- Looks & feels incredibly luxurious
- The Low-profile custom switches feel very satisfying to type & play on
- One of the best wireless keyboards in the world(G915)
- The G915(Wireless) is very pricey
- The low actuation point of the switches makes it a bit easier to hit a key by mistake
The Logitech G815(Wired) & G915(Wireless) is one of the most impressive keyboards on this list, both in terms of its design and its technical prowess. Few, if any, keyboards on the market look and feel as slick as the G915 with its 22mm thin design and low-profile mechanical switches. The low-profile switches might not be for everyone, but the quality and beauty of this keyboard are undeniable.
12. Corsair Strafe MK.2
Switches: Cherry MX Red(Quiet) / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Wrist rest & textured keycaps makes gaming sessions very comfortable
- Aluminum frame and overall design is the definition of quality
- Responsive, medium-loud Cherry MX switches
- Only comes with Red Cherry MX switches
Few brands have made as many excellent mechanical keyboards as Corsair, and the Strafe MK.2 is one of their best ones yet. It’s aluminum steel frame, and quality keys scream of ”quality” and look damn good while doing it.
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The new Cherry MX Red switches are the latest quiet version from Cherry, but it does feel like it is slightly noisier than the old version. This is either a pro or a con depending on who you ask. Personally, I like a semi-loud clicking noise, and for that, the Red switches are perfect. Like every other Cherry MX switches, it is top-of-the-line in terms of feel and tactile feedback, and the Corsair Strafe can perform well even at the highest level of play.
The keyboard comes with full RGB lighting, meaning you can adjust it to any color under the sun or choose one of the preset patterns from the Corsair software.
The software also allows you to adjust and assign new macros, and you can even save your personalized settings in the cloud, meaning your setup will go with you wherever you go. A massive deal if you ever attend tournaments or LAN events.
Corsair Strafe MK.2 also has a lot of quality-of-life features such as a splendid wrist rest, full media controls, an additional USB port, and most importantly, textured keycaps made for FPS and MOBA gaming.
I would recommend the Corsair Strafe over most other keyboards if you value quality above all else. Although it has the performance to be used at a tournament level, the real star of the show is it’s beautiful, quality design.
13. SteelSeries Apex M500
Switches: Cherry MX Blue (Clicky) / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Simplistic but qualitative design
- Performs strongly in a competitive setting
- No silent or quiet version
If you think that you need something that’s minimalistic in terms of looks but offers high-end performance, then the SteelSeries Apex M500 could be a serious contender for you. It is favored over a lot of more expensive options by some professional gamers due to its simplicity.
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It has a minimalist look similar to the Redragon, and its performance is a slight league above. Add in almost endless customization, and you have yourself an excellent mechanical keyboard.
The M500 has Cherry MX red switches, which are great for FPS games, especially. The response times were good, although the keys can feel a tad plasticky. The setup isn’t hard at all, even if you have never owned or used a SteelSeries before. The clicks are quite adequate, but it’s pretty quiet in relative terms, which hits the sweet spot for us.
The keys are well-spaced, making it a compact yet comfortable keyboard to use. A wrist rest would have made the experience even better, we thought. It works well in scenarios where you have a lot of typing to do since the feedback does find good middle ground.
The overall feel is a bit plastic, and for the price, you can expect a bit more. Additionally, more backlighting options we thought should have been available. Moreover, it was reported that the letters on the keycaps do tend to wear out over a year when used rigorously.
14. Redragon K552 Kumara
Switches: Custom (Clicky) / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- Best-in-class among compact keyboards
- A lot of value for your money
- Custom switches feel on par with Cherry MX switches
- Could use a wrist rest as it is quite tall by design
Redragon has established themselves as the masters of creating quality budget-friendly gaming gear, and the K552 Kumara is perhaps the best mechanical keyboard of its price range. It is the perfect introduction to the world of mechanical keyboards and still packs enough of a punch to be used competitively.
