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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | March Magnetic Paddle R3a Help

Reviews Summary for March Magnetic Paddle R3a
March Magnetic Paddle R3a Reviews: 73 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $250. and up
Description: Handmade Brass Paddle with Excellent "Feel"
Product is in production.
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WA4FOM Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2014 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Never give up. Never surrender.  Time owned: more than 12 months

I bought a set of these from Mike a number of years ago and,
as luck would have it, SuperStorm Sandy decided to belch a
tide of toxic sludge all over some very valuable equipment I
had in storage. Guess what paddles got marinated in said
toxic sludge? No, the hurricane insurance paid for nothing,
because it didn't cover toxic sludge inundation. Needless to
say, brass + toxic sludge = Green Fuzz that destroys pretty

But I digress. Now that my blood pressure has lowered and
my bank balance raised, I finally ordered a new set (actually
two sets) of paddles from Mike. They were as beautiful as I
remembered. Their mass alone makes them suitable for both
heavy-handed CW use as well as home defense. The adjustments
are straightforward; Mike even sends you an Allen wrench for
the more detailed tweaks.

Another plus point to these paddles (at least for me) is that
these do not exhibit the typical "stickiness" I have experienced
with many other magnetic paddles. These have a smoothness that
you usually only experience with spring-based tension.

And let's not forget that visceral "beautiful as melted butter"
look that only finely machined brass can present to the loving
eye of the CW op. You'll want to keep these shined up all nice
and pretty under bright lights for all to see.

Ooh. Ahh. Buy a set because they're pretty. Use them for those
all night CW ragchews (or contests) because they feel great.
KC4URI Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2014 06:50 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful  Time owned: more than 12 months
First, let me say I have only been a ham for twenty five years.
Second, I am 99 44/100th % CW.
Third, Mike March builds and stands behind one of the finest keys on the planet.
I have owned my March key for over 12 years.
KA5SGE Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2014 07:45 Send this review to a friend
SUPERIOR SERVICE  Time owned: more than 12 months
Received my March paddles as a gift from an old friend and fell in love with them. Work 100% CW but after a couple of years started having problems with adjustments. Contacted Mike and he advised that he should make some modifications. I sent the paddles to him and he completely reconditioned, replacing several parts and added bearings. Mike kept me informed and even sent pictures of the work in progress. A pleasure to deal with someone that stands behind their work. His service is awesome and highly recommend him!
WA2NEW Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2013 13:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Machine Work  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received my R3A about a week ago. The work is super nice. It has a solid feel and stays put on my desk. The action with the magnets work perfect. I don't know how you could improve on this paddle. There must be alot of time in machine work and assembly. If you are looking for a paddle, call Mike and get this one. You will be happy you did. He is a true gentleman and a great guy to deal with.
VE3HG Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2013 07:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like AD6CW my March R-3A paddle s/n 0287 which I bought at Dayton some years ago directly from Mike who had a table outside in the swap area and had been sitting unused in my shack. This year after emailing Mike we agreed that I would bring my R-3A to Dayton and Mike would give the paddle a cleanup. Mike took the paddle and about four weeks later it arrived all cleaned up and polished with new parts including new bushings.

Now the R-3A runs better than new. And Mike did it at no cost. I just paid $20 for shipping via US Post. Very nice.

So let's get down to how does it run?

First, your mileage may vary. Very one has a personal opinion when it comes to what feels good. I own four Vibroplex bugs and five paddles (March, Nye, Bencher, AME, and Bengali...for more info see and each one has its own characteristics.

As for the March R-3A let's just say it's now back on the operating table and plugged into the main rig :)
AD6CW Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2012 16:06 Send this review to a friend
Reconditioned - like new!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the March R-3A paddle, s/n 55, that I sent back to Mike for reconditioning, as it had sat around, unused, for a while. The coating had worn off in a few places and the brass wasn't shiny.

Mike reconditioned the paddle, disassembled and polished it, put on a new coating, and even replaced the magnets at no extra charge.

Great service, and great paddle! I have a plexiglass display case for it when not in use, to maintain it in this condition.
K8TJ Rating: 0/5 Jul 11, 2012 18:33 Send this review to a friend
Ham-Keys are Better  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you want a REAL paddle, buy a Bencher Mercury Paddle OR a any model BEGALI. I have had the unfortunate experience of wasting a WAD of money on TWO these March Paddles not to mention having to wait for 4 months for delivery on the first one which was NOT what I paid for. I paid for a fully engraved paddle and what I got was only partially engraved. I was assured by Mr. March that I would receive the engraved paddle arms soon that I paid which never arrived and it has been over 2 years. Both paddles I owned had mis-aligned parts with contact's that could not be properly set to less than .003 or .004 inches without falsing. I had to add washers to the contact posts so they properly aligned with the magnets. It was like a blind man was at the machine! Of course I got no support other than excuses and shortly sold these things and moved on to REAL paddles like the Italian made Begali's and N2DAN Mercury paddle. MARCH paddles are pretty but the machining quality leaves MUCH to be desired for what he charges. Sorry folks...
KG4USN Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2011 17:57 Send this review to a friend
Fine paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my March paddle from a sk in FL about six years ago. I operate cw half the time. It is nicely engineered and machined. I have contacted Mike a few times and have always received a quick response.I would recommend this to anyone in the market for paddle of this quality.
W2CQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2011 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Superior Customer Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a review on this Fine Paddle back in 2002. This year in Dayton I saw Mike in the Swap area and we spoke about the paddle and other things. Mike mentioned that my Paddle may not have some changes that the more recent models have. He asked me to send it to him.

Mike actually replaced parts and polished the Paddle for me. He refinished the base and top plate. He installed the new bearings and adjusted everything.

He said No Charge. I had to insist. He wanted to make sure his Paddles were, the up to date Best Made. This kind of Customer Service is Rare in any business. My Paddle is back in the shack and all I can say is I consider it an honor to be a customer.
AD7GB Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2011 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Unbelievable craftmanship  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This key is not only aesthetically beautiful, it is functionally the best key I own. Smooth, precise, VERY stable as I have a fairly heavy hand and not only is it minutely adjustable it holds it's settings. If I could only have one key this is the one I would choose, hands down, no exception! If you are looking for the best, look no further than the March R3a
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