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5 Best Mechanical Numpads for Your PC

Mechanical Numpads: Unlock a New Level of Productivity and Precision

Mechanical keyboards have taken the tech world by storm in recent years, offering unparalleled typing feel, durability and customization compared to traditional membrane keyboards. But what if you love the perks of mechanical switches but don‘t need or have space for a full keyboard? That‘s where mechanical numpads come in.

These compact peripherals pack the satisfying tactility and precision of mechanical key switches into a convenient numeric keypad form factor. Whether you crunch numbers all day, are an avid gamer looking for more control options, or simply miss the numpad on your tenkeyless or 75% mechanical keyboard, a mechanical numpad is a game-changing addition to your setup.

As a computer expert passionate about digital technology, I‘ve tested dozens of mechanical numpads to bring you my top recommendations for every usage and budget. I‘ll also walk you through the key factors to consider when shopping for a mechanical numpad. Let‘s dive in!

Top 5 Mechanical Numpads

  1. Best Overall: EPOMAKER TH21 Mechanical Numpad

When it comes to the ideal balance of performance, features and value, the EPOMAKER TH21 is hard to beat. This 21-key numpad sports a minimalist yet stylish design with your choice of Gateron Pro switches – my unit came with smooth and responsive Gateron Pro Yellows rated for 50 million keystrokes.

The real magic is under the keycaps, though – the TH21 features hot-swap switch sockets, allowing you to easily customize the feel by swapping in your favorite 3 or 5-pin MX-style switches with no soldering required. The PBT keycaps are also a nice touch, with a classy matte finish and excellent resistance to shine and finger oils compared to typical ABS keycaps.

Other standout features include a vibrant RGB backlight with multiple preset animations and brightness levels, full programmability via the EPOMAKER software (remap keys, record macros and customize lighting), and a detachable USB-C cable for easy transport and replacement if needed. All this at under $40 makes the TH21 a stellar value and an easy recommendation for most people.

  1. Best for Productivity: Kinesis USB Numeric Keypad

If you‘re looking to maximize productivity and comfort during long data entry or spreadsheet sessions, the Kinesis USB Numeric Keypad is my top pick. The headline feature is the Poron padded integrated wrist rest, which provides luxurious cushioning and helps maintain a neutral wrist position to stave off fatigue and repetitive strain injuries.

Kinesis is renowned for their ergonomic peripherals, and this numpad is no exception with its gently angled key bed and thoughtful key layout. In addition to the standard numpad keys, you get handy Esc, Tab, and Backspace keys, as well as a clever 2-port USB hub (1 USB-A, 1 USB-C) to conveniently connect your mouse or other peripherals.

Performance is top-notch thanks to genuine Cherry MX Brown switches with a satisfying tactile bump, and compatibility is plug-and-play with Windows – no driver installation necessary. The build quality is also excellent with an all-metal top plate. The Kinesis numpad carries a premium price tag, but if you use a numpad hours a day, the ergonomic design and extra ports are well worth it in my book.

  1. Best Mini Numpad: Kisnt 17-Key Mechanical Number Pad

Desk space is always at a premium, so if you need a numpad but are short on room, the ultra-compact Kisnt 17-Key has you covered. Measuring just 3.4 x 4.4 inches, this tiny titan still manages to cram in a full complement of mechanical switches (your choice of tactile Browns, clicky Blues, or linear Reds), bright white backlighting, and even a standard bottom row for easy keycap compatibility.

The doubleshot PBT keycaps on the Kisnt are a highlight, with crisp shine-through legends and an attractive texture. They‘re also slightly sculpted for better feel and accuracy versus the uniform flat profile on many budget numpads. I‘m a fan of the detachable USB-C connection too, which makes the Kisnt easy to take on the go or replace the cable if needed.

While the unbranded switches on the Kisnt aren‘t quite as refined as name-brand Cherry MX‘s, they still provide a satisfying mechanical feel and are rated for 50 million keystrokes. And you‘d be hard-pressed to find PBT keycaps and backlighting at this price point. As long as you don‘t need advanced features like programmability, the Kisnt 17-Key is an excellent compact option.

