Best Barebone Keyboards For Custom Build

Top 11 Best Barebone Keyboards For Custom Build in 2021 – A Buyer’s Guide

If you are confused about where to start building a custom mechanical keyboard and are thinking about the right components for you to use and you still don’t get the right composition, you should use an easier solution, namely by buying a Barebone Keyboard which you only need to add switches and keycap set only.

Barebone keyboard is a collection of several mechanical keyboard components that have been assembled such as keyboard casing, PCB, Plate, and Stabilizer which are sold in one sales package. The PCB on the barebone keyboard definitely supports the hot swappable feature so you don’t need to solder the switch to the PCB. You just need to install the switch and keycap set and your custom keyboard is done.

In this article, we will recommend the best barebone keyboards on the market today with various layout sizes and features available. The following is a list of the best barebone keyboards that you should consider:

1. GMMK Pro Barebone Keyboard – Best 75% Barebone Keyboard

x
Intsall Foam Inside The Keyboards Case
Size75% Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys83 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareVIA Firmware

GMMK Pro is a barebone keyboard with a 75% layout that has been very popular since its launch and is among the best-selling, this is because GMMK Pro brings a very cool design by providing a rotary knob on the top right so that it can add a custom keyboard impression.

The design of the GMMK Pro Barebone is really cool with a compact 75% layout. The build quality of the GMMK Pro is also very great with a body made of thick and solid premium aluminum. At the bottom of the body, you will find a very large Glorious engraving.

For PCB parts, GMMK Pro supports hot swappable 3 and 5 pin mechanical switches so it is a very flexible barebone keyboard for using various MX style switches or other custom mechanical switches. The stabilizer is also installed and the GMMK Pro uses a very high quality screw-in stabilizer.

For RGB, GMMK Pro already provides RGB that can be lit individually on each button with a variety of RGB animation options that you can customize. Connectivity GMMK Pro only supports connection via USB Type C and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

For software, GMMK Pro fully supports VIA firmware which can be used to set programmable keys, Layer Functions, and also customize RGB. A cool feature on this barebone keyboard is the availability of a slot for a rotary knob to be used as a volume wheel.

If you want a barebone keyboard with a cool design, great build quality, and a very full range of features, the GMMK Pro barebone is one of the best you can find. You can find it on Amazon.

2. Keychron Q1 Barebone – Best 75% Barebone Keyboard

Size75% Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys83 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareQMK And VIA Firmware

Keychron Q1 is available in a barebone variant, this is a barebone keyboard with a 75% keyboard layout that has a very attractive design. Compete directly with the GMMK Pro 75% which is one of the most in-demand and popular barebone keyboards.

The build quality of the Keychron Q1 is great, the body is made of thick and solid aluminum. The design is also a custom mechanical keyboard design, because Keychron is targeting the custom keyboard market when it launches the Q1 keychron.

For PCBs, Keychron Q1 supports hot swappable 3 and 5 pin mechanical switches, so it will be compatible with various types and brands of mechanical switches such as Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, Akko, and others.

RGB is also available individually on each button with various RGB animation options. For connectivity, Keychron Q1 only supports wired connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and Keychron Q1 barebone is only compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

For software support, Keychron Q1 supports QMK and VIA firmware so this keyboard is very easy to customize according to your preferences. You can find the Keychron Q1 Barebone on the Keychron Official Website.

3. HK Gaming Galaxy 75 – Best Cheap 75% Barebone Keyboard

Size75% Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys84 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareDURGOD Hera Engine

HK Gaming Galaxy 75 is a 75% barebone keyboard that is sold at a very affordable price with a cool design and great build quality, this is one of the affordable barebone keyboards that you should consider.

The barebone keyboard design is very cool and quite thin with a body made of quality aluminum which provides a very sturdy and solid build quality.

The PCB on the HK Gaming Galaxy 75 supports hot swappable features for 3 or 5 pin switches so it is very flexible with any brand of mechanical switches such as Gateron, Kailh, or Cherry MX. A stabilizer is also built-in, and this keyboard uses a very good screw-in stabilizer.

There is also a very cool RGB Backlit that lights up individually on each button with a wide selection of RGB animations that you can customize to your preferences. For connectivity, the HK Gaming Galaxy 75 barebone supports connection via a removable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

For supporting software, the HK Gaming Galaxy 75 barebone can be customized using the Durgod Hera Engine which has very complete customization options for RGB, Programmable Keys, and also layer functions.

If you want a 75% barebone keyboard at the most affordable price, the HK Gaming Galaxy 75 barebone is the cheapest you can find. You can find it on amazon.

