Whether for business or for pleasure, if you’re hammering away at your keyboard, it’s going to take some abuse, and eventually, one or two keys will get worn down. Replacing just one key can be a surprisingly big undertaking; that is, unless you have a keyboard with hot-swappable keys.
A hot-swappable keyboard is much easier to maintain, which means that you don’t have to worry about getting used to a new keyboard anytime soon, because you’ll be able to use the same one for years on end. If you appreciate the value of a keyboard that fits your exact taste and that will last a lifetime, then you’ll need a good hot-swappable keyboard. And we’re here to make sure you find the perfect keyboard that will have you typing faster than ever before.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best hot-swappable keyboards, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
What’s the Appeal of a Hot-Swappable Keyboard?
As we already mentioned, hot-swappable keyboards are very low-maintenance. The replaceable keys help you change a key quickly and cheaply if one ever gets worn down. Another advantage of these flexible keyboards is that they’re completely customizable. If you ever decide you need to switch things up a bit, you can just replace the keys to change the weight and feel and even the actuation distance so that everything matches your new tastes and desires.
You can even give one or two keys a different feel than the rest of the keyboard if you want, so you can completely customize your keyboard to match your typing and gaming experience. Your computer is already tailored to your needs. Why shouldn’t your keyboard be the same way?
What Should You Look For in a Hot Swappable Keyboard?
Most people haven’t really bought a keyboard before. Sure, you may have replaced one broken keyboard years ago, but mostly you just use the one that comes bundled with your desktop or attached to your laptop. That means that most customers don’t know what to look like when buying a keyboard, hot-swappable or otherwise.
Separating the good from the bad is the first step of any purchase, and we want to make sure you know what’s what. That’s why we’ve laid out all of the criteria we used to evaluate the best hot-swappable keyboards. By the time you finish reading the simple rubric we’ve laid out below, you’ll feel like an expert, and you’ll be ready to buy the perfect hot-swappable keyboard for your workstation or gaming rig.
Criteria #1: Accessibility – As we’ve already discussed, the big appeal of hot-swappable keyboards is that they’re low-maintenance and easy to customize or repair. We want you to actually enjoy the full extent of that. Since everything exists on a spectrum, we know that some hot-swappable keyboards will have easier-to-swap keys than others, and those are the keyboards we’re looking at for you. We don’t want you to buy a hot-swappable keyboard only to find that switching out the keys is still much more annoying and difficult than you anticipated.
Criteria #2: Extra Features – Anyone who’s looked into good keyboards knows that the best ones out there will do much more than just let you type a few words. There are keyboards that have multiple input ports to help make setting up your PC easier, keyboards with media controls and programmable hotkeys, and so much more. We want you to be able to access all of those amazing features, and that’s why we’re only looking for the best hot-swappable keyboards that include everything except the kitchen sink. Get yourself a keyboard that’s nearly powerful as your computer.
Criteria 3: Size – Everyone is going to want a different size from their keyboard, so this criterion is definitely the most subjective one on our list. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less important. We can’t pretend to know what size keyboard you’ll be looking for, but we can make sure to include all of the relevant information in our reviews so that you feel ready to make the best decision. This means listing the measurements of every keyboard as well as mentioning whether it’s a full-sized keyboard, a tenkeyless piece, or a 60% keyboard. You’ll always know exactly what you’re getting, so you can buy the keyboard that’s most suited for your desk and the amount of space you have available.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well. And while hot-swappable keyboards are definitely a bit more expensive than standard mechanical keyboards, we’ll try to find the hidden steals on the market to mitigate the damage.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best hot-swappable keyboards” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We also made sure to include a wide variety of keyboards from different price ranges in our list. This way, everyone is guaranteed to find the keyboard that’s perfect for both their needs and their wallet.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best hot-swappable keyboards.
#1: Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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Our list starts off with the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This bad boy boasts all of the must-have features, plus it comes in at an amazing and affordable price. This makes it the ideal product for almost any customer and especially amazing for anyone who looking for their first hot-swappable keyboard.
