7 Essential Tips for Buying Your First Mechanical Keyboard

If you’re a newcomer to the world of mechanical keyboards, you might find the process of choosing your first one a bit overwhelming. With so many options available, making the right decision can be challenging. But fear not! In this comprehensive beginner’s guide, we will walk you through seven essential tips to help you find the perfect mechanical keyboard that suits your needs and preferences.

1. Choose the Right Size and Layout

The first step in buying a mechanical keyboard is to decide on the size and layout that best suits your requirements. Keyboards come in various sizes, including 100%, Tenkeyless (TKL), 75%, and 60%. The 100% keyboard features a full layout with a numeric keypad, suitable for those who rely heavily on number input. On the other hand, a TKL keyboard eliminates the numeric keypad for a more compact design, leaving room for other keys like arrow keys. If you’re looking for an even more compact option, consider the 75% or 60% layouts, which remove the function row and sometimes the arrow keys.

2. Consider a Pre-Built Board with Hot-Swappable Switches

As a beginner, diving into the world of custom mechanical keyboards might be a bit too complex. A great starting point is a pre-built board with hot-swappable switches. Hot-swappable keyboards allow you to change out the switches easily, giving you the opportunity to experiment with different switch types until you find your favourite. This way, you can customize your typing experience without the need for soldering or complex modifications.

3. Pay Attention to the Base and Switch Color

The appearance of your mechanical keyboard is another crucial factor to consider. Pay close attention to the color of the base and ensure that it complements your overall setup. Additionally, consider the switch color carefully. Switches come in various types, such as clicky, tactile, and linear. Clicky switches provide an audible click sound, which might not be suitable for quiet environments like offices. Tactile switches have a slight bump when you press them, giving you feedback, while linear switches have a smooth key press without tactile feedback.

4. Wired or Wireless – Decide Based on Your Preference

When choosing a mechanical keyboard, you’ll come across both wired and wireless options. Wired keyboards offer a reliable and instantaneous connection, ensuring no latency during gaming or typing. On the other hand, wireless keyboards provide more freedom of movement and reduce cable clutter on your desk. Consider your preferences and use case to determine which option best suits your needs.

5. Evaluate Backlighting Options and Software Capabilities

Backlighting is a popular feature in mechanical keyboards, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits. Some keyboards offer single-color backlighting, while others boast RGB lighting with a wide range of colors and effects. Evaluate the backlighting options and customize them to your liking. Additionally, consider the software capabilities of the keyboard, as some models allow you to remap keys, create macros, and adjust lighting effects.

6. Set a Budget and Explore Recommended Keyboards

Before diving into the vast ocean of mechanical keyboards, it’s wise to set a budget for your purchase. Mechanical keyboards come at various price points, so determining how much you’re willing to spend can help narrow down your options. To help you get started, here are some highly recommended keyboards in the $80 to $120 range:


The GMK67 is a cost-effective choice with an 65% with 67-key layout, available at an attractive price point. Its wireless and wired options, coupled with hot-swappable switches, make it a top contender for first-time buyers.

 Keychron K2

The Keychron K2 is a versatile keyboard available in various layouts and with hot-swappable switches. It offers a blend of portability, build quality, and customization options, making it an excellent choice for beginners.

Keychron K6

Another popular Keychron model is the K6, featuring a compact 65% layout. It also offers hot-swappable switches and customizable RGB lighting, catering to both productivity and gaming needs.

7. Read Reviews and Watch Demos

Before finalizing your purchase, take some time to read reviews and watch video demos of the keyboards you are interested in. Reviews from other users can provide valuable insights into the keyboard’s build quality, performance, and overall satisfaction. Demos allow you to hear the sound of different switches and see how the RGB lighting looks in action, helping you make an informed decision.


Buying your first mechanical keyboard can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these seven essential tips, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect keyboard that matches your preferences, enhances your typing or gaming experience, and fits your budget. Remember to take your time and explore various options, and before you know it, you’ll be typing away on a mechanical keyboard that you love. Happy shopping !

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