Looking for the best 65% mechanical keyboards of all time?
If you are looking for a keyboard that will save you some space, we strongly recommend 65% mechanical keyboards. They combine the best of both worlds, durability, and elegant size. By choosing one you will free up more space on your desk for your mouse and other important things.
Let’s take a closer look at each keyboard and evaluate their features, design, and more. There are a ton of really good 65% keyboards currently available. Let’s get started.
VortexGear Cypher 65% – Overall Best
|Cherry MX Red switches||LED lighting used for caps lock is not adequate|
|Great build quality||The absence of Bluetooth|
|Access to QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak|
VortexGear is a company that has regularly impressed the users with their diligently designed mechanical keyboards. This 65% mechanical keyboard is no different. The keyboard has 69 keys, and unlike their Pok3r keyboard, this offers dedicated arrows that will come handy to gamers.
Cherry MX Red mechanical switches are used in this 65% mechanical keyboard. These switches are silent, strong, and durable.
Vortex guarantees at least 50 million keystrokes on Cherry MX Red switches. The keycap is engraved with thick PTB laser. The best aspect of the VortexGear Cypher mechanical keyboard is that it comes with multilayer and pre-programmed features that enable you to access QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak.
This mechanical keyboard comes with a C-type cable, and it is detachable. You can program up to 100 characters on the keyboard which is an add-on facility for the price range. The design of the keyboard is slick, and the build quality is great.
Drop ALT – Unique Design
|Variety of switches||Expensive|
|Excellent build quality||High front side|
Drop wasn’t completely satisfied with their 87 key mechanical keyboards called CTRL, so they’ve decided to go more minimal. The result is ALT – first on our list of 65% mechanical keyboard designed for gamers. ALT wastes no space, everything is as compact as it can be to guarantee the smoothest usage. It’s built from solid aluminum and features magnetic legs and a switch plate.
This keyboard comes in various types, all of which have switches with different actuation. For gaming, we would recommend Cherry MX. Halo Clear has a subtle preload and is mainly used for typing. Halo True switches are of medium weight and give smooth tactile feedback. Kaihua Box White model has IP56 waterproof keys that will prevent everything from entering the circuit. Lastly, Kaihua Speed Silver is for those who are looking for the quickest action available.
Don’t worry if this choice overwhelms you, as ALT’s switches can easily be swapped. This way, you can have a completely different tactile profile in minutes.
Drop’s ALT has both under-lightning and RGB backlighting which is nearly infinitely customizable. Lastly, there’s a QMK firmware that lets you fully customize key mapping and macros, so you can easily switch between work and play.
Durgod Hades 68 – Sleek
|N-key rollover||ABS keycaps|
|Great stabilizers||Occasionally stuck keys|
Durgod Hades 68 immediately pulls your attention with a mesmerizing display of RGB backlight, which has up to 16.8 million color combinations. But, this baby isn’t just pretty to look at, but also one of the best 65% mechanical keyboards around.
The keyboard is made out of a strong aluminum case that ensures durability. Furthermore, keycaps are translucent and double shot, which means that key legends won’t ever fade away. N-key rollover function is also present, meaning that Hades 68 will note every key you press. Usually, keyboards are limited to use around 3 keys simultaneously – also known as ghosting.
N-key, therefore, puts you one step ahead of gamers who use regular keyboards, which is always useful. Also, the windows key, which has the habit to activate at most inconvenient times, gets automatically disabled when playing games.
Hades 68 also features DURGOD Hera Engine, which lets you set easily set up complex macros and rebind every key to a different function.
Redragon K530 – Most Popular
Disclaimer: this is a 60% keyboard, we added it in the list due to its popularity!
|Super affordable||Thin keycaps|
|Great tactile feedback||Noisy keys|
K530 offers an impressive 60% layout packed in ridiculously tiny space. As expected, the keyboard features Redragon branded switches that will last you for years to come. The brown switches we got in our keyboard were extra tactile, much more so than Cherry MX. Although typically being a brand marketed towards budget gamers, Redragon has really stepped their game up with this keyboard.
K530 has a red LED-backlit with adjustable brightness and modulation speed. Precision keycaps guarantee that lettering won’t scratch off.
Keys are plate-mounted, so they won’t sink-in even during intense gaming marathons. They are also enforced with anti-ghosting technology and are splash-proof.
