15 Best Tenkeyless (TKL) Mechanical Keyboards [2023]

  • Brand Updates
  • Posted by: amy-golden
  • Oct 17, 2022

When a Numpad becomes unnecessary for everyday use, how about taking a look at this list of 15 best TKL mechanical keyboards to find a better replacement for the standard keyboard layout?

TKL stands for tenkeyless, which means that the keyboard does not have a number pad on the right side. TKL keyboards are also great for gaming, as they offer more space for your mouse and allow you to position your hands more comfortably.

Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards

To help you narrow down your choices, here are some of the best TKL mechanical keyboards that you can find online:

Switches Number of keys Wired or Wireless Price
Durgod Taurus K320 Cherry MX switches 81 wired $162
Ducky One 2 TKL Cherry MX switches 87 wired $135
Drop CTRL Halo switches, Cherry MX switches,

Kaihua switches

87 wired $200
GMMK TKL Hot Swap Edition Gateron Brown switches 87 wired $109.95
HyperX Alloy Origins Core HyperX mechanical switches 87 wired $100
WASD Code V3 Cherry MX switches 87 wired $175
Varmilo VA87M Cherry MX switches 87 wired $166.37
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL OmniPoint switches 84 wired $189.99
Keychron K8 Gateron G Pro mechanical switches.

Gateron optical switches

87 wired and wireless $72.10
Tecware Phantom Outemu switches 87 wired $45.99
Logitech G Pro X GX mechanical switches 87 wired $149.99
iKBC CD87 Cherry MX switches 87 wired $76.99
Realforce R2 TKL Topre Electrostatic Capacitive Silent switches 87 wired $226.00
Razer Huntsman TE Razer linear optical switch 87 wired $69.99
Corsair K63 Wireless Cherry MX Red switches 87 wired and wireless $79.99

Note that the price list is for reference only. It will change depending on the time you look at it due to the sellers’ and manufacturers’ promotions.

Durgod Taurus K320: Best TKL for Typing

Durgod Taurus K320 Keyboard
Durgod Taurus K320 Keyboard
Features:

  • Detachable USB-C cable
  • Media control hotkeys
Pros:

  • Programmable keys
  • Different Cherry MX switch choices
  • Good build design
  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • Buttery smooth typing
Cons:

  • No backlighting
  • High latency
  • A few special features

The first best TKL mechanical keyboard we want to introduce is Durgod Taurus K320 keyboard. Our first impression is its high-quality solid build with PBT keycaps, making it last for a long time even with rough handling. Besides, the keyboard has five stable rubber feet to prevent the keyboard from running or sliding when it is typed fast or heavy.

If your first priority is the typing experience, the Durgod Taurus will be your excellent choice. You can pick out your favorite switch types from the Cherry MX lineups with this keyboard, ranging from regular lineups to Silent variants.

However, we won’t recommend this TKL keyboard for those who are into fast-paced games since the latency is a little bit higher than regular gaming keyboards. In addition, it does not go with the backlighting and has fewer extra features than other best tenkeyless keyboards.

Ducky One 2 TKL: Best TKL mechanical keyboard for typing

Ducky One 2 TKL Keyboard
Ducky One 2 TKL Keyboard
Features:

  • Detachable USB-C cable
  • 1000Hz polling rate
  • 3-level angle keyboard leg
  • RGB light effects
  • N-key or 6-Key Rollover
Pros:

  • Programmable keys
  • Different switch choices
  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • Excellent typing feels
Cons:

  • Hard to adjust RGB effects

Another best tenkeyless mechanical keyboard for typing is Ducky One 2 TKL keyboard. This keyboard has a great build with a plastic body and PBT keycaps. It also has solid stands that can be adjusted the angle, so you can choose the incline angle you prefer for ultimate typing feels.

There is a backlighting version and a non-backlighting keyboard for you to choose from. Regarding the keyboard with backlit, you will have the freedom to customize the effect with Ducky RGB Software, as well as control the level of brightness.

