Mechanical keyboards are considered by many tech connoisseurs to be the best-in-class. Therefore, they have become extremely popular among not only gamers, but also professionals.
Mechanical keyboards get their name from the fact that they have a physical, mechanical ‘switch’, that actually clicks when you press it.
This is in contrast to membrane keyboards, which work by completing a circuit using a membrane beneath the keys.
When you press the key on a membrane keyboard, it will connect to the bottom layer and ‘close’ the switch.
However, this means that you need to ‘bottom’ out the switch for it to have any effect, ultimately increasing the likelihood of finger strain, typo, and more. It also lacks that satisfying click.
Tenkeyless mechanical keyboards are mechanical keyboards that lack a numpad.
Numpads are useful for some professionals – such as video editors and programmers – but have little use for many other groups.
If you have no use for a numpad, then choosing a tenkeyless keyboard allows you to save space and money, while still enjoying the luxury of a mechanical keyboard!
With all that said, let’s take a look at some of the best tenkeyless mechanical keyboards on the market right now.
The Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards
1. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro
This keyboard foregoes the RGB lighting seen in other models in our list and instead opts for red and black.
This is a great look, but it’s one that is somewhat less versatile of course, meaning that it may or may not match the look of your setup!
Despite the minimalist look it comes packed with 87 keys meaning you get plenty of regular cursor keys.
Wired for faster inputs and combined with the n-key rollover and anti-ghosting. As a result, you won’t have to worry key presses not registering with multiple keys pressed.
Furthermore, the switches are available in either blue, red, or brown giving you plenty of variety to choose switches that suit you.
2. Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
RGB is back in this Logitech G Pro mechanical keyboard, along with another very minimal and sleek design.
The G Pro claims to be more responsive due not only to the switch itself, but also the overall design.
It has been optimized to be 10ms faster than the competition and also features the usual anti-ghosting and n-key rollover.
A wired keyboard, it claims to be built for the ‘e-sport athlete’.
Indeed, it is faster than the likes of the K95 Platinum from Corsair, which is considerably more expensive.
However, there are a lack of dedicated macro keys, though it is possible to assign macros to the f-keys using the Logitech software.
If you don’t mind that – or the lack of Cherry switches – then this is a great keyboard all round keyboard.
3. Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2
The price is beginning to creep up, but this is to be expected from the likes of Razer.
Razer makes very attractive hardware, which unfortunately also comes with a certain ‘tax’ for using a known brand. The switches are proprietary ‘Razer Orange’ switches though.
That said, there’s a lot to like here.
The keyboard is durable up to 80 million keystrokes, it features ‘tournament grade precision’. As a result, many eSports athletes indeed choose Razer products for this reason.
In addition, there are individually backlit keys with customizable RGB lighting, and an ergonomic wrist-rest.
It’s a reliable brand, and a very well-made keyboard with fast and accurate switches.
Just make sure that you are happy to pay the extra price!
4. Asus ROG Claymore Core
This keyboard eschews the more minimal look of so much of the competition for something a lot more skeletal and robotic looking.
It’s an acquired taste, but certainly a unique and appealing aesthetic.
Other than that, you get a customizable ‘light show’ (full RGB), overclocking via a single click (very useful for serious gamers), a high-quality aluminium frame, and compatibility with an optional ‘Claymore Bond’. This gives you the option of adding those extra ten keys.
Unfortunately, this is the only way to get access to macros – though in every other way, the keyboard will tick (click) all the boxes for any gamer.
5. MSI Vigor GK70 CR US
The brand name alone is enough to let you know that this keyboard does a lot right.
It uses brown Cherry MX switches (red) which are fast and excellent for gamers.
In addition, it has full RGB lighting for a host of different looks (with easy control via the Mystic Light app), n-key rollover, Windows key lock.
The only “key” feature it is missing, is support for macros.
What’s more is that the brown keys are a great compromise for typists, making it a good option for productivity tasks too.
6. SteelSeries Apex M750 TKL
With Apex Legends storming the scene right now, it seems that SteelSeries may have stumbled onto some good branding here!
But how’s the keyboard itself?
With QX2 switches, it marks a deviation from the beloved Cherry MX. But it actually delivers extremely fast response times with low force and a linear actuation point.
