Ducky One 2 SF Review: The Ideal Gaming Keyboard


The Ducky One 2 SF is compact gaming keyboard that changed the game when it was released.

As one of the first 65% gaming keyboards, the Ducky One 2 SF set trends in the keyboard world.

Let’s take a look at this keyboard and decide if it’s still a great choice.

The Verdict

“An ideal gaming keyboard that loaded with customization and utility”

  • Customizable PBT Keycaps
  • Powerful firmware
  • Program macros
  • Good build quality
  • Full plastic case design
  • Wired connection only
  • No hot-swap option

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sound Test

When I first heard about the Ducky One 2 SF, I was very intrigued.

The design of the Ducky One 2 Mini is one of the coolest gaming keyboards on the market.

The only problem? No arrow keys.

So when I heard the Ducky One 2 SF was getting released in a slightly bigger layout, I had to check it out.

And boy, I was not disappointed.

Coming loaded down with awesome features such as RGB lighting, extremely powerful firmware, customizable PBT keycaps, and a beautiful case design – I was hooked.

And the best part, you have the dedicated arrow keys.

If you’re looking for one of the best compact gaming keyboards currently on the market, you need to check the Ducky One 2 SF out.

Trust me, you will not regret it.

You can find the Ducky One 2 SF on mechanicalkeyboards.com coming with a ton of different options.


In The Box

The Ducky One 2 SF offers one of the most enjoyable experiences of any keyboard when opening the box.

The box itself has an intriguing design that draws your eye. With a blue aesthetic and custom design, Ducky knows how to make a good looking box.

In anticipation of opening the box, I could feel the dopamine building up. It was quite exciting.

Upon opening, you’re greeting with a carefully wrapped keyboard and tons of add-ins.

On top the keyboard, you get:

  • Plastic dust cover: Will help keep your keyboard from building up dust when not in usage.
  • Stylized spacebar: A spacebar coming in the current zodiac year. We got the year of the rabbit design.
  • Extra colored keycaps: Additional accent keycaps in blue. Allows you to customize the colors of your keyboard.
  • Power cable: A standard black USB-C to USB-A cable. Nothing too fancy here.

The extra keycaps made my mind jump with the possibility of a customized design. Being able to configure the keyboard to your own preferences is awesome.

After spending a quick minute removing keycaps and swapping them out, I had what looked like a totally different keyboard.

Build Quality

The build quality of the Ducky One 2 Mini is fantastic, but there were a few small aspects I disliked.

Let’s start with the good.

The design of the case is absolutely unique. Instead of the usual angled brick, the build is much more complex.

You get a two color split along the top and bottom: black and white. The offset in color looks stylish and attractive.

The logo and model name are printed on the front side of the keyboard in a unique way that compliments the rest of the design.

On the bottom of the keyboard, you have multi-angle kickstand adjustments that allow for multiple typing angles. Very handy.

The four DIP switches located on the back are quite uncommon to find. We’ll get more into the functionality of these switches later.

But overall, this keyboard checks all of the boxes when it comes to good build quality.

The only thing I don’t like is the full plastic case.

Plastic cases don’t offer as much durability as an aluminum option and from my experience with the One 2 SF – it feels a bit creaky when you twist it.

That being said, if you want to upgrade to an aluminum version, the Ducky One 2 SF Mecha is available with an aluminum frame.

The Keycaps

The keycaps are the most eye-catching part of the keyboard.

Coming in a high-quality PBT double-shot plastic design, these are longer-lasting than the usual keycaps that you’ll find on your old crusty Dell keyboard.

These keycaps are slightly textured and allow the RGB lighting to shine through the legends in a way that looks great.

A Zodiac spacebar is included that comes in the current Zodiac year (at which you purchased the keyboard). Ours came in the year of the rabbit.

The stylized spacebar ties the entire design together and looks even better once you turn the RGB lighting on.

I’ve never seen such an attractive illuminated rabbit before.

The blue accent keycaps let you put the finishing touch on the design – making for one of the coolest looking prebuilt keyboards on the market.

The keycaps also have sub-legends written on the front that correspond to each of the functions available on the lower layer. This is very helpful for when you want to access these commands.

Overall, the Ducky One 2 SF keycaps are an absolute killer and are sure to impress.

The Switches

The switches are about what you would expect.

