Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Nye Viking Speed-X Keys

Category: Keys & Paddles

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Nye Viking Speed-X Keys
Reviews: 32MSRP: 40 (Approx.)
First made by Les Logan, then by E.F. Johnson, and now by Wm M. Nye Company, the zinc bases of the Speed-X keys have been cast in the the same molds since the 1930's
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W9SA Rating: 2017-12-16
A great old key Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I recently acquired a new radio and needed to hook up a key. I thought no problem because I have a small collection of straight keys and bugs. I tried several but settled on my rectangular Speed-X. The surprising thing is, this is the key given to me when I became a novice back in 1969! I worked a lot of stations with this key, a few crystals, and an HW-16. It's comfortable and the whole nostalgia thing is ok too.
K9FH Rating: 2015-01-01
Best straight key in my collection Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This review is for the Classic Rectangular Speed-X Keys with Navy type knob. I had thought most straight keys were the same - until I used this key. Maybe it's the heavy brass armature or the navy type knob but this key has a solid feel like no other key I've used.
WF8O Rating: 2014-03-15
Outstanding CR!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently acquired a used Nye-Viking Speed-X straight key from an EBay auction. The oval base brass key was sporting anj 8-32 hex nut on one of the wire posts. I contact the MFG to request to buy a replacement knurled nut. A couple days later, Bill Nye personally called me to say he could only send a nickle plated one. I thanked him and took his advice that I go to the hardware store where I found an exact replacement! That'ssuper Customer Relations! He owed me nothing! I bought a used key off ebay! Great company!
KA0HVE Rating: 2013-07-17
Nicer than I realized. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought my Nye Viking Heavy Duty Speed-X (114-320-001) new on 02/01/1980 for $10.95. I still have the box, receipt, and papers. This is a lovely key. Very adjustable with a crisp action. Replacement spring is available if needed. I'm adding the KB2 key base plate as soon as it arrives. This key is still being manufacture!
AI9K Rating: 2013-01-24
Great Straight key Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Smooth operation, classic appearance, a crisp, clean feel like no other hand key I've used although I never tried one of those $400-500 keys.

My search is really over as I can't possibly see any other key beating this one!

A CW op since 1969 gives the Speed-X a 5...

Earlier 5-star review posted by AI9K on 2013-01-24

Smooth operation, classic appearance, crisp clean feel like no other hand key I've used. I never tried one of those $400 keys though.

My search is really as I can't possibly see any other key beating this one!

The Speed-X rates a 5...
KB2HSH Rating: 2013-01-11
Solid classic Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I still have the Speed-X that my mother purchased for me when I was in my late teens. It's a solidly built key and it has a great feel to it, and I have used it for nearly 20 years. However, it doesn't get a 5 ONLY because it is a basic key. There are many straight keys out there that are "prettier" or more solid in feel. For $40 in 1991, it's a tough act to follow.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KB2HSH on 2004-06-08

My first CW key was a plastic junker that "follwed" me home after I graduated from High School. But, after 5 years of using that crappy old thing, I can recall getting money together to purchase my Speed-X. I own a brass-on-black wrinkle model, and I have to say that after 9 years, it STILL looks and feels great. After a few moves and some inactivity due to traveling for work, the brass tarnished a bit. But, some brass/copper polish and a minimum amount of rubbing, and the brass shone once again. Also, for the hard to polish wrinkle finish, I use a product that Mike Sandman ( sells: Telephone Polish. I know, it sounds horribly cheesy, but it restored the finish on my MFJ antenna tuner and my 9440 SSB rig.

Upon returning to the air after 4 years, the Speed-X still responds just as remembered it did. This piece of radio nostalgia will always have a home in my home.
K9KHJ Rating: 2012-09-15
My cold dead hands Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Stumbled onto this at a hamfest, didn't think much of it but have fallen in love with the crisp feel and classic design. I will never, ever use another straight key.
N3US Rating: 2012-09-08
Great Manual Key Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Purchased my Nye Viking Speed-X with rectangular base a few weeks ago. I have been a ham since 1963 and my original Novice key was not this well built with such smooth action! I mainly use the Key for tuning up the Amp but I have made several QSOs with the Speed-X and it was so much fun to use. The Key is attractive to look at and does not move around.
KC8OYE Rating: 2011-10-26
nice key Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I got my Speed-X used from a local ham dealer for $5.. it didn't look very pretty, the plating was pretty much gone and it was rusting..
I took it apart, and hand polished the steel to a chome-like finish and it looks awesome again. This is my first key so I have nothing to compare it to.
K5RIX Rating: 2010-12-29
No need to prepare for SKN Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I reviewed my Speed-X straight key here Aug 8, 2005. So now it has been in use for a bit over eight years. Glad I got the Navy knob (extra with the oval base) and the aluminum baseplate.

This key still feeds my need. While stationed in Japan a couple years I got to try a few really nice keys. The Japanese keys were great, and had a fit and finish more in line with the technology of today, and they were without exception quite expensive. But keys are not hood ornaments. I noticed the spring tension to be more stiff and to my liking on the GHD and Hi-Mound, but not like the original Bencher RJ's (way too stiff, and the replacements way too soft). So I put a half-turn on the Speed-X spring and, voila, perfect.

Other than roughly annual cleaning with alcohol/swab and one or two passes of the Vibroplex contact-cleaner strip, my Speed-X has required no maintenance. There is a kind of Geist with this key and me; I operate almost exclusively CW, and about half of that is on a straight key. It's pretty easy to chug along around 20-22 WPM with the Speed-X. Although I'm not rough on keys, my J-38 feels a bit fragile, and the Nye Master Key (since sold, but a pretty nice key) always felt mushy. I have a little LTA key that has the contacts in back which is quite nice, but it isn't as solid as the Speed-X. For true delight, rig up a two-conductor cable and put your Speed-X in parallel with a bug. My Speed-X has a lot of hours on it, and it still works just fine. As stated elsewhere in these reviews, keys are a kinda personal thing. Personally, I really prefer this one.