You might be wondering what’s the right way to choose a keyboard that’s both mechanical and compact. And while there are many different keyboard sizes to choose from, one of the best formats is the 60% keyboard. The best 60% keyboards are the middle point between being compact and mechanical.
Most 60% mini keyboards look, feel, and act as a regular standard-size keyboard, just smaller. Getting rid of some keys allows this beast to be travel-friendly and fit on most desks. Being small makes them ideal for people who want to enter professional gaming without sacrificing too much desk space. But you still get all of the advantages of mechanical keyboards, just a little more compressed.
For those who’ve seen the best TKL keyboards and still need something smaller, we have 60% keyboards. Thankfully, many peripheral manufacturers have learned the importance of making 60% for their customers. That means that you’ll be able to easily find many models and choose one that adapts to your preferences.
The Best 60% Keyboards
We encourage you to explore in detail every option and choose the one that you think will give you the most satisfaction.
|Razer Huntsman Mini||Wired||Linear, Clicky||https://amzn.to/319ovRa|
|Ducky One 2 Mini||Wired||Cherry MX||https://amzn.to/3rgbeRO|
|RK Royal Kludge||Wired||Outemu||https://amzn.to/3segmXJ|
|Anne Pro 2||Wireless||Gateron / Kalih||https://amzn.to/2NFB1VH|
|Redragon K530||Wireless||Redragon Mechanical||https://amzn.to/2OZIyPD|
1: Razer Huntsman Mini
|Compatibility:||Windows, partial macOS.|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||10.3 x 29.4 x 3.6 cm / 4.07 x 11.56 x 1.45 inches.|
|Weight:||521 g / 1.15 lb.|
|Switches:||Razer Linear Optical (Red), Razer Clicky Optical (Purple).|
Razer finally decided to enter into the 60% format with an incredible top-gear keyboard, the Razer Huntsman Mini. Their first 60% keyboard is an attempt to please their customers who love to keep things simple and compact.
It features optomechanical switches that tend to be faster than regular mechanical switches. You can choose the Razer Huntsman Mini with one of two Razer’s branded switches:
- The Red Razer Linear Optical (2nd gen).
- The Purple Razer Clicky Optical.
Both of these switches lack tactile feedback, which is actually awesome if you’re a gamer, but a little disappointing if you’re a typist. They’re fast, responsive, and built with PBT keycaps, one of the hardest and strongest materials for keycaps.
While this model can only be used wired, it presents a detachable USB-C cable. Combine that detachable cable with the fact that it’s lightweight and compact and you get a travel-friendly keyboard ready to go.
The RGB lights help in dark environments and make the aesthetics look even more impressive. With Razer’s software, you can enjoy a bigger range of customization, like macro recording and set per-key lighting effects.
- Razer Optical switches
- Quality, Aluminum Construction
- PBT Keycaps
- Razer hardware
- PBT Keycaps.
- Opto-mechanical switches.
- Loud stabilizers.
- Not so great for anything other than gaming.
2: Ducky One 2 Mini
|Compatibility:||Windows, partial macOS.|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||34.3 x 15.4 x 4.8 cm / 13.5 x 6.1 x 1.9 inches.|
|Weight:||594 g / 1.31 lb.|
The Ducky One 2 Mini has to be one of the best 60 percent keyboards in existence. It’s considered by many one of the most customizable and efficient 60% keyboards available.
This keyboard allows you to customize the switches, the RGB lights, the keycaps, the macros, and more. And speaking of switches, it features Cherry MX in different variations: Red, Blue, Brown, Black, Silent Red, Silent Black, and Speed. The ability to personally customize your keyboard entirely it’s what makes this keyboard so attractive for everybody!
You can directly setup different profiles for gaming, programming, and typing directly on your keyboard without the need of a software. For extra portability, it comes with a detachable USB-C cable.
It’s also incredibly responsive. Maybe not as responsive as the Razer Huntsman Mini, but it works flawlessly anyway.
- Wonderfully customizable.
- Durable materials.
- No software included.
- It would be awesome if this was also a wireless model.
3: RK Royal Kludge RK61
|Connectivity:||Windows, partial macOS.|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||32.99 x 15.18 x 4.9 cm / 12.99 x 5.98 x 1.93 inches.|
|Weight:||748 g / 1.65 lb.|
The Royal Kludge RK61 is a great keyboard. It’s one of the most excellent options for when you want to go mechanical and minimalistic but you don’t want to spend a fortune. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s a cheap 60% keyboard, we can find amazing features included with it.
