Best Barebones Mechanical Keyboards

Are you a gaming enthusiast? If yes, then you understand the critical role the right gear plays in your gaming setup. Keyboards hold a significant spot in this arrangement, and barebones mechanical keyboards bring unique benefits to the table, setting them apart from other gaming keyboard types. In this piece, we delve into the world of barebones mechanical keyboards and why they could be your perfect gaming partner if you’re keen on optimizing performance. We’ll also offer guidance on picking the most suitable keyboard for your needs and tips for reaping maximum value from your investment.

Keychron V1

The Keychron V1 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a barebones mechanical keyboard. With its powerful ultra low power ARM structure MCU with 128K Flash and polling rate of 1000 Hz, you can be sure that the performance is top notch. The PCB-mounted screw-in stabilizer ensures that your typing experience is smooth and wobbliness free. Plus, it’s hot-swappable support allows you to switch out almost any 3pin or 5pin MX mechanical switch (including Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, Panda etc.). Furthermore, the steel plate and tray mount provide great stiffness and a quality feel to the product.

Customization is also made easy with programmable QMK & VIA for custom layouts and backlight effects. On top of that, it comes with south facing RGB backlight for illumination – which really makes this keyboard stand out. The 82 keys Barebone version in compact 75% layout also features acoustic silicone pad which provides great sound when combined with KTT Kang Whites, Akko jelly black switches, or XDA profile keycaps.

The only downside of this keyboard is that it’s not the simplest one to work on and could come with more foam padding as additional protection during shipping/handling process. But overall this is an amazing barebones mechanical keyboard at a very reasonable price point – making it a great option for those looking for an affordable yet high quality gaming experience!

Glorious Gaming GMMK PRO Barebones Keyboard Kit

The Glorious Gaming GMMK PRO Barebones Keyboard Kit is an excellent choice for gamers who want to customize their gaming experience. The kit includes a compact 75% keyboard with a metal volume knob that can be switched between different colors and the front plate is also changeable. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac iOS, Linux, PS4, and Xbox – so you can use it on whichever platform works best for you. You can easily swap factory-issued stabilizers to enhance sound in any game you play. The solid build quality of this keyboard makes it worth the $170 USD price tag – not to mention the 2 Year Limited Manufacturer Guarantee + 1 extra year if registered on the Glorious website as well as Amazon’s 30 day return policy! All in all, an impressive piece of tech for gamers looking to personalize their gaming experience.

GK GAMAKAY LK67 Modular DIY Mechanical Keyboard

The GK GAMAKAY LK67 Modular DIY Mechanical Keyboard is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable yet highly customizable mechanical keyboard. Not only does it feature a compact 67 keys layout with 3pin/5pin switch options, but it also has triple modes via Bluetooth 5.0/USB-C Wired/2.4GHz Wireless and supports up to 5 devices at once. Additionally, the FN layer allows you to customize your set of keys as needed and the included braided cable and foam dampening provides protection against shock damage while gaming or typing. The lighting isn’t super bright but still provides nice RGB accents that make any desk setup look sleek. The downside is that the software UI can be difficult to navigate and the dongle can be picky with USB ports – but overall this keyboard offers plenty of features for its price point!

keydous NJ80-AP ‘Black Transparent Keyboard Kit

Seeking a gaming keyboard that’s customizable and budget-friendly? The Keydous NJ80-AP ‘Black Transparent Keyboard Kit’ might just be your perfect match. This kit packs in a host of features designed to enhance your typing experience. Its hot swappable PCB simplifies the process of replacing switches and keycaps, enabling you to personalize to your heart’s content. What’s more, it effortlessly syncs with multiple operating systems – Windows, IOS, MAC OS, Android and Linux included. No matter what your setup is like, this kit has got you covered.

For those who want RGB lighting as well, this keyboard kit provides 16 million colors for customizable backlighting. And if you’re looking for complete wireless freedom, the NJ80-AP version has 2.4G wireless programmability enabled by its BT 5.0 chipset – allowing fast and stable connectivity up to three devices simultaneously paired at low latency!

Overall, this kit offers excellent performance at an affordable price point – though Feker brand Holy Panda switches may have some wobble when used with taller caps. Nevertheless, the Keydous NJ80-AP ‘Black Transparent Keyboard Kit’ is an ideal choice for gamers seeking top-notch customization options!”


The DROP CTRL Kit is a prime pick for those seeking a straightforward, efficient mechanical keyboard. Its sturdy aluminum frame and built-in switch plate are engineered for durability. Thanks to its hot-swappable switches, you can bid farewell to soldering and welcome effortless customization. Another feature that sets it apart is the capability to program it using QMK – this means custom macros, key binds, and the freedom to play with RGB backlighting and underlighting from millions of colors at your disposal.

The dual USB Type-C connectors offer fast USB 2.0 speeds while the PBT keycaps are easy to clean and durable enough for long gaming sessions. The adjustable feet make height adjustments simple, plus it’s compatible with Cherry switches and stabilizers too (though these are not included).

On the downside, some users have reported double key press issues and malfunctioning firmware – though usually these can be sorted out via a quick firmware flash or by getting in touch with customer service (though unfortunately customer support hasn’t always been up to scratch). Despite this, the DROP CTRL Kit offers great quality construction materials, plenty of customisation options and good performance at an affordable price – making it a great option for those wanting just the basics from their mechanical keyboard setup.


