9 Best Cherry MX Red Keyboards: The Ultimate List

cherry mx red keyboard

Cherry MX reds are among the most popular mechanical keyboard switches because of their silent design and fast linear action. They are lightweight and easy to rapidly press, making them perfect for frantic gaming moments as well as spamming Twitch chat emotes. Here are our picks for the best Cherry MX Red keyboards for gaming, typing, and beyond.

What Are the Best Cherry MX Red Keyboards in 2020?

logitech g610 cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • White LED backlight
  • Dedicated multimedia hotkeys
  • Fn keys are macro programmable
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hyperx alloypro cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Red LED backlight
  • Detachable USB cable
  • Slim and durable
Price: $62.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
durgod cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Double shot PBT keys
  • Compact and durable
  • Multimedia shortcuts
Price: $119.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
corsair k70 cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Red LED backlight
  • Pass-through USB port
  • Included wrist rest
Price: $190.84 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rosewill cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Detachable braided USB cable
  • Multimedia shortcuts
  • Lightweight and durable
Price: $197.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ikbc cd108 cherry red keyboard
  • Sturdy PBT keycaps
  • Low actuation force
  • Laser-etched keys
Price: $79.99 Shop now at walmart.com Shop now Read our review
coolermaster k750 cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full RGB backlight
  • Included wrist rest
  • Compact and durable
Price: $142.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gskills ripjaws cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Red LED backlight
  • Multimedia shortcuts
  • Macro support
Price: $119.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
fnatic streak cherry red keyboard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full RGB backlight
  • Pass-through USB port
  • Included wrist rest
Price: $129.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Logitech G610 Orion Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • White LED backlight
    • Dedicated multimedia hotkeys
    • Fn keys are macro programmable
    Cons:
    • Spongy stabilizer keys
    • Only the Fn keys are programmable
    • No wrist rest

    The Logitech G610 Orion is one of the most popular Cherry MX red keyboards around for its value price and performance-driven design. Rather than sink money into superfluous features like RGB lighting, the G610 Orion just focuses on a straightforward tactile typing experience. But that’s not to say it is entirely feature-light.

    The G610 Orion has white LED backlighting behind all of its keys, making it easy to see at night without a distracting rainbow of colors. You can use the free Logitech Gaming Software to customize the brightness of individual keys but this has limited applications. You can also use this software to program macros over all 12 of the keyboard’s function keys. 

    This is a 104-key keyboard, which means it includes a number pad. Not included in the key count are the board’s dedicated media hotkeys, which can control volume and playback without having to minimize what you are working on. The coolest macro key, however, is the Game Mode button, which can be used to disable certain keys while gaming (the Windows key is automatically disabled by this feature).

    Speaking of gaming, this keyboard’s Cherry MX Red switches are ideal for gaming, as they can be fairly silent as long as you type lightly. Just note that larger keys like the space bar and the return key have a spongy feel as if their springs eat up the tactile click. My only other complaint is that this keyboard does not come with a wrist rest, but considering these only increase its already large footprint, it is an easy accessory to leave behind.

  2. 2. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro

    Pros:
    • Red LED backlight
    • Detachable USB cable
    • Slim and durable
    Cons:
    • Thin keycaps
    • Wider keys might be clunky or squeaky
    • No wrist rest

    The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is an iconic entry-level mech keyboard that is available with Red, Blue, or Brown Cherry switches. Of course, if you’ve made it this far, you probably already settled on the linear Red switches for their rapid activation and quiet tactile click. You also have the choice of a full-size 104-key version or a tenkeyless 87-key version. We highlighted the 87-key version because it matches the simple aesthetic of this board.

    This board is LED-backlit but only in red. You can cycle through 6 preset lighting modes and 5 brightness levels, but these pulsing and flashing patterns feel like a gimmick at best without the full RGB multicolor experience. You’ll need HyperX’s Ngenuity software if you want to add macros or rebind keys but it is possible to customize this board for other keyboard layouts like DVORAK.

    The best aspect of the Alloy FPS Pro, though, is its compact and durable construction. It has an exposed steel frame that is heavy yet durable and it connects to your PC via a detachable braided USB cable. And as long as you opt for the 87-key version it is equally compact. Consequently, this keyboard cannot fit dedicated media buttons so it turns the F6 to F12 keys to alternate media hotkeys.

    While we are pointing out flaws, the Alloy FPS Pro’s keycaps are pretty thin, so they won’t last nearly as long as high-quality double-shot keycaps. Additionally, wide keys that need stabilizers will sometimes rattle or squeak. These flaws are easy to look past, though, as the value price and excellent performance of this keyboard make it a winner either way.

