10+ Best 40% Mechanical Keyboards in 2024

  • Keycaps 101
  • Posted by: amy-golden
  • Oct 21, 2022

If you're looking for a compact, space-saving keyboard without sacrificing functionality, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we'll dive into 10+ Best 40% mechanical keyboards in 2023. Whether you're a minimalist enthusiast or a keyboard expert, we've got you covered. Choose top keyboards to meet your specific needs. Join us to explore amazing 40% keyboards now.

Best 40% Mechanical Keyboards – Our favorites in 2023

Before delving into the details, you can take a look at their outstanding features and prices to be able to identify a few suitable keyboards.

Model Special features Price
Ymdk Ymd40 V2 Mini Cute 40 Mechanical KeyboardYmdk ymd40 v2 mini cute 40 mechanical keyboard


  • No keycaps included
  • Get switch and layout options
  • Variety of covers
Magicforce Mini 49-Key

Magicforce mini 49-key

  • ABS keycaps
  • The keyboard features a floating-key design in profile
  • Backlighting with 11 different modes
Libra Mini 40% Acrylic Keyboard KitLibra mini 40% acrylic keyboard kit


  • Double gasket structure
  • Unique keycaps layout
  • Joystick replaces arrow keys
  • Type-C interface
MiniVan 40% Keyboard

Minivan 40% keyboard

  • Two functional classes
  • Can choose your own keyboard accessories
  • Install LED lights yourself
Vortexgear Core 40% Keyboard

Vortexgear core 40% keyboard

  • Dye sublimation printing method
  • Custom keyboard programming
  • Has CNC aluminum shell
  • The core is integrated by the manufacturer with 4 layers
Kprepublic 43 Keys 40% Custom Keyboard 

Kprepublic 43 keys 40% custom keyboard

  • Switchable RGB LED light
  • 6 RGB LED lights below
  • 7 standard ICSP interfaces
  • Programmed using QMK
  • High price
$44 (PCB only)
DIERYA DK61E 40% Gaming Keyboard

Dierya dk61e 40% gaming keyboard

  • Hot swappable design
  • Programmable 4-layer design
  • Gateron switches
  • 19 built-in lighting effects
Qisan 40% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Qisan 40% mechanical gaming keyboard

  • RGB backlighting
  • 11 lighting modes
  • Double spacebar RGB backlighting
Fintie Wireless Bluetooth KeyboardFintie wireless bluetooth keyboard
  • Super slim size
  • Can be used continuously for 230 hours
  • Connect by bluetooth
  • Can multitask
Planck EZ 40% Mechanical KeyboardPlanck ez 40% mechanical keyboard
  • RGB lighting
  • Ortholinear layout
  • QMK firmware
Redragon K585 DITI Wireless One-Handed Mechanical Keyboard
  • Wireless or wired
  • 7 Onboard Macro Keys
  • RGB effects
  • Detachable wrist rest

*Note: Price updated from September 20, 2023.

Ymdk Ymd40 V2 Mini Cute 40 Mechanical Keyboard 

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 49 keys
  • Switches: Gateron or Kailh
  • Backlighting: No
  • Keycap Material: options
  • Dimensions: 23.5*8.4*1.8 cm
  • Weight: 450g
Pros Cons
  • You can choose the type of switch and its layout
  • There are outer shells and a variety of shell designs
  • Use Kailh or Gateron switches
  • The PCB is fully programmable and supports multiple layouts
  • There are no keycaps and switch LEDs
  • USB-C to USB-C cables cannot be used
Ymdk ymd40 v2 mini cute 40 mechanical keyboard
Ymdk ymd40 v2 mini cute 40 mechanical keyboard

Ymdk Ymd40 V2 Mini Cute 40 keyboard is a basic keyboard. A typical Ymdk Ymd40 V2 Mini Cute 40 kit is designed to include: CNC cover plate, C-type PCB, PCB stabilizer, screws, rubber feet, cables and assembly. It is not equipped with switches or installed into a complete keyboard. This type of keyboard connects to the computer via USB, and does not use a wireless connection.

