The Best Mechanical Keyboards 2021: Budget, Compact (Our Top Picks)

best mechanical keyboards 2021: best budget gaming keyboards reviews

Looking for the best mechanical keyboards in the market right now based on your needs? You made the right call by landing on this page. We’ve tested and collected reviews from different sources to compile this list of gaming keyboards for you.

Even if you have a limited budget, you can get a cheap mechanical keyboard to build the gaming rig of your dreams. The keyboard you choose should have the right specs to improve your gaming skills, overall XP and should be such that allows you to customize the body parts to suit your style. 

Depending on the brand of keyboard you choose, you can further customize it to easily execute complex gaming commands which inadvertently boost your gameplay. Without further ado, let’s dive into our comprehensive list of budget-friendly mechanical keyboards.

Best Budget Mechanical Keyboards in 2021

These are the best gaming keyboards to buy in 2021 and beyond based on their strengths and what you’re looking for.

1. Havit Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse ComboBest Overall Keyboard and Mouse Combo

For hardcore gamers, the Havit mechanical keyboard and mouse combo has the specs and flares for creating the perfect gaming or work rig. With its ergonomic RGB design, your keyboard puts you in the right frame of mind to thrive above your gaming buddies online and offline. In addition, the keyboard’s 14 backlight modes and the mouse’s 7 color effects further heighten your excitement when playing high-end games.

The Havit mechanical keyboard is built to last for a long duration. Its metallic panel ensures that your keyboard is protected from dirt and food particles. Plus, the keys floating design and responsiveness ensure that you gain much speed while gaming or working.

Its programmable mouse further enhances your gaming experience because you can easily alter the 6 Dots on the mouse to fit its speed for various game scenarios.

Because the keyboard comes with detachable wrist support, you can work and play unending to achieve your goals and stay productive for longer periods. Even more, the keyboard and mouse are compatible with Linux, Windows, and MAC operating systems.

Considering the specs, peripherals, and price, the Havit keyboard and mouse combo is worth every penny.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Sturdy steel frame and a detachable wrist support.
  • RGB Keyboard and mouse combo.
  • A programmable mouse that fits various gaming scenarios.
  • The metallic panel protects the keyboard surface.
  • Responsive and fast keystrokes.

What We’d Change:

  • It doesn’t support Bluetooth.

Why We Recommend It: By far the Havit mechanical keyboard and mouse combo has all the cool features for building your gaming rig on a budget. Plus, its wrist rest provides the support you need to work and game for hours.

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2. Logitech K845 Mechanical Illuminated KeyboardBest Sturdy Keyboard With RGB Backlight

Logitech K845 Mechanical Illuminated Keyboard

The Logitech K845 is a low-priced and efficient mechanical keyboard with the right specs guaranteed to boost your gaming experience. Its ergonomic design makes it the go-to peripheral for gamers and typists who want to build formidable workspaces even on a low budget.

The keyboard has adjustable tilt legs which you can easily adjust between 4° and 8° to maintain a more comfortable position while gaming or typing.

With the Logitech K845, you don’t have to worry about the life span of your gaming keyboard. This is because it comes with a sturdy aluminum body designed to withstand any form of gaming and typing rigor. Plus, the aluminum body protects the keyboard from damages in case you spill food particles or drink over it.

Thanks to the keyboard’s customizable backlight patterns, you can set the mood for work or play by choosing any of the five modes; “snake”,  “breathing”, “Reactive lighting”,  “random”, and you can choose to work with the default white light mode. Also, you activate your preferred backlight mode to boost productivity – even when working in the dark. 

The Logitech K845 price is yet another reason why it is popular among gamers. For $59, you purchase this keyboard to increase your typing speed and boost your overall gaming experience. Just like other electronic gadgets, the only downside is that it doesn’t come with wrist support.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Ergonomic design.
  • Full-size gaming keyboard.
  • Sturdy aluminum body.
  • Adjustable tilt legs.
  • Five patterns of white backlighting boost productivity.

