Best 40% Mechanical Keyboards ⌨️ – TechOfEra

Enhance Your Typing Experience with These Remarkable 40% Mechanical Keyboards ⌨️

Wondering if keyboard size really makes a difference? Well, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to explore the world of 40% keyboards.

To be upfront, 40% keyboards aren’t for everyone. They might not be the most versatile keyboards out there, but let’s be honest, they’re undeniably charming – these petite mechanical wonders can fit just about anywhere!

What Exactly Is a 40% Keyboard?

So, what distinguishes a 40% keyboard from the rest? Essentially, it’s a compact layout that ditches the tenkey (numpad), the function row, the arrow keys, and the number row.

In simpler terms, it retains the primary alphabet keys, the space bar, modifier keys, and perhaps a few additional keys, all contingent on the specific keyboard model.

Are you a gaming enthusiast? You might be wondering if there’s a 40 percent keyboard for gaming that suits your needs. Stay tuned; we’ll cover that shortly.

For those who enjoy a bit of DIY, you might be interested in a 40 percent keyboard kit. These kits provide the opportunity to assemble your own customized 40% keyboard – a truly unique typing experience.

Now, let’s dive into the world of options and find the best 40 percent keyboard for your specific needs.

List of Best 40% Mechanical Keyboards ⌨️

When it comes to 40 percent keyboards, the Vortexgear Core 40% stands out as the best 40 percent keyboard choice for various needs, including gaming. Let’s break down the pros and cons:


  • Well Built: Robust construction, substantial feel.
  • Bluetooth and Wired Connectivity: Offers both options for flexibility.
  • Programmable Layers: Customize key commands as needed.
  • Strong LED Lighting: Enhances aesthetics and usability.


  • Pricey: Higher cost compared to other mechanical keyboards, including 40 percent keyboard kits.
  • Heavier: Weighs 14.5 ounces, impacting portability.

Product Overview

  • PBT Plastic Keys: The keyboard uses PBT plastic keys known for their durability.
  • Detachable Micro-USB Cable: Convenient for connectivity and storage.
  • Weight: It’s a bit weighty at 2.2 pounds, thanks in part to its aluminum CNC anodized case.
  • 4 Switchable Layers: Despite having only 47 keys, this keyboard offers four programmable layers, providing you with extensive customization options.
  • LED Indicator: An LED indicator shows the active layer, simplifying your navigation.
  • Aluminum CNC Anodized Case: The keyboard’s aluminum frame ensures its sturdiness and longevity.
  • Cherry Switches: The Cherry MX Switches contribute to the keyboard’s rapid response and overall durability.

The Vortexgear Core 40% keyboard boasts exceptional quality materials. It’s constructed with an anodized CNC aluminum frame, ensuring it’s incredibly robust.

Bluetooth Compatibility and More

This Vortexgear model is not only wired; it’s also Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to connect it to any Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you’re not tethered to your desk and can enjoy greater flexibility in usage.

Customization Galore

Despite its compact 40% layout featuring just 47 keys, this keyboard impressively offers four programmable layers. This means you can tailor the commands of these keys to your liking, providing you with a high degree of typing freedom and efficiency.

Responsive and Reliable

The Vortexgear Core is a mechanical keyboard known for its inclusion in top compact keyboard lists. Its reputation is built on its sturdy build, those four customizable layers, and its impressive responsiveness. This swift response is powered by the acclaimed Cherry MX Switches and the use of PBT plastic keys, known for their durability.

Durable Cherry MX Switches

Cherry MX Switches, a highlight of this keyboard, are renowned for their longevity. Compared to alternatives like the Gateron Optical Red Switch, these Cherry MX Switches are built to last, making this 40% keyboard a durable investment.

Aesthetic Appeal with a Slight Trade-off

While the aluminum frame undoubtedly enhances this keyboard’s aesthetics, it’s important to note that it adds weight to the build. This might make it less than ideal for those seeking ultra-portability.

Price Consideration

It’s worth mentioning that this model tends to have a price point that climbs upwards of $90. This may seem relatively expensive in the realm of compact mechanical keyboards. However, this cost reflects the premium materials used, especially the aluminum frame.

So, if you’re seeking a top-tier 40 percent mechanical keyboard that blends style with substance, the Vortexgear Core 40% is a strong contender.

When it comes to compact and budget-friendly mechanical keyboards, the Qisan Magicforce 40% stands as a true contender. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at its features, advantages, and limitations.


