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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Bencher BY-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Bencher BY-1
Bencher BY-1 Reviews: 157 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $110 to 395 rrp
Description: Iambic paddles
Product is in production.
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W6UV Rating: 3/5 Aug 9, 2010 23:14 Send this review to a friend
Okay, but not Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a BY-1 shortly after becoming a ham 30 years ago. While it's an okay key, I've found the fit a little too loose and sloppy at times. When I get excited, such as when I hear a country I need working a pileup, I tend to bash the key a little too hard in my haste and this sometimes results in dislodging the paddle arms at the bearings.

The contacts on my BY-1 are silver plated and they tend to corrode quickly necessitating a cleaning with a piece of paper. Gold plating the contacts would have been a better choice.

I think it's time to retire my BY-1 and replace it with a Begali.
KD6LM Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2010 11:48 Send this review to a friend
KD6LM  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great looking and a good value. Love the way it feels. I've had mine about 10 years or so, and bought it used. Set it up once, and holds adjustment forever (and it has been through 9 Field Days at this point). I always laugh when I hear people talking about the paddle "flying apart". Ya gotta wonder what century they are living in. Here are some quotes from the 1980, yes 1980 ARRL review:

"Bencher, Inc. has brought out a significantly improved version of the original paddle...crimped spring ends which pinch the adjustment screws and hold the spring captive;...and lastly, elimination of the Achilles' heel of the basic FYO paddle design-the tendency of the mechanism to fly apart when the paddles were accidentally bumped or pushed in the wrong direction. Bencher has added pinion screws which act to limit the movement of the parts so they can NEVER (emphasis mine) disengage from the pivots."

So guys, if you paddle is flying apart, or won't hold adjustment, join the 1980's and get a newer one, I think you'll like it a lot, just like hundreds of thousands of other hams do.
KC7YRA Rating: 3/5 Jul 20, 2010 21:13 Send this review to a friend
Not the best but perfectly usable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used several of these keys over the years. They all suffer from the same problems.

They are too weak for me. I have a heavy fist and find that I bend the arms. I also sometimes slide my fingers off the paddles which can make the arms pop off the pivots. You really do have to hit these in the correct places or they can fly apart.

Short of that, they also go out of adjustment often. If it sits idle and goes through extreme temperature change, it will need adjusting. And putting it in a vehicle and transporting it (or hiking with it) is just begging for damage.

WITH ALL OF THAT SAID, it is a usable key. I have made many QSOs with mine and I will continue to use it from time to time. If anything, it has taught me how to have a more gentle "relationship" with my keys. For the price, they are not bad and I think they are great for newcomers as you must take care of it and get used to adjusting a lot LOL.
VK2BNG Rating: 1/5 Apr 9, 2010 15:52 Send this review to a friend
Worst Paddle I ever used  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this paddle for many years, but I hardly used it since I moved on to a Kent Twin Paddle Key.
BY-1 has too much adjustments. Sometimes the spring comes off. If all these happens if you are in the middle of a pile-up... Oh no!!!
I prefer my homebrew paddle (<$5) made of old telephone reley contacts over BY-1.
IW1DFU Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2009 01:16 Send this review to a friend
Good choice!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've bought my BY-1 several years ago and I've made more than 8000 QSO with this paddle. Easy to use and to set up it's my favourite paddle and I love to use it. You can buy a cheeper one of BY-1 on ebay and enjoy CW!!
PA0QRB Rating: 1/5 Dec 30, 2009 05:30 Send this review to a friend
Not for me  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
We have this key at the local club's ham shack, and that's where I decided that this key will not enter my shack at home. Ever.

This key is for you if you:
- have a *very* light touch
- hit the paddles *exactly* in the middle and
- move your fingers *exactly* perpendicular to the paddle surface.

Because I'm unable to satisfy any of these requirements, I usually end up with dislodged pivots.

Horrible. I won't recommend this key to anyone. For roughly the same price you can get a Kent (see my Kent review elsewhere on this forum), and for just a few bucks more (mainly due to P&P) you are the proud owner of a Begali Simplex.

Harold pa0qrb.
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Nov 26, 2009 06:57 Send this review to a friend
A Classic Keeper  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am a horse trader and never keep anything for very long. I have had at least a dozen different paddles and by far the best deal is a used BY-1. I love the feel and light touch. If you can find an old one, the the plastic finger pieces are screwed on, not riveted. The riveted ones can come loose depending on how and where you use it. I bought mine off of ebay for $35.00. Cleaned up, it looks like new and I'll take this one to my grave (literally).
W7ZJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2009 13:21 Send this review to a friend
1979 to 2009 Nice Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
The high school graduation gift my brother W9BM selected for his little brother (me) W7ZJ was a Bencher BY-1 paddle. What a great gift! That little jewel has been on every operating station I have had since 1979 and still gets used to this day! All the gear that has passed through my hands over the years and this one is the only keeper, I have tried them all and this is still the best key I have ever had the chance to use!!! 30 years old and still looks fantastic! Thanks Jimmy!!! DE W7ZJ Bubba....
XE1UFO Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2009 08:43 Send this review to a friend
THE BEST DESKTOP KEY  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned several of these, and find it to be the best I have used for desktop use. (I have others I prefer for backpack and mobile.) It is heavy enough to stay put, easy to adjust, and low maintainance. I have a few other paddles that require frequent re-adjusting, and/or walk across the desk when used. The chrome Bencher BY-1 is definitely a keeper!
G0AYD Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2009 07:48 Send this review to a friend
excellant key  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive had my trusty bencher for 24 years now,i use it every day and never had to adjust or clean it its been faultless unlike some of the radios its been connected too.I think the key gives you confidence,enthusiasm,satistaction and enjoyment.
I have just purchased a ct europe key and will make comments on that once ive tried it out...
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