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Coming to the actual performance, it’s a great mechanical keyboard that has MX blue equivalent switches (Outemu mechanical switches) & not a hybrid of sorts. So the tactile feedback and the clicky sound are more than satisfying. The tactile feedback is good for gaming and typing quickly as well, although these can get slightly noisy. The keys are a The precision & comfort level on hand may not match up to the higher end ones like the Razer, but it has a lot to offer entry-level & experienced gamers.
Looks-wise it’s similar to most other compact options and has beautiful red LED lighting shining through. The complete anti-ghosting was something that we liked a lot. The Abs keycaps & the finish overall felt pretty good to use. The gold plated USB is a plus point as well.
The downside is more to do with durability as many users have mentioned that after prolonged use for a year or 2, some keys tend to stop registering or register as double or triple clicks instead of just the 1. Another small blip we would say is the lack of a wrist rest, which is important considering that the design is quite compact. All things considered, this could be pretty good for the office or as a spare gaming option as well.
Normally if one’s budget is around the price point of the K552, then there’s a toss-up between going for a low-end mechanical or a membrane variant. Still, this offering by Redragon offers incredible value that just can’t be denied, especially if the actuation force & feel is exactly what you are after.
15. Azio Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Switches: Kailh Blue(clicky) & Kailh Brown(Quiet) / Durability: 50 million keystrokes
- A lot of quality for your buck
- Great ergonomics
- No silent or quiet version
If you want the most quality for your money, then this is a keyboard you have to consider. It is not the cheapest on the list, but it is still very affordable. The brushed aluminum and slick simplistic design give it such a qualitative feel to it.
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Regarding the mechanical sound/feel, it does quite a good job. It is worth noting that it has more of a ”clicky” sound as opposed to audible. This can be a major con or Pro, depending on your personal preference. Whether you want an audible or clicky sound, it does not directly interfere with the gaming performance of the keyboard.
The wrist rest works nicely and is easy to detach/attach.
The keycap puller does feel a little low quality, but as it is not a real part of the keyboard, it is not a significant issue, in my opinion. It can, however, be annoying when/if you want to use it.
The roll-over feature on this keyboard deserves to be mentioned. All buttons are entirely roll over, which should please MOBA players especially. If you are not sure what roll-over means, it is that you can press every key on the board at the same time, and they will all get registered. This is awesome when playing a high-intensity game like MOBA or FPS games.
The media control center on the upper right corner was also an excellent addition. It looks super cool and is in tone with the rest of the board. And such convenience is always welcome.
Something that may be a deal-breaker for some is the lack of complete anti-ghosting. It is worth mentioning that keyboards of this price do not usually have that, even if they advertise it. Although it does not have 100% anti-ghosting, the quality of the roll-over keys give mostly the same experience as full anti-ghosting, and most people won’t feel the difference.
A genuinely excellent gaming keyboard, and one of the best bangs for your buck, on the market, If you are looking for an affordable but high-quality mechanical keyboard, then this I can highly recommend this beauty.
This keyboard was made as a mid-range mechanical keyboard with a high focus on quality. Mostly it does a fantastic job of hiding the fact that it is not a high-end keyboard. But there are a few examples where Azio chose to cut corners to keep the pricing down. There is a lack of rubber, which can sometimes make the keyboard slippery on rare occasions. And there are a few numbers of examples of the keycaps going a bit lose after extended use. However, Azio is known for its fantastic customer support, which is always a huge plus.
Professional Players that use these keyboards
Why listen to us when you can see exactly what professional gamers that use the keyboards on this list. To keep it relatively short, we stuck to professional FPS gamers only.
