as an affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases
65% Mechanical Keyboard

17 Best 65% Mechanical Keyboards [Sep 2021]

If you’re in search of a 65% mechanical keyboard then you’ve come to the right place.

For its inclusion of a full set of arrow keys (and often a cluster of home keys), the 65% layout is one of the most preferred layouts by custom keyboard enthusiasts.

The compact size generally contains around 68 keys, and may or may not have any white space on the board depending on the model. Besides this, there’s an assortment of other features for you to choose from e.g. Wireless compatibility, Hot-swappable keys, and RGB backlighting, etc.

Below, we will take a look at some of the best mass-produced models on the market right now.


What is the best 65% Mechanical Keyboard?

17. Qisan Magicforce 68

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: White
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

The Qisan MagicForce 65% mechanical keyboard has a compact 68-key layout that somewhat resembles the Ducky Miya Pro. Similarly, it features dedicated arrows and a four-key cluster of home keys. Another likeness is the three DIP switches on the back of the board.

In terms of the build, the Qisan has an angular plastic case with a thick aluminum top plate. The low profile design looks quite minimal as the floating key-caps expose the switches from the side. Moreover, apart from the logo above the arrows, there’s very little noticeable branding.

For switches, the Qisan uses Gaterons. Under each switch is an LED that’s soldered to the PCB. The per-key backlighting looks fantastic as it reflects off the aluminum plate and shines brightly around the board. Unfortunately, you can’t change the color but it’s easy to adjust the brightness.

All lighting controls and eighteen built-in effects can be set through functions on the arrow keys. There are also lots of useful shortcuts using the F1-F12 keys, including some multimedia controls for the volume and other essential signs. All in all, it’s a simple yet effective bit of gear.

Pros
  • Aluminum backplate
  • Lightweight
  • Double shot keycaps
  • Dip switches
Cons
  • Visible branding
  • Gamer style legends
  • Rubber feet tricky to open

16. Vortexgear Cypher 65%

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: X
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

The Vortexgear Cypher is a compact 65% mechanical keyboard with 68 keys. It has a strong and durable build while being extremely lightweight. With this model, you can program the individual keys up to one hundred different characters to suit your needs.

Cherry MX mechanical switches and laser engraved PBT keycaps are features of the Cypher. You can choose from a wide range of switch colors such as; Blues, Reds, and Clears. Moreover, for key-caps, have a split or standard space bar option that allows you to assign any key to the bar.

To provide further versatility, the Cypher comes with three pre-programmed layers; Qwerty, Dvorak, and Colemak. As a result, you can quickly match this board to the layout you are comfortable with using. Each layer has its own LED under the left spacebar to indicate what layout is enabled.

Overall, if you’re after an “all-rounder” keyboard that allows you to maximize your space, this no-frills option is a great choice. it’s a scaled-down version of a full-size keyboard yet has all the essential keys available at your fingertips.

Pros
  • Three pre-programmed layers
  • Split or standard space bar option
  • High compatibility
Cons
  • Plastic construction
  • Can’t program keys in the function layer

15. Yunzii ALT71D

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: X
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: ✓
Software: X

The Yunzii ALT71D is a versatile bit of kit that provides two different typing experiences. Although it is a 70% mechanical keyboard with an original 71 key layout, you can customize it into a 65% board as well. This is done by removing the End, PgDn, and Delete keys.

In terms of the build, the ALT71D has an ABS plastic casing with thin corner bezels. The case is rigid but does have some slight flex if you try to bend it. On top, the keycaps use a higher-quality PBT plastic. These come in two attractive color schemes; black/ yellow or white/ gold.

To power the Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, a full-length battery pack raises the board at an angle underneath the case. Unfortunately, this is non-adjustable and does look quite cheap. On the plus side, it can hold two AAA batteries for an excellent long-lasting battery life and connection.

For switches, the board comes with Cherry MX’s in a choice of four different colors. Apart from the three sockets that allow you to change the layout, the switches are soldered into the PCB and are not hot-swappable. As a result, you won’t be able to mix and match them.

Pros
  • Switch between a 70% or 65% layout
  • Dual key-cap color scheme
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • No RGB backlight
  • Bad manual

14. Royal Kludge RK G68

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

The RK G68 is a budget 65% mechanical keyboard with a compact 68-key layout. Its size somewhat resembles its predecessor (the ever-popular RK61), but it does have some upgraded features. These include tri-mode connectivity, user hot-swappable switches, and PBT keycaps.

