Best TKL Mechanical Keyboards in 2021

Nowadays, you can’t talk about professional gaming if you don’t even own a mechanical keyboard. Learning about the best TKL keyboards might be just what you need to impulse your pro gaming life.

When thinking about PC setups, most people immediately think about keyboards. After all, what’s a screen and a CPU without a typing tool? 

Mechanical gaming keyboards have taken over the gaming keyboard ground, and that’s a fact. But what if we don’t have enough space on our desks or if we need to travel a lot with our big keyboards? Thankfully, TKL gaming keyboards will help you solve those issues.

Tenkeyless keyboards come in different shapes and models, which it’s great. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it very difficult to choose among the many options. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here you’ll learn about the best Tenkeyless mechanical keyboards, how to choose one and why you should stick with one.


The 7 Best TKL Keyboards

Here we’ve picked the top seven TKL gaming keyboards in the market. Feel free to explore all of the options and choose one that feels right with your style.

ProductPriceConnectivitySwitches
1: SteelSeries Apex 7priceiconpriceiconpriceiconWiredSS Red, SS Brown, SS Blue
2: Logitech G915 priceiconpriceiconpriceiconpriceiconWirelessGL Tactile, GL Clicky, GL Linear
3: Razer Huntsman priceiconpriceiconWiredRazer Linear Optical
4: Logitech G PRO priceiconpriceiconWiredGX Blue Clicky / Romer-G
5: Corsair K63 priceiconpriceiconWirelessCherry MX Red
6: Redragon K552priceiconWiredOutemu Blue
7: Tecware Phantom 87 priceiconWiredOu Red, Ou Blue, Ou Brown

1: SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL 

Best TKL Keyboard
Price:priceiconpriceiconpriceicon
Compatibility:Windows, Mac OS.
Connectivity:Wired
Dimensions (WxDxH):35 x 13.9 x 4 cm / 14 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
Weight:700 g / 1.5 lbs
Lights:RGB.
Switches:SteelSeries Red (linear), SteelSeries Brown (tactile), SteelSeries Blue (clicky).
Sale
SteelSeries Apex 7 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard –...
  • Linear Red Switches - guaranteed for 50 million keypresses, red switches provide...
  • OLED Smart Display - an integrated command center for adjusting settings and...
  • Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Alloy - built for a lifetime of durability and...

SteelSeries is a leading-edge peripheral manufacturer that always surprises us with a perfect features-performance balance. The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is an excellent choice for gamers since it has the right amount of features while preserving modesty. Definitively a great idea to put in on our list of the best TKL keyboards.

When looking at the design, we see that this keyboard shares similarities with previous SteelSeries keyboard models. To sum it up, it’s made from black plastic but has a strong and sublime aluminum frame that prevents it from being malleable. SteelSeries really made an effort to deliver a premium-quality compact TKL keyboard. The detachable magnetic wrist rest is very ergonomic and comfortable.

Next-level customization

When it comes to customization options, the SteelSeries Apex 7 doesn’t disappoint. Every key is individually backlit and programmable. The RGB lights are bright enough to look professional and work efficiently at night. The software is easy to understand and you can even create specific profiles for different games.

We also can’t miss the fact that you can actually choose between three types of switches with this keyboard. They all have a 2mm actuation point and there’s a choice for everybody:

  1. Red (linear)
  2. Brown (tactile)
  3. Blue (clicky)

Key Features

The OLED Screen will be incredibly useful when it comes to adjusting settings on-the-go and displaying relevant information. Just take a look at these fun things that you can do with it. You can see messages from Discord, your playlist from Spotify, or see the kill/death ratio on games like CS:GO.

The performance is on point. The keyboard delivers precise responses with every key you press. So, the typing quality is great and the keys feel light and comfortable to press.

TL;DR

The SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is one of the best TKL mechanical keyboards available. It offers a high degree of customization, the software is very intuitive, the keyboard is compact and the performance is smooth. Definitively a wise choice for anyone looking to become tenkeyless and get one of the best TKL keyboards.

Things We Like
  • Useful OLED screen.
  • Different types of switches to choose from.
  • Light and compact design.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Clicky switches might be too loud for some.
  • Linear and tactile switches could be too soft.