You get your choice of the entire Cherry MX lineup. That includes all of the options:

Cherry MX Black: A heavy linear switch that’s great for gaming.

Cherry MX Brown: A medium tactile switch, good for typing and work.

Cherry MX Blue: Loud and clicky. Perfect for typing alone.

Cherry MX Red: A light linear switch that’s great for gaming.

Cherry MX Silver: A linear switch with a shorter actuation. Made for the purpose of gaming.

Cherry MX Silent Black: A sneaky silent heavy linear switch. For stealthy typing and gaming.

Cherry MX Silent Red: A silent light linear switch. For stealthy typing and gaming.

Cherry MX switches are known for their long lifespan and the tons of rigorous testing they go through.

The switches should last for at least 100 million keystrokes which is twice the amount of other switch manufacturers.

All-in-all the switches offer a lot of options and excellent durability.

The Stabilizers

The stabilizers are the typical Cherry style plate-mounted type with a small twist.

Instead of the usual black-on-black color, the stabilizers have a blue housing and gray stem. This color jumps out at you and shows the eye for detail that Ducky has.

They keep the larger keys (such as the spacebar) from wobbling and offer a great feel when typing.

Other than that, there is nothing super special about the stabilizers on the keyboard, but they are better than most gaming keyboards out there.

The keys feel smooth and stable.

If you want to roll your sleeves up a bit, you can consider lubing the stabilizers to reduce the friction and rattle.

But that’s not required by any means.

Powerful Firmware

Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of the Ducky One 2 SF is the firmware.

While being a little overwhelming at first, the keyboard offers a ton of functionality through the firmware. No software required.

There are three layers of keys to work with that are preprogrammed – all which are super useful.

If you’re a fan of RGB lighting, you can cycle through the different preset options and even customize your own options.

Learning to use the firmware is a bit tough at first, so I recommend reading through the user manual – which you can download here.

A super unique functionality is that you’re able to play a few games on the keyboard itself. There is an option to play minesweeper or a gambling style game. If you’re interested, I recommend trying it out.

Another cool option is being able to change the debounce time.

The debounce time refers to how long the keyboard waits before sending another signal. Mechanical keyboards typically have a debounce time of 10ms, but your able to drop it down to 5ms if you choose to do so.

This is great for gamers who want a more responsive feel.

DIP Switches For Layout Customization

The DIP switches built into the back of the keyboard also allow for you to tweak the layout easily.

Simply slide the switches into the configurations listed below to achieve each option.

You can change turn on/off Windows lock, swap between 6 and N-key rollover, and much more.

Macro Programmability

The macro programmablity lets you customize certain shortcuts and key combinations to whatever key you want.

Simply follow the steps in the user manual to change up the options. The macro programming is a very powerful aspect of this keyboard and offers a lot in terms of a better user experience.

More power to people… and keyboards.

Is The Ducky One 2 SF Hot-Swappable?

In this day and age, hot-swappable keyboards have become all of the rage.

Being able to easily swap out the switches with no soldering required is great for those who want to test different switch options and find the perfect feel.

Unfortunately, the Ducky One 2 Mini is not hot-swappable.

You are stuck with whatever switches you order the keyboard with, so choose wisely.

While many would consider this a bad thing, hot-swappable keyboards typically don’t last as long as soldered keyboards.

So although you can’t replace the switches, you should have a longer-lasting keyboard.

Is the Ducky One 2 SF Wireless?

The Ducky One 2 SF is not wireless. You can only connect via USB cable.

Anyways, gaming via a wireless connection is not always recommended, especially in competitive online games.

You are putting yourself at a disadvantage by connecting through a slower medium.

A wireless connection would be convenient, however, for portability and using the keyboard when not at your desk.

So there is a tradeoff.


Conclusion

  • Customizable PBT Keycaps
  • Powerful firmware
  • Program macros
  • Good build quality
  • Full plastic case design
  • Wired connection only
  • No hot-swap option

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


The Ducky One 2 SF is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market, especially in the 65% layout.

The amount of customization that’s available through the powerful firmware and the physical components themselves is second to none.

Few keyboards allow you to swap out the keycaps with different colored and stylized options – not to mention stylish.

If you’re interested in checking out this keyboard, you can find the Ducky One 2 SF on mechanicalkeyboards.com.

Good luck and happy typing!

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards and other tech work to show the world all of the cool aspects of the hobby.

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