Built from a tough ABS plastic, the casing is sturdy and there’s quite a bit of heft. Under the case are four rubber feet that balance the board at an 8° angle. Moreover, armed at the back are three USB hub ports. One of these is a Type-C and there’s two Type-A’s for extra peripherals.

The board itself is equipped with a hot-swap PCB that supports both three and five-pin mechanical switches. For switches, you can choose from three Gateron colors; Blues, Browns, and Reds. However, any other Cherry MX-style switch or clone is fully compatible.

Three-mode connectivity (2.4 Ghz, Bluetooth, and wired) is another standout feature of the G68. The 2.4 GHz dongle plugs straight into your PC or console to establish an instant connection. Thanks to the 3150mAh battery, it can last about one week (8 hours/ day) on a full charge.

Like most boards at the lower end of the price scale, it does have some cons. Although the keycaps are made of PBT, they are completely opaque and prevent the stunning backlighting from shining through. Additionally, the Bluetooth can sometimes drop and is highly inconsistent.

Pros
  • Feature-rich
  • USB pass-through
  • Great value
Cons
  • Poor Bluetooth connectivity
  • Keycaps not very transparent

13. Epomaker Akko 3068

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: White
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: ✓
Software: X

The Akko 3068 is an incredibly space-efficient 65% mechanical keyboard. It houses 68 keys, including a full set of arrows, numbers, and two shift keys. To provide a layout that makes the most of its small form factor size, not a millimeter of space is wasted in-between each key.

Unlike most of the other 65% keyboards on this list, the 3068 does not feature RGB backlighting. Instead, it goes for a clean and attractive while LED light that still manages to grab your attention. When it comes to battery life, this lasts approximately 120 hours when typing.

The Akko 3068 has all of the high-quality extras you would hope for. These include rapid Cherry MX key switches, PBT Keycaps, and Bluetooth 5.0. The greyscale theme is most common with this board, but it can also come in Pink, Retro, and Ocean Star variants.

All in all, it’s definitely up there with some of the best budget 65% form factors.

Click here for the AKKO 3068 R2!

Pros
  • Dual connectivity
  • Dual key-cap color scheme
  • White LED backlight
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Plastic construction
  • No shine-through keycaps

12. Womier 66 Mechanical Keyboard

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: X
Software: ✓

The Womier 66 custom mechanical keyboard is destined to impress and bound to catch your attention. If you are an RGB fanatic then you are going to love it. This keyboard is all about its majestic backlighting and takes under-glow lighting to another level.

As you can see, the acrylic case has a frosted coat finish and is entirely transparent. This allows the switch LEDs to glow evenly around the whole of the base and not just from above like with other compact form factor models. Due to this reason, the style appears very minimalistic.

Although it’s not widely known, there is now software available for this board. It allows you to create macros and customize any of the 16.8 million colors. Besides this, you can set any of the static colors or eighteen preset animations by holding the FN combination key.

RGB lovers will adore this majestic keyboard.

Pros
  • Stunning RGB
  • Transparent case
  • Easy to access the color modes
Cons
  • ABS keycaps
  • Quite flat

11. Fnatic Streak65

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: ✓

The Fnatic Streak65 is one of the fastest, lightest, and most compact gaming keyboards to date. Developed specifically for esports by the Fnatic rooster themselves, it has an extremely low-profile design featuring custom speed switches and ultra-low-profile floating key-caps.

Weighing just 400 grams, the Streak65 is also extremely portable, making it ideal for pros who are always on the move. Even so, it lacks no strength as the build utilizes a solid aluminum top plate. For this reason, there’s very little flex to the board and it does not feel flimsy in any way.

To add to the build quality, you’ll be glad to know that the switches come pre-lubed to prevent any rattle or inconstancies when typing. In terms of the typing experience, the speed switches are linear and have a very short 1.0mm actuation distance. This greatly reduces travel time for a faster multi-press.

For an immersive gaming experience, per-key RGB backlighting is a feature. The LEDs are nice and vibrant and spread lots of light across the whole keyboard. Unfortunately, one downside about this is that only basic RGB modes and configurable options are available through the software.

In terms of aesthetics, the board looks quite minimal with soft, rounded corners and clean legends. There is some branding on the top of the board, on the back, and both sides, though it’s not too visible or bothersome from the front. Also on the back is a Type-C USB port for a wired connection.

Overall, the Streak65 is an awesome 65% mechanical keyboard for gamers on a budget.

