How to pick the best mechanical keyboard for you!

How to pick the best mechanical keyboard for you!

hey everybody hittin Dingman here from
PC world and I’m here to talk to you today about mechanical keyboards the
most thrilling subject imaginable you might know me from full nerd where we
put a bunch of keyboards in front of my face and had me identify them
blindfolded which I think makes me kind of qualified to talk about this first up
let’s talk about switches we have a lot of them here we have let’s see six
different keyboards in front of me six different switches that is far from the
total number of switches out there this is just a small selection we tried to
pull some of the most common switches and a couple of non cherry switches what
do I mean by that Cherry MX that is the common switch that you will see in most
mechanical keyboards especially gaming keyboards it’s a German company they go
way way back they had a patent on a specific kind of switch design switch
being the thing that actually registers the keystroke on your computer they had
a patent on a certain design called a stem it’s this little crosshair shaped
thing here that’s the stem design that they patented that patent ran out in a
mid-2000s and ever since then we’ve had lots and lots of knockoffs but proper
Cherokees are still one of the favorites among mechanical keyboard enthusiast
they’re durable they’re reliable they’ve made a name for themselves over the
years so you will find their switches in a lot of different keyboards they also
have a pretty broad range of types of switches so one of the most common for a
games especially even though it’s a fairly new switch see this is a red
switch what that means is it is a linear switch and what that means is when you
press it down the there’s the same amount of force from top to bottom so
it’s a very smooth feel great for games because you don’t have any like weird
surprises bounces back really fast Reds in particular a very light weight switch
so there’s not a lot of force required to put them down so that is your most
common gaming switch but Reds are not exactly what you want for typing most of
the time for that you would want more of a tactile switch and that’s the cherry
blue here probably these they’re loud so we in here pretty clicky keep your keep
your roommates annoyed all night just type type typing away but blues are
still my favorite as somebody who has type a lot this is what I would would
usually go for I have a lot of Cherry MX blue keyboard at home a little more
force required than the Reds also not quite as gaming oriented but the nice
thing about a blue is that clicky part is actually at what they call the
actuation point which is where the keystroke actually registers on the
computer and so you can actually register a keystroke by just going half
way down you’ll notice as I go down the click is actually right there and then
there’s a little bit more before you actually push the key all the way down
so when you get really good at typing on Cherry MX blues you can actually type
without ever bottoming out the keys very good for your wrists the the repetitive
stress injuries that most people get from typing a lot of it comes from
hitting the key all the way down to the bottom so on a blue you don’t have to do
that you oh yeah we’re like halfway down you never hear that hit the bottom of
course they’re then they’ve partnered with cherry they’re actually one of the
people that works with cherry the most these days they partner with cherry to
make the MX silver or speed switch these are pretty much the same as Reds but
even more lightweight still linear switch also the actuation point on these
is one point two millimeters so basically as soon as you press this key
down a little bit it registers that’s great if you’re trying to do game stuff
it can be pretty challenging if you’re trying to do any sort of typing you guys
I’ve had even if I just like rest my hands on the keyboard a head switch is
suddenly start firing off it is like having a hair trigger on a pistol very
very oh yeah now you’re now you’re typing so those are the main Cherry key
keys that we’re gonna cover there some more MX browns are another popular
tactile switch they’re a little quieter they have what’s called a tactile bump
so you feel the tactile feedback but there’s none of this like loud clicking
noise and then blacks or the other like fairly popular switch they were
heavier read basically they’ve actually kind of gone out of I mean I don’t know
if they were ever super popular but especially after Reds they’ve kind of
like fallen out of fashion but then there’s a bunch of knockoff switches we
just pulled this is a really old razor keyboard so apologies a razor for using
one of their old ugly keyboards but it does have a razor green switch you can
see pretty much the exact same design as the cherry switch has that same familiar
stem design right here yeah this is what happens when your patent runs out
razor takes your ear switch and turns it green razors got a couple others they
have an orange switch also I think they have a yellow switch that’s their third
and then your Logitech they just make their own switch they have what’s called
a Romer G will pull the Escape key off here you can see immediately a very
different look to the bottom of this this is the Logitech one versus this
stem switch here when we bring the keyboard over you can see it’s just a
big empty square in the middle so the nice thing about Romer G’s is LED is
actually centered on the key so you can see if you look at Logitech keyboard all
