Cheapest mechanical keyboard: Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards for 2023

60%, wireless, full-size & low-profile

With mechanical keyboards more popular than ever, money-saving gamers will want to know the best budget mechanical keyboard to complete their set-up. Thankfully, there are some great and affordable hardware options out there. 

So, let’s get into the 5 best budget mechanical keyboards in 2023. 

  • Want a fantastic display? Find out what the best monitor for PS5 is here.

Best budget mechanical keyboard in 2023

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There are quite a few factors that we considered when selecting the various options for the best budget mechanical keyboard within this guide. Features like hot-swappable switches, build quality, switch types, and overall design were key when deciding our choices.

Furthermore, we have tried to select a range of different sizes as well to cater to everyone’s own preference, whether you prefer the options afforded by a full-size, the compact nature of a 60%, low-profile, or even the cheapest option.

So, check out our choices below to find out what the best mechanical keyboard is in 2023:

  • Pair your new keyboard with the best mouse for claw grip by checking out our guide.

Cheapest budget mechanical keyboard: Redragon K552

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Coming in at just under $40, the Redragon K552 is arguably the cheapest mechanical keyboard that you can pick up when on a budget. With this lower price point, you are obviously going to have to make some sacrifices, but there is still a lot to enjoy about the K552.

It is an 87-key design complete with arrow keys, the function row, and nine auxiliary keys to the right too. It has customisable RGB with 19 different lighting modes if you can’t get enough of the colours.

There are also three switch options, with Outemu Red, Brown, and Blue depending on your preference of sound and feel. These aren’t going to be the best, but for under $40 you can’t really complain.

Buy for $36.99 (Amazon)

  • Find out what the best Corsair keyboard is with this handy guide.

Best budget 60% mechanical keyboard: Kemove Shadow

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Image via Kemove

If you’re looking for something a little more compact, then the Kemove Shadow is the perfect choice for you. For under $50, you’re getting a fully hot-swappable wireless keyboard with high-quality PBT keycaps, which is frankly excellent.

You do of course lose the function row and arrow keys when moving to 60%, but you would be surprised how much you won’t miss them once you make the jump. They are of course still here, just hidden behind FN shortcuts, so it’s not like you’re completely without them either.

This keyboard is perfect if you’ve not got a lot of desk space, or if you’re wanting a super clean and minimal set-up. Complete with the ever-reliable Gateron Brown switches, you can’t go wrong with the KEYMOVE Shadow.

Buy for $49.99 (Amazon)
Buy for $43.99 (Best Buy)

  • Need a budget monitor to pair with your keyboard? Look no further than this guide for the best gaming monitor under $200.

Best budget full-size mechanical keyboard: Royal Kludge RK98

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Coming in at under $70, the Royal Kludge RK98 is the best budget mechanical keyboard option if you’re wanting a full-size model. Complete with all 98 keys but also space-optimised, the RK98 will give you all you need within a single key press.

It has three means of connectivity too – USB-C, Bluetooth 5.1, and 2.4Ghz wireless – so you can set it up exactly how you want. Hot-swappable Red switches complete this top-budget keyboard that will both sound and feel great for a more than reasonable price. You even get some lovely blue keycaps to spice up your setup too.

Buy for $63.99 (Amazon)

  • Have some fun with a friend by picking up one of the top 10 best multiplayer Switch games.

Best budget low-profile mechanical keyboard: Keychron K3

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Whilst one of the more expensive budget mechanical keyboards at just under $90, the Keychron K3 is worth every single cent. Keychron is one of the best keyboard brands out there for those wanting to step into the enthusiast space, and the K3 is their budget low-profile option.

With the low profile design, you get a ‘flatter’ keyboard with a shorter actuation distance, and it is much more akin to the feel of a laptop keyboard. Pair this with the 75% design and you get a more compact design that looks very professional overall.

The K3 is even hot-swappable if you fancy another switch type or if one of your switches happens to break too. If you’re wanting to spend a little more but get an amazing mechanical keyboard experience, there are few better options than the Keychron K3.

Buy for $89.99 (Amazon)

  • Pair your new keyboard with one of the best wireless gaming mice here.

Best budget mechanical keyboard with optical switches: Razer Huntsman Mini

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Whilst the KEMOVE Shadow is the best budget mechanical keyboard if you’re looking for a 60% option with as low a price tag as possible, the Razer Huntsman Mini is what you should go for if you’re willing to spend just a little bit more for some added benefits. 

The 60% form factor and aluminium frame make for a durable and portable gaming keyboard on the go as expected. However, the true benefit of the Razer Huntsman Mini mechanical keyboard lies in its Razer Linear Optical switch technology. Utilising beam-based actuation, key presses will be registered at the speed of light – which is a 15-30% shorter actuation distance than traditional mechanical switches.

For gamers wanting to equip themselves with an edge whilst still not being too hard on their bank account, the Razer Huntsman Mini is the one for you.  

Buy for $79. 99 (Best Buy)
Buy for $107.10 (Amazon)

  • If you want a top-tier device on the go, check out the best gaming laptops for under $1500.

