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How Many Keys are There on 65% Keyboard?

The 65% of keyboards are popular nowadays, mainly for gaming and typing. 65% keyboards are compact and functional.

They are the best option if you want a keyboard with better functions than the 60% keyboard but smaller in size than a full-sized keyboard.

There are 67 to 68 keys on 65 % keyboard in total. But, it can also have as many as 71 keys and as few as 66 keys. 65% keyboards lack Numpad, F- keys, Dedicated media keys, and print screen keys.

Wired 65% Mechanical Keyboard
Wired 65% Mechanical Keyboard (Source: Amazon)

I have always used full-sized keyboards and considered anything with fewer keys less functional.

But, since I do not use the Numpad often and need the keyboard only for basic typing, I choose a 65% keyboard. It has turned out to be the best option.

Read on to know in detail about the 65% keyboard and get some of the best recommendations.

What is a 65% Keyboard?

A 65% Keyboard is a functional and compact keyboard with only alphanumeric, modifiers, and arrow keys. They do not have a Numpad, function keys, or navigation keys.

They have also become more popular among programmers and developers.

65% keyboards have extra sets of keys compared to 60% keyboards, which makes them functional and compact.

Gaming Mechanical Keyboard - Speed Switches - 65% Layout
Gaming Mechanical Keyboard – Speed Switches – 65% Layout (Source: Amazon)

How Many Keys are There on the 65% Keyboard?

There are a little more than 65 keys in a 65% keyboard compared to 104 or 105 keys in a full-sized keyboard.

With the removal of functional and Numpad keys, 65% keyboards usually have 36 keys less than the full-sized keyboard.

65% keyboards usually have 67 to 68 keys. However, the majority of the 65% keyboards have 68 keys.

About thirty percent of the 65% keyboards have 67 keys. Except Leopold FC660M 65 and Velocifire TKL71WS have 66 and 71 keys, respectively.

65% keyboards have arrow keys and one extra row of keys on the right side of the keyboard. The extra row has a page up and down keys and home and deletes keys.

However, the placement of these additional keys varies depending on the manufacturer.

Some of the 65% keyboards have 1.5u keys instead of 1u keys between the spacebar and arrow keys on the left.

However, the missing keys on 65 % of keyboards are mentioned below.

  • Fn- keys (F1 to F12)
  • Dedicated media keys
  • Numpad
  • Print screen

Read about; How to Get Used to a New Mechanical Keyboard?

Different Keyboard Layouts of 65% Keyboard

There are two different layouts among the 65% keyboards; a layout with all keys clustered together and a layout with arrow keys separated from home keys.

Layout 1: Clustered Keys

The keys on the 65 % keyboard with clustered layout have all the keys close together. There is no separation of arrow keys from home keys.

The clustered layout is good for you if you want your keyboard smaller than the standard 65% keyboards.

Durgod Hades 68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - 65% Layout
Durgod Hades 68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – 65% Layout (Source: Amazon)

Layout 2: Separate Arrow and Home Keys

The keys on the 65 % keyboard with a well-spaced layout have separated keys. The home keys are in a different cluster than the arrow keys.

This layout is much more comfortable for typing.

Varmilo MA87M Sakura White LED TKL Dye Sub PBT Mechanical Keyboard
Varmilo MA87M Sakura White LED TKL Dye Sub PBT Mechanical Keyboard (Source: Amazon)

How Many Switches do you Need for a 65% Keyboard?

Switches are used under the keycaps in mechanical keyboards to register each click.

The number of switches can vary depending on the number of keys on the keyboard.

A 65% keyboard will typically require between 67 to 68 switches. However, some keyboards support a split spacebar.

If your keyboard has this feature and you wish to use a split spacebar layout, you’ll need 1-2 more switches for 70.

Even if you don’t require a split spacebar, it’s always good to have a few extra switches on hand; thus, getting 70 switches for your 65% keyboard is still the best option.

Cherry Mx Blue Switch
Cherry Mx Blue Switch (Source: Amazon)

Read about; Should You Get a Hot-Swappable Keyboard?

Is There a 65% Keyboard with Numpad Available?

65% keyboards usually do not have the Numpad included. However, some brands come with the Numpad included.

Epomaker SK71 Keyboard does not have function keys or Navigation keys but does have a Numpad.

Vortex ViBE Dye Sub PBT mechanical keyboard has 79 keys, including the Numpad.

So, it has 71 keys, excluding the Numpad, which can be considered 65%. Some 65% of keyboards also have 66 -71 keys.

(EPOMAKER SK71 71 Keys Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboard
(EPOMAKER SK71 71 Keys Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboard (Source: Amazon)

What Number of Stabilizers does 65% Keyboard Need?

Stabilizers are used under larger keys like space bars under keyboards to stabilize the key during typing.

65% keyboard needs typically 4 to 5 stabilizers. Four stabilizers are usually sufficient for a 65% keyboard.

However, a keyboard with a larger right shift key, 1.75u, needs one more stabilizer.

Most 65% of keyboards use only one stabilizer on the spacebar, backspace key, and enter key.

