The best hot-swappable keyboards do much more than exposing your Motherboard to a fresh set of hinges. We note these long-lasting planks for combining convenience, mobility, and versatility into designs that feel custom-made for performance.
For example, several Bluetooth networks, extra personalization tools, and a pleasing, comfy typing sensation are all features of hot swappable keyboards that may last for decades. With far too many models available these days, finding the right hot swappable keyboard for you might be challenging.
This is why we’ve gathered all of the greatest hot swappable keyboards in one place. We’re matching pricing with functionality and endurance to showcase the best of the best over a spectrum of prices and demands. So there’s plenty here for those wanting the nicest gaming keyboards, a configurable flair, or a comfy set of keys to use with any computer.
Finding a gaming keyboard with the proper keys is among the most challenging tasks when purchasing one. So, for example, when buying a keyboard using connected keys, it’s natural to be frightened, particularly if you’re a newcomer to the pastime. So if you’re concerned about this, investing in one of the finest hot swappable keyboards is a great option.
Pneumatic keyboards with hot swappable keys allow you to swap keys without joining or dismantling them. This gives them an advantage for beginning enthusiasts or those who are hesitant since you can simply replace switches until you discover the best ones. Sounds fantastic, right? Then it’s time to go to work on the keyboards.
Roundup of the Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards
|Overall Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard||Redragon K530|
|Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboard||SKYLOONG GK61|
|Best Full Size Hot-Swappable Keybord||LTC NB1041 Nimbleback Wired Mechanical Keyboard|
|Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for PC Gaming||Glorious Custom Gaming Keyboard|
|Best High-Quality Hot-Swappable Keyboard||Drop Shift Mechanical Gaming Keyboard|
|Best Wireless Hot-Swappable Keyboard||RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK100 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard|
|Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for Girl Gamers||EPOMAKER AKKO ACR98 Doll of The Princess Hot Swappable Keyboard|
|Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for Xbox Gaming||XVX Womier K87 TKL Mechanical Keyboard|
|Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for Mac||HUO JI E-Yooso Z-88 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard|
|Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for PS4||XVX Womier K61|
No Soldering Necessary
Soldering necessitates the use of certain equipment and a specialized workbench with enough circulation. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the ability or dedication to study how to solder in their free time.
Furthermore, suppose you rent a house and don’t have a suitable workspace. In that case, soldering may be impractical or too inconvenient for you.
Hot swappable keyboards make installing and removing switches from your keyboard simpler. They don’t need the expertise, equipment, or workspace that welding switches do.
Advantages of Hot Swappable Keyboards
The much more apparent benefit of a hot swappable keyboard would be that it eliminates the need for a soldering iron to replace your keys. Even if you’re already familiar with the tool, this will add to the work and time required to modify the switches.
Second, a hot swappable keyboard lets you try out different switches more easily. You will almost certainly release a fresh swap, or a buddy may suggest an alternate switch that you’ll want to check out or convert to in the future. A hot swappable keyboard will make this easier and improve your overall user experience.
A hot swappable PCB also allows you to experiment with alternative switch configurations. For example, most gamers favor tactile or light switches on the WASD keys.
Sensory buttons on the WASD buttons help people easily distinguish the lateral keys from all the others that encircle them. On the other hand, light switches can aid quickness because they require lower triggering force. This is because this is especially crucial for FPS gamers during multiplayer gaming.
Different switches beneath various keys can assist not just gamers but also developers and regular typists.
Hot swappable keyboards also make it easy to replace “problem” keys. Whenever one key stops functioning or starts to clatter, you may simply switch to a new one rather than throwing the entire keyboard away. That will undoubtedly save you cash over the long term.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Hot Swappable Keyboard
Here’s what you should consider before you opt to purchase a hot swappable keyboard:
You may want a location in which you can use the keyboard. For example, if you’re at a workplace, the audio feedback might draw the notice of your coworkers. If it’s your room, this criticism might not be relevant to you or your household. If you share a room with anyone, though, you may want the least amount of hearing disruption.