What We’d Change:

  • The keys are noisy.
  • No wrist support.

Why We Recommend It: For gamers and typists who can do away with the wrist support, the Logitech K845 has just the right features to improve your overall gaming and working experience at a fair price.

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3. HyperX Alloy FPS RGB KeyboardBEst Customizable Keyboard 

Without an iota of doubt, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB is one of the cheap gaming keyboards you can get in the market. Its premium features and specs provide the help you need to boost your gaming experience among your buddies.

Since the keyboard’s body is made of a solid steel frame, you are assured of using it for a long time. Its metallic top plate protects your keyboard from spills.

Speaking of the HyperX Alloy backlight system, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best value for every penny you spend. This is because the keyboard’s RBG backlight keys have different lighting effects built to boost your overall gaming and working experience.

Besides, you can also maintain the keyboard’s default backlight setting.

Customizing the HyperX Alloy keyboard to your preferences is quite easy. Thanks to the HyperX Ingenuity software, you can change most of the keyboard Macro settings when you download and install it on your gaming device.

Also, its compact and minimalist design gives enough desk space for using other gaming devices and you easily detach the keyboard’s cable when you’re not using it.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Ergonomic design.
  • Full-size gaming keyboard.
  • Sturdy aluminum body.
  • Adjustable tilt legs.
  • Five patterns of white backlighting boost productivity.

What We’d Change:

  • Plastic keycaps feel cheap.

Why We Recommend It: For typists and gamers who place more importance on customizing their keyboard settings to their preferences, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB comes with the HyperX Ingenuity software for smart customization.

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4. RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61Best Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard

The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is among the best budget gaming keyboards with awesome features to overhaul your work and play experience. One of the highlights of this keyboard is its minimalist design.

Boasting just 61 keys, this peripheral device is designed to provide you with just the right tools and features you need for a productive time barring the flares in other keyboards. Likewise, it comes with programmable software that gives you the edge of altering the keyboard ecosystem to your needs and preferences.

With a battery life of 1450mAh, the RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 provides enough capacity to power your keyboard continuously for about 13 hours with the simplest backlight mode and up to 360 hours on standby mode.

Also if you prioritize customizing your keyboard to your style, this device has programmable software you use to change its settings.

Since the KLUDGE RK61 comes with two different connection modes (Bluetooth and Wired), you can easily alternate between them. When your keyboard is fully charged and you’re outdoors, the Bluetooth works perfectly for play or work. Whereas, the Wired mode is perfect for working indoors. The keyboard’s compact design makes it a top choice among gamers.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Large battery capacity.
  • Ultra-compact and lightweight design.
  • Customizable software.
  • Detachable Type C cable for transferring files and data.
  • Dual modes – Bluetooth and Wired.
  • Easily swappable keycaps.

What We’d Change:

  • It has no wrist support.

Why We Recommend It: The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 wireless keyboard is the best you can get on the market with, that is if you crave having a simple workspace devoid of cables and has more space for mouse movement.

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5. Redragon S101 Wired Gaming KeyboardBest Keyboard With Programmable Mouse

The Redragon S101 is yet another fantastic wired gaming keyboard you can purchase at a fair price. Its features and specifications provide you with all you need to take your gaming experience to the next level. Equipped with 7 unique RGB lighting patterns and effects, the Redragon S101 has the flare to put your mind in a gaming mode.

Plus, it has 4 backlight brightness levels that enable you to alter the keyboard’s illumination to your preference. Besides, you can completely disable the keycaps backlight to enable you to focus on the task at hand.

Another important feature of the Redragon S101 is its detachable wrist support. With this wrist rest, you can easily type and play games for a longer time. And you can easily remove it if you find it uncomfortable.

The keyboard comes with long detachable cords that enable you to move the device and adjust to a comfortable gaming position.