2: Logitech G915 TKL

Price:priceiconpriceiconpriceiconpriceicon
Compatibility:Windows, MacOS.
Connectivity:Wireless / Micro-USB cable.
Dimensions (WxDxH):38.6 x 14.9 x 2.2 cm / 15.2 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches.
Weight:150 g / 0.33 lbs.
Lights:RGB.
Switches:GL Tactile, GL Clicky, GL Linear.
Sale
Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless...
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  • LIGHTSPEED wireless delivers pro-grade performance with flexibility and freedom...
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Making a list of the best TKL mechanical keyboards without mentioning Logitech was an impossible task. Logitech’s products are marked by their top performance and their elite quality. The Logitech G915 TKL is an incredible wireless TKL keyboard that deserves attention.

This keyboard is the tenkeyless version of the well-received Logitech G915, which was a great option for those who wanted to get the G915 but have limited desk space. The wireless Lightspeed technology now comes in a condensed and equally amazing quality.

Logitech’s Elegance

Like we can expect from a Logitech keyboard, the G915 has a very modest and elegant design. The aluminum body gives life and shape to a black low-profile design. You can change the RGB lights on your keyboard with the Logitech G Hub Software. You can choose from a set of three switches:

  1. GL Linear.
  2. GL Tactile.
  3. And GL Clicky.

In order to achieve this thin and compact design, these switches are half the height of your regular Cherry MX switches. That translates to faster keypresses, which is ideal for competitive gaming and fast-typing.

The Logitech G Hub might feel a little overwhelming for some people at first, but once you get familiar with it, you’ll be able to toggle around freely. You can program the FN row, customize the lights, mute yourself on Discord, create specific programs for certain games or programs, and more.

Key Features

Logitech’s proprietary wireless technology, Lightspeed, is one of the top features of this keyboard. Lightspeed technology is here to deliver no-lag wireless connectivity for the most precise gamers. But if Bluetooth and Lightspeed just don’t catch your eye, you can still use this keyboard with the included MicroUSB cable.

The body quality feels a lot better than other keyboards. The metal frame gives it the necessary strength to handle rough action. 

TL;DR

Need a compact TKL keyboard with a powerful performance and a great design? Then you know that the G915 TKL is the answer. Customizable, travel-friendly, ideal for professional gamers who need to type quickly and accurately. One of best TKL keyboards money can buy.

Things We Like
  • Solid battery life of around 40+ hours with the RGB lights and Lightspeed activated.
  • Incredibly thin design.
  • Big customization level.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Logitech software takes time to figure out.
  • Not every key is programmable.
  • A wrist rest is nowhere to be seen.


3: Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Razer huntsman
Price:priceiconpriceicon
Compatibility:Windows, partial MacOS.
Connectivity:Wired.
Dimensions (WxDxH):36.2 x 14 x 3.8 cm / 14.3 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches.
Weight:700 g / 1.6 lbs.
Lights:RGB.
Switches:Razer Linear Optical.
Sale
Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition TKL Tenkeyless...
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  • Faster Than Traditional Mechanical Switches: Razer Linear Optical switch...
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Razer is at it again, and this time they delivered one of the best TKL keyboards of the moment. The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is part of Razer’s Huntsman lineup. It’s a remarkable and top-performing optomechanical keyboard for anyone who loves premium-quality products.

This keyboard has optical switches, which means that it uses a beam to register when you press a key. And since you don’t need to press it all the way down, you can get a faster response than with other kinds of switches.

How Does it Look to Go Razer?

The Razer Huntsman TE is a long-lasting TKL keyboard. The hard black plastic is surrounded by an even stronger aluminum plate for extra strength. The USB-C cable is detachable to have an extra level of portability. It has a professional look and no room for nonsense.

Like most TKL keyboards, the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is compact and surprisingly light. But light doesn’t mean fragile, this beast can resist the most extreme gaming conditions. However, the light factor also applies when you press the keys. In fact, some people would say that it’s too soft and it can register the lightest touch, so you can expect some typos.

The Synapse software will grant you access to customization options. You’ll be able to change the RGB colors, create macro keys, and more. Sadly, this software is only available on Windows, so macOS users won’t be able to customize anything.

Key features

Tournament-oriented keyboard. As the name suggests, this keyboard is ideal for professional gaming tournaments. 

Optomechanical technology. The optical-mechanical switches have set the rules for what a fast keyboard should be like. 

TL;DR

Turn your normal gaming sessions into professional sessions with this beauty. Razer really made one of the best TKL keyboards for gamers who love to get their hands into tournaments and competitions. And even for those who love the comfort of their home, this keyboard won’t disappoint you.

Things We Like
  • Tournament-oriented design.
  • Optical switches are fast and efficient.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Customization software is only available on Windows.
  • Such a soft actuation point can be hard to get used to.


