Best Budget Barebones Keyboard for Efficient Typing

Updated on March 21, 2024

A keyboard is an essential accessory for any computer user. Whether you’re typing up a report, playing games, or just browsing the web, a reliable keyboard is a must-have. However, not everyone needs all the bells and whistles that come with a high-end keyboard. Sometimes, all you need is a basic, no-frills keyboard that gets the job done without breaking the bank. That’s where barebones keyboards come in.

Barebones keyboards are stripped-down keyboards that lack the fancy features of high-end models. They’re simple, straightforward, and affordable. While they may not have all the bells and whistles of a high-end keyboard, they’re perfect for users who just need a basic keyboard that works.

When it comes to finding the best budget barebones keyboard, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll want to look for a keyboard that is comfortable to type on. A keyboard that causes hand fatigue or makes typing difficult is not worth the savings. Additionally, you’ll want to look for a keyboard that is durable and built to last. After all, nobody wants to replace their keyboard every few months.

We spent hours researching and testing various barebones keyboards to identify the ones that offer the best value for your money. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top contenders and help you find the perfect budget barebones keyboard for your needs.

Best Budget Barebones Keyboards

We know that finding the perfect keyboard can be a daunting task, especially when you’re on a tight budget. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best budget barebones keyboards that won’t break the bank. These keyboards may not have all the bells and whistles of their more expensive counterparts, but they get the job done without compromising on quality. Whether you’re a gamer or a writer, we’ve got you covered with our top picks. Check out our list below to find the perfect keyboard for your needs.

Glorious Gaming GMMK 2 Compact 65% Barebones Keyboard

Glorious Gaming GMMK 2 Compact 65% Barebones (Frame Only) - Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Frame, Compact TKL Size (65%), Aluminium, Customisable, Per Key RGB, American QWERTY Layout - Black

If you're looking for a budget barebones keyboard that offers customization and durability, the Glorious Gaming GMMK 2 Compact 65% Barebones Keyboard is a great option.

Pros:
  • The aluminum top shell makes the keyboard super durable and gives it maximum rigidity.
  • The compact layout packs the best of a TKL keyboard in a form factor that is almost the size of a Mini keyboard.
  • The hotswap sockets are specially designed for easy installation of any 5-pin switches, making it a great option for modders.
Cons:
  • The keyboard doesn't come with switches or keycaps, which means you'll need to purchase those separately.
  • The RGB lighting is not as bright as some other keyboards on the market.
  • The keyboard foam can be difficult to remove if you want to replace it.
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We were impressed with the overall design and durability of the GMMK 2 Compact 65% Barebones Keyboard. The aluminum top shell and grippy rubber feet make the keyboard feel solid and sturdy, and the anodization of the aluminum gives it an impressive resistance to scratches and corrosion. The compact layout is great for saving desk space without sacrificing important functionality, and the hotswap sockets make it easy to customize your keyboard with any 5-pin switches.

One downside of the keyboard is that it doesn’t come with switches or keycaps, which means you’ll need to purchase those separately. Additionally, the RGB lighting is not as bright as some other keyboards on the market, which may be a downside for those looking for a more vibrant lighting experience. Finally, the keyboard foam can be difficult to remove if you want to replace it, which may be a downside for those looking to customize their keyboard further.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget barebones keyboard that offers customization and durability, the Glorious Gaming GMMK 2 Compact 65% Barebones Keyboard is a great option.

KEEBMONKEY WK870 Gasket Keyboard Kit

KEEBMONKEY WK870 Gasket Aluminum Hot-Swappable Remappable RGB Mechanical Keyboard Kit with Pre-Installed Stablizers Barebones, PC Plate with Foam and Dampening Pad Thock(Green)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard, the KEEBMONKEY WK870 Gasket Keyboard Kit is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The keyboard's superior acoustic design provides a satisfying typing experience.
  • With 18 RGB lighting modes, you can customize the keyboard to fit your style.
  • The hot-swap capability allows you to easily switch out switches without needing to solder.
Cons:
  • The keyboard is only compatible with PCs, limiting its versatility.
  • Some users have reported issues with the volume knob not working.
  • The green color may not match the color depicted in the product photos.
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We recently had the chance to test out the KEEBMONKEY WK870 Gasket Keyboard Kit and were impressed with its performance. The keyboard’s acoustic design provides a satisfying typing experience, and the RGB lighting options allow for customization to fit your style. Additionally, the hot-swap capability makes it easy to switch out switches without the need for soldering.