Note that some of these are used by too many players to fit on the table.
|Blackwidow Huntsman Elite
RpK(CS:GO), TimTheTatman(Streamer), DrDisRespect(streamer), ZywOo(CS:GO)
|Logitech G Pro
Profit(Overwatch), FugLy(CS:GO), NBK(CS:GO), Snax(CS:GO), Ex6TenZ(CS:GO), sergej(CS:GO), sterling(CS:GO), Myth(Streamer)Hamlinz(Streamer), Lothar(Streamer), slappie(Streamer), and more.
|SteelSeries Apex M750
olofmeister(CS:GO), cromen(CS:GO), cajunb(CS:GO), MSL(CS:GO), fl0m(CS:GO), anger(CS:GO), Replays(Streamer)Jaomock(Streamer), Tennp0(Streamer), Gotaga(Streamer)
|Corsair K95 Platinum
DeadFox(CS:GO), iRemiix(Overwatch), KarQ(Streamer), KejseR(Fortnite)
|HyperX Alloy Elite
steel(CS:GO), n0thing(CS:GO), Golden(CS:GO), kioShiMa(CS:GO), VINI(CS:GO), s0m(CS:GO), Bandit(Fortnite), Boss(Streamer), Shivsy(Streamer)
Twist(CS:GO), Xizt(CS:GO), JW(CS:GO), KRiMZ(CS:GO), Brollan(CS:GO), draken(CS:GO), MAJ3R(CS:GO)Motor(Streamer), Flikk(Streamer), ErycTriceps(Streamer)
|KennyS(CS:GO), dev1ce(CS:GO), Vinny1x(Fortnite), byali(CS:GO), AmaNek(CS:GO), dupreeh(CS:GO), vanity(CS:GO), SmithZz(CS:GO), JACKZ(CS:GO), morelz(CS:GO), Kinstaar(Streamer), Daequan(Streamer), Libero(Overwatch), Linepro(Streamer)
|HyperX Alloy FPS PRO
|s1mple(CS:GO), Shroud(Streamer), Kvik(CS:GO), Boombl4(CS:GO), autimatic(CS:GO), Relyks(CS:GO), ShahZam(CS:GO), Skadoodle(CS:GO), Pimp(CS:GO), somebody(CS:GO), NEKIZ(CS:GO), keev(CS:GO), ngiN(CS:GO), WorldEdit(CS:GO), paz(CS:GO), jks(CS:GO), mir(CS:GO), markeloff(CS:GO), k0nfig(CS:GO), EliGE(CS:GO), Flusha(CS:GO), RUSH(CS:GO), innocent(CS:GO), and many more
|Razer Blackwidow Elite
|Rass(Fortnite), Criz(Streamer), Benjyfishy(Streamer), Gorb(Streamer), JT(Streamer)
|nexa(CS:GO), JUGi(CS:GO), smooya(CS:GO), chopper(CS:GO), Choppadown(Streamer), Neiru(Streamer), Svennoss(Streamer), Thiefs(Streamer), Chipshajen(Overwatch), Aladdin(Streamer), Soltek1h(Streamer)
|SteelSeries Apex M500
|NiKo(CS:GO), pyth(CS:GO), TaZ(CS:GO), Kjaerbye(CS:GO), DD(CS:GO), GuardiaN(CS:GO), cadiaN(CS:GO), karrigan(CS:GO), rain(CS:GO), Snappi(CS:GO), valde(CS:GO), niko(CS:GO), aizy(CS:GO), gade(CS:GO), woxic(CS:GO), qikert(CS:GO), BnTeT(CS:GO), zLOGAN(CS:GO), mertz(CS:GO), TheVic(Streamer)
When reviewing these products, we highly focused on these four main factors:
- How does it feel? – This is, in my humble opinion, the most critical aspect when reviewing any piece of gaming gear. No matter how good a gaming keyboard is on paper, it doesn’t necessarily translate to how it feels to use. And since this is about mechanical keyboards, the actual mechanical feel of it is essential.
- Specifications – This is the technical aspect, which is basically about how ”good” the product is on paper. And does it have any extra features of real significance?
- Price – How much value do you get for your money, compared to the other products on the market.
- Quality – When looking at the quality of various products, it is firmly connected to the price. But a high rate is NOT always an indication of high quality, which is why we look at it separately.
