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Ducky One 2 SF Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 26, 2020 at 09:09 am
Ducky One 2 SF Picture
7.8
Mixed usage
8.7
Gaming
3.6
Mobile/Tablet
7.5
Office
8.2
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
Compact (65%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Ducky One 2 SF is a versatile compact 65% keyboard that's available in different sizes, from a 60% keyboard such as the Ducky One 2 Mini to a full-size variant like the Ducky One 2. You can also get it with different Cherry MX switches; our unit has Blue switches. Every key is macro-programmable, and you have to record macros directly on the keyboard since it doesn't have dedicated software. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and it's a very well-built keyboard with doubleshot PBT keycaps. Despite its small size, the keys don't feel cramped, and it offers outstanding typing quality. Even though it doesn't have a wrist rest, you shouldn't get too tired typing on it for long periods.

Our Verdict

7.8 Mixed usage

The Ducky One 2 SF is a good all-around keyboard. It offers excellent gaming performance, as it has macro-programmable keys and RGB backlighting. The Cherry MX Blue switches we tested have a low pre-travel distance, but you can get this keyboard with the Cherry MX switches you prefer. Even though it doesn't have a wrist rest, it isn't fatiguing to type on and offers outstanding typing quality, making it a good option for work.

Pros
  • Outstanding typing quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest.
  • No dedicated software.
8.7 Gaming

The Ducky One 2 SF is an excellent gaming keyboard. Every key is macro-programmable, but since it doesn't have dedicated software, you have to record macros directly on the board. It's well-built with full RGB backlighting. Also, the Cherry MX Blue switches we tested have a low pre-travel distance, and you can get it in a wide variety of switches.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
  • Available in a wide variety of Cherry MX switches.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest.
  • No dedicated software.
3.6 Mobile/Tablet

The Ducky One 2 SF is a wired keyboard that isn't designed for use with mobile devices.

7.5 Office

Good for office use. The Ducky One 2 SF offers an outstanding typing quality with the Cherry MX Blue switches. These switches are loud to use in an office environment, but you can get it with quieter ones. Unfortunately, this keyboard doesn't come with a wrist rest, but it's still comfortable to type on and has two incline settings.

Pros
  • Outstanding typing quality.
  • Available in a wide variety of Cherry MX switches.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest.
8.2 Programming

The Ducky One 2 SF is great for programming. All keys are macro-programmable, but without dedicated software, all macro recording is done directly on the keyboard. It also has full RGB backlighting, great if you work in a dark environment. Its typing quality is outstanding, and even though it doesn't have a wrist rest, it's still comfortable to type on.

Pros
  • Outstanding typing quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest.
  • No dedicated software.
  • 7.8 Mixed usage
  • 8.7 Gaming
  • 3.6 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.5 Office
  • 8.2 Programming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.5" (3.8 cm)
Width 12.8" (32.6 cm)
Depth 4.2" (10.7 cm)
Weight 1.4 lbs (0.6 kg)

The Ducky One 2 SF is a compact 65% keyboard that has dedicated Page Up, Page Down, Delete, and arrow keys compared to its smaller variant, the Ducky One 2 Mini. This keyboard is also available in a TenKeyLess (TKL) and a full-size model.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Ducky One 2 SF has an excellent build quality. The plastic frame is solid, but it flexes quite a bit. The doubleshot shot PBT keycaps feel great, and the RGB backlighting gets bright enough to combat glare even in well-lit environments. The keys wobble a bit, but it's not too noticeable, and the spacebar is fairly stable. The solid feet help prevent the keyboard from sliding around, but because it's a lightweight keyboard, it slides easily if you push on it too much. Unfortunately, the included cable feels cheap and kinks easily, similar to the Ducky One 2 Mini.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
2
Wrist Rest No

Okay ergonomics. There are two incline settings, but it doesn't have a wrist rest. Typing on this keyboard shouldn't cause too much fatigue, although the Cherry MX Blue switches on our unit may cause a bit more fatigue for some since they have a somewhat high actuation force.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

The Ducky One 2 SF has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. Since there's no dedicated software, all RGB customization is done directly on the board itself, and you can learn how to do it with the instruction manual. You can control the brightness on a per-key basis, but you can't adjust the general brightness of the backlighting.

Design
Cable
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) USB type-C

The included USB-C cable feels cheap and generic, similar to other Ducky keyboards we've seen. The connector wobbles a lot when connected to the keyboard, but luckily, you can easily remove it and change it with another cable.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

This keyboard is wired-only and can't be used wirelessly. If you'd like a wireless alternative, consider the Keychron K6.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Extra Controls
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes

The Ducky One 2 SF is loaded with extra features. Every key is macro-programmable and all programming is done on the keyboard since there's no dedicated software. You can download the instruction manual online to find out how to record macros. There are DIP switches underneath the keyboard to remap the location of the Caps Lock, Fn, Windows Key, etc. You can lock the Windows Key by holding down Fn, Alt, and the Windows key for three seconds. There's a layer of media hotkeys you can access with the Fn and Windows key. You can also play games - Minesweeper and Ducky Gamble - directly on the keyboard, which is a fun addition. There isn't a USB passthrough, but if you want a compact keyboard with one, check out the Drop ALT.