However, it’s important to note that the keyboard is only compatible with PCs, so Mac users may need to look elsewhere. Additionally, some users have reported issues with the volume knob not working, so that’s something to keep in mind. Lastly, the green color may not match the color depicted in the product photos, so be aware of that when making your purchase.

Overall, if you’re in the market for a budget barebones keyboard, the KEEBMONKEY WK870 Gasket Keyboard Kit is a solid choice.

EPOMAKER x LEOBOG Hi75 Aluminum Keyboard Kit

EPOMAKER x LEOBOG Hi75 Aluminum Alloy Wired Gaming Keyboard Barebones Kit, 75% Gasket-Mounted RGB Keyboard, Hot-swap Custom Mechanical Keyboard, with Mode-Switching Knob, for Win/Mac (Light Blue)

We highly recommend the EPOMAKER x LEOBOG Hi75 Aluminum Keyboard Kit for those looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard. This keyboard kit is a game-changer in both aesthetics and performance, offering an innovative knob for mode-switching and enhanced control, a sleek 75% layout, a gasket-mounted structure, and solid aluminum alloy build.

Pros:
  • The innovative knob allows for smooth transitions between work and gaming modes, offering a constant RGB glow for a focused work environment and dynamic RGB flashing for an immersive gaming experience.
  • The keyboard's sophisticated look enhances any desk setup, and the gasket design, complemented by PORON gaskets, significantly minimizes cavity sound, enhancing your typing sounds.
  • Every key on the Hi75 is hot-swappable, offering unparalleled freedom to modify switch types as per your preference. With compatibility for most 3/5-pin switches, it opens a world of possibilities for personalizing your keystroke feel and sound.
Cons:
  • The keyboard's case is not anodized, which may affect its durability in the long run.
  • The light blue color may not be everyone's cup of tea.
  • The keyboard may take some time to set up and customize.
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Overall, the EPOMAKER x LEOBOG Hi75 Aluminum Keyboard Kit is an excellent choice for those looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard with advanced features and customization options. Its solid aluminum alloy build, advanced gaming-grade chip, and full key hot-swap capability make it a versatile and reliable choice for both work and gaming.

EPOMAKER x Aula F75 Gasket Mechanical Keyboard

EPOMAKER x Aula F75 Gasket Mechanical Keyboard, 75% Wireless Hot Swappable Gaming Keyboard with Five-Layer Padding&Knob, Bluetooth/2.4GHz/USB-C, RGB (Light Blue, LEOBOG Reaper Switch)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard with a plethora of features, then the EPOMAKER x Aula F75 Gasket Mechanical Keyboard is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The compact 75% layout makes it perfect for those with limited desk space or who need a portable keyboard.
  • The leaf-spring gasket structure provides a comfortable typing experience, reducing fatigue during prolonged use.
  • The five-layer padding design significantly reduces typing noise and resonance, delivering a tranquil and focused typing environment.
Cons:
  • The Reaper switches might be too sensitive for some users, leading to accidental key presses.
  • The light blue color might not be to everyone's taste.
  • The keyboard might be too heavy for some users who prefer a lighter weight.
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We were impressed with the EPOMAKER x Aula F75 Gasket Mechanical Keyboard’s features and performance. The precision-engineered 1.2mm PCB ensures that each keystroke is registered with accuracy and stability, providing a satisfying and reliable typing experience. The factory-lubricated mechanical switches offer a seamless and smooth actuation, ensuring a fluid, consistent keystroke right from the start.

The keyboard also features three-way connectivity, including Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, and wired USB connectivity, making it adaptable to your specific needs. The large 4000mAh battery delivers extended usage times, ensuring that your keyboard is always ready for long work sessions or intense gaming marathons.