These are the most defining qualities that we look at when doing these reviews. But we have considered everything from the brand, design, software, etc. You might wonder why design isn’t one of our main factors since it is indeed imperative. But that is because it is also subjective and therefore I can’t decide that for you.
What is a mechanical keyboard
A mechanical keyboard does unlike a standard keyboard have switches underneath its buttons to recreate the feeling of using a typewriter. Even though they all have different kinds of switches, it’s all for more accurate keyboard usage. This is why it has become increasingly popular among gamers. Although it was initially created for office workers that are dependent on fast and precise typing. Some may find the louder sound to be an annoyance, but in my opinion, it just gives a much more satisfying feeling than a regular gaming keyboard. And the sound is likely why it has become so mainstream among gamers in the last couple of years.
What makes a mechanical keyboard different from the old regular membrane boards are the switches. These switches are made of various components, a plastic stem, two metal contacts, and a spring. When you press a key, the spring will be pushed down, and the two metal contacts will connect, this will allow your computer to register what key you touch.
The quality is usually higher in mechanical keyboards, and they will last longer. Mechanical keyboards allow for millions of presses on each key.
Anti-ghosting: This is something that most mechanical keyboards advertise to have, and also should have to some extent. A keyboard can register multiple keys at once, which is something most hardcore gamers find essential.
Different types of mechanical switches.
When shopping for mechanical keyboards, you have most likely come across wordings such as Cherry MX red, cherry MX blue, and Kalih red, etc. But what does it mean? We will take a look at the most common and popular ones, to make it easier for you to choose the perfect one for you.
A simple search for a great gaming keyboard displays a lot of mechanical options. We at Progammerriview have picked out the best of the mechanical and non-mechanical choices based on its performance, tactile feedback, feel and comfort. So what are mechanical and non-mechanical keyboards?
A mechanical keyboard uses mechanical switches that are spring-loaded. This helps to give a fantastic response time. In turn, you get terrific tactile feedback and don’t have to worry about pressing a key twice. Most importantly, they feel when pressing these keys is unique. The clicky sound is also quite sought after by a lot of gamers. There are multiple Cherry MX types. I.e., Brown, Blue Red, Black. All these provide a different feel to the keyboards offering different things like feedback, agility, etc. Mechanical keyboards also have the added advantage of durability. Keys last longer and can also be replaced if needed quite quickly.
Not all mechanical keyboards are great for everyday use as well as gaming, though. The Cherry MX brown type serves a hybrid usage purpose well. If your game requires more agile response, then you can even make do with a non-mechanical option.
The switches are divided into colors with distinct functionalities. You will usually see a brand like Cherry or Razer etc. Before the color, but in general, the difference is small between brands. It is the color you need to be aware of.
This one is made solely for gaming, as it has no tactile feedback. It grants a quick and smooth gaming experience, but the lack of physical feedback makes it unsuited for typists.
It is basically the same as the red version, with the only difference being a little more resistance, making it a bit more suited for writing. While still working great for gaming.
This is Cherry MX’s ”clicky” version of a mechanical switch. It has a very distinct clicking sound, which is often seen used by Twitch streamers.
Brown is the more subtle switch. It has medium tactile feedback, but the mechanical sound is kept to a minimum.
FAQ About Mechanical Keyboards
The most frequently asked questions we get about mechanical keyboards
1. Why choose mechanical over membrane keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards are generally faster and more precise. Also, the mechanical switches offer an incredible amount of durability compared to their membrane counterparts, some lasting up to about 80 million keystrokes PER key. This is almost four times as much as most regular boards. The different switches also offer a precise performance, which can cater more personally to a lot of gamers. Last but not least, the actual feel of the mechanical switches can be incredibly satisfying and give an entirely new enjoyment to your gameplay.