Stabilized keycaps
Stabilized keycaps (Source: Wikipedia)

Are 65% Keyboards Worth it?

The preference for keyboard size has shifted from full-sized to compact smaller keyboards with essential keys.

The smaller keyboard market is dominated by 60% and 65% keyboards. Between them, 65% keyboard is only slightly larger and has more essential keys than 60%.

Advantages of 65% Keyboard

65% of keyboards are preferred for their compactness and functionality. Let’s have a look at a few advantages of 65% keyboards.

1. Ergonomics of 65% Keyboard

A smaller keyboard means that you do not have to extend your hands further to reach the mouse.

The layout of the 65% keyboard is compact, so it can reduce carpal tunnel syndromes and RSI (repetitive strain syndrome) by preventing your muscles and tendons from being stretched.

According to research done in three workplaces in Indonesia, 10% of Occupational Health Safety diseases are caused by computer keyboard problems, including carpal tunnel, RSI, etc.

Carpal tunnel
Anatomy of the carpal tunnel, showing the median nerve passing through the tight space it shares with the finger tendons (Source: Wikimedia)

Studies state that the repetitive switching between mouse and keyboard, especially by gamers who require fast switching action, can cause inflammation of the flexor digitorium and superficial with increased pressure on carpal tunnel space.

65% keyboards reduce such problems among users and have proven to be quite beneficial.

Read about; What is the Ergonomic Position for Keyboard and Mouse?

2. Compact Size

The 65% keyboards are compact and only five percent larger than 60% keyboards, so they are very compact.

It is smaller and easily fits on your small-sized desk. Most of them can even be carried around in your backpack if they are wireless.

3. Includes Arrow Keys

The 65% of keyboards include arrow keys that are not present in 60% of keyboards. You might need to remap keys if they are not already present to be able to use arrow functions.

It is quite challenging to toggle between FN and PN keys to use arrow functions.

keys on 65 keyboard
Arrow Keys (Source: Pixabay)

Disadvantages of 65% Keyboard

65% keyboards are suitable for most users. However, if you need the Numbad and other missing keys, you might feel difficulty using this keyboard.

1. Lacks Some Essential Keys

65% keys lack some important keys, as mentioned above.

Not having Numpad means that you will have difficulty having efficiency while calculating while playing some older versions of games.

Other important keys like function keys act as shortcuts for functions like saving, help, etc. It won’t be easy to conduct these functions without the function keys.

2. Difficulty in Customization

65% keyboards have different layouts with different keys and USB port placement. So, you may have difficulties fitting different cases on a 65% keyboard.

Either your keys will be squashed like the ride-side modifiers or squished while fitting arrow keys.

Also, some keyboards, like the Varmilo VA68, leave an odd gap when fitting custom keys.

Also read: Is it Inappropriate to Type on Keyboard with Two Fingers?

Who Benefits from 65% Keyboards the Most?

65% keyboards are suitable for most users. However, their functionality benefits certain types of usage better.

  • Typist: 65% keyboards are compact, and the keys are spaced closely, which makes typing easier. 65% of keyboards are mostly mechanical with a different feel, noise, and feedback from the keys, which means different typing experiences.
  • Programmer: Numpad is not essential for most programming languages. Without the Numpad, programmers can reach their mouse easily, which makes switching between mouse and keyboard easier.
  • Gamer: Gamers do not require the function keys or keys with high click speed, which is present in most mechanical 65% keyboards.

However, 65% keyboards are not suitable for you if your job is related to data entry and you rely a lot on the Numpad for your job.

Related article on Make Your Mechanical Keyboard Quieter.

Best 65% Keyboards in 2022

Here are some of the best 65% keyboards in 2022.

Best 65% KeyboardsBest FeaturesProduct Image
Fnatic Streak65: Best for gamingRapid keypress
Customizable inputs
RGB Lighting
Drop ALT: Best for Hot swapping67 Keys
Fully programmable
USB connector
Asus ROG Falchion: Best Quality68 Keys
Cherry MX Red switches
Double-shot PBT keycaps
RGB lighting
Keychron K6: Best for Price68 Key
Typing quality is good.
Akko 3068: Best Wireless Feature68 Keys
Long battery life
Compact design
Vortexgear Cypher 65: Best No-Frillsdetachable USB-C cable PBT keycaps
Leopold FC660C: Best Topre4 DIP switches
unique electro capacitive Topre switch
Durgod Fusion Mechanical KeyboardCompact
Long-lasting Battery
Royal Kludge RK68Simple and quality build
Great typing experience
Also read: How Often Should I Lube My Keyboard?


65% of keyboards are useful if you do not need the Numpad often.

It is a compact and functional design, perfect for you if you do not need a full-sized keyboard and the 60% keyboard lacks essential keys for you.

The keys on the 65 % keyboard lack some keys like F- keys, dedicated media keys, Numpad, and print screen. However, there are some keyboards with Numpad available.

The 65% Keyboards also come with features like wireless, customizable, etc

Related article: How to Type Without Looking at the Keyboard?

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