the lettering here right in the center that’s different from say this Cooper
keyboard you can see all the letters are shifted up to the top of the switch
that’s because on Cheri’s design because the way the stem sits in the middle the
the LED underneath has to be shifted up to the top and so you have this weird
like oh it’ll just push all of the the lettering on the keys up to the top with
Logitech they don’t have to do that however up until recently I was not a
big fan of the Romer G they pretty much only had an MX Brown spin-off the the
tactile bump I was talking about before but it was not great to type on it felt
really chunky I don’t know I just I actually compared to a rubber dome
keyboard which for those don’t know bottom two your keyboards that’s the one
that you find it like oh it’s the $20 for this keyboard this kind of feels
like that feels chintzy but they put out a new version recently that’s a linear
switch and then they actual put out a clicky switch after that both
of those I like a lot more we’re now recommending romaji keyboards which is
great because logitech’s RGB lighting usually some of the best in the industry
so yeah that’s a very quick primer on switches as I said typing I still
recommend the Cherry MX blue gaming probably a cherry Amex red or a speed
but honestly Razer switches have come a long way in the past couple of years we
actually this board that we have over here this is their new optical switch
which we won’t do a whole bunch of discussion about we have videos on the
site but that actually uses lasers also it’s very loud their switches have come
a long way in the last couple years they are a lot more durable and a lot more
reliable than it used to be rubber jeez as I said always a durable switch but
now they actually are pleasant to type on as long as you get the linear or the
clicky versions but yeah I’m still gonna stick with Cherry for the most part they
have the name they have a long long history all their keys always feel the
same I’ve used dozens and dozens cherry boards over the you know ensuing years
and every single one of them if I get a cherry MX blue keyboard I know how it’s
gonna feel every single time it’s a great switch so let’s talk design
because that’s obviously the other half of this you want something that looks
nice on your desk I assume maybe want something to looks
bad on your desk I don’t know you do you I’m a big fan of razors designs not so
much they’re all designs but they’re new ones got this beautiful lighting super
vibrant they’re pretty good with their accents too you can’t see it on this
right now because we haven’t lit up both of them but there’s actually a light
ribbon that runs around the outside edge of this if you’re in the heart you’d be
lighting raisers like top tier for me right around Corsair also the problem
with design is it’s all a matter of taste I’m a big fan of keyboards that
look like not gaming keyboards we take a look at this old razor keyboard it’s got
just this like horrible horrible gamy typeface it’s super blocky
the caps lock is spelled L K for some reason it’s got these like awful symbols
this is like every gaming keyboard between 2005 and like 2012 looked like
this garbage and it was a terrible time for all of us and
we’re glad to put it behind us or at least I am super glad to put it behind
us for the most part though most companies have moved over to this razor
style like hey we’re gonna make a really thin Apple style keyboard we’re gonna
blaze it with like a very pretty typeface try and keep all of our symbols
minimalist definitely into that look more but again that’s a hundred percent
year call I’m pretty sure that you can look at a keyboard and know whether you
actually like the way the keyboard looks however there are some things that we
can talk about in terms of higher end features lower or design traits that you
should be looking out for so for instance you’ll see here we have media
keys Coursera is probably the best when it comes to media keys still so you have
a full range of stop play pause back forward and then Coursera is great about
having volume rollers so you can roll it up you get the volume up you roll it
down the volume goes down they have this mute button over here super intuitive
very easy to use I would recommend any keyboard you buy has a volume roller
it’s absolutely my favorite design other things great to look out for a braided
fabric cable this is the you can see actually I think every keyboard on this
desk has a braided fabric cable it’s super durable it slides behind the the
desk a lot easier always would recommend it it feels more high-end
I’ve got a few keyboards still that come in with like a cheap rubber cheese cable
it just doesn’t feel as nice it doesn’t slide behind a monitor very easily
definitely would recommend this so wrist rests we have a couple of them here
Corsair has sort of this like wedge-shaped thing here not incredibly
high-end but it gets the job done you’ve got stuff like cougar here they
obviously take after Corsair in a lot of ways it’s just like a thin piece of
plastic but they do have this stepped wrist rest here which I kind of like so
if you’re gaming it actually makes this left one a more comfortable and be a
little bit higher you got some like this Logitech one this
is just fused into the bore itself this is a Logitech Slyke bottom budget to
your keyboards so it’s just like one big piece of plastic and this is becoming
more of a trend this is the one that pairs with this razor keyboard razors
doing this now Logitech is doing it with the g5 13 very plush wrist rest this