Even though you spend much time on your keyboard, the keys are soft and built for longevity. In addition, the top surface of the keyboard is designed to guard against dirt accumulation, spills, and food crumbs.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Ergonomic design and Detachable wrist rest.
  • RGB mouse is included in the keyboard.
  • Programmable mouse software.
  • Full-size keyboard with dedicated multimedia and functional keys.
  • Customizable backlighting options.

What We’d Change:

  • It doesn’t support Macro settings.

Why We Recommend It: The new improved version of the Redragon S101 wired gaming keyboard comes with more peripherals than the previous models which greatly enhances your gaming experience. Besides, you still alter the mouse settings by installing the software on your gaming device.

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6. SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming KeyboardBest Water Resistant Keyboard

The SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB is a popular gaming Keyboard among gamers worldwide. The Apex 3 is a great improvement from the brand’s past models. Built with awesome specs, the keyboard rivals devices from other top brands.

One of the high points of this keyboard is that it has an IP32 water-resistant rating. This means that your keyboard is safe from accidental liquid spills. In addition, it is easy to clean. 

With the keyboard’s dedicated multimedia control system, you can work on your game’s audio space without having to pause your game. Even as a transcriber or typist,  the customized multimedia keys come in handy for controlling the audio of most files.

Plus, the keyboard’s silent game switch ensures that you can have over 20 million low-friction keypresses while typing or gaming.

The premium detachable wrist rest provides ample support for gamers who spend much time in their den. If you want a clean and clutter-free workspace, the Apex 3 RGB gaming keyboard has three different cable routing patterns that keep cables out of sight.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Premium detachable wrist support.
  • IP32 water-resistant rating.
  • Comes with dedicated multimedia control for controlling your work and game pace.
  • Has different color schemes and backlight reactive effects.
  • Silent gaming switches for over 20 million low-friction key presses.
  • Customizable keyboard software.
  • Multiple cable routing systems.

What We’d Change:

  • The keys fall off easily.

Why We Recommend It: The SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB gaming keyboard comes with vital features that greatly improve your gameplay. Plus, its high point is that it has IP32 water-resistant rating which prevents spills.

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7. HK GK61 Mechanical Keyboard Best Keyboard With Optical Switch 

GK61 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

If you prefer a mechanical keyboard that comes with a customizable optical switch, then the HK GK61 mechanical keyboard is your best plug. The keyboard has a whole lot of features that are guaranteed to enhance your gaming experience.

The top of these features is the multiple RGB backlit modes. The keyboard has 11 lighting patterns that affect your gameplay. Plus, the customizable Gateron optical switch adds more gaming flare to your rig. Besides, you can easily replace the switches to suit your needs and preferences.

Thanks to the key and switch pullers included in the package, you can easily change the looks of your keyboard. Even more, the GK61 software further helps you to record and alter the Macros of the keyboard to reflect your gaming style. Because this device comes with 60 inch Type C and Type-A USB cable, you can easily change your keyboard position without hassle.

In addition, the keyboard is compatible with most Windows and Mac OS. Although the GK61 is majorly made of plastic, it is well-built, heavy, and sturdy to last for a long time. In all, it’s a great choice for setting up your gaming den on a budget.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Customizable Gateron optical switches.
  • Programmable software for advanced settings.
  • Records keyboard Macros.
  • Solid keyboard frame.
  • Comes with kits for customizing your keyboard.
  • Fast response time due to the built-in horizontal infrared beam.

What We’d Change:

  • It doesn’t come with wrist support.

Why We Recommend It: For gamers and typists who fancy optical switches, the HK GK61 mechanical gaming keyboard is a great choice. In addition, the keyboard’s advanced customizable feature makes it more appealing to those who want to alter their device settings to their preferences.

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8. Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming KeyboardBest Mecha-Membrane Keyboard 

Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard

Right off the box, the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard is a beauty to behold. It is not just an aesthetic device that adds flare to your gaming rig, its specs and features will shoot your gameplay to a whole new level. It’s best suited for folks who fancy a touch of both worlds of keyboards – mechanical and membrane. 