Why buy a mechanical keyboard?

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If you’ve not tried one before, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about mechanical keyboards. As opposed to your standard off-the-shelf or membrane boards, mechanical keyboards offer a far more tactile experience, but the pros don’t just stop there.

They are far more customisable, coming in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colours, and feels, so you really can find the perfect keyboard for you. Mechanical keyboards tend to feel more responsive which is great for both typing and gaming as you get a better feel for your key presses.

Furthermore, they are perfect if you want something to customise and enhance. All of the individual switches can be removed, replaced, or lubed to improve the feel and acoustics of your keyboard. Furthermore, you can add additional support like foam to the inside of your keyboard to make typing feel even more satisfying.

  • Find out what the best keyboard for Fortnite is with this guide.

Mechanical keyboard switches explained

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You might also be confused about the differences between the various mechanical switches. In short, the switch defines both the sound and feel of each key press, with the three main types of switches being linear (smooth/silent), tactile (semi-click/bumpy), and clicky (loud).

You will usually see keyboards fitted with Red (linear), Brown (tactile), or Blue (clicky) switches, and there is no ‘best’ option of the three. There are also a number of different colours too which all fall into the three main categories.

If you’re using the keyboard in a shared environment, it’s best to go for linear switches to reduce the noise, but other than that you’re free to choose what you think feels and sounds best.

Getting a hot-swappable keyboard is also a great option if you’re unsure, as you can change the switch type at any point if you want to try something new.

  • If you’re a competitive gamer, find out what the best keyboard for VALORANT is.

So, that wraps up this guide on the best budget mechanical keyboard in 2023, giving you a wide range of choices that will hopefully suit you well.

For even more guides on the latest and greatest gaming hardware, you can be sure to find them right here at GGRecon. 

GGRecon uses affiliate links, if you purchase any products from our links we may earn a commission. 

Cheap to Top of the Line

This article covers general-use mechanical keyboards with all switch types. If you want to see our top gaming keyboards list, we have them in a separate piece. We also cover mechanical keyboards with Cherry MX switches if you’d prefer to stick with name brand hardware.

In this guide, I’ll go over the best budget mechanical keyboards for every use. This includes gaming, general use, quiet, white, tenkeyless (TKL), and wireless. This budget mechanical keyboard list is huge and comprehensive, I recommend using our bookmark links (left-hand side). Below, I’ll talk about the benefits of owning a mechanical keyboard and then dive right into our top budget list. For mechanical keyboard beginners, check out our guide here.

Why use a mechanical keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards were developed from typewriters in the early days of computing. After dominating the market until the mid-late 80s, mechanical keyboards were phased out in the 90s due to dropping computer prices and an interest in quiet office environments. The past ten years have sparked a renaissance in mechanical keyboards worldwide, and there are good reasons for their reappearance.

Four major advantages set them apart from standard domes: quality, enjoyment, ergonomics, and community.

Quality

Most rubber dome keyboards are designed to be cheap. They use inferior plastics, feel pretty awful, and don’t last all that long/degrade in press-feel. Mechanical keyboards have higher build quality in every conceivable way. In fact, some switches improve with regular use! To sum things up, mechanical keyboards will probably last for tens of years unless they’re spilled upon, abused, or neglected. I have mechanical keyboards that are 30 years old. They still work beautifully.

Enjoyment

“Blah.” That’s what every rubber dome feels like when you press a key. “Tick.” That’s what every rubber dome sounds like. Mechanical keyboards offer a totally different experience. Click, clack, and thock are all common sounds when hammering away on a mechanical keyboard (though quiet options exist too). Typing can be fun, particularly when you choose the right switch and form factor for your needs. It’s the difference between buying a tool at the local bargain store and picking one up from a respected store brand — the tool will be better designed, resulting in a better user experience overall.

Ergonomics

Although it hasn’t been proven, many swear that mechanical keyboards are more ergonomic than their rubber dome cousins. Some of this may be due to the extent that you can customize your keyboard, but the rest comes down to the switches. You can choose light, heavy, or anything in between. In addition, a few innovative mechanical keyboards utilize ergonomic form factors. They’re a bit harder to track down, but the extra effort may be worth it if you suffer from RSI or similar health problems.

Community

Several forums have hoisted the mechanical keyboard flag. Reddit, Geekhack, and Deskthority are the big three. Each has its own particular thing, yet all three welcome thoughtful questions and posts of all types. Reddit is the most active community, which mostly focuses on modern tenkeyless keyboards and keycaps. Geekhack blends vintage keyboards with projects, keycaps, and modern keyboards. Deskthority is focused on vintage mechanical keyboards but often branches out into modern products and vintage keyboard remakes.

Choosing a mechanical keyboard

Selecting the right mechanical keyboard can be pretty difficult. Form factor, switches, and other preferences make it a balancing act. If you’re not sure what to look for, check out our starting page for more information. If you haven’t experienced mechanical keyboard switches you should consider purchasing a switch tester. Several different Cherry switch variants are included in most testers. Because switches are the most important part of the mechanical keyboard experience, it’s worth sampling some different types before purchasing an entire keyboard.

Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards List

Now that we’ve covered why mechanical keyboards are an essential for gaming and everyday use, let’s dive into my list of the best budget mechanical keyboards to date. For this list, I’ve added a variety of different mechanical keyboards so that everyone can find one they like. Most of these mechanical keyboards are under 100, affordable, and friendly for any user. Without further adieu, let’s get into my top picks!

Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming: Corsair K95 RGB

Every single keyboard on this list will work fine for gaming. In fact, most of the mechanical keyboards on this list are marketed as gaming keyboards! It’s very difficult to recommend a few gaming keyboards as “the best” because gamers have very different individual needs. While one may love RGB lighting, another gamer might want monochrome LEDs or no lights at all. Some may want clones, while others will have Cherry or nothing. In any case, I recommend scrolling through each section of this article to see what will suit your gaming style.

There are, however, things I would recommend avoiding. Wireless mechanical keyboards introduce some lag to your keypresses, which can put you at a big disadvantage when gaming. It’s also a problem when batteries die mid-game. Furthermore, I think macro keys aren’t nearly as important as gaming companies advertise them to be. They’re fine for casual single player games, but most competitive multiplayer games (both online and local) ban or frown upon macros. Macros, in my opinion, have increased value for graphic designers and other professional users. If you need a mechanical keyboard that’s decked out with every possible feature, I have one recommendation and one only:

Pros Cons
Metal upper case Aftermarket keycap compatibility is low
Cherry switches Occasional software stability issues
ton of macro/media buttons Media buttons aren’t mechanical

It’s stealthy, it’s full of attitude, and it will take up 3/4 of your desk. All hail the K95 RGB, which has a massive cluster of macro buttons on the left hand side. Besides its imposing width, this Corsair keyboard shares high build quality with the rest of Corsair’s recent releases. A volume knob and removable wrist rest complete the behemoth’s package. The Corsair-standard USB pass through port is absent on this model, likely due to the power draw of the additional RGB LEDs. You should also be aware of the fact that the additional macro keys are appended to the metal plate. The keyboard is essentially a K70 with a few extra keys stuck on.

You can find a decent video review here.

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Best All Around Mechanical Keyboard: Das Keyboard 4 Professional

Pros Cons
Genuine Cherry MX switches Its ruler foot is pretty subpar
Aluminum upper case and excellent build quality Fairly expensive for its features
Dedicated media buttons and volume dial Boring, non-braided cable

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a sleek, top of the line mechanical keyboard that can handle professional environments and game nights with ease. Dedicated media keys and a volume knob take the hassle out of changing settings. Cherry MX Brown or Blue keyswitches provide an excellent typing experience. It even sports USB 3.0 passthrough ports for additional peripherals. The only downside to this model is its ruler foot, which isn’t particularly grippy.

I selected the 4 Pro for this slot because it’s a good looking generalist. It isn’t perfect in every way for every task, but it will do a respectable job with everything you throw at it. The font isn’t weird, the design doesn’t scream gamer, and its build quality is very reasonable.

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Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards

In my opinion, a cheap mechanical keyboard is better than no mechanical keyboard at all. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a bargain basement model to sample mechanical keyboards or hold you over until you can afford a nicer one. You’ll find some of the most accessible mechanical keyboards below. They’re cheap, but they still maintain reasonable levels of quality. Even I’m tempted by them!

1. Velocifire VM01

Pros Cons
Nice doubleshot keycaps and font Uses Zorro clone switches, which are iffy
Passable build quality No flip out feet
Backlighting for next to nothing Limited backlight levels and settings

The Velocifire VM01 is a solid, cheap, full size mechanical keyboard. Its Zorro Brown switches aren’t exactly great, but at this price point it’s hard to argue with a keyboard that has relatively thick doubleshot keycaps and a few backlighting modes. I like the fact that the keycaps are less gamer-ish than other cheap options. GoMK’s review points out the pros and cons of this remarkably budget keyboard. Seriously — I have no idea how they’re making money on this.

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2. EagleTec KG010

Pros Cons
Aluminum upper plate, floating key design Outemu clones aren’t as good as Cherry switches
Raised bezel reduces LED-monitor glare Elevation feet flip to the sides, not front to back
Budget backlighting No backlighting frills, only brightness adjustments

The Eagletec KG010 is a sharp looking mechanical keyboard with an aluminum upper case/plate. It seems to draw some of its styling from Corsair keyboards. Legitimate Cherry switches aren’t present, but it’s hard to fault the keyboard for that when it’s priced cheaply. You should watch out for its feet, which swing out sideways in comparison to most mechanical keyboards. The feet end up with less grip due to their angle.

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3. Velocifire TKL01

Pros Cons
Nice doubleshot keycaps and font Uses Zorro clone switches, which may be scratchy
Passable build quality + feet Switch type and weight not ideal for gaming
Backlighting for next to nothing Limited backlight levels and settings

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is the new top dog of the cheap tenkeyless market segment. Sure, it only has a few Amazon reviews. But based on the success of its sibling, the VM01, the TKL01 is going to be a big hit. Velocifire has managed to lower the price on this keyboard and make sequential improvements to the model line. What do I mean? The TKL01 has flip out feet. It’s always good when companies listen to feedback, and this is a case where it was implemented in a bargain basement model. Good job; I approve. Spec wise, everything else is similar to the VM01.

