If you are stuck between wanting something compact whilst maintaining the unmatched typing experience of a mechanical keyboard, a 60% mechanical keyboard might just be right for you. 60% Mechanical keyboards are fantastic when it comes to portability, comfort, versatility, and longevity. They are extremely portable and compact while offering the same amount of key travel. In this article, we have curated a list of the 10 best 60% mechanical keyboards on the market today.
What are 60% Keyboards?
Traditional keyboards usually have about 87 to 104 keys. However, a 60% keyboard differs from its full-size counterpart in that it usually has around 60 keys. These keyboards don’t lose any scale in key size, but rather they simply have significantly fewer keys than their full-sized keyboards.
A 60% mechanical keyboard traditionally lacks the number pad and keys that are not frequently used by the average person such as the Home, Page Up, and Scroll Lock. Most of these compact keyboards also lack the addition of arrow keys.
All these missing keys are indicated on the rest of the included keys and can be used by pressing a combination of the Fn key and a standard key in the alphanumeric zone.
How are 60% Keyboards Beneficial?
The differentiating factor of 60% mechanical keyboards from other compact solutions is that due to the removal of keys and not scale, you don’t sacrifice the typing experience you get on a regular mechanical keyboard. You still have access to a full-sized alphanumeric zone.
Due to their small form factor, these keyboards can also be very beneficial if you have small hands as you are able to execute every function on your keyboard by using a combination of Fn and standard keys.
Most people have a tough time adjusting to the lack of arrow keys especially. This could take some getting used to, but you will be back up to speed in no time.
A little appreciated aesthetic feature of these keyboards is that when used in a minimalist setup, they look absolutely amazing.
60% Mechanical Keyboards Comparison Table
Best 60% Mechanical Keyboards:
Akko X Ducky One 2
The AKKo X Ducky One 2 60% Mechanical Keyboard has a sleek white base with a black top design. It’s very slim coming in at only 40mm (1.5 inches) and offering Double Shot 85% PBT keycaps which means that you won’t get a shiny or faded look on your keys after extensive use.
Alongside 9 spare colorful keycaps included in the box, the feet of this keyboard are adjustable, giving you that extra level of customization.
This keyboard comes with Cherry MX Brown switches which offer a lot of versatility since you have a variety of thirds party keycaps to choose from. The RGB on this keyboard echoes the customizability you get offered as there are a ton of built-in presets with the option to customize everything via its software.
Continuing the customizability trend, macro keys on this keyboard also offer a lot of versatility, although it should be noted that the stock macro system is difficult to use and may be challenging for beginners. This is not the end of the world since you can always use third party macro software.
The standard keyboard commands included are very extensive and make the move from a full-sized keyboard to a 60% keyboard a lot easier.
As a cherry on top, you get offered a DIP switch on the back, an option to play minesweeper on the keyboard (great for when you are waiting in a game queue) and get given a detachable USB-C cable in the box.
- Ability to play games on the keyboard hardware
- Ability to set macros through hardware
- 9 extra colored switches included
Anne Pro 2
Obins has produced a very functional, portable, and stylish 60% mechanical keyboard with the Anne Pro 2. This keyboard comes in sleek black color or a clean white variant. It is one solid keyboard with no moving parts on the bottom. This results in a very sturdy feeling board, but it is fixed at a neutral slant without the option of adjusting it since there are no feet on this keyboard.
Again, we see the addition of PBT keycaps to really keep the color of the board constant throughout its lifetime. There are a lot of options for key switches here including Cherry Mx Blue, Cherry Mx Brown, Cherry Mx Red, Gateron Blue, Gateron Brown, and Khail Box Brown.
This keyboard also sports Bluetooth 4.0 and a 1900mAh battery that enables about 8 hours of regular use before you need to recharge. You can do this by using the included USB-C cable or alternatively you could just leave it plugged in permanently.
The RGB color modes here are also vast and can be adjusted using the included software. It is worth noting that the software adjustments can only be made when using USB-C but using Obins included software is definitely worth it.
The software allows extensive RBG and macro customizability with an intuitive and user-friendly UI and easy to learn functions.
Another intuitive feature is Obins tap mode for arrow keys. This keyboard mimics the arrow keys when you tap Right shift, Fn1, Fn2, and Right control.