Equipped with high-end mecha-membrane switches, you have a more comfortable gaming experience. Its soft-cushioned membrane rubber surface makes it easy to quickly type and execute complex commands while gaming.

Speaking of customizing your keyboard, the Razer Ornata Chroma comes with programmable software for increasing the Macros functions.

Also, you can change the Chroma RGB lighting to reflect your gaming mode and preferences. Since the keys on the keyboard are soft and firm, you can experience swift and exact results that boost your overall typing and gaming speed.

Even after you’ve spent a considerable amount of time on your keyboard, the magnetic wrist rest provides the necessary support for peak performance. The surface setting of the keys is spacious which makes the keyboard easy to clean.

What We Like About This Mechanical Keyboard:

  • Ergonomic design and durable body frame.
  • Soft detachable wrist support.
  • Fully customizable Macros setting.
  • Programmable Chroma RGB lighting.
  • Uniquely designed mechanical key switches.
  • Great support team.

What We’d Change:

  • The keyboard is noisy while typing.

Why We Recommend It: When it comes to setting up your dream gaming rig, you ou can have it all. The Razer Ornata Chroma has all the specs and features to get you started on the right track. Plus, its price is fair to your pocket.

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Buyers Guide for the Best Mechanical Keyboards

There are lots of key factors to consider before paying for a mechanical keyboard for your gaming den. These factors vary from price to keyboard size and setting. Other factors include noise level, durability, and Macros setting.

Because there are various brands of mechanical keyboards in the market you need a comprehensive guide to make an informed decision. Here are factors to watch out for when choosing the right keyboard.

1. Macros Setting 

If you are a gamer that prefers having your unique key combinations to execute complex commands, then a keyboard that offers a Macros setting is the right choice for you. You can also implement other advanced configurations to further boost your gameplay.

2. Noise Level

Although the mechanical keyboard produces more sounds than the membrane keyboard, still you need to determine how much noise level you can tolerate while gaming. It is best to choose a keyboard that has a low noise level to help you focus on your games.

3. Durability

Considering the build-up of most mechanical keyboards, you should select a device that has a solid and durable body frame. Because a good keyboard choice will serve you for long barring other mechanical faults.

4. Price

Even if you have an unlimited budget to build your gaming rig, it’s best to choose a certain price level for your preferred keyboard. Although popular keyboard brands tend to be highly-priced, you can get functional keyboards with cool specs even for less than $50.

Mechanical Keyboards FAQs

Are mechanical keyboards noisy?

Yes, mechanical keyboards are noisy when compared to membrane keyboards. The noise stems mostly from the contact between the keycap and the switch when you type a letter. It’s advisable to buy a mechanical keyboard with minimal noise to focus on your game.

Do all mechanical keyboards have removable keys?

No, not all mechanical keyboards have removable keys. For gamers who prefer customizing their keyboard to their preferences, it is best to choose a keyboard with removable keys.

Why is a mechanical keyboard so expensive?

Truly, mechanical keyboards are expensive compared to membrane keyboards. The specs, features, lighting effects, and material used in producing a mechanical keyboard contribute to its high cost. But if you are on a limited budget, you can still get cheap gaming keyboards for less than $100.

Does a mechanical keyboard improve gaming?

Given the fact that mechanical keyboards have less actuation speed, they tend to improve your overall gaming experience. Plus, the springy nature of the keys registers keystrokes faster.

Are mechanical keyboards better for your hand?

There are no better keyboards for the hands between a mechanical and a membrane keyboard. Each gamer makes choices based on his or her preferences. If you decide to purchase a mechanical keyboard, it is best to choose one with wrist support to help you stay more productive.

Conclusion

Buying the best mechanical keyboard to enhance your gaming and working experience shouldn’t put a hole in your pocket. With less than 100 bucks, you can buy good gaming keyboards that have good features that can boost your overall gaming and typing experience.

Be sure to check our list of fairly-priced keyboards before making a purchasing decision.

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