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Best mechanical keyboard 2022: Top 5 picks we’ve tested

Nabbing the best mechanical keyboard in 2022 isn’t an easy task. The last few years has seen more and more features jam-packed into mainstream keyboards that were usually reserved for the enthusiast space, which has led to a lot of brilliant keyboards coming our way.

To help you out, our team of experts test a vast range of mechanical keyboards every year, be they brilliant all-rounders for gaming with linear switches, or more specialist options with smaller layouts and form factors. Based on these reviews, we’ve assembled a list of our top-rated contenders.

Not every keyboard is going to be suitable for everyone, so we’ve included a good range of potential options for you to pick from. This includes dinky mini options for those wanting something more compact to beastly modular keyboards for those who like customisation.

We’ve also taken the time to focus on the important things people looking for when buying a mechanical keyboard. Particularly, we’ve tested how their respective switches feel (for both day-to-day usage and for gaming), how good any accompanying software and RGB lighting is, and of course, how well a keyboard is built.

To get the best results possible, our team has used each keyboard extensively, making it their primary peripheral for at least a week, and playing a vast range of different games in order to find out how it truly performs.

If you can’t see a mechanical keyboard that tickles your fancy just yet, it may be worth bookmarking this page and coming back to it later, as we’ll be updating this frequently as more and more keyboards pass through our hands throughout the year, and beyond. And if you’re happy to be a little more flexible, check out our more general Best Gaming Keyboard list instead.

How we test

Learn more about how we test keyboards

We use every keyboard we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by playing a variety of different genres, including FPS, strategy and and MOBAs.

We also check each keyboard’s software to see how easy it is to customise and set up.

Roccat Pyro

Best value mechanical keyboard
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Pros

  • Properly sturdy build quality
  • Quick linear switches are ideal for gaming
  • Affordable price
  • Great backlighting

Cons

  • Lack of USB passthrough
  • Grooved plastic may not please some
  • Cherry MX clones may not be the choice for purists

If you’re hunting for a great value mechanical keyboard that’s also a cracking all-rounder, the Roccat Pyro should serve you well.

Underneath, it’s got some TTC Red switches, which we think are some of the best Cherry MX Red clones out there. During testing, we found them to have a light and snappy keypress thanks to a 45cN force which made rounds of CS:GO a joy, as well as general working an absolute delight. Alongside this comes creature comforts such as anti-ghosting and full NKRO which helped to make keypresses as accurate and precise as possible.

The general construction of the Pyro is also something to behold, with it having practically no deck flex or bend in the chassis whatsoever, even under harsh pressure. We found it to be rather durable, with a metal top plate also helping it to look rather sleek too. There’s also some vibrant RGB lighting here.

Connectivity here is nice and easy, with a single USB-A-ended wired cable, and the additional software on offer with the Pyro, namely Roccat Swarm, is some of the best out there, in our view. We found it to offer a functional user experience with plenty of easy customisation, ranging from mapping keys to programming macros and fiddling around with RGB lighting. The Logitech G Pro Keyboard is another affordable mechanical keyboard option worth considering, but we still think the Roccat Pyro still has the edge in terms of value.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Roccat Pyro review

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

Best analog mechanical keyboard
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Pros

  • Analog switches can be a game-changer
  • Crisp backlighting
  • Sturdy build quality

Cons

  • Immense cost
  • Software programming can be fiddly
  • Can be super-loud

The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is a particular favourite of ours, so much so it won a Trusted Reviews Award in 2021, and is one of our top entries on the best gaming keyboard list, too.

There’s an especially good reason why we rate this keyboard so highly: analog switches. The Huntsman V2 Analog brings the powers of controller-like accuracy to a full size keyboard, which we found to provide some immense accuracy during testing, be it within FPS titles, or even racing games such as Dirt Rally. The analog switches are also good for day-to-day usage, but do note that this is a loud keyboard. If you’re planning on using it for work around other people, then you may want to pick up something with dampened or silent switches for instance.

The Huntsman V2 Analog is also built like an absolute tank. It’s one of the thickest keyboards we’ve tested that also comes with some incredible build quality and no flex in the chassis whatsoever. Razer has gone the extra mile here, bundling textured PBT keycaps with the Huntsman V2 Analog. They not only feel great under finger, but are also immensely durable, and the fact they’re two-shot moulded also means Razer’s sweet RGB backlighting can shine through.

The Chroma lighting here is also fantastic with a sea of colours very well-represented. Razer bundles their Synapse 3 software package with the Huntsman V2 Analog, with endless possibilities for customisation and tinkering. This extends not only to adjusting the actuation point for every respective switch, but also to the fact you can map each key to a controller input, which is mighty clever. You also have the option of the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog, sporting the same features but in a more compact frame.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Razer Huntsman V2 Analog review

Corsair K100

Best opto-mechanical keyboard
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Pros

  • Brilliant opto-mechanical switches
  • Packed with features
  • Sturdy design and great RGB LED lighting

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some flimsy buttons
  • No USB 3.0

Opto-mechanical switches are slowly but surely becoming a mainstay in the world of mechanical keyboards, and the Corsair K100 is a fine example of how to get it right.