4: Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Price:priceiconpriceicon
Compatibility:Windows, Mac OS.
Connectivity:Wired.
Dimensions (WxDxH):36 x 15 x 3.4 cm / 14.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches.
Weight:980 g / 2.16 lbs.
Lights:RGB.
Switches:GX Blue Clicky / Romer-G.
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Logitech G PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Ultra...
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  • Ultra-portable compact ten keyless design frees up table space for mouse...

Another fantastic add-on from Logitech is the Logitech G PRO. It’s an excellent wired option for anyone looking to get one of the best TKL mechanical keyboards. This keyboard is part of a line that’s exclusively focused on professional gamers, which means that it doesn’t contain media buttons. This model is also one of the best keyboards for CS:GO.

Another Superb Logitech Design.

The design is in line with minimalism. Although it’s a TKL keyboard, it’s not as small and compact as other models, which can be a good thing if you need a TKL friend but struggle with big hands. With the Logitech G Hub software, you can mess around with the lights, rearrange macro keys and save your setups.

The MicroUSB cable is detachable, ideal for when you need to carry your keyboard around in a bag. Sadly, it doesn’t include a palm rest.

This model comes with two switch variants:

  1. Logitech’s GX Blue Clicky Switches: They feel heavy and provide auditory feedback when you press them. They feel just like your regular MX Cherry switches.
  2. Romer-G: These tactile switches produce tactile feedback when pressed. These are said to last around 70 million presses.

Both of these switches have an anti-ghosting feature built-in to prevent you from missing a key for when you accidentally smash a bunch at the same time.

Key Features

The Logitech G Pro is one of the cheapest Logitech keyboards. However, cheap doesn’t mean poor-quality in the Logitech dictionary. It doesn’t have many advanced options that other keyboards do have, but the available features in this keyboard are excellent, and that’s without mentioning performance.

With the customization software you can choose from an extensively long range of colors and program the F-row as much as you want.

TL;DR

If you wanted to get on the Logitech train but the other options were too expensive, this is your opportunity. The G Pro is considered by many, one of the best TKL gaming keyboards in the market. Great customization, top build-quality, and incredible performance at a relatively low cost.

Things We Like
  • Nice budget choice.
  • Another fantastic keyboard with excellent customization options.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • It’d be better if every key was programmable.
  • GX Blue Switches are definitively louder than other switches.


5: Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming TKL Keyboard

Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Price:priceiconpriceicon
Compatibility:Windows, partial MacOS.
Connectivity:Wireless / Micro-USB cable.
Dimensions (WxDxH):36.6 x 17.2 x 3.8 cm / 14.4 x 6.8 x 1.5 inches.
Weight:1100 g / 2.4 lbs.
Lights:Blue.
Switches:Cherry MX Red.
Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard,...
  • Connect using ultra-fast 1ms 2.4GHz gaming-optimized wireless technology, low...
  • 100% Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches with Gold contacts for fast, precise...
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Now let’s take a look at another fantastic TKL Keyboard, the Corsair K63 Wireless. It’s basically the same K63 model but done wireless. This keyboard and every feature were thought and designed for gamers.

This wireless mechanical keyboard condenses all of the necessary features that you’d need to play smoothly. It doesn’t hold as many cutting-edge features as other keyboards do, but it does its job, it performs marvelously and it’s built strongly. 

A view on the K63 Wireless

The first thing you’ll notice is the classical Corsair design, which is clean and modest. The hard plastic doesn’t have room for metal frames, but it feels sturdy enough to handle most gaming sessions. 

Nowadays, most TKL keyboards include light options and this is no exception. Yes, some wireless models sacrifice lights over stronger battery life, but Corsair managed to create a keyboard with a good-lasting battery and a proper set of lights. But while more premium models hold RGB lights, this one glows with only blue lights. However, this isn’t to say they’re bad, they are bright enough for night owls and look completely sleek.

This keyboard uses linear Cherry MX Red switches. Which in case you didn’t know are literally the most used mechanical switches in the keyboard universe. Most brands just took the Cherry MX design and either replicated it and renamed it or they took it and upgraded it. And while these switches are not surprisingly avant-garde right now, they certainly fill expectations. 

Key features

An amazing 2.4GHz wireless connection means that you’ll be able to enjoy a wire-free gaming session. Being wireless brings an extra level of freedom and movement. Although you’ll still need to charge your keyboard when the battery dies or if you can’t imagine living wireless, you can still connect the cable. 

It performs amazingly. This keyboard might not have fancy features, but it flows wonderfully.