The KPREPUBLIC NextTime X75 is an impressive mechanical keyboard for gamers. With its lightweight plastic case, hot-swap switches and vibrant lighting effects, it has all the features you need to customize your gaming experience. Typing and gaming on it feels responsive and fast with precise keystrokes – a perfect choice if you’re looking for something simple yet satisfying! Highly recommended.

DROP Shift Barebones

The Drop Shift Barebones is a stellar pick for those on the hunt for the ideal mechanical keyboard. Its unbeatable customizability and features make it stand out from the crowd. With its compact 1800 layout, it manages to keep the numpad intact while freeing up valuable desk space. The rugged aluminum build ensures durability, promising a long-lasting companion for your typing or gaming endeavors.

The hot-swappable switch functionality allows you to customize your experience with Halo Clear switches. You can also take advantage of millions of color options with the optimized per-key lighting. And speaking of keycaps, they’re made of Doubleshot PBT which is both comfortable and durable—perfect for gaming sessions that last all night long!

One downside is that the arrow keys are in an unfamiliar area and the half sized shift and zero keys on number pad may take some getting used to. Plus, there’s no software included for key or color customization, though this isn’t a huge problem since most gamers prefer using hardware controls anyway. Additionally, the USB-C cable included looks pretty cheap but it gets the job done well enough so that’s not too much of a concern either.

Overall, if you value a compact design along with premium materials like aluminum frames and high-quality switches then the Drop Shift Barebones mechanical keyboard is definitely worth considering!


Have you ever wanted a keyboard that was truly, uniquely yours? One that felt exactly how you wanted it to feel when your fingers danced across the keys, one that sounded just right when you’re typing up a storm? Enter the world of barebones mechanical keyboards. These are semi-assembled keyboards that come without switches or keycaps, allowing you to handpick each element and customize your keyboard to perfection.

Diving Into the World of Barebones Keyboards

Think of a barebones keyboard as your private sandbox, an unadorned canvas ripe for your individual flair. This stripped-down model of a mechanical keyboard provides only the essentials – a premium-grade chassis and PCB (Printed Circuit Board). The rest is a creative space for you to fill. Craving silent switches for those covert, nocturnal gaming sessions? Or tactile keycaps to boost your typing accuracy? Here’s where you can customize to your heart’s content.
he term “barebones” gives this concept its name, hinting at systems stripped down to the bare essentials. This concept lays down the foundation, much like a skeleton, upon which you can build your dream keyboard

Advantages of Barebones Keyboards

Barebones keyboards are not just about customization – there are several practical benefits too. For starters, they offer greater flexibility in choosing between different keyboard and switch options. This makes them ideal for serious users who might quickly outgrow pre-built keyboards.

A barebones board is typically equipped with a hot-swappable PCB, allowing for easy swapping of switches and keys – no fiddling around with soldering irons here! They also simplify assembly and maintenance compared to pre-built alternatives.
Finally, barebones keyboards take a step towards sustainability by cutting down on needless parts, effectively reducing waste. Plus, they often present a more wallet-friendly alternative compared to their pre-assembled counterparts.
h2>Picking Your Ideal Barebones Keyboard

Choosing your ideal barebones keyboard is an intimate journey, highly driven by individual tastes. Here are a few pointers that could guide you towards a match that feels just right


Are you contemplating a full-sized keyboard, replete with a number pad, or does something more compact catch your fancy? Typically, full-sized keyboards boast 104 or 108 keys. However, if space is at a premium or portability is your thing, compact versions offer fewer keys without compromising on functionality.”

Build Quality:

Consider materials that feel good under your fingertips. Barebones keyboards generally boast higher build quality than their pre-assembled counterparts.


If easy customization is important to you, opt for hot-swappable keyboards which allow for easy swapping of switches without needing to solder anything.

Connectivity Options:

Decide whether wired or wireless suits your needs better. Wired options tend to be more reliable but wireless ones offer superior portability and aesthetics.


Think about any additional features you might like such as control dials, special lighting effects or ergonomic design elements.

Finding Compatible Switches and Keycaps

Once you’ve chosen your ideal barebones keyboard base, the fun really begins! It’s time to choose compatible switches and keycaps that will shape the look and feel of your finished product. Some sellers offer customizable kits but if this doesn’t appeal, consider exploring DIY mechanical keyboard kits .Remember this: The magic of building your own keyboard is in its ability to reflect your individuality. So, feel free to let your creativity run wild!Want to level up your gaming experience without causing a dent in your wallet? Check out our comprehensive guides on the most affordable mechanical keyboards, delve into top-tier low-profile variants, or uncover the cream of the crop mechanical keyboards under $50.


To summarize, assembling a barebones mechanical keyboard can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. It gives users the opportunity to express their creativity while also receiving all the benefits of having a mechanical keyboard with superior build quality and customizability. When choosing the right keyboard, consider factors such as size, build quality, hot-swappable options, connectivity type and special features. Be sure to find compatible switches and keycaps that match your desired look and feel for your perfect customized gaming setup