Looking for cheap mechanical keyboards to buy but don’t really know how to go about it? Not sure which to buy? This guide is for you.
Mechanical keyboards have been around for decades. However, they have become a significant, ergonomic upgrade from the standard, mass-produced membrane keyboards usually shipped with most desktops. These everyday keyboards are not durable or comfortable when used extensively.
They also lack several features that you can only find in mechanical keyboards such as software suites that allow users to reprogram RGB lighting and keys, and so on. Mechanical keyboards may be expensive, but they offer superior typing and gaming experience thanks to their tactile and clicky switches under every key. Needless to say, they are more appealing to typists and gamers.
If you are looking to boost your stats in the office and after working hours with a game, you need to get one of these budget gaming keyboards. But looking for cheap mechanical keyboards can be a daunting task because most of these devices are usually expensive.
Mechanical keyboard vs Ordinary Keyboard for Gaming
Mechanical keyboards use physical, mechanical switches positioned under each key to record every keystroke that you make. You trigger this physical switch when you press the key right before it bounces back swiftly to restore it to its original position. They typically outlast their counterparts by several years.
On the other hand, an ordinary keyboard employs a rubber membrane and dome to give room for both the depression and the recording of the key. This is the type of keyboard commonly seen and used because they are usually produced in mass. They are also incredibly cheap to produce.
In retrospect, to keep up with the type of advanced games being developed these days, mechanical keyboards are the best options to go with.
The Best Cheap Gaming Keyboards to Buy Now
If you have been searching for budget gaming keyboards, you are in the right place. Here is a list of the cheapest mechanical keyboards today:
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1. Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This is one of the best budget gaming keyboards in the market today. It works perfectly for both typing and gaming. It comes with custom switches that are equivalents of Cherry Red, thus ensuring an extensive lifespan.
The Redragon K552 may be small but is equipped with double-shot injection molded keycaps. These are designed so that proper red backlighting is experienced, thus ensuring users don’t miss any keypress. The foundation of the keys features a metallic plate, and its aircraft-grade aluminum makes it a highly durable product.
Anti-ghosting keys, ten multimedia keys, and space-saving capacity make the Redragon K552 gaming keyboard a highly convenient product.
- The durable keys are set on a metal base plate
- Comes with 12 multimedia keys
- Its small profile makes it perfect for crowded desks
- Red backlighting is uniform due to its double-shot injection molded keycaps
- Keycaps are removable for cleaning
- This product doesn’t come with macro keys.
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2. Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Redragon K551gaming keyboard features a non-slip surface along with curved keys within an impressive ergonomic layout. Each key, attached to an aluminum plate backed by custom-designed switches, is backlit by a dedicated red LED. These keys offer little resistance but emit satisfactory click sounds when pressed.
The Redragon K551 mechanical gaming keyboard is equipped with an N-Key rollover that ensures accurate registration of each keypress. It doesn’t even matter how many keys you depress simultaneously. This keyboard also offers secondary media functionality within the F-keys when you press the function button.
This keyboard provides satisfying user experience and is very affordable.
- Compact keyboard with complete or full number pad
- Ergonomic design
- It is equipped with custom switches that give satisfying clicking sounds and medium resistance.
- Has only one color of the LED.
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3. PICTEL TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The PICTEL TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is another budget-friendly, plug-and-play compact product designed for superior performance.
The keys themselves showcase ergonomic structures while each key glows when backlit with individual lights. The keyboard doesn’t offer a full N-key rollover; however, the product is designed with ghosting in mind and wired to prevent conflicts between keys.
It comes with 27 built-in lighting modes along with illuminated control schemes that work seamlessly with games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and so on. Twelve multimedia keys are presented for one-touch control of volume, music, and even music.
- Has 27 lighting presets and a distinct rainbow LED design
- Keys are durable and highly responsive
- Available at a great price
- Available in only one color scheme.
- Number pad, not included.
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4. Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This product is also one of the cheap mechanical keyboards on this list with a 10 Keyless model and wireless functionality. Its wireless feature enables users to move from one desk to the other without any encumbrance.
The Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard innovatively connects wirelessly through a 2.4GHz band with a 1ms response time. It functions flawlessly, and its Cherry MX Red switches enhance the user experience, thanks to its superfast actuation force.
- Comes with Cherry MX Red switches for rapid actuation
- Has CUE software that permits the creation of macros
- Comes with compact 10 keyless design
- Equipped with wide Bluetooth range for versatile gaming
- 1ms 2.4GHz fast wireless connectivity
- Palm rest clips may feel somewhat flimsy.
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5. Logitech G610 Orion Red Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This full-size keyboard is more oriented towards gaming than other activities. The Cherry MX Red switches make it comfortable and smooth to use. Keying in commands is effortless and quick, while its lack of clicks enhances user experience.
