Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

Five Mechanical Keyboards that won’t break the bank!

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If you prefer the feel and performance of a mechanical keyboard for your gaming exploits, you’re not alone. Their durability, tactility, and speed make them a must in any serious gamer’s setup.

The only issue is that this bolstered performance doesn’t come for free. The components required to manufacture mechanical keyboards are far more expensive than those used to build membrane keyboards. The key matrix those components make up is also far more complex, so it’s a given that they’re mostly expensive products, but not always.

We’ve found five of the very best cheap mechanical keyboards you can buy without totally demolishing your savings account. Now we’ve done all the leg work, all you have to do is decide which one suits your gaming style best.

Our Top Picks

01
WePC Awards Best In Class
YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard
YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard

YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard

02
Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

03
DREVO Gramr 84-Key 75% Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard
DREVO Gramr 84 Key 75 Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

DREVO Gramr 84-Key 75% Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

How We Choose

PC gaming isn’t merely a job for us. Every one of us here at WePC is a consummate gamer, so not only are we driven by the prospect of supplying you with all the best products; that’s just a happy bonus; we’re also searching for ourselves. We seek out all the best cheap mechanical keyboards because we want to incorporate them into our own gaming rig. We go by the principle that if it’s good enough for us, only then is it good enough for you.

We look for tactility in a mechanical keyboard. That means a satisfying click and a nice press with decent travel. We look out for top-notch ergonomics, innovative key layouts that make using the entire board as intuitive and easy as possible. We’re looking for keyboards that enable you to perform at the highest level.

Things to Consider

Form Factor

There are quite a few form factors currently available, but the main five are:

  • Full-Size – This is the prototypical keyboard style that you’ve grown up with. It normally holds 104 keys.
  • Gaming – Gaming keyboards are similar to full-size boards, but with added Macro and Media keys.
  • Tenkeyless – Also referred to as TKL or 80%, tenkeyless boards omit the right-hand side number pad in favor of a smaller form factor. TKL boards normally have around 88 keys and are a popular choice for gamers.
  • 75% – 75% boards have the same keys as TKLs but the keys are all bundled against one another.
  • 60% – 60% keyboards do away with function keys and that occur beyond the Enter key. They have around 61 keys.

Switches

Switches hide beneath each of your keys. A keyboard will have one of six types of color-coded switch:

  • Blue switches are the loudest, actuate with a half-press and they’re great for typists.
  • Green switches are quite firm.
  • Red switches are the go-to color for gaming. They’re a quiet, linear switch (travel all the way down), only requiring a light touch, making them great for knife-edge, time-sensitive gaming.
  • Black switches are similar to red but stiffer, preventing accidental actuation. These are popular for real-time strategy games.
  • Brown switches are a compromise between a working and gaming keyboard.
  • Silver switches are gaming-style switches but require a much firmer touch. Perfect for the heavy-handed, some may find them fatiguing.

Features

When shopping for a keyboard for gaming, there are a few features that are really going to help you bring your A-game.

Anti-Ghosting

Ghosting is when you actuate a key and the computer doesn’t acknowledge it’s been pressed. It’s like you’ve done nothing at all. What’s actually happening is the keyboard itself isn’t registering actuation as it has reached a key limit (typically 3 on the average keyboard).

In some scenarios, gaming requires you to press four or more keys simultaneously. For this, you need an anti-ghosting keyboard with greater key limits. The best kind of AG keyboards are known as N-key rollovers, meaning there’s no key limit at all.

RGB

RGB keyboards are in some form, backlit or otherwise, imbued with customizable RGB lighting. It’s a purely aesthetic feature, but it can add a special touch to the gaming experience.

Media Keys

Media keys are dedicated to a certain non-traditional keyboard function such as altering display brightness or changing volume.

Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

01
YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard

YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard

02
Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

03
DREVO Gramr 84 Key 75 Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

DREVO Gramr 84-Key 75% Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

04
05
Pulsar Gaming Gears PK001 Lunar Alloy TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pulsar Gaming Gears PK001 Lunar Alloy TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

In-depth Review

01
YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard
WePC Awards Best In Class

YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard

YUNZII AKKO 3068 Ocean Star Wired Mechanical Keyboard

Connectivity Technology

USB Type-C

Number of Buttons

9

Compact Layout

68 Key

Anti-Ghosting Keys

Yes

N-Key Rollover

Yes

Cherry MX Key Switches

Yes

Editor's Rating
5/5
Pros

NKRO

Adjustable angles and frontal key designations

Compact form factor

Cherry Blue MX switches with nice travel and satisfying click

Available with any other MX switch color

9 customizable keycaps

High-quality PBT keycaps

Great price

Suitable for working hard and playing hard

Cons

Non-programmable

Fitted with Cherry Blue MX switches under the high-quality 85% PBT keycaps, the 3068 adds a really satisfying tactility to your gaming. The linear keys have lovely travel, and each actuation is punctuated by an acknowledging click, letting you know precisely the moment a command is registered, making it great for high-octane gaming.