This Redragon hot-swappable mechanical keyboard features 5 programmable macro keys (G1 through G5) on the keyboard that don’t require any software and will let you have 5 dedicated hotkeys that will bring your gaming to the next level. You can even quickly reprogram them depending on the game you’re about to play.
The Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard also offers media controls in the top right corner. Included with these keys is a convenient adjustment wheel for volume and backlight brightness, so you can set everything to your liking as quickly as possible. Our number one keyboard also boasts anti-ghosting keys that let you input as many keys at once as possible, so you don’t need to worry about a keypress not registering during an intense combo. Finally, this keyboard has a full-sized layout with a frame of 0.98 x 5.91 x 15.75 inches and a weight of 2.57 pounds.
As far as durability goes, Redragon boasts that their K50 hot-swappable keyboard passed the “50 million times keystroke test,” and boasts a low actuation force and short actuation distance to let you type as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The only problem with this keyboard is that it’s only compatible with the Oetemu blue hot switches, which are high quality and great for gaming, but this lack of customization may bother some users. Of course, replacing the keys will still be as easy as pie.
With features on blog posts and close to 2,000 reviews on Amazon, the glowing reviews of the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard speak for themselves. It’s always nice to know you have the approval of the crowd on your side.
The amazing price of our number one hot-swappable keyboard makes it the best value out there in terms of return on your dollar, and that’s why the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was an easy choice to be our number one pick.
#2: Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Best Overall Keyboard)
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. So if you want the best, you’ll have to pay for the best. If our number one pick didn’t quite catch your interest, you may be a bigger fan of the premium-grade Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It’s a bit more expensive than the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, but trust me, it’s worth it, and you deserve the best. Here are some of the amazing features that might convince you to whip out your credit card and spend your hard-earned cash on the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: The Most Switches
I mentioned that the only problem with the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the lack of customization. The folks over at Glorious must have heard me, because their Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of the most customizable products out there. Since it’s compatible with the Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, and Zeal switches, you can test out 4 different weights and feels with your keyboard, and you’re not limited to just one switch at a time. Either equip the entire keyboard with your favorite switch or give the WASD keys a different switch than the arrow keys or the Enter key so that every single key matches your exact gaming style. The Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a keyboard that was built just for you no matter who you are.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Fully Customizable Backlight
Customization seems to be the name of the game with this Glorious keyboard. Since style is just as important as function, the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard lets you customize the RGB backlight of every single key on your keyboard. Either keep it simple with a blue or white backlight or turn your keyboard into a dazzling rainbow that lights up as soon as you start typing. The possibilities are endless, and the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is sure to add some flair to your gaming or coding.
In addition to the full customization that extends from the hot switches to the backlights, the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard boasts a full-size style with a number pad and has measurements of 17.32 x 5.08 x 1.41 inches and a weight of 2.10 pounds. Glorious boasts that it’ll take less than 5 seconds to swap out the switches in this keyboard, so it’ll take no time at all to try every option on this hot-swappable keyboard and pick the switches that are perfect for you. Plus, with the USB-C input method, this keyboard is sure to have the quickest response time on the market.
It’s a little expensive, but it’s not unreasonable, and it’s still a great value. If you’re willing to pay the big bucks for the big product, then the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is calling your name.
#3: YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard (Best 60% Keyboard)
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Our first two keyboards both came with a full-sized layout, and we think it’s time we’ve included something for the folks out there who just don’t need a number pad. If you’re not typing in data or phone numbers all day, you can go weeks without ever using the number pad, as the number row up top will be just fine. And if that’s the case, why have a number pad at all? Why not save some room?
60% keyboards are not for everyone, but if you’re really interested in saving space and having a wide-open workstation that’s pretty to look at, then the YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard is the perfect hot-swappable keyboard for you. There really aren’t that many hot-swappable mechanical keyboards out there that come in this size, which means this product is a true hidden gem that’s in high demand.
Featuring high-quality Cherry MX switches, the YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard is perfect for anyone who wants to save space or stay on the move. Weighing just 1.85 pounds and boasting a frame of just 14 x 5.4 x 1.7 inches, this 60% keyboard will fit right into your backpack. When you’re settled in ready to get back to your work (or your game) you’ll have plenty of room for a book, coffee, and lunch.
