7 Best Hot Swappable Keyboards in 2022

By Robin Owens 20 days ago, Keyboards

The best hot swappable keyboards on the market.

best hot swappable keyboard

Are you in search of the best hot swappable keyboard? Then you came to the right place, as this rundown goes over the most highly regarded options on the market. If you’re a fan of mechanical keyboards but can’t decide what type of switches to pick, a hot swappable model is exactly what you need.

Top 7 Best Hot Swappable Keyboards

  1. SteelSeries Apex - Our Choice
  2. Redragon K579 - Budget
  3. YMDK GK61 - Solid performance
  4. Abkoncore K660 (Black) - Rainbow LED
  5. Durgod Hades - Compact
  6. Glorious Modular - Stylish
  7. HK Gaming GK61 - For gaming

Even though the number of hot swappable keyboards that are available right now isn’t that high, the demand for them guarantees you’ll see more of such products in the future. Below, you’ll find a rundown of currently offered models, complete with lists of pros and cons, that will allow you to find the best option for your needs!

1. SteelSeries Apex

Our Choice
best hot swappable keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Sturdy aluminum frame
⊕ Useful OLED mini-screen
⊕ Snappy mechanical switches
⊕ RGB backlight can be customized
⊖ Key presses are rather loud

If productivity is key for you, then this option probably isn’t the best hot swappable keyboard you’ll find on this list since it doesn’t have a numpad.

That said, this model is aimed primarily at gamers and tweakers, and if you’re one of those users, then Apex should be right up your alley. It brings your hands closer together, which is better for both the ergonomics and strategy. Moreover, the smaller size of the keyboard means you have to spend less money on expensive mechanical switches.

In terms of functionality and price, Apex manages to find a solid balance. It’s a reliable, beautifully-designed option for users that don’t require a numpad and would prefer to enjoy maximum tweakability, sturdiness and value for money.

2. Redragon K579

Budget
hot swap keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Attractive price
⊕ Impressive build quality
⊕ Top-tier blue switch implementation
⊕ Aluminum backplate
⊖ Only compatible with blue switches
⊖ USB cable isn’t detachable
⊖ Slim keycaps
⊖ Doesn’t look very good

Being offered at below $40, this red backlit hot swappable keyboard is a terrific way for Redragon to enter the market. What this model may be lacking in terms of design and style, it compensates with impressive build quality and performance.

Getting a product with blue switches isn’t the optimal option if you’re an avid gamer, but if you understand the cons of this type of switches, then the K579 is a terrific choice given its price.

3. YMDK GK61

Solid performance
hot swappable keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Type-C
⊕ Budget
⊖ Not the most reliable option

This hot swap keyboard can be purchased in either wired or Bluetooth versions, with the latter being powered by a durable 1900mAh battery.

The model tested for this review has a replaceable plate that allows you to choose between 6.26u, 2.25u and 2.75u split space layouts.

That space is attached directly to the frame. This means that if you want to change the regular GH60 case, you’ll have to replace the GH60 size plate.

4. Abkoncore K660 (Black)

Rainbow LED
hot swappable mechanical keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Rainbow LED
⊕ Polling rate of 1000Hz
⊕ Curved design
⊕ Expensive
⊖ Lacks reliability

The K660 has a solid case for being considered the best hot swappable keyboard if you’re looking for full-sized models. It has complete anti-ghosting functionality and is supplied with N-Key Rollover that enables you to press several keys at the same time.

The K660 also offers a polling rate of 1000Hz and can transfer and receive data 1000 times per second, which is perfect for gamers that value high responsiveness and accuracy. The K660 comes with MX blue switches that provide superior durability as they were tested to withstand 50mil keystrokes.

When pressed, Abkoncore keys provide moderate resistance, a pleasant clicking sound, and feel nice to the touch, being an equally valid choice for typing and gaming. This full-size keyboard comes with 27 different backlight modes.

5. Durgod Hades

Compact
hot swappable keyboards

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Amazing design quality
⊕ Plenty of switch options
⊕ Sturdy aluminum case
⊕ RGB backlight
⊖ Single-shot ABS keycaps
⊖ Narrow USB Type-C input

The Hades offers everything you might want from a hot swappable model: terrific build quality, high responsiveness and a comfortable key feel. Add in the customization options, amazing backlight and the sturdy frame, and you have a great keyboard on your hands.

Also, it supports DURGOD Hera Engine software. You can upgrade keyboard firmware on the go or customize lighting effects. This hot swappable keyboard is compatible with Windows 10, Win 8, Win 7, Win Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS.