Typing on the Ducky One 2 TKL is smooth and stable thanks to the high-end PBT keycaps. Moreover, you can choose your favorite typing preferences among Cherry MX selections. Unlike the candidate above, the latency of Ducky One 2 TKL is good enough so you won’t meet the lagging issue.

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See the beautiful backlit of the Ducky here.

Drop CTRL: Best Hot-Swappable TKL Mechanical Keyboard

Drop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard
Drop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard
Features:

  • QMK software for customization
  • Two USB type-C cables
  • Customizable RGB backlit and underlighting
Pros:

  • Aluminum frame
  • PBT keycaps
  • A lot of switch choices
  • Hot-swappable
  • Low latency
Cons:

  • No wrist rest

If you prefer a hot-swappable keyboard for easy switch customization, we have Drop CTRL keyboard in our list of best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards. With a top-grade aluminum body and PBT keycaps, this keyboard is truly well-made that lasts for a long time.

On top of that, it has many different variants with different types of switches, which are Halo, Kaihua, and Cherry MX switches. Furthermore, they come with hot-swap sockets, so you don’t need soldering to change them.

This keyboard also has its own QMK firmware. Hence, you can customize the RGB backlighting and program the keys to meet your daily needs. What’s more? The latency is nicely low, meaning you will rarely suffer from the low responding issues.

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GMMK TKL Hot Swap Edition: Best hot-swappable TKL keyboard

GMMK 85 TKL Keyboard
GMMK 85 TKL Keyboard
Features:

  • USB-C connector
  • 16.8 million color RGB backlight
  • Adjustable built-in stands
Pros:

  • Good keyboard build
  • Hot-swappable
  • Customizable RGB effects
Cons:

  • ABS keycaps
  • High latency

We cannot forget to mention GMMK TKL Hot Swap Edition keyboard in our list of best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards in 2022. It is a hot-swappable keyboard, so you can easily pull in and out the switches to customize the keyboard as you want, provided that they are Cherry MX-style switches.

Besides, this keyboard is well-made with able-to-change-angle legs, so it is not only sturdy but also flexible for your typing experience. However, they use ABS keycaps which are quite shiny after a long time, but you can change them to the better ones. If you do not know what keycaps to choose, read the article here for full detail.

Apart from that, GMMK TKL is pre-built with Gateron Brown, which is an excellent tactile switch with top-class smooth typing. Despite all the good parts about this keyboard, the latency is quite high, making it not a perfect keyboard for a well-balanced gaming experience.

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HyperX Alloy Origins Core: Best Mid-Range TKL For Gaming

HyperX Alloy Origins Core Keyboard
HyperX Alloy Origins Core Keyboard
Features:

  • Detachable cable
  • Onboard memory for 3 profiles
  • HyperX NGENUITY software
Pros:

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body
  • Individual backlit customization
  • 100% anti-ghosting
  • Three different HX switches to pick from
Cons:

  • Customization software only compatible with Windows
  • ABS keycaps

If an expensive keyboard is not a feasible choice at the moment, we believe HyperX Alloy Origins Core gaming keyboard is the best mid-range tenkeyless mechanical keyboard for you. The price is quite a bargain for a keyboard made of world-class aluminum. Furthermore, the overall quality, ranging from typing feels to in-built software, is outstanding.

It has two incline legs that are pretty strong so there won’t be a problem of sliding or collapsing. However, the ABS keycaps installed are quite a miss than a hit for a good keyboard as HyperX Alloy Origins Core.

Talking about the RGB effects, aside from the ability to customize the effect for each key, the brightness level of HyperX is more dramatic than other RGB backlit keyboards. In contrast, the minor issue is the HyperX NGENUITY software only works with Windows.

Watch this video to see the RGB effects for yourself.

WASD Code V3: A Super Customizable TKL Keyboard

WASD Code V3 Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard
WASD Code V3 Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard
Features:

  • White LED backlighting
  • USB type-C
  • Programmable hotkeys
  • 5-way cable route
  • Anti-sliding rubber pad
Pros:

  • Programmable hotkeys
  • Aluminum cases or ABS cases
  • Different switch options
Cons:

  • Hard-to-use cable
  • ABS keycaps

Best TKL mechanical keyboard list cannot be completed without the mention of WASD Code V3 keyboard. It has two case material options, ABS or airplane-grade aluminum (you will need to pay more).