Read our TKL01 review for more information.

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Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards

Let’s say that you’re not strapped for cash. Let’s say that you’re looking for something that’s a big step up from a cheap keyboard, but you still don’t want to shell out for a flagship model. Budget keyboards are for you. High build quality, a lower price point, and fewer features in comparison to premium models place budget mechanical keyboards in a sweet spot for everyday users.

1. Corsair STRAFE MX Red

Pros Cons
Genuine Cherry switches Isn’t available with Cherry Speed switches
Corsair’s excellent build quality Plastic upper case, even if built well, is still plastic
Multimedia player & USB port Few features compared to high-end models

The Corsair STRAFE with Cherry MX Red switches and standard red backlighting is the reference point for mechanical keyboards under $100. Corsair’s excellent build quality shines, even with a plastic upper case and reduced features in comparison to the K70. You can pay more or less for various changes, including MX Silent switches, but they don’t offer the same kind of base value that this version does not.

Read our review of the STRAFE RGB to learn more about the base model’s build quality and features.

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2. Qisan Magicforce 68

Pros Cons
Uses Gateron clones, which beat Cherry switches Barebones function layer
Very sturdy — uses metal upper plate/case LEDs can create glare on monitor
Removable cable & rubberized feet Weak-ish cable attachment point

The Qisan Magicforce 68 Mini Mechanical Keyboard (what a mouthful!) is, in my opinion, the best 65% mechanical keyboard you could pick up. It has a machined metal upper case, doubleshot keycaps (though the keycaps have been replaced on the pictured keyboard), backlighting, and a standard bottom row for replacement keycaps. It doesn’t flex at all due to some great material decisions. Finally, it has a removable cable. The cable’s connection point isn’t ideal, but it will hold up if you aren’t violent with it.

Read our review of the Magicforce 68 for more information.

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3. Logitech G610

Pros Cons
Uses genuine Cherry switches Plastic case materials
Volume roller and media buttons Inconsistent Num lock on boot
Additional software customization Function row keycaps may cause sticking

The Logitech G610 is remarkably feature rich for its price point. Backlighting, a volume roller, and media keys complete the package. Its monolithic, sharp, black design is also a plus. Legitimate MX Brown switches further round out the keyboard — no clones here. The backlighting and function row can be configured above and beyond the norm for a keyboard at this price. Even the keycap font is acceptable. Its only real fault is that stray units have keycaps that cause key hangups, particularly on the function row. Not only would this keyboard work for gaming — it would fit in just fine at the office. If you do plan on using it at work, consider the Brown variant of this model.

See Tech Showdown’s video review for a detailed look at the keyboard.

Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboards

Sometimes you’re stuck in an environment that doesn’t handle noise well. Grumpy cubicle neighbors, nosy parents, sleeping children, and a ton of other situations can benefit from quieting things down. There’s three real options available: the STRAFE MX Silent, the Matias Quiet Pro, and DIY dampening. Cherry released an in-house mechanical keyboard, but that isn’t available in North America yet. In other words, choices are pretty limited.

1. Corsair STRAFE MX Silent

Pros Cons
Cherry Silent switches Price is high due to exclusive switch deal
Corsair build quality Plastic upper case
Macro recording No dedicated multimedia buttons

The Corsair STRAFE MX Silent is the only keyboard available with MX Silent switches in the United States. The MX Board Silent, Cherry’s in house offering, is still unavailable locally. The damping mechanism used in Silent switches is enough to significantly muffle typing sounds — namely bottom out and upstroke clack. The STRAFE Silent shares the same great build quality as regular mechanical keyboards from its model-family, so there’s no need to worry about durability.

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2. Matias Quiet Pro

Pros Cons
Totally different switch design Difficult to find aftermarket keycaps
Shapely, glossy case Picks up fingerprints and scratches
Mac compatible versions exist Laser etched keycaps aren’t great

The Matias Quiet Pro uses an upstroke and downstroke dampening system similar to Cherry’s MX Silent solution. It’s applied to a totally different switch mechanism, though. Matias manufactures its own switches based on simplified designs from Alps Electric, a big name in keyboards during the 80s. If you like the organic, shiny, curvy style, this mechanical keyboard will be great for you. It reminds me of yesteryear’s Apple keyboards, actually. That’s no shock, as it’s available for Mac too.

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DIY dampening is another option, but it only works to silence downstrokes. You might not even need to purchase MX Silent or Matias Quiet switches.

That said, putting on O-rings and other dampening equipment can be time consuming. O-rings can also suffer from limited compatibility with certain stabilizer systems. Check out our page on dampening methods to see if DIY dampening appeals to you.

Best White Mechanical Keyboards

Black is the standard color of the computing world. In response to that color dominance, most keyboard and peripherals follow suit. If you have a white PC, it’s a rare bird. White and metal Apples, on the other hand, are quite common. Regardless of your hardware, quality white mechanical keyboards are hard to track down. I scoured the internet to find the best white, sanely priced mechanical keyboards. You’ll find them below.

