To determine whether your keyboard is mechanical or membrane, you can look for several key characteristics:
- Key feel: One of the easiest ways to differentiate a mechanical keyboard from a membrane one is by how the keys feel when you press them. Mechanical keyboards provide a distinct tactile feedback and a satisfying "click" sound, making it evident that each key press has registered. On the other hand, membrane keyboards usually have a softer and quieter key press, with no tactile feedback.
- Key depth: Mechanical keyboards typically offer a deeper key press depth. When you press a key, it travels a greater distance before registering the key press, resulting in a more responsive and pronounced feel compared to membrane keyboards that have shorter key travel.
- Key lifespan: Mechanical keyboards have a significantly longer lifespan compared to membrane keyboards. Mechanical switches are designed to withstand constant heavy typing, typically rated for millions of key presses, making them more durable and reliable compared to the rubber dome switches used in membrane keyboards.
- Customizability: Mechanical keyboards often provide more customization options. They allow users to replace individual keycaps with different colors, shapes, or materials, giving them the ability to personalize their keyboard. Membrane keyboards typically come with fixed, non-removable keycaps.
- Price: Mechanical keyboards are generally more expensive than membrane keyboards due to the use of more sophisticated switches and higher build quality. If you paid a premium price for your keyboard, there's a higher chance it is a mechanical one.
While these characteristics can provide a good indication, it's worth noting that some keyboards, especially those marketed as "membrane" keyboards, may mimic the look and feel of mechanical switches. In such cases, consulting the product specifications or manufacturer's website can help confirm the keyboard type.
Best Mechanical Keyboard of 2023
Rating is 5 out of 5
Logitech K845 Mechanical Illuminated Keyboard, Strong Adjustable Tilt Legs, Full Size, Aluminum Top Case, 104 Keys, USB Corded, Windows (TTC Brown Switches)
- An adjustable 4-8 degree tilt and slim front lets you type at a comfortable angle.
- Choose between Red, Blue, or Brown switches for the right level of sound and tactile key feedback.
- White backlighting in 5 patterns lets you be productive your way — even in the dark.
- A modern and durable aluminum design gives you all the mechanics of a gaming keyboard in a sleek premium package that lasts
- A full-size keyboard featuring a number pad and FN keys — all in a surprisingly compact footprint.
Rating is 4.9 out of 5
Logitech G413 TKL SE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Compact Backlit Keyboard with Tactile Mechanical Switches, Anti-Ghosting, Compatible with Windows, macOS - Black Aluminum
- Take your gaming skills to the next level: The Logitech G413 TKL SE is a tenkeyless keyboard with gaming-first features and the durability and performance necessary to compete
- PBT keycaps: Heat- and wear-resistant, this computer gaming keyboard features the most durable material used in keycap design
- Tactile mechanical switches: Uncompromising performance is always within reach with this wired gaming keyboard
- Premium color, material and finish: Elevate your gaming setup with this backlit keyboard featuring a sleek, black-brushed aluminum top case and white LED lighting
- 6-Key rollover anti-ghosting performance: Experience reliable key input with this anti-ghosting keyboard versus non-gaming mechanical keyboards
- FN key media controls: Twelve (12) function (FN) keys let you control volume, play and pause, skip track, mute, toggle lighting, enter Windows lock, etc
Rating is 4.8 out of 5
RisoPhy Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, RGB 104 Keys Ultra-Slim LED Backlit USB Wired Keyboard with Blue Switch, Durable ABS Keycaps/Anti-Ghosting/Spill-Resistant for PC Mac Xbox Gamer
- 【Mechanical Keyboard: Responsive BLue Switches】RisoPhy PC keyboard features clicky keys which offer you higher accuracy and quicker response with an enjoyable click sound when typing.This keyboard is more comfortable to type on since it features deeper key travel,greater feedback,and more space between keys.For those who prefer keyboards with a more tactile and "clicky" feel,our keyboard with BLUE switches is a nice choice.
- 【Rainbow Backlit Keyboard: illuminate Your Desktop】With 9 different backlights,5 levels of light speed and brightness,this computer keyboard enriches your gaming experience and improves your mood greatly,which is a great addition to your desktop,especially in the dark.Plus,the ultra-durable double injection ABS engineered keycaps provide crystal clear uniform backlight and greatly improve your typing accuracy at night.