- Bluetooth 4.0 with up to 8 hours of battery life
- A neutral slant with no adjustable feet
- Very user-friendly software
- Tap mode for arrow keys
The Vortexgear Pok3r 60% Mechanical Keyboard has an elegant aluminum bezel framing a black-on-black design that makes the vivid RGB colors really pop out on this keyboard. Just to add an extra layer of rigidity, the Pok3r has a plate sandwiched between the PCB and switches ensuring a premium, durable feel.
The included high-quality keycaps are laser etched PBT keycaps, again allowing for the most durable keycap experience. This keyboard comes with a full variety of Cherry MX switches including Cherry Mx Blue, Cherry Mx Brown, Cherry Mx Clear, Cherry Mx Red, Cherry Mx Silent Red, and Cherry Mx Silver.
There are a lot of RGB modes on this keyboard that you can use without ever opening any software. It should be noted that, although the keycaps are nice, there is no included keycap puller, and the detachable USB cable is a micro USB cable instead of the standard USB-C.
Although quite challenging for beginners, the macro support on this keyboard is amazing once you get the hang of it. You have the ability to program up to 3 layers, and each key is capable of executing 32 keystrokes!
This board also comes with a DIP switch that will enable you to quickly switch keyboard layouts or even turn the Caps Lock into an Fn key.
- The ability to program your macros using layers
- A lot of RGB effects without needing to use software
- Laser etched keycaps
ROYAL KLUDGE RK61
The Royal Kludge RK61 isn’t their first mechanical keyboard, but it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for a small, yet very functional keyboard. This is the best 60% mechanical kyboard under $100. Whether you need it for typing or gaming, the Red linear switches are a very versatile choice. You get a smooth and fast switch that’s very responsive.
This is not just a wired keyboard – it also works via Bluetooth, and you can have it set up with Android and iOS devices wirelessly. The keyboard lets you connect up to three devices, and you can easily switch amongst them.
In terms of aesthetics, there’s adjustable RGB backlight. There is one full-color backlight, 8 monochrome modes, as well as 18 RGB modes, so you can have it set up just the way you like it. If you’re looking for a small and cheap keyboard that’s mechanical and wireless, the RK61 is very likely the best option. It’s also available with Brown or Blue switches, but we’d suggest staying with the red ones.
- Wired or wireless usage
- Linear Red switches are smooth and responsive
- RGB backlight
- Multiple layers available
Massdrop ALT Mechanical Keyboard
Massdrop (or DROP, as it’s known now) is a very popular place for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, and while at one point they were only a proxy for groupbuys, now they’ve got their own keyboards. The ALT is one of them, and it’s their 60% option. It’s a strong competitor for the title of best 60% mechanical keyboard, with a great feature set and a pretty reasonable price.
To begin with, you can choose between Cherry MX Blue or Brown switches, with RGB, or Halo Clear and Halo True switches, depending on your preference. Whichever you go for, it’s a hotswappable keyboard, so you can easily remove them and install others without needing to desolder, and then solder them.
The layout is pretty compact, as it’s made to be the CTRL’s smaller brother. It has 67 keys, and even though it doesn’t have Fn keys, you still get all the functionality via shortcuts and secondary layers. You do get a full number key, as well as arrow keys in the corner. With this being a fully programmable keyboard with QMK compatibility, and with plenty of customizable RGB lighting, you can have it look and work just how you like it. It’s overall an excellent 60% mechanical keyboard.
- IP68 water and dust resistance.
- ABS keycaps.
- Gateron Optical switches.
The DIERYA mechanical keyboard is best cheap 60% mechanical keyboard under $50. To begin with, you get it with a switch that’s the equivalent of a Cherry MX Brown – tactile, but without a click, which is makes it great for typing.
You can choose to use it either wired, or wirelessly, and you can have up to three devices connected to it via Bluetooth at the same time. There’s the option to switch out between them very easily, and the keyboard is compatible with the vast majority of popular operating systems out there.
The keyboard goes for a different layout than most 60% keyboards, with arrow keys in the bottom right corner, which is something most competitors omit. You’re also getting 7 lights, and a few various lighting modes that make it look really nice. Oh, and you also get a 1-year warranty against defects.
