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The 5 Best TKL Keyboards for Programming: Ultimate Guide

Programmers are a diverse bunch, but one thing they all have in common are their need for great, versatile keyboards!  Many programmers, like gamers, are making the switch to TKL for their smaller footprint and ease of use – the following are some of the best and most recommended among them!

The Top-Rated TKL Keyboards for Programming

Editor's PickKeyboardRating
Top PickDas Keyboard 4C TKL90%
Runner-UpDurgod Taurus K320 TKL88%
Budget PickVELOCIFIRE TKL0284%
Luxury PickMistel BAROCCO MD77094%
Best for PortabilityCooler Master SK63087%

Top Pick: Das Keyboard 4C TKL

Das Keyboard 4C TKL
  • Sleek compact design ten keyless layout
  • Laser marked key inscriptions
  • Two port USB hi hub
  • Dedicated windows key disable control
  • Full n key rollover anodized aluminum top panel

The Das Keyboard 4C TKL is the most common sight when searching across the web for programming TKLs, and it’s easy to understand why when you look at the spec sheet!

Each of the 87 inputs is equipped with a Cherry MX Brown switch, prelubricated at the factory, and capped with a charcoal PBT key.  The black anodized aluminum frame features a 2-port USB hub and a detachable USB cable.  

Users profess their love for this keyboard on forums and in review sections, citing it’s pleasant typing feel and sound, classical looks and unerring durability and precision.

If you want the programming TKL that just feels right, you’ve found it!

Runner-Up: Durgod Taurus K320 TKL

Durgod Taurus K320 TKL
  • Durgod K320 Features a Sturdy case with adjustable feets so you can prop the keyboard up at an angle to relieve your wrists. (2 positions)
  • Supports DURGOD Zeus Engine software : ( Upgrade your keyboard firmware on the go and set up complex macros or rebind keys as you wish)
  • Two Different Cables : Type C To Type C USB Cable-3.3FT (1M) and Type-C to type-A USB cable 5.9FT/ (1.8M) ; Logo Sticker and keypuller included.
  • Compatibility with Mac and Windows: Compatible with Windows 10, Win 8, Win 7, Win Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS (Might need to remap some key through the software) ; The keyboard is adapted for all environment, Home & Office use.

The Durgod Taurus K320 TKL is another widely-lauded, no-nonsense TKL with programmers in mind that’s easy to recommend to just about anyone!  This durable, full-featured board is a bit more intimidating than the top pick though, as you have a vast array of Cherry switches to choose from!

These PBT keys can be equipped with your choice of 9 different switches, covering the full gamut of linear-to-tactile, clicky-to-silent, and fast-to-precise.  If you want ultimate control, it’s absolutely worth taking the time to weigh your options and choose the right Durgod Taurus K320 TKL for you!

Budget Pick: VELOCIFIRE TKL02

VELOCIFIRE TKL02
  • MUST HAVE- Velocifire mechanical keyboard is designed for copywriter, programmer, editors who spend many hours typing every day. You will get better at typing speed and accuracy through Velocifire mechanical keyboards.
  • Durable Brown Switch- Low-noise switches have a tactile bump for feedback with every key-press. It is much QUIETER than Blue Switch but LOUDER than a regular Membrane keyboard. If you never used a mechanical keyboard before, please think about whether you can accept its sound first.
  • TENKEY-LESS - A TKL keyboard is suitble for a programmer. It provides a standard layout keyboard, without the numeric keys. With this design it can fit literally anywhere. Used TKL or compact size keyboards, you'll be amazed how much space you save, and it'll be much easier to reach for your mouse.
  • Compatibility- Compatible with Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 , and Linux. Not fully compatible with Mac OS
  • OPTIMIZED PRODUCTIVITY - The durability lasts for decades, consistently offering stable and efficient typing productivity. Benefit the typing productivity and experience in all ways through Velocifire TKL02.

The VELOCIFIRE TKL02 is a favorite among programmers on a budget, and this is reflected in its “Amazon’s Choice” status and glowing reviews!  This board features Brown switches for tactile, yet quiet typing.  The keyboard has a simple, elegant look that is punctuated by soft white backlight that glows through and under the keys.

If you’re in need of a solid TKL for programming that won’t blow your budget, this is a smart pick!

