5 Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboards Under $100

Mechanical keyboards are a joy to use and they can greatly elevate a user’s gaming or typing experience. That said, the market is flush with scads of mechanical keyboards that come with varied key switches. Consequently, if you don’t know which key switch to go for, or if you don’t want to commit to a particular key set for long, then you must invest in the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards.

To that end, hot-swappable mechanical keyboards allow users to pull out the switch without dismantling the PCB. In fact, you can swap out any number of key switches by simply using a key/switch puller. So, you could run Red switches with quicker actuation for the reload or ‘R’ button, and more tactile Blue switches for the WASD keys when playing an FPS game – the possibilities are endless. 

So, if you’re looking to get in on the action, then here are the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards you can buy today. But first, you might also want to read about – 

Now, let’s get on with the article.

1. Redragon K530 Pro Draconic

Redragon K530 Draconic Pro

Redragon is known for its high-quality and affordable mechanical keyboards and the brand’s K530 Pro Draconic is no exception. Right off the bat, the mechanical keyboard impressed buyers with its excellent build quality. So much so, a handful of users have commended the brand for the same as well.

What’s more, despite its wallet-friendly price tag, the keyboard comes with a slew of connectivity options. To that end, the unit can connect to compatible devices wirelessly via a 2.4GHz dongle or Bluetooth. You can even use the device in wired mode if need be. In fact, we recommend you pick up a stylish coiled cable for the keyboard if you plan to connect it to your PC. Moving on though, the keyboard is quite small and comes with a 60-percent layout.

So, if you have a small desk, then fret not as the keyboard will not take up too much space. More importantly, the device comes with brown switches out of the box. For those unaware, brown switches strike the perfect balance between linear red switches and tactile blue switches. However, if you wish to tweak the tactile feedback further, then you can simply swap out the bundled keycaps and switches with the included switch puller. 

Do note that per the brand, the newer version of the K530 Pro Draconic is compatible with up to 99.8 percent of switch types. That’s great, considering the previous iterations could only juggle different OUTEMU switches. Rest assured, the K530 Pro Draconic is among the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards on the market. 

2. TECWARE Phantom 87

TECWARE Phantom 87

TECWARE is a popular keyboard brand that doesn’t charge a premium for its devices. Take the Phantom keyboard, for instance, which features a hot-swappable PCB. Per the brand, the replaceable switch tech is to further the device’s shelf life. A fringe benefit of the same is that you get to customize each keypress to your heart’s content. 

Notably, the keyboard is of the TKL variety and ships with 87 keys. The unit supports per-key RGB and you can tweak the lighting effect easily by using the companion software. To that end, the device supports 18 different lighting presets. What’s more, if you want, you can variate the keyboard’s polling rate too. To that end, the device supports N-key rollover and a polling rate of 1,000Hz. As such, the unit should be able to pick up on all your key taps seamlessly. 

We should also point out that the company utilizes high-quality, double-shock ABS keycaps. Consequently, the letters etched on the keyboard will not wear off any time soon. While all that’s good and dandy, the TECWARE Phantom is a wired mechanical keyboard, which might not sit well with some buyers.

What’s more, although the keyboard’s PCB is hot-swappable, it can only house OUTEMU switches, which is a bummer. On the upside, buyers cite that the keyboard sports a sturdy chassis. The device even comes with tiny, collapsable feet that can angle the device further. 

3.  Royal Kludge RK61

Royal Kludge RK61

Royal Kludge is quickly becoming a household name, and for good reason. Take the brand’s RK61 for instance, which doesn’t just sport a stylish chassis, but also comes with a truckload of features. These include a compact, 60-percent build that sits snugly in any setup and a hot-swappable PCB which comes with brown switches out of the box. 

Brown switches are arguably the most popular switch type as they offer ample tactility without feeling too stiff. That said, if you don’t fancy the key feedback, then 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-shot keycaps that will stand the test of time. You can even tweak the lighting effect by sifting through 18 different presets. 

The icing on the cake is that the keyboard is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and even Android devices. Furthermore, the brand allows buyers to set up different macros by using the companion app too. All things considered, the RK61 is right up there with the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards. 

4. GMMK White Ice 

GMMK hot swappable mechanical keyboard

GMMK or Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard is a hot-swappable deck from popular PC peripheral maker Glorious. The keyboard in question is among the handful of mainstream keyboards that is compliant with different switch types. As such, the keyboard’s PCB can be customized with Gateron, Kailh, Cherry, and Zeal switches, which is great. 

The device comes with a minimalistic design that is void of any branding too. As such, the keyboard will not disrupt your gaming setup with gaudy decals or ginormous logos that stick out like a sore thumb. More notably, the keyboard is of the full-size variety and features 104 keys, including a full-fledged Numpad. So, if your workflow involves crunching through a lot of numbers, the GMMK has you covered. 

Unsurprisingly, buyers can be seen singing praises of the GMMK keyboard. To that end, customers state that the device boasts superb build quality. Moreover, the unit offers ample customization options too, making it a godsend for keyboard enthusiasts who want an affordable deck. If anything, we would’ve liked to see the device with a detachable cable. Be that as it may, the GMMK from Glorious is among the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards you can get on a budget. 

5. Keychron K2 

Keychron K2 hot swappable mechanical keyboard

Keychron K2 is a hot-swappable keyboard that comes with a 75-percent layout. As such, the device gets 84 keys, thereby lending it a compact footprint. Do note that the keyboard sits in between the RK61 and the GMMK decks in terms of overall size.

Furthermore, the model we’ve listed comes with inscriptions for Mac commands on the keycaps. However, you can use the keyboard with a Windows machine too. Of course, you may want to opt for a different keycap set should you pair it with a Windows PC. Thankfully, the brand bundles an extra set of Windows keys with the retail packaging. 

And, since we’re on the subject, you should know that the keyboard can be connected via the included USB Type-C cable or over Bluetooth. What’s more, the device can store up to three devices in memory, thereby allowing you to seamlessly connect to different PCs. 

More importantly, if you’d like, you can swap out the keyboard’s switches too. Currently, the keyboard ships with Gateron’s G Pro brown switches. Per user reviews, the switches sound great and offer excellent clickiness. If anything, the keyboard’s white backlit might be a bummer for those looking to revel in RGB goodness. Other than that, though, the Keychron K2 checks most of the right boxes and is right up there with the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards.

FAQs about Mechanical Keyboards

1 – What are the disadvantages of a hot-swappable keyboard? 

The biggest thorn in the side of a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard is durability. Swapping out switches routinely can reduce the shelf life of the PCB. So, we’d recommend you exercise caution and always use a switch puller to pry out the switches from the sockets. 

2 – Are all mechanical keyboard switches hot-swappable? 

No, some mechanical keyboards have the switches soldered to the PCB. 

3 – What is the most affordable, full-size, hot-swappable keyboard? 

The Glorious GMMK is among the most affordable, hot-swappable keyboards out right now.

Switch It Up

These were some of the best hot-swappable mechanical keyboards. These keyboards are extremely customizable and can work wonders for keyboard enthusiasts. So, if you don’t want to experiment with different switch types or just need a deck that can be repaired easily, give the options mentioned in the list a go.

Last updated on 21 March, 2023

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