Surprisingly, this element might have a significant impact on your keyboard selection. Correcting typos is more likely with larger hands than with smaller hands. In this situation, you require switches with a moderate operating strength of 55cN with a high trigger point of about 2mm. Speedy keys are perfect for getting an advantage in gaming and writing pace for tiny hands with delicate pushes.
Your gaming and writing interests determine the best keyboard configuration for you. Hot swappable keyboards come in various designs, including TenKeyLess (TKL), which has 87 keys but no numeric pad, and complete, which has 104 keys, 60 percent, and 75 percent. The 75 percent format features 80 – 87 buttons but no numeric pad. The alphanumeric zone is the sole zone in a 60% configuration; therefore, there is no F button row or directional cluster. So you can do whatever you want.
The keycaps come in a wide range of forms and materials. The most well-known substance is ABS, a lightweight polymer prone to wear and tear and loss of strength after prolonged or intense usage. PBT is a better alternative if you want something more robust and sturdier. You can start with ABS covers and then switch to PBT caps later.
Switches are located beneath the keycaps and capture the input. Several switches are present, namely tactile, linear, and click, each with keystroke behavior. What you anticipate from your keyboard will determine the switches you use.
You’ll hear a thumping sound when you push the keys on a keyboard with clicky and tactile switches. On the contrary, Linear ones provide a more comfortable typing feel. On the other hand, the earlier give more specific tactile input, which is desirable. This is so you can see if you pushed the key down without overdoing it.
Wireless or Wired
Many players prefer a cabled hot swappable keyboard. They favor one with a replaceable USB cord since it is easier to replace the wire than the entire keyboard. On the other hand, wireless versions are gaining wide acceptance due to their unrivaled mobility and wide operating range. On the other hand, charging their cells is critical.
Compatibility with Switches
The most critical characteristic to check for is switching compatibility. The ideal hot swappable keyboard isn’t limited to just one, two, or three switch kinds. However, if you want a fully customized model, you’ll need interoperability with a range of switches.
Your keyboard must support big, well-known switches like Zealios, Gateron, Outemu, Cherry MX, Kailh, and Pandas.
Several hot swap keyboards, though, are not compatible. For example, if a keyboard’s label says “optical hot swap” or “Outemu hot swap,” it’s only functional with optical or Outemu switches.
The construction quality of a keyboard affects its longevity. It has a metal frame and double shot keycaps for added durability. Although these amenities are expensive, the pricing shouldn’t deter you from looking for high-quality construction.
This option lets you alter how the keyboard works by setting the appropriate parameters. Certain keys, for instance, can activate illumination. Pick a good keyboard with customizable features if you want to have greater versatility.
MX and Outemu Hotswap Sockets
In 2023, You will find MX-compatible connectors on most hot swap keyboards. Kailh and Gateron are two examples of companies. On the other hand, all MX hot swap switches perform similarly. They are compatible with both Cherry MX and China clones currently on the marketplace.
MX-compatible sockets are generally always the hot swap sockets since they offer far more replaceable switch possibilities.
Outemu hot swap connectors are also available, mainly on less expensive boards. By default, only Outemu switches will work in these sockets. Naturally, this severely restricts your options.
Certain MX-style switches can be adapted to operate in such sockets by scraping or reducing a few prongs. However, it is inconvenient, especially with a full keyboard. So, if you want to test as many different keyboard keys as feasible, invest your additional money and purchase anything with normal MX hot swappable switches.
3 and 5 Pin Connectors
When it comes to MX hot swap sockets, another thing to look for is if the sockets accept 3-pin and 5-pin switches. For example, 3-pin sockets will only handle 3-pin switches, whereas 5-pin sockets can handle both 3- and 5-pin switches.
Besides the pins, 3- and 5-pin switches are practically equivalent (or feet).
Plastic connectors on the 5-pin switches have been used to install the keys on plateless, circuit board tactile keyboards. Because the two additional feet on such a 5-pin switch seem to be plastics, you can securely clip them off to render them compliant with 3-pin PCBs using a pair of clippers.
There’s no risk here; the only problem is that it might become tiresome.
