Ducky produce some of the best mechanical keyboards in the world and have long been a favorite in the gaming community.
Renowned for their top-notch manufacturing, customizability, and intangibles – the boards just keep on giving – even years down the line from their purchase.
If you have never owned a Ducky before, we aim to fill you in on their most iconic range of models.
Towards the end of this post, you should have a better idea of which size is right for you and know all the little ins and outs.
What is the best Ducky keyboard?
6. Ducky One
The Ducky One was released in 2015 (shortly after the shine 5 series) and is still today a solid choice for a keyboard. Designed with a narrower bezel compared to the previous Ducky keyboards, it has a modern and minimalistic appearance with very little noticeable branding.
Although it is a full-size keyboard measuring 440 x 140 x 41mm, the overall size has been reduced to keep it as compact as possible. Compared to other similar models on the market, you will quickly notice that it’s one of the smallest full-size keyboards that has some premium weight to it.
The ABS plastic keyboard body can come in a choice of matte finishes; Black or White. Made in the same material are the classic “three-stage feet” that allow users to choose between three different typing angles. These include feet folded, small feet, and big feet.
Also found beneath the board is the standard Ducky “dip-switch” dial that allows you to change the position of some of the lower modifier keys (e.g. SHIFT, ALT, and Control). Furthermore, as this is a slightly older board, it has a Micro USB input (and not a USB 3.0) that you might find on the current next-gen models.
Like most Ducky boards, there’s a selection of Cherry MX switches to choose from, including Blues, Browns, and Whites. To ensure every keystroke registers, the switches can handle any number of simultaneous key presses with the option of N-key or 6-Key Rollover.
In contrast to the body, the key-caps are made of a durable PBT plastic. The legends use a dye-sublimation print process that will never wear out. However, one negative though, is that the print is in light gray and this would have perhaps shown more contrast in a white.
On some boards (but not all of them) LED or RGB backlighting is a stand-out feature of the Ducky One. For the boards with backlighting, the Ducky One offers a variety of pre-configured lighting effects without the need for any complicated software.
Similarly, there is no software to preconfigure the macros. Up to six designated macro profiles are available and you can access these via the onboard controls. All of the macros and LED settings are backed right into the PCB so they will automatically save when the board is unplugged.
Despite its age, this is still a fantastic keyboard that now sales at a discount price.
5. Ducky One 2
The Ducky One 2 is the upgraded version of the Ducky One. Released two years later (in 2017), it features several valuable updates including a fresh new design to the case, a USB-C connector, and the ability to customize the RGB lighting via the native interface software.
Much like the previous model, the Ducky One 2 is a supremely well-built keyboard. The bezel design shares a similar sleek frame as its predecessor, however as you can see, the One 2 incorporates dual colors between the base/ top of the frame for an elegant yet simple look.
Although the dual-color construction is mainly for aesthetic purposes, the board has some nice weight to it and definitely does not feel cheap. All the materials are of top quality and no visible fingerprints or smudges get left on the plastic as you would find with inferior plastics.
Found underneath the board is the same “dip-switch” dial, and “three-stage” feet that allow you to raise the height to different level of comforts. In contrast to the original, there’s a slightly wider opening for the USB-C connector, which makes it easier to organize your cables.
Equally, the Ducky One 2 uses genuine Cherry MX Switches and PBT double-shot keycaps. The keyboard we’ve listed below comes in a choice of Reds, Blacks, and Browns switches. On top are the black keys with shine through legends to help you differentiate the letters.
The One 2 also offers a choice of LED (or RGB) backlighting, as well as no backlighting if you prefer. For superior visibility, the model below has a crisp white LED backlight. To get the right brightness you can easily adjust change the backlight strength and per-key lighting settings for each key.
Unlike the original Ducky One, it’s possible to control all of the backlighting effects using the official Ducky V1.31 Software. From here you can fine-tune any of the single color backlit modes (or zones), and further adjust the speed of the animations to your liking.
An additional bit of software – the Ducky Macro V2.0 is required to re-map, the keyboard. This lets you save up to 6 profiles for swift and convenient use, plus 3 implementation options. The per-key lighting settings apply to whatever macro key profile is active, which is yet another top feature.