4. Drop CTRL High-Profile TKL Barebone Keyboard – Best TKL Barebone Keyboard

SizeTKL Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys87 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareQMK And VIA Firmware

If you want to build a custom TKL Layout quality keyboard, Drop CTRL High-Profile TKL Barebone Keyboard is one of the best options for you. This Barebone keyboard has a cool design and build quality that is very sturdy and solid.

Drop CTRL High-Profile TKL Barebone Keyboard has a design like TKL keyboards in general, the build quality of this keyboard is very good and made of solid and thick aluminum.

The PCB on the Drop CTRL High-Profile TKL Barebone Keyboard only supports switches with 3 pins, so you have to pay attention to the number of switches when you buy this barebone keyboard. A quality screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this keyboard barebone.

For RGB backlit, the Drop CTRL High-Profile TKL Barebone Keyboard already has RGB that lights up individually on each key and there are various kinds of RGB animations that you can choose from. This barebone keyboard only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux Operating systems.

For software, the Drop CTRL High-Profile TKL Barebone Keyboard can be customized using QMK and VIA firmware so you can easily reprogram key and layer functions. You can find this barebone keyboard on Amazon.

5. FL ESPORTS FL870 CMMK Barebone – Best Cheap TKL Barebone Keyboard

SizeTKL Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys87 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareFL ESPORTS

FL ESPORTS FL870 CMMK Barebone is a TKL barebone keyboard that is sold at a very affordable price. The barebone keyboard design is very cool and has a very good build quality.

Build quality FL ESPORTS FL870 CMMK Barebone is very solid because the body is made of premium aluminum which is thick and sturdy. The design is also like other TKL keyboard dimensions with a profile that is not too high so it will definitely be comfortable to use for typing.

The PCB on the FL ESPORTS FL870 CMMK Barebone supports hot swappable features for 3 or 5 pin mechanical switches, making it very flexible to use switches from Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh and others. A quality screw-in stabilizer has been installed on this barebone keyboard PCB as well.

RGB Backlit with various animation options is also available on this barebone keyboard with various animation options. RGB lights up individually on each button and you can customize it using FL Esports Software. For connectivity, the FL ESPORTS FL870 CMMK Barebone only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

The supporting software is also very cool with an easy-to-use interface. FL Esports software can be used to manage programmable keys, layer functions, as well as RGB.

If you’re looking for a quality TKL barebone keyboard, the FL ESPORTS FL870 CMMK Barebone is one of the best options you can find at an affordable price. You can find it on amazon.

6. GMMK TKL Barebone – Best Affordable TKL Barebone Keyboard

SizeTKL Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys87 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareGlorious Software

GMMK TKL Barebone is a TKL-sized barebone keyboard that has a cool design, very good build quality, and quite complete features. In addition, this is one of the TKL barebone keyboards that are sold at a very affordable price.

The design of the GMMK TKL Barebone is very cool and looks minimalist. The build quality of the GMMK TKL Barebone is very good, almost the entire body is made of solid and quality aluminum.

The PCB on the GMMK TKL Barebone supports hot swappable features only for mechanical switches with 3 pins only. So you have to be more selective when choosing switches for this barebone keyboard. A screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this keyboard barebone.

RGB on GMMK TKL Barebone is very good with RGB that lights up individually on each button and has a large selection of RGB animations that you can customize to your taste. For connectivity, GMMK TKL Barebone only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

For software support that can be used to customize RGB, programmable keys, and layer functions, you can use the official software from Glorious.

If you want a TKL Barebone keyboard that has a very good reputation and has reliable quality, the GMMK TKL Barebone is one option you should consider. You can find it on amazon at a very affordable price.

7. Drop ALT 65% Barebone – Best 65% Barebone Keyboard

Size65% Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys67 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareQMK Firmware

Drop ALT 65% Barebone is the best 65% barebone keyboard you can find today. This Barebone keyboard has a compact design and has a very great build quality.

The Drop ALT 65% Barebone design is like any other 65% keyboard with a high profile keyboard. For build quality, Drop ALT 65% Barebone is one of the most qualified with a body made of solid and thick aluminum.

The PCB on the Drop ALT 65% Barebone supports hot swappable features and only supports mechanical switches with 3 pins. A quality screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this keyboard barebone.

The RGB on the Drop ALT 65% Barebone is very good and can be lit individually on each button and is available with a variety of animation options. Connectivity Drop ALT 65% Barebone only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and this Barebone keyboard is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

To customize programmable keys, layer functions, and RGB you can use the QMK firmware. If you want the best 65% barebone keyboard with full features and great build quality, Drop ALT 65% Barebone is one option you should consider. You can find it on amazon.

