5 Best Hot-swappable Mechanical Keyboards That You Can Buy
Buying or building a keyboard is all about choices and certain keyboards are just better at giving you more choices than others.
Meanwhile, there are hot-swap mechanical keyboards that have a special type of PCB that allows the mechanical keyboard switches installed to be replaced easily. This allows you to build your board the way you want, and also allows for quick repairs and cleaning.
The next keyboard you buy should be a hot-swap mechanical keyboard because once you have procured one board, all you have to do now is buy switches, keycaps, or other mods without spending the bulk of the money on the case, PCB, plate, cable, etc.
A hot-swap keyboard will also allow you to lube your mechanical switches easier since you do not have to solder/desolder them from their sockets!
Overall hot-swap keyboards are net superior to standard boards but which ones should you buy?
Best Hot-swappable Keyboards
Keychron Hot-swappable Keyboards
- PBT keycaps
- Wireless/Wired keyboard options
- All sizes and configurations available
Keychron has a lot of keyboards in their catalog you can choose from depending on what size and features you would like to go for. One of the main features of many Keychron keyboards is the ability to hot-swap switches for easier modding and better utility.
Even their C1 keyboard, which is the most entry-level option from Keychron, can hot-swap, meaning you do not have to buy the premium 100+$ keyboards to get this functionality necessarily.
Overall, if you are interested in keyboards ranging from budget-friendly to premium that all have hot-swap capabilities, Keychron is one of the shops you need to check out.
- Even the cheapest Keychron keyboards have hot-swap
- The different materials, sizes, and configurations allow you to fine-tune your choice
- Comes with a lot of aftermarket mods done from the factory
- Some of the default switch options are not inspired so you will need to have your preferred switches ready for swapping when buying the keyboard
Ducky One 3 Hot-swappable Keyboards
- PBT keycaps
- Tuned acoustics
- Hot-swap PCB
Ducky keyboards, especially the One 2 Mini can be called the initiator of the 60% form factor craze in the keyboard space because of their simple but solid features. The One 3 series from Ducky takes the same approach but adds even more features including hot-swapping for their entire lineup.
The good thing with the One 3 series is that like the other keyboard lineups from Ducky, you can choose whether you want a Mini (60%), SF (65%), TKL, or a full-sized board. These all come with PBT keycaps, sound dampening, tuned stabilizers, detachable USB-C, hot-swap PCB, etc. There are also different editions of the One 3 series with different keycaps and looks which adds a bit of flavor to your choice.
In short, the Ducky One 3 series offers you all the needed sizes and features, and most importantly for this list, it has hot-swap capabilities making it an easy recommendation.
- The Ducky One 3 series comes in all usual form factors
- Ducky has invested a lot of effort into making these keyboards sound and feel premium
- The special editions with different keycaps add uniqueness to your choices
- For a truly custom experience have a personalized set of keycaps and switches ready
Epomaker Hot-swappable Keyboards
- PBT keycaps
- 3-5 pin hot-swap PCB
- Different form factors and keycap sets
Another keyboard company that can be easily recommended when it comes to great features and specifically making keyboards that are hot-swappable is Epomaker. Just like the other companies on this list Epomaker has a wide variety of boards in different sizes, features, and looks making it a must-check shop if you want an amazing keyboard.
The Epomaker store has different brand keyboards offered as well but in most cases, you will land on a product with hot-swap capabilities since that is a core feature required by most keyboard enthusiasts.
The keyboards that Epomaker produces themselves are known for being of great value and quality with wireless/wired capabilities, stunning PBT keycaps in different profiles, and most importantly 3-5 pin switch hot-swap PCB.
If you do not know where to start you can look at the Epomaker EP75 which has been a popular item since it launched.
- A wide variety of choices when it comes to the keyboard catalog
- Very easy to find hot-swap options
- Different sized, materials, keycaps, keycaps profiles used making it easy to find something unique
- The Epomaker store has multiple brands so you need to make sure the keyboard that interests you is hot-swap
Drop Hot-Swappable Keyboards
- Custom PCB
- QMK Firmware support
- Dual USB-C connectors
The first hot-swap keyboards we will mention are Drop keyboards which represent the premium hot-swap pre-made boards that come packed with a lot of features and have superior quality.
You can choose from the Drop CTRL, the TKL option, or the ALT the 65% keyboard option. Both keyboards sport an aluminum case, a lot of RGB, plate-mounted switches and have hot-swap PCBs that allow you to choose whatever switch you want to use.
As with most custom mechanical keyboards you can use the QMK firmware to customize your layout so you have flexibility if you come from a different keyboard size.
- Aluminum case
- Uses a plate
- Extra RGB strip
- Quite costly
- 3-pin PCB will require you to clip 5-pin switches
Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard
- Removable Switches
- ABS Double Injection Keycaps
- 1000 Hz Polling Rate
The second big contender when it comes to pre-built hot-swap keyboards that dominate the market is the Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboards (GMMK for short). As with everything else Glorious pulls no punches and offers you the choice between 100%, TKL, and 60% fully modular keyboards.
You can use any MX type switch you want and can customize the board with extra keycap sets per your heart’s desire. This is good news because the keyboards come with unlubed Gateron Brown switches which you should just throw out as soon as you get the board and purchase proper mechanical switches.
The neat part about the GMMK lineup is the fact that all 3 boards cost the same amount therefore you can choose whatever board suits your tastes better without being pressured by prices.
- Well priced
- Compatible with all types of switches
- Create macros with the Glorious software
- Comes with Gateron Browns
- The 100% size has a non-removable cable
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