The Best Mechanical Keyboards Under $50

The Best Mechanical Keyboards Under $50

Finding a responsive and reliable mechanical keyboard doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s a look at some of the best mechanical keyboards available today for less than $50, including models that support both Windows and Mac.

  • tecware phantom

    TECWARE Phantom

    Best Overall

  • redragon k582

    Redragon K582 Surara

    Best for Gaming

  • keychron c1

  • hyperx alloy core

    HyperX Alloy Core RGB

    Best Non-mechanical Keyboard Under $50

What to Look For in a Mechanical Keyboard in 2023

Mechanical keyboards often carry price tags well over $100. From aluminum frames and responsive switches to premium features like built-in OLED displays, the best mechanical keyboards boast tons of cool features. And if you’re shopping with a budget of less than $50, you’ll need to set realistic expectations.

For one, keyboards in this price range won’t be built with high-quality materials. Most feature ABS keycaps instead of PBT keycaps (which are a bit less durable), offer fewer lighting options, give you fewer customizable keys, and rarely come with additional features. However, just because you’re shopping for a budget mechanical keyboard doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

In fact, there are plenty of great mechanical keyboards under $50 for you to consider. The main thing you’ll want to look for is reliability and responsiveness. This means products from well-known brands are often your best bet. HyperX, for example, creates some of the best keyboards around, and much of that expertise and quality craftsmanship can be found in its budget products. The same goes for Keychron and Redragon—both of which are well-known to frugal shoppers.

Aside from looking at reputable manufacturers, you’ll want to consider which types of switches you need. Some are designed for gaming, while others are better for typing or working in a shared space. You’ll also need to check into the compatibility of your prospective keyboard, as not all of them play nicely with Mac and PC.

At the end of the day, the main thing to remember when shopping for a budget keyboard is that you’ll need to make some compromises. What you don’t want to compromise on is reliability and responsiveness. But losing out on fancy RBG lights or additional connection methods shouldn’t be a big deal.

Need some help with your search? Here’s a look at the best mechanical keyboards under $50.

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Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $50 Overall: TECWARE Phantom Mechanical Keyboard

Tecware Feature (1)



Per-key RGB lighting

Not the highest quality materials

Removable switches

Durable, braided USB cable

The TECWARE Phantom Mechanical Keyboard is surprisingly well-equipped for a $50 keyboard. One of its standout features is removable switches, allowing you to swap in new switches as needed or dive in for a thorough cleaning.

Another great feature often found on more expensive keyboards is its per-key lighting. This means you can adjust the RGB lights for every single key—and when coupled with the TECWARE software, it’s easy to create a custom design that fits the rest of your setup.

Other notable features include a braided USB cable, floating keys to accentuate its RGB lights, and a space-saving 87-key design. Its ABS keycaps aren’t quite as robust as doubleshot PBT keycaps, but its construction and quality are in line with what you’d expect for the price range. This model is built around Outemu Brown switches, but you’ll also find Outemu Red switches if you want quieter performance.

tecware phantom


Best Overall

The TECWARE Phantom Mechanical Keyboard boasts impressive features for its price, including per-key lighting, swappable switches, and impressive software to customize its performance.

Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $50 for Gaming: Redragon K582 Surara Mechanical Keyboard

Redragon Feature



Customizable via Redragon software

Uninspiring design

Full-size layout

N-key rollover

Redragon is incredibly popular among frugal shoppers. The company produces an extensive lineup of budget-friendly gaming gear that’s actually worthy of your battle station—and the K582 Surara Mechanical Keyboard is no exception.

The K582 Surara uses Red switches that are ideal for gaming. They boast an estimated lifespan of 50 million keystrokes along with N-key rollover, ensuring all your inputs are registered. The font used across its keycaps and logo is a bit aggressive and certainly falls prey to the “gamer” aesthetic, but otherwise, it’s a well-built keyboard for its price.

