Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $100 in 2017

We thought it was a good idea to create a list of the best cheap mechanical keyboards for under $100, that way regardless of your budget you will still be able to get a great mechanical keyboard and not break the bank. We also got you covered if you are looking to compliment your new mechanical keyboard with a cheap gaming mouse or a wireless gaming mouse.

A majority of these keyboards uses Cherry MX Switches, currently the market leader in manufacturing mechanical keyboard switches. They come in six different colors, each having varying features. If you find it hard to choose which particular Cherry switch would be most suited for you, it would be a good idea to purchase the 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester before purchasing one of the mechanical keyboards below.  

Note: If you’re thinking of spending a little more money to get one of the best mechanical keyboards out there, be sure to check out our best mechanical keyboard article too.​

BEST CHEAP MECHANICAL KEYBOARDS; IS THERE SUCH A THING?

YES! We aren’t talking about “cheap” as in cheaply made and only lasts you a week! We have brought together the best cheap mechanical keyboards (price wise) that offer that same quality and reliability as the ones that cost a fortune.

Individual mechanical switches beneath each key offer a number of benefits, namely an improved tactile response that can speed up typing—and of course also offers that satisfying click.

Mechanical keyboards are also a lot more durable than membrane keyboards, and if taken care of can last a long time. Perfect for someone on a budget that’s looking to get the most out of a keyboard.

HOW DO BUDGET KEYBOARDS DIFFER FROM THE TOP TIER KEYBOARDS?​

The great thing is that even if you choose a budget keyboard you can still get the same quality switches as one of the top tier keyboards.

The only difference with a budget mechanical keyboard is that you might not get some of the other features like fancy backlighting, dedicated media keys, or extra programmable keys.

You’ll get the same typing experience as the more expensive keyboards, so don’t worry about your functionality being hampered.

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    Want The Best Mechanical Keyboard Available, Regardless Of Price?

Look no further than Keyboard Das for truly quality keyboards.  The Das Keyboard 4 Professional delivers a premium typing experience with versatile functionality and many options for customization.  If you're willing to spend a little more than $100, then this is an excellent choice and highly recommended. 

CHEAP MECHANICAL KEYBOARDS Under $100

Sit back in your gaming chair and relax because we got you covered. Here’s a list of all the best cheap mechanical keyboards currently on the market under $100:

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    Quick Note..

More detailed reviews of the products can be found below or you can click the links above to check prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

# 1

Corsair Strafe - Our Top Choice

What We Like

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    Cherry MX switches
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    100% Anti-Ghosting
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    Highly Customizable
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    Good Quality, Full Mechanical Keyboard 

What We Don't

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    None -- Go for it!

Product Summary --

This keyboard is feature packed and comes in under $100. With the Corsair STRAFE you get a USB pass-through port and dynamic red LED backlighting that can be completely customized with the Corsair CUE software.

This keyboard comes in a variety of switch options, including Brown, Red, or Blue. Each of these cherry MX switches gives a different response each time you click them. I recommend you read this guide to get a better understanding on the switch types so you can make the best choice.

Gamers will definitely love the textured keycaps that are included with the keyboard. Keycaps are very easy to replace and won't take you more than 5 minutes. The textured keycaps help you easily keep your fingers on the right keys during those frantic battles.

Product Listing --

Corsair Strafe
1420 Reviews
Corsair Strafe
  • 100% Cherry MX key switches - Gold contact Cherry MX mechanical gaming keys deliver the ultimate competitive advantage
  • Dynamic backlighting - Brilliant RED backlighting enhances the experience with virtually unlimited lighting adjustability
  • Fully programmable - Reassign any key or set up the most extreme macros for effortless gaming. PC with 2 USB 2.0 ports. Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7. An internet connection is required to download the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software

What We Like

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    Cherry MX switches
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    Full Mechanical Keyboard
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    Removable braided USB cable

What We Don't

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    No backlighting
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    No number pad

Product Summary --

The CM Storm Quickfire Rapid is one of the best cheap mechanical keyboards, and for good reason.  Although this keyboard is pretty basic (as it features no backlighting), the QuickFire is still very well-built, and has laser-etched keys to ensure that the years of typing ahead don't ruin the keycaps.  The QuickFire comes in a variety of Cherry MX switches, which will offer some gaming advantage where double-tapping or half-pressing keys might be handy.

Product Listing --

CM Storm QuickFire Rapid
616 Reviews
CM Storm QuickFire Rapid
  • Mechanical Blue Cherry MX Switches
  • Windows keys disabled in Game mode
  • Extra key caps bundled (with key puller)

What We Like

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    Good build quality
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    Blue LED backlighting

What We Don't

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    Kailh mechanical switches

Product Summary --

Tt eSPORTS did an awesome job when designing the Poseidon, and I honestly have nothing but praise for the keyboard.  The only downside of this keyboard is that it uses Kailh mechanical switches (Kailh switches basically clones of Cherry MX switches) rather than Cherry MX. Some people say that Kailh switches are rather cheap, and I tend to agree (after all, this blog IS about the best cheap mechanical keyboards). Luckily this keyboard comes with a 5 year warranty if anything goes wrong.  This keyboard features blue LED backlighting which is big plus for those who love backlit keys.