This keyboard uses Outemu switches and you can find them in three variations:
- Red Switch: Linear type.
- Blue Switch: Tactile and clicky. It provides both tactile and auditory feedback.
- Brown Switch: Halfway between a red and blue switch.
While Outemu switches aren’t exactly the best out there, but they function mostly well and can handle up to 50 million keystrokes. The keycaps are made from ABS, which isn’t as good as PBT and tends to wear off faster, but at this price, you can’t complain about that.
And if you like RGB lights, you’ll find them in this keyboard with 18 RGB backlight modes, 8 monochrome backlight modes and 1 full color backlight. This model functions wired only and it comes with a detachable USB-C cable for better portability.
For extra customization you can edit almost every key in each function layer to do whatever function you need.
- Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard
- Detachable USB-C.
- Fantastic key customization
- Perfect budget choice.
- Detachable USB-C.
- Fantastic key customization.
- ABS plastic.
- Outemu switches.
4: Anne Pro 2
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||29.2 x 10.2 x 4.2 cm / 11.5 x 4 x 1.7 inches.|
|Weight:||640 g / 1.41 lb.|
The Anne Pro 2 is an amazing keyboard that mixes being compact and wireless into one single great-quality product. It has everything you’ll ever need from a 60% keyboard: amazing customization, strong materials, and a fantastic look.
This is one of the most aesthetic keyboards on this list. With fully customizable RGB lights that will beautifully and elegantly light up even the darkest desks.
You can get a wireless keyboard that has a battery of 1900mAh that can last up to 8 hours in a single charge. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology. However, if you prefer to have it wired, then you can just plug a cable and play.
Not only it looks great, but it also works great. The keycaps are made from PBT and every key is fully programmable. You can find it with either Gateron or Kalih switches.
- Big variety of switches available.
- Excellent looks.
- Durable materials.
- Lack of incline options.
- No palm rest included.
5: DIERYA DK61E
|Compatibility:||Windows, partial macOS|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||33.8 x 13.9 x 4.8 cm / 13.31 x 5.51 x 1.89 inches.|
|Weight:||780 g / 1.72 lb.|
Next on this list of the best 60 percent gaming keyboards we have the DIERYA DK61E. This is another excellent budget-friendly choice that’s worth considering for its performance and quality.
This is an impressive keyboard with double-shot PBT keycaps that make it hard enough to handle the test of time. They’re oil resistant and waterproof, so you can enjoy your meals as you type without worrying too much.
It comes with 5 predetermined RGB lighting modes that can be later customized with the keyboard’s software. Macro keys can also be fully customized with the software. Also, the Fn key can be sued as a Function-lock, so you’ll be able to access different keys without having to press Fn all the time.
You can find this keyboard with different types of Gateron switches, so you can choose the one that suits you better.
- Waterproof and oilproof.
- Smooth typing.
- USB cable can be too short.
- Wired only.
6: Redragon K530 Draconic
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||33.6 x 15.4 x 5.8 cm / 13.23 x 6.1 x 2.36 inches.|
|Weight:||870 g / 1.92 lb.|
|Switches:||Redragon Mechanical Switches.|
Lastly, we got the Redragon K530 Draconic, a great keyboard that also features a wireless design. Featuring a 3000mAh battery and Bluetooth 5.0 technology, this keyboard will give you extra movement freedom thanks to wireless technology. But if wireless sessions don’t convince you, you can just plug a cable and play wired.
Each key has a printed name for the multiple function keys. Which can be very helpful in case you need to remember function layers. The RGB is completely customizable with its software.
You can get it with one of three switches available: Redragon Mechanical Brown Switches, Blue, and Red Switches. Typing with those switches feels overall great and without too many issues.
- Wireless Made Easy
- Dual Mode Switch
- Hot-Swappable Brown Switches
- RGB Illumination Builde
- Wireless option with good battery life.
- Works amazingly.
- The switches feel great.
- No USB-C port.
- Has a bigger learning curve than other models.
Choosing the Best 60% Mechanical Keyboard for You
Viewing your choices is fun, choosing one is the hard part. 60% mechanical keyboards offer you certain advantages over 100% models, as you may know already.
But are there any more things to take into consideration? Well, yes, size isn’t the only factor to think about before choosing a 60% keyboard. In order to make your decision easier, here are the most important aspects you have to consider.
