Split the Hair

I'm thinking about buying a(nother) mechanical keyboard. I already wrote about that, but this time I'm focusing on more details on the available solutions to this wish.

I can't actually afford it at all, yet, but at least I'm studying, exploring and learning, while trying to find the nicest solution for me. Who knows? It might even become my own 50 years old birthday self-present, next year.

This time, I'm aiming at an ergo split keyboard. After an IBM Model M, a Filco Majestouch 2 TKL and a customized GMMK 1 TKL ISO, seems about time to go for an ergo split one.

Why? Because I'm trying to train myself to properly type, and I've found out that splitting is reasonably useful for this.

Why? Because a split keyboard allows a further degree of freedom in moving its pieces and moving them far apart helps keeping hands in the proper position and also helps keeping a proper posture while sitting and using a computer.

Why? Because having the two halves of a split keyboard moved on the side, allows keeping the arms more open and so keeping the back straighter.

Why? Because I'm starting feeling my age, so keeping my back right is better.

Why? Because otherwise I feel I'll have more back pains in later years.

Let's see why I'm thinking about a split keyboard. Take your seat, might be a long post.

The story, so far:

  1. Queen Elizabeth II vs. Emperor Reiwa
  2. Emperor Reiwa vs. Dr. Black (with the help of Harlequin)
  3. Is the Quest over?
  4. Dr. Black is Here
  5. I'm Back (in the Mechanical Tunnel)

I'm trying to type more properly. I can't exactly touch-type, my fingers more heve and there on the keyboard and I very seldom (if ever!) use ring fingers or pinkies to type.

So, in order to progressively improve my typing, even before using an online tool like https://agilefingers.com/ or similar, I've started by simply putting a folded sticky note in the middle of the keyboard, where the split between left and right hand should happen.

Hand-made Split Dr. Black

Thanks to this, I've found out that my right hand moved too much on the right, also taking care of T-G-B column.

So, in the end, a split keyboard might help me learn better, more efficient typing and even a better sitting posture.

Long story short, as already written before, I'm evaluating a list of possible split keyboards candidate. Let's see it, in alphabetical order.

Note that I suck at building and soldering, so I'm aiming at those keyboards that come pre-built or where build service is available.

Now, let's see the details for each one.

Disclaimer: together with normal links, for some products I personally like, I'll add some affiliate links, following the results of this poll on Fosstodon. The links will be shown as [affliate link] and they will always be put after the normal link. No one is asking me to do that or, even worse, paying me for doing that: I've bought some products, and I've automatically received an affiliate link. If I personally like the products I mention, I'll add the affiliate link (up to you to use it), otherwise I won't, even if it'll be the same website.

Note that all the keyboards I mention here are based on or can be configured with QMK or similar firmwares (TMK, ZMK, VIA or VIAL, ...), so I won't mention this in the pros columns at all.

ErgoDox EZ

Website tagline:

The world's most powerful ergonomic keyboard lets you customize anything, even your keyswitches.

ErgoDox EZ Glow White Tented with Wrist Rest

The ErgoDox EZ is the commercial pre-built edition of the famous original ErgoDox keyboard designed and built by Dominic “Dox” Beauchamp that led to a lot of descendants and variants thanks to the fact that it's open.

The EZ comes with per-key RGB, underglow or no LEDs, with or without tenting kit, in black or white colours. You can even have it with or without the palm rest. A nice set of configurable features, indeed.

There also is the plain default choice of Cherry MX switches (the usual Red, Brown and Blue) and even fewer choices on keycaps (blank or printed).

As a possible pre-built alternative, there is also a FalbaTech revision called ErgoDox_FT that can have custom bamboo cases and some more customizations.

FalbaTech ErgoDoz_FT FalbaTech ErgoDoz_FT

Not much other buying options, as far as I can see, unless building it by myself.

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Tilt/Tent Kit ABS-only printed keycaps (EZ)
Wired Return to Taiwan at tracked own expenses (EZ)
Blank-only modifiers keycaps (EZ)
Quite big thumb areas
Custom fees (EZ)
Low quality keycaps (FT)

ErgoDox EZ Price

Price (EZ): $295 + (unknown) fees.

(White, no-LEDs, tilt/tent kit, no wrist rest, no bag) Shipping included.

ErgoDox_FT Price

Price (FT): €415.13 + €25 shipping = €440.13.

(Cheapest acrylic case, no tenting, carrying case) This configuration


Website tagline:

Experience Keyboard Comfort Like Never Before

Based on over eight years of hands-on user testing, the Glove80 keyboard has been uncompromisingly designed to deliver the best ergonomic typing experience possible for the widest range of hand sizes.

Internationalized Glove80

The Glove80 seems to be the most recent evolution of split ergonomic keyboards, with even international keycaps for some countries (not Italian, at the moment) and usual features like RGB, wireless, and the like.

It almost has the full keyset, with numbers, arrows, function keys and a set of six thumb keys for each side. It's a low profile, Choc v1-based, that currently comes in black or gray.

