Mechanical keyboards have seen a surge in popularity thanks to their adoption by some of the top streamers on Twitch such as Tfue, Ninja and more.
Many gaming peripheral manufacturers have started to design 60% keyboards alongside their standard full size and tenkeyless keyboards. But with so many new 60% keyboards to choose from, how do you know which is best?
I am going to select the best 60% keyboard for each budget and outline their pros and cons so that by the end of this review you will know exactly which one suits your needs.
2 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a 60% Mechanical Keyboard
Presumably, if you have ended up here you know this already, but you need to be aware of the difference in size that a 60% keyboard brings.
It may come as no surprise that a 60% mechanical keyboard is 60% of the size of a full-size standard keyboard that you are used to.
The Missing Arrow Keys & Numpad
If like me, you can’t live without arrow keys then a 60% mechanical keyboard might not be for you. Due to the size of these keyboards, they don’t have dedicated arrow keys meaning you usually have to press a combination of buttons to get arrow functionality. Usually this is under the FN key plus I, J, K, L or W, A, S, D.
If you plan to use your 60% for work and play, hopefully, you don’t use the Numpad either since there isn’t one. Be aware of this before purchasing one.
An alternative solution is to look at Tenkeyless mechanical keyboards. You can check a list of the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards here.
What are the Benefits of 60% Mechanical Keyboards?
If you have your heart set on a 60% keyboard you can skip onto the review section but for those of you still on the fence lets take a look at why these smaller mechanical keyboards have become so popular.
The biggest advantage of using a 60% mechanical keyboard over a full-size keyboard is the amount of desk space you save.
If you find yourself banging your mouse into the side of your keyboard while gaming then you feel my pain. Full-size keyboards take up a lot of real estate on your desk so unless you really need the Numpad or arrow keys you can get rid of them and it provides much more freedom.
Secondly, 60% keyboards are much more portable which makes it much easier to transport your peripherals. They fit snuggly in most standard-sized backpacks, unlike your regular full-size keyboards.
Best 60% Mechanical Keyboards
Picking your keyboard isn’t easy, that is why I have broken down the best 60% mechanical keyboards into separate categories so that you can find the one that suits you best.
Best Overall 60% Mechanical Keyboard - Ducky One 2 Mini
The king of 60% mechanical keyboards. The Ducky One 2 sits at the top because of its great typing experience, keycaps and height adjustability. It also maintains bright & vibrant RGB and macro functionality.
The Ducky One 2 Mini is the most well known 60% mechanical keyboard and for good reason, it does everything you would want from a small form keyboard.
Ducky is known for their build quality and although the Ducky One 2 Mini is made from plastic the keyboard is durable and feels like a quality product.
This is proven all across the board, the case is strong, the keycaps are PBT high quality with defined legends and the switches feel great.
Switches & Stabilisers
The Ducky One 2 Mini uses standard Cherry MX switches and comes in a variety of options. You can choose from Cherry reds, blacks, browns, blues, silvers and silent reds. So whatever your preference of switch you will find something that suits you.
If you are unsure about what switch to get then check out my Cherry MX Switch Guide that will take you through each and includes the sounds of each switch.
Overall Cherry MX switches are the standard across most gaming keyboards. They offer a great variety of tactile and linear switches which are high quality and provide a nice premium typing experience.
You might not care for how your mechanical keyboard sounds but you would be surprised just how much the case and stabilisers can make your keyboard feel and sound much nicer to type on.
So how does the Ducky One 2 sound?
The stabilisers are really good and have minimal rattle which definitely improves the sounds of the keyboard. The PBT keycaps also help make the keyboard sound more premium even though it has a plastic case.
The Ducky One 2 Mini comes with a host of different features aside from its great build quality. There are multiple RGB lighting modes available which can be easily cycled through using the keyboard shortcuts FN + ALT.
You can save individual profiles (up to 6) and even customise each key to be the colour you want. The RGB brightness and speed can be customised to be brighter and slower or vice versa.
The connection is USB-C which is nice to see Ducky keeping their boards up to date with modern interfacing. The cable is detachable allowing for easy transportation and allows you the option of replacing the cable for a customised one to match your keyboard and mouse aesthetics.
Ducky’s keycaps are some of the best you can get. The Ducky One 2 Mini comes with doubleshot PBT keycaps with laser engraved legends. This means they won’t get that shiny look you often see with ABS keycaps or maybe you recognise it from the keyboard you currently own.
You also get a random colour of extra keycaps along with the board that look really nice. I got purple ones with my unit and they pop nicely next to the black caps. Unfortunately the RGB doesn’t shine through them though.
Using the FN button opens up the second layer of functions including media keys, arrow keys F row and more. The windows key can also be disabled so that you don’t need to worry about fat fingering it in-game.
There are dip switches on the base of the keyboard which allow you to switch up where the FN button is.