Lastly, K530 features premium construction and ergonomic design, with slightly curved keys that follow your natural hand alignment.
|Great build||No Mac support|
Lastly, we have a 65% mechanical keyboard that can also be used wirelessly, as it has Bluetooth 3.0. Up to 3 devices can be paired at once. If you are looking for more wireless options, you can find them here.
Akko 3068 has 68 keys powered with rapidly responsive Cherry MX key switches. Keycaps are made of PBT (85%), which is the best material available today. Dye-sub technology will make sure that your lettering won’t fade off. Moreover, Akko 3068 is also both dust and water-resistant and features a 2 level adjustment for the most comfort.
The Keychron K6 is a 65% keyboard that is loaded with enough features to make Inspector Gadget blush. This keyboard is truly the jack of all trades coming with RGB lighting, wireless/wired connectivity, Mac/Windows compatibility, and a nice aluminum frame.
There are a few downsides to this keyboard to be aware of. For example the thick keyboard design can be rough on the wrists during long game session or while working. The keyboard is also hollow sounding which can be a turn off to some audiophiles.
The hot-swappable design allows for you to easily switch out your switches without needing to solder. Talk about convenience. If you need to change out your loud switch for a speedy linear switch, you can do it flawlessly with the K6.
The K6 is an excellent keyboard to add to your armada and makes a great choice for gamers looking to move to a compact mechanical keyboard, although we don’t recommend you game with the wireless connection enabled. It’s always best to wire-in when gaming.
Ah yes, another excellent 65% keyboard option. The SK66 is a pretty cool option that comes with optical switches instead of the normal mechanical. I mean, who wouldn’t want to game at the speed of light, am I right? The keyboard also comes packed with RGB lighting to make your desk setup the true gamer setup we all know it could be.
The durable keycaps made from a strong PBT plastic will stick around forever, no longer do you need to worry about the legends slowly wearing off over time or the greasy feel developing. It’s time to throw out your keyboard with the crappy ABS keycaps and move to one with high-quality PBT keycaps.
If you are accident-prone, the waterproof nature of the SK66 will make sure you can protect the keyboard from spills and damages. Feel free to sip on soda, coffee, or water while gaming without a care in the world.
The only downside to this keyboard is it makes a strange hollow sound when typing. Most likely due to the optical switches operating slightly different than a mechanical one. While being super-smooth, the optical switches due feel very foreign, so there may be a small adjustment period to using this keyboard after a normal mechanical one.
NiZ Plum Atom 66/68
The NiZ Plum Atom is another super cool keyboard that comes with electro-capacitive switches. What the heck does that mean? Well they are sort of a cross between a rubber dome and mechanical, except they feel and sound super nice. There are similar to a Cherry MX Brown, but way better.
The PBT keycaps also let you rest easy knowing that this keyboard will last without worrying about the legends fading slowly over time. Not to mention the two-color design of the keycaps is super satisfying. After-all, who would want keycaps with a single color anyways?
The keyboard is also fully programmable, making it easier than ever to change the key locations with the onboard firmware. Being able to set certain keys for easy functionality is a gamer’s dream and can help you eek out that extra competitive advantage.
The downside to this keyboard is the relatively high price tag. Electro-capacitive switches are not cheap, unfortunately. This keyboard is much cheaper than the Topre option, being a “Topre clone” you get all the benefits of a capacitive switch without the extra steep price tag.
Overall, this is a great option if you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to try out a new switch type, instead of the plain old mechanical switch found on everything else.
Ducky Miya Pro
The Ducky Miya Pro is a keyboard that needs very little introduction. Being a slightly lesser-known sister to the Ducky One 2 Mini, the Ducky Miya Pro takes all the benefits of the 60% layout, but throws on a couple of arrow keys to make it a 65%.
The keyboard is really cool because it comes in several different colors and designs. You can choose between many different themes and colors to match the aesthetic of your setup. Pretty cool, huh?
The build quality of this keyboard is crisp. It has super high quality keycaps and switches, so you know this keyboard will last a looong time. Cherry MX switches are the cream of the crop when it comes to mechanical switches on a prebuilt keyboard. You can expect the switches to last for at least 100+ million keystrokes.
The standard layout also makes it super easy to order replacement keycaps without needing to worry about conflicts due to the strange layout. But who would want to change out the keycaps on this keyboard, anyways?