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Tentend and curved International but no Italian keycaps
Lightweight Wireless
Almost traditional QWERTY layout Choc switches and keycaps
Alphas keycaps swappable No transport bag
Custom fees
Not open
Very big thumb areas

Glove80 Price

Price: $395 + (unknown) fees.


Website tagline: (none)

Sample Iris Configuration

The Keebio Iris is a custom, split, column-staggered keyboard with a bunch of different configuration options and even different versions of PCBs with different funcionalities.

It has different types of plates and different types of available switches. A middle layer can also be chosen, with a set of holes that can be used to tent the keyboard using common bolts. A different, more enclosing, Iris 3D Printed Case is also available through Tree Dog Studio that can send it to Keebio for building.

Keycaps are not available through Keebio, but I already know a good provider, that is YMDKey (this is the [affiliate link]), and my favourite DSA set seems proper for most split ergo/ortho keyboards: 107 DSA Profile Gray Orange Keycaps (this is the [affiliate link]).

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Shipping + custom fees specified and included No keycaps
Bag available Custom tenting with bolts
Wired Not open

Iris Price

Price: $196.95 + $29.99 (bag) = $233.89 + $25.17 shipping + $48.09 fees = $307.15

(Rev.7, B-stock stainless plates, middle with tenting holes, 1m cable)


Website tagline:

Split-hand, Mechanical, Ergonomic

A cutting edge keyboard with column staggered layout and enormous customization options, made to elevate your workflow to the next level


The K:02 is a very beautiful 58 keys keyboard that unfortunately is available only with blank keycaps and without any clicky type of switches.

It's anyway possible to buy it without switches, so customizing both switches and keycaps instead of having blanks only. Many types of clicky switches are available at YMDKey (this is the [affiliate link]), and for keycaps, considering this keyboard has the same number of keys of Lily58 Pro, the same keycaps set might be applied.

There is even an alternative with the Remnant, from the same producer, that is basically a concave version of the K:02.


For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Beautiful case Blank-only keycaps
Wired From Russia, not sure about current situation
Magnetic Tent No clicky switches
Custom fees

K:02 Price

Price: $150

(K:02, no switches, no keycaps)

Remnant Price

Price: $200

(Remnant, no switches, no keycaps)

Lily58 Pro

Website tagline:

Lily58 is 6*4+4keys column-staggered split keyboard.

Lily58 Pro

Quite famous and with a lot of descendants, the Lily58 Pro is a custom, open split keyboard, with a column-staggered layout, 58 keys and even two OLED screens.

It's available in many places and variants, but considering the fact that I possibly have to commute with it, I really need a case safer than the normal plates and cases available here and there. The only reasonable case I've found, with different options and available in Europe, is the one provided by KrisCables. Some people suggest to anyway always use a magnetic USB cable to avoid problems with micro and TRRS connectors.

Even for KrisCables, anyway, MX clicky switches are not available and keycaps are not available at all. Again, The 107 DSA Profile Gray Orange Keycaps (this is the [affiliate link]) seems the most reasonable solution. And for switches I might go for the Kailh Box White (this is the [affiliate link]) that are reasonably clicky and quite cheap.

Also, the only service provided by KrisCables is soldering so, once received, I should take care of putting the switches on their plate and then align the plates and screw the whole thing. Not sure about flashing firmware, though. So it's actually not-so-prebuilt.

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Wired To be built (only soldered)
Case limited to KrisCables' High Profile
No clicky MX switches (on KrisCables)
Suggested magnetic USB cable
No keycaps

Lily58 Pro Price

Price: €217.3 + €12 shipping = €229.3

(MX, high profile case, OLEDs, no hotswap micros, without switches and keycaps)


Website tagline:

The Redox project is an open-source, QMK (Quantum Mechanical Keyboard Firmware) powered, ergonomic split mechanical keyboard. This repository will be used to share information about the project and instruction on how to use and assemble the Redox keyboard.


Designed and built by an Italian person, the Redox is basically a reduced Ergodox.

The simplest (and even suggested, actually) way to have a pre-built Redox is going through FalbaTech store and use its online configuration to grab the perfect keyboard for you. FalbaTech is well-known for its bamboo cases for many split and ergo keyboards and the good numbers of configurable parameters.

A possible alternative solution, for better keycaps (unless you like blank, so anything is fine) is, again, to go to YMDKey (this is the [affiliate link]), and grab a mix of DSA keycaps:

Product (normal link) Price Affiliate link
DSA 48 Keycaps(PBT 1.4mm Thickness/Planck Filco Ergodox Using) €16.97 Affiliate link
DSA 1u Keycaps(Blank ABS Or PBT 1.4mm) €7.45 Affiliate link
Modifier Blank DSA Keycaps(1.25 1.5 1.75 2.25 2.75 u/PBT 1.4mm) €7.07 Affiliante link

(prices in euros above might change depending on daily exchange rates)

Remember you need:

So, something like €55 including shipping.