The Ducky One 2 Mini also has two adjustable heights thanks to its 2 height options on the feet. The feet themselves are also rubber-tipped to help with grip to avoid any movement while gaming.
Finally, there is full macro functionality on the Ducky One 2 and the manual explains it really nicely which a lot of keyboards seem to struggle with. You can follow the instructions to create a mute shortcut or to re-assign a key such as B to Q for example.
Start by using Fn + ALT + TAB and recording will start, then perform your macro you want to record and finish by pressing Fn + ALT for one second.
The options are there for you to play around with, the Ducky One 2 Mini provides an insane amount of customisation to allow you to create the perfect 60% to meet your needs.
The Ducky One 2 mini is the best 60% mechanical keyboard you can get right now and it has been the king for a few years now.
Ducky continue to make some of the best gaming keyboards. If you can afford the higher price tag compared to some of the others on this list then this is your number 1 option.
Best Budget 60% Mechanical Keyboard Under $100 - Anne Pro 2
The Anne Pro 2 is the best budget 60% mechanical keyboard you can get right now. With the best typing experience thanks to the Gateron & Kailh switches you can’t go wrong here.
Another hot favourite 60% mechanical keyboard is the Anne Pro 2 and for good reason. It provides excellent value for money while still looking sharp with bright RGB.
The Anne Pro 2 is slightly smaller than the Ducky One 2 Mini but has the same keys so you actually save a few more mm on your desk.
The case is all plastic but doesn’t creek or bend when squeezed which is something you will find with the Ducky One 2 Mini. This is nitpicking though.
Switches & Stabilisers
The Anne Pro 2 comes in a wide range of switch types. You can choose between all three mainstream switch manufacturers, Cherry, Gateron and Kailh. I have already tackled Cherry MX switches here so I won’t go into more detail on them.
You can get the Anne Pro 2 in Cherry MX reds, browns and blues.
Gateron switches are visually very similar to Cherry MX switches, they have the a similar stem and leaf and also come in the same colour variants as Cherry MX switches.
You can get the Anne Pro 2 in Gateron red, brown and blues.
Lastly, the Anne Pro 2 is also available with Kailh box switches which are different in appearance and feel compared to Gateorn and Cherry.
They have a box around the stem of the switch which was supposed to be designed to catch any liquid that might spill onto the switches to try and save your component internals.
Which switch type is best?
Overall I recommend either Gateron or Kailh switches. I have found from my testing that Gateron switches tend to be smoother and have less wobble compared to Cherry MX Switches.
They also have less switch ping which is a high pitched pinging noise of the spring inside the switch housings.
As for Kailh switches they have a really nice typing feel to them and I think the sound they make is pleasant.
Moving on over to the acoustics and stabilisers, the Anne Pro 2 stabilisers blew me away with how they sounded. The stabilisers are the best out of any keyboard on this list from the copies I tested.
This is quite surprising considering the cost of the Anne Pro 2. Usually the more expensive keyboards have better stabilisers and an aluminium case. An aluminium case often makes a keyboard sound more premium but the stabilisers make or break a keyboard.
You can have the best case in the world but if your stabilisers are rattling then it really degrades the quality of the keyboard.
One of the stand out features the Anne Pro 2 has over the other 60% mechanical keyboards on this list is that it offers Bluetooth. It can be used for up to 8 hours wirelessly which is a great feature to have if you don’t always want to be at your desk. Bluetooth is really easy to setup and can be turned on using the switch on the base and using a shortcut on the keyboard.
Similar to the Ducky One 2 Mini, the Anne Pro 2 has a full FN layer which opens up a range of different keys such as home, end, delete, insert and arrow keys. One additional feature with the Anne Pro 2 is that by default if you tap right shift, FN, FN2 and right control independently they act as arrow keys.
So it’s almost as though you have arrow keys just that those keys serve two functions. The one downside of this though is that I found myself accidentally moving my cursor up and down, left and right when I didn’t mean to.
This can be done on the Ducky One 2 Mini too but it requires you to create a macro and record each key. It’s nice to see this out of the box with the Anne Pro 2.
There are no adjustable feet on the Anne Pro 2 but the keyboard is angled slightly. Its around the same angle if you were to use the smaller feet on the Ducky One 2 Mini.
The keycaps are PBT which is good but the legends are not nearly as crisp compared to the Ducky One 2 Mini. There are some inconsistencies between the keys but they are only noticeable if you are really looking. Overall for the price they keycaps are great.
There is a detachable red USB C cable, not sure why they made it red and not white. You also get some free multi coloured blank keycaps to help customise the look of the board a little bit.
Just like the Ducky One 2 Mini, the Anne Pro 2 has full RGB backlighting. You get a range of different lighting modes that can be configured using the FN + 9 keys. FN2+0 turns the backlightng on and off.
