Recommendations for mechanical keyboards?

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ichthy

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My current $10 Dell membrane keyboard with mushy keys is really starting to grate on me even for everyday use, not to mention gaming, so I think I'm ready to plonk down some actual money for a decent mechanical keyboard. I'd like to keep it under $200 Canadian (~$150 USD). Does anyone have any recommendations, or preference for what key switches they like?

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TobbRobb

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https://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Illuminated-Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboard/dp/B01FXDVSGI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548620246&sr=8-2&keywords=steelseries+apex+m400

That's what I use right now and I love it. The switches are called QX1, they are equivalent kind of to cherry red, but have their own feel (less noisy). I think for price, design and production quality, it's absolutely great.

If you look at cherry switches, then know that black need a lot of pressure to press, red take a lot less and blue are the lightest. The clickiness/noise on blue is pretty insane. Not recommended if you are in a position to disturb other people. I used black for a long time, and liked it for gaming, but the presses were too deliberate so my typing got a lot worse. If you don't want the one I linked, then I recommend red switches for being the most versatile.

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Gundato

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I went through this about a year or so back. The already recommended steelseries looks great

I personally have a logitech g610 that I got for about the same price on sale. More stnadardized cherry switches

What I DO recommend you do before anything else is to go buy something like this https://smile.amazon.com/Max-Keyboard-Keycap-Cherry-Sampler/dp/B00N6DXTW4/ (it says I bought that, but that isn't what is on the box next to my desk). Comes with the common cherry switches and a few different key caps. Won't replace actually using a keyboard to learn what you like but it should give you a feel for what you like.

That being said: I think I actually don't like a mechanical keyboard for gaming, funny enough. Or, more accurately, I don't notice the difference when my hand is always on WASD.

But I love it for typing, writing, and coding and will be getting cherry reds for some time. And I mean this to the point that I am probably going to buy one of my work's approved mechanical keyboards and swap out all the switches.

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NexivSelecaf

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#4  Edited By NexivSelecaf

I use a Corsair K70 Mk 2 with Cherry MX silent switches. Pretty awesome keyboard overall, though I wouldn't be surprised if others find K70's to be a basic choice compared to other brands, switch types, and avoid RGB like the plague. My only complaint is that the silent switches can feel a little too mushy at times when typing. I got used to it, but I probably should have went with browns as a middle ground between the "gamer" oriented red, silent and speed switches and the obnoxiously clicky blue switches.

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mike

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Really depends on what kind of switch you want. I recommend getting a Cherry key sample board and then just finding a keyboard with the switches you like. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, you could get something like a Gigabyte K83 with either Cherry MX Red or Blue switches for around $40 USD. I have one at work and they are totally fine, I'd buy one again for personal use if I needed one. It is a basic mechanical keyboard with no special features, but it has a solid frame and the keys feel good and sometimes that is all you really need.

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Casepb

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#6  Edited By Casepb

You want this, trust me. See those extra keys on the side? You may think you don't need that... but man they are so great to have once you do. The very bottom key (G6) I mirror as ESC and it's just so awesome to not have to reach for the ESC key way at the top anymore. You can also go with Brown switches if you don't want the super sensitivity of the speed. Actually I kind of recommend the brown, unless you don't mind a super sensitive key.

https://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-PLATINUM-Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboard/dp/B01MS0I1ZK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548640099&sr=8-3&keywords=corsair%2Bkeyboard&th=1

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ichthy

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@casepb: Damn, that's a beefy keyboard. I will say my desk space is at a premium, so something with a larger footprint probably won't work great.

I'll probably walk into a local store and try some of their keyboards to get a feel for the switches since we have a few of those around. Based on what I've read I get the feeling I'll probably settle with brown.

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soulcake

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#8  Edited By soulcake

Corsair K70 is the best keyboard out there IMO. Even Vinny's got one. I prefer them with Cherry MX Reds. (the silent ones).

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CheapPoison

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My recommendations is a ducky. You can get a pretty cheap (got mine for 80) no frill mechanical keyboard that doesn't look like some ugly lightshow on your desk. If you are in the US you got some more options for some nice no frill mechanical boards.

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ichthy

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@cheappoison: A bunch of my friends were repping Ducky keyboards. I like how you can get options for no backlighting or full RGB, and how they look relatively simple and clean.

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FlyinBurritoMan

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Here's another vote for Corsair Gaming k70 with Cherry MX Reds. I got this keyboard because I wanted a number pad (and the media keys on the top right) and I wanted it to work with both Windows 10 and Mac OSX. I have a Hackintosh and dual boot all the time. I tried a HyperX mechanical keyboard, but it would not work on Mac.