- 【High-end 104 Keys Full-Size Keyboard】The Win lock function frees your worry about mistyping when gaming(Fn+Win).Keycaps are pluggable and easy to clean,saving you much unnecessary trouble.We designed 4 hydrophobic holes for this keyboard,allowing water to flow away quickly to prevent damage to the keyboard.No longer afraid of accidents.(✦Include a keycaps puller for cleaning or other needs.)
- 【Advanced Ergonomic Comfort】This PC gamer Keyboard adopts a scientific stair-up keycap design that keeps your arms in the most natural state to minimize hand fatigue for long time use.In order to improve your posture and make you more comfortable during use,the wired keyboard comes with 2 strong foldable rear kickstands to slope it.Moreover,the keyboard is non-slip enough because there are 4 rubber padding underneath the keyboard.
Rating is 4.7 out of 5
RK6 Pro Wireless Custom Mechanical PC Gaming Keyboard,2.4G/Bluetooth/USB-C,Via Hot Swap RGB Backlit,Suspended Keycap,4000mAh,Anti-ghosting,12 Multimedia Keys for FPS,MOBA,RPG,LOL,PUBG(Orange/Linear)
- ⌨【Compact 96% 100 keys Layout】K6 Full Size Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with 100 keys Layout is fantastic for gamers, typists and office workers,featuring independent arrow keys and number keys, with all keys anti-ghosting,ultimate gaming experience for you.This custom keyboard has 1 USB and provides a Type C to USB data cable for data transfer.Durable and high-quality TPU materials for long-lasting performance.Universal compatibility with most USB Type-C devices.
- 💻【Tri-Mode BT5.0+Wired+2.4GHz】K6 provides a variety of connection methods, including Fn+4 2.4G wireless mode, Fn+1/2/3 Bluetooth 5.0 and Fn+5 USB C wired mode( Support USB2.0--Transfer speed 60MB/s,1000Hz report rate).It can connect to up to five devices,Long press Fn+1-5 to pair with devices & short press to switch between them easily,suitable for home, office, outdoor and casual games.
- ▶【Hot Swappable Linear Switch】Smooth and quiet operation with minimal actuation force for fatigue-free typing and gaming.Durable 50 million keystrokes lifespan and 2mm actuation point, providing accuracy and faster response.Ideal for those who prefer a more linear and silent switch.Support 99% 3-pin socket, hot-swap, DIY various switches like Akko /Glorious Panda Switch/Epomaker/ Kailh Cream/ Gateron switch.
- 🎁 【Ergonomics & Replaceable Keycaps】 Classic High-quality Double Shot ABS material for superior durability and long-lasting usage.Ergonomic 3 adjustable supporting angles for maximum relief of hand fatigue.Resistant to wear, fading, and oil build-up,ensuring longevity and easier maintenance.Multi-color design and replaceable, you can replace keycaps according to preference like RK/ XDK/ VXV/ Hyekit XDA profile keycaps.
Rating is 4.6 out of 5
Redragon Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Wired Mechanical Keyboard with RGB Backlit, 94 Keys, Programmable Macro Editing, Numeric Pad, Red Switches, Compact Keyboard Mechanical for Pc Mac Ipad, K636CLO
- Programmable Macros Expand your options to design your own keys, light effects and macro, the macros with different keybindings or shortcuts combine multiple keys function in one key for more efficient work and gaming
- 【Programmable Macros】Expand your options to design your own keys, light effects and macro, the macros with different keybindings or shortcuts combine multiple keys function in one key for more efficient work and gaming
Rating is 4.5 out of 5
MageGee Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, 104 Keys White Backlit Keyboard with Brown Switches, USB Wired Mechanical Computer Keyboard for Laptop, Desktop, PC Gamers (Black & White)
- WHITE BACKLIT GAMING KEYBOARD: MageGee gaming keyboard is designed with single white lighting effect, 20 different backlit modes, 5 backlight brightness levels and 5 backlit speed, creating a cool and colorful game atmosphere to enhance the excitement of the game. The backlight can be easily turned off. NOTE: THE WHITE & PINK / WHITE & BLUE KEYBOARDS COME WITH AN EXTRA SET OF KEYCAPS IN THE NEGATIVE COLOR SCHEME. THE BLACK & GRAY / GRAY & BLACK / BLACK & WHITE KEYBOARDS COME WITH 16 KEYCAPS.
- MECHANICAL BROWN SWITCHES: Brown switch is somewhere in between the blue and red switches, with good tactile feedback and a slight click. It is responsive and feels a little heavier than the red switch, especially suitable for fans of entry-level mechanical keyboards. Floating keys design, easy to clean the dust.
- DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: The mechanical keyboard adopts premium metal panel construction to make it stable. Ergonomic key layout fits your fingers perfectly and reduces typing fatigue. Two-step keyboard feet allow you to set your keyboard up at 3 different tilt angles. No driver needed, just plug and play.
- ANTI GHOSTING KEYBOARD: All keys have individual switches with full n-key rollover, which provides faster response and better keystroke feeling. 104 mechanical keys are conflict free, allowing you to press or hold multiple keys simultaneously. 12 multimedia combination keys on the top of the keyboard (FN+ F1~F12) offer quick operations, great for gaming and office.
- WIDE COMPATIBILITY: The USB wired gaming keyboard works well with computer, PC, laptop, compatible with Windows 2000/Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10/MAC/Linux.
Rating is 4.4 out of 5
Havit Mechanical Keyboard, Wired Compact PC Keyboard with Number Pad Red Switch Mechanical Gaming Keyboard 89 Keys for Computer/Laptop (Black)
- 【Compact Keyboard with Numpad】Unlike bulky full-sized layout, this 85% keyboard saves more desk space but keep the numkeys which is essential. Press Fn+Backspace to lock/unlock the numkeys (Note: The numpad lights up ONLY when it's unlocked, the rest of the keys don't have lighting)
- 【Colorful PBT Keycaps】 Constructed from unique and high-quality durable PBT keycaps, Havit mechanical keyboard has excellent touch experience and long serving time. Colorful keycaps can bring a more pleasant mood during games or work, decorate your space and enhance your life.
- 【Red Switches Keyboard for Different Needs】Perfect for office typing or playing games. Havit HV-KB487L wired keyboard frees up your desk during work, after working sessions, you can enjoy the keyboard for gaming, or bring it with you as the size is compact and easy to carry out.
- 【Ergonomic Comfort】The design of this mechanical gaming keyboard is based on ergonomics, the two keyboard kickstands provide comfortable angle for typing and effectively reduces the burden on the wrist.
Rating is 4.3 out of 5
RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK100 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, Bluetooth5.1/2.4G/Wired 96% Full Size 100-Key Hot Swappable Gaming Keyboard with 3 USB Ports, Red Switch for Mac Windows, Carbon
- Full Size Mechanical Keyboard - RK100 wireless mechanical keyboard is 96% full size with compact 100 keys, which is solid, stable and durable. Especially suitable for the mechanical keyboard starters during gaming or working.
- Three Modes Connectivity - This mechanical keyboard includes 2.4Ghz wireless, Type-C-USB 2.0 wired and bluetooth 5.1 connections. And RK100 gaming keyboard could be connected with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth5.1; N-key rollover (NKRO) in the wired mode, all 100 keys are conflict free.
- Hot-swappable Switches - RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK100 wireless keyboard can be hot swapped at wish and replaced by all of MX-similar mechanical switches (including Gateron, Cherry, etc.), supporting 3-pin/5-pin switches. This wireless keyboard is available in blue/brown/red switch.
- 3 USB Ports - This hot swappable keyboard is armed with a 3750mAh large battery and geared with 2 built-in USB pass-through ports and 1 Type-C port, this wireless keyboard is allowed to back up more facilities and works for long-time gaming/working. This gaming keyboard is compatible with Win/Mac dual system, unlimited use.
- All Keys Programmable - This bluetooth mechanical keyboard is attached with a newly-developed software that you can customize the lighting modes, macro keys and using scenarios. Find the latest software link under the part of “Product Description”
Rating is 4.2 out of 5
8Bitdo Retro Mechanical Keyboard, Bluetooth/2.4G/USB-C Hot Swappable Gaming Keyboard with 87 Keys, Dual Super Programmable Buttons for Windows and Android - N Edition
- Inspired by the classics. Compatible with Windows 10(1903) or above, and Android 9.0 or above.
- Connnect via Bluetooth, wireless 2.4G, or wired.
- 87-key layout. Kailh Box Switch V2 White. Dye-sub PBT keycaps.
- Top mount style. Hot-swappable PCB. Support n-key rollover.
- Dual Super Buttons - offer large, programmable keys. Map anything to the Super Buttons instantly without using software.
- Classic power status LED, with independent control panel.