That said, some people find that this is a little bit overly smooth and that there is a ‘coarse’ feeling.
How you feel about this will depend on your personal preferences, but the speed is impressive.
The issue here really then is just how divisive that experience may prove to be. Therefore, we recommend trying this one if possible before making your purchase.
Otherwise, the lack of macros is the only big disappointment on this wired, RGB-lit keyboard.
There are even Discord Notifications available through the lighting – demonstrating just how gamer-centric this product really is!
7. CORSAIR K63
This keyboard uses the highly popular Cherry MX Red switches and is therefore fast, with excellent feedback.
However, the red backlighting isn’t as customizable as the RGB you’ll find on some of the competition, but it’s nevertheless a very attractive look.
The design is compact – but things like multimedia controls make this a very convenient and thoughtful layout.
100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover sweetens the deal, meaning you can play fast.
Oh and every single key is fully macro-programmable.
Corsair is of course the best in the business when it comes to mechanical keyboards, and this is a very affordable offering.
8. Cooler Master MK730
Cooler Master is another very popular brand for mechanical keyboards, and one that once again uses Cherry MX switches.
These are good for 50 million keystrokes and available in blue, brown, or red depending on your preference.
Furthermore, there are the 6-key or n-key rollovers, the full RGB lighting, the brushed aluminium aesthetic, and the macros.
It has everything you could want and comes at a very affordable price.
9. Anne Pro 2
This svelte and highly neat looking keyboard is a Bluetooth keyboard with prolonged Bluetooth usage (over a 19000mAh battery).
Related: Best Bluetooth adapter buyer’s guide
This is going to immediately be a plus for some and a minus for others.
If you’re looking for the most minimal set-up for your battlestation, then of course going wireless is going to help with that.
There’s no wire management to worry about here, and it really adds to the neat look of the keyboard.
At the same time though, this also means that you’re going to be dealing with a slightly higher latency.
While Bluetooth is extremely quick, the simple truth is that wireless will never be able to compete with wired in terms of speed and accuracy. Especially once the battery does start to fade.
For hardcore, competitive gamers, this might prove to be a deal breaker.
Also interesting is the lack of cursor keys. These are available via a ‘tap key’ which will alter the behaviour of other keys.
This is not unusual for a 60% keyboard, but it’s something that will be off-putting for some.
16 macros will also come in handy, as will the powerful software control center for setting them up.
This keyboard uses cherry or gateron switches (black or blue), which provides a more tactile bump than the Cherry alternatives (available in blue and red).
Overall, this is a great keyboard that might be missing a couple of necessary features and specifications for the most serious of hardcore gamers.
10. DREVO Tyrfing V2
This keyboard from Drevo looks very much like a more expensive offering from the likes of Corsair. With practically the same aesthetic as one of their RGB Strafe keyboards.
That of course means that it is an RGB keyboard that is highly customizable to match the look of your desk set-up.
That wins it immediate points for its aesthetics, but what about the performance?
Equipped with real mechanical switches with anti-ghosting and n-key rollover, key pressed not registering shouldn’t be an issue.
This can be a game-changer for gamers (pun intended), meaning that they won’t get fragged due to an input not being registered.
In addition, there are programmable macros keys (five of them), for quick weapon swaps.
Most important of all though is the typing experience. The good news here, is that this is highly customizable to your liking.
There is the option of four different types of switches (black, blue, brown, red), so you should be able to find the right kind for you.
For the price, this is a fantastic product that competes with many keyboards that are drastically more expensive.
It gets a big recommendation from us if you are looking for a budget mechanical keyboard.
The only real downside is the lower number of macros – it might have been nice to have a few more.
All of these keyboards are great options, though there are no doubt some standouts even in this top-quality selection.
We recommend that you seek out keyboards that use Cherry MX switches where possible, and that you try the different colors before making your choice.
Many will prefer red switches owing to their speed and their satisfying tactile response.
However, blue is generally the preference for those who do a lot of typing owing to just how ‘clicky’ (and also loud) they are.
Really, it is the switch that makes the keyboard, especially given just how similar all these designs are, and even how similar the additional features are in most cases!
Otherwise, look for keyboards with macros, a wire, and RGB lighting and you’ll have the basics covered. You’ll gain an edge in your gaming, and the competition won’t see you coming!