Fair warning: This is a completely DIY kit. That can be a definite “no” for a lot of customers, but for anyone a little more comfortable starting from scratch, it could be a fun project. You’ll also be able to cut out any middle man and make sure that this keyboard is tailored to your tastes as soon as it’s ready. And on top of that, the fact you’re building the keyboard yourself shaves a lot off the price.
The YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard is one of the cheapest hot-swappable keyboards out there. So save some room and some money at the same time by buying the YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard for your computer.
#4: RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Best Low Cost)
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Do you want to buy a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard for cheaper than a standard mechanical keyboard? Do you think that’s impossible? Think again. The RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the best option out there for anyone who doesn’t want to plummet down the leader board because they can’t afford to buy a crazy-expensive, heavy-duty, hot-swappable keyboard.
This affordable hot-swappable mechanical keyboard said “bye-bye” to the number pad to give you a frame of 17.5 x 6 x 2 inches that’s sure to save some room. Plus, it features both wireless and wired input methods, so you can connect the RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard in a way that suits your mood at any given time. This keyboard includes Tactile Brown switches that are nice and quiet, so it’s perfect for gaming and business alike.
As far as style goes, you get plenty of RGB customization with this mechanical keyboard, and it’s available in both a dazzling white and a sleek black. You’re not just saving a few bucks with the RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, you’re actually walking away with a solid keyboard. Plus, the tenkeyless design is the perfect compromise for someone who doesn’t want the bulk of a full-sized keyboard but also doesn’t like the crammed feel of a 60% keyboard.
Pick up the steal of the market when you buy the RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Don’t let its cheap price fool you. This is a very formidable keyboard.
Verdict: Your Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the hot-swappable keyboard that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our hot-swappable keyboards and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
When you find the ideal product with all of the necessary features at an amazing price, you take it. With its programmable hotkeys, durable frame, and easy-to-switch hot-swappable keys, the Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is sure to please almost everyone. You also get anti-ghosting keys that will let you mash as many keys at once as you want, and every single input will register just fine. You’re “stuck” with the gaming Oetemu blue switches, but I’m sure you won’t mind. Did I mention the price? The Redragon K580 VATA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard isn’t just affordable, it’s downright cheap even without considering how good it is. That’s why this keyboard is the best value out there, and it should be the first product you look at.
If you need the smallest keyboard possible, pick the YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard.
Nobody has ever said, “Wow! I really wish there was more clutter on my desk right now.” That’s what makes this YMDK hot-swappable keyboard such a steal. As one of the only 60% hot-swappable mechanical keyboards out there, the YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard will offer you the customizable and low-maintenance performance you deserve for a low price. Plus, you get the DIY experience of putting it together on your own, and you can monitor every single step to make sure this keyboard comes out just the way you like it. If you want to save room and money, then you need to buy the YMDK GK61 Hot-Swap Independent Driver Mechanical Keyboard.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
Getting a fantastic tenkeyless, hot-swappable mechanical keyboard at this cheap price is not an opportunity that comes along very often, so you should take it while you have the chance. The Tactile Brown switches will deliver a great performance without being too noisy, so you can climb the leaderboard or fill out some spreadsheets, and the small frame is sure to fit at your desk even if your kids’ drawings are taking up some room. As a nice cherry on top, the option for either black or white makes the RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard one of the most stylish options out there. And as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, it’s insanely cheap. Go pull some quarters out from in between the couch cushions and buy the RK Royal Kludge Sink87G RGB Wireless TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
And that’s about it. If you’re not a big fan of any of the highlighted keyboards above you may be more interested in the fully-customizable Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that’s perfect for any gamer no matter what control scheme or actuation force you prefer.
Remember, all of our keyboards have one or two features that really set them apart from the crowd. That means that, if you’re still having trouble making your decision, it might be best to avoid looking at the fine details and just think about which one feature is most important to you. After you figure that out, you may very well realize that only one or two products offers what you’re looking for, and all of a sudden the decision is much easier.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the new keyboard, and enjoy the giant boost in your gaming and/or work performance!