Hey, if you didn’t notice, you are reading the words written by a major copywriter. This copywriter uses a computer rather than a typewriter or journal to do their work. This means that I’m a connoisseur of keyboards. I love the “clacky clack” of a good keyboard, especially when it comes to mechanical keyboards.
Among writers and gamers, a quality mechanical keyboard is a bragging right. That’s why people pay big bucks for them. But what are the most expensive ones out there?
Most of the most expensive mechanical keyboards are custom-made artwork-based mechanical keyboards like the Crolander Wooden Keyboard MK-9, the Datamancer Aviator board, or the FNCTNL Co Caldera keyboard. For mass-produced expensive keyboards, DIY kits and ergonomic models like the Manuform Keyboard top the list.
Getting that perfect keyboard isn’t just about a price. It’s about getting the perfect typing experience. Even so, a little splurge never hurt anyone…
- What Makes A Mechanical Keyboard So Expensive?
- The 10 Most Expensive Mechanical Keyboards Ever Made
- 1. Crolander Wooden Keyboard MK-9 – $720
- 2. The Datamancer Aviator Keyboard – $699
- 3. The FNCTLCo Caldera Mechanical Keyboard – $699
- 4. GMMK Laser Luxury Mechanical Keyboard – $650
- 5. The Datamancer Diviner Keyboard – $549
- 6. ColesKeyboards Custom GMMK Keyboard – $500
- 7. TaikoRobotics Ergonomic Dactyl Manuform Keyboard – $489
- 8. RamaWorks RAMA x Olivia Mechanical Keyboard – $360
- 9. Kinesis Advantage 2 QWERTY Keyboard in Silver – $359
What Makes A Mechanical Keyboard So Expensive?
If there is one thing that computer geeks adore, it’s getting a lot of cool features on their gear. Mechanical keyboards are no exception, especially when it comes to the actual look of the keys. The computer mod community is pretty hardcore. Here’s what makes them so expensive.
One of the things you will notice about really pricey mechanical keyboards is that they aren’t just plastic and metal. They may incorporate wood, typewriter keys, parchment paper, leather, or even solid gold. Those materials aren’t cheap nor are they easy to source. They fetch a premium price.
Most of the keyboards on this list are fully customized for the person who is buying them. This means that there are a bunch of tweaks and assemblies a person has to put together on their own. Customization means that the premium price you pay includes the price of labor. It takes skill and time to make a good keyboard.
The vast majority of keyboards that are currently in use are made in a factory. Those that are not are rare and often are custom-made by artisans. If you have a customized keyboard, then you get the appeal of artisan work—and that means that it’s super high-end. With that said, some premium brands can compete with moderate artisans.
When you get past a certain point, your keyboard stops being as much about functionality and starts being more about aesthetics. Computer aficionados absolutely adore having a setup that is uniquely beautiful. I mean, let’s face it, most offices have a certain aesthetic that can be dull, soulless, and boring.
A good workstation that looks epic can also be a major source of pride for the right person. That’s why people will often pay a premium price for light-up keyboards. It’s also why people tend to accent their desks with nice little knickknacks. Keyboards that have a very elegant look are an extension of that vibe.
Top Tier Features
Like all other things in computing, some features are going to be more popular than others. Most mechanical keyboards are not going to be wireless. However, other features still remain popular. Backlighting for letters, a USB port for installation, easy connectivity, and custom key decals tend to be on the top of the list.
Oh, and while mechanical keyboards tend to be great overall, the best ones in terms of typing enjoyability tend to be GMMKs—gasket mounted mechanical keyboards. They are easier to fix and also tend to feel better.
Did you ever type out an entire page of work, only to feel totally drained as a result? That’s why you might need ergonomic keyboards for your home setup. Ergonomic design is something that is huge in any major gaming station or office situation. This type of design is there to help conform to the natural curves of your body.
If you have a tendency to get long hours of time in your office, an ergonomic design is a smart move. It can help ease and prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The 10 Most Expensive Mechanical Keyboards Ever Made
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s take a look at what makes the most expensive mechanical keyboards so pricey and which models make the grade.
1. Crolander Wooden Keyboard MK-9 – $720
Do you feel like the world is getting a bit too plastic these days? Maybe the idea of plunging your hands on metal keys is a bit much for your manicure, or maybe you just want to experience a little more steampunk in your day to day. Design maverick Crolander came up with a model that will whet your appetite for wood.
This retro keyboard is hand-carved and sanded with care. The entire keyboard is made from aged walnut that has been air-dried for 32 years, giving it a naturally old school look. How much will this gorgeous work of art run you? It’ll cost $720 for this fully functional keyboard.
2. The Datamancer Aviator Keyboard – $699
I’m going to be very honest. As both a geek and a writer, this keyboard has quickly become a goal of mine. Datamancer has been a major name in the DIY artisan tech world for quite a while, and their Aviator keyboard is a good example of why. Many steampunk and cyberpunk cliques tend to view their computers as an aesthetic extension of themselves.
Datamancer gives you the chance of having a real, true-to-life keyboard that looks like it belongs in a sci-fi comic. It’s fully functional, gives you the satisfaction of a typewriter keystroke with less resistance, and looks incredible. Currently, it’s on sale for $699.
