Ultimate gamers and professional typists already know what the best tkl keyboards for their system is, still they may visit here to learn more about them. But for the first-timers, this is the best place to know the pros and cons of their next machine. Also, before buying the best tkl mechanical keyboard, you need to rely on the budget, the gaming or typing frequency, and the past experiences.
A Tenkeyless (TKL) is another standard keyboard that features without a numeric or number pad. The TKL mechanical keyboards are portable and available in different compact sizes. It is much easier to place them in your handbag or bag pack while moving on for a LAN party or a tournament.
I have researched across all the big brands to find out which tkl keyboards are worth your attention. Having owned many boards myself I have a good understanding of what to look for.
It is hard to pick one keyboard that stands out, any of the keyboards you see in the list are worth picking up, it is up to you to decide which one you like the best as they are all similar in terms of features.
Benefits of Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards
- Right-handed mousing is much more comfortable. You no longer need to glide your hand an extra 4-5 inches over the numpad, so it’s quicker to switch back and forth (speed matters for gaming!).
- Increased ergonomics. For the same reason as the previous bullet point, you can more naturally align your shoulder with your mouse since it’s closer to the center of your body.
- The keyboard doesn’t require as much space on your desk. More room for everything else!
- Tenkeyless keyboards allow for lower weight and extra compactness, which is great for those who travel a lot.
How We Picked
Value, bang for the buck, price to performance – whatever you want to call it, it’s a core factor to consider when scouting out the best TKL mechanical keyboard and one that steered our selection process. Here you’ll find TKL mechanical keyboards that make the most of your cash and won’t leave you nursing pangs of regret.
Alongside, we relied on more keyboard-specific attributes such as the type and feel of the mechanical switches, keycap quality, general construction quality, design, and extras like RGB back-lighting and key bindings/macros. Nothing beats spending time with a keyboard, so we did a lot of that too.
While there’s an abundance of excellent TKL mechanical keyboards out there, we managed to narrow it down to five recommendations. Read on for a review of each and brief pros and cons. For those that want guidance on what to look for when shopping for TKL mechanical keyboards, you’ll find a handy ‘Things to Consider’ section at the end.
Our Top Picks:
Whether you’re battling through a FPS or just want a better typing experience all around, check out the best TKL gaming keyboards we’ve tested below. They deliver an exemplary combination of responsiveness, features and style.
The affordability, portability and functionality is that you will purchase the Redragon K552 Kumara LED-backlit mechanical keyboard.
In terms of design, this product is a 87-key, compact gaming keyboard. This space-saving model has all the ergonomics and you need a special gaming experience. To enhance durability, the keyboard is made of ABS aircraft aluminum.
Double shot injection mold and keyboard cap. This makes the mechanical key for long-lasting and highly responsive. You will also like the bright red LED backlight of this product.
Adjustable backlighting, which allows you to customize the backlight to your liking and current lighting conditions.
It is equipped with a high-speed USB cable. The connector is a gold-plated, corrosion-resistant layer for added durability. The keyboard itself can withstand a slight liquid spill.
Buy yourself a keyboard that is truly designed to give you flexibility and portability. First of all, the product is compact and space-saving.
To save space and provide better performance, the product incorporates commands and navigation keys. In addition, the product has an integrated num pad block.
The cable management system of this product is one of the features that distinguish it from other TKL keyboards. In this regard, the product allows you to weed the woven USB connector along with the cable routing wood to enhance flexibility.
Three different types of mechanical switches are available, so you can choose the CM Storm Quickfire TK keyboard with the Cherry MX blue, brown or red button.
The Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition Chroma keyboard provides the perfect combination of durability, portability and superior functionality.
In addition to its compact design, the product features a military metal structure. With this alone, it can withstand the fall of the competition and last longer.
It is unique in that you can program its backlight key separately. In addition, it provides dynamic lighting effects that are easy to set up with Razor Synapse.
Do you want a quiet TKL mechanical keyboard? You should try the HyperX alloy FPS Pro mechanical keyboard without keyboard.
In this regard, the keyboard features a cherry MX red switch, which is known to provide silent buttons. This product is designed for FPS enthusiasts. In this regard, it provides everything you need for 87 keys.
It is light in weight, small in size and easy to carry. In terms of structure, the TKL keyboard uses a solid metal alloy frame.
So this is one of the most durable game TKL keyboards you can buy today. The keyboard is equipped with a reliable and highly responsive cherry MX mechanical key switch. For added portability, the product has a detachable USB cable.