The only downside to the Miya Pro is the features available are pretty bare. Not many additional features except for the look and build quality, making it a decent option for a no-frills board. But if you want a super feature-packed 65% keyboard, the Ducky One 2 SF may be a better fit for you.
Qisan Magicforce 68
The Qisan Magicforce is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. The keyboard has lots of different product options, such as with or without wireless connection, which is great for those who like the freedom of cutting the cord. Being a small 65% keyboard also makes it really convenient to take it on the go, and without a cable involved, it’s even easier.
The main thing we didn’t like about the Magicforce is the overall feel of a cheap build quality. This keyboard is budget-friendly, so you can’t complain too much, but I’m a sucker for a well-constructed keyboard.
The switches are also manufactured by a clone company, Outemu. They’re not the best switches when compared to brands such as Cherry MX or Gateron, but they get the job done and feel close enough. They just have a tendency to break a little bit sooner than the other switch types, so beware.
Overall, a wireless 65% keyboard at this low of a price range is perfect for those who need the combination of a 65% layout, wireless connectivity, and cheap price. The keyboard really excels in this small niche. We definitely recommend you check it out.
Leopold keyboards have the reputation for being a solid keyboard manufacturer with lots of excellent boards. The keyboard is definitely on the higher-end with Cherry MX switches, doubleshot PBT keycaps, and just an overall great build quality.
The Cherry MX switches are incredibly durable and go through rigourous testing to make sure they last the goal of a 100 million keystrokes. The PBT keycaps are also durable as well, so you know this keyboard won’t break down anytime soon (or ever).
The standard bottom row makes it really easy to replace the keycaps, which for many is really important, because having custom keycaps can really improve your keyboard all-around. In addition, it’s just a really fun keyboard to use. If you’re a fan of Topre switches, it’s also possible to get an electro-capacitive version of the keyboard, just be willing to shell out a bit of extra dough.
The only things we didn’t like about the Leopold FC660M is the lack of features and the fact that the switches aren’t hot-swappable. It would have been nice to be able to try out a bunch of different switches on this keyboard. Having no RGB backlighting can be a turn off for some as well, but that just depends on the person.
We highly recommend this keyboard if you’re looking for an upper-to-mid range keyboard that will last a lifetime.
Benefits of 65% Keyboard
65% keyboards are like 60% keyboard with a column added for some keys, which are often cursor and navigation keys.
While 75% keyboards have a separate row for functions, 65% keyboards have one Fn key to compensate for the absence of the row. A 65% keyboard typically has around 82 keys.
Want more info about form factors? Check out our guide here.
Factors to Look For in Mechanical Keyboards
This list has been created considering three important factors which play an important role in imparting good user experience – the quality of keys, durability, and cost.
Keycap and Switches
Having good-quality keys and switches is essential when it comes to a mechanical keyboard.
Even if the mechanical keyboard is robust, the keys that get stuck will be detrimental to the user experience. All the 65% mechanical keyboards mentioned in the list have fairly good keys.
For gaming, we highly recommend premium Cherry MX switches that give you a clear tactile and sound feedback when pressed. These types of keys are incredibly durable and made for epic marathon gaming sessions.
For keycaps – look for doubleshot PBT and ABS, as these types of keycaps are higher quality and longer-lasting.
Is the keyboard made from plastic or solid aluminum?
While you may save some money right now, in the long run, it’s wise to invest in the keyboard that is fairly robust. Another thing you should look for is that the keyboard should be both dustproof and waterproof.
You should also keep an eye out for what materials the keyboard is made from – metals like aluminum tend to be more reliable.
Inevitably, every typist and gamer has their own needs, and this is where features come into play.
Features come in many different flavors, here are the most popular ones:
- RGB backlighting
- Programmable keys
- Wireless capability
- G Keys or Profile Keys
The mechanical keyboards in our list have many of the above-mentioned features, and it all depends on your preference and budget.
65% mechanical keyboards save a lot of space on the desk that you can use to keep other things.
Though not as popular as tenkeyless keyboards, 65% can save some serious space and add a much more minimalistic aesthetic to your gaming rig.
Our best list tries to encapture not only popular brands but also keyboards with a variety of different features and styles so that you can find the one that’s right for you!
If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment, happy typing.