  3. 3. Durgod Taurus K320 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Double shot PBT keys
    • Compact and durable
    • Multimedia shortcuts
    Cons:
    • No wrist rest
    • No LED backlight
    • Spongy stabilizer keys

    If you are looking for a tenkeyless mech keyboard with high-quality PBT keycaps, the Durgod Taurus K320 is a solid choice. It has a compact form factor while also having some of the most durable keys on the market. In other words, it is easy for the K320 to earn a place on your desk.

    Its PBT keycaps have laser-etched lettering that will never wear away. They far exceed the quality of the ABS caps you find on other boards and represent the main reason to spend a little extra on this TKL keyboard. The keys are not backlit, which can be a problem if you have to look down at the keys to type, but otherwise isn’t super important. The function row keys have alternate media commands printed on the side, which makes for a clean look as well as easy playback controls.

    As for the switches underneath, we like this keyboard because it is one of only a few keyboards out there that ships with either Cherry Silent switches or Cherry Red switches. We highlighted the Cherry Silent version specifically because you might not have known that was an option before. Of course, if preferred, you can always stick with the standard design for the maximum tactile response. In either version, the larger keys with stabilizers such as space and return feel a bit spongier.

    That is easy to overlook, though, as this is an all-around capable mech keyboard. It may not have the large accessory suite or customizable LED array of a high-end gaming keyboard, but it will last a lot longer than a fancier keyboard anyway.

  4. 4. Corsair K70 Lux Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Red LED backlight
    • Pass-through USB port
    • Included wrist rest
    Cons:
    • Spongy stabilizer keys
    • Thin keycaps
    • Buggy software

    The Corsair K70 Lux Mechanical Keyboard faces stiff competition from other entry-level gaming keyboards but still distinguishes itself with a pass-through USB port and an included wrist rest. The soft wrist rest is detachable but I recommend you use it unless you already have another solution for wrist ergonomics while you type.

    The pass-through USB port is another great addition to the K70 Lux, especially when you already push the limit on the acceptable number of PC accessories. Granted, it is far from an essential feature but it really helps distinguish this keyboard from other competitors at this price level. The far more essential factor to this keyboard’s effectiveness is its Cherry MX Red switches.

    These switches have direct linear action that is well suited for fast-paced gaming and all of the keys on this full-size board are in a standard layout that should be familiar to any gamer. The keys have a red backlight that can be programmed to follow 11 different preset animations. You can also use Corsair’s CUE software to program your own custom key light pattern but the software is notoriously glitchy.

    The keycaps themselves are a little thin but it is easy to forget that the K70 Lux is still a budget gaming keyboard. Its macro programming may be poorly thought out but it has a surprising amount of extra features that are by no means expected at this price range. For that reason alone, the K70 Lux is definitely one of the best Cherry red mechanical keyboards.

  5. 5. Rosewill RK-9000V2 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Detachable braided USB cable
    • Multimedia shortcuts
    • Lightweight and durable
    Cons:
    • No wrist rest
    • No LED backlight
    • Thin keycaps

    The Rosewill RK-9000V2 is a beloved budget mech keyboard model that delivers performance over aesthetics. You can find versions with Blue, Brown, and Red switches from Cherry but those looking for the fastest mech keyboard action should specifically consider the linear Red switches. These switches have a shallow activation point, so you don’t have to focus so much on being feather-fingered when you type. They are also comparatively quieter than other options.

    This version of the RK-9000V2 does not have LED backlighting but this is not a necessity unless you are a hunt-and-peck typist who uses their keyboard in a dark room. The down-to-business design and full numpad layout mean that this keyboard is more appropriate for an office PC than for a blinged-out PC setup but that doesn’t mean it can’t deliver some decent gaming performance during productivity brakes.

    The RK-9000V2’s keys are fully spaced and recess into the raised metal board when you fully bottom out the keys. They are springy and responsive, including the larger keys like space and return. The keyboard has multimedia shortcuts built into the function row, including one for Windows lock, a must-have feature for fullscreen gaming. Don’t count on being able to key swap or add custom macros, though.

    The keycaps themselves are decent but thin enough that their lettering could eventually wear off. They are the biggest downside of this keyboard, if only for the fact that you can get double-shot PBT keycaps with the iKBC CD108 for a very similar price.

    On the plus side, this keyboard has a detachable braided USB cable, which isn’t true of the CD108. Though it is a niche scenario, this can tip the scales in favor of this keyboard, especially if you’ve recently had to retire an older keyboard because of a broken cable.