In short, opto-mechanical switches work by interrupting a laser beam, which in then registers a keypress, rather than using a switch with a physical mechanism. Compared to more traditional ‘mechanical’ switches, they’re said to offer a quicker input, making the likes of this Corsair K100 ideal for FPS games. In testing, we found the K100 to perform admirably thanks to a snappy and almost instantaneous keypress.

The overall design and construction on offer with the K100 is superb, with us finding it to be wonderfully sturdy. In addition, you also get excellent features such as programmable macro keys, and a clever multi-function wheel in the top-left corner that can be used for everything from controlling volume to scrolling web pages. Finding a keyboard with such a vast swathe of functions is getting increasingly rare, so we found it especially pleasing for Corsair to bundle the functionality with the K100.

The K100 features vibrant RGB lighting that can be controlled via the brand’s accompanying iCue software. It’s one of the most versatile software packages out there for peripherals out there, offering oodles of customisation. This can range from creating dozens of lighting effects, as well as recording complex macros and using the K100’s on-board memory and processor to full effect by creating game profiles.

Reviewer: Mike Jennings
Full review: Corsair K100 review

Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini

Best mini mechanical keyboard
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Pros

  • Excellent build quality on Yellow switch model
  • Compact, travel friendly design
  • Solid, near latency free wireless connectivity

Cons

  • Expensive

If you’re after a smaller form factor keyboard that packs in an awful lot of features, then the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini is a particular favourite of ours.

It has a 65% layout ‘board, meaning you get access to the standard run of letters and numbers, alongside only a handful of function keys and arrow keys, which you’d miss out on if you went for a 60% keyboard such as the Razer Huntsman Mini, for instance. We found the 65% layout to be functional, although considering the high price, the lack of those additional keys may not justify the BlackWidow V3 Mini’s high markup.

Inside, it features Razer’s Yellow switches, which are comparable to light and linear switches such as MX Speed Silvers, especially given the Yellows also have a higher actuation point of 1.2mm. This means that you won’t have to push the key as far down as usual for it to register an input. In testing, we found the Yellows to be a real delight to use, for both gaming, and for more general use.

Its wireless connectivity is taken care of via Razer’s HyperSpeed dongle, which offers a practically zero-latency connection. You can also use it to connect other supported Razer peripherals such as the equally tiny Orochi V2 mouse. There is also Bluetooth connectivity on offer with the BlackWidow V3 Mini, which we found worked find at short distances, although moving further away introduced some latency and delay into the equation.

The BlackWidow V3 Mini makes use of Razer’s Chroma lighting, which looks vibrant and crisp, although did act as a serious drain on the keyboard’s battery life. In testing, we managed to get a runtime of 18-20 hours with the backlighting on, which will give you a couple of days’ usage before you need to charge it back up again. If you like the idea of a small gaming keyboard, it’s also worth checking out the HyperX Alloy Origins 65.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full Review: Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini review

Asus ROG Claymore II

Best modular mechanical keyboard
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Pros

  • Premium build quality
  • Modular design is ingenious
  • Clicky optical switches feel decent

Cons

  • High price
  • Non-attachable wristrest
  • Cheap-feeling keycaps

The Asus ROG Claymore II is a clever mechanical keyboard with an intriguing design-based party piece: it’s a modular keyboard.

This means you can chop and change the keyboard’s layout to include an additional number pad alongside the standard TKL keyboard, so you can use it in a multitude of configurations. For instance, if you wanted the number pad on the left hand side, then it attaches conveniently by a combination of magnets and plastic grooves. We found the attachment and setup process to be easy.

Alongside its ingenious design comes a choice of Asus’ own RX optical switches. You can either get them in Red or Blue flavours, with the former being a linear switch ideal for gaming, and the latter being a clicky switch that works well for typing. Our sample came with RX Blues, which we found to be great for both typing and gaming, given their mid-range force of 65g, optical setup and satisfying click. Just note, the audible click is loud, meaning this isn’t the best keyboard to use if other people are around. For that, consider something with quieter switches.

The Claymore II’s battery life is also good for a wireless mechanical board with loads of bells and whistles. It’s quoted to last for around 40 hours with the backlighting cranked all the way up, which beats off other premium boards such as the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro by almost four times. On the point of backlighting, the Claymore II’s is bright and sharp, and we thought it looked fantastic. The accompanying software, ROG Armoury Crate, is also functional, and gives you great customisation options regarding fiddling with the lighting, or programming macros.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review:
ASUS ROG Claymore II review

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FAQs

Do mechanical keyboards make you type better?

Mechanical keyboards are traditionally said to help improve typing, given their more accurate and precise keypresses, and (depending on the switch you have) the feedback you receive with each input.

What is the fastest mechanical keyboard?

Measuring the ‘fastest’ mechanical keyboard is quite difficult, but with on-paper statistics, the likes of the Corsair K70 RGB Pro and Razer’s Huntsman V2 both feature above-standard polling rates, which means they report inputs more often than other keyboards to a host device, which could be seen to make them ‘faster’.

Is Razer better than SteelSeries?

This is a subjective question, but for what it’s worth, there are a pair of brilliant Razer keyboards featured in the list above with the Huntsman V2 Analog and the BlackWidow V3 Mini.

Comparison specification

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