Looking for recommendations for an ergonomic 75% or 80%


I don’t currently have a mechanical keyboard but I’m pretty keen to get one. I’ve been looking at different keyboards for a while, and while I don’t think I’m being too picky, I haven’t found one that looks right for me.

I would love to hear recommendations or thoughts and opinions on the keyboards I’ve looked at below.

Things I would like:

  • An ergonomic layout with: negative tilt, some tenting, wrist rest.
  • 75% or 80% ISO layout (I am in the UK). Apologies if I’ve gotten the terminology wrong here, but I would like function keys and arrow keys. I don’t mind if the arrow keys are smushed up beside shift+enter, or separated a little.
  • Not a “niche” layout like ortholinear with thumb clusters, etc. I sometimes share the computer or do pair programming, so need other people to be able to use the keyboard without too much frustration.
  • Bonus points for a volume knob.

I really like the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard I have currently (images) - and would love to find a mechanical equivalent. :slight_smile: (Okay, the function keys are garbage, but I love the other aspects.)

Keyboards I have found:

UHK 60 v2 - Seems to get very good reviews, but clearly not the layout size I would like.

Mistel Barocco MD770 - Has a key layout I think I would get on with, but doesn’t appear particularly ergonomic. No tenting or negative tilt, no wrist rest. It’s “just” a normal boxy keyboard that has been chopped.

YMDK Split 75% kit - Same issue as the MD770, maybe?

Kinesis Freestyle Edge - Actually quite tempted by this one. Would be interested in opinions.

ErgoDox EZ - Not keen on the ortholinear layout.

Okay, probably I am being too picky… :stuck_out_tongue:

Mabey a Sinc :thinking: put bumpons or 3d-print a case for negative tilt.

Kinesis also offers a Freestyle Pro keyboard which seems like less of a gamer version of the Freestyle Edge you mentioned. You may also want to look at the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. It has a few optional modules for tracballs and touchpads, but I am not sure if they have a keyboard model with function keys.

YMD Split 75 might be what you’re looking for; you’ll just need to build it up or have someone build it up for you if you’re looking for a prebuilt :slight_smile:

The pictures show an ANSI layout, but at least according to the plate, it should support ISO layout as well. Emailing to confirm would be recommended before ordering if you go this route.

Unfortunately no negative tilt or wrist rest out of the box. But with some very large 3m bumpons, you can give yourself negative tilt or tenting.

With a 3d printer and some CAD work, you could make your own little plastic feet too, although this would end up being a separate project on its own lol

So as summary;

We got a split 75% with 2 macro columns. Negative tilt or tenting can be achieved with rubber bumpons. No wrist rests included.

The plate does look like it supports ISO, but yeah, would want to email in to confirm that support

Standardized layout, just split down the middle

Unfortunately no volume knob, but you could program some of the macro keys on the side for volume up, volume down, mute, pause/play, or whatever else you want

I actually have one of these boards built up with linears I was planning on selling. If you’re interested in buying it for cheap, feel free to send me a PM and we can :crossed_fingers: shipping isn’t too much from me to you lol

Thank you very much for all the suggestions…

I’m leaning towards giving the UHK a shot. It would be my first 60% keyboard, which is my only reservation.

The Kinesis looks good too, but their software doesn’t run on Linux according to the reviews I’ve seen. And as for the kits… I’m not sure I’m at that level yet.

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I am actually brand new here, but I also currently use a Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard, so I’m interested in your journey here. I have been looking at the Iris from Keebio. They will build it for you, there is a tenting option and a rotary knob option as well. The keymapping can be adjusted via QMK/VIA, so you could rearrange it to better suit yourself. I’m still in school for Software Engineering (career change/mid-life crisis/whatever), but pair programming was introduced to us as a two keyboards/two mice situation. Keep another (less cool, easily replaceable) keyboard plugged in for anyone you pair program with. I would actually recommend this regardless of what keyboard you select. I have never had a co-worker I would trust with one of my nicer fountain pens, and I do not own any worth over $150. If any co-worker approaches me to use a $400 keyboard they are going to get growled at.

If you’re open to 60% layout, the Dygma Raise could be an option as well.