Paddles, Paddles, and More Paddles

On the Elecraft mailing list, a discussion was started by a fellow who asked for information on “reasonablyy-priced” iambic paddles. A lively discussion ensued, and many different models were discussed. Some of the paddles discussed were not so reasonably priced, but it was fun to talk about them nonetheless.

Roger, WA7BOC, compiled the following list:

  • Kent TP-1. Buying the TP-1 in kit form saves you about $15. Read the eham review.
  • Vibroplex Code Warrior. This is a production version of the NORCAL K8FF KEY. This key uses magnetic action instead of springs and costs only $110.
  • K8RA P1, P2. The K8RA P1 costs only $89, while the P2 is $110. Both can be ordered with rosewood finger pieces.
  • Jackson Harbor Touch Switch Kit. You would use this $8.50 kit to build your own touch keyer. Personally, I’ve never liked this kind of keyer, but some people seem to prefer it.
  • CW Touch Keyer. This product can be ordered as a complete keyer/paddle combination or just as a touch paddle.
  • Black Widow. I have an earlier version of this $64 paddle, which I use with my KX-1 when I operate /P. It’s nicely made, but I don’t think I’d want to use this for everyday use.
  • Frattini Paddles. There are beautiful, though not cheap.
  • Paddles by ON4MAC. More beautiful paddles by a European craftsman.
  • Begali Simplex. This is my favorite paddle.
  • Chevron Morse Keys. More beautiful keys by a European.
  • Porta-Paddle. Like the Black Widow, I don’t know that I’d use this paddle for every day use, but for portable ops, this key would be great.
  • N3ZN Keys. These are very nice keys made in the U.S. I almost bought one at Dayton, but opted to get a new antenna analyzer instead.


  1. What about Bencher?

  2. You’re right. The Bencher was mentioned several times. I guess it was just overlooked. It’s a great first paddle.

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