Although the choice of a bet-type keyboardless mechanical keyboard depends primarily on the user’s preferences, it should also depend on its characteristics and functions.
In this regard, the CORSAIR K65 LUX RGB keyboard is indeed superior. First, the product offers 100% anti-ghosting and a 104-key roll USB. As a result, the product has been proven to provide reliable performance regardless of how fast you are.
Like other TKL mechanical keyboards in this guide, this product is designed to enhance durability and portability. In this respect, it features a rugged, lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum frame construction.
For an enlightened gaming experience, the product offers smooth and fast lighting as well as sophisticated macro programming.
Boost your game like a professional RGB gaming keyboard with MasterKeys. Choose accuracy, precision and performance, and don’t use more styles than the actual “fluff” and flash.
The Pro S RGB keyboard from coolmaster is made of sturdy plastic material that looks serious and is the most reliable.
TKL mechanical keyboard provides you with reliable typing services without bending or showing any bows. The primary key keyboard has a sleek layout and a durable outer casing, which is the perfect game.
MasterKeys Pros S RGB is developed for professionals and not for joes. As the name suggests, the cooler master is a software without trouble, no gimmicks.
This is a simple and straight mechanical keyboard with a solid cherry MX switch under all the keys in the Pro S board.
The plastic case on the main keypad allows the RGB LED to illuminate. The white backplane under the board switch reflects the light from the LED and diffuses the light so you can enjoy the game without being distracted by the flashing logo and bright lights.
Even better, you can save and execute macros and commands in a quick thanks to the dynamic system, which allows you to beat your opponent every time.
With the white series and combination flip technology on the primary key mechanical keyboard, you will have an accurate, efficient and anti-ghost gaming experience.
Here is a very particular model which we selected of course in the first place for its extreme compactness. Many players swear by full-width keyboards, but we still wanted to show you the advantages of a “60%”.
Yes, it is even smaller than a tenkeyless model and will therefore occupy less than 30 centimetres in width on your desk! Logically, it is also very light – less than 430 grams – and is an excellent travel companion.
Let us immediately underline its main faults. Because of its form-factor, you have to settle for 64 keys and deal with the absence of a numeric keypad.
On the other hand, Cooler Master has not neglected the effectiveness of its product thanks to Cherry MX Low Profile contactors. Their activation distance is very short and they come back very quickly in place for remarkable reactivity.
Wired / Bluetooth operation is another advantage, especially since its battery can last 1000 hours if the backlight is off. At this level, note that this gives a touch of science fiction to the product, even if the open structure of the SK621 causes “leaks” of light on the sides.
If you are looking for a serious competitive edge in gaming and intense overclocking sessions, Razer Huntsman is our best pick with the latest and heavily guarded technology to secure your winning rights in pro gaming arenas. It has top-notch linear optical switches, rugged keystroke withstand technology and easy-to-find keys when gaming.
The matte black version is a great engineering build, it has 1.0mm optical actuation along with the high-intensity lighting and colorful patterns that can be customized, saved, and re-used instantly. The LED brightness can be changed up to 5 levels from your desktop. The keyboard also has its built-in memory to save color profiles, up to 5 at a time. Users can also save multiple profiles via cloud storage.
Razer Huntsman leads ordinary mechanical keyboards through its cutting-edge optical switch technology. It uses a lightning-fast optical technology through beam-based actuation control for keystroke responses. The actuation distance for linear optical switches is about 30% shorter than other linear switches.
The keyboard is easily portable, thanks to the removable USB type-C cable slot that can easily be removed and inserted at your expense. Plug out the cable and pack it without a twist, take it anywhere without a hassle. The keycaps are made of formidable soft-touch bumps and a high-grade DoubleshotPBT material.
Filco have been around for a while now and although they are slightly harder to get your hands on they are definitely worth your time if you can find them in stock. The Ninja Majestouch-2 is my personal favourite of mine as it has great keycaps and a solid overall typing experience.
There are two variants, one with the keycap printings on the top and the other with the keycap printings on the front.
So far I have only been able to find the Filco Majestouch-2 with Cherry MX browns. These are my favourite Cherry MX switch due to their actuation force and gentle bump.
The Majestouch-2 has full N-key rollover allowing for simultaneous key pressing. The board has dedicated circuitry to the PCB which means it avoids double pressing.
This is a simple looking board but it is everything you want from a tenkeyless keyboard. It has solid build quality, the best switches on the market and looks elegant.
