With so many switches available and so many places to purchase them, figuring out where to buy keyboard switches can prove challenging. The retailers here should have you covered for almost anything you want, from mainstream Cherry MX switches to relatively obscure, enthusiast-grade options. Whether revamping an old board or assembling a fresh DIY build, our list should help you track down the perfect switch for you.
Where to Buy Keyboard Switches
With a name like “MechanicalKeyboards.com,” it shouldn’t surprise you that this store has a wide selection of mechanical keyboard switches. MechanicalKeyboards.com (often shortened to MK.com) carries the essential basics, such as the core Cherry MX colors and their Gateron and Kailh clones. But it doesn’t stop there.
The site also sells the “extended” range of Gateron and Kailh switches, including Gateron Inks and Kailh Box switches. The Inks are renowned as some of the smoothest factory switches, while Kailh’s Box switches are some of the best clicky MX switches available.
You can also find high-end community favorites such as ZealPC’s switches, relatively niche products from manufacturers such as Durock and TTC, and modern Alps switches. It’s an exhaustive selection, one that we think should cover most users’ needs.
MK.com offers free shipping to the Lower 48 states, so it’s a great place to buy if you’re in the US. Add to that quantity discounts on most of their stock, and you have a great source for your mechanical keyboard switch needs.
KBDfans has a similar selection as MechanicalKeyboards.com, with its range of Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switch options. KBDfans sells the “core” switch colors plus most of the additional variations that make up each company’s product range.
However, the KBDfans store also carries some of the more esoteric and uncommon Kailh and Gateron switches. Examples include the Kailh Deep Sea and Gateron Box CJ linear switches, which tend to be slightly harder to get in the US.
KBDfans is based in China, as are most MX-style switch manufacturers such as Gateron, Kailh, and Durock. This means that prices are often lower than US retailers, sometimes by 50%. In addition, KBDfans often get access to switches before US-based retailers. An example would be Gateron’s new Oil King switches, which are available for preorder on KBDfans but aren’t available from US retailers at the time of writing.
The downside, of course, is higher shipping costs for customers based in the Americas or Europe. KBDfans ships via DHL or FedEx, so transit times shouldn’t be an issue, but $20 (or more) to ship a set of switches does sting slightly compared to MK.com’s free US shipping. But more choice is always a good thing, and KBDfans should fill in any gaps in MK.com’s switch selection.
Drop (formerly known as Massdrop) has been a fixture of the mechanical keyboard enthusiast scene for a good while now, primarily through its series of high-end DIY keyboard kits. But Drop’s original business model was group buys, and it still does this for niche mechanical keyboard switches.
To be clear, you’re not going to find your bog-standard Cherry MX or Gateron switches here. Instead, Drop focuses on selling its line of switches and running group buys for enthusiast products such as the Domikey Cyberpunk or Keyfirst Cream Linear switches.
For the unfamiliar, these enthusiast- and community-designed switches try to offer unique typing experiences that you can’t get from manufacturers’ normal product range. These switches range from attempts to recreate the feel of Topre (Boba U4T) to long-travel, ultra-linear switches with attractive transparent housings (Everglide Aqua King).
Drop’s business model means that its stock changes regularly. A switch that’s available one month might no longer be in stock the next if it “sells through” quickly. So it’s a great place to get high-end switches, but you’ll need to be alert and grab the ones you’re interested in while they’re in stock.
AliExpress is, to put it very simply, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. It’s a bit of a “Wild West” marketplace, with legitimately good products often sitting side-by-side with sub-par imitations. But it’s a great place to find killer deals, especially for keyboard switches.
The main reason you’d want to buy switches from AliExpress is the pricing, which is generally lower than most US-based retailers. Pricing is about the same (or slightly higher) than KBDfans, which makes sense since both are China-based. And like with KBDfans, you can also buy the hottest new switches well before they make their way to US retailers.
One big plus of buying from AliExpress is its free shipping option. It’s often incredibly slow, but that won’t be an issue unless you’re in a rush.
As with all online marketplaces, though, buying from AliExpress sometimes isn’t as straightforward as buying from a dedicated retailer. Many stores sell on AliExpress, and not all of them are equally reliable or trustworthy.
The user experience also isn’t intuitive. You’ll get the hang of it, but it’s not nearly as good to browse as Amazon or other keyboard-specific vendors. Given the language barrier, customer service is also problematic (or nonexistent).
Despite those issues, AliExpress is a great source for cheap keyboard switches, as long as you can afford to wait for the free shipping.
Amazon isn’t necessarily an enthusiast’s playground when it comes to switches. Still, it’s a good place to get standard Cherry MX (and MX clone) switches, so long as you’re not after anything too niche.
You’ll have no problem tracking down more “mainstream” switches like Cherry MX Blue, Brown, and Red on Amazon. Gateron and Kailh switches are also available, although it’s mostly limited to the basic types. Yellows and Browns? Sure. Inks? Not quite as easy.
The main appeal of buying switches from Amazon is its free one-day shipping for Prime members, making it an excellent source for a rush order. If you don’t have Prime, you still get free shipping if you buy more than $25 worth of switches. So it works out both ways.
Overall, Amazon is a decent place to buy mechanical keyboard switches, even if the selection isn’t as good as dedicated keyboard vendors.
R/mechmarket is a one-stop shop for the buying, selling, and trading of almost any keyboard-related product and service you can think of. From artisan keycaps to custom keyboards to lubing and assembly services, the subreddit is the place to look for it. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a great place to find keyboard switches for sale.
Keyboard enthusiasts tend to chop and change switches regularly, and some even buy switches that they never end up using. This means an almost never-ending stream of lightly-used switches for sale on r/mechmarket, often for less than the standard retail pricing.
One handy aspect of r/mechmarket’s private sales listings is that each includes a tag indicating the seller’s location. This helps you quickly filter listings to find sellers closer to you, which will help save on shipping costs or transit times.
R/mechmarket also has a handy bot that tracks sellers’ Reddit Karma and trade history, offering a way to check out and filter sellers. It won’t make it as safe as buying from a retailer, but it’ll help mitigate the risk somewhat.
So while there is a bit of risk, the sheer variety of used switches and good deals on r/mechmarket makes it an essential visit. Just keep your wits about you, and you should be fine.
Figuring out where to buy keyboard switches can seem daunting, with all the retailers and stores vying for your attention. Hopefully our list points you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for something familiar or switches that are slightly off the beaten path.
The combination of MechanicalKeyboards.com, KBDfans, and Drop should cover most hobbyists’ needs adequately. MK.com is an especially great place to start for anyone in the US. All the best!