thing is I don’t know about half an inch of padding its foam inside it’s got this
nice leather right on top Razer has like this one which has this this edge on it
which I don’t really love logitech’s is just all edge to edge padding either way
super nice way nicer than the rest that used to come packed in obviously props
today razer logitech i think they’re really pushing this forward this is the
thing to look out for in the next couple years people putting more effort into
the pack and wrist rests other than that RGB lighting that’s the big one to look
out for not a whole lot of change in between
keyboards as i said most of them are using one of a couple of switches so if
you get a cherry keyboard it’s always gonna look like cherry lighting cherries
is good the only thing as i said is it’s all offset but that hasn’t stopped
Corsair from being like really great with their lighting the k95 is just
brilliant looking quite literally it has like a whole string of lights along the
top edge yeah other than that Razors is pretty good there’s as I said top tier
for accent lighting the top of the keyboard lighting is fine and then
Logitech that Romer G design is great for lighting it looks beautiful it
shines right through the center so you get a much more even light than
something like the cherry keyboards RGB lighting it’s kind of whatever you want
not huge differences either way I wouldn’t recommend going for like a
cheap bottom keyboard with no name brand on it
they usually are using knockoff keys and very bad lighting as long as you’re
buying from a reputable brand including this cougar as I said this is a hundred
bucks for full RGB lighting a pretty great deal actually a spectacular deal
up until recently a hundred and fifty dollars was like the bare minimum for
RGB lighting so which I guess brings us to price that’s the last consideration
when you’re looking for mechanical keyboard go as cheap as you
can and get the features that you want we’ve been heavily recommending this
cougar attack x3 RGB keyboard as I said it’s like $99 on Amazon all the time now
that’s for a full RGB keyboard that’s unheard of up until recently $150
minimum for an RGB keyboard most of the main manufacturers razor a Corsair
they’re selling you $170 for an RGB keyboard so $100 almost half the price
for a full RGB keyboard pretty amazing there are a couple more in that same
tier now fanatic streak that I mentioned earlier that’s a hundred and thirty I
think for a full RGB keyboard looks fantastic
but if you want to pony up the money for a nicer keyboard you can Logitech will
sell you 150 our keyboards Corsair I’ll sell you 150 our keyboards razor is
almost exclusively 150 to $170 keyboards these days and you can also skip out the
nice thing is if you don’t care about RGB lighting you can now get mechanical
keyboards for cheaper than they’ve ever been
I think razors entry-level Black Widow is around $70 that’s a full mechanical
keyboard but it just has no backlighting logitech we’ve been recommending the g6
10 for a long time that’s Cherokees it’s one of the only
Logitech keyboards it actually uses Cherokees still single color
backlighting so you’re not gonna get full RGB but I think those come in
around like seventy eighty dollars usually these days pretty cheap I
remember back when I was getting into this you know eight nine years ago
cheapest keyboards that you could find at a time we’re still like a hundred
dollars and that was for single color backlighting just a rubber cable a lot
of those were ten keyless meaning this number pad is not there that was the
cheapest you get at the time so seeing full cherry keyboards and stuff like
that for under $100 and like well under $100 pretty amazing it’s never been
easier to get into mechanical keyboards and I do recommend that you get into
mechanical keyboards especially as I said something like a cheerio makes blue
if you type a lot it’s really gonna save your wrist
over time I as somebody who uses a keyboard for like 1215 hours day at
times doing game reviews whenever typing for my job obviously yeah it’s been a
constant struggle against carpal tunnel repetitive stress injuries all of that
stuff I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have a mechanical keyboard I would have a lot
more problems than I already do this has saved me a lot of wrist stress over the
years definitely worth looking into if you are at an office whatever but yeah
that’s me keyboards in the shortest nutshell that I could do it is a huge
topic there’s a ton out there you’re looking to learn more I highly recommend
the mechanical keyboard subreddit otherwise yeah I think that we have a
ton of great reviews on the site I highly recommend checking them out we
have a great make a little keyboard primer where we recommend which
keyboards we think are best all about what your budget is and what you’re
looking for there’s a ton of options that’s the great thing about mechanical
keyboards I would recommend if you have a friend that has a mechanical keyboard
go to their place type on it a little bit if they have an x-ray up mechanical
keyboard I ask them to borrow it type on it for a week see how you feel I think
that you’re really gonna like mechanical keyboards it’s just a question of which
switch is right for you which design is right for you what stuff you actually
need do you need a volume roller I would say yes but you know some people might
disagree so we do try and inform you as best as we can through our reviews
they’re all up there on the site I am hinting man for PC world and I hope this
has been informative