Durability Of Hot Swap Sockets
The ability to replace physical switches without welding is quite amazing. On the other hand, hot swap sockets aren’t as robust as conventional welded linkages. For example, the first series of Kailh sockets are only certified for 100 cycles. And, based on comments like these, they may fail far before they do 100 cycles.
Once you’ve found the switches you prefer, most enthusiasts still advocate obtaining a regular soldered keyboard. That, however, may soon change: Kailh has revealed a new second-generation connector with a 6000-cycle lifetime.
That’s a big step forward, leading to more durable hot swappable keyboards. But don’t get too enthusiastic just yet. Expect it to take a while for the sockets to become common among all hot swappable keyboards, as Kailh only introduced them at the end of August 2021. Considering how vivid they are, they shouldn’t be challenging to identify when they do.
Top 10 Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards for Gamers
1. Redragon K530
Overall Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard
- 60 percent layout, compact and lightweight
- Features Bluetooth 5.0
- Brilliant build quality
- The angled case is perfect for typing
- PBT keycaps of excellent quality
- Software that is simple to use
- Can fit only Outemu Switches
- The power outlet is on the side of the keyboard
- You can only use Brown Switches
- Extremely tiny USB type C cable
The Redragon K530 Draconic is a 60 percent layout-size hot swappable electromechanical keyboard. It is among the most inexpensive hot swappable mechanical keyboards. The price is reasonable and affordable for such a hot swappable mechanical keyboard.
The Redragon K530 Draconic boasts an excellent sturdy construction with an ABS plastic coating, and we found it quite easy to use.
This keyboard features 61 keys with ABS modifier keys that are excellent and pleasant to type on. Manufacturers offer only Brown Switch for this key, which is rather quiet. Even though the ABS keycap gets a little slippery, this keyboard is ergonomic.
The Redragon K530 Draconic is notable for its comprehensive application capability for customizable programming keys and changing RGB. This keyboard is available for Windows and MACOS through Bluetooth and USB Type C, complementing programs.
The complete rollover and clever triple function locations are worth mentioning if you utilize your Redragon for playing. The K530 features dual WASD keys instead of specialized arrow keys due to the 60 percent feature set. Normally, manufacturers assign these arrow buttons to the opposite half of the board. However, loading up the driver buttons makes way more sense in some situations. Not just that, but you’ll also gain an extra function coding setting, which expands your programming possibilities.
In conclusion, this is the best hot swappable keyboard overall. It has all the necessary features and also a very sleek design. Its build quality is on point, and the customization options are endless. These are excellent value for money and definitely also the best budget hot swappable keyboard.
View on Amazon: Redragon K530
2. SKYLOONG GK61
Best Hot Swappable Mechanical Keyboard
- Quick-response switches
- Beautiful RGB lighting
- Easily accessible arrow keys
- The USB-C cord is detachable
- Pre-lubricated stabilizers
- Uses NKRO
- Hot-swappable optical switches can only switch between optical
- ABS material keys
- Angle-adjusting kickstand is not available
The GK61 is a well-known keyboard amongst enthusiasts looking for a cheap portable keyboard with lightning-fast optical switches.
ABS material keys, thermoplastic structure, and RGB lights make up the remainder of the appearance.
The keyboard’s fundamental design is incredibly cost-effective. The switches provide gamers a minor edge over their competitors at a lower price.
However, that’s not a keyboard for individuals who prefer to type on a standard-sized layout. Instead, the absence of keys made entering data on a numeric keypad tough for us!
In conclusion, the Geek GK61 is a good alternative for requiring a quick, cheap keyboard. ABS keycaps, ambient RGB lighting, and lightning-fast optical switches make this Keyboard the best mchanical hot swappable keyboard in 2023.
View on Amazon: SKYLOONG GK61
3. LTC NB1041 Nimbleback Wired Mechanical Keyboard
Best Full-Size Hot-Swappable Keyboard
- Attractive brown hot-swappable switches
- Good RBG combination
- It comes with a wire keycap puller
- Full-size keyboard
- USB connection on the right side
- Cheap ABS material used
- No wireless capability
The keycaps are again reasonably inexpensive ABS caps with glow-through legends. They’re in good spirits. They’re not looking to dominate any honors. But for the pricing, we wouldn’t expect much more.