  • Functionality Galore: Surprising array of functions in a compact size.
  • Dazzling LED Backlights: Enhances typing in dimly lit environments.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Sleek and attractive design elevates your workspace.
  • Unbeatable Price: Remarkably affordable, exceptional value.
  • Double the Space: Added versatility and customization with double space bar.
  • Quality Switches and Keycaps: Gateron Brown switches and Doubleshot ABS keycaps for consistent, comfortable keystrokes.


  • Plastic Base: Base made of plastic may not suit those looking for a premium build.
  • No Bluetooth Connectivity: Lacks Bluetooth, limiting wireless capabilities.

Product Overview

  • Mini and Portable Design: The keyboard’s dimensions measure 10.63″ x 3.15″ x 1.06″, making it incredibly portable.
  • Mechanical GATERON Blue Switches: Similar to the famed Cherry Blue switches, Gateron Blue switches offer a tactile and clicky typing experience.
  • Alternate Action or Ergonomic Design: The unique layout allows for efficient typing and a comfortable hand position.
  • Compact 49-Key Layout: Despite its small size, it packs almost all the functions of a 60% keyboard.
  • Color Options: Available in black, this keyboard can seamlessly complement any workspace or gaming setup.

Affordability at Its Best:

What makes the Qisan Magicforce 40% particularly appealing is its affordability. With a price tag that can dip as low as $50, it’s one of the most budget-friendly keyboards in its category.

Minimalistic Elegance:

This keyboard doesn’t just excel in terms of function; it also embraces minimalism. With choices of black or white, the Qisan Magicforce sports a clean and distinctive look that effortlessly blends with any desktop or gaming arrangement.

Let There Be Light:

For those who enjoy a touch of illumination, this keyboard offers LED backlighting in either snow white or ice blue. With a total of 11 lighting modes and five brightness levels, you can find the perfect lighting ambiance for your typing sessions.

The Ultimate Lightweight Typing Companion:

Weighing in at just 12 ounces, the Qisan Magicforce 40% defies its small stature with an impressive range of features. It accommodates both letters and numerical functions, 11 lighting modes, and even a double space bar.

The split space bar is a boon for gamers, allowing different commands on each side. Its lightweight build not only caters to gamers but also provides a comfortable typing experience for writers seeking simplicity.

Built to Impress:

In terms of construction, the Qisan Magicforce 40% boasts an appealing sandblasted aluminum top plate. The chrome base adds a touch of sophistication, providing an alluring shine. The plastic bottom ensures a comfortable typing angle, perfect for desk-bound typists.

The heart of this 40% mechanical keyboard lies in its Gateron Brown switches and Doubleshot ABS keycaps, ensuring consistently smooth and satisfying keypresses.

The Illuminated Typing Experience:

Featuring GATERON blue switches that mimic the renowned Cherry blue switches, this keyboard’s floating-key design, complete with clear legends on ABS keycaps, allows the backlighting to shine brilliantly. To keep things stable, the plastic base of the keyboard is equipped with four rubber pads.

On-the-Go Typing Companion:

Weighing just 390g and featuring an ergonomic step-wise keycap layout, this keyboard is incredibly portable. Its unique 49-key layout ditches the frame for a minimalist, no-frills design that’s easy to carry.

Lighting Customization and Functionality:

Controlled through FN+↑↓←→, the adjustable lighting options add a touch of excitement to your gaming or typing experience. The powerful FN key combinations provide access to most standard key layout functions, despite the reduced key count.

In conclusion, the Qisan Magicforce 40% is a compact powerhouse that combines affordability, aesthetics, and functionality into one remarkable package. Whether you’re a gamer or a writer, this keyboard offers a simple yet effective typing experience without breaking the bank. While it may have some limitations, its pros far outweigh the cons, making it a top choice in the 40 percent keyboard market.

If you’re on the hunt for a highly customizable 40% mechanical keyboard, the Drop Planck Keyboard might just be your perfect match.


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Great size
  • Plenty of customization possibilities


  • Expensive, especially with all the parts considered
  • Difficult to buy a complete Planck 40% Keyboard
  • No LED lights

Product Overview

  • Highly customizable
  • Compact size
  • Variety of case colors
  • Retro design with white and primary-colored keycaps
  • No LED lights
  • Supports multiple layouts
  • Hotswap sockets for easy switch changes
  • Fully programmable PCB
  • Sturdy anodized aluminum case
  • Comes with PCBA, steel plate, and USB-A to C cable

Customization Options:

The Drop Planck Keyboard offers a remarkable array of customization options. You can choose from different aluminum-colored cases, allowing you to match your keyboard with your personal style. If you’re more inclined to design your own keyboard rather than prioritize functionality, the Planck Keyboard is an excellent choice.