28 thoughts to “How to pick the best mechanical keyboard for you!”

  1. I have experience with the old IBM Model M keyboards (the best for typing, no doubt about that) and with Cherry red/black, I don't have any experience with Cherry blue. You can type fast with Cherry red and I never have accidental keypresses while typing. Like with Cherry blue you don't have to bottom out the key, the only difference is that you don't get tactile feedback. The tactical feedback helps many people with typing, according to those people. But you do hear more sound.
    I recommend you guys to check out Tom's Hardware for more information on the switches:

    I don't need a volume-roller though I would like it, I just use a global hotkey for that (ctrl-alt-arrow).

  2. Can you do a review on Gigabyte's $40 mechanical keyboard with cherry mx red switches? It's called the Gigabyte – FORCE K83

  3. great review i like it. Anyways a $150 keyboard is way to expensive for some countries , for example in my country romania $150 is almost half of the salary for 1 month so most of people from low-tier countries needs to choose a lower price range keyboard . Only the rich persons can afford expensive stuff. RGB lights in a computer are not a must , just a fancy show off feature . I'm glad that im not a kid to wish so badly RGB effects even if im a fan of UFOs with RGB and aliens :).

  4. I've been using some cheaper Mechanical Keyboards (around the $40 to $50 mark, which are more affordable) from China with MX Blue clone switches and I have been very happy with the cheaper knock offs but the original Cherry MX is still the King 😉 if you have the cash..

  5. Oh Yea.. As an aside I just got my left wrist fixed surgically for Carpal tunnel and I'm gonna tell you it is THE WORST… They want to do it with a block while you are awake and because of the opioid "Crisis" they want to give you a couple aspirins and send you off… EFF THAT… MAKE THEM PUT YOU OUT AND IF YOU GET NO GOOD PAIN MEDS ,THEN DON"T EXPECT TO SLEEP THAT NIGHT… I'm getting my right done next week but I told them flat out that I could find a doctor who would be happy to take my money for the job… So yea even though my carpel tunnel didn't come from typing wrist rests are SERIOUSLY important…

  6. OH GOD The Pain from TYPING LOL… I wish I sat at an Air conditioned desk, Key Stroking all day.. LOl…

  7. Keyboards are so subjective it's imperative to get to test them out beforehand if you're willing to dole out over 100 euros for one. I've tried several mechanical keyboards and for some odd reason I just can't grok them and I'm still using a Rapoo E9270P since Logitech stopped making the ultra X premium. I can use something else for a while but to really get used to something different requires an effort. I never touch the windows keys or any extra buttons besides the original layout from the stone age. Wireless is a plus and the keyboard should be quiet. The old IBM one is for battling with a zombie horde.

  8. "This is like, every gaming keyboard between 2005 and 2012 look like this garbage."
    -Hayden Dingman

    Just brilliant, haha.

  9. So basically, brown are the quietest with feedback?

    guess that's me. I hope the new corsair low profile keyboard uses them, or similar.

  10. the problem with romer g switches are the cheap keycaps that logitech use, after 1 year playing with my keyboard the keycaps start falling from my keyboard, you can only replace them with the same keys from logitech, not other seller available, the price for the keycaps make me want to buy another keyboard instead of just the keycaps, i dont recommend this keyboards even when logitech have being nice quality until now.

  11. What kind of keyboard can do a macro or ghosting, over the num lock pads or all over the keyboard, are out there for gaming?

  12. It's so funny that we are talking about mechanical keyboards like they are sprinkled with magic fairy dust. These things have been out for decades. They probably are not built as well as they once were though.

  13. Does anyone know why some keyboards have back lighting that illuminates only the symbols and has no light bleeding around the keys? I find this much nicer compared to those that illuminate the area around the keys as well. The look is cleaner, more elegant, and less distracting.

    What I use now has back lighting that bleeds around the keys, though aside from that it is wonderful and great bang for the buck (the Redragon Varuna).

  14. I had a Corsair K70, looks great, worked great when it worked. Pity it started not working intermittently after 6mths, after 2.5yrs, it died completely and Corsair refused to repair it even when I offered to pay for the repair

  15. I tried various mechanical keyboards and so Far I have been greatly disappointed. I definitely love the Tactile switch feel so It has to be a Brown switch, but so far the Corsair K95, Cooler Master MK750, Fnatic MINIStreak, HyperXEliteRGB have all had some terrible rattling on the Spacebar (and other larger keys )which is just terrible. I know I know there are going to be those out there that say, "hey why don't you lube and/or clip the cherry stabilizers, etc." But you know what Sorry F' That Crap, if I'm spending all that money on a Keyboard, I shouldn't have to Take it apart right out of the Box and start cutting components or Lubing anything. That makes 0 sense and consumers should not be putting up with it.

    The only other Keyboard that felt good was the Logitech G513, but the issue with that one is that no one makes replacement keycaps in ABS or PBT. So once the Keycaps start looking like crap you are stuck.

    Thank goodness I found the Razer Elite Blackwidow (orange switch), man I tell you the Space bar (along with the other larger keys), Sound like F'en GOLD. They have a nice Solid Click/Thump with 0 rattles in them. So I did purchase that one, but I needed a 2nd keyboard for Work, and I really didn't want to have 2 of the same exact keyboard. Dont know why Razer can fix this problem, but all these other manufacturers can't fix this issue.

  16. speaks of romer g switch… a back lit membrane logitech keyboard ,romer g use another keycap style. with 4 hooks.

  17. Reliability-wise, the Razer Huntsman Elite is the father of all those keyboards there because of their opto-mechanical switches being immune to key chattering or misregistering found in traditional metal contact type switched keyboards.

    The future of switches is either opto-mechanical switches or hotswapable traditional switches.

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