3. The FNCTLCo Caldera Mechanical Keyboard – $699
One thing that seems to unify the world of luxury mechanical keyboards is the way that many manufacturers turn them into high art. FNCTL Co is no different in this respect. If you are the type of computer owner who loves to have something that looks elegant and remains modern at the same time.
This mechanical keyboard is made fully custom using resin, polycarbonate casin, and a fair amount of maple burl. The end result is something that looks sculpted, but also works well as an actual keyboard. It almost looks like it is too pretty to use. At the time of this writing, it is $699.
4. GMMK Laser Luxury Mechanical Keyboard – $650
This is not a test, nor is this the screenshot from an upcoming movie about 80s hackers.This is a real keyboard with custom-made keyes that are as aesthetic and as retrowave as you can get. Admittedly, we can’t tell whether the kanji keys actually work for Japanese text. However, it is still a truly beautiful QWERTY-style keyboard to get.
LuxMech made a beautiful keyboard that has custom keys as well as a “glow-optional” bottom that has vaporwave-friendly accents. Durock Alpaca switches are standard with this one. Even if they weren’t, we’d still be tempted. At $650 a pop, it’ll definitely hurt your wallet…but oh, it’ll look so damn good doing it.
5. The Datamancer Diviner Keyboard – $549
Leave it to Datamancer Labs to create a look that is so antique, it almost looks like it belongs in a curio cabinet from the 1800s. At first glance, you might not even guess that this is a functional keyboard. But, it is, and the many different keys make it perfect for both typing up the next big assignment or gaming on LoL.
It’s easy to see why Datamancer’s price tag is high on this one. The entire body of the keyboard is made from carved ad engraved walnut wood. The keys are also custom-made with faux parchment inserts, giving the entire piece a great feel similar to an old school typewriter. At $549, it’s definitely a statement piece. But, it also could be an heirloom piece.
Datamancer knows how to make a beautiful, beautiful keyboard.
6. ColesKeyboards Custom GMMK Keyboard – $500
So, Etsy seller ColesKeyboards has a number of custom-built GMMK keyboard offerings, all at the price of $500 at a minimum. Each keyboard is made of aluminum and plastic, and comes with a full RGB backlight setup. What else do you get? Well, the rest is totally up to you.
What you want or ask for is going to be entirely up to you. Cole seems to be pretty accommodating, so if you want to make a real work of art for your GMMK (Gasket Mounted Mechanical Keyboard), you can. It’s all about what you want to make happen.
Wirh this particular model, $500 is the floor price of the keyboard. You might end up exceeding $550 or more, depending on what you want to have as part of your board.
7. TaikoRobotics Ergonomic Dactyl Manuform Keyboard – $489
So, this keyboard comes in pieces, but it’s meant to be that way. This is a QWERTY keyboard that is gasket mechanical (per the requirements of this article), but it also has a bunch of design features you probably didn’t see coming. For example, it has a beautiful feature of having totally hotswappable keys, so you can actually use the keys of your choosing.
The actual design is entirely ergonomic, which means that the keyboard is there to be easy on your wrists. You can type all day, all night, and not have to worry about your CTS acting up. Oh, and to make things even more fancy, the size of the keyboard differs based on the size of your hand. It’s a truly custom experience. At $489, it’s not cheap, but it’ll keep your hands happy.
Admittedly, this two-piece keyboard is a bit different from most others. Some (including myself) might find its appearance to be visually jarring. Moreover, typing on it may be a bit difficult if you do not use a regular desk. So, if you do want to get this one, keep your desk in mind.
8. RamaWorks RAMA x Olivia Mechanical Keyboard – $360
Clocking in at $360 for the kit to build it, the RAMA x Olivia keyboard is pretty, petite, and ideal for writing. Many also note that it’s a surprisingly pretty gaming keyboard. It has a standard QWERTY board with an in-switch LED, a USB-C port for connectability and an 8-inch incline.
Part of the reason for this piece’s high price tag deals with the aluminum body, hotswap PCB switch, and OLIVIA-engraved counterweight. Overall, you’ll really enjoy feeling the weight of a keystroke with this model. It might not be game-ready, but it’s gorgeous.
Note: This one comes in a kit that you have to build from scratch.
9. Kinesis Advantage 2 QWERTY Keyboard in Silver – $359
This elegant yet bizarre keyboard is one of many to be designed with typing aficionados in mind. Much like the two-piece keyboard, the Kenesis Advantage 2 is meant to add comfort to your wrists. Ergonomic design means you’ll expect less fatigue while you use it and also improve your posture.
If you are open to learning how to work with a new style of keyboard, going for an ergonomic model like this one might maker sense. We don’t know if it’s gasket-based, but we do know it’s mechanical and looks amazing. Typing has never been this bougie. At $359 a pop, this is one of the very few mass-produced keyboards to get a price tag that high.
If you ask any hardcore hacker, game developer, gamer, or writer, you’ll know that they take a lot of pride in the keyboards they use. (And in my case, you also might hear about how many of those keyboards get clawed through over the course of several months.)
Getting a high-quality mechanical keyboard isn’t just about the subtle satisfaction of clacking away on those keys. It’s oh, so much more. It is about having the perfect workstation, getting a computer that reflects your personality, and also being able to flaunt the part of your life that you enjoy the most.
This writer sure as heck won’t judge you if you decide to plunk down several hundred dollars for a keyboard. Heck, they may end up doing the same.
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