Pros
  • Great for gaming
  • Reasonably priced
  • Bright RGB
  • Solid build and smooth stabs
Cons
  • Branding on multiple sides
  • Caps lock indicator quite hard to see
  • Wired only

10. Keychron K6

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: X

The Keychron K6 is a versatile 65% mechanical keyboard that aims to maximize your workspace. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac, however, Mac users will find this device particularly appealing as it’s one of the few keyboards that comes with extra Mac keys.

Connectivity is one area in which the Keychron excels. Due to supporting Bluetooth 5.1, it allows you to easily switch between three different wireless devices; whether this is your smartphone, laptop, or gaming lighting. Of course, you can also use it wired via the detachable USB Type-C.

For those who are after a wireless keyboard, the K6’s large 4000 mAh battery capacity is another highlight feature. It can last up to 72 hours (with static RGB lighting), or up to nine, eight-hour days without. When compared to other similar priced 65% boards (such as the GK68XS), this is a big plus.

Due to the cases aluminum mounted panels, the build quality is actually very good. A few downsides though is that it does comes with ABS keycaps (rather than PBT). Furthermore, although it features eighteen types of RGB backlighting, this is not exactly the brightest.

All in all, it’s a great multi-tasking keyboard for the price.

Pros
  • Aluminum frame
  • Great connectivity
  • Large battery
  • Hot-swappable
Cons
  • ABS keycaps
  • Quite a high board
  • Short cable

9. Epomaker GK68XS

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

Inspired by the input of the mechanical keyboard community, the GK68XS features everything you could ask for from an affordable, 65% board. To name a few, it includes dual connectivity (wired and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless), RGB backlighting, and user hot-swappable switches.

Upon purchase, the GK68XS offers a selection of Gateron mechanical switches. You can choose from Browns, Blacks, Reds, and Browns. Moreover, thanks to the Kailh sockets, the board is fully compatible with Cherry MX’s and clones, too. It’s also fine to mix and match the switches.

Although the case is only made from plastic, it’s noticeably sturdy and there’s very little flex. On top is a thick aluminum plate, in which the stabilizers are plate-mounted. You’ll be glad to know that the stabilizers do come factory pre-lubed to give a quiet, desirable sound.

Another highlight of the GK68XS is its interchangeable spacebar. Essentially, this lets you swap from a traditional single spacebar to a split/ dual-split bar without having to take out every switch and install/ re-install spacebar stabs. As a result, you can quickly adapt your typing interface.

The RGB is software-driven, and so is the 3-layer programmable customization. The software is a bit difficult to use and the 1900mAH battery could hold a better charge, but apart from that, you won’t be disappointed with this product. It’s a great dive into the world of custom keyboards.

Pros
  • Feature-rich
  • Great connectivity
  • Dual/ split spacebar
  • PBT keycaps
Cons
  • Poor battery
  • Limited software ability
  • Key-caps not very transparent

8. Durgod Hades 68

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: ✓

The Durgod Hades is a high-quality 65% mechanical keyboard with a sturdy aluminum case. It has a compact 68 key layout that includes a full set of arrows plus three navigation keys. Moreover, on the top-right of the case are three LED indicators for your: caps lock, num lock, and scroll lock.

When compared to other similar form-factors, the aluminum case is one of the stand-out features of the Hades 68. This feels heavy, cold to the touch, and gives it the kind of weight and feel you would expect from a premium board. As a result, it’s extremely solid and has zero flex at all.

For the switches, the Hades 68 is available in several popular Gateron and Cherry MX colors. These include Silent Browns, Speed Silvers, and Yellows, etc. Besides having a wide range of switch options, you’ll also appreciate the excellent factory-lubed stabilizers that are both smooth and quiet.

The shine-through ABS keycaps are somewhat thin but they do help to make the backlighting pop. Personally, we think the RGB looks stunning with a really clean look. The 16.8m color combinations and several backlighting modes provide some great visualization options.

All RGB modes are configurable through the Durgod Heras software. The software is lightweight yet powerful and provides all the customization you need. Besides customizing the backlighting, it also allows you to rebind the keys, set up macros, and save four profiles on the onboard memory.

Pros
  • Solid aluminum case
  • Great stabilizers
  • Bright RGB lighting
  • Reasonably priced
  • Powerful software
Cons
  • Cheap ABS keycaps
  • No flip-up feet
  • Software obtuse

7. Razer V3 Mini HyperSpeed

Keycaps: ABS
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

The BlackWidow V3 Mini is a wireless 65% mechanical gaming keyboard with Razer Chroma™ RGB. Designed to be compact enough for any space, and versatile enough for all setups, it provides the perfect balance of form and function for a seamless gaming experience.