Product Listing --

Sale
Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z
747 Reviews
Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z
  • Tt certified blue switch
  • 5 year warranty
  • Anti-ghosting function

What We Like

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    Media shortcut keys
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    Cherry MX switches
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    Good build quality, especially for the price

What We Don't

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    No backlighting

Product Summary --

The Rosewill RK-9000v2 is a great minimalistic and professional looking keyboard and is available in 4 different kinds of Cherry MX Switches - Red, Black, Blue, and Brown.  For gaming purposes, this isn't one of the best cheap mechanical keyboards, but is a great choice for daily use or an office environment.

Product Listing --

Rosewill RK-9000v2 Mechanical Keyboard
321 Reviews
Rosewill RK-9000v2 Mechanical Keyboard
  • 100% Cherry Red MX Switches. They deliver a fast and precise response with great tactile feedback.
  • The N-key rollover function is a must-have for gamers!
  • Multimedia keys give you direct control from your keyboard.

What We Like

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    Great design
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    Solid feel
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    Good quality

What We Don't

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    No number pad

Product Summary --

This mechanical keyboard isn't very mainstream, but it's probably one of the best cheap mechanical keyboards available in this price range.

First of all, the keyboard comes with a thick aluminum back-plate and the bottom of the case is plastic. This gives the mechanical keyboard a really solid feel, there is no cracking or twisting.

On the right side of the keyboard you will find an embossed MagicForce logo which looks really good.

Another benefit of the aluminium finish is that it won't collect much dust and won't be very difficult to clean.

The design is really compact and there are no unnecessary keys that might get in the way when gaming or typing.

In terms of the LED lighting, they are surprisingly bright and can be controlled via the function and arrow keys.

The Qisan MagicForce is available in various switch types but we recommend sticking with the Cherry MX  version.

Product Listing --

Qisan Gaming Keyboard Mechanical Wired Keyboard...
113 Reviews
Qisan Gaming Keyboard Mechanical Wired Keyboard...
  • The elusive 68 keys keyboard is here. It is Cherry MX Red Switch keyboard. It is equipped with four directional keys and four navigation keys, not to mention function keys integrated into the number row. but with page up and down keys.It also comes with three DIP switches that allow you to disable the Windows key, swap Capslock with left Ctrl, or swap Windows key with the Functions.

mechanical keyboard

What We Like

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    Key Backlighting
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    Cherry MX Switches
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    Customization Options
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    Very Affordable

What We Don't

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    No USB Pass-Through Connection

Product Summary --

SteelSeries is a manufacturer that has always come up with fine gaming products, and the Apex M500 is no exception. This traditional-looking, 104 keys black keyboard is equipped with Cherry MX Red Gaming Switches. Weighing about 2.7 pounds and measuring 17.3 x 5.4 inches, The Apex M500 is a lightweight keyboard compared to its competitors.

Most of the SteelSeries keyboards are remarkably strong by build, and so is the Apex M500. It is manufactured using high-quality, durable plastic and has been reinforced with a steel back plate. They keys are well-spaced and illuminated with blue back lighting. At the back end of these keys lay the Cherry MX Red Switches, ensuring soft and quite keystrokes with high level responsiveness. These switches can be arguably regarded as the best ones Cherry has to offer.

The keyboard has an excellent cable management system. There are 3 gives on the bottom of the keyboard so whether you want to align the cable to the left, right, or center, it won’t get tangled. It comes with the SteelSeries Engine 3 software, which you can use to reprogram the keys and customize the brightness and pattern of the backlighting.

Product Listing --

Sale
SteelSeries Apex M500
241 Reviews
SteelSeries Apex M500
  • Cherry MX Red Mechanical Gaming Switches
  • Individual Blue LED Illumination
  • 100% Programmable with SteelSeries Engine

mechanical keyboard

What We Like

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    Customizable Per-Key Backlighting
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    Sturdy Construction

What We Don't

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    High Price Tag

Product Summary --

Logitech’s gaming gadgets have always been adored by gamers, and the G610 Orion promises to maintain the quality and performance that is associated with Logitech’s gadgets. This efficient keyboard comes in two variations (Brown and Red), and for the purposes of this review we chose the brown one.

The core material of the mouse is thick, industrial-grade plastic. The overall look and feel of the keyboard is sober and gentle, without many distractions. The matte black finishing on the chassis, and the white backlit keys contribute to the streamlined appearance of the G610 Orion.

The keys of G610 Brown are slightly more resistant than the Red ones; however, both provide soft keystrokes and have an excellent actuation of 2mm. The G610 features dedicated media controls, enabling you to control the background and foreground sound adjustments without leaving the game. The gaming utility software of the keyboard lets you reprogram keys, define macros, and customize the backlighting of the keys. You cannot change the color (white) of the backlighting; however, the brightness and pattern of backlighting can be customized.