We appreciated the multimedia control knob, which allows for effortless fine-tuning of media settings, adding a layer of convenience that ensures swift adjustments without disrupting your workflow. The full-key hot-swappable sockets facilitate seamless switch replacements, accommodating your desired typing feel, whether it’s for gaming, typing, or creative endeavors.

The EPOMAKER x Aula F75 Gasket Mechanical Keyboard also features finely-calibrated stabilizers, offering stability and a hushed typing experience. The Cherry-profile double-shot PBT keycaps take durability to the next level, ensuring a perfect blend of robustness and stylish design. The keyboard’s vibrant 16.8M RGB illumination adds a dynamic glow, presenting a rich spectrum of 16.8 million colors for a personalized typing environment.

Overall, we highly recommend the EPOMAKER x Aula F75 Gasket Mechanical Keyboard for those looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard with a plethora of features.

Redragon BBK530 Pro Custom Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Kit – 60% 61 Keys DIY RGB Modular Keyboard – Barebones Compact Keyboard HOT SWAPPABLE 3pin/5pin Switch, Support Bluetooth 5.0/USB-C Wired/2.4GHz Compact – 61 Keys

Redragon BBK530 Pro Custom Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Kit – 60% 61 Keys DIY RGB Modular Keyboard – Barebones Compact Keyboard HOT SWAPPABLE 3pin/5pin Switch, Support Bluetooth 5.0/USB-C Wired/2.4G...

If you're looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard, the Redragon BBK530 Pro is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The fully modular design makes it easy to assemble and customize with different switches and keycaps.
  • The RGB backlight offers a wide range of colors and lighting effects to choose from, making it a visually appealing addition to any setup.
  • With three connection modes to choose from (2.4Ghz wireless, 5.0 Bluetooth, and USB-C wired), you can easily switch between devices or choose the most convenient connection for your setup.
Cons:
  • While the steel plate and sound-dampening foams offer a solid typing experience, some users may find the keyboard a bit too noisy.
  • The lack of dedicated number keys may be inconvenient for those who frequently work with numbers or need to input codes.
  • Some users have reported issues with certain keys not working properly, which may require replacing the switches.
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Overall, the Redragon BBK530 Pro is a solid choice for those who want a customizable, visually appealing keyboard without breaking the bank. The fully modular design makes it easy to swap out switches and keycaps, and the RGB backlight adds a nice touch of personality to your setup. However, the noise level and lack of dedicated number keys may be drawbacks for some users.

If you’re looking for a budget barebones keyboard that offers plenty of customization options and a visually appealing design, the Redragon BBK530 Pro is definitely worth considering.

Keychron V1 Wired Custom Mechanical Keyboard Barebone Version

Keychron V1 Wired Custom Mechanical Keyboard Barebone Version, 75% Layout QMK/VIA Programmable Macro with Hot-swappable Support Compatible with Mac Windows Linux (Frosted Black - Translucent)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard that's easy to customize and program, the Keychron V1 is a great option.

Pros:
  • Fully customizable mechanical keyboard with a compact 75% layout for ultra-typing comfort and productivity.
  • Full QMK and VIA support for endless possibilities in keyboard layouts, shortcuts, backlight effects, and more.
  • Hot-swappable support for easy switch replacements without soldering required.
Cons:
  • Switches and keycaps are not included in the barebone version, so you'll need to purchase them separately.
  • The PCB-mounted screw-in stabilizer for "big keys" may cause some wobbliness and less smooth performance.
  • The south-facing RGB backlight may not be ideal for everyone, especially those who prefer shine-through keycaps.
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We’ve been using the Keychron V1 for a few weeks now and we’re impressed with its build quality and performance. The keyboard is easy to assemble and program, even for beginners. The compact 75% layout is perfect for those who want a smaller keyboard without sacrificing functionality. The QMK and VIA support is a huge plus, as it allows for endless customization options.

One thing to note is that the barebone version does not come with switches and keycaps, so you’ll need to purchase them separately. This may be a downside for some, but it also allows for more customization options. We also noticed some wobbliness and less smooth performance with the PCB-mounted screw-in stabilizer for “big keys” such as the space bar, shift, enter, and delete. However, this is a minor issue and doesn’t affect the overall performance of the keyboard.