In terms of the build, the body is mostly plastic but it does have an aluminum top plate. Considering its compact size, there’s quite a bit of heft and it’s not going to let you down in terms of quality. Aesthetically, the case follows the rest of the black widow lineup with an indistinguishable front lip.

For switches, the Mini comes in two Razer variants; Greens and Yellows. Greens are the clicky, tactile switch that offer optimized actuation, while yellows are linear, and include sound dampeners. On top are ABS double-shot keycaps that have extra thick walls to withstand prolonged use.

Although the build quality is impressive, it’s the excellent connectivity makes this keyboard stand out. Besides connecting via a detachable cable or Bluetooth, the V3 Mini features Hyperspeed technology through a wireless 2.4 GHz dongle. As a result, you won’t have any issues with dropouts.

No wireless keyboard is truly worth buying unless the battery life is there to match it. Fortunately, this is another area where the V3 Mini excels. Regardless of whether it’s in HyperSpeed wireless or Bluetooth mode, you’ll get up to 200 hours of battery Life from just under five hours of charge.

Pros
  • Solid build
  • Feature-rich
  • Great for gaming
  • Excellent battery life
  • Low-latency
Cons
  • Expensive
  • ABS keycaps

6. ASUS ROG Falchion

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: ✓
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

The ASUS ROG Falchion is a wireless 65% keyboard with some innovative features. On the side is an interactive touch panel that lets you conveniently adjust volume, or create shortcuts for switching apps. It also has a real-time battery level indicator so you can see how much power you’ve got left.

For the layout, the Falchion incorporates the arrows and navigation keys into one compact 68 key block. As a result, it measures just 306mm in length, making it almost the same size as a 60% keyboard. If you’re moving up from a 60% board you will quickly adapt to this layout.

The board comes with Cherry MX mechanical switches and durable PBT double-shot keycaps on top. As this is a gaming keyboard, the keycaps have a gamer-style font. Due to being printed in a white font, all of the secondary functions are clearly visible from the front.

To give you long-lasting performance, the Falchion boasts a whopping 450 hours of battery life. It connects via a 2.4 GHz USB dongle, however, you can also use it wired.

Pros
  • Feature-rich
  • Interactive touch panel
  • Great for gaming
  • Excellent battery life
  • Low-latency
Cons
  • Armoury Crate software only available on Windows

5. Keydous NJ68

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: ✓
Software: ✓

The Keydous NJ68 is a compact, 65% mechanical keyboard featuring Bluetooth 4.1 and a hot-swappable PCB. It’s available in three different colors black, white, or pink. The white version includes several additional keycaps to support a Mac multimedia layout.

Constructed from a hard ABS plastic, the casing is solid and has some premium weight to it. The stock stabilizers come pre-lubed and do not rattle. Moreover, the PBT, double-shot keycaps are pretty thick (1.4mm) and have sharp, clean legends. Overall, the build quality is very high.

Featuring Kailh sockets, the board is compatible with both 3-pin and 5-pin switches. The hot-swap sockets aren’t overly tight, making it easy to try out new switches with no soldering required. For stock switches, you can choose from either Kailh Box’s or Cherry MX’s.

Another big pro of the NJ68 is its eye-catching 16m color backlight. The RGB effects are abundant and the white is clean. To program the backlighting or set macros, Keydous provide their own native software. However, due to the rough Chinese translation, this is a bit difficult to understand.

Lastly, as this is a Bluetooth keyboard, it has dual connectivity. The Bluetooth is stable, and the 3100 mAh lithium battery life is impressive lasting over two weeks on a full charge. To preserve the battery, simply plug the USB into the Type-C port at the center-back of the board.

Keydous NJ68
(Image Credit: Keydous)
Pros
  • Excellent all-round board
  • Packed with features
  • Premium build quality
  • Hot-swappable
Cons
  • Expensive

4. Leopold FC660M

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: X
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

This is the updated version of the Leopold FC660M. It follows the same clean 66 key layout design as the older model. However, there are some differences. As you can see, it features a sleek new set of ash-yellow keys that contrast nicely with the midnight black case for a very slight pop.

In terms of the build, the FC660M offers the same exceptional quality that you would find on any Leopold keyboard. There’s no flex to the case, and considering the size, the board has a decent amount of weight to it. No creaks, rattles, or pings can be heard straight out of the box.