Retro Appeal:

The keyboard’s white and primary-colored keycaps give it a delightful retro vibe. Its miniature size adds to its charm, making it a unique addition to your setup. If building your own 40% keyboard kit appeals to you, the Planck keyboard provides the flexibility you need.

Please note that the Planck keyboard does not come with switches or keycaps. It’s designed with the assumption that you’ll customize it with your preferred switches and keycaps.

The finished product is eye-catching, with a simple yet attractive design reminiscent of the early days of computing. It’s also exceptionally lightweight, making it easy to transport.

However, it’s essential to consider that the Planck keyboard has some limitations. It lacks LED lights, offers limited functionality, and can become expensive when you factor in all the necessary components.

If you admire the aesthetics of the Planck 40% keyboard, but prefer a more straightforward, pre-built option, you might want to explore the Planck EZ. This model comes as a ready-to-use keyboard and features LED backlighting for added flair.

The New, More Powerful Planck:

The ortholinear 40% Planck mechanical keyboard is renowned for its unique layout, and the new version takes it up a notch. With every key positioned within two units of your fingers on the home row, this compact keyboard minimizes finger travel, enhancing typing comfort.

V6 Upgrades:

The latest Planck keyboard offers several notable upgrades. You can choose from six different color options, and it boasts a new ARM STM32 processor that provides more power to the PCB and the USB-C connector. It also comes in two case styles, giving you even more flexibility.

One of the standout features of this version is the Kaihua hotswap sockets, allowing you to change your switches without the need for soldering.

Sturdy, Compatible Plate Design:

The new Planck keyboard includes an MX plate, suitable for MX switches and clones, supporting 1 x 2u, 2 x 2u, and Grid layout configurations. Crafted from durable 304 stainless steel, this plate adds stability to your typing experience.

Strong Anodized Aluminum Case:

In terms of design, the new Planck keyboard streamlines the appearance by concealing the plate within the case. You have two case style options to choose from, catering to your preference. The bottom is crafted from a single piece of aluminum, featuring thick 3.1-millimeter walls for sturdiness. It’s available in a smooth anodized finish in your choice of six colors. The kit includes all the necessary hardware for assembly, along with four 3M rubber feet to keep it securely in place on your desktop.

Fully Programmable PCB:

The matte black PCB is a highlight of this keyboard, featuring an ARM/STM32 chip that can be programmed according to your preferences. While it comes pre-programmed with the standard layout, a reset button allows for easy reprogramming. It’s compatible with Cherry MX and Matias/ALPS switch footprints, and all components of the board are pre-soldered, simplifying the assembly process. Plus, the hotswap sockets make kit building a breeze.

Please note that Matias switches will require soldering onto the PCB. Only MX-style switches, such as Gateron, Kaihua, and Cherry MX, can take advantage of the Kaihua hot swap sockets.

Beeps & Boops:

An interesting feature of the PCB is the small speaker, driven by the MCU. This speaker adds a touch of personality to your typing experience, producing different sounds on startup and when changing the default layout. You can disable the speaker if desired.

Designed by Jack Humbert (OLKB) and produced by Drop, the Planck keyboard offers a unique typing experience. The PCBA by OLKB, anodized CNC aluminum case, Kaihua hotswap switch sockets, and reprogrammable PCBA compatible with Matias and MX switches make this keyboard a compelling choice for enthusiasts.

For customization enthusiasts and those valuing aesthetics, the Drop Planck Keyboard, a compact 40% mechanical keyboard, offers a unique and stylish option. While lacking LED lights and requiring careful part selection, it stands out for its retro design and customization potential, making it a compelling choice for keyboard aficionados.

Looking for a keyboard that screams personality? The YMDK GK61x Full Kit might just be your ticket. In this review, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of this highly customizable keyboard kit, perfect for those who believe that aesthetics reign supreme.


