If you are fond of the mechanical keyboards, finding the right keyboard switch can be a huge task in itself. That is perhaps where a Hot Swappable keyboard comes to the fore. Using a hot-swappable keyboard will help you get a keyboard that you find good enough at the moment. If you find that your hot-swappable keyboard’s switches are not what you want, then you can replace the switches without even soldering which is why they are called hot-swappable. You just take off the switch, and push the new switch in. that’s it for the switch replacement of this type of keyboards.
What is a Hot Swappable Keyboard?
The name hot-swappable keyboard itself should help you understand what a hot-swappable keyboard does. A hot swappable keyboard lets you change the key switches right away without the need for soldering or any other machining activity. These keyboards can be easily swapped, and that is exactly what does the name suggests.
You can simply use a switch puller to change the switch, and the process does not require an extensive activity such as de-soldering or resoldering. The ease with which the keys can be changed makes them a great option and more durable. Since you can change the individual key switches without hassles, it assumes an easy to use the option to change the damaged switches instead of having to pay for the repair services or learning the soldering skills.
Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards
Having understood the requirement and essence of a hot swappable keyboard, we will not check out the best hot swappable keyboard options that you can find practical. Let us explore a few of the best options that can help you get your preferred experience in the best hot swap keyboard usage.
Drop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard
If you are looking for a deeper degree of experience in a deeper customisation options, the Drop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard has been rated to be one of the prime options ever. You will get access to several advantages such as programmable macros, detachable USB C cord, RGB backlighting, and hot swappable keys.
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You will have access to one of the best degree of quality construction and feature packed functionality. The solid aluminium frame with a built-in switch plate and magnetic legs. You can also get access to an optimised per ley lighting with millions of colours. A fully programmable compatibility through QMK can further prove to be one of the excellent options ever.
You can make a choice between low and high profile. You will find it supporting six different key switch options that include Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Brown, Halo Clear, Halo True, Kaihua Box White, and Kaihua Box Silver. You can even pick a keyboard with no switches and install the switches that you would prefer. If you are looking to customise the RGB lighting and programmable macros with the help of online keyboard configurator of the service provider.
The shine-through PBT keycaps are yet another exciting option. These designs help you resist the shine in the keycaps that are caused by sweat and oils on your fingers. It can also provide you with access to a long life performance, making it a reliable option. The keyboard is available with the standard 87 key configurations.
The hot swap keyboard comes with a switch puller so that you can easily replace your switches when needed.
You can op for the keyboard with the following specifications:
- Halo True
- Kailh Box White
- Kailh Speed Silver
- Cherry MX Blue
- Cherry MX Brown
- Halo Clear
You may also get a barebones keyboard without any key switches.
Keychron K6 68-Key Wireless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
The Keychron K6 68-Key Wireless Bluetooth/USB Wired Gaming Mechanical Keyboard is a great option with an affordable price tag. The hot-swappable keyboard does offer you access to a 5 pin socket that can be compatible with most of the key switches. You can pick different variants such as wireless, plastic or aluminium cases and RGB backlighting.
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The Keychron K6 comes with a 65% configuration and thus does not have a num pad or the top row. The wireless variant of the hot-swap keyboard provides you access to a battery backup of four weeks. The charging is done through a USB C port.
The keyboard comes with support for a variety of switches that include LK optical, Gateron hot-swappable, and standard Gateron switches. The sockets are designed to provide a perfect connection without any sort of wobbles. The factory lubed stabilisers provide you with a very smooth typing experience.
However, you may come across a few of the disadvantages as well. The keycaps are made of ABS plastic, and that can be a concern and leave a lot to be desired. A slightly higher front edge can be a little uncomfortable for the extended gaming sessions. You would not get a custom key mapping feature that can prove to be a little out of place for those fond of remapping. Keychron has stated that it is working on the functionality and may come with a solution soon.
The 15+ RGB Lighting Options makes it one of the thoughtful inclusions. You can even pick a static backlight mode as well if needed. Compatibility with both Mac and Windows users is one of the features that would make it one of the thoughtful options that can be helpful in the long run.
While the keyboard is packed with a host of advanced features, but the stealing feature that makes it a worthy investment is its hot swappable functionality. Given the fact that the hot swap feature is quite rare on a keyboard with a price tag lower than $150, the keyboard should be one of the practical choices. Though the keyboard comes with a plastic construction, you will find the build quality one of the great options you would find on a keyboard.
