Do Mechanical Keyboards Work On Mac? (Solved)

Are you a Mac user and curious to know, do mechanical keyboards work on Mac? If so, this article is for you!

Many keyboard manufacturers offer mechanical keyboards that work on Mac. Over the last few years, mechanical keyboards have gained popularity and are no longer just for Windows users.

Keyboards are a very personal choice. For some Mac purists, the Apple Magic keyboard is the only option, but for those who dare to break the mold and want to enjoy all the benefits that a mechanical keyboard offers, there is a vast choice available.

do mechanical keyboards work on Mac
Mechanical keyboards are the perfect accessory for any Mac user regardless of whether you’re gaming, coding, composing an email, or browsing the internet.

Table Of Contents

  1. Are Mechanical Keyboards Compatible With Mac?
  2. Best Mechanical Keyboards For Mac
  3. What Makes A Good Mechanical Keyboard For Mac?
  4. What Should You Look For In A Mechanical Keyboard?
  5. Do All Keyboards Work With Mac?
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Final Thoughts On Do Mechanical Keyboards Work On Mac

Are Mechanical Keyboards Compatible With Mac?

Mechanical keyboards are compatible with Mac, however, before you rush out and purchase the latest and greatest mechanical keyboard its important to check that the particular keyboard you want is macOS compatible.

Like with any computer accessory, it’s important to understand and establish any macOS compatibility requirements. Just because the mechanical keyboard states it’s macOS compatible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the keyboard will be compatible with the version of macOS you’re running.

Fortunately, most leading keyboard manufacturers typically offer mechanical keyboard models that are both Windows and macOS compatible. This means Mac users can now enjoy the sound and feel you can only get from a mechanical keyboard.

Best Mechanical Keyboards For Mac

It might be tough to find a mechanical keyboard that is Mac compatible, however, fear not, below I have compiled a stellar list of the best mechanical keyboards that work on Mac.


Editor’s Choice

Best Mechanical Keyboard For Mac

Keychron K2

Switch Type:Gateron Blue, Red or Brown Switch
Connection Interface:USB Type-C cable or Bluetooth 
RGB:Yes
Compatibility:macOS
Size:75%
Weight:2.64 pounds
Keychron K2 mechanical keyboard specs.
Keychron K2 Pros:
  • Mac keyboard layout
  • Wireless and wired connectivity
  • N-key rollover on wired mode or 6KRO on wireless mode
  • Connects with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth
Keychron K2 Cons:
  • Some may be disappointed with the battery life
  • ABS keycaps

Why you’ll love it. The Keychron K2 offers a familiar Mac keyboard layout but gives you all the benefits of a mechanical keyboard. Offering both wired and wireless connectivity this keyboard is available in three different switch types. Other notable features include N-key rollover while wired, charming RGB lighting, the ability to connect it to three separate devices via Bluetooth all at a price that won’t break the bank!


Best Hot-swappable Mechanical Keyboard For Mac

Keychron K6

Switch Type:Gateron Blue, Red or Brown Switch
Connection Interface:USB Type-C cable or Bluetooth 
RGB:Yes
Compatibility:macOS
Size:65%
Weight:1.48 pounds
Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard specs.
Keychron K6 Pros:
  • Mac keyboard layout
  • Hot-swappable switches, no soldering required
  • N-key rollover on wired mode or 6KRO on wireless mode
  • 15+ RGB lighting options
Keychron K6 Cons:
  • ABS keycaps
  • Some may not like the positioning of dedicated light change effect key

Why you’ll love it. The Keychron K6 offers a familiar Mac keyboard layout but gives you all the benefits of a mechanical keyboard including the option of hot-swappable switches. The Keychron K6 also allows the user the ability to use either wired or wireless connectivity. Other notable features include N-key rollover while wired, great RGB lighting options, and a purchase price that won’t break the bank!


Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard For Mac

Velocifire TKL61WS M1

Switch Type:Unbranded Brown or Red switch
Connection Interface:USB Type-C cable or Bluetooth 
RGB:Yes
Compatibility:macOS
Size:60%
Weight:0.5 pounds
Velocifire TKL61WS M1 mechanical keyboard specs.
Velocifire TKL61WS M1 Pros:
  • Great affordable price
  • Mac keyboard layout
  • Connects with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth
Velocifire TKL61WS M1 Cons:
  • ABS keycaps
  • Unbranded switches

Why you’ll love it. The Velocifire TKL61WS M1 mechanical keyboard is a great Mac-compatible budget-friendly keyboard. Available in two switch choices, red and brown, this keyboard offers a nice experience for the Mac user. Other notable features include 17 backlit modes and built-in recharging.


