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 unmatched 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 5 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:
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
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
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 a Fn key.
- The ability to program your macros using layers
- A lot of RGB effects without needing to use software
- Laser etched keycaps
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
Another budget addition to our list is the SKYLOONG K61 60% Mechanical Keyboard. This 61 key keyboard boasts some very interesting features including full RGB support.
A much-appreciated inclusion is USB-C support with an included braided USB-C cable alongside keycap pullers. The keycaps you will be pulling with these are ABS caps and they are mounted on Gateron Optical Switches that on this keyboard, in particular, seems to try and mimic Cherry MX blues. This may be a problem for some people as this will result in a louder than needed keyboard.
Another very interesting inclusion, especially at this price point, is IP68 water and dust resistance. This translates into an environmentally versatile keyboard since you can use it pretty much anywhere without needing to worry about it getting damaged. This also means that this keyboard is spill proof!
The RGB on this keyboard is not user customizable, but there are a plethora of preset options that you can take advantage of. These include some generic effects such as single-color breathing mode, 7-color breathing mode, Multi-color On-click-lighting, but also a mode that changes the lighting based on the music that’s playing.
Macro recording is possible on this keyboard with what SKYLOONG calls, ‘On-The-Fly Macro Recording’. This translates into software less macro recording which is very useful for setting quick macros, but it can be a pain when you want to do something a little more extensive.
Given this keyboards price point, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck with this feature-rich, versatile little keyboard.
- IP68 water and dust resistance.
- ABS keycaps.
- Gateron Optical switches.