Mechanical keyboards have changed the way I type on my Mac. As you might imagine, I spend most of my day pounding keys, and using a keyboard with low-actuation switches means that I can type faster with less effort. It’s the difference between my fingers being tired at the end of 10,000 words and feeling like I could go for another 10k.
The problem is, there are practically no mechanical keyboard manufacturers out there that make mechanical keyboards with the Mac in mind. Sure, you can still plug a mechanical keyboard meant for a Windows machine into a Mac, but you’ll lose the Mac-specific keys and likely have relearn your keyboard shortcuts since the Windows key and Command key aren’t in the same places.
There is one like that on this list (just because I love it so much), but the rest here have gone the extra step and given at least some consideration to the rest of the computing world.
The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is the most high-end keyboard Razer has ever produced. Clicky, loud, with a black finish and enough glow (with or without the wrist rest) that it can be seen across the house, it’s the kind of polarizing hardware that can end relationships. With an aluminum case, individually lit keys, Underglow lighting, Razer’s new purple switch (an opto-mechanical hybrid marvel), macro recording, onboard storage (so your macros travel with the keyboard), 10-key rollover with anti-ghosting, and dedicated media controls, it’s blessed with every gift in Razer’s voluminous bag of tricks. It’s so sensitive, that this might be the first mechanical keyboard from Razer that’s better suited for gamers rather than touch typists. The Elite’s leatherette wrist rest even glows! Held in place by satisfyingly solid magnets and powered by a contact point at the front of the keyboard, it’s nice to have a wrist rest that doesn’t break the aesthetics of your Underglow keyboard. I just wish, like I always do, that Razer would release a Mac version of their Chroma app. One used to exist! I have the useless icon in my Applications folder to prove it. Without the ability to customize and program the keyboard, it can’t top the list.
Best Wireless: Keychron K1 Wireless (V3) and Keychron K2
The Keychron K1 Wireless is one of the only wireless mechanical keyboards made specifically for the Mac. And I’m not talking “we let you remap the Windows key.” The K1 comes with a full set of Mac-specific keycaps and a switch to let you choose between one configuration or the other. The low-profile keys hide blue or red switches. The blue are the kind of polarizing clicky switches that you either love or hate, so choose wisely. The red are softer and quieter. The keyboard is backlit as well, with 18 different effects. It’s no Chroma, but it’s more control than you have hooking up a Razer keyboard to your Mac. You can connect via a USB C cord or switch to Bluetooth for full wireless. Earlier iterations had a few problems, but the current V3 sports redesigned switches for both the clicky blue and quieter red for a more consistent typing experience. If you prefer full-sized keys to low-profile keys (which gives you more room to customize), or you want a more compact deck, then grab the Keychron K2 it gives you the wireless connectivity and Mac-specific keys and layout of the K1, but with larger keys and a brown switch option (somewhere between the blue and red as far as clickiness goes). Keychron has set an examples that other manufacturers would be smart to follow.
Clickier than most, with an impressive response time, the Logitech G915 Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a fun centerpiece in your Logitech G gaming hub. Utilizing GL Clicky mechanical switches, each key has a very distinctive ”click” when actuated. There’s a dedicated button for the Game mode (which has a built-in World of Warcraft setting in the G Hub app) so that you can turn off keys that don’t matter during a match. Quite helpful if you’re like me and manage to mash all the wrong keys when trying to line up a shot. There is also a volume roller and dedicated media buttons above the numpad. The backlighting is brilliant and fully customizable on the G Hub app. In the app you can also set up macros and reassign functions to various keys. You can even sync up the G keyboard lighting across all your devices (like the G502 mouse and Powerplay gaming mat). The only thing you can’t do is set it to a Mac configuration, which is puzzling, given that the G Pro is Mac-compatible. That little detail keeps the G915 from grabbing the top spot, but I still greatly appreciate that the suite lets me enjoy RGB synergy across all the Logitech G devices. The keyboard’s battery life is impressive (over 30 hours by my estimation) and the Lightspeed wireless connectivity is so good, it might as well be wired (you can also connect over Bluetooth if you prefer). This thin, aluminum-clad deck deserves your consideration.
The Das Keyboard 5Q is one of the best mechanical keyboards I’ve ever had the pleasure to review. The Gamma Zulu switches are a dream to type on and are rated as one of the longest-lasting of any switch on the market today. They’re clicky without being obnoxious. The LED backlighting is fully customizable and is consistently brilliant, even during the day and the volume control is satisfying to use. Even the wrist rest, which I initially dismissed as it’s just a strip of soft silicone has performed better than any cushy pad that I’ve used with any other keyboard. The 5Q is a precision instrument for typists and is a joy to use. It’s fully programmable with an app that allows you to add plugins to sections of the keyboard, providing you with alerts on weather, incoming emails, and more. It doesn’t have too much available at the moment, but I’m hoping that changes as more people adopt the hardware. It’s also fully Mac compatible, which I greatly appreciate.