This compact keyboard is constructed to be easy to use when grinding away in a long game session. By focusing on the customization and comfortability, DURGOD has brought the world one of the best keyboards for gaming.
Trying to craft a tenkeyless keyboard that heightens game experience while being versatile and comfortable use may be a challenge. But it was a challenge that DURGOD was willing to take up.
The base of the keyboard is also fitted with a foldable stand. This will allow you to angle your board to the perfect angle for your optimized comfort.
Of all the amazing features when it comes to performance, there is one thing that takes the cake – the keys. The keys are quiet and responsive using high-quality Cherry MX switches.
TKL Keyboards Buying Guide
Making choices is hard, even when it comes to buying keyboards. Going after a TKL model already means you prefer this over a full-size model, but there are other things to consider in TKL models.
It’s important to note that you should always go with mechanical keyboards. Let’s all pretend that membrane keyboards don’t exist, it’s better that way.
With so many people going for peripherals with RGB, can you possibly choose one without them?
Well, yeah. If you prefer modest keyboards without extra lights or accessories, there’s always an option for you.
However, you know how amazing a well-lit keyboard looks, and it’s extra useful when you’re playing in the dark. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your taste.
To wire or not to wire
The ever-growing fight between wireless peripherals versus wired ones also makes its way through the TKL arena.
Choosing a TKL version already translates to extra space on your desk, but going wireless means a new level of movement. No wires, no unnecessary clutter, simple to understand. Many people prefer these models because most are just plug-and-play kinds of keyboard, with no latency in the corner.
However, these models tend to be a little more expensive than their wired counterparts, so take that into consideration. Wired models are perceived as more durable. Also, if you don’t own any gaming consoles, maybe a wired option will suit right for your PC.
Most professional tenkeyless keyboards will have lots of customization options for macro keys. In some models, you’ll be able to change the RGB colors, the key functions, and many more aspects. However, these models usually cost a little higher than models that don’t have a big level of customization.
The more customization options, the more expensive it usually is. So if you don’t really mind about internal customization and you just need a keyboard that can function properly, then you can find cheaper options.
Switch It Up! Understanding Mechanical, Dome, and Scissor Switches
Most higher-end gaming keyboards these days use mechanical switches, which pair each key to its own spring-loaded switch. They are designed to provide superior audio and tactile feedback. Most of these switches use so-called “MX” mechanisms from a company called Cherry, and are identified by color (MX Black, MX Brown, MX Blue, MX Red, and so on), each with a slightly different design, tweaked to provide a specific feel and sound while typing.
Which switch you want depends on what types of games you play, and what else you do with your computer. Cherry MX Black switches have the highest activation force, which makes them ideal for games in which you don’t want to have to worry about accidentally hitting a key twice. This, though, can give them a stiff feel that’s not well suited for games that require nimbler response, so for those types of titles you may prefer hair-trigger Cherry MX Red switches. If either is too extreme for you, there’s a compromise candidate in Cherry MX Brown switches: They have the same actuation force as the Red variety, but add a tactile bump to aid with typing. If you need a keyboard that can switch back and forth between hard-core gaming and traditional work tasks, this is the kind to look for.
What should I look for in a mechanical keyboard?
Here, each key has a separate switch underneath, and that has a huge benefit. Unlike the membrane, scissor or butterfly types, this one will serve longer and can be subjected to quick repairs. In some cases, it is also more comfortable.
Tenkeyless, Though Technically 14-Keyless
The optional numeric pad on the side is a matter of convenience and speed of work for some but excessive bulk for others. It might be that you actually use the side number pad often and then chopping it off is not a great idea. On the other hand, if you have little space for the mouse and often bump into objects or lift it off, the 10 keyless mechanical keyboard will have to come to the rescue. After all, it is a proper keyboard with all the functions as well, you only need to get used to typing the numbers from the row instead of the pad.
Are all mechanical keyboards the same?
Yes, you can expect these to be consistent in feel. The membrane ones often feel very different but that is due to the dissimilarities of production where the same technology is implemented by different designs.
Are mechanical keyboards better for your hands?
They are definitely bliss for long hours of work so people who type a lot will be more than happy with a mechanical model. It takes little time to get used to, and if you want to know more before you switch, read about how they differ from the regular keyboards.
The best TKL mechanical keyboards are compact and easy to use. The lack of a number pad gives the key layout more room, not only on the keyboard itself but also on your desk as well. If you are looking for an easily transportable keyboard, then a tenkeyless is the perfect option. That is why many gamers love this style of keyboard.