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The Aluminium backplate makes the keyboard quite durable and makes it feel quite rigid. The stabilisers on the keyboard appear to be quite good enough and impressive in their own right. The spacebar and other larger keys can prove to be quite stable and do not come with any sort of rattling sound. The stabilisers come lubed form the factory, which is one of the added advantages.
One of the disadvantages we found with the keyboard is the lack of a detachable power cord. The power cord is constantly attached to the keyboard, and that can look a little awkward and uncomfortable.
18 preset configurations for the RGB backlighting is yet another added advantage. You can even create your own configuration as per your preferences. The keyboard comes equipped with Outemu key switches. The keyboard also offers you access to spare switches and a keycap/ switch removal tool. The N key rollover and 1000 Hz pooling rate are a few other factors that can further make it one of the prime options.
You can be assured of a faster and smoother gaming experience. The small footprint and an 87 key keyboard provide you with a compact keyboard design. The floating key design can be one of the exciting experience ever.
Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
If you are checking out the best full sized keyboard with hot swappable keys, the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard should be something you would find truly great experience ever. The GMMK TKL can be the best affordable keyboards with the hot swappable compatibility.
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The construction of the keyboard is made of a combination of plastic and aluminium for an enhanced and comfortable typing experience. Complete with an RGB backlight and plastic case, the keyboard also provides you access to a built-in keycap puller and a braided micro USB USB power cable. You may find the case of the keyboard a little flexible, but that should not make it uncomfortable in any way to handle the keyboard and work with it.
The Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming keyboard is compatible with several key switches, a few prominent mentions being Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, Outemu, and Zeal switches. The fully customisable RGB lighting can be something you would find quite impressive in its own right. You will also find the floating keycap design with the keycaps made of double shot ABS.
The high-quality aluminium faceplate provides you access to a high quality solid and sturdy build. The USB cable is braided and comes with a detachable design which should further customisation options. You will find all the multimedia keys included, and you can even create the Macro keys with the Glorious keyboard.
The keyboard feels a little light and gives an echo functionality, but given the price of the keyboard – that should not be something you will find quite impressive.
Womier K66 60% Keyboard
The Womier K66 60% Keyboard comes with the Gateron key switches, and you can be assured of the best possible conflict free N key rollover functionality. That can be one of the prime features that can be assured to provide you access to an enhanced and improved gaming performance. The detachable USB type C keyboard can be one of the perfect options for almost all your requirements.
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The hot swappable switches are compatible with the 3 to 5 pin switch mechanism. You can simply change the key switch within a span of 5 minutes. The keyboard is compatible with more than 95 per cent of the regular mechanical switches. This can be extremely useful and helpful in customising your typing experience in the best possible manner.
The amazing RGB lighting capability is one of the huge advantages you would find rather impressive. You can get access to the best possible backlight effects and waves that can take you to the next level of efficacy and performance levels. The drive free settings and FN adjustment lighting effects have been one of the thoughtful inclusions.
Compact, portable and easy to use, and that is exactly what would make it one of the practical solutions for ideally all the needs you may have. However, you would not find any support for software-based customisation of your keys. One of the negative factors we observed, however, is the lack of good stabilisers.
Drop ALT Mechanical Keyboard
The Drop Alt 65 per cent keyboard can be one of the excellent choices for the best compact hot-swappable mechanical keyboard. You can be assured of finding almost all the features you would expect from a high-end mechanical keyboard. The case, to begin with, is made of solid aluminium and is mounted on the strong mechanical legs. That should be one of the factors that make the keyboard quite strong enough.
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A smaller sibling of the CTRL hot swappable mechanical keyboard that we discussed above, the Drop ALT keyboard is designed with 67 keys instead of the 87 standard keys. A solid build equipped with the solid aluminium frame and a built-in switch plate further enhance your experience.
The Drop ALT keyboard coms equipped with the Halo clear switches which provide you with a slight tactile bump. Of course, the hot swappable key switch feature further improves your experience by letting you switch your keys right away within five minutes without the need for soldering.
Yet another feature that you would find worth mentioning can be the optimised per key lighting. The fully customisable RGB lighting should be a great way to create custom rainbow effects. The dual USB port should be one of the thoughtful options that can let you set up the cable either on the right or left side, improving the ergonomics.
Redragon Draconic K530
One of the best gaming keyboard with hot swappable capability, the Redragon Draconic K530 is a budget-friendly keyboard and provides you access to a 60 per cent mechanical keyboard. The keyboard offers you Redragon branded Outemu keyboard switches. The hot swappable keyboard lets you change the switches without hassles within a couple of minutes.