Under the keyboard, there is a rubber pad that helps prevent WASD Code V3 from running around your table with every keystroke. It also has a unique feature which is a 5-way custom cable, which means you can change the direction of the cable to the way convenient for your table setting. However, it’s quite difficult to get used to setting up the cable at first.

Apart from being able to choose the case, you can also pick up your favorite Cherry MX switches. There will be nothing more to say about the quality of switches from Cherry MX besides they are sitting on the throne of the mechanical switch kingdom.

Varmilo VA87M: A Super Smooth Typing Experience

Varmilo VA87M Tenkeyless Lovebirds- est Tenkeyless Keyboard
Varmilo VA87M Tenkeyless Lovebirds Mechanical Keyboard
Features:

  • Different case versions (lovebirds, sea melody, etc)
  • White backlighting
  • Custom cable
Pros:

  • Sturdy build keyboard
  • Art-design doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • 4 types of Cherry MX switches to choose
Cons:

  • High latency
  • No programmable keys
  • Weak leg stands

The next best TKL mechanical keyboard we want to introduce is Varmilo VA87M keyboard. At first check, the keyboard impresses us with its high-quality build with a metal frame and durable plastic case. However, the incline legs are not strong enough to withhold the standing position, hence, heavy typing may result in a collapsed keyboard.

On top of that, the case and PBT keycap of the Varmilo VA87M is designed with different art themes, making it a selling point for this beautiful tech piece. The pictures are set by applying UV-printing, promising to keep the vivid appearance for a very long time.

Another issue is the high latency, which means being unsuitable for pro gamers. Next, it does not have a key programming function so keyboard enthusiasts may feel bored and restrained.

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL: Best high-end TKL mechanical keyboard

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Keyboard
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Keyboard
Features:

  • OLED Smart display
  • Adjustable mechanical switches for customizable per-key sensitivity
  • Magnetic wrist rest
  • 3-way cable routing
Pros:

  • Mega fast OmniPoint switches
  • Great typing comfort
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum frame
Cons:

  • No dedicated keys
  • Wrist rest attracting dust

In this series of best TKl mechanical keyboards, SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL keyboard is one-of-the-kind with its pioneering OmniPoint switches. They are extremely fast and able to adjust the receiving signal due to different pressing forces.

Overall, the world-grade aluminum frame gives us a luxury feel when using this keyboard. Typing on the keypresses is solid and even, making the whole experience easy and comfortable.

Besides, with a soft wrist rest, you won’t feel tired on your wrist after typing a whole day. However, it is easy to collect dust, so you will need to sanitize the wrist rest occasionally.

How about an unboxing video to explore more of this keyboard’s beauty?

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Keychron K8: The Best Wireless TKL Mechanical Keyboard

Keychron K8 Mechanical Keyboard
Keychron K8 Mechanical Keyboard
Features:

  • 2 RGB versions
  • USB type-C
  • 4000mAh battery
Pros:

  • Various switch types to choose from
  • Hot-swappable version
  • Wired or wireless mode with 
  • Connect to 3 devices
  • Aluminum frame
Cons:

  • ABS keycaps

The aluminum frame of Keychron K8 keyboard creates a solid feel when pressing the keys. However, it uses ABS keycaps, so despite being comfortable to type on, they may come off as shiny keycaps after a long time using.

You can choose a hot-swappable edition of Keychron K8 if you prefer to customize the keyswitches. Besides, there are three RGB variants, which are white backlit and RGB backlit.

This keyboard is pretty convenient thanks to a wireless mode function. Thus, it is preferable to be carried with you and moreover, the battery is like a giant with 4000 mAh. This means 240 hours using without the backlit.