  6. 6. iKBC CD108 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Sturdy PBT keycaps
    • Low actuation force
    • Laser-etched keys
    Cons:
    • No LED backlight
    • No wrist rest
    • No multimedia shortcuts

    If you want a high-performing Cherry MX Red keyboard that is 100% focused on improving your typing experience, the iKBC CD108 is an impressive option. The biggest obstacle you’ll have to get past is its painfully plain design. With no LED backlight and an all-grey design (save for some included alternate keycaps), this isn’t going to earn you even a drop of that precious gamer swag unless you rattle off its specs.

    That’s because the CD108 is designed for typing performance and nothing else. It uses the celebrated Cherry Red switches to deliver a high-speed, tactile typing experience and then further ups the ante with durable, double-shot PBT keycaps. These keycaps are noticeably thicker than normal keycaps and they last considerably longer as well.

    The keycaps are extra wide and have a slight curve as well, making them even easier to type on. Their added weight reduces the actuation force of the keycaps, increasing the ease of use even further. Their letters are laser-etched so they will never wear off, which can’t be said for most other keyboards in this price range. 

    The CD108 has dedicated buttons to raise or lower volume, mute audio, and open the calculator app. Unfortunately, it does not have multimedia shortcuts or the ability to set macros. And yes, the missing LED backlight may hinder your typing skills at night, but this keyboard is clearly designed for the seasoned typist who not only benefits from the high-quality keycaps but also never actually needs to look down at their keyboard.

    At the end of the day, if you haven’t tried double-shot PBT keys, then it is hard to infer their value by simply reading my thoughts. I strongly recommend you find a chance to try them out before you invest in a new keyboard. Not everyone will consider them a must-have feature, but for the rest, they will be a complete game-changer.

  7. 7. Cooler Master MK730 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Full RGB backlight
    • Included wrist rest
    • Compact and durable
    Cons:
    • So-so build quality
    • High price tag
    • Poor documentation

    For some people, RBG lighting is a must-have feature on a mechanical keyboard. For others, it’s all about the wrist rest. If both of these parameters are important to you, then the Cooler Master MK730 is a great mechanical keyboard choice. This keyboard comes in both a full-size and tenkeyless configuration, but we felt the tenkeyless version meshed best with the brand’s minimalist design.

    This board has a very thin bezel and takes up very little desk space unless you attach the optional wrist rest. I don’t consider that desk space lost, though, as if you aren’t providing some sort of cushioning for your wrists, then you are going to be much more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

    The base of the board is lightweight yet sturdy and has a beautiful brushed aluminum finish. It also has an RGB light bar to match the RGB backlights behind each switch, which is a stylish touch. You can set the keyboard LEDs to follow 16 different effects or customize them key-by-key. The coolest part is that you can do this plus set up macros all from key combinations on the keyboard—no software required. This requires use of the function row, which is also used for multimedia hotkeys. Surprisingly, the multimedia keys are so plentiful that they spill as far as the arrow keys. This makes certain tasks like adjusting volume trickier than it should.

    But while this keyboard has tons of useful features, its actual build quality isn’t so great for its price. It has ordinary keys and its build quality, though durable, could certainly feel more premium to match the price. And while I am being picky, the documentation is pretty difficult too. But these are all pretty minor nitpicks. The Cooler Master MK730 isn’t the most premium Cherry Red keyboard around but it is still a solid choice if you crave that sweet RGB action.

  8. 8. G. Skill Ripjaws KM570 Mechanical Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Red LED backlight
    • Multimedia shortcuts
    • Macro support
    Cons:
    • No wrist rest
    • Keyboard slides around easily
    • Thin keycaps

    The G. Skill Ripjaws KM570 is an entry-level gaming keyboard that offers helpful extra features like LED light customization and macro support backed up by reliable Cherry MX Red switches. Many of the gaming features that this keyboard touts feel like gimmicks to me, but others may find them useful. For example, there is certainly a benefit to having red LED backlighting behind the keys but the 7 preset lighting effects are far from a necessity.

    The macro settings are handled with key combinations, meaning they will only be worth using in fringe scenarios. The keyboard does have some multimedia shortcuts bound to the Function row keys, though, so those can be handy. In the case of the Ripjaws KM750, the real selling point are its high-quality Cherry MX Red switches.

    These switches are incredibly durable and can last for up to 50 million keystrokes. The keycaps are a little thin, though, so they could easily give in before you truly get to test that figure. Either way, it doesn’t interfere with the efficient linear travel of these switches, which allows you to easily spam one key by bottoming out all of your keystrokes. The key rows have a nice ergonomic curve to them too, making it extra comfortable to use.

    If you want premium features like a removable USB cable or an included wrist rest, you’ll have to spend a little more than you would on the Ripjaws KM570. That said, this keyboard is a great value purchase, as it offers some of the best bang for your buck in the mechanical gaming keyboard category.