1. Tesoro Gram Spectrum

Pros Cons
Steel upper case No Mac support for LEDs
Software configurable RGB LEDs Software isn’t great
Innovative low profile technology Occasional reliability issues

Tesoro’s Gram Spectrum introduced a new line of low profile switches, produced by Kailh, to the market. Blue (clicky, better for typing) and Red (linear, better for gaming) switch variants are available. The metal top plate and removable braided cable add some class to a mechanical keyboard that’s already beautiful. It also has RGB lighting that can be customized via a program. All in all, an amazing package that hits just the right price.

Read our review to learn more about this awesome mechanical keyboard.

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2. Redragon K550 Yama

Pros Cons
Aluminum upper plate Outemu switches aren’t awesome
Dedicated media/macro keys The media/macro keys aren’t mechanical
Detachable wrist rest Lighting quirks limit customization

The K550 is an interesting beast. Redragon is really stepping up its game in the budget market. At a price point similar to the Corsair STRAFE’s, you can pick up a mechanical keyboard with limited RGB lighting and an aluminum plate. The volume knob is also aluminum. Even the wrist rest has quality touches that similar keyboards lack — it uses magnetic pins to lock in place. Switches are where this keyboard suffers a bit. Most versions have Outemu linears, which are scratchier than Cherry MX and Gateron switches. In addition, the media and macro buttons aren’t mechanical. Regardless, this sort of feature set is impressive at such a competitive price.

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3. Mistel Barocco

Pros Cons
Split, ergonomic design Pad printed keycaps will wear down
Cherry switches Poorly written documentation
Supports alternate layouts Small firmware bugs when remapping keys

Mistel is a new name in the mechanical keyboard business, at least in America. Our site had some extremely early coverage of their Barocco split keyboard. In fact, they mistakenly sent us a prototype! After spending time with early and production variants, the GoMK team thinks that the Barocco is something special.

It’s the only commercial split mechanical keyboard that was designed by a company and not a community, as far as I know. It’s certainly the most interesting split mechanical keyboard that’s available on Amazon. Split keyboards offer superior ergonomics by placing typists’ hands in a natural position. Normal staggered keyboards force typists to bend their wrists, which isn’t terribly healthy.

If you want to know more, take a look at our review.

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4. Vortex Poker 3

Pros Cons
Metal case Keycap legends will wear off quickly
Cherry switches Certain keys cannot be reprogrammed
Supports alternate layouts Esc legend doesn’t match other caps’ alignment

The Poker lineup has essentially turned into a mechanical keyboard phenomenon. Reddit’s mechanical keyboard community is overrun with Pok3rs and other 60% layouts, shoes, and keycaps. Do I think that’s a bad thing? Not at all — in fact, Pokers are a sturdy and viable platform for all mechanical keyboard users. Extensive programming support means that the keyboard doesn’t lose functionality when compared with full-size mechanical keyboards. Pokers also have DIP switches that activate Dvorak and Colemak layouts.

Our review of the Poker RGB should provide a useful look at the series’ build quality.

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5. Royal Kludge RK PRO104

Pros Cons
Sweet side lighting Built-in wrist rest might be annoying
Reasonable font Kailh clone switches are “meh”
Plenty of lighting options Switch selection limited to Kailh Browns

The Royal Kludge RK PRO104 is a budget mechanical keyboard with unique RGB side lighting. It’s pretty much the same as the Havit HV-KB389L, so I’m assuming that an anonymous OEM produces it. In short, it’s an RGB keyboard with a mostly-standard feature set and nice build quality. An affordable awesome mechanical keyboard for those on a budget.

Check out our review of the Havit HV-KB389L to see what the PRO104 is like.

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6. Qisan Magicforce 68

Pros Cons
Uses Gateron clones, which beat Cherry switches Barebones function layer
Very sturdy — uses metal upper plate/case LEDs can create glare on monitor
Removable cable & rubberized feet Weak cable attachment point

Showing up a second time, the Qisan Magicforce 68 Mini Mechanical Keyboard is, in my opinion, the best 65% mechanical keyboard you could pick up. It has a machined metal upper case, doubleshot keycaps, backlighting, and a standard bottom row for replacement keycaps. It doesn’t flex at all due to some great material decisions. Finally, it has a removable cable. The cable’s connection point isn’t ideal, but it will hold up if you aren’t violent with it.

Read our review of the Magicforce 68 for more information.

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Wrapping Things Up

We’ve covered many major mechanical keyboard categories in this piece, making it one heck of a read. I chose the keyboards in this article based on personal experience, some educated guesses about what you might want, and a bunch of additional research. If you think I missed a keyboard, please tell me. Other readers will be thankful that you spoke up. The same goes for displeasure with my choices.

If you still don’t know what direction you’d like to head, ask me questions in the comments or on GoMK’s social media pages. I’m always happy to give helpful opinions to newcomers — I was in your shoes, once. I won’t ever forget the raw curiosity that led me to my first mechanical keyboard.