2. Why would anyone choose a regular keyboard over a mech?
Well, on paper, the membrane keyboards don’t look as good as the mech ones. However, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people just enjoy the natural feel more than the mechanic tactile switches. There are even actual pro gamers who prefer regular keyboards. So the most important thing is to figure out what you enjoy yourself, maybe try out a mecha-membrane to get a feel for mechanical, without going all the way.
3. What is anti-ghosting?
When you press multiple keys simultaneously, and your computer fails to register some of them, those keys are known as ghost-keys. So per definition, anti-ghosting means that your keyboard can register multiple presses at the same time. This is also known as roll-over keys. 100% anti-ghosting means that you can press the entire keyset down at once and it will register every single keystroke, while ten roll-over keys as an example, suggest that you can push ten at a time with the same effect.
4. Which ones do the professional gamers use?
This is very dependant on which type of game, and who the player is. There is, however, a couple of trendy options, which is seeing a lot of use in most genres of eSport. Such as the Razer Blackwidow, CM Storm Quickfire, SteelSeries G6v2. It is important to know that pro gamers don’t always use their preferred equipment, as a lot of teams and or players have sponsor deals with specific brands. Although, if a pro gamer is using the keyboard, it is likely pretty amazing, sponsor deal or not.
5. Do pro players prefer mechanical over membrane keyboards?
In general, yes. Most eSport athletes tend to play on a mechanical option. Just because of the increased tactile feedback and precision, but you still see some pro gamers who prefer conventional keyboards, even despite these things.
6. Which is switch type is best for gaming?
There is no straight answer for this since mechanical switches come down to personal preference. Among pro gamers, brown switches are immensely popular, but you see a lot of blue and red ones as well. Blue switches are also very popular with a lot of Twitch streamers and are famous for its very clicky sound. All different switch types can be used for gaming, but most people would generally say that the brown or red ones are the best.
7. Are mechanical keyboards really worth the extra money?
Yes, unless you are on a tight budget, but if that is the case, then it is probably not the time to buy a new keyboard. There is nothing quite as exciting as a gamer than receiving a new mechanical keyboard, mainly if you are used to a membrane. The difference in feel and performance is just incredible.
8. Which is the most popular mechanical keyboard?
That would be the Razer Blackwidow Chroma, and with good reason too. It is the perfect default pick for all types of gamers. The Razer switches are fantastic, and the quality is way above what to expect from Razer. It has the most durable switches in the whole industry, lasting up to about 80 million keystrokes, which is forever. It also comes in both a silent, clicky and tactile version.
9. What does RGB mean?
RBG stands for red, green, and blue. This feature just means that you can fully customize the LED lighting, and usually up to and about 16.8 million different color variants. 16.8 million is the technical amount, and it just means that you can customize your LED to every color known to man.
10. What does macro-management mean/do?
This is the ability to customize specific or all keys on your board. As an example, you can change your F1 key to the windows key or the Enter key to the Space key, etc. This is usually done quite simply through the gaming software that came with the keyboard. Having a fully programmable keyboard can be very helpful for gamers that try to maximize their performance, but it is by no means a necessity for most.
We did a lot of research to get this guide out for you. This is our official source list.
- Microsoft, Keyboard ghosting explained, blog post by Microsoft about the basics of keyboards ghosting.
- PC World, Mechanical keyboard FAQ: Pick the right switch, online gaming, and PC Magazine.
- PC gamer, a complete guide to mechanical switches, PC gamers article about mechanical switches and their characteristics.
- WASD keyboards, Complete mechanical keyboards guide, a blog post that talks about the characteristics and advantages of mechanical keyboards.
- Razerzone, Razer Blackwidow series info, the official page for Razer mechanical keyboards.
- Cherry Americas, Cherry MX: innovation at your fingertips, the official page, and infographics of the Cherry MX switches.
- Howtogeek, if you haven’t tried a mechanical keyboard yet: you are missing out, a blog post about the advantages and basics of mechanical keyboards.
- Steelseries, Guide to mechanical switches, article that explains the different mechanical switches.
- Prosettings.net, a website that holds complete records or what gaming gear professional gamers use.