  1. Most Customizable: EPOMAKER CIDOO V21

EPOMAKER makes my list again with the ultra-premium, ultra-customizable CIDOO V21 numpad. Right away, the gasket-mounted design stands out, sandwiching the PCB between Poron foam and silicone for an exceptionally smooth, slightly bouncy feel. The south-facing LED orientation also ensures the RGB lighting shines bright even with Cherry profile keycaps installed.

The real party trick, though, is the multi-purpose rotary knob in the top left corner. Using the intuitive VIA software, you can easily program the knob for volume control, scrolling, zooming, brush size adjustment in Photoshop – the possibilities are endless. The knob‘s RGB underglow can also be independently adjusted, giving you even more personalization points.

Speaking of personalization, the V21 features EPOMAKER‘s reliable hot-swap sockets, PBT keycaps, and your choice of pre-lubed CIDOO Marble linear or Matcha tacticle switches, which are quite smooth and stable out of the box. Hate wires? No problem – the V21 can connect via Bluetooth 5.0 or a 2.4GHz wireless dongle in addition to the detachable USB-C cable.

With the V21‘s uncompromising build quality, innovative features, and myriad customization options via hardware and software, this is the mechanical numpad to beat for enthusiasts and power users. Just be prepared to pay for the privilege, as all those premium upgrades don‘t come cheap.

  1. Best Large Numpad: Kisnt 34-Key Mechanical Number Pad

If you like the concept of a mechanical numpad but find 17 keys a bit too limiting, the beastly Kisnt 34-Key is here to expand your horizons. As the name suggests, this chunky boi sports a whopping 34 mechanical keys, including a second function row and a full-size arrow cluster. That opens up a world of workflow-streamlining possibilities, like mapping the arrows to volume and media controls, or using the F-keys for your most-used macros and shortcuts.

The Kisnt 34-Key impresses with its build quality and typing feel as well. You get genuine Cherry stabilizers and your choice of Cherry MX-compatible switches (my pick is the nuanced, medium-weight tactility of the Meteor Whites), seated in a rock-solid aluminum chassis with four rubberized feet. The PBT keycaps are a step up from the thinner ABS caps often seen on mainstream boards, with a slightly gritty matte texture and heartier thunk when bottoming out.

Other amenities include a detachable USB-C cable, bright white backlighting with adjustable brightness, and broad OS compatibility (Windows, macOS, and Linux) with no drivers or software required. The additional keys and premium components do command a slight price premium over generic 17-key models, and I wouldn‘t mind dedicated media controls or programmability. But if you want a fully-featured, no-compromises mechanical numpad, the Kisnt 34-Key definitely delivers.

Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Mechanical Numpad

Usage: First and foremost, consider how you‘ll primarily be using your numpad. If you‘re a data entry dynamo, prioritize a model with an ergonomic design and a lighter switch type like Cherry MX Browns or Speed Silvers to stave off finger fatigue. Gamers will appreciate the rapid responsiveness of linear (Red) switches and customization options like macro programmability, while general office use calls for a well-built board with a dependable switch type like Cherry MX Browns or Blues.

Switches: Choosing the right mechanical switch is crucial for dialing in your ideal feel and sound. The most common options are Cherry MX Browns (light and tactile), Blues (tactile and clicky), Reds (linear and light), and Blacks (linear and heavy). All deliver a far more precise and satisfying feel than a membrane numpad. If you‘re unsure where to start, I recommend either Browns or Reds as crowd-pleasing middle grounds that are great for typing and gaming.

Some numpads also offer hot-swappable sockets, which allow you to change switches on the fly without soldering. This is ideal if you plan to experiment with different switch styles or spring weights, or if you want the peace of mind that comes with easy repairability.

Keycaps: While often overlooked, keycaps have a substantial impact on the overall feel, sound, and durability of a keyboard. Most mechanical numpads come with thin ABS keycaps that develop an oily shine over time – I highly recommend choosing a set made from thicker PBT plastic for better texture, acoustics, and resistance to shine and wear. Also consider the keycap profile (sculptured OEM and Cherry are most popular) and any coatings like soft-touch or rubberized finishes.

