Best Backlit Mechanical Keyboard

When looking to buy a mechanical keyboard, there can be sometimes an information overload. To understand why you need to consider before buying one, we must look at where they shine. Their applications come directly from their inherent qualities, these keyboards use high-quality switches that are rated for between 20 and 50 million key-strokes. They require a consistent downward actuation force and provide an unmatched consistency. Therefore, these keyboards are perfectly suited for situations that require long-term sustained use, and areas that require quick unfaltering performance. This carves out two specialty user groups, modern professionals and gaming enthusiasts.

ImageBacklit Mechanical KeyboardSwitchesRating
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical Keyboard Cherry MX Blue.1Das Keyboard Model S Professional Mechanical KeyboardCherry MX Blue Switches4.3 / 5.0
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2016 Gaming Keyboard Cherry MX BlueRazer BlackWidow Ultimate 2016 Gaming KeyboardCherry MX Blue Switches4.3 / 5.0
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth 2014 Edition Elite Cherry MX BrownRazer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth 2014 Edition EliteCherry MX Brown Switches4.3 / 5.0
Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard Cherry MX Brown.1Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Mechanical KeyboardCherry MX Brown Switches4.4 / 5.0
SteelSeries 6GV2 Mechanical Gaming KeyboardSteelSeries 6GV2 Mechanical Gaming KeyboardCherry MX Black Switches4.2 / 5.0
Corsair Vengeance K60 Mechanical Gaming KeyboardCorsair Vengeance K60 Mechanical Gaming KeyboardCherry MX Red Switches4.4 / 5.0
Ducky Shine 4 Backlit Mechanical KeyboardDucky Shine 4 Backlit Mechanical KeyboardCherry MX Clear SwitchesN/A
CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mechanical Gaming KeyboardCM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mechanical Gaming KeyboardCherry MX Green Switches4.5 / 5.0

For the modern professional that spends a lot of time in front of a computer, one of the most common reasons for wrist and hand fatigue is having to use inconsistent force to press different keys. This prevents the typist from forming a rhythm that can help get through their work quickly and painlessly. For gamer that demands precise and quick key-presses, the performance and durability of the mechanical keyboard make it an obvious choice.

In the market today there are a variety of manufacturers making several different models of Best backlit mechanical keyboard, some of them are summarized below:

Cherry MX Blue Keyboards

Bring back the joy of working on a typewriter. The Cherry MX Blue switch lets you feel the tactile bump when you press the key and emits a satisfying "click" as the key is actuated. This baby here will give you the best typing experience you will ever have. While the Black switch stands for peace and the gaming community, the Blue switch are regarded as the typists dream. So, get yourself a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switch, and live your dream.

These provide a tactile feel and an audible click; Das Keyboard Model S Professional & Ultimate, iOne Scorpius M10, Xarmor U9, U9 Plus & U9BL, Adesso MKB-125B & MKB-135B, Razer BlackWidow & BlackWidow Ultimate.

Cherry MX Brown Keyboards

You can call the Brown switch a hybrid of the Black and Blue Cherry switches. It has a soft tactile bump, which activates right in the middle of the key (you don't have to press the key all the way down), making twitch typing possible. Now, if you fancy this Brown switch (which, incidentally, is OK for both typing and gaming purpose), then you better order the popular Razer BlackWidow keyboard (Stealth Edition) or you might like to play with the Das Model S "Ultimate", a blank keyboard having unlabeled keys (if you're not good in touch-typing, then just use the standard "Professional" version which thankfully has labeled keys).

These provide the tactile feel but with a softer sound; Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent & Ultimate Silent, iOne Xarmor U9BL-S.

Cherry MX Black Keyboards

A loud keyboard may not give you a headache (since you yourself are making the noise by hammering the keys) but it might earn you a few cold stares and clenched jaws from your peace-loving colleagues. So, what should you do... type slowly? No! Your days of cautious typing have come to an end. Meet the Cherry MX Black switch! It is a silent switch which, when pressed, neither gives back a tactile bump nor makes any audible sound. The only remorse is that you will have no idea whether the key actuated or not, since there will be no significant tactile feedback. You have to press the key all the way down to make it register (this makes double tapping a key quite easier). The verdict is that it may be a little improper for typing purpose, but this is the ideal mechanical switch for the gaming community... you can furiously press the keys in excitement while playing an action game without any fear of disturbing your colleagues in the neighboring desks.

These are non-tactile switches with a linear-action; SteelSeries 6GV2 & 7G.

Cherry MX Red Switch

Hitting the Black switch was tiring for our fingers, and so the Cherry created a new linear switch, sharing the traits of the Black (no tactile bump, no sound), but this time they made the Red switch easier to press with less finger pressure. Both the Corsair Vengeance K60 keyboard and the Professional version of Das Keyboard Mode S have incorporated this fabulous Cherry MX Red switch.

Cherry MX Clear Switch

The Clear switch made its appearance in the 1989, but owing to its stiffness, it has been subjected to various modifications (the slider is the same but the spring has been replaced with lighter ones of its siblings). You might have heard about the Panda Clears (uses the spring of Cherry Black) or perhaps the Ergo Clears (uses the spring of either the Blue, Black or Brown Cherry MX switches). Leopold keyboards and Ducky Shine are known to have used the Clear switch.

Cherry MX Green Switch

Let us give a warm welcome to the new member of the Cherry MX family... meet the Green switch! New to the family, the green switch shares all the traits of its tactile siblings but is much stiffer than the blues. Yes, it does retain the tactile bump and the satisfying "click" sound that has made the mechanical keyboard, especially the Blue switch, a sensation among prolific writers. However, you will find the keys much tougher than its other siblings (you'd better ready an insurance for your fingers). As of now, the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid is the only keyboard in our knowledge that makes use of this Cherry MX Green switch.


The best way to find the keyboard that is best-suited for you is to try one out. If there aren't many mechanical keyboards around you, it is best to read the descriptions of the characteristics of each switch, and settle on a specific "feel." After that, it is a simple search of the design you like best, and what fits your budget. If you cannot settle on a switch-type, I would recommend you go with the most common Cherry MX Blues, unless you have circumstances that require a less noisy keyboard. It will give you the chance to experience both aspects of a mechanical keyboard, the tactile feel and the audible click. After you have experienced one, then you can move on to the more specialized key-switches and watch as your fingers do a happy little dance across the keyboard.

Derek Carr

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