If you’re looking for a new keyboard and you’re on a tight budget, you might be surprised to find that you can get a mechanical keyboard for under $50. In this guide, we’ll take a look at six of the best cheap mechanical keyboards currently available.
Over the past five or so years, mechanical keyboards have become incredibly popular among gamers and professionals who need the tactile feel that mechanical switches offer. However, up until recently, it was hard to find budget-friendly mechanical keyboard options. Fortunately, though, today there are plenty of cheap mechanical keyboards under $50 that will serve budget-oriented users well.
Of course, these cheaper mechanical keyboards aren’t using name brand switches, but rather opting for cheaper generic switches. In most cases, though, the average user likely won’t be able to tell the difference between the cheaper generic switches and the high-end switches that are out there. And, even if they can, if they are limited to a budget, the cheaper mechanical switches will still offer a better experience (for some) than membrane switches.
So, if you are working with a tighter budget and you need a mechanical keyboard, the six options below represent decent options for you and your budget.
A Quick Look at the Best Mechanical Keyboards Under $50
If you want a quick look at our top picks for the best mechanical keyboards under $50, the table below showcases four of the best options across a range of categories. We’ve selected the best overall mechanical keyboard under $50, the best value option, the best budget option, and the best option under $20.
*To read more about the mechanical keyboards in the table above, click on “Read Review »” to skip to our overview on that keyboard. We’ve also picked a couple of Honorable Mentions as well and you can see our overview on those options by scrolling down on this post.
Best Under $50:
For our best mechanical keyboard under $50, we chose the EagleTec KG010. The main positives that help the KG010 stand out over the other options on this list are the fact that it is a 104-key format (instead of the tenkeyless design that the other options on this list come with) and that it comes with RGB backlit keys.
Of course, if you prefer a tenkeyless design and you don’t need RGB lighting, then you’d probably be better off saving some money and going with an option like the Redragon K552 or the TOMOKO Blue keyboards that are listed below.
The KG010 comes with blue switches, which are great options for typing and decent options for gaming as well (although, blue switches aren’t as good as red or brown switches for gamers.)
Overall, though, if you’re looking for a solid mechanical keyboard that has RGB lighting and a full set of 104 keys, then the EagleTec KG010 is probably your best bet. If you have a tighter budget, though, check out some of the other options below.
Best Under $30:
For a more affordable option than the EagleTec KG010 you can grab the Redragon K552 for just under $30. While it doesn’t have a full set of 104 keys, nor RGB backlighting, the Redgradon K552 sports generic blue switches and comes with red LED backlighting.
So, if you’d prefer a tenkeyless design and you don’t necessarily need RGB lighting (but wouldn’t mind having solid red backlighting), you could save ~$20 by choosing the K552 over the KG010. Of course, if you don’t need backlit keys, you could also save more money by going with the TOMOKO Blue, or if you don’t mind going with an even cheaper option, the Rii RK902 listed below would be a decent option, too.
Ultimately, for just under $30 the K552 is an excellent value option for gamers or professional users who need a cheap mechanical keyboard.
A nice slightly-cheaper alternative to the Redragon K552 is the TOMOKO Blue. It comes with generic blue switches and a tenkeyless design. However, it doesn’t come with any kind of backlighting, so if you are someone who wants backlit keys, you’ll either want to consider the K552 or the cheaper Rii RK902.
The price difference isn’t too significant between the K552 and the TOMOKO Blue, though, so our recommendation would be to spend the few extra bucks to get the K552, or, if you want as inexpensive of an option as possible, get the Rii RK902 as it comes in at about ~$7 cheaper.
Best Under $20:
If you didn’t think that you could get a cheap mechanical keyboard for under $20, you’ll be surprised to know that the Rii RK902 comes in at just under $20, making it one of the most budget-friendly options currently available.
It comes with a tenkeyless design and white LED backlit keys. It also comes with generic blue switches which makes it a good option for typing and an option that will serve well for gaming, too.
Ultimately, though, if you have a really tight budget and you’re looking for a cheap option that can hold you over until you can afford a higher-end keyboard, the Rii RK902 would be a good entry-level option.
Honorable Mention #1:
One alternative you have to the EagleTec KG010 is the Gofreetech RGB mechanical keyboard. Like the KG010, the Gofreetech keyboard also features RGB backlit keys, a full 104-key layout, and mechanical switches.
However, unlike the KG010, the Gofreetech board features generic brown switches instead of blue switches. So, if you’re a gamer, you might want to go with the option from Gofreetech as the lighter brown switches would suit you better than the heavier blue switches. But, if you do a lot of typing along with gaming, the blue switches on the KG010 would probably be the better option
Also, the Gofreetech RGB hasn’t been as widely used as the KG010 and so there hasn’t been a lot of reviews on it that provide a good consensus on its overall quality, whereas the KG010 currently has hundreds of positive reviews on it. So, if you’re looking for the safer bet, the KG010 is probably the better option for you.
Honorable Mention #2:
Nixeus Moda v2
Finally, another option you might want to consider is the Nixeus Moda v2. Like most of the options above, it comes with a tenkeyless design. However, like the Gofreetech keyboard listed above, the Moda v2 opts for brown switches instead of blue switches.
So, for hardcore gamers that are looking for a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard, the Moda v2 or the Gofreetech might be your best bets in this price range due to their brown switches. Although, blue switches aren’t terrible for gaming in the grand scheme of things and if you’re doing any amount of serious typing along with playing games, the blue switches will serve you well, too.
Ultimately, we’d recommend the EagleTec KG010 at this same price because it comes with the standard 104-key format and has RGB backlighting. However, if you prefer a smaller keyboard and you don’t need RGB lighting, the Moda v2 is a fine alternative.
Check Out These Top Budget Mechanical Keyboards
While you’ll find better quality switches and better overall keyboards in higher price ranges, if you don’t have a large budget to begin with, the options listed above will allow you to get a mechanical keyboard for a really affordable price. So, if you’re looking for a cheap mechanical keyboard, check out the options above as there should be an option there that will suit your needs.