With this keyboard, you can customize the switches according to your preferences and design your own layout. This keyboard also offers a lot of cover options. These things help you create a unique, personal keyboard. 

Magicforce Mini 49-Key

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 49 keys
  • Switches: Gateron or Cherry MX
  • Backlighting: Snow White or Icy Blue 
  • Keycap Material: ABS keycaps
  • Dimensions: 27.4 x 8.6 x 3.3cm
  • Weight: 349g
Pros Cons
  • Compact size
  • There is background lighting with multiple lighting levels
  • Cheap price
  • Use Gateron switches
  • Doubleshot ABS keycaps
  • Lacks advanced features
  • No programming keys
  • No bluetooth connection

The Magicforce Mini 49-Key is a minimalist mechanical keyboard with a compact design and customizable backlighting. It uses ABS keycaps and Gateron or Cherry MX switches to provide a satisfying typing experience.

Magicforce mini 49-key
Magicforce mini 49-key

Furthermore, this keyboard is equipped with ABS keycaps and Gateron or Cherry MX switches, providing outstanding quality. It allows for a good typing mechanism, with just enough key travel, ensuring each stroke is precise and providing a stimulating typing experience. With a variety of switches, from flexible to heavier, Magicforce Mini 49-Key has the ability to suit a variety of preferences and typing needs.

It also has a function layer that allows you to access missing keys via the Fn key.  This makes it a convenient and portable keyboard for both work and play. However, the keyboard does not have programmable keys, which can be a deal-breaker for some users.

Libra Mini 40% Acrylic Keyboard

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 46
  • Switches: Options
  • Backlighting: No
  • Keycap Material: Options
Pros Cons
  • Design your own keyboard
  • Pro micro PCB
  • Qmk firmware all keys customizable support via
  • High quality materials
  • Assemble the keyboard yourself
  • No switches provided

Libra Mini 40% Acrylic Keyboard is also a basic keyboard with a unique design. When ordering a set of Libra Mini 40% Acrylic Keyboard you will receive Acrylic Case, Metal Positioning Plate, Split PCB, Cable Arrangement, Screws, Silicone Feet. You will have to prepare your own switches and install them yourself according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Therefore, this type of keyboard is very suitable for those who like to design their own keyboard.

Libra mini 40% acrylic keyboard kit
Libra mini 40% acrylic keyboard kit

Unlike regular keyboards, the Libra Mini 40% Acrylic Keyboard is designed as a split PCB, meaning that it is essentially two keyboards in one. It also has adjustable levers that can be used to replace the traditional arrow keys. 

Moreover, it features software-programmed PCBs that allow users to perform different actions on four different layers. This makes it a great choice for users who need to use the keyboard for long periods of time, as it can be customized to fit their individual needs.

MiniVan 40% Keyboard 

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 46 keys
  • Switches: Gateron, Matias, Cherry MX or Zealios
  • Backlighting: not available
  • Keycap Material: PBT keycaps
  • Dimensions: 27x11.5x3 cm
  • Weight: 450g
Pros Cons
  • Can choose keycaps, switches, case color and layout
  • Can add LED lights to the keyboard
  • Compatible with many types of switches
  • Programming by PCB is allowed
  • The layout is difficult to use and takes time to adapt to
  • Install the keyboard yourself
  • Keycaps and switches are not provided

Like other self-adjusting keyboards, MiniVan 40% keyboard only provides CNC cover, PCB, stabilizer and padding. It is also equipped with a multi-compatible circuit board, so you can freely choose switches and keycaps to your liking. This creates a unique and personal typing experience.

Minivan 40% keyboard
Minivan 40% keyboard

Although it only has 40% of the number of keys compared to a standard keyboard, Minivan still offers a great typing experience thanks to its smart layout design and high customization capabilities. Therefore, the MiniVan 40% keyboard is an ideal choice for those who travel frequently while still achieving productivity.