You’ll also benefit from 12 media keys, per-key RGB lighting, and an ergonomic design that’s ideal for prolonged gaming sessions. The Surara is the cheapest keyboard on this list, so be sure to give it a look before springing for something more expensive. And if you’re hoping to customize your keyboard, you’ll be glad to know the Redragon Software makes it easy to set macros or change your lighting.

redragon k582

Redragon K582 Surara

Best for Gaming

Its design is a bit lackluster, but with an N-key rollover, red switches for gaming, and an ergonomic layout, the Surara is a great keyboard for frugal shoppers.

Best Mechanical Keyboard Under $50 for Mac: Keychron C1 TKL Mechanical Keyboard

keychron c1 header



Retro design

No fancy RGB lighting

Supports Mac and Windows

Tactile brown switches

At $55, the Keychron C1 TKL Mechanical Keyboard is a bit over budget. But if you’re willing to part ways with an extra five bucks, you’ll get an incredible keyboard built for both PC and Mac.

The first thing you’ll notice about this keyboard is its retro design. There are no flashing lights, no aggressive gamer graphics, and no unnecessary frills. Instead, you get an old-school aesthetic with modern sensibilities. One of the best modern features is the Keychron Brown Switches, which are quiet, responsive, and rated for up to 50 million clicks.

Other standout features include extra keycaps for Windows and Mac, a wired USB-C connection, and a compact TKL layout. It can also be inclined up to 9 degrees for added comfort.

A noticeable omission is lighting. While some will be happy that there aren’t any flashy RGB lights, others will lament the fact that there’s no backlight at all. This can be troublesome if you prefer to work at night, but everyone else will find the C1 to be the perfect budget mechanical keyboard.

keychron c1

Keychron C1

Best for Mac

You’ll have to increase your budget by a few bucks, but the Keychron C1 TKL is a gorgeous, retro-inspired mechanical keyboard that supports both PC and Mac.

Best Non-Mechanical Keyboard Under $50: HyperX Alloy Core

HyperX Feature (1)



Great for gaming

Not a mechanical keyboard

Reliable build quality


If you don’t mind stepping away from mechanical keyboards, consider taking a close look at the HyperX Alloy Core. Not only is it regularly priced well below $50, but it’s a shockingly good membrane keyboard that great for almost everything—including gaming.

HyperX is no stranger to crafting impressive, budget-priced products, and the Alloy Core might be the best example of this expertise. Along with a spill-resistant design, this keyboard comes with dedicated media keys, ultra-quiet keys, five customizable lighting zones, and anti-ghosting to ensure all your key presses are registered.

Of course, the big drawback is that this isn’t a mechanical keyboard. That means you won’t get the satisfying feeling that comes with red, brown, or blue switches, though the Alloy Core is still plenty responsive.

hyperx alloy core

HyperX Alloy Core RGB

Best Non-mechanical Keyboard Under $50

$35 $50 Save $15

It’s not a mechanical keyboard, but the HyperX Alloy Core deserves a closer look. With a great price, eye-catching design, and tons of premium features, this is one of the best budget keyboards money can buy.  


What are mechanical keyboard switches?

Mechanical switches sit underneath keycaps and are responsible for registering your keystrokes. Some are loud and clicky, while others are a bit softer and easier to press. Check out our guide for more details.

What does ‘hot-swappable’ mean?

Hot-swappable means you can easily replace the currently installed switches with a switch puller. This is a highly sought after feature, as it allows for increased customization. And if a switch starts acting up, you can easily replace it. If a keyboard isn’t hot-swappable, you’ll likely need to use a soldering gun to install new switches.

Are mechanical keyboards good for gaming?

Yes, mechanical keyboards are great for gaming. They provide tactile feedback to let you know when actions have been triggered and often boast short actuation distances—giving you a slight advantage over the competition.

How do I make a mechanical keyboard quieter?

The best thing you can do is buy a keyboard with quiet switches, such as the Cherry MX Silent Red. If you can’t swap out your switches, then try using a desk mat, adding a foam dampener to the inside of your board, or upgrading your O-rings.

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