Besides a new set of PBT keycaps, extra padding has been added to the underside of the space bar to increase the build quality and reduce the noise. The smooth Cherry stabilizers are still the same, and there’s a large selection of MX-style switches to choose from.

The keyboard connects to your PC via a long 2.0m USB A to mini-B cable. Unfortunately, this means that is it not wireless. Backlighting is another thing that the FC660M is missing out on. Overall, it’s a simple, solid, and reliable 65% mechanical keyboard with all of the essential keys.

Click here for the 4 best Leopold keyboards!

Pros
  • Sleek aesthetic
  • Premium build quality
  • Good layout
  • Sound dampening mat
  • High-quality key-caps
Cons
  • No USB Type-C
  • Lacking features

3. Ducky Miya Pro

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: White
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

The MIYA Pro is a collaboration between Ducky and Varmilo. This board is the real deal and comes in an assortment of unique designs – some of which are quite sort-after and can be very difficult to get your hands on in different regions of the world.

Besides the fantastic aesthetics, the build quality of this model is extremely high. The plastic frame has a steel plate inside to make sure it’s durable and rigid, and it’s much heavier than you’d think. As a result, it has very little rattle or ping, and you can tell it’s a premium product all round.

In terms of the layout, the Miya Pro is favored for having the Numpad and arrow keys offset in their own little cluster. This is a deal-breaker for some gamers, as it can help to prevent any unexpected accidents that might occur when your arrows are right next to your modifiers.

Like most other Ducky products it uses Cherry-style switches and has PBT Keycaps. It does only support white backlighting, however, this allows you to fully appreciate the artwork.

Pros
  • Stylish aesthetic
  • Good layout
  • Premium build quality
  • Smooth stabilizers
  • Standard bottom row
Cons
  • Only white backlight
  • Wired connection only
  • No software

2. Ducky One 2 SF

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: X
Wireless: X
Software: X

Ducky produce some of the best mechanical keyboards in the world, with the One-2-mini being a long-time favorite in the community. The Ducky One 2 SF (65%) shares all the greatness of its predecessor, in addition to the arrow keys, Home/ Delete, and shine through accents.

The two-tone case of the SF is another updated feature that gives it its unique look. This case encloses a metal plate for extra strength, and mounts in the German Cherry MX key switches. Unfortunately, this does mean that the switches are not hot-swappable.

The Ducky One 2 SF comes equipped with high-quality PBT keycaps. The shine-through legends on the newer boards are an excellent touch. You will also appreciate the ten additional keys and extra Zodiac space bar that is included in the package.

The keyboard is fully customizable in both lighting and style. Using the onboard controls, it’s easy to flick through the presets and select any RGB color you want. Fortunately, the macros and LED settings are backed right into the PCB board. Therefore, saving your settings when unplugged.

Once you purchase this keyboard you will quickly learn what all the fuss is about!

Click here for the 6 best Ducky keyboards!

Pros
  • Sleek aesthetic
  • Good layout
  • Premium build quality
  • Smooth stabilizers
  • RGB backlight
Cons
  • No software
  • Wired connection only
  • Plastic case

1. Drop ALT Mechanical Keyboard

Keycaps: PBT
Backlighting: RGB
Hot-swappable: ✓
Wireless: X
Software: ✓

The Drop ALT is easily one of the best 65% mechanical keyboards on the market right now. As a streamlined version of the CTRL model, it packs 67 keys into a tight compact space, but still has room for a full set of arrow keys and numerals that so many gamers often prefer.

Due to being constructed with an aluminum frame, the build quality is solid and there’s very little flex or bend. In addition to providing strength, the frame also acts as a built-in switch plate. This gives you the freedom to swap out the native switches and replace them with Cherry-style MX’s or clones.

RGB Backlighting is another prominent feature of the ALT. A diffused light bar wraps around the entire casing of the keyboard, and optimized light pipes are built into the base of the switches. In turn, this helps to deliver a beautiful lightbox effect that glows evenly through the floating keycaps.

Using the QMK firmware, all of the keys are fully programmable. The backlighting is also fully customizable. With so many stand out features, this might be the last keyboard you ever need to buy!

This board also comes in a low-profile model.

Pros
  • Solid build quality
  • Hot-swappable
  • Programmable via QMK
  • Removable magnetic feet
  • Vibrant RGB
Cons
  • Expensive


We hope you found this post useful on the best 65% Mechanical Keyboard.

Click here for a list of the 23 best Hot-swappable Keyboards!

Click here for the best 75% Mechanical Keyboards!








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *