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The Ultimate Guide to Mechanical Keyboards

How to know if a mechanical keyboard is right for you, then find the perfect one to fit your setup.

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Mechanical Key Switch Types

Linear switches

Designed for a consistent feeling of travel from the very top to the point they bottom out, creating minimal sound in the process. Cherry MX Red switches are the most common example.

Tactile switches

Designed to create a tactile "bump" midway through their actuation, letting you know when the key press is registered via both touch and sound. Cherry MX Browns are common tactile switches.

Clicky switches

Think tactile switches, but more so: the "bump" midway through is upgraded to a "click", creating a quick actuation and a distinct sound. Cherry MX Blues are a common clicky switch.

Did You Know? The HHKB layout repositions the Control key to make frequently used shortcuts faster and more ergonomic. Learn More.

Read more about mechanical keyboards in What Is A Mechanical Keyboard?

3 Major Mechanical Keyboard Benefits

Hands-on customization

You can make your own mechanical keyboard from scratch with a soldering gun, a cheap circuit board, and some elbow grease. If you don’t want to go that far, even just swapping out keycaps and switches on a premade board is fun and rewarding.

Tactile feedback

If you want to know each time you’ve pressed a key — not just because a letter shows up on the screen but because you feel it and you hear it — mechanical keyboards will make that happen. It’s a powerful way to feel more connected to your devices.


The responsive nature of a mechanical keyboard can provide a more comfortable typing experience than membrane keyboards. Some keyboards take it even further with adjustable wristpads, split layouts, and other ergonomic features.

Read more about the benefits of mechanical keyboards in Are Mechanical Keyboards Better? The 5 Biggest Benefits of Going Mech.

3 of the Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboards

HHKB Professional HYBRID Type-S

This quieter counterpart to the HHKB Pro HYBRID offers a no less satisfying typing experience, thanks to its thoughtful layout and beloved Topre silent switches. Your fingers, and your coworkers, will thank you.

SteelSeries APEX M750

The proprietary QX2 switches within the M750 create a remarkably low sound profile, even during demanding gaming sessions. Its floating key design doesn't sacrifice on tactility or style either.

Cherry G80-3000

Designed to meet the needs of professionals working in office environments, the G80-3000 looks the part with a solid, heavy body and lack of frills. It isn't flashy, but it feels great to type on.

Read more about quiet mechanical keyboards in 5 Quiet Mechanical Keyboards That Still Feel Amazing.

Did You Know? Official HHKB accessories give you new ways to enjoy your favorite keyboard. Click here to learn more.

3 Affordable Mechanical Keyboard Options for Under $75

Keychron C1

You can own a full-featured mechanical keyboard for less than the price of lunch and drinks thanks to the C1, the base model of which sells for just $39.

LTC Nimbleback

This $54.99 LTC Nimbleback uses a relatively uncommon 65% layout, slightly truncating the lower right side of the board to leave room for standalone arrow keys and some control keys.

Womier K61

You've seen customizable under key lighting, but what if your whole board could get in on the fun? The K61 makes a big impression for just $70.

Read more about affordable mechanical keyboards in 9 of the Best Mechanical Keyboards for Every Budget.

3 Great Options for Wireless Mechanical Keyboards

HHKB Professional HYBRID

The HHKB series began more than two decades ago, and the Pro HYBRID ;is a refined yet faithful take on those same fundamentals. Built-in Bluetooth support allows for easy connection with up to 4 devices.

Keychron K3

The Keychron K3 uses slimline mechanical switches for a stripped-down look, with each key sitting lower than a traditional mechanical keyboard. There's even a hot swappable option if you want to customize.

Logitech G915

If you’re looking for a roomier option, the 100% layout on the Logitech G915 means a full number pad, arrow keys, navigation cluster, and function keys, all with a stylish low-profile look.

Read more about wireless mechanical keyboards in Wireless Mechanical Keyboards Helping Enthusiasts Cut the Cord.

3 of the Best Mechanical Keyboards

Best for typing

If you're looking for unrivaled comfort, precision, and tactility in your typing, the HHKB Professional HYBRID Type-S checks all those boxes and then some. You can also choose the standard HYBRID if you prefer to go loud with your typing.

Best hot-swappable switches

Want to change up the sound and feel of your keyboard without needing to bust out the soldering gun? The KBDFans Tofu65 is a stylish hot-swappable board with an eminently DIY-friendly design.

Best split board

Split-design keyboards offer more customization options for ergonomically fitting into your workplace, and the Ergodox EZ even supports negative tilting via adjustable stands if you’re so inclined (or, declined, as it were).

Read more about the best mechanical keyboards in The 13 Best Mechanical Keyboards You Can Buy Right Now.

3 of the Loudest Mechanical Keyboards

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro

A favorite among enthusiasts, the MasterKeys' Cherry MX Blue switches conduct an exultant cacophony of clicks. Beyond the sound, it's a fully featured board with RGB lighting and anti-ghosting features.

Redragon K552

Keep your keystrokes clicky and your enemies begging for mercy with the Redragon K552 mechanical keyboard purpose-built for gaming.

Ducky One 2 Mini

The Ducky One 2 Mini may be one of the most popular loud keyboards out there, and for good reason: Its 60% layout saves space while laying out a great sounding board for a set of extra-clicky Kailh BOX White switches.

Read more about loud mechanical keyboards in The 7 Loudest Mechanical Keyboards on the Market.

Did You Know? The HHKB layout was first conceptualized in 1992 by University of Tokyo professor Eiiti Wada. Click here to learn more.

3 Vintage and Retro-Styled Boards To Look For

IBM Model M

Distinguished by the unique sound and tactile character of their buckling spring switches, IBM Model M boards are big, heavy, and — fortunately for collectors — built to last.

Azio Retro Classic

The Retro Classic is a modern board built on love for the classic typewriter experience, with round keycaps set atop a leather or wood surface, giving it an old-school yet minimalist look.

Fujitsu FKB4700

Much like the Model M and its buckling springs, collectors are drawn to the FKB4700 chiefly for its Fujitsu Peerless switches. Their idiosyncratic character and the board's overall build quality have kept it a favorite.

3 of the Best Mechanical Keyboards for Mac Users

HHKB Professional HYBRID Type-S

A single dip-switch setting is all that’s required to make the HHKB Professional HYBRID Type-S keyboard work perfectly with your Mac — and if you ever want to use the same board on a PC, you can just flip it right back.

ZSA Moonlander

The non-traditional split design of the Moonlander is great for those who like to “think different,” and its browser-based layout configurator makes it easy to tweak to perfection.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac

As the name implies, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac is a solid upgrade pick for using your Mac in a professional environment. The oversized volume knob and media controls prove it knows how to have fun, too.

Read more about mechanical keyboards for Mac in The 7 Best Mechanical Keyboards for Mac Users.

3 Mechanical Keyboard Retail Types To Check

Mechanical keyboard brands

Boutique sellers

Read more about mechanical keyboard retailers in 59 Places to Buy Mechanical Keyboards.

Top Mechanical Keyboard Communities


If you want to dive straight into conversations with keyboard fans from all over the world, check out:

YouTube channels

Prefer to sit back and take in new keyboards in video form? Check out these channels:


Reddit is a meta-community of its own, with several subsections dedicated to keyboards:

Read more about mechanical keyboard communities in The Top 5 Mechanical Keyboard Forums, YouTube Channels, and Subreddits.

Whether you're joining the cult of click or are a budding silent sensation, let us be the first to welcome you to the hobby.

Shop Happy Hacking Keyboard Now

Designed for those who type to live.

Shop Now