If you don't mind having less printed keycaps, you can even go with the 68 Matcha Keycaps(ZDA Profile Dye Sub 1.55mm Thickness/Ergo Ergodox Lily58 Planck Preonic Using) (this is the [affiliate link]) but you still need to add the 10x1.25u (or 8, again, see above) keycaps that are not available in ZDA profile from YMDKey.

I think it should even be possible to go with full 1u keycaps, so the same keycaps already mentioned, the 107 DSA Profile Gray Orange Keycaps (this is the [affiliate link]) seems the most reasonable solution. Final result shouldn't be too bad as you can see here:

BeeKeeb 1u Redox

Keys By Luker 1u Redox

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Bag available Not-so-nice keycaps (Falba Tech)
Wired Weird keycaps layout: 6x1.5u + 10x1.25u + 54x1u

Redox Price

Price: €280.44 € + €25 shipping = €305.44.

(Acrylic case, no keycaps, bag, no hotswap) This configuration.


Website tagline:

A modern low-profile ergonomic split keyboard with a number row and a feature-full thumb cluster.

Per-key RGB and tents available.


The Scylla is a concave/profiled custom keyboard with thumb areas and number rows, again with 58 keys in two column-staggered halves. It can be bought both as a “full” (without any keycaps, switches and even cables!) kit or as pre-built.

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
per-key RGB available Expensive
fixed tenting available No keycaps
No switches
Fixed tenting

Scylla Price

Price: > €500

There is no an official reference and guideline or prices lists, but contactinq Quentin LeBastard directly, the price, for a pre-built Scylla with RGBs and tenting comes out at more than €500, including shipping but without cables, keycaps and switches! The “full” kit, with both tenting and per-key RGB, is €220.66 exluding VAT.

Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

Website tagline:

The keyboard. For professionals.

A fully programmable, impeccably built, open source, split mechanical keyboard designed for extreme productivity and ergonomics.

UHK Layout Examples

The Ultimate Hacking Keyboard also known as UHK, is a full open keyboard, highly configurable (in terms of key mappings) with a classic staggered layoutd modular thumbs areas that can fit keys (left side only), trackpoint (right side only), trackball (right side only) and the like. The keyboard uses OEM profile keycaps, with even a couple of non-standard keycaps, so, even though it can be programmed to swap between QWERTY, Colemak and Dvorak, it might be actually weird to swap keycaps since they have different angles.

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Doubleshot PBT keycaps Staggered
No arrows keys
Extra Thumb Modules
Custom keycaps

Ultimate Hacking Keyboard Price

Price: €365.27 + €25.41 shipping = €390.78

(no palm rest, no external module)

ZSA Moonlander

Website tagline:

Introducing Moonlander Mark I

A next-generation ergonomic keyboard

Unboxed ZSA Moonlander

Last in alphabetical order, the ZSA Moonlander is a sort of Ergodox sibling, with additional and different features. It comes with a travel bag and (apparently undetachable) wrist rest and a custom pair of triangular keycaps with Costar stabilizers (that can anyway be removed and replaced)! Alphas are all OEM R3 profile, so in this case they can really be swapped around. Keycaps are available as classic Cherry and even cheaper Kailh.

For this keyboard, summarizing, I see these points:

Pros Cons
Carrying case included Return to Taiwan at tracked own expenses
QMK Officially Supported Included Wrist Rest
Tilt/Tent Kit available Custom Thumb Module Keycaps
Doubleshot PBT keycaps
Alphas keycaps swappable

ZSA Moonlander Price

Price: $365 + (unknown) custom fees.

(White, printed keycaps) Shipping included.


Closing this (long) article, I might say I've even considered other keyboards like the ErgoDash (¥35090 from Yushakobo, pre-built), the Fortitude60, the Manta60, the Sparrow62 and few others. Unfortunately, very few of them (if any!) are available pre-built. The Yushakobo sore in Japan seems pretty organized to allow pre-built of a lot of custom keyboards (it seems mechanical keyboard community in Japan is really alive!), but even if I'll be there next summer, I can't order from the web and grab the keyboard in store. And I won't stay there enough (2-3 weeks) to ask for the keyboard when arriving.

Back to the original list, let's recap at least the prices:

Keyboard Price Notes
ErgoDox EZ $295 plus custom fees
ErgoDox_FT €440.13 (EU) with bag
Glove80 $395 plus custom fees
Iris $307.15 with bag, +$48.88 for keycaps
K:02 $150 no switches, keycaps, plus custom fees
Remnant $200 no switches, keycaps, plus custom fees
Lily58 Pro €229.3 (EU) +$83.34 for switches, keycaps
Redox €305.44 (EU) with bag
Scylla >€500 (EU) no switches, keycaps and cables
Ultimate Hacking Keyboard €390.78 (EU) now arrow keys, staggered
ZSA Moonlander $365 plus custom fees

What to do, next?

Well, for sure I first have to find enough money...

Split the Hair by Marco Bresciani is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International