Tecware Phantom: The Best Budget TKL Keyboard

Tecware Phantom 87 Key Mechanical Keyboard
Tecware Phantom 87 Key Mechanical Keyboard
Features:

  • 16.8 million color RGB backlit
  • 18 pre-set lighting modes
  • ‘Floating key’ design
  • N-key rollover
Pros:

  • Modular switch socket
  • Three Outemu switch options
  • Sturdy keyboard construction
  • PBT keycaps in different color variations
Cons:

  • Only change to other Outemu switches
  • Wobble keys

Tecware Phantom keyboard is a budget keyboard among other best tenkeyless keyboards in the top 15. The backlit effects are undeniably beautiful with 18 different RGB backlit modes. Want to see the effects? Play the video below.

In addition, you can also pick up your favorite type of Outemu switches and the quality of them is nice enough to type on smoothly. Nonetheless, as they are budget switches, there is a wobble issue among the keypresses but you can tackle them by using film or lube.

This keyboard is hot-swappable, so you can easily exchange the keyswitches as you like, which is a hard-to-find function in cheap keyboards. Of course, at that price, there is a minor problem which is you can only change the switches to other Outemu versions.

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Logitech G Pro X: Strong build quality TKL Keyboard

Logitech Pro X Keyboard
Logitech Pro X Keyboard
Features:

  • Lightsync RGB
  • Detachable cable
  • 3-level angle incline adjustment
  • 12 programmable f-key macros
Pros:

  • Hot-swappable keyboard
  • Exceptionally low latency
  • Great keyboard construction
Cons:

  • Not a full-key programmable keyboard
  • No wrist rest

Logitech always have good PC necessities f so it will be a miss if we forget to mention Logitech Pro X keyboard in this list of best TKL keyboards. At a first glance, this keyboard is made greatly to stand solid despite the heavy strokes. Moreover, the leg stands can be adjusted to three different incline levels to match your typing preference.

In addition, you can customize the GX switches to meet your taste easily thanks to the hot-swap socket. Apart from that, Logitech Pro X is recommended for gaming users as it has very low latency. Thus, you will hardly suffer from lagging issues which is a terrible disaster when playing heavy games.

However, this keyboard is not full-key programmable despite the high price.

iKBC CD87: A No-Frills TKL Keyboard

iKBC CD87 Mechanical Keyboard
iKBC CD87 Mechanical Keyboard
Features:

  • 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover
  • 3-level adjustable feet
  • Multimedia keys & calculator key
  • 3-way cable routing
Pros:

  • Various Cherry MX options
  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • Good keyboard build
Cons:

  • No extra functions
  • Not programmable fn keys

iKBC CD87 keyboard is one of the best TKL mechanical keyboards with a minimalist design. It is simple and functional. In general, the metal frame and high-quality plastic produce a heavy and strong keyboard that seems to last pretty long.

In addition, this keyboard has thick and solid PBT keycaps. It also has incline stands that can be changed to three levels, hence, you can set up the keyboard based on your preferred height.

Furthermore, under the keyboard, there is a 3-way cable routing for you to set up the wire direction. Thanks to that, the cable won’t be tangled and make a mess on your working desk. At that price, it’s a big surprise to see Cherry MX switches. Besides, you can pick between Chery MX Clear linear switches and Cherry MX Brown tactile switches.

However, there are not as many special key functions as other gaming keyboards. But, it still has some media keys for you to play with.

Realforce R2 TKL: Best TKL Topre Keyboard

Realforce R2 Ivory TKL Keyboard
Realforce R2 Ivory TKL Keyboard
Features:

  • Full n-key rollover
  • 3-way cable routing
  • 2-level tilt adjustment
Pros:

  • Doubleshot PBT keycaps
  • Minimalist design
  • Good keyboard construction
Cons:

  • Undetachable cable
  • Expensive

Realforce R2 TKL keyboard stands out from other best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards thanks to the unique Torpe switches. They use the electro-capacitive method to activate the key. By adjusting the force of your fingers a little bit, the keyswitches can detect and immediately register.

Besides, the build of this keyboard is well-made to be pretty solid and sturdy. Therefore, it feels safe and stable to type on Realforce R2. With a minimalist keyboard design, it’s suitable for office workers who need something simple but elegant to work for 8 hours a day.