  9. 9. Fnatic Streak Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Pros:
    • Full RGB backlight
    • Pass-through USB port
    • Included wrist rest
    Cons:
    • Large footprint
    • High price tag
    • Thin keycaps

    The Fnatic Streak is a mechanical keyboard designed top-down for gaming, from its Cherry MX red keys to its over-the-top RGB backlighting. Those looking for the full-on PC Master Race experience need to look no further.

    The most iconic gaming keyboard feature is the ability to individually customize the backlight color behind each switch, allowing you to color-code specific key clusters for easier recognition. Alternatively, you can also opt for 8 preset lighting modes, which wave and pulse with rainbow colors. If you want to adjust the brightness of the LEDs, then you’ll have to dive into Fnatic’s OP Software, which also allows you to write custom macros and remap keys.

    Of course, the Cherry Red switches are an equally big part of the equation as well. The reason we love these keys are discussed at length at the end of our article, but we’ll add to that by saying that Fnatic’s light keycaps make these keys even more springy and responsive than normal. Though, to that point, it is a bit disappointing seeing single-shot keycaps at this price range.

    The Fnatic Streak has a mix of multimedia shortcuts on the function row plus dedicated keys to mute your microphone, mute your speakers, or to toggle the light effects on the keyboard. There is also a volume wheel. Its combination of controls means that you can do a lot more from your keyboard without having to open up any menus on your computer.

    As for the keyboard base, Fnatic has made a surprisingly slim and lightweight keyboard with the Streak. It still has a large desktop footprint but this is to be expected for a full-size keyboard. The Streak grips the desk well and its adjustable feet and included wrist rest make for a comfortable typing experience. One of my favorite additions is a pass-through USB port, which is nice if you have a lot of USB peripherals to keep plugged into your PC.

    Ultimately, the Fnatic Streak may seem somewhat over the top for some users but for the dedicated gamer, this keyboard has just about everything you could ask for minus double-shot keycaps.

What Are the Advantages of a Mechanical Keyboard?

If you are an avid typist or a PC gamer, you've probably heard that a mechanical keyboard is the only way to go. This is because mech keyboards have individual mechanical switches under each key that offer a more tactile typing experience. Gamers actually benefit from the clicking sound of a mech switch bottoming out. It provides instant feedback that the keystroke has registered. They are also durable enough to stand up against years of use. However, mechanical keyboards aren't for everyone.

The downside of mechanical keyboards is that they are larger, heavier, and above all, louder than a normal membrane keyboard. If you plan to use this keyboard in a shared office or mutual living space, then a mechanical keyboard may not be ideal. But another great thing about mechanical switches is that they come in many different styles, all of which have different actuation forces, key travel, and clickiness. That means you can find quieter mechanical keys like the Cherry MX Red Silents if the sound is an issue.

Why Red Keyboard Switches?

Cherry MX Reds are the most popular non-clicky switches because they are relatively quiet and they have linear travel that is great for gaming. Cherry Reds do not have the intentional clicking mechanism of Cherry Blue switches but they still do make an audible click so they are still louder than a membrane keyboard. If you need an even more stealthy option, there are also Cherry MX Red Silents, which you can see compared to the original in this YouTube video by Rocket Jump Ninja.

As for the linear switches, these are ideal for gaming because their stems require a low actuation force to connect to the crosspoint contact. Red switches have an actuation force of 0.45 Newtons, which ties them with the Silvers for Cherry's lightest switches. Ultimately, the Cherry Reds make it easier to mash the same key over and over, while also providing critical tactile feedback during fast-paced sequences.

Cherry Reds are truly excellent switches but just keep in mind that factors like typing style and tactile preference mean that they won't be perfect for everyone. If you want to take the time to learn the intimate differences of all the switches out there, I recommend reading Dygma's ultimate guide to mechanical switches.

Are the Other Brands As Good As Cherry?

Though a number of value-priced clone brands provide fierce competition, Cherry switches remain the most popular choice for PC gamers and typists. The main reason? Cherry MX switches have been around since the early 1980s and they are the original linear mechanical switch.

That doesn't mean that brands like Gateron, Otemu, Kailh, and Razer are less reliable, but rather that they don't have the same track record that Cherry touts. Personally, I have tried the Cherry red equivalent from all of these brands and I doubt that I could tell them apart in a blind test. They are all solid products.

That said, we still compiled this list with the dedicated Cherry fanboy in mind. After all, Cherry isn't just floating by on their reputation alone. The company makes darn good switches, and their original linear model still stands out as one of the best.

See Also

11 Best Cherry MX Keycaps: Your Buyer’s Guide

11 Best Cherry MX Blue Keyboards: The Ultimate List

11 Best Cherry MX Brown Keyboards: The Ultimate List

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