Mechanical keyboards are a pleasure to use and they can greatly improve the user’s gaming or typing experience. However, the market is filled with many mechanical keyboards with various key switches. Hence, if you don’t know which key switch to choose, or if you don’t want to use a particular set of keys for a long time, you should invest in the best hot swappable mechanical keyboards.
To this end, hot-swappable mechanical keyboards allow users to pull out the switch without disassembling the circuit board. In fact, you can replace any number of key switches by simply using a key/switch remover. So, you can use the faster-acting red switches to reload, or the “R” buttons and more tactile blue switches for the WASD keys while playing FPS – the possibilities are endless.
So, if you want to get in on the action, then here are the best hot swappable mechanical keyboards you can buy today.
1. Redragon K530 Pro Dragon
Redragon is known for its high quality and affordable mechanical keyboards and the K530 Pro Draconic brand is no exception. From the very beginning, the mechanical keyboard impressed buyers with excellent build quality. So much so that several users have also praised the brand for doing the same.
What’s more, despite being affordable on the wallet, the keyboard comes with plenty of connectivity options. To this end, the device can connect to compatible devices wirelessly via a 2.4GHz dongle or Bluetooth. You can even use the device in wired mode if needed. In fact, we recommend that you pick up a stylish coiled cable for your keyboard if you plan to connect it to your computer. Moving on, the keyboard is quite small and has a 60 percent layout.
So, if you have a small desk, then don’t be discouraged, as the keyboard won’t take up too much space. More importantly, the device comes with brown switches out of the box. For those who don’t know, brown switches strike the perfect balance between linear red switches and tactile blue switches. However, if you want to further customize the haptic feedback, you can simply swap the included keycaps and switches with the included switch remover.
Please note that according to the brand, the newer version of K530 Pro Draconic is compatible with 99.8% of switch types. This is great considering previous versions could only juggle different OUTEMU switches. Rest assured, the K530 Pro Draconic is one of the best hot swappable mechanical keyboards on the market.
2. TECWARE Phantom 87
TECWARE is a popular keyboard brand that doesn’t charge for their devices. Take, for example, the Phantom keyboard with a hot-swap PCB. According to the brand, the replaceable switch technology is designed to increase the device’s shelf life. The added benefit of the same is that you can customize each keystroke to your liking.
Notably, the keyboard is of the TKL type and comes with 87 keys. The device supports RGB for each key, and you can easily customize the lighting effect with the accompanying software. To do this, the device supports 18 different lighting presets. Moreover, if you wish, you can also change the frequency of polling the keyboard. To this end, the device supports N-key rollover and a 1000Hz polling rate. Thus, the device should respond without problems to all keystrokes.
We also have to point out that the company uses high quality double impact ABS caps. Therefore, the letters engraved on the keyboard will not be erased in the near future. While all of this is good and trendy, the TECWARE Phantom is a wired mechanical keyboard that some buyers might not like.
What’s more, even though the keyboard PCB is hot swappable, it can only accommodate OUTEMU switches, which is a bummer. On the other hand, buyers note that the keyboard has a solid body. The device even comes with tiny folding legs that can tilt the device further.
3. Royal Kludge RK61
Royal Kludge is fast becoming a household name, and for good reason. Take the branded RK61, for example, which not only has a stylish chassis but is packed with features. These include a compact 60 percent build that fits comfortably in any configuration and a hot swappable PCB that comes with brown switches out of the box.
Brown switches are arguably the most popular type of switch as they provide just enough tactility without feeling too stiff. However, if you don’t like the feedback of the keys, you can always swap them out for red or blue switches. And since we’re on the subject, you should know that the company has used high quality double keycaps that will stand the test of time. You can even customize the lighting effect by viewing 18 different presets.
The icing on the cake is that the keyboard is compatible with Windows, macOS and even Android devices. In addition, the brand allows customers to set up various macros using a companion app. All things considered, the RK61 is on par with the best hot swappable mechanical keyboards out there.
4. GMMK White Ice
GMMK or Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard is a hot-swappable deck from popular PC peripheral manufacturer Glorious. The keyboard in question is one of the few popular keyboards that are compatible with various types of switches. So the keyboard PCB can be customized with Gateron, Kailh, Cherry and Zeal switches, which is great.
The device comes with a minimalistic design that is also devoid of any branding. So the keyboard won’t ruin your gaming setup with flashy stickers or huge logos that stick out like a sore thumb. It is noteworthy that the keyboard is full-sized and has 104 keys, including a full numeric keypad. So, if your workflow involves processing a lot of numbers, GMMK will help you.
No wonder customers are praising the GMMK keyboard. To that end, customers claim that the device boasts superb build quality. In addition, the unit offers extensive customization options, making it a godsend for keyboard enthusiasts who want an affordable deck. Anyway, we’d like to see a device with a detachable cable. Whatever the case, Glorious’s GMMK is one of the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards you can get on a budget.
5. Keychron K2
Keychron K2 is a hot-swappable keyboard with a 75 percent layout. Thus, the device gets 84 keys, which makes it compact. Note that the keyboard sits between the RK61 and GMMK decks in terms of overall size.
In addition, the model we listed comes with Mac command labels on the keycaps. However, you can also use the keyboard on a Windows computer. Of course, you can choose a different set of keys if you pair it with a Windows PC. Luckily, the brand ships an extra set of Windows keys with retail packaging.
And since we’ve touched on this topic, you should know that the keyboard can be connected via the included USB Type-C cable or via Bluetooth. What’s more, up to three devices can be stored in the device’s memory, allowing you to seamlessly connect to different computers.
More importantly, if you wish, you can also swap the keyboard switches. The keyboard currently ships with brown Gateron G Pro switches. Judging from user reviews, the switches sound great and provide excellent sensitivity. If anything, the white backlit keyboard can be a bummer for those who want to enjoy RGB goodness. However, beyond that, the Keychron K2 meets most of the right parameters and is on par with the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mechanical Keyboards
- What are the disadvantages of a hot swappable keyboard?
The biggest thorn in the side of a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard is durability. Regular replacement of switches can shorten the life of the circuit board. Therefore, we recommend that you be careful and always use a puller to remove switches from sockets.
- Are all mechanical keyboard switches hot swappable?
No, some mechanical keyboards have switches soldered to the board.
- What is the most affordable hot swappable full-size keyboard?
Glorious GMMK is one of the most affordable hot swappable keyboards right now.
Turn it up
These were some of the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards out there. These keyboards are extremely customizable and can-do wonders for keyboard enthusiasts. So, if you don’t want to experiment with different types of switches, or you just want a deck that can be easily repaired, try the options mentioned in the list.