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While there are several options available for the best hot swappable keyboards with a 60% layout, which makes it a strong competitor is its high-quality construction and a thoughtful design parameter. Given the fact that the mechanical keyboard with 60 per cent construction is a great option in every respect, the available Bluetooth technology is one of the enhanced features.
If you are checking out for a compact configuration with high-end features, the Redragon K530 is a great solution for practically each of your needs in an enhanced service quality. Except for the smaller footprint with a 60 per cent layout, you will find almost all the features a great option on a hot swappable keyboard.
The optical hot swappable keyboards have been leading the way for the new technology, and the Epomaker SK61 is one of the keyboards that has made the genre quite popular. The keyboard comes with Gateron Optical switches and lets you swap the switches as per your preferences in cases on any different typing experience. Given the fact that getting access to both hot swappable and optical switches on one keyboard is not much common, you will find Epomaker SK61 a refreshing change.
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The optical switches are extremely smooth. One of the huge advantages of using an optical switch is that they are quite light and actuate really faster. You can be assured of a consistency and reliability as the highest standard on your keyboard. The waterproof application is what we found to be the high-end feature on the Epomaker SK61.
A high-end flexibility and customisation offered by the hot swappable mechanical keyboard should definitely make it one of the most affordable and a great option at this price point. You can get access to several other advanced features that include macro recording through software and customisation of a host of advanced features. The full anti-ghosting mode offered by the keyboard is yet another thoughtful inclusion.
The easy detachability of the USB cord further helps you achieve convenience of portability. Moreover, being equipped with optical switches, you can be assured of a high end and more durable functionality. The keys have been tested for 100 million key presses.
Are you looking for the high-end wireless keys in a hot swappable keyboard? Then the Epomaker GK68XS should be what should make it one of the thoughtful options. The keyboard made its beginning through the Kickstarter option and later made available through the E-commerce outlets. Some of the prime features offered by the keyboard include multi-colour PBT keycaps, an optional split spacebar design, and a compact 65% layout.
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The hot swappable mechanical keyboard comes equipped with Cherry MX switch, Kailh Box switch or Gateron switches which should make it one of the excellent options. The Bluetooth connectivity with your device can be what further makes it one of the thoughtful inclusions at an affordable pricing. The keyboard can connect with up to three devices at a time through a Bluetooth 5.1 protocol.
The layout of the keyboard is completely programmable. You can easily reprogram your keys and make your own custom macros. You can even add layers for an enhanced function. The 16.8 million RGB lighting is quite impressive. You can gain access to your preferred level of LED colors, rhythm and sound lighting combinations.
The Epomaker GK68XS has been one of the exciting options for an advanced wireless Bluetooth mechanical keyboard. Of course, the keycap design may not need a little getting used to.
What Should You Look for the Best Hot-Swappable Keyboard – The Hot-swappable Keyboard Buying Guide
What factors should you look for when buying your preferred hot swappable keyboard? We thought of sharing a few of the great buying factors to help you arrive at the best possible experience.
The layout of the keyboard you pick would largely be based on what you are looking forward to in term of your typing and gaming experience. You can pick your preferred layouts from among several options that include Full, tenkeyless (TKL), 75%, or 60% layouts. The 75 per cent keyboards come with all the keys as available on a full keyboard, but miss out on the num pad. A 60 per cent keyboard comes with a compact design but may lose a wide range of keys which otherwise may be important. You can decide what you are looking for in your keyboard.
The features such as RGB lighting, macros and adjustable kickstands can be a few features that can improve typing and gaming experience further. These features can help you provide you access to an enhanced and improved functionality to your keyboard
Compatibility with Switches
The best hot swappable keyboards limited to one or a few types of switches can be an impediment. Compatibility with a wide range of switches can prove to be quite effective and efficient. Check out for the compatibility with at least the major keyboard switches such as Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh and Outemu to name a few.
Build and Quality
The build quality of a keyboard can improve and enhance the level of experience in terms of durability. The double shot keycaps can be one of the prime features you would want to focus on. They can ensure a high degree of longevity.
The concept of hot swappable keyboards has been observed to be becoming a common concept of late. There is more and more option for the best hot swappable keyboards being launched at a consistent pace. In essence, hot swappable keyboards are the best when you have no expertise in soldering the keyboard switches or do not want to take the risk of handling those desoldering and resoldering practices.
The best hot swappable keyboards are now available with varied features and functionality. They also come with a wide range of pricing. We would assume that the tips and ideas shared here should ideally help you pick the perfect options that ideally meet your individual requirements.