Overall, it’s an excellent all-round keyboard that lives up to Ducky’s strong reputation.
4. Ducky Shine 7
The Ducky Shine 7 is the seventh edition of the sort-after Ducky “Shine” series. Much like the previous “Shine series” models, this is a limited edition keyboard so it will soon become a rarity after the current batch sells out. Although the release was in 2018, there are currently still a few knocking around.
This is another full-size keyboard with a familiar 108 key layout and a dynamic bezel design. One major difference to the Ducky One 2 is the beautiful Zinc alloy top case that markets itself as being three times stronger than aluminum.
The upgraded Zinc plate adds some significant weight to the board and makes the Shine 7 feel like a premium product. It has absolutely no flex or bend that you might find with other full-size keyboards, which in turn creates a durable and exceptional typing experience.
The Zinc plate of the Shine 7 comes in two different finishes: a Gunmetal grey and a Blackout edition. Both keyboards look great, we highly suggest going for the natural Gunmetal edition. This is because Blackout version has been known to encounter some peeling problems down the line due to being anodized.
Besides the Zinc top plate, the construction is very similar to the Ducky One 2. The same ABS base plate with a “dip-switch” and “3 level” adjustment feet is still present on the back. However, for aesthetic reasons the plastic casing is only available in a universal black.
Just as you would expect for this board, the Ducky Shine 7 features Cherry MX Switches and PBT keycaps. Included in the package are a set of 10 additional keys, as well as a Chinese Zodiac spacebar e.g. the Year of the Pig, or the Year of the Dog.
To help the keyboard live up to its name, a reflective plate accentuates the bright LED’s behind the switches. As a result, the backlighting looks fantastic. It will surprise you just how amazing it looks as the light shines through the legends and in and around the board.
In terms of software, the Shine 7 supports the latest RGB V1.31 Software and Ducky Macro V2.0 to give you full control over your customization.
This is a premium keyboard with a premium price tag that is made for serious collectors. Due to the exceptional materials, it’s certain to stick with you for a very long time.
The model we’ve linked below is the Gunmetal RGB version.
3. Ducky One 2 Mini
The Ducky One 2 Mini is the ever-popular 60% form factor version of the full-size Ducky One 2. Designed for minimalists who would rather have a clean desk space than extra keys, the reduction in size removes the standard functions, navigation, and arrows keys in favor of a compact layout.
As a result, this makes the board extremely lightweight and portable, which is great for a number of reasons. It can fit snug inside your bag when you need to take it on the move and frees up valuable space for other gaming peripherals that tend to live in front of the monitor.
Although the reduced 61 key layout may be a big compromise for those moving down from a larger size, all of the secondary functions can still be accessed via the “FN” key. In case you’re likely to forget the keys, the key-caps have their dual functions conveniently printed on the side.
The build quality of the Mini feels nice and rigid, and there’s very little flex to the board. Due to having the dual-color ABS shell, it’s essentially constructed in the same way as the Ducky One 2. This makes it a great first option for anyone wanting to downsize to a smaller keyboard.
The stabilizers sound decent straight out of the box and have absolutely no rattle or shake that you might find with other inferior products. Moreover, this is also the case for some of the larger keys (e.g. Shift, Enter, Delete) that sound rock solid and give a consistent typing experience.
Just like the larger model, the One 2 Mini uses genuine Cherry MX Switches and features PBT double-shot keycaps. The keyboard we’ve listed below comes in Silent Reds or Black switches, and the shine-through legends have clear accents that illuminate with the backlighting.
Unfortunately, (unlike the larger boards), the Ducky One 2 Mini does not yet support the latest RGB V1.31 and Ducky Macro V2.0 Software. This means you have to access the onboard controls to set the customization features, which is a slightly more time-consuming process.
On the plus side, all of the macros and LED settings back right into the PCB board to save your settings when unplugged. The programming modes allow for per-key RGB modes, and 6 macro profiles just like you would expect to find on any other of the other Ducky keyboards.
All in all, this is a gorgeous Ducky keyboard and it’s definitely still one of the best 60% models on the market right now.