Anyways, if you do not know which keys you like and there's a tech shop near by, go test out the feel of the different keys. I live near a MicroCenter and I was able to test out the keyboards. Mechanical keyboards feel nice, but are so much louder then membrane keyboards.

Also, here's some research from thewirecutter.com on their recommendation for gaming keyboards.

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rorie

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#12 rorie  Staff

I had a Logitech g710+ (actually two of them) and both had an issue where hitting the spacebar on one side would kind of tilt it to one side instead of actually registering the keypress. Not good!

Right now I'm using a DAS Keyboard Professional and I like it a bunch. One thing I would consider mandatory at this point on a keyboard is a volume slider. I use that thing constantly. I miss the macro keys on the Logitech, too; having some of the more common windows shortcuts on one button was pretty handy.

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stabfreely

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Make sure the what ever you get if it has backlit keys, that the keys lights up not only the numbers, but also the secondary icons....I have a Razer Blackwidow Chroma (Yellow Keys) and its an amazingly fast and comfortable mech keyboard (With RGB, if your into that) .

I was disappointed that the light in the numbers does not illuminate the icons above them...$,@ and so forth.

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Bollard

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My recommendations is a ducky. You can get a pretty cheap (got mine for 80) no frill mechanical keyboard that doesn't look like some ugly lightshow on your desk. If you are in the US you got some more options for some nice no frill mechanical boards.

This. Stay away from expensive "gaming" brands and buy something solid like a Ducky of a Filco. Rorie suggested DAS and I've heard they're good too. As others have said you'll need to try the different switches for yourself to know what you like, so either pester friends with mechanical keyboards to try theirs or order a Cherry sample board.

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haneybd87

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#15  Edited By haneybd87

I really like the Corsair K95 with the Cherry MX Brown switches. To me the reds felt a little too easy to press so the brown strikes a good balance between noise and throw. I would take the 95 over the 70 just for the extra G switches on the left. They get useful in MMOs and other RPGs. It also has the flat wrist rest built in which I find to be important. Those gel wrist wrists wear out and are bad for your wrists anyways. I wouldn’t bother staying away from “gaming” brands like the previous poster suggested because corsair has some legitimately good keyboards. The K95 is very solidly built. FYI it tends to go on sale for $150 USD a lot so keep an eye out on that.

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WayToBlue

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#16  Edited By WayToBlue

Thing about that Corsair K95 is that it is massive. If desk real estate comes at a premium, you may wish to look elsewhere. It also uses two USB's, which I think is a bit ridiculous. I ended up giving mine away to a friend.

I would recommend something like a Leopold FC750R. I have this in grey/navy, and has been solid for me over the years. I prefer Cherry MX Blues myself, but they have Browns and Silent Reds if that's more your thing.

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haneybd87

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#17  Edited By haneybd87

@waytoblue: The K95 is actually quite compact for a full sized keyboard. There’s barely any wasted space and the edges are square so you don’t have any space wasted in rounded edges. Yes the wrist rest takes up a bunch more space but it’s 100% necessary if you don’t want to run into wrist problems down the line or if you already have wrist problems. You also don’t need to use both USB plugs, one of them is for the keyboard functionality and one is just an extender for the extra USB inputs on the keyboard itself, that one I leave unplugged.

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nateliv

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#18  Edited By nateliv

I would personally go for the K65 rapidfire if you play tons of fps games and dont mind losing you numpad. But if you type a lot of documents it can be frustrating at first

9AppsLucky PatcherVidMate

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hmoney001

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I prefer the Logitech mechanical keyboards. I went from a Corsair K70 with brown switches to the Logitech G513 and the Logitech just feels more solid (especially the space bar).

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ichthy

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#20  Edited By ichthy

Thanks for all your recommendations. I ended up with a K70 mk2 with brown switches because a friend gifted me one on my birthday (alongside some other Corsair stuff). I had actually bought the Ducky One 2 a couple weeks prior, which I actually thought was a better keyboard, but the difference wasn't great enough that I'd turn down free. The only thing I wish it had was the PBT keycaps, which definitely felt nicer. Also as shallow as it sounds, I kinda like the synced RGB across my peripherals.

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lovelash

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@nateliv said:

I would personally go for the K65 rapidfire if you play tons of fps games and dont mind losing you numpad. But if you type a lot of documents it can be frustrating at first

Even my first choice would be K65 rapidfire