TL;DR

The Corsair K63 wireless is the identical twin of the Corsair K63. It’s got an excellent market price but lacks some features that other premium keyboards have (like RGB, bigger customization, etc.) But it has the necessary characteristics to deliver a potent performance and an excellent session. We can’t expect from one of the best TKL keyboards.

Things We Like
  • Great price.
  • The wireless factor is a bonus.
  • Just as good as the Corsair K63.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Only has blue lights.
  • Only 15 hours of gameplay with the lights on, although that can reach 75 hours with the lights off.


6: Redragon K552 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Price:priceicon
Compatibility:Windows, partial MacOS.
Connectivity:Wired.
Dimensions (WxDxH):35.5 x 12.3 x 3.6 cm / 14 x 4.8 x 1.4 inches.
Weight:800 g / 1.8 lbs.
Lights:RGB.
Switches:Outemu Blue.
Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard RGB LED...
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If you were looking for a formidable TKL mechanical keyboard but the other models were out of budget, then the Redragon K552 might be what you need. It’s one of the cheapest TKL mechanical keyboards in the market.

If we take into consideration everything that the K552 can offer, we’ll realize how effective it can be. Sure, it doesn’t look as good as more elite models, but it’s a nice offer at an incredible price. 

Design overview

On solidity, it feels rigid and a little heavy, which is a surprise if we think about the price. It’s made from hard plastic, nothing more and nothing less. It feels like it could handle regular gaming sessions and maybe some intense moments of extreme gaming. Believe it or not, it feels long-lasting.

While it doesn’t look extremely bad it also doesn’t stand out. It seems like your regular office keyboard but with a set of RGB lights behind. Being TKL allows it to suit perfectly at small desks and clumsy spaces.

It features outemu clicky switches, which provide both tactile and auditory feedback. We wouldn’t recommend getting this keyboard for big offices with a lot of people because it can get noisy, so it’s better to leave this just for gaming alone.  

Key features

Low price, great value. Like we stated before, this keyboard isn’t the brightest star in the galaxy, but at such a low price, it’s amazing to have a well-functioning mechanical keyboard. 

Strong body. Yeah, we can say that it feels stronger than some models that cost twice as much.

TL;DR

One of the best TKL mechanical keyboards if you want to get into professional gaming but are on a budget. The design is regular, the build quality is strong enough, and it performs great. Truly, a worthy choice.

Things We Like
  • Great budget keyboard.
  • Amazing build quality.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Loud switches.
  • No customization software.


7: Tecware Phantom 87 Key Mechanical Keyboard 

Tecware Phantom 87 Key Mechanical Keyboard
Price:priceicon
Compatibility:Windows, partial MacOs.
Connectivity:Wired.
Dimensions (WxDxH):36 x 13.3 x 4 cm / 14.21 x 5.24 x 1.61 inches.
Weight:1200 g / 2.65 lbs.
Lights:RGB.
Switches:Outemu Red / Outemu Blue / Outemu Brown.
Sale
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Finally, on this list of the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards, we find the Tecware Phantom 87-Key Mechanical Keyboard. This might not be as fancy as other well-known brands, but it beats them when it comes to price.

We’re sure that Tecware isn’t a brand that comes to mind when thinking about the best TKL keyboards, but we guarantee that they make quality products. This is a choice that won’t break the bank and will give you a valuable performance.

A word on design

There’s nothing much to say about the design. The plastic body it’s clean and colorful, but you won’t find anything out of the ordinary. It has a backlit RGB keyboard that can be customized in the hardware. No software included, just a terrible accompanying Tecware program that is really hard to navigate.

This keyboard is available with the following switches:

  1. Outemu Red: linear.
  2. Outemu Blue: clicky.
  3. And Outemu brown: tactile.

They look, feel, and perform just like Cherry MX switches, so if you’re familiar with those then you’ll be good. They’re also very responsive and fast.

Key features

Amazing price. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get your own mechanical TKL keyboard. Tecware believes in affordable quality, and their products speak for them. 

This keyboard is super responsive and won’t cause too many problems when playing. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it works cheaply. 

TL;DR

The Tecware Phantom 87-key is a fantastic entry-level keyboard. It might not display big-level features like other keyboards, but it’s pretty modest with what it can do. An option worth considering for those looking for the best TKL keyboards.

Things We Like
  • It includes replacement switches.
  • Fast and responsive.
  • Fantastic price and quality.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Awkward software.
  • Lack of a wrist rest.