Overall, the Keychron V1 is a great budget-friendly option for those who want a customizable and programmable mechanical keyboard. If you’re looking for a compact and comfortable keyboard that’s easy to use and program, the Keychron V1 is definitely worth considering.

DrunkDeer G65 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard Magnetic Switch Gaming Keyboard TKL RGB Backlight 65% Size Compact Wired USB Barebone No Keycap White White-No (Barebone)

DrunkDeer G65 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard Magnetic Switch Gaming Keyboard TKL RGB Backlight 65% Size Compact Wired USB Barebone No Keycap White

If you're looking for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard that's perfect for gaming, you might want to consider the DrunkDeer G65 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard.

Pros:
  • The ultra response speed is 10 times faster than traditional mechanical keyboards, making it perfect for FPS and rhythm games.
  • The adjustable actuation distance allows you to customize your key action and gives you an edge in gaming.
  • The magnetic switch operates through the Hall effect, making it more durable than conventional keystriking life.
Cons:
  • The spacebar can be a little rattly, which can be annoying for some users.
  • The quality control can be an issue, as some users have reported ghosting and other issues.
  • The software could use some improvements, as some users have reported missing features.
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We’ve been using the DrunkDeer G65 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard for a few weeks now, and we’re impressed with its performance. The ultra response speed is amazing, and it’s definitely helped us improve our gaming skills. The adjustable actuation distance is also a great feature that allows us to customize our key action to our needs. The magnetic switch is also a nice touch, as it makes the keyboard more durable than conventional keystriking life.

However, we did notice that the spacebar can be a little rattly, which can be annoying for some users. We also noticed some quality control issues, as some users have reported ghosting and other issues. Finally, the software could use some improvements, as some users have reported missing features.

Overall, we think the DrunkDeer G65 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard is a great budget-friendly option for gamers who are looking for a barebones keyboard. It has some great features that make it perfect for gaming, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new keyboard.

CIDOO ABM066 Barebones Kit

CIDOO ABM066 Barebones Kit, Alice-layout VIA-programmable Hot Swappable Bluetooth/2.4Ghz/Type-C Connectivities, with TFT-LCD Screen, Rotary Knob, 3000mAh Battery, NKRO, RGB Backlight for Win/Mac(Black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly keyboard that you can customize to your heart's content, the CIDOO ABM066 Barebones Kit might be just what you need.

Pros:
  • The hot-swappable PCB makes it easy to change out switches and customize your keyboard to your liking.
  • The Alice layout is comfortable and ergonomic, making it a great option for long typing sessions.
  • The VIA-programmable feature allows for easy customization without requiring any coding skills.
Cons:
  • The plastic case is a bit flimsy and can break easily if you're not careful.
  • The keyboard is a bit on the heavy side, which can be a bit of a pain if you need to move it around.
  • The included USB cable is a bit short, so you may need to purchase a longer one if you need more flexibility.
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If you’re looking for a barebones keyboard that you can customize to your liking, the CIDOO ABM066 Barebones Kit is definitely worth considering. The hot-swappable PCB makes it easy to change out switches and experiment with different layouts, while the Alice layout is comfortable and ergonomic, making it a great option for long typing sessions. The VIA-programmable feature is also a nice touch, allowing for easy customization without requiring any coding skills.

That being said, the plastic case is a bit flimsy and can break easily if you’re not careful. Additionally, the keyboard is a bit on the heavy side, which can be a bit of a pain if you need to move it around. Finally, the included USB cable is a bit short, so you may need to purchase a longer one if you need more flexibility.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly keyboard that you can customize to your liking, the CIDOO ABM066 Barebones Kit is definitely worth considering. Just be aware of its limitations and make sure to handle it with care.

