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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vizkey Cootie Key Help

Reviews Summary for Vizkey Cootie Key
Vizkey Cootie Key Reviews: 27 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $118
Description: The "Viz Cootie Key" like all other Vizkeys is all brass construction. Base is made of 1/2" brass, 2" X 3-1/2". Center insulator is Micarta insulating board, Silver contacts, clear rubber feet, black plastic finger pieces, and an actual hack-saw blade spring like the old time original cooties were made from. Supplied with a 3 foot shielded cable with your choice of 1/8" or 1/4" plug
Product is in production.
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G0GSY Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2011 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Lovely little cootie  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

Had it 2 days now, and already hooked on it,used several sideswipers before, i like the flexi original hacksaw blade works great nice feel to it.

The engineering and build is excellent nice brass and a beautiful buff finish on it. Recomend it to anyone who wants to try a 'cootie'

Excellent service from Tom K4VIZ very obliging.

W0JMW Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2011 09:22 Send this review to a friend
Try it, you'll love it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
What everyone said before and then some. This Vizkey Cootie is great. I started with a Junkers straight key but to many years of keyboards have not done my wrists any favors. A sideswiper was definitely the answer. I wasnt very far along with the regular key so learning the Cootie wasnt weird for me. Great product and excellent service from K4VIZ.
N4KJK Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2011 11:51 Send this review to a friend
Awesome key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Beautiful key.
Fun to use.
Great price.
Excellent customer service. Fast shipping.

This is my favorite key and the only one I've used since receiving it 4 weeks ago.
K2VT Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2010 09:41 Send this review to a friend
Smooth keying with proper setup and practice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love the cootie key by K4VIZ. The workmanship is outstanding, a little brass jewel. It took me several weeks of practice before I felt comfortable with it on the air. Set up of the key is important for crisp character elements and proper spacing between elements. Here is my setup:

Contact spacing - wide - I used 2 index cards to adjust the space for each contact.

Spacing between thumb and finger - wide - I use 1.5 inches between my thumb and forefinger.

Wide contact and finger spacing are important to produce the spacing necessary between character elements. This will produce crisp rather than mushy CW.

Practice - practice off the air first. Send CQs with your call, then practice all letters and numbers, finally practice sending text from a book or will know when you are ready to get on the air. It took me about 2 weeks.

Speed - This is personal for each operator and depends on where he is in his learning curve with the key and with CW. Here are my speeds and selected keys:

QRS up to 10 wpm - straight key
10-20 wpm - cootie key
above 20 wpm - paddles

If you feel yourself getting sloppy, just switch to your normal preferred key. After a few nights of on the air QSOs, I found the cootie to be very natural and a joy to listen to.
K8RBW Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2010 15:13 Send this review to a friend
Fine Key and Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I ordered Tom's Cootie Key some time ago out of curiosity. I eventually learned that I had become so ingrained into using paddles and straight keys that there was no way I could adapt myself to a cootie. Later, when I placed another order with Tom, he generously offered to convert it to a single lever paddle. I took him up on his offer and I now have a terrific portable paddle. Many thanks to Tom for a wonderful paddle and going the extra mile with his customers.
Vy 73, de Dick, K8RBW
FORMER_K5QO_MF Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2010 17:50 Send this review to a friend
A Wonderful Key To Own  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a beautiful piece of work, heavily built with beauty also. Makes a great addition to my key collection. Wonderful key and wonderful seller would highly recommend this key to everyone.
WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2010 21:26 Send this review to a friend
A most pleasant surprise!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a little sleeper!! Beautifully simple, professionally executed, and gorgeous to boot. The engine turn ("jewel") finish on the base was an unexpected surprise. It does take a little practice but it's nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. In fact, it's a really nice change from bugs and paddles. I still can't believe I was able to purchase something this nice - and fun - for such a modest price. Tom has even been in phone and email contact to see how I'm doing. It's rather amusing - the "best" key in my collection turns out to be the least expensive, the most unique, and named after an insect! Tom, thanks for a great little product. P.S. - there is an excellent video on Youtube in which Carlos, IK0YGJ gives an introduction to the "Cootie" key for those who might be interested. It can be viewed at
WX4O Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2010 08:21 Send this review to a friend
Great, Fun Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 'cootie' has a heavy brass base and rubber feet
to prevent moving around your desk. Contact spacing is very easy to adjust. Comes with either a 1/8" or
1/4" wired plug. If you've never used one there is a small learning curve, but it's FUN! I love mine.
KK0I Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2009 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Having a Blast!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was pleasantly surprised after only a few days taking delivery and now after about 50 or so QSOs I'm ready to give my review of this fine looking little morse code sending instrument.

Again, this is another excellent piece of workmanship. Tom, my hat is off to you for your design; simple, beautiful and very functional. The pride in your work certainly shows.

Well packaged...and after unpacking, the COOTIE key was definitely smaller than I had imagined. Again, like the right angle VIZKEY I have, it is solid and stays put. It certainly doesn't take up much space.

I liked the fact, it was pre-wired...a nice value added feature.

My skepticisim quickly diminished after just a few minutes of practice and putting it on the air that same evening with another COOTIE key ham. My confidence built after just a dozen or so QSOs. It's certainly not second nature yet, but must admit, it's easier than I ever thought. The SKCC Weekend Sprint was the upcoming weekend, just perfect for trying out the COOTIE key.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from Tom, asking for some feedback. It had only been a couple days since I received the key, so I told him I would need a few more QSOs to form an opinion, but so good.

Well, after about 50 or so contacts, the majority of them were SKCC contacts, I must admit, I'm impressed! The learning curve for me was very short.

I know now this COOTIE key will be a part of my CW sending arsenal.

As always, Tom, thanks for doing what you do...BEST!

K0IDT Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2009 22:04 Send this review to a friend
Cool Cootie  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One chunk of brass, one hacksaw blade.....doesn't get any simpler and it sure looks good
at the operating position. Tom does wonderful work and after the sale service is simply
outstanding. The cootie only needed a little tweaking out of the box and I did have to
raise it up about half an inch to bring the fingerpieces in line with my large hands. I
could change the fingerpieces but prior experience with another key taught me to keep the
lever and fingers in line, no twist to the key arm that way and no scratchy dits.
If you like cooties or just want to try one this is a good way to go. The bugs are
really nice too, right angle one on the bench and the vertical one soon.
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