Luxury Pick: Mistel BAROCCO MD770

Mistel BAROCCO MD770
  • ▼ Mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue Switches (Tactile and Heavy-clicky): A very tactile and clicky variety, extra resistance that kicks in right before complete activation. Cherry MX Blue switches are ideal for typists who enjoy feedback from their keyboards with a tactile bump and audible click. However, the Mechanical keyboard with Cherry Blue switches might be too loud for some corporate workspaces.
  • ▼ Unique Split and Lightweight Keyboard: LEAN AND MEAN New Slim, Light-Weight Design. With Only 34.5mm Tall. The split keyboard lets you keep your wrists at a neutral angle, decreasing pressure and strain over time. You can also adjust the width between the two halves, placing them in front of your shoulders to reduce internal shoulder rotation.
  • ▼ Programmable Macro and Remapping Support: Entire keyboard is programmable to assign a macro and remapping to most keys and create key bindings so you can customize keyboard based on your needs no matter you are a gamer, typist or programmer.
  • ▼ 3-Layer Custom Configurations: Built-in Memory, after keyboard keys be set up, it can be stored in keyboard's MCU, and no need reset the keyboard even replace the computer. Can save 3-layer of configurations to handle multiple usage scenarios. Perfect not only for gamers but also for so many other types of users including designers and video editors.
  • ▼ PBT Double Shot Keycaps: Each keycap is created using their special two-shot molding process, ensuring more durability, more stability and legends that won’t fade. Features rubber feet with more aggressive tilting ability.

TheMistel BAROCCO MD770 takes versatility to a level not often seen, and for those with unique needs, this TKL offers a lot for the asking price!

This board offers just about everything a programmer could want from a TKL – a detachable USB cable, RGB-backlit doubleshot PBT keycaps, fully programmable keys with onboard memory and your choice of 4 flavors of Cherry MX switches – to name a few.  

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Mistel BAROCCO MD770 is its ability to literally split in half – to suit the ergonomic needs of even the most finicky programmer!

If you want the board that does and all and then some, this is the board for you!

Best for Portability: Cooler Master SK630

Cooler Master SK630
  • Two Keycap Sets: Slightly contoured and flat set, or go with the traditional keycap profile set for that familiar look and touch
  • Cherry MX Low Profile Switches: A reduced travel distance and actuation point with the same signature durability and precision
  • Brushed Aluminum Design: Slim top plate, floating keycaps, and minimalistic, tenkeyless design built with functionality in mind
  • Keep It Light with LEDs: Keep the lightshow going with per-key backlighting and surrounding lightbars with endless customization
  • On-the-Fly Controls: Make real-time adjustments to lighting and macros with no software necessary

The Cooler Master SK630 is a great keyboard for programming or gaming, and it also happens to be gorgeous!  Featuring a slim brushed aluminum frame, low-profile keycaps and low-profile Cherry MX Red switches, this is one super-thin board that’s built to last!

The board also features Cooler Master’s robust software for customizing key assignments and macros, as well as controlling the RGB lighting – which can be turned off or set to a simplistic lighting assignment if you so choose.

If you need portability and durability from your TKL, this is the best choice for you!

What to Look for in a TKL Keyboard for Programming

Programmers tend to put their boards through a lot of abuse and spend a lot of time with them; this relationship can go really sour if you don’t keep the following in mind:

Comfort

If you’re going to be using a keyboard for 40+ hours per week, it needs to be amazingly comfortable!  Consider the ergonomic style you find most suitable, and stick with it.  Switches play into this more than most would think – especially with regard to actuation force – so make sure you sweat the small stuff!

Connectivity

While wireless keyboard technology has gotten dramatically more reliable over the years and their batteries can last for weeks between charges, it’s probably not worth the risk of losing work or making unforced errors – no matter how rare they may be.  Go with a tried-and-true USB keyboard to save yourself the potential heartache that comes with wireless!

Programmability 

Perhaps ironically, it’s worth considering if you intend to program the keyboard itself, and if so, in what ways?  If you want to be able to remap keys or set macros, you’ll likely want to get a good gaming TKL; these boards tend to look gaudy and inappropriate for the workplace in advertisements, but in reality you can turn off the lighting or set it to something mild in order to fly under the radar!

Last Updated on February 15, 2021