Vortexgear Core 40% Keyboard

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 47 keys
  • Switches: Cherry MX switches
  • Backlighting: RGB Backlit
  • Keycap Material: PBT DSA keycaps
  • Dimensions: 29.49 x 3.81 x 8.2 cm
  • Weight: 579g
Pros Cons
  • Aluminum Frame
  • PBT keycaps
  • 4 Programmable layers
  • Different Cherry MX options
  • No backlighting
  • Space bar is not programmable

We love the Vortexgear Core 40% keyboard since it‘s under $100 with an aluminum frame and decent-quality PBT keycaps. Moreover, this best 40% mechanical keyboard provides us with a convenient removable USB cord and rubber stands.

You are allowed to choose the most suitable Cherry MX switches for this keyboard. And, if you want to customize the layout, the key-programming function will aid you with that. However, that does not include the space bar key, which is a miss.

How about listening to the typing sound of the Votexgear Core 40% keyboard with the video below?

Kprepublic 43 Keys 40% Custom Keyboard 

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 43 keys
  • Switches: MX stem switches
  • Backlighting: 6 RGB LEDs 
  • Keycap Material: BM43 keycaps
Pros Cons
  • 6 RGB LED lights below
  • There may be a hot-swappable option
  • Components such as switches, keycaps, and layout can be customized
  • No accessories included
  • Install the keyboard yourself
  • Expensive
  • May not be as widely available as mainstream keyboards

Do you want to create your own keyboard? Kprepublic 43 Keys 40% Custom Keyboard is a great choice for you. All you get when you order it is just a PCB. Therefore, you can customize the color and layout of keycaps and switches according to personal preferences.

Kprepublic bm43a 43 keys 40% custom keyboard
Kprepublic bm43a 43 keys 40% custom keyboard

Kprepublic 43 Keys 40% Custom Keyboard is made entirely of plastic but still ensures durability. Despite its compact size, this keyboard has large keycaps and six RGB LEDs on the PCB, giving it a unique appearance. It is fully programmable with four layers of programming via QMK firmware, making it a great option for those looking for a custom and wired keyboard.

DIERYA DK61E 60% Gaming Keyboard 

  • Size: 60%
  • Number of keys: 61 keys
  • Switches: Gateron switches
  • Backlighting: RGB lighting
  • Keycap Material: Double-shot PBT keycaps
  • Dimensions: 29.2x10.1 x 4.2 cm
  • Weight: 779.9g
Pros Cons
  • Hot swappable
  • Supports both 3-pin or 5-pin mechanical switches
  • Waterproof circuit board (IPX4)
  • Double-shot PBT keycaps
Wired connection

Although DIERYA DK61E is a 60% keyboard, we still want to introduce it to you. Because this keyboard has all the advantages that a keyboard should have.

Dierya dk61e 60% gaming keyboard
Dierya dk61e 60% gaming keyboard

The most important advantage is, DIERYA DK61 has an IPX4 certified waterproof circuit board, providing comfort when used and without the fear of spilling drinks on the keyboard. With an ergonomic design, long-term use does not cause fatigue.

The keyboard comes with glossy PBT keycaps and does not cause a sticky feeling. Gateron switches support 50 million clicks, ensuring durability and can be replaced according to preference. The keys are designed in 4 layers to allow customization of advanced features as well as function keys through the DIERYA DK61E driver.

Overall, DIERYA DK61 not only meets the needs of gamers but is also suitable for all keyboard enthusiasts.

Qisan 40% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 49 keys
  • Switches: Gateron green switches
  • Backlighting: RGB lighting
  • Keycap Material: ABS keycaps
  • Dimensions: 27 x 8 x 2.7 cm 
  • Weight: 545g
Pros Cons
  • Cheap price
  • Many different functions
  • Nice and sufficient design
  • Removable micro USB for convenience
  • Attractive "floating key" design
  • Doesn’t work with Bluetooth
  • No programming function
  • Cheap and thin ABS keycaps

Qisan 40% mechanical keyboard deserves a place in this list of the best 40 percent mechanical keyboards. You won’t pay over $40 for it which is the main point. The blue backlit can be changed up to 11 modes. And, there is a double spacebar, which is useful for gaming.