  • Consistent Availability
  • Assembly Service Option
  • CNC Case and Type C PCB
  • Customizable Layouts
  • Diverse Color Options
  • Programmable with QMK and VIA
  • High-Quality Gateron SMD Switches
  • Laser-Etched, Thick PBT Keycaps
  • Stabilizers Produced by Gateron
  • Improved ABS Plastic Case
  • Fully Programmable PCB
  • RGB Lighting Customization


  • Not Pre-built
  • DIY Assembly Required
  • Fn Key Placement Not Adjustable
  • No Underglow RGB Presoldered

Product Overview

  • Customizable Layouts
  • Multiple Color Options
  • CNC Case & Type C PCB
  • Programmable with QMK and VIA
  • Gateron SMD Switches
  • Thick PBT Keycaps
  • Stabilizers by Gateron
  • Improved ABS Plastic Case
  • Fully Programmable PCB
  • Rich RGB Lighting Options
  • Wired & Bluetooth Models

Customization Galore:

The YMDK GK61x is a keyboard kit that provides a plethora of customization options. It’s a dream come true for keyboard enthusiasts who believe that the look and feel of a keyboard matter.

With four different keyboard layouts to choose from, you have the power to craft your ideal typing experience. This includes the keyset, which can be tailored to your personal preferences.

Package Contents:

Here’s what you get in the box: a plastic case, feet, stabilizers, a hotswap Type C PCB, a plate, a cable, a removal tool, a space module, a generous supply of Gateron SMD switches, and a 61 keycap set.

The Gateron SMD yellow switches are known for their cost-effectiveness and popularity in the DIY keyboard community. The 61 keycap set is laser-etched and made from thick PBT material, giving it a solid and durable feel.

Assembly Tips:

If you ever need to remove the PCB from the case, make sure to remove the plate entirely first to avoid damaging the PCB’s USB port. When inserting switches, ensure that the pins are straight and at a 90-degree angle above the plate hole. If you encounter resistance while inserting switches, stop and double-check the alignment of the switch pins.

GK61X vs. GK61XS:

The GK61X is the wired edition, while the GK61XS is the Bluetooth edition with a 1900mAh battery. The keyboard supports both wired and wireless modes.

Please note that the keyboard sold in this link comes with a replaceable plate that accommodates 6.25u space bars as well as 2.25u and 2.75u split space bars. The space bar is securely attached to the case, so if you plan to replace a normal GH60 case, you’ll need a non-replaceable GH60-sized plate.

Stabilizers and RGB:

The stabilizers included with this kit are produced by the Gateron factory and are an improvement over previous versions. For linear switches, you can uninstall and clip the stabilizers to achieve a better tactile feel. For clicky switches, you can leave them as is.

The GK61x and GK61xs models now come with an insert pin for underglow RGB strips. The new plastic case is made from ABS and is manufactured by the Zealio factory, resulting in higher quality and a more appealing appearance.


The PCB of the YMDK GK61x is fully programmable, with Fn located at the right of the bottom row. Please note that this placement cannot be changed.

The chipset boasts a 32-bit MCU, 8M Flash, and three sets of 256256256 RGB drivers, providing support for a full 16.8 million RGB color spectrum. While the PCB has switches RGB pre-soldered, there is no underglow RGB pre-soldered.

You can program the PCB using the software available on the official website. It offers a wide range of customization options, allowing you to tailor the keyboard to your exact specifications.

If you’re seeking a keyboard that marries customization, functionality, and aesthetics, the YMDK GK61x is a standout choice. With its versatile layouts, vibrant color options, programmability, and high-quality components, it caters to keyboard enthusiasts and casual users alike. Upgrade your typing game with the YMDK GK61x and embrace a new level of keyboard personalization.

40% Mechanical Keyboard Buying Guide

Certainly, let’s delve deeper into each point and expand on the criteria for selecting the ideal 40% mechanical keyboard.

1. Availability:

Availability is a critical factor, especially when it comes to 40% mechanical keyboards. These compact keyboards can sometimes be challenging to find, as they are not as commonly produced as their larger counterparts. When choosing a 40% keyboard, check if it’s consistently available or if it frequently goes out of stock, causing delays in your purchase.

2. Backlighting:

Backlighting is a common feature in 40% keyboards, but the level of illumination can vary. Consider your lighting needs. If you work or game in low-light environments, having customizable RGB backlighting or the ability to illuminate specific rows of keys can be advantageous. It not only adds style but also enhances visibility.

3. Connectivity:

Think about your preferred mode of connectivity. Some 40% mechanical keyboards come with USB cables for wired connections, which are reliable and ensure low latency. Others offer Bluetooth connectivity, providing the convenience of a wireless setup. Decide which option suits your needs, whether it’s for gaming, productivity, or on-the-go use.

4. Price:

Price plays a significant role in your decision-making process. While higher-priced keyboards often come with premium features like high-quality keycaps and advanced RGB lighting, it’s essential to assess whether these extras are worth the additional cost. Some budget-friendly 40% keyboards can deliver excellent performance and functionality without breaking the bank.

