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Best Keyboard Switches 2021

Razer BlackWidow
Razer BlackWidow (Image credit: Windows Central)

If you're hunting for the best keyboard then you're probably at least considering going mechanical. The wild world of mechanical keyboards can become an addiction, and at the heart of it all is the switch. There has never been such a strong selection of keyboard switches to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. Here's what we recommend.

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Razer Green Switches (opens in new tab)

Best Overall

Razer's Green Switches are an exceptional package that makes it suitable for any type of mechanical keyboard buyer. It has incredible tactile feedback with a satisfying click, quick actuation, and for fans of louder switches, an intoxicating noise. It's essentially a classic keyboard switch, and you can find it in the Razer BlackWidow V3.

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Cherry MX Silent (opens in new tab)

Best Silent

If you're looking for a quiet switch, perhaps to use in an office or for streaming where you need noise to be at a minimum, the Cherry MX Silent is where it's at. These switches feel as good as other Cherry MXs, with great travel and quick actuation, but the loud click is replaced with a dull thud. It's one of the quietest switches around, and a great example of a keyboard using them is the Ducky One 2 Mini

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SteelSeries OmniPoint (opens in new tab)

Magnetic Marvel

Found in the SteelSeries Apex Pro, the OmniPoint switches are truly revolutionary. Using the power of magnetic not only can you change the actuation point of the switch, but also the entire feel. Want a fast, shallow keypress? You got it. Something longer? No worries. OmniPoint also boasts up to 2x durability over some competitors so it really could be the last keyboard you buy (for a long time).

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Razer Opto-Mechanical (opens in new tab)

Best Optical

More commonly referred to as Razer's purple switches, these are the first from the keyboard maker to use optical technology. There have been further iterations, but for most, the purples are the ones to get. They feel and sound very similar to a regular mechanical switch, with a satisfying click, but because they use light there's no delay at all to actuation so they're very fast. And without a metal contact, they last longer, too. Find them in the Razer Huntsman Elite

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Cherry MX Low Profile (opens in new tab)

Best Low Profile

Fans of low-profile mechanical keyboards need to look no further than the Cherry MX Low Profile, seen in the Corsair K60 RGB. With an actuation point of just 1mm you get both fast typing and quick responses in games. And like all Cherry MX switches the build quality and feel are excellent.

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Topre (opens in new tab)

Luxury Keyboards

Topre switches are something a bit special and you usually have to pay a premium to get them. But the capacitive switching mechanism allows actuation without the switch being fully depressed and eliminates key bounce. The sound is also quite distinctive, being described as a "thock" more akin to an old-school keyboard from the likes of IBM. They're not easy to get hold of, but they've developed a passionate, enthusiastic following, and the Topre R2 is a good place to start.

The wide world of mechanical keyboard switches

These are just our most recommended switches, there are many, many more out there that might suit your specific needs a little better. Cherry MX, Razer, Kailh, to name but a few, have a pretty wide range of switches to explore.

For most people and most purposes, Razer Green Switches are tough to top, though. They're a classic-feeling mechanical switch with a noise and a bump to go with it. As an all-rounder for gaming and typing, it's a top choice and Razer offers it in a number of keyboards.

If you're interested in diving down the rabbit hole, check out our full explainer on the wide world of mechanical keyboard switches to see if there's something that sounds even better for you.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.