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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Kent Straight Key Help

Reviews Summary for Kent Straight Key
Kent Straight Key Reviews: 29 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $129.95
Product is in production.
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K7ZOV Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2014 16:30 Send this review to a friend
A smooth straight key  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I did a little trading and got a Kent SK-1 straight key. Solid brass. Lots of solid brass. Large working area. Yet incredibly smooth almost effortless keying motion. It is mounted on a wooden base with hidden steel for added weight. There are two versions of the key, The SK-1 and the KT-1 which is the same key with a all metal base. What I like about the key is the solid feel. No pivot movement. The smooth operation do to the ball bearing movement. If you are a novice to morse code and have trouble with the typical basic J-38 look a likes. Or if you are a seasoned operator who just likes a straight key, this one maybe for you. It is a real winner.
FO5MD Rating: 0/5 Jan 4, 2014 14:51 Send this review to a friend
Awful service  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Sorry. The one that I got from Kent was a piece of junk. Bought it from their web site as a kit. When it arrived (sep. 2013) several pieces were missing. I contacted Kent and they say they will send me out the required pieces. January 2014 stil waiting for the missing parts !! OK enough for me. Where's the Kent ? in the trash box. Have I mentioned piece of junk ?
KD7XH Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2011 09:46 Send this review to a friend
Great--but nosiey  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is nice key with precise adjustments that do not move. The key operates good using ether the American or British way of sending. I guess that Kent outsourced the manufacturing to Germany as the address is in that country. It is well built with quality parts and attention to detail is good. I would recommend this key to anyone.
W3CRR Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2011 19:58 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My dream may still be to someday own a genuine Marconi PS No213, but I am very pleased, indeed, with my new Kent. I bought it as a kit and am glad I did. Assembly was intuitive and fun -- about an hour's pleasant "labor" -- and the result is a wonderfully balanced and enjoyable-to-operate Morse key. I didn't think anything (other than the fantasized about Marconi) could be as smooth in its action as my beloved Bunnell Navy Flameproof, but I was wrong. The Kent is just as nice and non-fatiguing to use and MUCH more attractive. I recommend this English jewel highly.
W2DI Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2010 09:45 Send this review to a friend
First impression: Excellent!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am not a cw expert by any stretch of the imagination. But having a qrp rig and with conditions less than great, I thought I would mix in some cw and get 'back to basics.'

I could never master a paddle; iambic or single lever. I always send an extra dit or dash, even at slow speeds. So I gave up on electronic keying and went back to a straight key.

I've used an Ameco straight key and it is ok, but somewhat stiff and tiring.

Then I got the Kent SK-1 (not a kit), and I am just so impressed with this key, I actually want to get on and work cw!!

It is smooth and true. The workmanship, from the brushed brass mechanism, to the heavy wood base, to the 'pool table' underside surface and rubber (screwed not glued) feet, is superb.

And, the plastic knob isn't bad either. Last time I looked, Vibroplex and other mid-range keys used plastic knobs and paddles.

I can't speak for others or their experiences, but this key, IMHO, is not junk by any means. To the contrary; for the price ($120 assembled), I think this is a really fine key and makes cw sending very comfortable and enjoyable.

(BTW, I found no problem sending with my arm resting on the table)

Thanks for reading my opinion. The best to all!

Joe -- W2DI
N2UGB Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2009 18:09 Send this review to a friend
One of my favorites  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had a Kent for many years and have always liked it. One of the least tiring straight keys I own. I purchased it as a kit and assembled it without any problem. Very high-quality components. I have mine with the recessed portion on the bottom, not top, preferring the action and look of it in that configuration.

Sending at medium speed is quite effortless.

A classic key with a retro look and contemporary performance.

Don't forget to polish base occasionaly to prevent the wood from drying out.
AA1UY Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2009 17:30 Send this review to a friend
One you'll want to keep.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these, in kit form, direct from the R. A. Kent Engineers web site and they sent it to the U.S.A. quickly. Being an English company, the keys and paddles are priced in U.K. Pounds, but your credit card company will take care of the currency exchange for you (for a small fee of course).

When it arrived, everything was present and correct and it went together quickly and easily. Well engineered, solid brass top parts on a weighted, real wood base, which, on the underside, has a metal plate covered in billiard-table-green felt. It stands squarely on four solid, rubber, screw-on feet.

In use, it's a little more work than say, an "American Key" due to its heft, and, being solid brass and wood, it makes a bit of a racket too. That said though, it does the job very well and is just beautiful to look at; a real link to the past.

Probably not suitable for high speed work, but then, what straight key really is? No, if you want to QRQ, use a bug or an electronic keyer; the guy on the receiving end will thank you for it.

R. A. Kent Engineers make a good variety of beautiful, functional, high quality morse keys and paddles and if you enjoy using morse code, you should check them out before paying the big bucks for the shiny "designer" keys and paddles.
AE6PN Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2009 23:56 Send this review to a friend
good key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used 3 kent straight key in the passed 10 years.

they all work very good.

I like heavy feel of key.

no other problem.

I belive it worth $100
VE3ES Rating: 0/5 Jul 26, 2008 07:46 Send this review to a friend
Piece of junk  Time owned: more than 12 months
Sorry. The one that I got from Kent was a piece of junk. Bought it at the Dayton Hamvention a number of years ago as a kit. It sat unopened for several months until I had time to put it together. Several pieces were missing. Not pleased but I contacted Kent and they sent out the required pieces. Unfortunately, they were for the wrong product. I contacted them again and as we were getting close to the next Dayton Hamvention they said to bring it there and they would exchange it. I did. Got another piece of junk with missing pieces. Found that out while at Dayton. Took it back, they replaced it again and once more, a single piece missing. They mailed that piece to me after Dayton. Wrong size. A year or so later I found a busted up key at a local swap. Bought it for the part. Finally got the key working. Piece of junk. My 30+ year old Ameco key that I first practised on was far better. Next Dayton I bought a new Vibroplex straight key. No problems since. Where's the Kent? Buried at the bottom of my parts bin. Have I mentioned piece of junk?
KC5CQD Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2007 23:19 Send this review to a friend
Great Key but.......  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a well built piece of machinery. No side-to-side play whatsoever. The adjustment screws are all finely threaded so as to give minute settings. It's a lot of brass mounted to a beautiful piece of wood. But....

This key is worthless if you're dead-set on the American way of brass pounding. I.e., resting the forearm on a flat surface and using the wrist to manipulate the key. That won't work with this key. You HAVE to use the "English/British" method of sending code in order to appreciate this key to its fullest.

The English method is quite simple. Pull the key to the front edge of your operating surface, suspend your arm in mid-air with only your shoulder as a support and manipulate the key with your wrist, forearm and shoulder all at the same time. Sounds ridiculous but let me tell you, it works perfectly with this key. This straight key is quite large and feels very substantial in your hand.

Definitely a keeper.
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