Amazon's top-selling mechanical keyboard is shockingly good

The Redragon K552 is Amazon's most popular keyboard. For $35, you’d think it’s junk. Turns out, it’s pretty solid.

It’s no surprise that with the explosion of mechanical keyboards in recent years that Amazon has become a go-to destination for cheap mechanical keyboards. Many, if not all, are from brands you’ve never heard of, using no-name components that don’t inspire a lot of confidence.


Trudging through a slew of options with labels such as K3, DK66, RK61, or, even K552, is a lot for a beginner, especially since many of these manufacturers aren’t household names with a reputable history like other mainstream brands such as Corsair, Razer, or Logitech.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

But if you know what to look for, you can find some gems underneath all the mechanical trash. Gems like this Redragon K552.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Diamond in the rough

If you’ve spent any time searching for PC peripherals on Amazon, Redragon probably sounds familiar. The company has been selling keyboards and mice for years, with a distinct branding that is, well, red and with a dragon. Big surprise. The Redragon K552 ranks #2 on Amazon’s best-selling gaming keyboards and is the top-selling mechanical keyboard.



The K552 often tops Amazon's gaming keyboard charts thanks to its low price.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

The Redragon K552 has been my main keyboard for the past two weeks. I’ve played used it to play Apex Legends and also for work. In fact, I’m typing this article with it.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

The K552 comes with red Outemu linear switches, the Rattata of Cherry MX clone switches in that they’re everywhere and of low quality. An option with clicky blue switches is also available but marginally more expensive ($40).

Alejandro Medellin / Input


  • 80% TKL (no num pad) with 87 keys
  • Red Outemu linear switches (45 cN actuation force with 2.0mm travel)
  • Hot-swappable with other Outemu switches
  • Wired
  • Double shot ABS keycaps
  • Rainbow RGB with 9 presets, 8 gaming presets, and 2 custom presets
  • FN key for multimedia
  • n-Key rollover

For everyday use, the linear switches don’t feel too far off from Cherry Reds, though they are slightly mushier and nowhere near as smooth as Gateron Reds, which is my favorite linear switch. The actuation force is standard for a red switch, but the feel is not uniform throughout. Some keys feel smoother while others require extra force.

(🔊Turn your sound on to hear how these keys sound!)

Alejandro Medellin / Input

You won’t notice this much if you’re a first-time mechanical keyboard user, but if you’ve tried a variety of switches, you’ll be able to spot the difference. Still, when typing or gaming, it isn’t noticeable unless you’re paying attention.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

It’s got game

I mainly use the K552 for typing, but the focus on RGB means this is a “gaming” keyboard, which is one selling point. I tested it in Apex Legends, and while it didn’t improve my awful performance, it also didn’t make it worse. Since the K552 uses linear switches, movement is fast and the minimal actuation force required didn’t put too much stress on my hands or wrists. (🔊Sound on again!)

Alejandro Medellin / Input

The keyboard has several general presets that are pretty standard, but it does have gaming RGB modes that illuminate only certain keys for FPS, RTS, MOBAs, and other game types. Pressing FN+1 triggers FPS mode, which lights up the WASD keys as well as the arrow keys. I can’t imagine PC gamers looking down at their keys often, but it’s a neat addition if you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of a mouse and keyboard.

Alejandro / Medellin

Cheap but flawed

My only big gripe is the cheap keycaps. They are “double shot” so the legends won’t disappear over time, but dislike the shine of the finish. The keys are textured, which I’m not a fan of the feel, and the RGB comes through very weak, despite the legends being semi-transparent.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Two weeks is not enough to test the longevity of this keyboard, but most complaints on Amazon stem from the durability of the switches. The “W” key, which is used to move forward in many games, is more depressed than the surrounding keys after only a few weeks of gaming. However, since it’s so affordable, you can always buy replacement switches, which is easy to do since the board is hot-swappable.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Entry-level keeb

Obviously, a keyboard this cheap could never be perfect. But it didn’t have any major issues that made it unusable. For someone thinking about getting into mechanical keyboards, this is a great entry point that doesn’t require putting in a ton of research or money. It’s also a board you can grow with.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Upgrade later

You can build out your keyboard by replacing the switches with Outemu clickies or tactiles, lubing the switches to improve smoothness and sound, swapping out the keycaps, or adding a layer of foam to dampen the sound. These improvements will add to the overall cost of the board, but these can be incremental upgrades. If upgrades aren’t your thing, you can use it as a stepping stone to something better, not having to worry about the minimal investment in the K552 when you outgrow it.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Seeing as how I prefer tactile switches for typing, I don’t see myself using this as a daily driver for much longer. I’m honestly surprised at how much I came to like it. The minor flaws I came across can be forgiven when considering the price, holding its own with keyboards twice the price. The Redragon is a great way to dip your toes into the mechanical keyboard world. It won’t hurt too much financially if you don’t like it, but if you do, you’ll be chasing your “endgame” keyboard soon enough.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

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