The Logitech CG10 Orion allows users to create macros via the function keys for gaming purposes. It also features media keys while a gaming mode key disables the Windows key. Users love the intuitive white LED backlight, though they can change the brightness and color effects of each key.
- It comes with dedicated media controls
- Keys are highly durable, up to fifty million keystrokes
- Equipped with Cherry MX Red switches for efficient and fast key presses
- Customizable white LED backlighting
- This product offers a distinct creation of using function keys
- It has a single-color LED display.
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6. Eagletec KG011 Mechanical Keyboard Clicky Blue Switch
The EagleTEC KG011 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is designed to withstand a lot of physical abuse. Its aircraft-grade aluminum body and sturdy ABS base plate ensure durability. Its keycaps offer double-shot injection molding that uniformly displays the backlight while preventing the letters from fading.
The EagleTEC KG011 mechanical keyboard is highly comfortable for general typing, thanks to its custom blue switches. The tactile feedback is commendable along with audible clicks when the key actuates. All the 104 keys on this keyboard are fully anti-ghosting. It can also withstand liquid spills long enough for you to clean.
- Features ABS construction using top-quality, aircraft-grade aluminum
- Equipped with blue LED backlighting with custom and precise switches
- Arrow keys and WASD are interchangeable
- The keyboard is highly durable enough to withstand spills long enough to be cleaned
- Not customizable for gaming activities.
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7. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro – Tenkeyless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is a high-performing, keyboard that employs a mini-USB cable in order to connect to your PC. This cord comes with the product and does an excellent job. However, experts highly recommend that you swap it for a much longer cord if necessary.
This keyboard features an exposed frame made of steel and utilizes Cherry MX Red switches. It comes with dynamic lighting effects, and 6 lighting presets, thereby giving the product an impressive look.
The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is only 14 inches wide, making it perfect for saving a lot of space.
- Comes with 6 lighting presets
- Portable and compact design
- Equipped with detachable mini-USB cable
- Optimized for use with FPS (first-person shooter) games
- Perfect choice for gaming tournaments and LAN parties.
- Doesn’t come with a number pad.
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8. Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard
Ornata Chroma from Razer is one of the budget gaming keyboards that use a ‘High-Performance Mecha-Membrane,’ a unique type of switch. The keys provide tactile and satisfying feedback while providing a soft cushion when depressed.
The product showcases individually backlit keys that synchronize with popular games for a completely immersive experience. The keyboard also permits support for programmable macros. This allows you to set a combination of keys or any key to perform any commands you want.
This keyboard is highly comfortable for long sessions of gaming, emailing, chatting, or typing. It comes with a convenient wrist-rest, which is also easy to attach or detach from the unit.
- Equipped with comfortable wrist-rest component
- Comes with backlit keys that synchronize automatically with multiple games
- Powered with a high-performance ‘Mecha-Membrane’ switch with a soft feel and satisfying clicks.
- One of the most expensive units on this list.
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Buying Advice: Your Guide to Buying the Best Gaming Keyboard That Suits You
Gamers and computer enthusiasts love mechanical keyboards. However, even though they make great and impressive additions to PCs, most don’t come cheap.
Mechanical keyboard manufacturers always add more features each time they churn out these products. To find a mechanical keyboard that provides the most value without costing you an arm and a leg, you need to look at the features that matter to you.
What to Look for When Buying Cheap Mechanical Keyboards
Any computer user currently using a cheap mechanical keyboard will most likely never switch to any other type of keyboard. And it is easy to see why: mechanical keyboards are not only satisfying to use but also offer excellent user experience. Moreover, most mechanical keyboards are highly durable, and there will be no need for a replacement anytime soon.
All the cheap gaming keyboards highlighted here are responsive. But you need to know what to look out for when searching for the cheapest mechanical keyboard on the market today:
Mechanical Keyboard Size
Two main sizes exist, and it is vital to know them so that you can make an informed decision:
1. Full-size Mechanical Keyboard: This is the keyboard that is commonly seen in an office setting. If you have ever worked on a computer before, this is the type of keyboard you use. Full-size keyboards come with every key that a regular user needs and a number pad on the right for performing calculations.
This type of mechanical keyboard has one or two downsides, though. They are usually very large and take up a lot of space. You may feel a bit cramped if you use this keyboard on small desk space. They also cost a bit more and may not fit too well in the list of the cheapest mechanical keyboard you can find.
2. Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard: This type of keyboard offers the same functionality of a full-size mechanical keyboard. The only difference is that the number pad section has been practically chopped off.
The non-inclusion of the number pad makes this mechanical keyboard smaller. This makes for efficient use of space in a small office setting.