How to Choose A Tenkeyless Gaming Keyboard

Making choices is hard, even when it comes to buying keyboards. Going after a TKL model already means you prefer this over a full-size model, but there are other things to consider in TKL models.

It’s important to note that you should always go with mechanical keyboards. Let’s all pretend that membrane keyboards don’t exist, it’s better that way.

RGB Lights

With so many people going for peripherals with RGB, can you possibly choose one without them?

Well, yeah. If you prefer modest keyboards without extra lights or accessories, there’s always an option for you. 

However, you know how amazing a well-lit keyboard looks, and it’s extra useful when you’re playing in the dark. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your taste.

To wire or not to wire

The ever-growing fight between wireless peripherals versus wired ones also makes its way through the TKL arena. 

Choosing a TKL version already translates to extra space on your desk, but going wireless means a new level of movement. No wires, no unnecessary clutter, simple to understand. Many people prefer these models because most are just a plug-and-play kind of keyboard,  with no latency in the corner.

However, these models tend to be a little more expensive than their wired counterparts, so take that into consideration. Wired models are perceived as more durable. Also, if you don’t own any gaming consoles, maybe a wired option will suit right for your PC.

But again, this is all about preferences.

Key customization

Most professional tenkeyless keyboards will have lots of customization options for macro keys. In some models, you’ll be able to change the RGB colors, the key functions, and many more aspects. However, these models usually cost a little higher than models that don’t have a big level of customization.

Type of Switch

Mechanical keyboards usually have an individual switch for each key on the keyboard. But the actuation point, the internal switch mechanism, and the way you feel the key can vary depending on which switch it has.

One of the most used switches has to be the Cherry MX. But some brands develop their own branded switches to separate themselves from the competition. All in all, we could categorize them into four categories:

  • Linear: These are the simplest of the four. They’re fast and responsive. They usually make no clicky sounds and no tactile feedback, the actuation point will activate as soon as you press the key.
  • Tactile: These keys will give you tactile feedback when you press them by making a little bump when hitting the actuation point. You don’t need to press the key all the way down, the feedback will let you know when it’s done.
  • Clicky: When you click these kinds of switches you’ll hear a small “click” when you hit the actuation point. Just like with tactile switches, you won’t need to press the keys all the way down because the auditory feedback will let you know when it’s finished.
  • Optical: These are a little different from the other three. They’re still like mechanical switches, but these use light induction to press the keys. When you press them, the stem moves and activates the light receptor. 

Some keyboards give you the possibility to choose your switch, and others allow you to change between switches, so take that into consideration. 

Most gamers would go for optical or regular linear switches. Optical switches allow having a faster response and some gamers might find the clicky and tactile switches a little strange. However, writers and typists would prefer tactile/clicky switches to help them type better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Tenkeyless Keyboard?

A tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard or an 80% keyboard is a keyboard without the numpad. This carries several advantages over full-size keyboards. You get more space on your desk, your hands get to be close together and you can type faster. If you don’t even bother about using the numpad, a TKL version might be the one for you.Best TKL Keyboard

Should I buy a TKL Keyboard?

You should buy one if you have a small desk or you travel to gaming competitions a lot. Being smaller helps them fit almost anywhere, so they’re perfect to carry around. 

Are Mechanical Keyboards worth it?

Mechanical keyboards are a worthy investment for anyone who wants to get into professional gaming.  And even if you’re not into gaming, mechanical keyboards offer more accuracy when typing, which is ideal for typists, writers, and programmers. They also tend to last longer than regular membrane keyboards. All in all, they are a worthy investment.

Conclusion

Going for a TKL keyboard is the most professional thing to do. Very few people actually use the numpad anyway, so why not save some space by getting a tenkeyless version once and for all.

Whether you want to be a pro gamer, a writer, a programmer or you love fast-typing, these mechanical keyboards will help you get amazing results. And I mean, just look at them, they’re both incredibly beautiful and surprisingly helpful.

All of the models on this list are some of the best TKL gaming keyboards in the market. They’re all strong, built to last, well-designed, and optimal for anybody’s gaming sessions.

They all vary in aesthetics and price, so feel free to check them out one by one and choose one that goes with you. 

Keep exploring WhatIfGaming to find out about the latest gaming news and rumors. Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts about this.

Andrés Figuera Farfan
Writer, translator, and language lover. Andrés is a passionate writer and curious by profession. Honesty and veracity are the foundation of his values. He enjoys small pleasures like playing videogames at 1 a.m. and reading romantic novels.

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