Best Premium Mechanical Keyboard For Mac

Azio Retro Classic

Switch Type:Version of of Blue Kailh switches
Connection Interface:USB Type-C cable or Bluetooth 
RGB:No
Compatibility:macOS
Size:100%
Weight:3.51 pounds
Azio Retro Classic mechanical keyboard specs.
Azio Retro Classic Pros:
  • Fantastic unique retro design
  • Genuine and luxurious material choices
  • Comes with additional Mac-specific keycaps
  • Has the ability to adjust the keyboard tilt angle
Azio Retro Classic Cons:
  • Has a premium price tag
  • Switches are not hot-swappable

Why you’ll love it. The Azio Retro Classic is a new take on a vintage typewriter executed to a high standard. This fun keyboard offers various luxurious material finishes for the top plate, along with all the other features you expect from a premium mechanical keyboard. Other notable features include backlighting and built-in recharging.


What Makes A Good Mechanical Keyboard For Mac?

When choosing a good mechanical keyboard for a Mac, there are three questions you need to answer. First, is the keyboard macOS compatible? Second, can the keyboard connect to a Mac? And third, does the keyboard have a mac-specific layout?

If you can answer yes to the three questions above, the mechanical keyboard you’re considering will likely be a great option for using with your Mac.

The mechanical keyboard layout may not be a huge deal for some but, you should be aware that there may be some subtle differences between an Apple keyboard and a third-party mechanical keyboard. For example, having an Option key instead of an Alt key or a Command key instead of the Windows key.

It’s also important to consider other keyboard features like the mechanical switch type, the noise level, keycap construction, keyboard size, key rollover, and so on. All of these decisions are personal choices, so take the time to understand what your needs really are.

What Should You Look For In A Mechanical Keyboard?

When choosing a mechanical keyboard there are a number of features you should look for like, switches, keycaps, noise level, key rollover, connectivity, size and so on.

Below I offer some important features to consider when deciding do mechanical keyboards work on Mac.

Switches:

Switches are one of the most important characteristics of a mechanical keyboard. Pairing the best switch for the task you intend to perform will help narrow down your Mac mechanical keyboard choice. By far, the most popular switches are from Cherry MX, however, that’s not the only choice available.

Clicky Noise:

The clicky noise level produced by a mechanical keyboard can be an issue for some but is loved by others. I love the clicky noise as I type. Understanding that switches come in various forms, for example, clicky, linear, and tactile, and each has its own audible click sound. Therefore, regardless if you’re looking for a school keyboard or a coding keyboard, spend some time getting familiar with the different switch types to determine what works best for you and the level of clicky noise you want.

Key Rollover:

Mechanical keyboards with N-key rollover, referred to as NKRO, offer no limit to the number of keys that can be pressed simultaneously. NKRO is typically found on more premium-style mechanical keyboards.

Keyboard Size:

Mechanical keyboards are available in various sizes, I set out the most popular sizes below:

  • Full-size, this is a 100% size keyboard, typically containing 104 keys
  • TKL, ten-key-less is a 80% size keyboard, typically containing 87 keys (has no number key pad)
  • 75%, this is a 75% size keyboard, typically containing 80/84 keys (has no number key pad)
  • Mini, this is a 60% size keyboard, typically containing 61 keys (has no number key pad)

Do All Keyboards Work With Mac?

Technically speaking, all keyboards will work with Mac. However, you may have to get creative with the connectivity from USB-A to USB-C or perhaps rely on a wireless Bluetooth connection. Another point to consider is keys and features especially if you’re used to the Apple Magic keyboard, not all keyboards will be identical.

The biggest drawback to not using an Apple keyboard is the Mac-specific keys and features, for example, traditional Windows keyboards will use Control, Windows, and Alt keys in the lower-left corner, whereas a Mac keyboard uses Fn, Control, Option, and Command.

Despite the Mac-specific keys, some mechanical keyboard manufacturers do offer software to remap the keyboard to be more in line with a Mac keyboard layout. You can also purchase a keycap kit to enhance the mapping since mechanical keycaps are easily removed and replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

I hope you found this article on do mechanical keyboards work on Mac helpful. Below I answer some common frequently asked mechanical keyboard questions.

Which Cherry MX switch is the quietest?

Cherry MX Brown is the quietest switch.

Which Cherry MX switch is the loudest?

Cherry MX Blue is the loudest switch.

What is the best switch for typing?

The best switch for typing is the Cherry MX Blue switch.

Does a gaming keyboard work on a Mac?

Gaming keyboards that support Mac OS will work on Mac. Also consider if the gaming keyboard supports Mac-specific keys too.

Final Thoughts On Do Mechanical Keyboards Work On Mac

So, in conclusion, mechanical keyboards work on Mac. Finding a keyboard that supports macOS, can easily connect to a Mac, and has an option to remap or has a very similar key layout to an Apple keyboard will be your best option for using a mechanical keyboard on a Mac.

Check out my other article if you looking for some great macOS beginner tips.


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