Underneath the keycaps are brown hot swappable mechanical key switches.
The RGB illumination on the Nimbleback offers excellent color representations; however, it is a little faint, like many other Keychron keyboards we’ve seen.
The build quality, on the other hand, is excellent. I’m unable to twist the case in any way. It’s not too light, but neither is it excessively hefty. This makes it simple to transport and bring with you if desired.
In conclusion, the LTC NB1041 Nimbleback is a cost-effective keyboard option. Offering good RGB color combinations, it is the best full-sized hot swappable keyboard with a wire keycap puller.
View on Amazon: LTC NB1041 Nimbleback Wired Mechanical Keyboard
4. Glorious Custom Gaming Keyboard
Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for PC Gaming
- Excellent build quality
- Silent keys
- Multi-platform compatible
- Dual-mode connectivity
- Prolonged Battery
- The board height is uncomfortable
- No nodding software
- A wrist rest is not present
Although this keyboard launched a few weeks back, it remains one of the greatest pre-built, full-size hot keyboards. It’s also not deficient in quality; the manufacturers have made the upper casing of a sturdy, sanded Aluminum plate with a clean, simple appearance.
The GMMK serves as an excellent modification platform. All 104 switches are modular, making removing and replacing individual switches simple. It emerges with Gaterons as standard switches, but you may also pick between Kailh’s, Cherry MX’s, and clones.
Although it is pre-made, there are a few modifications you may want to make right away. To begin with, the stabilizers are pretty loud, so you should consider replacing them with a set of high-quality GMK plating or Cherry stabs. In addition, the original keycaps come with thin ABS plastic.
The GMMK has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premium device, including a fast processing speed, anti-ghosting, and a 16.8 million color RGB lighting. Overall, it’s a great keyboard that does the task it was designed for.
In conclusion, this keyboard is a perfect choice for PC gamers. It has everything that a gamer would desire – silent keys, wireless compatibility, good battery life, etc. Overall it is the best hot swappable keyboard for PC gaming.
View on Amazon: Glorious Custom Gaming Keyboard
5. Drop Shift Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Best High-Quality Hot Swappable Keyboard
- Cherry 1800 layout
- Solid construction
- Easy disassembly
- Bright LEDs
- Two USB ports
- Little software documentation
The Drop Shift is the newest addition to the well-known CTRL and ALT keyboard shortcuts. It has a tiny Cherry 1800 design with 99 keys and a condensed version of a standard full-size keyboard. As a result, the home-key cluster moves above the Numpad, giving it a TKL-like form factor.
The structure is sturdy, with practically no twist or bending thanks to an aluminum frame. Instead, the framework serves like an in-built switch panel for the PCB and provides robustness. As a result, the PCB can accommodate a variety of 3-pin switches and is completely hot swappable.
RGB illumination is yet another important element of the Shift, comparable to the CTRL and ALT. Manufacturers solder LEDs in the Motherboard, and a dispersed light bar wrapped over the whole casing. They provide a lovely lightbox appearance that glows uniformly out of the casing and across the hovering keycaps used together.
All of the lights and keys are fully configurable using the QMK firmware. You may program macros, change key remappings, and configure the RGB lighting via the configurator.
In conclusion, the Drop Shift Mechanical Gaming keyboard is a complete package. Overall, that’s one of the finest alternatives if you’re looking for a high-quality, fully-equipped hot swap board (including a Numpad). All these things make this the best high-quality hot swappable keyboard.
View on Amazon: Drop Shift Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
6. RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK100 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Best Wireless Hot-Swappable Keyboard
- Blue backlighting
- RK Brown switches
- Compact design
- Multiple device Bluetooth support
- No functioning software
- High latency
- Lacking wrist rest
The ROYAL KLUDGE RK100 is a 60 percent electromechanical keyboard with a small footprint. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled wireless type that can simultaneously link up to three gadgets. It operates with just about any mobile or desktop os, albeit some hotkeys are unavailable on some platforms.
It’s simple to carry around because it’s a tiny keyboard with only the essential alphanumeric keys. However, some individuals may not like the absence of specialized arrow keys. Instead, it comes with three different mechanical RK switches and is hot swappable, allowing you to use any 3 to 5 switches.