Qisan 40% gaming keyboard- best 40% keyboards
Qisan 40% gaming keyboard

This keyboard lacks programming ability, so the maker made up for it by adding extra keys. Hence, the layout is quite nice and easier to use at first than other 40% keyboards. The ABS keycaps are expected for a keyboard at this price, but the frame is from strong aluminum. 

But, if you want to change the ABS keycaps to the better-quality PBT ones, we have here a compile of the 21 best keycap sets to rock your keyboard’s outlook.

Fintie Wireless Bluetooth keyboard

  • Size:40%
  • Number of keys: 60 keys
  • Backlighting: Color changing led lights
  • Keycap Material: High quality ABS
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12,6 x 0.6 cm
  • Weight: 181.4g
Pros Cons
  • Compatible with both Android and IOS operating systems
  • Long usage time
  • Bluetooth connection, use within 10m
  • Has an auto-sleep feature
  • Super thin and light
  • LED light 
  • Not a mechanical keyboard
  • For use with tablets only

The Fintie Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard is an ultra-thin device that saves space on your desk. It connects easily via Bluetooth and allows users to use it within a range of 10m. This keyboard also has a quick switch button between three different devices, very convenient for multitaskers.

Fintie ultrathin wireless bluetooth keyboard
Fintie ultrathin wireless bluetooth keyboard

On the other hand, Fintie wireless bluetooth keyboard also stands out with its long battery life and rechargeability, allowing users to use it continuously for 230 hours.

In addition, Fintie Ultrathin is equipped with multimedia function keys, helping to conveniently control music and videos. Overall, this is a flexible and convenient keyboard that serves both work and entertainment effectively.

Planck EZ 40% Mechanical Keyboard

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 47 keys
  • Switches: Cherry MX switches or Kailh switches
  • Backlighting:  RGB backlighting
  • Keycap Material: Dye-sub PBT
  • Dimensions: 23.37 x 8.13 x 3.3 cm
  • Weight: 510g
Pros Cons
  • Equipped with hot swappable switches
  • Different switch choices
  • Programmable
  • Features ergonomic design
  • Short cable
  • The price is relatively high
  • Comes with a short cable, which may limit placement options

The price of Planck EZ 40% may shock you at over $200, but we cannot opt it out of the 2022 best 40 percent mechanical keyboards. You are able to remap the key layout thanks to QMK firmware, so have fun customizing it to your needs. Besides, it’s a hot-swappable keyboard, making it easy to change the switches if you prefer something different from Kailh or Cherry MX.

Planck ez 40% mechanical keyboard
Planck ez 40% mechanical keyboard

The minor problem, the short wired cord, can be forgiven if you consider the great quality of this keyboard. Sturdy and stable keycaps that produce a great feel on your fingers. Robust and smooth switches that respond as how you want them to be.

Redragon K585 DITI Wireless One-Handed Mechanical Keyboard

  • Size: 40%
  • Number of keys: 42 keys
  • Switches: Outemu switches
  • Backlighting: RGB backlighting
  • Keycap Material: Double-shot ABS
  • Dimensions: 26.1 x 21.5 cm
  • Weight: 610g
Pros Cons
  • Long battery life
  • Programmable key
  • Full RGB backlighting
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Wireless connection
  • Uncomfortable spacebar key’s position
  • Require learning curve 
  • The software is only available to Windows users
  • Less robust build quality

The Redragon K585 keyboard can be used in two ways, wired and wireless connections. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about hitting 0% in wireless mode thanks to the powerful battery. But, turning on the RGB effect will consume the energy much faster so be careful.

Redragon k585 keyboard - best 40% keyboards
Redragon k585 keyboard

For a 40% keyboard, the ability to program is quite important since there is a lack of keys. That is why the 7 onboard macro keys of the Redragon K585 are of great help to users. However, we agree the spacebar is placed in a kinda weird place. That is when key programming comes into action.

Curious about how this 40% one-handed keyboard works? Let’s watch this video to find out.

What is a 40% Mechanical Keyboard?