EPOMAKER Aura75 75% Mechanical Keyboard Kit

EPOMAKER Aura75 75% Mechanical Keyboard Kit, Hot Swappable 2.4Ghz/Bluetooth 5.0/USB-C Wired Wireless Gaming DIY Kit, with Silicone Pad, 3000mAh Battery, South-Facing RGB Backlight for Win/Mac(Black)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard that offers both wired and wireless modes, the EPOMAKER Aura75 75% Mechanical Keyboard Kit might be the right choice for you.

Pros:
  • The keyboard's wireless connectivity makes it easy to use without being tethered to your device.
  • The unique light design adds a touch of style to your workspace.
  • The sound absorption foam and silicon bottom pad ensure a quiet typing experience.
Cons:
  • The case is made of plastic, which might not be as durable as metal.
  • The escape key socket might be too tight for some users.
  • The weight of the keyboard might be a bit heavy for some people.
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We were impressed with the EPOMAKER Aura75’s wireless connectivity, which allows for seamless transitions between wired and wireless operations. The keyboard’s unique light design is also a standout feature, adding a touch of style to your workspace. Additionally, the sound absorption foam and silicon bottom pad make for a quiet typing experience.

However, the case is made of plastic, which might not be as durable as metal. Some users might also find the escape key socket to be too tight. Additionally, the weight of the keyboard might be a bit heavy for some people.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard that offers both wired and wireless modes, the EPOMAKER Aura75 75% Mechanical Keyboard Kit is a solid choice.

DrunkDeer A75 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard

DrunkDeer A75 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard, Magnetic Switch Keyboard, TKL 75% Layout RGB Wired USB Compact 82 Keys with Knob White, Barebone, No Keycap

If you're on the hunt for a budget-friendly barebones keyboard, the DrunkDeer A75 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard might be worth a look.

Pros:
  • The ultra-response speed is 10 times faster than traditional mechanical keyboards, making it ideal for FPS and rhythm games.
  • The adjustable actuation distance allows for customization of key action, giving players an edge in gaming.
  • The TKL keyboard with DrunkDeer driver allows for customizable key values and backlighting effects.
Cons:
  • The keycaps are not included with the keyboard.
  • The keyboard is only available in a white barebone color.
  • The keyboard may be difficult to take apart for modding since it's not held together with screws.
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We were impressed by the DrunkDeer A75’s rapid trigger functionality and adjustable actuation distance. The ultra-response speed is a standout feature for gamers, and the TKL keyboard with DrunkDeer driver provides plenty of customization options. However, it’s worth noting that the keycaps are not included with the keyboard, and the white barebone color may not appeal to everyone. Additionally, modding the keyboard may be a challenge since it’s not held together with screws. Overall, the DrunkDeer A75 Rapid Trigger Mechanical Keyboard is a solid choice for budget-conscious gamers looking for a customizable keyboard.

Buying Guide

When looking for a budget barebones keyboard, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best product for your needs. Here are some key features to keep in mind:

Keyboard Layout

The first thing to consider is the keyboard layout. There are several layouts available, including ANSI, ISO, and JIS. ANSI is the most common layout in the US, while ISO is more common in Europe. JIS is commonly used in Japan. Make sure to choose a keyboard layout that is compatible with your region.

Switch Type

The switch type is another important factor to consider. There are several types of switches available, including mechanical, membrane, and scissor switches. Mechanical switches are the most popular among gamers and typists due to their tactile feedback and durability. Membrane switches, on the other hand, are quieter and more affordable, making them a good choice for casual users. Scissor switches are commonly found in laptops and are known for their low profile and quiet operation.

Connectivity

Another factor to consider is connectivity. Most budget barebones keyboards come with a USB connection, but some may also offer Bluetooth connectivity. Make sure to choose a keyboard with the connectivity option that best suits your needs.

Backlighting

If you plan to use your keyboard in low-light conditions, backlighting is a must-have feature. Most budget barebones keyboards come with single-color backlighting, while some may offer RGB backlighting. RGB backlighting allows you to customize the color of each key, making it a popular choice among gamers and enthusiasts.

Additional Features

Finally, consider any additional features that may be important to you. Some keyboards come with multimedia keys, volume control, or macro keys. Others may offer wrist rests or detachable cables for easy transportation.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can choose a budget barebones keyboard that meets your needs and fits your budget.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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