Design
In The Box

  • Ducky One 2 SF
  • USB-C cable
  • Blue Enter, Backspace, Escape keycaps
  • 1x Year of the Rat spacebar
  • 1x black Enter keycap
  • 4x blue arrow keycaps
  • 2x branded blue keycaps
  • Keycap removal tool
  • Quick start guide

Unlike the Ducky One 2 Mini, we didn't receive an instruction manual with this unit. If you don't receive one, you can download the instruction manual online.

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Cherry MX Blue
Feel
Clicky
Actuation Force
55.0 gf
Pre-Travel
2.02 mm
Total Travel
3.79 mm

The unit we tested has Cherry MX Blue switches, but this keyboard is available in a wide variety of Cherry MX switches. The switches on this keyboard perform very similarly to the Blue switches on the Cooler Master MK730, and even though they have a small pre-travel distance, they require a good amount of force to actuate.

9.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

Like most Ducky keyboards we've reviewed, the Ducky One 2 SF offers an outstanding typing quality with the Cherry MX Blue switches. Despite its compact size, there's still enough space between each key to avoid typos, and the doubleshot PBT keycaps feel great. Even though it doesn't come with a wrist rest, typing on this keyboard isn't fatiguing for the most part, but the higher actuation force of the Blue switches may lead to more fatigue than if you were using the Cherry MX Brown switches.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Loud

The switches we tested are loud and may disturb others around you. However, you can get the keyboard in a variety of Cherry MX switches, including silent ones.

Software and Operating System
5.6
Software and Operating System
Software
Software No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Backlight Programming
Yes
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

This keyboard doesn't have dedicated software, unlike the Ducky Shine 7. All macro programming and RGB customization is done directly on the keyboard, and since it has onboard memory, you can use your settings on another computer. You can download the instruction manual online to see how to record macros on the keyboard. If you'd like a Ducky keyboard with software to customize the RGB backlighting, consider the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL.

7.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The Ducky One 2 SF has decent compatibility. It's fully compatible with Windows, and only the 'Calculator' hotkey doesn't work on Linux. On macOS, the 'Scroll Lock', 'Print Screen', 'Pause', and 'Calculator' hotkeys don't work, and the 'Insert' key works as a 'Help' key.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We reviewed the Ducky One 2 SF in black, and it's available in different sizes and in white, and you can see the differences below. Note that the 60% keyboards are known as 'Mini' and 65% keyboards are called 'SF', which stands for Sixty-Five. For the most part, we expect our results to be valid for the Ducky One 2 SF White. You can purchase each variant with a wide variety of Cherry MX switches, including Red, Brown, Silver, Black, etc.

Color Sizes Backlighting
Ducky One 2 SF Black 60%, 65%, TKL, Full RGB
Ducky One 2 SF White 60%, 65%, TKL RGB

If someone notices that their Ducky One 2 SF doesn't correspond to our review, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Ducky One 2 SF is an excellent gaming keyboard that you can purchase in a wide variety of Cherry MX switches. It's a slightly larger variant of the Ducky One 2 Mini and the two keyboards perform very similarly. What stands out about this keyboard is its outstanding typing quality. Sadly, it doesn't have dedicated software like some other mechanical keyboards, like the Razer Huntsman Mini. Also see our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best keyboards for programming.

Ducky MIYA Pro

The Ducky MIYA Pro and the Ducky One 2 SF are very similar keyboards. They both have excellent build quality and they're both available with RGB backlighting. The MIYA Pro has dedicated software, while the One 2 SF offers better typing quality and has media hotkeys.

Drop ALT

The Drop ALT is slightly better than the Ducky One 2 SF. Both are available in a variety of switches and neither has dedicated software. The Drop feels better-built, it has a USB passthrough, and it's fully compatible with most desktop operating systems. However, the Ducky offers better typing quality.

Keychron K6

The Ducky One 2 SF is a better keyboard than the Keychron K6. The Ducky offers a better typing experience and uses doubleshot PBT keycaps that feel great. It has software support and all its keys are macro-programmable. That said, the Keychron has much quieter switches and can be used wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Ducky One 2 Mini

The Ducky One 2 Mini is a slightly smaller variant of the Ducky One 2 SF and the two keyboards perform very similarly. They each have the same features and are available in a wide variety of switches. The only difference between our units is that the Mini has Cherry MX Brown switches, which are quiet, and the SF has Blue switches, which are loud to use in an office environment.

Ducky Mecha Mini

The Ducky Mecha Mini and the Ducky One 2 SF are extremely similar keyboards. Both are available in a wide variety of Cherry MX switches, offer outstanding typing quality, and don't have dedicated software. However, the Mecha Mini is slightly better because it's built with an aluminum frame.

Ducky One 2 RGB TKL

The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL is a slightly better keyboard than the Ducky One 2 SF. The RGB TKL has companion software to customize its backlighting. That being said, the One 2 SF has a compact (65%) design and it has media hotkeys.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini is slightly better overall than the Ducky One 2 SF, mainly because the Razer has dedicated software for customization. Besides that, there aren't many real differences. The Ducky is available in a wide variety of Cherry MX switches and the Razer is only available with linear or clicky switches.

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