Team Wired vs. Team Wireless
In case you were living under a rock, you may know by now that wireless keyboards are becoming a huge trend in the market. Wireless keyboards work with either a Bluetooth connection or 2.4GHz technology. Without wires, you can have a more organized desk and a cleaner look. Most wireless keyboards have a plug-and-play feature and are lag-free.
But wired keyboards don’t fall behind wireless ones, they stand on even ground. Sometimes wireless models are a little more expensive because of the technology involved in them. Besides, if you don’t really mind the cable then wireless options won’t offer any change to you.
Some models combine these two features, offering a wireless keyboard plus the option to plug a USB cable and make it wired. The market is big and the options are varied. At the end of the day, it’s up to you.
Looks and Customization
If you’re going compact, why not do it with style?
Most professional 60% mechanical keyboards offer RGB lights and a range of customization options. RGB lights look cool and they can actually be helpful if you’re playing in a dark environment.
Models that have a big level of customization tend to cost a little more. Some allow you to customize function layers, choose the type of switch that you prefer, change the lights, and more.
Type of Switch
One well-known feature of mechanical keyboards is that every key has an individual switch that’s completely independent of the others, which makes them more accurate. But there’s more than just that. The actuation point, the internal mechanism, and the feedback that you receive from a key will vary depending on the type of switch it has.
Most mechanical keyboard manufacturers go with the standard Cherry MX switches. Other brands want to stand out from the competition, so they have designed their own branded switches. But for the sake of simplicity, we’ll divide them into four categories:
Linear switches are very simple to understand. These switches respond quickly and precisely. They make no clicky sound and deliver no type of tactile feedback. People who love linear switches prefer them because of their simplicity.
Clicky switches are called like this because you typically hear a little “click” sound when you press the actuation point. This allows you to press the key and know when you hit the actuation point without having to press it all the way down. Some people think these types of switches may be too loud for some environments.
Tactile switches are called this way because they offer a tactile feedback when you hit the actuation point. By making a little bump, you’ll notice when your key is fully pressed without having to press the key all the way down. This feature might be beneficial for typists, while others might find it uncomfortable.
Optical switches have a slightly different mechanism. They’re mechanical switches that use light induction to press the keys. When you press them down, the stem of light moves and hits the receptor. Some people say that they’re the most accurate and the ones that last longer.
Some brands design keyboards that allow you to choose the type of switch you want, while others give you the option to change between switches. If you’re still lost about which one to choose, most professional gamers prefer optical or linear switches. Optical switches are perceived to be some of the most responsive types, while some players find it difficult to adapt to clicky and tactile switches. Either way, as you enter the mechanical keyboard universe, you could use different types of switches and see which one feels more natural to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
A 60% keyboard is a very popular alternative form to a standard mechanical keyboard. It uses the same typical layout, except that it comes without a Numpad, a Function Row, and no navigation & arrow keys. With a 60% keyboard your hands are closer together, you get extra space for your mouse, and is typically easier to move around.
Assuming that you’ve already accepted the idea of owning a smaller keyboard to fit on your desk, why should you go for 60% and not any other form? Well, unlike other forms, 60% percent keyboards use mostly the same familiar standard layout, just without a few keys. That means that as long as you learn how to use the “Fn” key to access function layers, you’ll be fine. They’re also good for carrying them around and can have some pretty interesting aesthetics.
Simple, it’s a way that compact keyboard users can use keys that would otherwise be missing. The most natural example of this is the “Fn” key in many 60% keyboards. You press that key and you’ll be able to access a different layer of keys. So, having a physically smaller keyboard doesn’t mean getting rid of every key.
While they may use the same key layout, a TKL keyboard (80%) is different from a 60% keyboard because it’s bigger than the 60% keyboard. You can think of 60% as a TKL keyboard but without the arrow keys, the navigation cluster, and the function row.
Mechanical keyboards offer several advantages over membrane keyboards. Every key has its own independent mechanism that can accurately register a keystroke. A mechanical keyboard also offers better customization options, fantastic aesthetics, and they last longer. They’re ideal for anyone who desires to become a professional gamer, typist, or writer.
A 60 percent keyboard can be an incredibly good idea if you rely mostly on the alphanumeric keys. It’s also not a bad idea if you just need something small to travel around or fit in your desk.
All of the keyboards on this list are some of the best 60% keyboards that you can find, so feel free to check them out as much as you want.
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