Build Quality: Even the fanciest switches can‘t compensate for a flimsy or creaky numpad. When shopping, look for a model with a metal frame or thick plastic chassis for a sturdy foundation. A metal backplate is also ideal for adding rigidity and a deeper sound profile. Other hallmarks of build quality include genuine Cherry stabilizers, a detachable USB-C cable, and premium packaging. Rattling keys, uneven gaps in seams, and cheap-feeling materials are all red flags when assessing build quality.

Backlighting and Programmability: A backlit numpad is incredibly helpful for visibility in low-light environments, or just for adding a splash of personality to your setup. I prefer white or RGB backlighting with customizable presets and adjustable brightness levels. For RGB models, look for crisp color rendering and smooth transitions between effects.

If you crave maximum control over your numpad, shop for a programmable model that allows you to remap keys, record macros, and fine-tune other parameters. Some numpads include programming software in the box, while others like the EPOMAKER CIDOO V21 use the popular open-source VIA configurator.

Connectivity: Most mechanical numpads interface with your system via a detachable USB-C cable, which is the most reliable option. Some pricier models add wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz USB dongle – both work well, but you‘ll need to consider battery life and potential input lag. In general, I recommend sticking with a wired connection for critical productivity tasks. A few numpads also include a USB hub for connecting your mouse or other peripherals, which can help reduce cable clutter.

Layout and Size: Mechanical numpads come in a few different sizes and layouts to suit different needs and desk setups. The most common is the 21-key version like the EPOMAKER TH21, which includes a numpad, mathematical operation keys, and navigation keys like Tab and Backspace. More compact 17-key models like the Kisnt ditch the extras for maximum space savings, while extended layouts like the 34-key Kisnt offer additional keys for macro and shortcut flexibility. Consider which size and layout best fits your space and needs.

What to Know Before You Buy

There are a few important things to keep in mind before pulling the trigger on a mechanical numpad. Firstly, consider connectivity – if you opt for a wireless model, make sure the battery life will last through your typical workday, and that you have spare batteries or a convenient charging solution on hand.

You‘ll also want to research the type and availability of keycap and switch replacements for your numpad, especially if you plan to customize it down the road. Most numpads use cross-compatible Cherry MX-style switches, but some may require a specific PCB mounting style (3-pin vs 5-pin). The selection of compatible keycap sets may also be limited for smaller layouts with non-standard key sizes.

What It‘s Like to Use a Mechanical Numpad

Whether you‘re coming from the mushy modulation of a membrane numpad or have never used a dedicated number pad before, typing on a mechanical numpad is a revelation. Each keystroke delivers a precise, tactile response that improves accuracy and feels infinitely more satisfying than the vague squish of a rubber dome. The difference is even more apparent during fast numerical entry, where mechanical switches keep up effortlessly while cheaper pads get bogged down.

If you work with numbers or spreadsheets all day, a mechanical numpad will absolutely spoil you with its superlative feel and reliability. Even if you only pull it out for the occasional data entry sprint or gaming session, the enhanced responsiveness and programmability are well worth the entry fee in my experience. There‘s also just something so pleasing about the focused, purposeful nature of a mechanical numpad – like a luxury pen or tool watch, it‘s designed to do one thing exceptionally well.

The Bottom Line

A high-quality mechanical numpad is a sound investment for anyone who spends time crunching numbers, gaming, or just appreciates the finer things in their computer setup. By prioritizing key factors like switch type, keycaps, build quality, and features, you‘ll be well on your way to finding the perfect numpad for your needs and budget.

Whether you opt for a value-packed all-rounder like the EPOMAKER TH21, a productivity powerhouse like the Kinesis, or an ultra-customizable unit like the CIDOO V21, I‘m confident that once you experience the tactile bliss and unmatched precision of a mechanical numpad, you‘ll wonder how you ever got by without one.