Technically a 65% form factor keyboard with 68 keys in total and typical rectangular shaping, this board is a fantastic space-friendly solution to congested desks, freeing up space for your mouse or any other peripherals. With three angle adjustments to choose from and frontal key legends, The Yunzii Akko 3068’s ergonomics are on point as well.

By far one of the AKKO 3068’s best features is its NKRO functionality meaning that every single key is registered individually, so if you like to unleash your inner octopus when you’re gaming, every actuation is accepted, and you will never be haunted by ghosting again!

The only real flaw we can think of is the fact that the 3068 offers no support for reprogramming keys which is certainly a downside for gamers who like to customize their setup.

02
Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Keychron K6 68 Key Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Compact layout

68 key

Connectivity

Wireless and Wired Dual Modes

Compatibility

All devices

Battery capacity

4000mAh, lasts up to 72 hours

Lighting Options

15+ RGB

LK optical switch

Yes

Editor's Rating
5/5
Pros

Macro-programmable

Awesome battery life, even with RGBs turned on

Customizable RGB backlighting

Optical Brown MX switches

Available with any other switch color

Wireless connection to 3 devices (6KRO)

USB-C connectivity (NKRO)

Space-kind 65% footprint

Amazing price

Super-low latency

Cons

Only fully compatible with Windows

ABS keycaps feel a little cheap

Only two angle adjustments

Wireless keyboards enable huge amounts of locational freedom, but with battery and connectivity issues, a lot of wireless designs sort to miss the mark. The Keychron K6 is not one of those designs. With a 400mAH battery that lasts up to 9 days with 8 hours of use a day, and capable of syncing to three devices via Bluetooth simultaneously, the K6 offers premium performance.

Wireless mode facilitates 6-key rollover, but you can opt to wire it up via USB-C. In its wired format, you have full NKRO functionality over the 2ms hyper-low latency keys. Loaded with Optical brown switches, every aspect of pressing a key, from contact to travel, feels smooth, and each actuation is paired with tasteful audible affirmation.

It’s a compact design, but small doesn’t mean meek. Fitted into a durable aluminum case, the K6 is structurally immaculate, and what’s more, designed specifically for hardcore gamers, it has a 100 million keystroke lifespan.

If you like a bit of flair in your peripherals, you’ll be happy to learn that the K6 features RGB backlighting customizable via 15 different options including static colors if that’s what you prefer. Unfortunately, it’s only fully compatible with Windows operating systems, but the partial compatibility with Mac products only inhibits minor functions such as screen brightness.

03
DREVO Gramr 84-Key 75% Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

DREVO Gramr 84-Key 75% Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

DREVO Gramr 84 Key 75 Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard

Compact Layout

84-Key

Game Mode

N-key rollover

Cherry MX Switch

YES

More Functions

12 function keys

Attractive Features

Detachable USB Type C cable

Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Pros

24KRO

Cherry Red MX switches

High-quality double-shot ABS keycaps

Black finish and white LEDs look amazing

Full-sized arrow keys and backspace

Nice weight to it

Foldable legs for adjusting angles

Awesome price

Alternative key functions illustrated with frontal legends

12 function keys control multimedia functions

Cons

Case emphasizes keystroke noise

Detachable cable is quite short

The DREVO Gramr is undoubtedly one of the best bang for buck 75% mechanical keyboards currently on the market, making it an absolute steal for those who prefer the TKL format for gaming. Under each high-quality ABS double-shot keycap there is a Cherry MX red MX switch offering buttery smooth travel and linear actuation that rewards swift gaming and typing styles.

Backlit with white LEDs, this blacker-than-black keyboard couldn’t possibly look any cooler, but if you find the lights a bit too much, perhaps if you game in the dark, they’re easily dimmed.

While it’s not technically an NKRO keyboard it has 24KRO functionality, so for all intents and purposes, it is sort of an NKRO design. Many 75% keyboards sacrifice key size in favor of a smaller footprint, but the Gramr manages to maintain full arrow key and backspace dimensions, which is a nice touch.

