- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Kent Single Paddle Key Help

Reviews Summary for Kent Single Paddle Key
Kent Single Paddle Key Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $139.95
Description: Single paddle
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Kent Single Paddle Key.

Page 1 of 4 —>

W1EUJ Rating: 4/5 Sep 23, 2016 13:23 Send this review to a friend
Almost great  Time owned: more than 12 months
This key is affordably priced for what you get - a precision single paddle design with a heavy base. The contacts have never given me any issues - consistent contact without skipped or extra dit/dahs. Once you figure out how it works, dialing in the settings is easy and you can get this within an atom's width if you wish, and have it stay there forever.


The screw-in rubber feet, while nice looking, are too soft with thin walls due to the mounting screw. If you are a vigorous sender, the key sways on the feet. Unfortunately, the feet are needed to allow clearance for the wiring underneath. My fix was to replace them with stiffer stick-on rubber feet.

Otherwise - a reliable key that does the job well
KD9CDF Rating: 3/5 Jun 12, 2016 19:21 Send this review to a friend
Good Key--Feet Not So Much  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Kent single paddle key is ok and would be better for me if it were not for the "tall" rubber feet which allows the key to sway left and right with key operation. The rubber feet don't grip the surface well, so I added one of those really sticky "dashboard pads" under the key. So, now the feet stay put, but the key still sways during operation.

To Kent's credit, they didn't just slap some adhesive pads on the bottom for feet. The rubber feet are attached with screws. Because of connections on the bottom, they had to use feet which provided some height to get the key base off the desk (and provide space for surface connections).

I was surprised to find the brass Kent brand nameplate on the key to have painted or inked letters which rubbed off really easily. If taking the time to show off your brand, it would probably make more sense to have durable finish over the ink/paint.

Those shortcomings notwithstanding, the key has some solid design to be proud of in my opinion. For example, adjustment screws are knurled and large, with knurled locking nuts on the contact adjustments to ensure adjustments stay put.

I don't have an especially "heavy" hand while keying, but sway from the rubber feet is a deal breaker for me. I could conceivably, engineer replacement feet or build an additional base to receive the key unit and keep it from swaying when in operation.
N5LB Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2016 08:37 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I set aside the Vibroplex bug to try something new and decided on the Kent single paddle. Squeeze keys, iambic A or B never worked for me. The key does not slip on SST desktop and keys my Flex 5000 reliably. Quality is good, this previously owned key was well cared for. The height of the key is better for me than the Vibrokeyer. Now once my fingers' muscle memory converts from the bug.....
G0UOO Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2015 09:07 Send this review to a friend
Good - Not Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had this key for 15 years plus. Once adjusted it's fine, but it doesn't seem to stay there. I echo K3GC's comments, but not to the point of throwing it out the window! A good key, but you need to stay on top of the adjustments. I'd rate it as 3.5 if I could, but otherwise it's a 4. I've moved on to a Scheunemann Einhebel 2 and it's in a different class.
G4JJP Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2015 06:07 Send this review to a friend
Excllent key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After switching from a life time of using a straight key I decided to try a single paddle. My first try was the Palm mini. That was OK, and ideal for using with my small qrp rig, but the lightweight design meant I had to hold it on the desk and this got a bit tiring.
After reading reviews, I ordered the Kent Single Paddle key. It took a little while to arrive, but I was reassured after a 'phone call which was picked up by Robert Kent himself.
The key arrived as promised, and once connected, it worked very well. I Love it.
I don't understand those who say it's too light. The base is solid, weighty, and stays where it's put on the desk. The four rubber feet give very very slightly, but not enough to be a problem. Once the key is adjusted properly (less than a cigarette paper between the contacts and light springs), the key just sings.
It looks good too. Nice solid brass on a black base. Functional, attractive, and I'm at last able to send good morse from a single paddle key.
Highly recommended.
N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2014 15:58 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT  Time owned: more than 12 months
K3GC Rating: 2/5 Mar 16, 2014 12:09 Send this review to a friend
Just not there  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have tried and tried to get myself to like this key. It looks good and the price is right but it just doesn't get there.
Those finicky little screws on the side make me want to throw the whole thing out the window and then they don't seem to stay in adjustment - no other key has them - must be a reason.
Support is nonexistent and, as has been said before it is too light - it walks all over the table.
I would have to admit that a prime reason for the purchase was not wanting to pay the Begali price. I should know better - you get what you pay for. The Begali Signature is on the way and this one will be for sale soon.
A lot of folk say good things about Kent so I am sure it will find a happy home - just not mine
G3ZCH Rating: 4/5 Sep 20, 2013 04:20 Send this review to a friend
A good key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built the key from kit form.
Nice simple key to use but one big criticism is that the base is not heavy enough, the key has a habit of moving whilst in use.
Requires a heavier bas as per the Begali keys
W8KX Rating: 3/5 Nov 29, 2012 07:10 Send this review to a friend
Good Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had the Kent single lever key for about 15 years. I built this unit from a kit. Overall this is a good key. I've had some issues with contact fouling over the years, more so than other keys I have used. The contacts need regular cleaning (I use paper strips and contact cleaner).
I brought this matter up with Kent at Dayton one year and they were less than sympathetic.
The base could be heavier but I feel this way about all keys. Overall it does not feel as crisp as the Vibroplex single lever key that also sits at my bench.
K4EHB Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2012 22:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent choice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered this key from HRO. Although it is assembled and adjusted, you'll need to attach the finger piece (two screws) and you'll need to attach a plug (I attached a 1/4" stereo plug) to the cable that is provided with (and connected to the) key.

Plan on 20 minutes if you have tools etc. nearby.

Initial impression is that is high quality, well-machined and quite nice to look at -- definitely a mechanical piece of art and utility. It is surprisingly heavy.

How well does it work?

I am quite comfortable with a bug and a straight key. I am competent using a paddle and iambic keying (mode B). I've never had a problem with "squeezing" but I have always disliked that sending "A" (di dah) requires a different rhythm than sending "R" (di dah di). If you don't know, in iambic mode "B," the last character in alternating sequence is sent automatically. For this reason, when sending "A" you need to send the "di" and the "dah" by pressing and releasing the "dit" and then pressing (and releasing) the "dah."

To send "R" you do it differently. You press the "dit" and then without releasing the "dit" you press "dah" and then you release both leaving the keyer to send the final "dit."

Mode "A" doesn't do this - it works sort of how you expect. Press and "DIT" then press while continuing to press "DIT" press and hold "DAH." The keyer now sends "di dah di dah ..." If you release both paddles after the first "dah" you'll have sent "A." To send "R" you wait for the automatically generated "DIT" and then release both paddles.

If you hook up the single paddle key, you can't sequeeze the dit and dah because there's only one paddle. Press it to the right and you get a string of dits and to the left a string of dahs.

If you want, you can configure the single paddle as a "cootie" key. For example, I configure my logikey 4 keyer so that the output follows the paddle closures. The is means whether I swing the paddle to the left or to the right, I get a tone that is a dit or a dah depending on how long I allow the closure.

With a cootie key you send 4 (...._) by doing a dit on the right, then the left, then the right, then the left (4 dits by swinging the paddle back and forth); the final dah is sent by swinging the paddle back to the right.

I haven't mastered the cootie key yet but will.

The key works great, comes adjusted and the key looks great.

If you like cw and you like playing with different kinds of keys (I use a straight key, a vibroplex vibrokeyer, a vibroplex bug, a palm paddle and a ham key paddle) and if you don't have a single lever paddle, get this one and enjoy.

Page 1 of 4 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.