Product Listing --

Sale
Logitech G610 Orion Brown
737 Reviews
Logitech G610 Orion Brown
  • Performance-driven gaming keyboard: Full-size keyboard delivering a pure, fluid gaming experience
  • Tactile Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Key Switches: Low-noise switches have a tactile bump for feedback with every keypress
  • Customizable Lighting: Personalize individual key lighting brightness to keep track of spells and other commands. Backlighting: White. G610 gives you full control of per-key backlighting.

mechanical keyboard

What We Like

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    Comfortable Wrist Pad
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    Beautiful Design
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    Interactive in-game Effects

What We Don't

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    Not a true mechanical keyboard

Product Summary --

Razer is an accepted market leader in manufacturing both expensive, high-end gaming gadgets, as well as budget-friendly gadgets capable of delivering fine gaming performance. The Razer Ornata is one of their most versatile products in that along with being affordable, it is an unusual hybrid of mechanical keyboards and membrane keyboards. It offers a unique experience by combining the responsiveness of mechanical keyboards with the quietness of the membrane ones.

It is a standard size gaming keyboard featuring half-height keys that ensure easy and faster actuations. The keys are individually backlit and can be customized by choosing one of the several available dynamic effects. It features a remarkably soft and comfortable ergonomic wrist rest, made of faux leather.

It is powered by the Razer Synapse software, enabling you to fully reprogram the keys and record on the fly macros for your games. It possesses most of the features you can find in high-end mechanical keyboards and is undoubtedly a pretty good deal.

Product Listing --

Sale
Razer Ornata Mecha-Membrane
349 Reviews
Razer Ornata Mecha-Membrane
  • The all-new Razer Mecha-Membrane combines the soft cushioned touch of a membrane rubber dome with the crisp tactile click of a mechanical switch to enable swift actuation for each key stroke
  • The Razer Ornata Chroma features a custom designed keycap that has been made shorter to reduce the time it takes for your actions to register
  • With interactive in-game effects, the Razer Ornata allows you to experience more immersive gameplay as your keyboard reacts to your game

mechanical keyboard

What We Like

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    N-key Rollover
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    Cherry MX Switches

What We Don't

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    No Backlighting
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    No Macros

Product Summary --

Rosewill has been manufacturing good quality, affordable mechanical keyboards for years now, and the RK-9000V2 is their latest and perhaps finest product. Available in several variations of the Cherry MX switches (Blue, Black, Brown, and Red); the RK-9000V2 offers pretty much everything that an average gamer would desire.

This full sized keyboard has a compact shape with no wasted space and unneeded frills, and thus only occupies a reasonable amount of space on your table. Its build is strong and heavy, and the rubber feet at the bottom help it in resisting slips during intense gameplay. It is extremely durable and can survive years of rough use.

As regards performance, the keys have a great level of responsiveness and offer a comfortable gaming experience. There is an option to lock the windows key, thus avoiding accidental keystroke during gameplay.

The keyboard does lag behind in some features; particularly, the absence of backlighting and macros. Nonetheless, it is a good choice for average gamers who want to ascend into a higher gaming realm.

Product Listing --

Rosewill RK-9000V2
321 Reviews
Rosewill RK-9000V2
  • 100% Cherry Brown MX Switches. They deliver a fast and precise response with great tactile feedback.
  • The N-key rollover function is a must-have for gamers!
  • Multimedia keys give you direct control from your keyboard.

mechanical keyboard

What We Like

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    Ergonomic Wrist-Rest
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    Adjustable Backlighting
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    Stylish Design

What We Don't

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    Kailh Key Switches

Product Summary --

The Azio MGK1 is a compact mechanical gaming keyboard that avoids frills and the jargon of extra keys. The keyboard is available in two variations (Kailh Black and Kailh Blue). The Kailh mechanical switches, although not as premium as Cherry MX, are an excellent substitute and are almost identical to them in terms of performance and durability.

The surface is made of brushed aluminum, with the base available in both black and red colors. A remarkable feature of the keyboard is its ‘driverless’ capability, i.e. you do not need to install drivers and as soon as you plug in the USB cord, your keyboard is ready to use.

Equipped with a comfortable and ergonomic wrist-rest, the MGK1 works well for both gaming experience and typing duties. It is a strong contender in an already condensed market, and has gained well-earned reputations in the past two years.

Product Listing --

Sale
Azio MGK1
646 Reviews
Azio MGK1
  • Mechanical Key Switches (Kailh Brown)
  • Black Anodized Aluminum Face Plate
  • White LED Backlight w/ Adjustable Brightness

Conclusion:

It may seem impossible to find a great keyboard on a budget but hopefully you now have a few better choices.

Our top choice would definitely be the Corsair STRAFE and is well worth the money. I have been using this mechanical keyboard for more than a year now I'm extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone. Either way, you can't go wrong with any of the keyboards on this list!

Mechanical keyboards do not have to be expensive.

These are considered in the mid range of mechanical keyboards in terms of price.  Hopefully we have helped you find a suitable mechanical keyboard and good luck on your adventures!

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  • October 5, 2017