Structurally speaking, the Gramr keeps it tight. It feels sturdy and the weight helps keep it securely in place. If we’re being picky, the acoustics of the case are somewhat lacking in that they emphasize keystroke noise a little, and the USB cable is also quite short.

04
Redragon K582 SURARA 104-Key Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Redragon K582 SURARA

71zNBLpvw2L. AC SL1500

Mechanical?

Yes

RGB?

Yes

Software/other features?

Professional software, N-Key rollover

Editor's Rating
4.7/5
Pros

NKRO

Amazing RGB lighting

Full keyset

Double-shot ABS caps

Red switches

Solid build with zero flex

Quiet keys

Budget price tag

Fully programmable for setting up complex macros

Cons

Quite large

Red switches aren’t the best quality

Alternative key functions fade over time

The Redragon K582 Surara is the ultimate mechanical keyboard for gamers on a strict budget. It provides all the major benefits of the mechanical format and only makes small compromises in order to bring the price down.

It’s a full-sized keyboard, so you will need a bit of extra space to incorporate it into your gaming setup, but the full keyset is well worth the couple of inches you lose in desk real estate. Moreover, the K582 is totally programmable and offers full NKRO for gaming that requires numerous and complex key combinations.

Exhibiting what we’d describe as a slightly squishy feel, the red switches are by no means Cherry MX level. They don’t have that tactile and affirming ‘bump’ that red switches are known for, but they are a lot quieter which will be a definite boon for some. With a 2mm travel, requiring 50 grams of pressure, they’re still nice feeling keys.

The RGB panel behind the keys is particularly impressive, especially considering the price tag. No matter how bright your room is, they shine through strongly, highlighting the legend in the double-shot ABS keycaps. Unfortunately, any secondary function legends are printed on top of the plastic and will fade over time.

05
Pulsar Gaming Gears PK001 Lunar Alloy TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pulsar Gaming Gears PK001 Lunar Alloy TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Pulsar Gaming Gears PK001 Lunar Alloy TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Form Factor

87 Keys (TKL)

Main Body

Aluminum / ABS

PLUG AND PLAY

Yes

N-Key Rollover Anti Ghost

Yes

Connectivity Technology

USB

Editor's Rating
4.6/5
Pros

The price tag!!!

NKRO

Technicolor LED lighting

Aircraft aluminum case

Smooth, quiet red switches

Small footprint

Cons

Wire isn’t detachable

Not all that tactile

Non-programmable

You can practically pick up the PK001 for a song, but it’s not just a token super-budget pick. Pulsar obviously does cut some costs in a few areas, but all the important aspects of a mechanical keyboard remain intact.

Despite its insanely wallet-friendly price tag, you still get full NKRO functionality, allowing you to play all your favorite titles to the best of your ability. There’ll be no more stress from losing games in pivotal moments due to ghosting.

Another feature that had us feeling pretty shellshocked is the airplane aluminum case. This thing is ridiculously strong. Unless you’re hitting the gym 5 days a week, you won’t even be able to pull a slight flex from it.

This PK001 is stocked with pretty basic red switches, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. They’re incredibly smooth and quiet, fantastic for low reaction time, knife-edge gaming, they’re just different from what you might think of as red switches. There’s no tactile bump or registering click.

The LED lighting looks fantastic and is easily dimmed by onboard controls; however, if you’d like full RGB lighting, customizable via Pulsar software, throw another $10 into the mix for the next model up, and it’s yours.

Final Word

Mechanical keyboards are often something of an afterthought. People seek out other things to improve their gaming rig first such as powerful GPUs, top-of-the-line CPUs, or even high-resolution monitors. All those things are great but don’t actually change the feel of your gaming experience the way a good mechanical keyboard does.

Well, as you’ve seen from this list, even if a keyboard is the last thing to cross off on your gaming gear list, you can still afford some quality products that will help you take your gaming to the next level.

The Ocean Star or Keychron K6 are both amazing choices. They’re compact, great for typing and gaming, and even though the K6 doesn’t have Cherry MX switches, the Optical switches are a joy to use. For those on a budget, the Redragon and Pulsar boards are great value for money, or if you’re after something that looks as sharp as it performs, you can’t go wrong with the Gramr.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

at
WePC
Steve is obsessed with technology and the difference it makes to everyday life. having grown up with PCs since he was a kid, he was fortunate to have parents who worked in the industry, giving him access to computers when he should have been outside more! Steve loves obsessing over comparing different types of tech and working out which performs better.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.

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