Seriously, feel free to get in touch with me when you’re looking for input!

The cheapest mechanical keyboard: top of the best

Author: Egor Golikov Updated: November 18, 2022

A budget mechanical keyboard is a rather rare commodity, since devices of this type traditionally turn out to be quite expensive. They are almost always more expensive than membrane systems. However, if desired, it is quite possible to find a suitable input device on the market that will meet all the requirements of the user and at the same time will not become too much of a burden on personal finances. Let us dwell in more detail on inexpensive, but sufficiently high-quality mechanical keyboards.

Mechanical keyboards are popular among gamers. This is because the keys have a higher level of responsiveness and faster response times compared to membrane models. See a separate rating of gaming keyboards in 2023.

Contents

  • 1 Smartbuy RUSH Raven 200
  • 2 Redragon Sani Black USB Outemu
  • 3 OKLICK 920G Iron Edge Black USB Outemu
  • 4 Defender Blitz GK-24 0L RU Rainbow
  • 5 MARVO KG901
  • 6 OKLICK 967G Dark Force
  • 7 SVEN KB-G9500 Outemu Blue
  • 8 OKLICK 969G Shotgun
  • 9 SmartBuy Rush Carbon Black
  • 10 HIPER GK-4 Crusader
  • 11 Qcyber Dominator TKL Black USB Jixian Red

Smartbuy RUSH Raven 200

Cheap gaming mechanical keyboard from Smartbuy. The device does not have a backlight, but the catchy design attracts attention. The keys that are often used for playing are highlighted in red. Also on the right and left are additional buttons that will definitely come in handy for a gamer. The device works stably, this is a quality device for little money.

Redragon Sani Black USB Outemu

Top cheap mechanical keyboards of 2023 reveals a device perfectly suited for long hours of work or play. The model has a thoughtful attractive design that will emphasize your individuality and create the necessary atmosphere in the workplace. There are 104 individual keys, each based on the advanced OUTEMU Blue switch. It provides instant response and a very pleasant typing experience. Stylish RGB lighting, if desired, can be programmed to your taste.

OKLICK 920G Iron Edge Black USB Outemu

One of the best budget keyboards with great design and customizable backlighting. The mechanical key system does an excellent job and provides an instant response to pressing. This is very useful both at work and during the launch of various kinds of games. In total, the keyboard has 104 keys with a separate numeric keypad. The dimensions are optimal for the average user. There is a built-in backlight that can work in several modes.

Defender Blitz GK-240L RU Rainbow

Probably the cheapest model in the list of mechanical keyboards. Despite the low cost, this design is made of fairly high-quality plastic using high-quality switches. Rainbow lighting gives the model an expressive look, and also significantly increases the comfort of use when there is a lack of external lighting. As an additional function, a hardware lock of the WIN button is provided, pressing which can cause a lot of problems during games. There are also special hotkeys for quick access to office or multimedia programs.

MARVO KG901

High quality and affordable backlit mechanical keyboard. Designed specifically for use with desktop computers, including gaming. The model is relatively small, as the manufacturers decided to abandon the traditional numerical block on the side. A total of 87 keys are installed with reliable mechanical switches with a stroke of 3.8 mm. This is quite enough for normal operation, as well as running modern games. Almost instant response makes this budget keyboard a worthy solution, including for sports gaming.

Hail 967G Dark Force

Compact mechanical keyboard with durable per-key switches and smart customizable backlighting. There is an Fn key to enable additional options for the remaining buttons, which greatly expands the capabilities of the device. Connection to a computer is carried out via a traditional USB interface using a sufficiently long and strong cable equipped with a reliable fabric braid. This approach allows you to achieve the necessary durability of the entire product.

SVEN KB-G9500 Outemu Blue

A budget gaming keyboard that even advanced esports players will definitely appreciate. The model has a standard set of 104 keys, each of which has a high-quality mechanical switch with a very clear stroke. Thus, the user will feel every press even with minimal impact on the buttons. An additional advantage of this model is the included palm rest, which will allow you to remove excess pressure from your wrists and significantly increase the comfort of using the design.

OKLICK 969G Shotgun

Gaming keyboard with Anti-Ghosting technology to remove restrictions on the number of simultaneous keystrokes. In total, the user has 87 full-fledged keys, the resource of which is approximately 50,000,000 keystrokes. Thus, even with very intensive use, the system will not fail for a long time. To connect to a computer, a standard USB interface is used, to which a plug from a tight and reliable cable is connected. The device immediately starts working without the need to install additional programs or drivers.

SmartBuy Rush Carbon Black

Nice mechanical model that connects to a computer via USB. Can be used for both work and play without any problems. Keystrokes are very precise and do not require too much effort. At the same time, a characteristic click is heard, indicating the use of good-quality mechanical switches. The 104-key full-size keyboard features an integrated backlight system that can be easily customized to suit your preferences.

HIPER GK-4 Crusader

Budget gaming input device with classic design without any frills. It has a good level of moisture protection, so that accidental splashes or high humidity in the room will not cause serious problems. The amber backlighting of the keys looks extremely impressive, allowing you to work comfortably in a dark room and giving the model an unusual look. The model is equipped with a full set of keys, including a separate digital block. Therefore, there will be no restrictions on the use of the device. The housing made of high-quality ABS plastic and aluminum perfectly copes with high loads and can work stably for a long time.

Qcyber Dominator TKL Black USB Jixian Red

Mechanical USB keyboard with ergonomic design and a set of 87 main keys. The rejection of the traditional digital block has made it possible to significantly reduce the size of the device, as well as improve the usability of the main buttons. The wire for connecting to a computer has a strong fabric braid, which ensures its durability and resistance to various kinds of external influences. Additionally, high-quality RGB backlighting with the ability to configure modes is available to users.

As you can see, among the mechanical keyboards on the market there are quite a few inexpensive, but quite high-quality products. They perfectly cope with their tasks, providing the necessary comfort both during work and during games. The choice in favor of a particular model must be made based on personal preferences and what exactly the input device will be used for most often.

Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards for 2022

Your typing speed and success in games largely depend on what kind of keyboard you have.

The best mechanical keyboards today are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but usually cost a fortune. However, there are quite a few models that are suitable for those who want to buy their first mechanical keyboard, or for those who want to save money.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just looking for a new keyboard, or if you’re looking for great tactile feedback when typing, there’s something for everyone!

In our opinion, the best choice is the EVGA Z15, a full-sized keyboard that offers many features, including the ability to replace key switches. If you are looking for something more compact, check out the Keychron K12.

EVGA Z15 is the best budget full size mechanical keyboard

Pros

  • Low press latency
  • Custom RGB lighting
  • Presence of switches
  • Programmable buttons

Cons

  • ABS Keycaps
  • Doubtful logo size
  • No USB passthrough

Why you should buy it: The is the most feature-packed budget mechanical keyboard available.

Who it’s for: for serious gamers and those who want a fully functional mechanical keyboard.

Why we chose EVGA Z15:

EVGA is better known as a graphics card manufacturer, but it also sells peripherals, including keyboards and mice. The Z15 is a great keyboard and we chose it as the best mechanical keyboard in the budget segment because it has a wide range of features. Sure, it’s not the cheapest compared to the other models on this list, but it has a solid metal top plate, key switches, per-key customizable RGB lighting, a volume wheel, and the ability to program just about any key. The keyboard also has one of the highest polling rates at 4000Hz, and the Kailh Speed ​​switches have a low actuation point, making keystrokes even faster. The keyboard also comes with custom RGB software, a wrist rest, multimedia keys, and a three-year warranty, which is longer than most keyboards on the market.

At around $75, this is the best mechanical keyboard on the market, although it does have some drawbacks. The Z15 keyboard is equipped with ABS keycaps, which are not made of the best plastic, so after prolonged use they begin to shine. The font on the caps (keycaps) may also not be to everyone’s liking. Another nasty bit is the huge EVGA logo in the style of the belt buckle. It is located on top of the keyboard and just looks out of place. Overall, the keyboard is pretty solid and should last you a long time.

Logitech K845 Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard for Productivity

Pros

  • TTC and Cherry MX switch options
  • Clean design
  • White illumination in 5 variants

Cons

  • No setup software
  • Fixed cable

Why you should buy it: The is a no-frills mechanical keyboard that gets the job done.

Who it’s for: for those who work a lot at the computer and who need a simple and clear mechanical keyboard for typing.

Why we chose Logitech K845:

Logitech is a trusted brand when it comes to PC peripherals, and the K845 is a no-frills mechanical keyboard that does the job well. It has a sleek design with a dark gray finish and a full-sized 104-key layout. It also features white backlighting so you can work at night if you prefer. The keyboard doesn’t have a lot of additional features, and in our opinion it is well suited for office workers or freelancers who work on a computer every day.

Logitech offers a keyboard with TTC switches, or you can pay a little more and opt for Cherry MX switches. Both options are available in the following versions: red linear, brown tactile and blue tactile with a characteristic clicking sound. TTC switches are really good, Cherry MX will be more reliable. In the absence of programmable keys or support for any specialized software, all settings (including the backlight) can only be adjusted manually. If you’re looking for a budget mechanical keyboard and don’t need fancy features, this is the one for you.

HyperX Alloy Origins Core is the best mechanical keyboard without ten keys in the budget segment

Pros

  • Aluminum case
  • RGB lighting per key
  • Detachable USB-C cable
  • Programmable keys

Cons

  • Ngenuity software needs work
  • ABS Keycaps
  • No wrist rest

Why you should buy it: The is one of the best budget mechanical keyboards with a no-ten-key layout.

Who’s it for: The is for gamers looking for a budget mechanical keyboard with a no-ten-key layout.

Why we chose HyperX Alloy Origins Core:

The HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a great mechanical keyboard that doesn’t cost a fortune but still feels like a premium keyboard. It has a ten-key layout (no numeric keypad), allowing you to take up less desk space. The body is made of durable aluminum and the feet at the bottom have three different levels of adjustment for the perfect angle when typing. HyperX provides a choice between linear, tactile, and clicky switches, and while it’s not a Cherry MX, they’re quite pleasant to use. The package also includes per-key RGB lighting, onboard profile storage, macro support, and a detachable USB-C cable.