8. Drop Carina Barebone – Best 60% Barebone Keyboard

Size60% Keyboard
BodyAcrylic Case
Keys61 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareQMK Firmware

The Carina Barebone Drop is the best 60% barebone keyboard you can find today. This Barebone keyboard has a very cool acrylic design that can emit RGB lights throughout the keyboard body, the built quality of this keyboard is also very good because it is made of thick and solid acrylic material.

The PCB on the Drop Carina Barebone supports hot swappable switches with 3 or 5 pins so it is very flexible and can use mechanical switches from various brands. Quality screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this keyboard barebone.

The RGB on the Drop Carina Barebone is great because it lights up the entire body and lights up individually on each button. There are a variety of RGB animation options that you can customize to your taste. Drop Connectivity The Carina Barebone only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

You can use the QMK firmware to customize RGB, programmable keys, and layer functions. If you want the best 60% barebone keyboard, the Drop Carina Barebone is one of the best you can find right now, you can find it on amazon.

9. EPOMAKER GK61X Barebone – Best Cheap 60% Barebone Keyboard

Size60% Keyboard
BodyAluminium
Keys61 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareQMK Firmware/Epomaker GK6X Software

EPOMAKER GK61X Barebone is a 60% quality barebone keyboard that has very complete features and is sold at a very affordable price.

Barebone keyboard design is very compact with a rather high profile keyboard. The build quality is also quite good with a body made of solid and sturdy plastic.

The PCB on the EPOMAKER GK61X Barebone supports hot swappable features that support 3 or 5 pin mechanical switches so it is very flexible to use any brand of switches. Screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this EPOMAKER GK61X Barebone.

The RGB on the EPOMAKER GK61X Barebone is very nice and lit individually and there are various animation options that you can customize according to your preferences. The connectivity of this barebone keyboard only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

To customize RGB, Programmable Keys, and layer functions you can use the Epomaker GK6X software which you can download for free on the official Epomaker website.

If you want a quality 60% barebone keyboard at a pretty cheap price, the EPOMAKER GK61X Barebone is one option you should consider, you can find it on amazon.

10. Drop Shift Barebone – Best 96% Barebone Keyboard

Size1800-Compact/96% Keyboard
BodyAlmuminium
Keys99 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareQMK Firmware

Drop Shift Barebone is a 96% barebone keyboard with the best design and build quality today. This Barebone keyboard has a compact design and great build quality with a body made of aluminum.

The PCB on the Drop Shift Barebone supports hot swappable features for mechanical switches with only 3 pins. Quality screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this keyboard barebone.

The RGB on the Drop Shift Barebone is great with a wide selection of animations and lights up individually on each key. Connectivity This barebone keyboard only supports connection via a detachable USB Type C cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

You can use QMK Firmware to customize RGB, Programmable keys, and Layer Functions on the Drop Shift Barebone. If you want a 96% barebone keyboard with really great features and quality, Drop Shift Barebone is one of the best options you should consider. You can find it on amazon.

11. GMMK Full Size Barebone – Best Cheap Full Size Barebone Keyboard

SizeFull Size Keyboard
BodyAlmuminium
Keys104 Keys
ConnectivityWired
Hot SwappableYes
StabilizersScrew-in Stabilizer
RGB BacklitYes
SoftwareGlorious

GMMK Full Size Barebone is probably the only full size barebone keyboard currently available. GMMK Full Size Barebone has a cool design with great build quality because the body is made of solid aluminum.

The PCB on the GMMK Full Size Barebone supports hot swappable features for mechanical switches with 3 pins only. Screw-in stabilizer is also installed on this keyboard.

RGB on GMMK Full Size Barebone is very good with various animation options that you can change according to your preferences. This Barebone keyboard only supports connectivity via a non-removable USB cable and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.

To customize RGB, Programmable Keys, and layer functions you can use Glorious Software. If you want a full size barebone keyboard with excellent quality and reputation, GMMK Full Size Barebone is the right choice for you. You can find it on amazon.

Conclusion

Using the Barebone Keyboard is the easiest solution for building a custom mechanical keyboard without having to buy components separately. You just need to add the Switch and keycap set and your custom keyboard is done.

We really like the GMMK Pro barebone and Keychron Q1 barebone which are two barebone keyboards with a 75% layout. These two barebone keyboards are our best choices if you want to build a custom keyboard that looks good and quality.

Top Articles