2. Ducky One 2 – TKL
The Ducky One 2 – (TKL) is the Tenkeyless model of the Ducky One 2. This board is practically the same as the full-size version but without the additional number pad. As a result, the smaller desk-friendly size frees up space for the mouse making it more suitable for gamers.
If you’re looking to sway away from the bulk of a full-size board, then the TKL is your next best option. Besides missing out on the Numpad, the layout sacrifices the dedicated “Sleep” and “Play/ Pause” keys, however, for the size reduction, this compromise is only a small price to pay.
At 365mm, the length of the frame is approx. 75mm less than the full-size Ducky 2. The bezel design shares the same dual-color black and white body on the Black edition; alternatively, the One-2-TKL-White edition comes in a pure white color on the bezel that matches seamlessly with the top case.
Just like the Ducky One 2, the build quality of this keyboard feels exceptional and has plenty of heft. The stabilizers have very little wobble or play and the spacebar activates cleanly from the edges. Although some of the larger keys are more prone to move this is not very noticeable when typing.
The board features the same anti-ghosting dual-layer PCB, Cherry MX Switches and PBT double-shot keycaps that you might find on the original. Ten additional PBT colorful keycaps of random colors are also included in the package, as well as either a Year of the Pig or a Year of the Rat spacebar.
Similarly, the Ducky One 2 TKL features RGB, and supports the latest RGB V1.31 Software. The RGB software allows for Per key RGB modes, Zone customization modes, and Single color backlit modes (e.g. Breathe, Wave, etc.), just like you would expect to find on any of the current “One-2” line of models.
You can control any of the 6-macro profile selections via the native Ducky Macro V2.0 software or by using the onboard macro programming mode. Switching profiles is as easy as pressing the function key along with the numbers 1-6 to choose your recorded macro.
To summarize, If you’re searching for that balance between general use and gaming (but don’t fancy losing out any more keys), then this is the best Ducky keyboard for you.
1. Ducky One 2 SF
The Ducky One 2 SF is the 65% form factor version of the Ducky One 2. This is one of the more recent additions to the Ducky catalog (2019) and is perhaps the most versatile. It follows a very similar design to the One 2 Mini, in addition to the Arrow keys, Page up/down, and the Delete key.
The SF is perfect for those wanting to experience all of the best bits from both the TKL and the Mini. Dedicated arrow keys are a necessity for most people, and the slender 325mm size is compact enough to prevent yourself from hitting the mouse against the side of the board when gaming.
Furthermore, with the 66 key layout, there’s very little compromise over any awkward accessibility issues either. By pressing the “FN” key, all of the function keys can still be accessed through the numbers 1-9, and the strip of three navigation keys will quickly turn into six.
In terms of the build, the SF follows the same two-tone case design as the Ducky One 2. The case encloses a metal plate for extra strength and is much heavier than you’d think. As a result, the board has very little rattle or ping, and you can tell it’s a premium product all-round.
Found underneath the board is the same “dip-switch” dial, and “three-stage” feet that allow you to raise the height to different level of comforts. One difference to the full-size though is that the USB-C connector now aligns to the left-hand side beneath the ESC key, rather than the center.
The Ducky One 2 SF features Cherry MX Switches and high-quality PBT keycaps. The shine through accent keys on the newer boards are an excellent touch, in addition to the 10 additional keys and extra Zodiac space bar that is included in the package.
If you’re an enthusiast who’s concerned about the size of keycaps, one thing you need to be made aware of is that the SF comes with a 2u shift key and not the standard 1.75u that you might find on a similar sized board. As a result, customizing this individual key may become more of a challenge.
Unfortunately, the SF follows in the footsteps of the Mini and does not support the latest software that you would find on either of the TKL or Full-size models. For this reason, all of the customization features have to be set by accessing the onboard controls.
On the plus side, the macros and LED settings are backed right into the PCB board and save your settings when unplugged. The programming modes allow for per-key RGB modes, and 6 macro profiles just like you would expect to find with other Ducky keyboards.
Whether this is your first mechanical keyboard or just another model to the collection, you will absolutely love the Ducky One 2 SF. The 65% layout hits the sweet spot, and if you’re anything like me – it will quickly become your number one choice.
Image Sources: https://www.duckychannel.com.tw
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