The lack of a wrist rest and dedicated media buttons is an oversight, and we really wish the company didn’t use ABS caps, as they get shiny and slippery from your fingers. Otherwise, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core justifies its $70 price tag.

Keychron K12 – universal compact mechanical keyboard (60%) in the budget segment

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Quick change key switches
  • Multiple device connection
  • Support for Windows and macOS

Cons

  • RGB model costs more
  • Keys cannot be programmed
  • No special software

Why you should buy it: is one of the best compact 60% wireless mechanical keyboards.

Who’s it for: for those looking for a compact, versatile mechanical keyboard at an affordable price

Why we chose the Keychron K12

Keychron started as a Kickstarter project and today offers an impressive range of keyboards with a wide selection of layouts from 60% to 100%. They produce some of the best value for money keyboards and one such product is the Kerychron K12, a keyboard with a 60% layout and a lot of potential. First of all, it is wireless and can be paired via Bluetooth with up to three devices at the same time. There are plenty of options, including a unibody aluminum chassis, RGB backlighting instead of the standard white backlighting, and the option of a keyboard with key switches. By default, the keyboard is equipped with Gateron G Pro mechanical switches or Keychron optical switches. The keyboard supports both Windows and macOS and even comes with additional keypads to match the operating system you intend to use. The USB-C port can be used for wired connection or for charging the 4000 mAh battery. Charging will last for approximately 2 months (8 hours of daily use) when used with the backlight off.

Logitech G613 Lightspeed – Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming

Pros

  • Wireless is very fast
  • Pairing with multiple devices possible
  • Long battery life
  • Switches work pretty well

Cons

  • Fixed wrist rest
  • No illumination

Why you should buy it: is the best wireless mechanical keyboard at a low price.

Who’s it for: is for gamers looking for the best wireless keyboard with mechanical switches.

Why we chose Logitech G613 Lightspeed

The G613 Lightspeed is an impressive gaming keyboard with Romer-G tactile switches from Logitech. It’s quite an old model, but it’s still on the market as it’s well priced and offers Bluetooth along with the proprietary “Lightspeed” 2.4GHz connection. This means you can connect your keyboard to multiple devices without a huge amount of cables. The keyboard has a hard plastic case that doesn’t feel cheap, and the Romer-G key switches have very short travel, making them perfect for gaming. You also get a number of additional macro keys and multimedia controls that can be quite handy. It uses standard AA batteries and the manufacturer claims a battery life of around 18 months, which is quite impressive. We wish the built-in wrist rest was removable as the entire keyboard takes up a lot of desk space. There is also no backlit keys, which may be a deciding factor for some buyers.

Redragon K552 – the best ultra-budget mechanical keyboard

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Solid build quality
  • Decent RGB lighting

Cons

  • Not the best keycaps

Why you should buy it: The is the best entry-level mechanical keyboard.

Who it’s for: for those who want their first mechanical keyboard on an ultra-low budget.

Why we chose Redragon K552

Available for just $35, the Redragon K552 is perfect for those looking to buy their first mechanical keyboard on a budget. It has an 87-key layout and is available with blue, red or brown switches. The build quality is surprisingly good for a keyboard at this price point. You get RGB lighting from 19different modes and six brightness levels. The adjustable feet at the bottom are flimsy but do the job.

Otemu’s key switches aren’t the best compared to the Cherry MX, but for the price, you can’t complain. As for the keycaps, they are probably the weakest part of the keyboard as they are made of ABS plastic with letters printed on it. Expect them to quickly show a sheen from your fingers, and the inscriptions quickly rub off.

However, for $35, even if this keyboard only lasts a few years, you’ll easily make your money back.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mechanical keyboard?

A distinctive feature of the mechanical keyboard are high-quality key switches. They are faster, more responsive and have a nicer feel than dome switch membrane keyboards. This makes them more comfortable for typing and gaming or both. Most mechanical keyboards are also made to a higher standard, with better quality materials.

While they are usually more expensive than membrane or scissor switch keyboards, they don’t have to be as shown in the list above.

What are the types of mechanical key switches?

Mechanical keyboards come with mechanical key switches. There are several types depending on various factors such as actuation point, travel speed and type of feedback. Switches from different manufacturers vary greatly from each other, but in general, three main groups of mechanical switches can be distinguished:

– Linear switches are smooth and easy to press as there is no tactile bump when pressed. These switches are generally preferred by gamers as they are easy to press and usually silent. As a rule, linear switches are sold in red or black.

– Tactile switches have a prominent nub that provides feedback before pressing the button and sometimes forces the user to apply extra pressure when pressing. These switches are generally preferred by those who type a lot and quickly, as each keystroke can be easily parsed, although gamers can also benefit from such a keystroke. Usually tactile key switches are sold in brown or they are just plain colorless.

– Clicky switches are similar to tactile switches, but make an additional sound when hit while pressing a key.