We did extensive research and analysis of 80 existing 75% mechanical keyboards available today to arrive at only the 8 best and most popular options. We understand buying a mechanical keyboard in today’s market can be tricky and we are here to help you through the process.
What type of keycaps do I need? Do I need a wireless keyboard? What typing angle is best for me? These are all common questions when deciding on the best keyboard for you.
(Before you jump into our keyboard suggestions, check out our list of all the things you need to consider to help you answer the questions above before deciding on your next purchase.)
The YUNZII KC84 provides high quality keycaps with a detachable power cable for under $100. It also comes with impressive stabilizers, customizable RGB effects and a moderate price tag of $95, making it our pick for one of the best mechanical keyboards
Things to Consider
When buying a mechanical keyboard there are a lot of aspects to focus on. With the market availability and the wide array of features every mechanical keyboard has to offer, it can also make one wonder what they actually need. In a situation such as this, it’s important to understand what features are actually useful to you, and what might only be gimmicks.
It’s safe to assume that these compact mechanical keyboards are sought after largely for either typewriting or gaming. Fortunately, both of these tasks share similar characteristics. Features such as a kickstand, RGB lighting and other added things to the spec sheet may sound important, however, they’re not crucial. Among other things, the keycap material, keyboard backlighting and price should be your top priority. Once you’ve checked off the basics, you can get into your wants, which can be very subjective.
Here is a list of the 5 most essential features and elements to look for when buying a mechanical keyboard:
Not surprisingly, the first element to take into account when buying almost anything is the price. With the budget in mind, the search for the best mechanical keyboards can then start. The mechanical keyboards listed in the articles are all reasonably priced, ranging anywhere from $40 all the way to $130.
2. Build Quality
One of the more underrated factors in the “Keyboard Buying Checklist” is the build quality. When spending close to or over $100 on a keyboard, it needs to last.
The two most common construction materials for these keyboard casings are aluminum and plastic. The easiest to produce are the plastic casings, making them the more cost-effective option. Aluminum casings can keep the rigidity higher while adding a slight amount of weight. Less common casing materials include wood and acrylics; however those are usually custom ordered.
3. Wired or Wireless
Having a wired mechanical keyboard has both advantages and disadvantages; the same can be said for wireless mechanical keyboards. Wireless keyboards can be more convenient and be used from up to 30 feet away from your computer. Wireless keyboards also provide a clean aesthetic, free of cables. However, when looking at input lag or battery restrictions, the wired keyboards take the lead.
There are three main types of switches when it comes to mechanical keyboards. These include tactile ones, linear ones and clicky ones.
Each type of response has a different feel and personal preferences may differ. Tactile switches need to be pressed only halfway down to activate the key, whereas a linear switch needs a full press. As an example, people that need to speed type or accurately type prefer the touch of a more tactile switch for added responsiveness. Whereas, when it comes to gaming keyboards, the best choice of switches is linear due to their smoothness and consistency.
5. Key Caps
Many mechanical keyboards usually come preinstalled with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) key caps. ABS tends to be cheaper and used in more inexpensive mechanical keyboards. A more durable and slightly pricier material is polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
The Best 75% Mechanical Keyboards
The YUNZII KC84 provides high quality keycaps with a detachable power cable for under $100. It also comes with impressive stabilizers, customizable RGB effects and a moderate price tag of $95, making it our pick for one of the best mechanical keyboards.
Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro
- Designed for Mac users
- Apple design aesthetic
- Sturdy plastic casing
- 3 USB ports for maximum connectivity
The Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro is the perfect option for Mac users. This mechanical keyboard exists in a league of its own, meaning the factors that differentiate the Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro may differ from the usual ones on the list.
To start off with, the Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro has impressive build quality. Even though the casing is plastic, the design is timeless. The mechanical keyboard is also extremely compact, making it ideal for travel. The Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro comes with Mac friendly function keys that let you control the brightness, volume, controls on iTunes and more.
The keys are laser etched, which means that the symbols are burned into the keys so they will never wear off. The keycaps are also sculpted, giving them a flat and white look with very little spacing. The Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro also gives you 3 USB ports for maximum connectivity.
The Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro is a wired keyboard, therefore this might not be the ideal option for those looking for a clutter-free desk. Overall, the Matias FK303 Mini Tactile Pro comes in at $119 and it’s the perfect mechanical keyboard for Mac users.
EPOMAKER AKKO 3084 9009
- Unique retro design
- PBT Keycaps
- USB-C connector
- Cherry MX switches
The EPOMAKER AKKO 3084 9009 is the perfect mechanical keyboard for those that love a little retro touch in their modern gadgets and accessories. The 75% layout makes this compact and the ideal office and gaming keyboard alike. The housing is made from plastic; however, it doesn’t take away from its solid look.
The keycaps on this mechanical keyboard are PBT which are made using a dye sublimation process to further increase their lifespan. The color combinations of the keycaps are inspired by a classic retro look. The keyboard comes with a USB-C connector for added convenience for Mac users.
The EPOMAKER AKKO 3084 9009 adopts 100% origin Cherry MX switches. This is to achieve a fast response. The EPOMAKER AKKO 3084 9009 provides these keyboard features along with a unique retro design for a price tag of $105.
EPOMKER AKKO 3084
- Extremely compact design
- PBT Keycaps
- Wireless Connectivity
- Dedicated power switch to conserve battery life
The AKKO 3084 comes with a unique, compact layout due to very little partition between the individual keys. The right shift key is also non-standard, making the overall keyboard very compact without sacrificing functionality.
The build quality of the AKKO 3084 is satisfactory. The case is made from plastic molded at a certain incline to make typing easier. While the AKKO 3084 is a wireless mechanical keyboard, it still uses Bluetooth 3.0 which is an older Bluetooth technology, not offering features such as low latency, further range, and power saving capabilities. The AKKO 3084 can, however, connect to 3 devices simultaneously. The AKKO 3084 also comes with a detachable USB-C to USB-A cable.
When talking about switches, this mechanical keyboard comes with standard Carry MX switches, which can be adequate for average typing or gaming needs. These switches offer a medium level of tactile feel. The keycaps on the AKKO 3084 are not very exciting. They offer no backlighting. However, the keycaps are 85% PBT with a medium thickness. The keycaps also have multiple styles and themes to pick from.
The AKKO 3084 is indeed a great product that offers all the features listed above in a wireless form for only $105.
- Backlighting with RGBs
- Multi-colored, PBT keycaps
- Hot-swappable keys
- Kickstand for soft-typing angle
Probably the best all-rounder, in terms of our suggested criteria, is the YUNZII KC84. This keyboard checks all the boxes, with minimal complaints. Features like RGB lighting, high-quality keycaps, and hot-swappable sockets truly allow full customization.
Starting with the build quality, the YUNZII KC84 has a plastic frame and the keyboard is angled at a soft-typing angle. The back of the keyboard also comes with a kickstand offering a greater angle if needed, overall the build quality and design are good enough for it to get by, especially at the price.
The keycaps are where the YUNZII KC84 starts to shine. It offers different colors that work well with each other and the overall design is minimal and clean. Furthermore, the YUNZII KC84 comes with multi-colored PBT keycaps. The YUNZII KC84 comes with hot-swappable 5-pin sockets. These are the most versatile switches, allowing a lot of customization.
The YUNZII KC84 is a wired mechanical keyboard, so depending on your preference this may be a pro or a con. The YUNZII KC84 packs all of these features, all with a price tag of $95.
- Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity
- Top-notch build quality
- Wireless connectivity
- Unique and recognizable design
First in this category is perhaps the most well-known mechanical keyboard out there. The Keychron K2 carries a unique and recognizable design with an ergonomically pleasing typing angle.
The Keychron K2 wins in the build quality department. You can pick one up with an aluminum frame, making it sturdy and pleasing to look at. The Keychron K2 comes with basic ABS plastic keycaps, but PBT caps can also be added on request. Even though most ABS keycaps tend to feel cheap, the ones on the Keychron K2 have a smooth feel. When it comes to the switches, the Keychron K2 does not have hot-swappable switches which means you have to stick to what the keyboard comes with.
The Keychron K2 comes with an incredible Bluetooth 5.1 connection and can connect to up to 3 devices. These features make it a winner in the wireless department. You can also use the Keychron K2 wired. With all these features, the Keychron K2 comes in at $81.
RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84
- Wireless capabilities
- Sturdy and rigid design
- Hot-swappable keys
- TTC switches
The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84 is based on an elegant, simple and minimal design. This can be one of the best mechanical keyboards for those with an eye for clutter-free aesthetics, especially because this keyboard comes with wireless capabilities. The keyboard is made from plastic, however, it’s not a striking factor of the keyboard’s overall look. Unfortunately, the RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84 does not have a kickstand, leaving you to type on a rather flat surface.
The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84 comes with ABS plastic keycaps. Even though they look pleasing when new, ABS does have the tendency to wear off with time. The keycaps are white colored and the legends can be seen through the backlighting.
Unlike many other budget keyboards that give you Outemu or Gateron switches, the RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84 actually comes with TTC. TTC tends to be more consistent and cleaner.
The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84 comes with wireless capabilities and you can connect the keyboard to up to 5 devices. That is usually unheard of, especially in this price range. However, if you work with full RGBs turned on, you can expect less than phenomenal battery life. Overall, the RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK84 provides incredible features with wireless connection all wrapped up for $80.
- Double-shot ABS Switches
- Minimal board flexing
- 5-foot long attached cable
- Reasonably Priced
Next up in the list, is the DREVO Gramr. The DREVO Gramr provides a reliable typing experience, good build quality, and the entire package is made in an extremely eco-friendly manner, all for under $60.
The DREVO Gramr comes with relatively heavy Outemu Black switches, which may not appeal to all kinds of mechanical keyboard users. The linear switches here also neither carry tactile feedback, nor audible feedback. The entire key press is smooth. This might not be the best mechanical gaming keyboard, as the mechanical switches can prove to be tiring during extensive use such as long gaming sessions. However, despite the heavy switches, the DREVO Gramr still manages to provide a smooth typing experience. It all comes down to personal preference.
The DREVO Gramr comes with ABS keycaps, which can be expected considering its price tag. However, the keycaps are double-shot which takes away the worry of characters fading away with time. In terms of build quality, the DREVO Gramr is made from plastic on both the upper and lower shell. The DREVO Gramr has essential flexing. Overall, considering the price, the DREVO Gramr feels solid in the hand.
The DREVO Gramr also comes with a hardwired cable, which means it can’t be detached or replaced. It is, however, over 5 feet long, providing ample distance around the desk. The DREVO Gramr sells for an extremely affordable $60 on Amazon.
Smart Duck XS-84
- Backlighting with RGBs
- Double-shot keys
- Anti-glossed legend for better focus
- Reasonably priced
The most budget-friendly option on the list, the Smart Duck XS-84 offers a compact mechanical keyboard with backlighting and RGBs. The keyboard build quality is satisfactory, using plastic to build the casing.
The keys are backlit with RGB coloring and the double shot legends are illuminated using the backlighting. The legends are also anti-glossed, which ensures less distractions during your gameplay or work. The keycaps are replaceable and come with a keycap puller. The Smart Duck XS-84 also comes with a USB-C type connector so it’s future-proofed and again, works without a hassle for Mac users.
In terms of connectivity, the Smart Duck XS-84 comes with a wired connection which may make it an ideal mechanical gaming keyboard as you won’t skip a beat due to low battery, however anyone wanting a clutter-free desk might have to look elsewhere. The Smart Duck XS-84 also comes with a kickstand, which allows an inclination and makes it easy to work on. Considering all the included features, the Smart Duck XS-84 is one of the best mechanical keyboards for only $46.
From office to gaming keyboards, the devices listed above are some of the most capable and popular on the 75% mechanical keyboard market. Their unique place in the market as space-friendly, yet fully operational substitutes to normal mechanical keyboards make them a valuable addition to the keyboard market.
Their tactility that improves typing accuracy and the custom themes that many of these mechanical keyboards allow are further reasons why people prefer them. Typing and gaming enthusiasts have indeed opened up a new segment in the keyboard industry.
We hope this list has given you a thorough understanding of the market and what’s available. Whether it’s a gift for someone for the holidays or a personal treat, you can’t go wrong with these 75% mechanical keyboards.
Key Cap Material
Hot-swappable Gateron Switch
Hot-swappable Gateron Switch