40 percent keyboard standard layout - best 40% keyboards
40 percent keyboard standard layout

A full-sized keyboard has about 104 keys while a mini-sized 40 percent keyboard usually has around 47 - 49 keys and no number row, arrow cluster, or punctuation keys. This means an ultra-compact layout takes up over 40% of a normal keyboard, resulting in its name - 40% keyboard. They are designed to be more compact and portable, but also require more layers and shortcuts to access all the functions.

How do 40% keyboards work?

Pearl 40% r2 keyboard - best 40% keyboards
Pearl 40% r2 keyboard

What do we do when we need to type a number on this keyboard? If that is your worry, don’t be so. In order to help you freely use numbers or arrows, a 40% keyboard uses layer design to aid that problem.

The layout of characters you see on the keycaps is the first layer. Numbers, arrows, and special marks are in the second layer. To activate the keys on the second layer, you will need to hold two keys at the same time. It’s similar to how you produce a capital A by holding shift and A.

To fully get how a 40% keyboard works, watch this video below.

Pros and Cons of 40% Mechanical Keyboards

Pros Cons
  • Compact size, saves working space
  • High mobility
  • Many keyboards support custom keycaps and switches
  • Keyboard can be programmed
  • Requires users to memorize and access sub-layers
  • Some functions are limited
  • Not suitable for all use cases

Small footprint

Compact design of 40% keyboards
Compact design of 40% keyboards

As its name suggests, the 40% keyboard has a compact layout with only 40% of the keys found on a standard full-size keyboard. This minimalist design provides an ideal space-saving solution for users who want to maximize desk space, allowing you to organize and use other items on the desk. Despite its smaller size, the 40% keyboard still maintains the keyboard's inherent functionality through layers of keys and shortcuts, making it a popular choice for many people.


The keyboard's 40% affordability is one of its main advantages. These keyboards tend to be more budget-friendly than larger keyboards. The reduced number of keys and compact design often lead to lower manufacturing costs, which is reflected in the price tag. This affordability makes the 40% keyboard an attractive option for users looking for a functional keyboard at meeting price.


Due to its compact design and reduced number of keys, the 40% keyboard is easy to carry around. This makes it a great choice for users who travel frequently, such as digital nomads, students, or professionals who frequently work in different locations.

Better typing efficiency

40% keyboards have better typing efficiency
40% keyboards have better typing efficiency

The 40% keyboard offers improved typing efficiency for power users with its compact layout. Despite the reduced number of keys, experienced users can take advantage of customizable key layers and shortcuts. This allows quick access to different functions without having to navigate through multiple layers or reach for distant keys. Additionally, reducing the hand movement required to reach the keys can potentially result in faster and more accurate typing.


The comfortability of a 40% keyboard largely depends on the user's preferences and typing habits. 

For individuals who are accustomed to and comfortable with the 40% layout, it can provide a more ergonomic typing experience. Due to its compact size, a 40% keyboard allows users to keep their hands closer together, potentially reducing strain and fatigue during extended typing sessions. 

However, for users who are used to the full-sized layout, transitioning to a 40% keyboard may initially feel less comfortable.

Connectivity Technology

40% wireless keyboards
40% wireless keyboards

40% keyboards use a variety of connection methods. Most commonly, it uses a wired connection, connecting directly to the device via a USB cable, helping to ensure a stable connection during use. In addition, about 40% of keyboards also provide wireless connections, often using Bluetooth technology. This provides greater flexibility in keyboard placement, reduces clutter, and allows for multi-device connectivity. In certain cases, some 40% keyboards even offer hybrid connectivity, providing the flexibility to switch between wired and wireless modes based on user preference.


40% keyboards are usually made from high quality materials so they are quite durable. These keyboards are also often equipped with switches from reputable brands such as Gateron, Kailh or Cherry MX with tens of millions of keystrokes. Besides, the keys and keyboard covers are often made from quality materials, such as PBT or ABS, which help prevent wear and ensure high durability over time. In addition, the keyboard has a sturdy structure, reinforced keycaps and solid electrical circuits, so it usually has a long lifespan.