Rating is 4.1 out of 5
XVX Retro 75% Gaming Keyboard with OLED Display&Knob, M87 Pro Bluetooth 5.1/2.4GHz /USB-C Wireless Mechanical Keyboard with Hot-Swappable Custom Switch, Compact TKL Gamer RGB Keyboard, PBT Keycaps
- 【Smart OLED Color Display and Knob Design】XVX M87 PRO gaming keyboard built-in smart OLED color display can intuitively display the keyboard status, including custom gif image, caps lock, connection mode, WIN/MAC, battery. Built-in mechanical knobs allow quick adjustment of complex functions: connection, system, backlit brightness/speed, RGB mode/color, volume & language.
- 【3-Mode Connection Wireless Keyboard】The M87 Pro TKL mechanical keyboard gears tri-mode connectivity technology, USB-C wired, BT 5.1 and 2.4Ghz wireless modes, which can be easily switched not only with key combinations, but also by knobs.
- 【Unique silencing Installation Design】This custom keyboard has built-in triple absorption layers, including an EVA sound absorbing foam, an IXPE switch pad and the sponge case Foam, In addition, silencer foam installed under the space bar, which increase the rebound speed of the keys while reducing vibration, resulting in improved key sound for a unique typing feel.
- 【Hot-Swappable Custom Keyboard】You can alter every switch on the M87 pro keyboard without the need to solder. Hot-swap PCB is compatible with almost all 3-pin/5-pin switches on the market, personalize your typing experience with ease.
- 【Ultimate Personalization RGB Keyboard】The keyboard itself comes with 19 RGB backlight modes, 9 colors selection, 5 brightness levels and 5 speed levels. This RGB gaming keyboard can enhance your gameplay atmosphere at its maximum, and the light can also be turned off if you don’t need it for saving power. It can be intuitive switched by the knob.
What is a mechanical keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses mechanical switches instead of rubber dome or membrane switches found in most standard keyboards. These switches are comprised of a spring-loaded mechanism that registers keystrokes when pressed and provides tactile feedback and audible clicks. Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability, responsiveness, and customizable features. They are popular among gamers, programmers, and professionals who require precise and comfortable typing experience.
What are the advantages of using a mechanical keyboard?
There are several advantages of using a mechanical keyboard compared to a traditional membrane keyboard:
- Tactile feedback: Mechanical keyboards have individual mechanical switches for each key, providing a tactile sensation and audible click when a key is pressed. This feedback allows for better typing accuracy and reduces the chances of accidental keystrokes.
- Enhanced durability: Mechanical keyboards are built to last longer compared to membrane keyboards. The key switches used in mechanical keyboards have higher durability ratings, often lasting for millions of keypresses, making them ideal for heavy typists or gamers.
- Improved typing experience: The tactile feedback and key switch design of mechanical keyboards provide a more comfortable typing experience. With a precise actuation point and consistent force required to press each key, users can type more quickly and with greater accuracy.
- Customization options: Mechanical keyboards often come with removable keycaps, allowing users to customize the appearance of their keyboard by replacing keycaps with different colors, shapes, and materials. Additionally, some mechanical keyboards also offer programmable keys or software that allows users to remap keys and create macros for convenience or gaming purposes.
- N-key rollover (NKRO): Most mechanical keyboards come with N-key rollover, which means each key press is registered individually, regardless of how many other keys are being pressed simultaneously. This is especially beneficial for gamers who need to perform complex key combinations or for fast typists who frequently engage in simultaneous key presses.
- High-quality construction: Mechanical keyboards are typically built with higher-quality materials and are more robust compared to membrane keyboards. They are less prone to wear and tear, making them a long-term investment.
- Accuracy and speed: The distinct feedback and better key actuation force of mechanical keyboards allow users to type with greater accuracy and speed. This makes them preferred by typists, gamers, and professionals who rely on fast and precise typing abilities.
Overall, the advantages of using a mechanical keyboard lie in their durability, comfort, improved typing experience, customization options, and enhanced performance for tasks like typing and gaming.
Are mechanical keyboards generally more expensive than membrane keyboards?
Yes, mechanical keyboards are generally more expensive than membrane keyboards. This is mainly due to the higher quality build and materials used in mechanical keyboards. The individual mechanical switches in a mechanical keyboard contribute to the higher cost, as they are more durable and offer better tactile feedback. Additionally, mechanical keyboards often come with customizable features and advanced backlighting options, which can further increase their price. In contrast, membrane keyboards are typically cheaper to produce and therefore tend to be more affordable.