6. Glorious Modular

Stylish
hotswapable keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Great design
⊕ Dead switches are easily repaired
⊕ Thin chassis
⊖ Braided cable can’t be detached
⊖ Too exprensive

When the Glorious Modular keyboard has entered the market, you can enjoy hot swap Cherry, Gateron and Kailth brand switches all at the same time.

If you ever wanted to find out how Gateron Blues feel or why Cherry MX switches are so popular, or even if you want to add Gateron Reds for the WASD keys but Gateron Blacks for all the rest, with GMMK everything is possible without having to buy a different keyboard or taking apart an existing one.

You can take out a switch as easily as a keycap and combine different switches until you’ve found your ultimate keyboard configuration.

7. HK Gaming GK61

For gaming
hot swap mechanical keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes

rank rank Rating

⊕ Stylish design
⊕ Reasonable price
⊕ Solid customization options
⊖ Several cheap features
⊖ Clunky and unintuitive software

There are many reasons why the GK61 can be considered the best hot swappable keyboard if you’re looking for 60% options. The few small drawbacks (cheap optical switches from China and underdeveloped software) don’t take much away from it.

Even the stock version of the GK61 is a terrific get, especially if you consider the price. The keyboard doesn’t come in a stylish box, with a huge manual or intuitive software, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you value functionality above everything else.

Image Name Features  
best hot swappable keyboard
SteelSeries Apex
Our Choice
  • Interface: Wired
  • Keyboard backlighting: Yes
CHECK PRICE
hot swap keyboard
Redragon K579
Gaming
  • Interface: Wired
  • Keyboard backlighting: Yes
CHECK PRICE
hot swappable keyboard
YMDK GK61
Budget
  • Interface: Wired
  • Keyboard backlighting: Yes
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Hot Swappable Keyboard?

hot swap keyboard

If you’re a fan of mechanical keyboards, you’ve probably checked out some custom builds at one time or another. Custom models can be a terrific piece of technology, but they also tend to cost quite a lot and are difficult to put together. Probably the most difficult part of that process is soldering the switches. This is where hot swappable switches can save you from a lot of hassle.

If you get Mac keyboard with a circuit board that has hot swappable sockets (ones that enable you to add and remove switches without having to apply a soldering gun), then you can save hours of your time soldering and desoldering switches, as it would be the case with a regular keyboard.

A keyboard being hot-swappable means the PCB (which, simply put, is the circuit board inside the keyboard) has special sockets so that you can click switches into place and pull them out without ever needing to touch a soldering gun. Meaning, when it comes time for a change, you don’t have to spend hours desoldering switches.

Some Things to Look out for

When you start looking for the best hot swappable keyboard, you’ll soon see the number of different layouts you have to pick from. The products featured in this article have either a Full, TKL, 75%, or 60% layout. TKL and 75% options come with the majority of the keys, except for the numeric pad. Meanwhile, the best 60% keyboards are extra small, cost less, but also have fewer keys (for instance, they lack separate arrow keys). The choice between the different layouts should come down to your personal preference.

Switch Compatibility

All options from this article support any MX-type switch (from such manufacturers as Cherry, Kailh, Gateron, etc.) You can choose the best Cherry MX Brown keyboard or models with other switch types.

Additional Features

The best RGB keyboard with customizable keys or adjustable feet can do wonders for improving your user experience both from an aesthetic and functional point of view.

Build Quality

hot swap keyboard

A mechanical keyboard isn’t cheap, so you have to check if the case around the circuit board and the keycaps justify the price. When looking at keycaps, search for double-shot ones, since they provide superior durability. Different types of plastic, such as ABS and PBT, are also employed for producing keyboards, with the latter option being the more preferable one. Of course, you can find cheap mechanical keyboards, but they may disappoint you in terms of service life.

FAQ

  • • What is a hot swap mechanical keyboard?

If a keyboard is hot swappable that means the PCB (aka the circuit board of the device) comes with uniquely-designed sockets that enable you to put switches in and out without having to ever use a soldering gun.

  • • Is it possible to turn a keyboard into a hot swappable one?

This can only be achieved if the switch holes are of the correct size for Holtite or Mill-Max sockets, since then it’s possible to solder sockets into the holes to make the switches hot swappable. You can purchase such sockets at specialized online stores that trade all sorts of keyboard parts.

  • • What is a hot swap switch?

Hotswap is a state-of-the-art feature introduced by the Kono Store and Input Club. It’s offered in keyboards that let users replace switches without soldering.

  • • Is a keyboard with hot swappable switches good?

Such models receive a lot of praise due to the versatility they bring to the table. Not only do they come with all the features you’d expect from a modern keyboard, but they also have hot swappable switches which make them incredibly adaptable.

GET 60% OFF GET 60% OFF