There is a specific program for it. However, we could not reconfigure any keys or establish macros because they did not function.
In conclusion, this is the overall best wireless hot-swap keyboard with brilliant wireless connectivity. Boasting brown switches, a sleek and sturdy design, and multi-platform Bluetooth support, this keyboard is our list’s best wireless hot swappable keyboard.
View on Amazon: RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK100 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
7. EPOMAKER AKKO ACR98 Doll of The Princess Hot-Swappable Keyboard
Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for Girl Gamers
- Unique aesthetics
- Modified 1800 layout
- Double-shot PBT keycaps
- Additional keycaps for popular layouts
- Hot-swappable PCB
- Jelly Black switches are well-balanced for gaming and typing
- ASA profile keycaps present a learning curve
- Stick-on feet don’t lock
- Lack of F row might not be for everyone
Suppose you want to go away from a traditional full-size keyboard. In that case, the Akko ACR98 Mini is a good place to start, as long as you have the time to learn how to fiddle with the ASA configuration alphanumeric keys.
The simplified 1800 layout loses some utility by deleting the F row. However, it keeps the Numpad, which would be a controversial design decision.
Aside from the unusual combination of functions, several hazards are similar to the ACR59 BOW. For example, most users will be frustrated with the keycaps and set typing posture, as Akko’s retractable stick-on feet are insufficiently adaptable.
Additionally, inexperienced users with different keycap characteristics may find the ASA keycaps hard to acclimate to.
In conclusion, the ACR98 comes with a unique design guaranteed to draw attention. It comes with a USB-C and additional PCB switches to make it convenient for the user. These make the ACR 98 the best hot swappable keyboard for girl gamers.
View on Amazon: EPOMAKER AKKO ACR98 Doll of The Princess Hot-Swappable Keyboard
8. XVX Womier K87 TKL Mechanical Keyboard
Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for Xbox Gaming
- Translucent case
- Stunning RGB backlight
- Programmable with software
- Built-in memory
- Stabs need modding
- Shallow typing angle
The Womier K87 TKL RGB Custom Mechanical Keyboard has many personalities and will attract your eye. You’ll adore it if you’re an RGB enthusiast. The magnificent illumination on this keyboard elevates under-glow illumination to new heights.
The acrylic casing has a glossy coating that is entirely transparent. The switch LEDs may now be seen from all sides of the base, rather than only from above, as with prior small form factor versions. As a result, the style looks to be quite simplistic.
Although it is not commonly known, firmware for this keyboard is available. It allows you to customize any 16.8 million colors and create patterns. You may also use the FN combo key to select any of the static colors or eighteen predefined motions.
In conclusion, this gorgeous keyboard is an outstanding TKL Hot Swappable keyboard and will appeal to RGB enthusiasts. It comes with a translucent case and features outstanding RGB. Boasting a built-in memory, this is the best hot swappable keyboard for Xbox gamers.
View on Amazon: XVX Womier K87 TKL Mechanical Keyboard
9. HUO JI E-Yooso Z-88 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for Mac
- Sturdy and compact
- Vibrant RGB
- Support for Outemu Switch
- Features drain holes
- Wrist rest missing
- Inadequate software support
The E-Element Z-88 keeps things simple but does them well. You’ll receive a small keyboard that’s remarkably thick, as well as high-quality switches that you really can replace for a range of options.
The vibrant colors make it even more appealing and take the entry-level backlighting to the next level. It’s a pity Huo Ji didn’t include a wrist rest (albeit this would have increased the keypad size). So the absence of the functionality is something that he should reconsider.
Nonetheless, if you don’t mind spending a little more, the E-Element Z-88 physical keyboard is THE small keyboard to seek for.
Huo Ji has done an excellent job with E-Element Z-88, a compact LED-backlit RGB keyboard with high-quality mechanical buttons and a durable design. Its small size makes it convenient to transport, providing an excellent mix of work and pleasure. You’ll have a hard time deciding between its gorgeous hues.
