A 60 vs 65 Keyboard

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Updated August 10, 2022

If you’re looking for a premium keyboard, you may wonder what wins in the 60 vs 65 keyboard debate. Whether you use a membrane or mechanical keyboard, choosing the right size will affect your desk space and workflow. While these compact keyboards are similar, each keyboard type has some awesome benefits. So, if you want to learn which keyboard size is best, read this guide to 65% vs 60% keyboards.


  • 60% and 65% keyboards are reduced-size models that offer space-saving design while sacrificing several keys.
  • 60% keyboards are smaller than 65% models, but they do not have arrow keys and most function inputs.
  • Experts recommend 65% keyboards for programming and writing professionals.

Before we get started, however, don’t forget to compare the barebones keyboard layouts for ANSI vs. ISO keyboards to see which kinds of keyboards are standard in your region. If you’re unsure about the hot-swap vs. solder keyboard debate, consider whether you want an alternate or standard layout for full-time typing. If you want an ergonomic-focused custom keyboard, consider reading our ZSA Moonlander review. For users who need a standard form factor, read our comparison of Keychron K2 vs. K6.

Insider Tip

You can ensure smooth key presses by occasionally spraying compressed air into your keyboard to clear dust, dirt, or debris.

Whether you choose a full-size keyboard or a compact version, you’ll need to know how to connect a wireless keyboard or a wired model. Once familiar with the keyboard’s basic functions, you’ll be equipped to troubleshoot several common issues, such as a keyboard that’s typing backward.

What is the Best Compact Layout: 65 vs 60 Keyboards

The main difference between 60 and 65 percent boards is the dedicated arrow cluster and some secondary function keys. Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts are split over which compact keyboard layout is best, but you can choose by understanding the key differences.

Space Requirements

Both models feature a compact design and are ideal for narrow desks with minimal space for mouse movement. The 60-percent keyboard lacks arrow keys, but it is the top pick for users needing space savings.

Customization Options

Since 65-percent boards aren’t a common choice, customization options are sometimes hard to find. That said, the arrow cluster and function keys allow for software-based customization for programming and gaming.


You cannot easily switch mechanical switches if you don’t have a keyboard with a hot-swap PCB.

Price Premium

Whether you choose a pre-made or customizable board, you shouldn’t pay much more for 60 or 65 percent keyboards. A fully custom option is more expensive than mass-manufactured boards, but you can choose custom keysets to optimize your work.

STAT: A 2021 Pew Research Center survey showed that 85% of Americans use the internet daily. (source)

60 vs 65 Keyboard FAQs

Is a smaller keyboard better?

Many users in the mechanical keyboard community prefer 60-65% keyboards over a full-sized layout. Standard full-size keyboards feature over 100 keys, and many users choose 65-percent-or-under keyboards for efficiency. Additionally, a 100-percent keyboard layout takes up space for mouse movement.

Is a wired keyboard faster than a wireless one?

Many users in the gaming keyboard community choose a wired keyboard to mitigate input lag. While most wireless keyboards offer abundant features, a wired keyboard with linear switches is the most responsive keyboard design.

Are tenkeyless keyboards best for gaming?

Gamer-oriented tenkeyless keyboards are a cliche choice for a gaming enthusiast, but it's for a good reason. Since tenkeyless boards forgo a dedicated number pad, users have more mouse space for competitive gaming.
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