On top of that, you can also change the direction and tilt level of the Realforce V2 keyboard thanks to the adjustable stands. However, given that the price is over $200, a non-detachable cord is pretty disappointing when most newborn keyboards come with a detachable USB cable.

Razer Huntsman TE: The Best TKL For Gaming

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition Gaming Keyboard
Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition Gaming Keyboard
Features:

  • Razer Chroma RGB
  • Detachable Type-C cable
  • N-key roll-over with built-in anti-ghosting
  • 1000 Hz polling
Pros:

  • Doubleshot PBT Keycaps
  • Aluminum top plate
  • Fully programmable keys
  • Awesomely low latency
Cons:

  • Typing is quite shaky
  • Poor stabilizer

The overall construction of Razer Hunstman TE keyboard is well-made with hard plastic outside and an aluminum plate inside. With a high polling rate and super low latency, we cannot opt it out of the best 15 TKL keyboards in 2022, extremely great for competing in games.

Moreover, this keyboard is full-programmable, so you have control over rebinding the keys to meet your needs. And, this is extremely useful for those who have different game profiles. However, some keyswitches showing wobble issues and poor stabilizer are what downplays the overall typing feels.

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The RGB effects are ready to rock your gaming experience. See for yourself with this video.

The RGB effects of this keyboard are really worthy of Razer‘s name. With 16.8 million colors, the RGB effects are lively and charming that will rock your gaming experience.

Corsair K63 Wireless: Best budget wireless TKL mechanical keyboard

Corsair K63 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Corsair K63 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Features:

  • Per-key, red LED backlighting
  • Dedicated volume and multimedia controls
  • 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover
  • iCue software
Pros:

  • Fully programmable keys
  • Very low latency
  • Multi-device connections
Cons:

  • No on-board memory
  • Unchanging RGB colors
  • ABS keycaps

The last keyboard of the top 15 best TKL mechanical keyboards will be Corsair K63 keyboard. The build is decent with strong plastic, however, ABS keycaps produce a cheap feel. Apart from that, there are incline stands and a so-so wrist rest.

About the RGB effect, you are allowed to alter the brightness but the color can be only blue. This is quite boring for keyboard lovers who prefer vivid light effects.

If a wireless keyboard is not preferable to gaming, you can easily switch to the wired cord to compete in fast-paced games. The wired mode’s latency of Corsair K63 is wonderfully low. This means you can rest assured because lagging rarely happens.

On the downside, this keyboard does not have onboard memory. However, as it is not an expensive tenkeyless keyboard, we can look past this issue.

What is a Tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard?

Standard TKL layout
Standard TKL layout

A TKL keyboard or tenkeyless keyboard is a space-saved keyboard without the Numpad. Since a lot of users won’t touch the Numpad pretty much in their daily use, the tenkeyless keyboard appeared, cutting down from standard 104 keys to 81-87 keys. The result is a smaller keyboard that meets the minimalist space requirements.

Tenkeyless Keyboards: The Perfect Size for Most

Unlike the standard full layout with excessive keys and the compact layout lacking necessary keys, the tenkeyless keyboard is the perfect layout that is in the middle.

You will move the mouse more comfortably when it’s nearer your PC. You won’t have to move stuff on the desk around to find space that is taken up mostly by the standard keyboard.

You don’t have to feel annoyed when the keys are missed on the 60% keyboard since there are arrow keys and function (fn) keys on the TKL keyboard.

HyperX Alloy Origin TKL Keyboard

Conclusion

TKL mechanical keyboards are a great choice for gamers, programmers, and anyone who values portability, performance, and personalization. There are many options of TKL mechanical keyboards online, but some of the best ones are: Ducky One 2 RGB TKL, Logitech Pro X keyboard, and SteelSeries Apex Pro 2023 TKL. They have different types of switches, keycaps, and design that suit different preferences and use cases. Depending on your personal preference and use case, you can choose the one that suits you best.

Author

Posted by:

amy-golden

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.

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