The E-Element Z-88 mechanical is a wonderful place to start if you’re looking for a compact keyboard but do not want to spend the money on a Ducky. Instead, it’s priced slightly higher than other outstanding budget keyboards, and its absence of programming significantly limits its RGB customizability.
In conclusion, the Z-88 has a superior build quality and even comes with drain holes. Overall, the vibrant RGB lighting and support for Outemu switches make this keyboard the best Hot Swappable keyboard for MAC.
View on Amazon: HUO JI E-Yooso Z-88 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
10. XVX Womier K61
Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard for PS4
- Build quality
- More customization options
- Color range
- Uses NKRO
- Little pricey
- Insufficient software support
For those searching for a 60 percent format mechanical keyboard at a bargain, the Womier K61 is the ideal option since it has superb finishes and high-quality PBT polymer buttons.
There are also some excellent Gateron Optical switches hidden behind it. For example, you get a very smooth finish with RGB LED lights and a great typing experience. This panel also has the necessary hot-swap capability.
The Womier K61 is a keyboard breaking new ground in the market. We’ve got a budget-friendly, off-the-shelf board that appears custom-made. If you bought all the pieces separately, the price would be more than twice.
Although there are some small issues, such as an unfinished Fn level and a shortage of programming, this board is well worth the money.
In conclusion, the Womier K61 features outstanding connectivity and build quality. The Womier K61 keyboard is the best hot wwappable keyboard for PS4 gamers, with NKRO support and offering the users extended customization options.
View on Amazon: XVX Womier K61
Hot Swappable PCBs for a Custom Keyboard
Getting a hot swappable PCB might be tough for those who want to construct a bespoke keyboard.
The hardest element is locating the PCB in stock since these items sell out quickly.
The simplest PCB to get is one for a 60 percent configuration; the other layouts require a unique plate and case designed expressly for those PCBs.
We propose looking at the most recent group purchase for such parts.
KBDfans and Banggood are two sources we like to check for 60 percent hot swappable PCBs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Swappable Keyboards
The hot swappable functionality of a mechanical keyboard is a highly helpful tool for personalizing your keyboard. It allows you to replace keyboard switches to design your unique keyboard quickly.
A hot swappable keyboard enables you to replace the switches with just a switch puller, so you simply take out the old ones and replace them with new ones; it’s that simple.
If you wish to replace the switches on a non-hot-swappable keyboard, follow these instructions:
1. Take apart the entire keyboard first.
2. Desolder the switches using a soldering iron. Each switch requires the desoldering of two pins.
3. Turn on the switches that you desire.
4. Put the keyboard back together.
Changing keys on a keyboard requires at least 4 or 5 times faster without the hot swappable capability.
The bulk of gaming keyboards from companies like Razer, Corsair, and HyperX is not hot swappable. To locate a model that allows you to replace the switches, you’ll have to go further into the programmable keyboard sector. This is because gaming companies tend to adhere to inexpensive soldered PCB boards.
We put hot swappable keyboards through the same tests we put specialized gaming keyboards through, including switching functionality out of the package, pattern or multimedia controls, speed and reaction times, and typing comfort.
When we consider afresh keyboard, we’ll use it for a long time, including it in our daily work and gaming to verify it can withstand more than a few days of use. After that, we’ll dismantle these items and replace the entire switch set to ensure there are no dead PCBs and test the simplicity of removing and reconnecting.
Final Words on the Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards
Hot-swappable keyboards seem scarce as hen’s teeth, but that is no longer the case. It could take a little while, but we’re confident you’ll discover the finest hot-swappable keyboard for your requirements in our collection. They feature mechanical switches.
The Redragon K530 and Keychron K8, which we believe are two of the greatest entry-midrange alternatives available right now, are two of our favorites.
However, you may have other requirements, so experiment and find what works best. After all, there are still hundreds of hot-swap mechanical keyboards on the marketplace that we couldn’t include in our list.
After you’ve figured out your keys, it’s time to get a second set of keys to experiment with. Then, we’ll direct you to our listing of places selling keyboard switches to assist you. Also, if you play games that require you to use one-handed keyboards, here is our list of the best one-handed gaming keyboards on the market!