- Wired or wireless usage
- Cherry MX Brown Equivalent Switch switches
- Arrow keys in the bottom corner
- 1-year warranty
Qisan Magicforce 68
The Qisan Magicforce 68 60% Mechanical Keyboard is definitely the most budget option on the list sporting no RGB or even a backlight for that matter, but it does have some very appealing features especially considering the price.
This 68 key keyboard comes in an all-white design, and differentiates itself with the addition of arrow keys and a few function buttons such as Insert, Page Up, and Delete. A detachable micro USB cable is also included in the box alongside the keyboard itself.
The switches included on this keyboard are Outemu Brown switches which are a Cherry MX Brown equivalent. They feel very good and mimic the MX Brown switches to a near-perfect degree.
The addition of the arrow keys might make this keyboard a good option for people who want a small form-factor keyboard but would like to retain some of the standard full-size layout.
This keyboard does lack the ability to reprogram keys on the hardware itself, but third-party software options are still available as a fallback.
An important thing to note is that the key switches on this keyboard use a standard Cherry MX stem. This means that you can replace all of the keycaps with any third-party Cherry MX keycaps.
With the Qisan Magicforce 68, you really are getting a lot of keyboard for the price, and if you can live without some of the features available on more expensive boards, then this might be a good option for you.
- Budget-friendly price
- No backlight
- 68 key layout
- Inclusion of the arrow keys
- Outemu Brown Switches
Cooler Master SK-621
While there’s certainly no shortage of 60% keyboards on the market nowadays, finding a low-profile one is difficult. Cooler Master’s SK-621 is one of the best options out there, even though it does cost quite a bit. Most of that price is justified by the use of genuine Cherry MX Low-Profile switches. Compared to a regular one, they’ve got a smaller travel distance and actuation point, while the precision and durability are the same.
The SK-621 can be used both wired or via Bluetooth (v4.0), which lets you connect up to 3 devices. There’s a USB Type-C port that can be used to connect it to a computer and charge it at the same time. The software that comes with it is easy to use and lets you customize both macros, and choose from the 16.7 million colors that are available. Or, you could do away with the software and set up the lighting from the keyboard itself.
- Genuine Cherry MX Low-Profile switches
- Wired (USB Type-C) or wireless (Bluetooth 4.0) usage
- On-the-fly macro and lighting control
- Easy and intuitive software
MOTOSPEED has an excellent 60% keyboard for the folks who want a small mechanical keyboard with all the bells and whistles, but don’t want to spend too much on one. At under $50, you get the choice between a white or black keyboard, as well as a Blue or Red switch. These aren’t Cherry MX switches, but pretty good clones, which keeps the price down without hampering the usability and experience.
While there is a USB Type-C port for wired usage, the keyboard also has Bluetooth 3.0 support if you want to use it wirelessly. You can connect multiple devices at the same time, and the 1300mAh battery gives you up to 10 hours of wireless usage. To save battery power, you get an on-off switch, which is pretty handy.
The keyboard features RGB backlight with 19 effects for you to choose from. And they all look great through the durable, double-shot injection molded keycaps. It’s a great choice for both your home and your office.
- choice between red and blue switches
- USB Type-C port for wired usage, Bluetooth 3.0 for wireless
- RGB backlight with 19 effects
HK Gaming GK61
What do you do when you want a budget mechanical keyboard but aren’t sure on the type of switches, and can’t get a switch tester? You get a hotswappable keyboard, and the GK61 is an excellent choice. With holtites instead of soldering, you can easily remove the included Gateron Optical switches, and change them out with other ones (optical only). This takes customization to another level.
Aside from that, this is a wired-only keyboard, so no Bluetooth unfortunately. What you do get, however, is RGB backlights with a host of lighting options without any drivers required. It’s a plug and play keyboard, and it works really well. You can record macros and customize the keyboard completely, through software, but it’s not required.
Last but not least, the build quality is great – this is a waterproof keyboard, and comes with ABS double-shot keycaps which should last quite a bit. An excellent all-round 60% keyboard for users on a budget.
- Gateron Optical switches
- Hotswappable, so you can change the switches without soldering
- ABS double-shot keycaps
- RGB backlight
Read Another Related Article: 12 Best Mechanical Keyboards for Typing