How to choose the best 40% Mechanical Keyboard?

Qisan 40% gaming keyboard - best 40% keyboards
Qisan 40% gaming keyboard

There are certain factors you need to consider before buying a 40 percent keyboard. Let’s dive right into them.


Since this type of keyboard is small and compact, it does not ask for a lot of key switches. Thus, you should not spend more than $100 to get a good keyboard. But, of course, some keyboards may be over $100 due to brand name or extra functions. You are free to pay more if you prefer those factors.

Switch options

A right switch will give you a comfortable typing feel and long longevity. That is why picking out good switches is essential. Currently, Cherry MX is the top dog of the switch market, meaning the price is higher than most brands out there, but it’s worth the money.

Keycap quality

You interact directly with the keycaps, so it’s best to have keycaps from good materials. Put this on your mind. PBT keycaps are better than ABS since they will last longer and feel better. We have here a compile of the 21 best keycap sets for you to rock your keyboard’s outlook, so don’t miss out. 

Moreover, if you are into beautiful artisan keycaps of high quality, visit our Hirosart collections to find the one that will certainly light up your keyboard, just like the interstellar spacebar below.

Interstella artisan spacebar keycap - best 40% keyboards
hirosart interstella artisan spacebar keycap


A lot of people love to have lighting coming from under the keycaps. We call this backlighting. Honestly, this is not a necessary function, but it surely brings more fun to your typing time.

Keyboard Layout

There are different keyboard layouts, and you should choose the one that is familiar to you. The three main layouts are QWERTY, QWERTZ, and AZERTY. Or, some countries have specific keyboard layouts.

  • The most common layout for 40% keyboards is the ortholinear layout, which has keys aligned in a grid pattern instead of the staggered pattern found in traditional keyboards. This may take some time to get used to, but some users find it more ergonomic and efficient.
  • Another popular layout for 40% keyboards is the split layout, which divides the keyboard into two halves that can be positioned independently. This allows for more flexibility and customization of the typing angle and distance, which can reduce wrist strain and improve posture.
  • Some 40% keyboards also have a thumb cluster, which is a group of keys placed near the spacebar that can be accessed by the thumb. This can increase the functionality and convenience of the keyboard, as the thumb can perform more actions than just pressing the spacebar.

The choice of keyboard layout depends on personal preference and typing habits. Some users may prefer a more familiar and standard layout, while others may enjoy a more unique and minimalist layout. The best way to find out which layout suits you best is to try them out yourself or watch some reviews online.


It will take some time to get familiar with typing on an ultra-compact keyboard that is less than 50 keys. However, when you master it, you may find it decently convenient and useful.

In this article, we have some best 40% mechanical keyboards for you to have a reference. Pick one carefully as it will stay with you for quite a long time.


Are 40% keyboards good for gaming?

Since most games won’t ask you to use all the keys on the standard keyboard, a 40% keyboard is a good choice. You can access all the necessary keys much faster and easier with a limited layout.

Are 40% keyboards good for typing?

It depends. Typing on a 40% keyboard is faster and less fatigued for sure. However, the minimal layout will need time to get used to and it’s quite annoying for those who need to use function keys most of the time.

Are 40% keyboards good for programming?

We won’t recommend a 40% keyboard for those who prioritize programming comfort. As you need to use symbol keys like an exclamation mark or a number sign a lot, 2 or 3 layers to get them is irritating in some way.

Are 40% keyboards cheap?

Most of the best 40% mechanical keyboards will fall from $40 to $100. However, some exceptions go over $150. In short, they can be cheap, as well as very expensive.

What is the best 40% keyboard for gaming?

For the best gaming experience, we recommend fast-responding keyboards like Redragon K585 DITI.

What is the best 40% keyboard for typing?

The best 40% keyboards for typing would be Vortexgear Core 40% and Planck EZ 40%, since they are both stable and reliably strong to type on.


I work as a freelance blogger in Seattle, Washington. I've been freelancing full-time for 5 years. I'm interested in anime, resin art, and mechanical keyboards.