Compared to the Ducky One 2 Mini though, the RGB on the Anne Pro 2 isn’t as saturated and bright.
One downside of the Anne Pro 2 is that every time you turn on your PC you have to turn on your keyboard unless you have your PC BIOS to set to power your peripherals when its on standby.
This is one thing the Ducky One 2 Mini has a big advantage on.
The Anne Pro 2 can be customised and remapped much more easily than the Ducky One 2 Mini and has more customisation options available to it through the its Obrin software.
You can remap individual keys really easily just by clicking on a key in the software and re-assigning it to something else.
For example, if you never use caps lock why not change it to something more useful like backspace? This makes it much easier to delete characters using your left hand instead of reaching.
You can make the Anne Pro 2 completely your own through the use of the software. There is also a fun feature that will sync the lights up on your board with the music you are listening to. A bit of a novelty but I like the attention to detail.
Overall the Anne Pro 2 is the best budget 60% mechanical keyboard you can get right now. It has a huge range of features and provides an excellent typing experience with solid RGB. I would highly recommend trying out the Kailh box or Gateron switches.
Best 60% Mechanical Keyboard For RGB - Vortex Pok3r RGB
The most premium board on the list. A solid aluminium case and steel plate make the POK3R feel very solid. Amazing RGB with great customisation options. Typing experience could be better.
The Vortex Pok3r RGB by Vortexgear is a greatly underrated 60% mechanical keyboard. I tested this board out for a few weeks and was really impressed particularly by the aluminium case, RGB lighting and overall premium feel. If you prefer to watch video reviews then check out the video below on my YouTube channel.
Switches & Stabilisers
The Vortex Pok3r comes has similar switch options as the Ducky One 2 Mini. This includes Cherry MX black, brown, blue, red, nature white, silver, silent black and silent red.
The stabilisers however were my least favourite out of the three main boards. They had the most rattle out of any of them which is a shame because the Pok3r is the most expensive keyboard here.
It also has an aluminium case so if they fixed the stabilisers then the keyboard would sound so much better and potentially be the number 1 keyboard on the list. Typing on any key that doesn’t have a stabiliser sounds fantastic, it sounds the best out of the three thanks to the steel plate and aluminium case.
However, like I said earlier, it doesn’t matter how nice the case is if the stabilisers aren’t equally as good.
Overall there is a nice range of switches to choose from and the keyboard does sound nice when using the keys without stabilisers.
The Vortex Pok3r is most premium keyboard on the list mainly due to its aluminium case. The case makes the board much heavier and in general makes it feel stronger and higher quality. There is also a white steel plate which improves the acoustics of the keyboard and makes the RGB pop.
It has the best RGB of any 60% mechanical keyboard I have tested. There are a range of different RGB modes to cycle through and the rainbow effect looks amazing in particular and is the one I use most often.
As expected there is a FN layer which gives you access to delete, insert, home, end and your arrow keys.
The Pok3r also provides you the option of making the bottom right keys your arrow keys if you prefer that compared to using the FN key.
Just like the other keyboards there is a detachable USB cable but this time its micro USB and not USB-C.
There are no adjustable feet on the Pok3r which is a shame considering the price tag. This is something I really like about the Ducky One 2 Mini.
There are dip switches on the bottom on the board which allows you to switch out the caps lock for the FN key. You can switch the FN and PN keys which are used to play around with the additional layers.
The keycaps are doubleshot ABS keycaps, so they are not PBT keycaps like you get on the Ducky One 2 Mini and Anne Pro 2. ABS vs PBT is a personal preference thing but be aware that ABS keycaps can get that shine effect after long term use.
As for programmability, the Pok3r has 3 different layers you can customise to your own preference. The layers can be used to record macros and set your RGB mode. There is per key RGB lighting and the usual cycle RGB options.
The brightness and speed of the cycle modes can all be configured too but if you increase the brightness too far the colours start to look white.
Macros are recorded using the FN button and selecting a layer. To enter programming mode you press the FN and CTRL key and then select the key you want to program. Then type in what you want to use as a macro and press the Menu button to confirm. Finally you press the FN and CTRL keys to finish.
The programming is really easy to use which I appreciate as sometimes these 60% keyboards make it really complicated.
All in all the Pok3r RGB is a top-end premium feeling 60% mechanical keyboard. It provides a nice typing experience but with slightly rattly stabilisers. The RGB is the best here so if you are all about the lights then this should be your pick.
Anne Pro 2
Overall the Ducky One 2 Mini is the best 60% mechanical keyboard. It offers everything you would want including great RGB, customisation, coloured keycaps and a solid typing experience. The Anne Pro 2 is a good alternative especially if you are on a budget.
It has the best range of switches to choose from and the software makes it really simple to customise. The Poker RGB is a very premium board and has excellent RGB. The stabilisers on my copy were a little rattly but overall it’s a great keyboard.