- 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 | MFJ-564x Dual Paddle Key Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-564x Dual Paddle Key
MFJ-564x Dual Paddle Key Reviews: 50 Average rating: 3.2/5 MSRP: $49.95
Description: Nice beginner's key. Needs adjusmentt quite often though. Again a good starter key. Did not take me long (1 yr) begin looking for an upgrade.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the MFJ-564x Dual Paddle Key.

<— Page 2 of 5 —>

KC8CB Rating: 1/5 Feb 11, 2015 19:14 Send this review to a friend
don't waste your money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
donn't waste your money. cord (another $12.00) comes with lugs soldered on. the solder job was terrible, wires broke off while trying to hookup to key.
strain? connector is a pc of plastic that is really a wire clamp, did not hold wire (too big) so i had to correct that also. i wasted $80.00 on a poorly designed and constructed key. i would be ashamed to say i designed it. difficult to keep contacts adjusted.
VE3JSO Rating: 4/5 Sep 19, 2014 20:46 Send this review to a friend
good for a starter  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
i just got this mfj-564 key it is worth the $$$ you spend for someone just starting to learn cw i have tried the straight key the bug and the mfj-564 beats them hands down the only thing i wish they did with the key is to put something to lock the contacts in place so you don't have to keep adjusting it and come with a cable to hook it up right out of the box
W4ZFL Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2014 22:36 Send this review to a friend
Great economical paddle!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was the first paddle I had that I bought to operate C.w. with my Yaesu FT-990 which has very fast C.W. break in. I like the reasonable price and my XYL didn't object to the purchase. I have the model with the chrome base. As a teenager I had used a Vibroplex bug in the 1950s. I also used the paddle in Indonesia when I was licensed as YB0AWU/YB2.
KH6AQ Rating: 1/5 Sep 16, 2013 08:28 Send this review to a friend
do not buy this  Time owned: more than 12 months
This paddle goods good and is inexpensive but it's quite delicate. Mine would self destruct in the middle of QSOs and it ended up in the trash.
NY7Q Rating: 0/5 Sep 6, 2013 12:34 Send this review to a friend
Piece of Junk key  Time owned: more than 12 months
First off, it is not a dual paddle key. It is dual finger piece speed key.
compared to BY-1, it is slight above Junk category.
BY-1 compared to Vibroplex comparable model is junk elite.
There are some very good dual finger piece keys for Iambic use and single finger piece keys for non iambic, but MFJ is not one of them...
sorry, but my opinion is based on daily cw usage for the last half century.
K7QO Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2013 00:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Paddle/Great Price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Sept 2, 2013. I went to the local HRO and bought
a new MFJ-564B paddle for a course that I am
teaching in the next two months. Looking for a
great paddle for beginners.

I bought the paddle with the black base as I
am not a fan of the chrome base on paddles.
They show dust too easily (I live in the
Arizona desert) and finger prints. I don't
need the shiny base to use as a mirror.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the
manufacturing that went into this paddle. The
chrome was almost flawless on the yoke and arms.
The base was nicely finished.

Alignment was excellent. The contacts were
aligned properly from the factory. The contact
spacing was set to zero to prevent movement
during shipping. I first wired up the paddle
to a 3.5mm stereo plug for use with a K1 keyer
or QRP rigs. Hooked up the paddle without
making adjustments. Loosened set screws on the
two binding posts and then using CCW turn and
phillips head screwdriver loosened the contacts
until each side ceased contact and then loosened
another 1/8 turn for close spacing.

Tension is too much to my liking, so will move
the tension post towards the yoke a little more
than half-way to reduce the tension. Yes, I know
about moving the spring about the post to reduce
the tension to each paddle, but I prefer doing
it with movement of the post. Requires careful
drilling of the base, but for the price of the
paddle I don't worry about hurting anything.