5. Shape:

The shape of a 40% mechanical keyboard can vary, and it’s not just about the overall size. Consider the ergonomic design and layout of the keys. Some 40% keyboards have unique layouts that may appeal to your typing style and preferences. For example, the Redragon K585 offers a different shape compared to the Planck, so think about which shape aligns with your comfort and usability.

6. Programmability:

Programmability is essential for maximizing the utility of a 40% mechanical keyboard. Given the limited number of keys, having the ability to reprogram or remap keys is crucial. Look for keyboards that offer this feature, as it allows you to customize key functions and create shortcuts tailored to your specific tasks and applications.

7. Key Switches:

Key switches are the heart of any mechanical keyboard. Different switches offer varying levels of tactile feedback, actuation force, and noise levels. Consider the type of switches that come with the keyboard, whether they are clicky, tactile, or linear, and choose the ones that match your typing style and preferences.

8. Build Quality:

Assess the build quality of the keyboard. Look for materials like aluminum or high-quality plastics for durability. A sturdy build ensures that your keyboard will withstand daily use and provide a satisfying typing experience.

9. Additional Features:

Investigate any additional features the keyboard may offer. Some 40% mechanical keyboards come with dedicated macro keys, customizable function keys, or extra USB ports. These features can enhance productivity and convenience.

10. Compatibility:

Ensure that the keyboard is compatible with your operating system and devices. Check whether it works seamlessly with Windows, macOS, Linux, or mobile devices if you plan to use it across multiple platforms.

11. Brand Reputation:

Consider the reputation of the brand. Established keyboard manufacturers with a track record of producing reliable products are often a safer bet. Read reviews and seek recommendations from fellow users to gauge the brand’s reputation.

By considering these factors, including the relevant LSI keywords, you can make a well-informed decision when choosing a 40% mechanical keyboard that suits your practical needs and aligns with your personal preferences and style.

FAQs for Top 40% Mechanical Keyboards

What are 40 percent keyboards?

40 percent keyboards, such as the best 40 percent keyboard models, are compact and efficient input devices. They condense multiple functions onto individual keys, enabling users to switch between functions with ease. This keyboard, ideal for those seeking a 40 percent keyboard for gaming or a 40 percent keyboard kit for customization, maximizes functionality within a minimalistic form factor.

What are 30 percent keyboards?

30 percent keyboards are exceptionally compact input devices primarily composed of letter keys. They take the minimalism of 40 percent keyboards even further, omitting modifier keys like shift or control and the spacebar. To accomplish tasks like typing capital letters, users must creatively combine keys, making them suitable for those seeking ultra-compact keyboard solutions.

What are 20 percent keyboards?

20 percent keyboards, also known as standalone numpads, typically include macro keys for additional functionality. These keyboards, which can be considered a type of 40 percent keyboard kit, replicate the functions found on the right-hand side of a full-size keyboard. Users who desire a 40 percent keyboard case with added features may find these keyboards appealing.

Is a 40% keyboard good?

Yes, a 40 percent keyboard can be an excellent choice, particularly for gamers looking for a 40 percent keyboard for gaming. Its compact design creates more desk space, enhancing the ergonomic aspects of your gaming setup. Whether you’re in search of the best 40 percent keyboard or a 40 percent mechanical keyboard, this type of keyboard can offer efficient functionality in a smaller footprint.

What is a 40 percent keyboard size?

A 40 percent keyboard is incredibly compact, usually measuring 12u in width and 4u in height. These keyboards are highly customizable, allowing users to program their desired functionality into fewer than 50 keys. They lack a number row, function keys, navigation keys, and often punctuation keys, making them a sleek option for those seeking a 40 percent ortholinear keyboard.

Why do people like 60% keyboards so much?

Many users appreciate 60 percent keyboards for their reduced width, which offers more room for the mouse, leading to a more ergonomic gaming setup. Gamers, particularly those prioritizing precise mouse movement during gaming sessions, often favor 60 percent keyboards.

What is the difference between 40% and 60% keyboards?

The primary difference lies in size and functionality. While 60 percent keyboards are more compact than full-size keyboards, 40 percent keyboards, including gaming keyboard 40 percent options, take minimalism to the extreme. They eliminate not only the number pad, function row, arrow keys, and home cluster but also the number keys on the top row. This level of minimalism caters to those seeking a highly streamlined typing experience with a 40 percent keyboard.