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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vizkey Cootie Key Help

Reviews Summary for Vizkey Cootie Key
Vizkey Cootie Key Reviews: 29 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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VA7VV Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2011 08:33 Send this review to a friend
Excellent in every way  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered the Cootie for a blind friend of mine, VE7BGJ. Dealing with Tom, K4VIZ was a pleasure -- he's a craftsman and a gentleman.

The key is a beauty: simplicity itself, machined perfectly in every detail. My friend, in anticipation of receiving the real McCoy, had taught himself how to use a cootie, by cobbling together a simulation key made from a keyer paddle.

Within seconds of removing the bubble wrap from the VIZ Cootie when it arrived, my pal was on the air with it and sounding like a pro.

VE7BGJ was delighted, and so was I.

Jerome - VA7VV
K8UUU Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2011 12:31 Send this review to a friend
I love this key! It has a perfect touch and is very well made.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Vizkey cootie is a beautifully made key with an excellent feel. No adjustment could improve it. It is finished like a piece of fine jewelry, much more than I would expect for a key so modestly priced. This will be my main key. That said, I may also have to own one of Tom's bugs because I don't think one Vizkey will be enough. These are true American made "jewels" fully backed up by the maker.
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.
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