Several other sizes of keyboards exist, such as 75 percent-, 65 percent- as well as 40 percent-sized mechanical keyboards. However, only hardcore enthusiasts who are deep into gaming or programming activities prefer customized options and use them.
2. Switch Type
What defines a particular mechanical keyboard is the key switch it uses. Different mechanical keyboards use different switches.
Arguably, the leading keyboard switch that is loved and respected by nerds is the Cherry MX Brand. This switch is further subdivided into Black, Blue, Brown, and Red type switches. The noisiest, most ‘clicky’ switches are the Blues while the Reds are practically soundless. The latter also has a negligible actuation force. There is no resistance on the keys when you depress them. Cherry MX Red switches are excellent for gaming, while Cherry MX Blue switches are perfect for typists and productivity.
But in recent years, Cherry MX patents have expired, giving room for other manufacturers to modify or emulate them to meet their production requirements. Here are the main Cherry MX switches:
- Cherry Linear Switches
- Cherry Tactile Switches
- Cherry MX Brown
- Cherry MX Blue
- Cherry MX Red
- Cherry MX Speed
When you depress several keys on the cheapest mechanical keyboards on the market, some may not register. Gaming enthusiasts usually define this deficiency as ‘ghosting.’
If you are a gamer, then you will appreciate what anti-ghosting keys can do for you.
4. Number Pad
A number pad, which is usually positioned on the right side of the keyboard, is essential for you if you intend to use your computer both for gaming as well as for work. Some individuals prefer cheap mechanical keyboards without number pads in order to save desk space. Such keypads are usually known as 10 keyless keyboards.
Some mechanical keyboards come with extra features such as OLED displays, removable cords, etc. that readily display information during play.
Check out the durability of the cheap mechanical keyboard you are interested in. Most of the cheap gaming keyboards on this list have undergone extreme laboratory testing to handle millions of clicks.
You should consider the design of a mechanical keyboard. This is because they enhance the look of your battle station. If you love style features such as programmable color-changing lighting, you may not be bothered to shell out a few more dollars.
8. Media Controls
Some users prefer keyboards with controls that can adjust their computer’s volume, fast rewind, fast forward, and other media controls. The majority of cheap gaming keyboards have secondary media features that can be utilized by depressing the function key in combination with another key. However, a handle of these keyboards come with dedicated buttons for custom medial control.
If you intend to use your mechanical keyboard every day, then you must consider your hands. No one likes getting fatigued hands at the end of the day. This is why you need a keyboard with a comfortable wrist-rest.
Go for any of the cheapest gaming keyboards outlined here with the right key height and ergonomics. You may also purchase a separate wrist-rest if your preferred keyboard doesn’t already include one.
Cheap Gaming Keyboard FAQ
Are expensive keyboards worth it?
Most gamers love having top-notch specifications on all their devices. Gaming keyboards are typically PS/2 connected. This means that they are interrupt-driven, forcing the PC to quickly process the character now without incurring any delay as it waits for a USB device to be interrogated.
Expensive keyboards give impressive tactile responses when the keys are pressed. High-end typists adore these types of keyboards as it hardly slows the system down. These keyboards usually have unique features such as macro-capability, backlighting, and wank features. So, yes, expensive keywords are worth it.
How long do mechanical keyboards last?
Mechanical keyboards are known for having a significantly longer life span. The majority of mechanical switches have been tested for 30-70 million key presses. This means that mechanical keyboards can last from 10 to 15 years, depending on the type of mechanical keyboard you have and daily usage.
Is mechanical better than membrane?
It depends on the user. No one keyboard is for everyone. If you are on a budget and do not care about your keyboard’s performance, a membrane keyboard would be perfect for you.
However, if you are a heavy user of keyboards, always busy typing out stories, articles, coding, etc. a mechanical keyboard would be an excellent choice. Gamers love mechanical keyboards because of their quickness. The keys of membrane keyboards wear out fast, making mechanical keyboards a better option.
What’s so special about mechanical keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards typically feel different from regular or ordinary keyboards. This is because they provide a more tactile response than average keyboards. They are also designed to last longer, thanks to their high-durability switches. Some mechanical switches have been tested for up to about 50 million presses.
Most mechanical keyboards are heavy, making it the best choice for those who don’t like their keyboards sliding around. This means that they may not be designed for portability, but the weight and rubber contact pads on the bottom to secure it.
And finally, mechanical keyboards make users type differently, with audible clicks right at the point where each key is actuated.
You do not have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a mechanical keyboard. The cheap mechanical keyboards presented here are highly reliable for gaming and typing.
Getting the right keyboard will significantly improve your gaming performance and typing speeds. So, go through the reviews and get the one that suits you right away.