I own a number of expensive paddles including
several Begali manufactured paddles, but I
like a inexpensive paddle for everyday work.
This paddle fits the bill. I recommend it for
beginners to let them get the feel and practice
of doing dual lever keying with an Iambic keyer
like the CMOS 3 or K1EL K9-K12 series uP based
keyers for working with rigs without a keyer.

I will do a complete video in the next week
for to illustrate the results and
just how nice the paddle is. I note that
previous reviews are old by more than a year,
so I think that MFJ may have changed their
Chinese manufacturer or installed quality
control procedures that have eliminated a
number of previous problems in reviews.

This paddle is a paddle similar to the Bencher
BY-1, but with a cheaper price tag. I find this
to be of importance to beginning CW operators
that do not want to break their budget until
they are sure of just how much they need or
will use a dual lever paddle.

The paddle construction by both MFJ and Bencher
is not for the heavy handed operator. You can
use a very light touch, this is not a mechanical
semi-automatic paddle (aka bug) and does not
need a heavy force to operate. There are two
safety screws, one per lever, to prevent the
arms from flying across the room when heavy
forces are applied or the paddle is dropped.
This is not recommended for any piece of
equipment anyway. :-)

I give the paddle a 5 of 5 for its functionality,
quality and ease of use and adjustment. It does
not come with a hex wrench or phillips screw
driver for adjustments. These are provided
by the buyer and should be in any radio
amateurs toolbox.

If you can find a dual lever paddle for under
$75 US that is as well manufactured, I and
several thousand other radio amateurs would
sure like to hear about it. As far as I know
there is no such animal on the planet.

I humbly submit this review without prejudice
or financial gain. I paid for it and I use
it and will be using it for some time to come.
If you do not like yours, then send it to me
(for free) and I will see that a deserving
student gets it and uses it. :-)


chuck, k7qo

VK4JAZ Rating: 4/5 Mar 28, 2012 22:44 Send this review to a friend
I love this paddle.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using this paddle, which was bought new from a dealer in Hong Kong, for about a month now and haven't touched a microphone since. It took me about half an hour to get the settings right and I haven't had to touch them since.

This key produces smooth keying and has had a good impact on my sending ability. I will hang on to it.
WA7NCL Rating: 3/5 Jan 21, 2012 17:36 Send this review to a friend
The usual MFJ quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Whenever I buy MFJ I always consider it a "partial kit". You can always count on having to modify it a little.

I bought this for camping and Fielday -- something I could take into the woods and not worry about beating it up.

When you get it, all the screws are loose. You need to tighten the ones in the base. The contact adjusters and set screw need to be removed and the split pedestal needs to be squeezed gently with a vise grips to get the locking screws to clamp the adjuster screw. The throw adjusters were threaded too sloppy so for them the only thing is to use some sort of thread locking compound after adjustment. I used clear nail polish.

After modification, it works nearly as well as my Bencher. So I am happy enough.
KI4GJV Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2011 18:30 Send this review to a friend
This is a great paddle for the money.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Some folks seem to have problems with just about everything. This $70.00 paddle works. It don't cost $200. + and doesn't pretend to. MFJ is a easy target I guess.
KF7YN Rating: 2/5 Jun 8, 2011 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this new intended for camping, field day, etc on a "buy it now" price too good to pass up, knowing full well MFJ quality is iffy these days.

When I got it, it keyed my radio all by itself! I took it apart and noticed there was metal shaving imbedded in the right hand plastic sleeve that holds the contact post. It was obviously left over from drilling and the post hole was never cleaned out or inspected.

After prying the piece of metal out, it still continued to key my radio. I measured from post to ground and read <100K ohms. Apparently the entire plastic sleeve is impregnated with metal bits. So I cleaned it up best I could and put nylon thread tape on the screw to make it work. All-in-all, a poor copy of the venerable Bencher BY-1.

Having been a commercial CW op on a merchant ship for many years, I know CW gear and the MFJ 564 is a pile o' crap.
<— Page 2 of 5 —>

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