Advice on Royal Kludge?

Alright, this community is super helpful and with my last post asking for what the hobby is about, I feel like you may or may not have converted me to give it a go and building my first custom.

So I’ve come across Royal Kludge, and their RK61’s and etc.

I noticed they’re hot-swappable and a lot of people have been buying them as keyboards to do their first ‘build’ on, cheapish and easy to swap out keycaps and etc.

What’s everyone’s opinion on these? I’m slightly worried about what keyboard to start out building on, I want something cheap I won’t mind taking apart with next to zero knowledge on putting them together and taking them apart, just an experimental kind of project, but I also want something that isn’t half bad.
I do like backlighting too which is why I’m kind of fixated on those types of keyboard.

Thank you for any advice you give me and I’ll continue to throw random and strange keyboards that come through my place of work as payment for your advice. :slight_smile:


Honestly I would suggest going with a decent 60% tray mount case (think KBDfans Tofu or 5°), a 60% plate in your choice of material, & a good 60% hotswap PCB (Instant60s seem to be a good pick IME) over a prebuilt. It will cost a little more, but you’ll be able to mess around with different plate materials (much bigger thing than it sounds TBH) & I believe it will hold up much better to being taken apart/put back together than any prebuilt with a hotswap PCB.


I’ll second this. The Tofu and similar are an entry point for so, so many people in this hobby and for good reason. If cost is a concern, they’re relatively easy to pick up secondhand for a fairly reasonable price. It’ll still cost more than a prebuilt but you’ll gain so much knowledge about all of the components that go into a board, how they affect sound, feel, etc. Plus, if you get a hotswap PCB that allows you to more easily try different switches and plates so that’s a worthwhile learning opportunity, in my opinion.


Royal Kludge makes decent boards for the price. A lot of YouTubers out there have made tutorials on how to mod it.

But I the post above by both @leemu and @Rob27shred are spot on. The tofu or KBD67Lite are great entry level boards from what I heard and the Tofu is almost always in stock and the KBD67Lite is available around now.

You will need switches and keycaps too if you decide to go this route. :slight_smile:


+1 for the Tofu or KBD67. Good points have already been made about the hardware, but software is also a critical aspect. If you aren’t comfortable downloading firmware/drivers from a random google drive account, I would avoid RK. I have an RK71 and I’ve had to factory reset it multiple times as a result of it having issues with bluetooth (intermittent extreme lag) as well as the charging light under the spacebar staying on in wired mode. The way its media/f-row keys work is also janky if you’re trying to use it with Mac. I’ve shelved it for the time being, until I have time to work on getting SonixQMK working on it. But I guess thats the point I’m getting at, look for a keyboard with QMK/VIA/Vial support if you can.

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Thank you for all your advice!
I think I’ll look into the Tofu65 kits and go from there!
I’ll constantly refer back to this thread for any advice you give me as I go along with the build, thank you all!