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

Reviews Summary for Bencher BY-1
Bencher BY-1 Reviews: 159 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $110 to 395 rrp
Description: Iambic paddles
Product is in production.
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WU7X Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2019 05:40 Send this review to a friend
Thumbs up!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use CW primarily for working new DX. In today's world that means the ability to pick your call out of the pileup and reply with a 5NN TU. Unlike contesters, most DX stations seem to like 20-25 wpm. My BY-2 works beautifully for this process. I've been using the same one for over 25 years. I doubt that I have had to change adjustments on it more than twice during that time. It is a keeper. I am going to get back up to 25-30 wpm sending/copying and have a picked up a Kent to see if it "feels" any better. Will let you know what I think in the future.
KN0V Rating: 4/5 Mar 8, 2018 15:47 Send this review to a friend
Gave me good service for 41 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased an early model of this paddle that had the 'fly apart' paddles. Not much I can add that others haven't already mentioned. It deserves a 4.5 though.
It was replaced with a Begali Simplex.
K7EXJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2017 06:02 Send this review to a friend
Highly Recommend as 1st Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been a CW op - both amateur and professional - since 1957. I figure I can send Morse on any key you put in front of me. I've even sent emergency traffic using the "tune" switch on a transmitter.

Sooner or later you'll end up using a BY-1. Like the Vibroplex bug, the Bencher BY-1 is everywhere. Some ops love them, some ops don't. But for a first "paddle" you'd have to look long and hard to find a better key to start out with. And, since you'll probably own one someday anyway, you might as well buy one right off the bat and save the suspense.

The BY-1 is a well-rounded key. Heavy enough to stay quiet on your operating table, easy enough to adjust, not too expensive and pretty well made.

It's not an ideal key for portable or field work because it's a little heavy. But for the home QTH shack - or even out on the back patio feeding a sloper with your QRP rig - it works well, looks good and lasts forever.
DV2AWN Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2017 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Paddle!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my first ever CW keyed (actually, my first ever CW keyed... period), a Vibroplex Bencher BY1 paddle. I was hesitant at first to buy this as it was quite pricey but in the end decided to anyway. I was pleasantly surprise as to how easy it was to hook up on my IC7300 and it worked like a charm. The build quality is excellent and the operation is quite smooth. I thought i would have a hard time adapting to a paddle keyer, but in no time at all, i'm using it like i've been using a paddle for years already. I would recommend this anytime... if you have the spare cash to spend on it. 73!
ZL4AX Rating: 3/5 Jul 18, 2016 20:50 Send this review to a friend
Industry Standard but badly made  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just about every CW op I know has used a BY1, or owned one. Me too, it was my first paddle and worked well.
Indeed, it needs a light hand or you'll knock the paddles off their pivots or send it sliding sideways over the table, but that's something you adapt-to. I have no regrets about my time with this key. I'd give it 4.5 out of five if it hadn't been supplied so seriously faulty, just like my Bencher RJ-1 straight key.
Just like my straight key, the BY-1 only had the threads tapped halfway down the drill-holes in the main swivel block assembly. It was sitting-up at an angle with a big gap under one side when I opened the box.
One of the screws that holds the block down to the base wasn't fully threaded. Their tap had stopped halfway into the hole. The screw comes up through the base and clamps the block down- or it should. When I tried to tighten it down, the screw sheared-off leaving a jagged stump stuck in the block. It was beyond repair.
I took it to a local engineering shop where they drilled-out the stump and hole in the base, then fitted a larger, different screw. But every time I flipped the key over and saw that mess, I never enjoyed owning the bencher again. I was like owning a badly repaired car after a serious wreck.

Shoddy, shoddy second-rate engineering assembled in a hurry by people who don't care. Bencher makes good, basic products... but only if they work. This was below usable standards.
W1BR Rating: 4/5 Jan 20, 2016 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Good key, for a light hand  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a Bencher BY-2 since 1980.

This the chrome base model. But, I would doubt that the base finish--chromed or painted, has any real affect on the handling or utility.

This is a good key... but, like any key, it has to fit the user. I am a bit too ham fisted to adapt to the BY-2 key. It has served me well, but for heavy handed CW ops it may NOT be the best fit. I recently migrated to a pair of Bencher Iambic paddle keys, and for MY hand, they are more comfortable. For the more effeminate fist, the BY series of keys will probably do as well as any other.

The quality of the BY-2 is excellent. The chrome finish doesn't show any faults.

Like most keys, the adjustments might benefit from the use of FINE THREAD adjustments!!! I've found that almost universally almost all key manufacturers use thread sizes that result in too coarse adjustments.
N7RD Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2015 09:44 Send this review to a friend
Light Handed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had and used bencher for 28 years now. I do believe one needs to be a light handed operator to enjoy this key. If you are a slapper you won't like it at all. Placing the spacing closer together between the paddles themselves really makes it a much better key for QRQ operation. They are well built but not made to be heavy handed with. If you are a relaxed CW operator you need to get one of these keys, you will enjoy it I believe.
N7QJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2014 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Great Paddle, Even Better Service!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Acquired a BY-1 from an estate in decent condition but after further inspection I found the spring to be really loose. I inquired about a new spring with Bencher via the web asking to order a new one. They said to send my address and they would send one out at no charge. 3 days later, I'm back in business. Thanks for the great service!
NL7W Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2014 15:36 Send this review to a friend
Shiny New Spring After 30 Years...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my BY-1 for 3 decades now, and recently replaced the spring with a new one from Bencher. This key is back to being my favorite, with its new pull-back tension. The shiny new spring gave it life once again.

Now, it's somewhat of delicate instrument. So, transporting to and from Field Day is a hassle. Keeping it clean is also a hassle. But other than that, I have enjoyed this key since my hobby beginnings around 30 years ago.

Two thumbs up. :)
IK6BAK Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2014 06:39 Send this review to a friend
An ever green paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the Bencher in the late 80's and I used it for at least 20 years since Begali made me try one of his jewels.
Bencher is still a great key, simple, ingenious design, easy to adjust, no complicated mechanisms.
Occasionally I use it with great pleasure.
If well regulated it lets you do QRQ without problems, in my case a precision dynamometer has been used to adjust each lever at 21 grams.
The distance between the contacts, measured with a feeler gauge, is 0.2 mm.
'73 de ik6bak
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