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Reviews For: N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-SL

Category: Keys & Paddles

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Review Summary For : N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-SL
Reviews: 31MSRP: see website for prices
The ZN-SL is the single lever version of the ZN series of paddles. It has the same ball bearing movement and magnet return as it brothers but with a single lever design. Base in 2 3/4" x 3".
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KE8DAX Rating: 2022-12-20
Great Key......period Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The N3ZN ZN-SL replaced my Begali Simplex Basic Mono. The Begali, while way better than this operator, had a "crickety" feel that I really didn't like. I decided that I would treat myself to a N3ZN key and I have absolutely no regrets. The ZN-SL is soooo smooth and is totally anchored to the desktop. While the Begali would move in the heat of battle, the N3ZN does not. Service from Toni was great. The ZN-SL is not cheap, but it's worth the price. Once you get one, you won't want to go back to anything else.
W4HWD Rating: 2021-06-26
The best I've seen so far Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I ordered a new ZN-9RZ from Tony, haven't received it yet; I did, at the same time, buy a mint ZN-SL from a ham selling his. This key is a thing of beauty right out of the box! The base is heavy! I've had Bencher and Vibroplex keys walk around the desk at times, but this ZN-SL is way more solid - it ain't going anywhere!! The movement is precise and the construction is just plain perfect. The paddles fit my digits perfectly! I can't wait for the ZN-9RZ to get here, but in the mean time I'm looking forward to using my ZN-SL (and my new WKUSB) this Field Day!
KE5C Rating: 2020-10-21
Apples and oranges - which for you? Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Unfortunately 40 years ago my Elmer led me to backwards (finger dits) left handed iambic keying (apples) so I could hold a log and dupe sheet pencil in my right hand and go to a righty's shack and simply move the key over to my left. Retired, I once more decided to try pushing through my 25 wpm sending wall. I concluded my dominant right hand is smarter, my thumb is the most dextrous digit and should indeed own the dits, and to completely bury the iambic, I needed one, not two, levers. So this single lever key (oranges) perches on my right and already hums at 30 wpm after a few rough weeks in transition. Talk about "born again!" BTW, I went through many dual levers: Bencher, G4ZPY, Frattini, Begali Magnetic and others. I fully agree with VK5ISO's review below, especially "unlike several other manufacturers, most of the cost of N3ZN paddles goes into engineering and manufacturing and not into aesthetics."
K5TSK Rating: 2020-04-09
Love it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The last 4 years I've played with several really nice keys.
Yesterday late I received the N3ZN-SL. Plugged it up and it took all of 30 seconds to get it adjusted to my liking.
This key is so much better than my CW it's embarrassing, and nothing but skill holds me back with this key.
Love it!!
K4ZA Rating: 2020-04-01
I love it... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After 57 years of CW (contesting/DXing mostly), I treated myself on my birthday to this paddle. All the accolades apply to this seemingly simple mechanism. It makes sending almost effortless, at any speed.

Having come from straight key to bug to electronic keyers, I never adjusted myself to iambic keying. I "fooled around" at the Dayton displays over the years, with the various manufacturers, but never made the plunge, until now.

Truly impressed & enjoying this; it's s great paddle!
K8BMA Rating: 2018-06-14
Best key I have ever owned. A KEEPER! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought the N3-SL at Hamvention 2018. Replacing a Begali Magnetic. For my style, the SL was the right choice. Need to in rease the OTO a bit, but fantastic key.
VK5ISO Rating: 2018-06-14
Magnificent paddle! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have been using a Scheunemann Morse Dirigent for some time now and enjoyed it tremendously. I did, however, want to switch to a single paddle as I don't squeeze and thought I would key faster with a single paddle with magnetic return.
The N3ZN-SL is literally in a league of its own! The build quality is exceptional: steel base, brass pivots, powder coated for durability (the ironman finish is exceptionally attractive, sober and elegant). The combination of three ball-bearings per arm and a magnetic return turns this into the smoothest, fastest paddle I have ever used (I must say that the Scheunemann is more beautiful, truly a work of art in brass, but if I had to do it all over again, I would just buy the ZN-SL). The only limitation is the skill of the operator.
Tony Baleno (N3ZN) is a marvelous person to deal with: he managed to send the paddle to distant Australia in 7 working days and very generously extended the Dayton hamfest discount to me to reduce postage costs (even thought the hamfest was over for some weeks). I cannot help but feel that, unlike several other manufacturers, most of the cost of N3ZN paddles goes into engineering and manufacturing and not into aesthetics.
AE7YD Rating: 2018-01-30
the best Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After trying many keys and paddles the ZN9 from N3ZN was perfect
but then I tried a single paddle and for me the ZN-SL is the pinnacle
of CW keys. The Begali might look more artistic but the ZN-SL is so
smooth that it seems to key by itself.
W9SA Rating: 2018-01-13
My New Go To Paddle Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a great key, period. I'm not going to try to write a book on all the things that have been said before so I'll just give you the basics. I have been a ham and using cw since 8th grade and I'm 61 now so I've sent a few dits and dahs. I'm coming from a Vibroplex Iambic paddle and have used the Bencher. This is the first single paddle I have owned and I'm sorry I waited so long. I never got used to the iambic and basically used it as a single paddle so it hasn't been much of a transition. As far as quality the ZN-SL is like a Mercedes. Very easy to adjust and a real pleasure to use. They are pricey but if you like cw you won't be disappointed.
K9TYR Rating: 2017-02-01
My Primary Paddle Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is one of only a few keys I've found that will stay in place on my bench while keying. I like the ability to set gap changes in small increments easily and without having to mess with a lock nut.

I was torn between this key and a begali when I decided to pick up a single lever key. When I noticed the Begali had a metal paddle I decided against it. The heat transfer between a metal surface and a finger is uncomfortable in some circumstances.

The ZN cost me a bit more but I'm very happy with the purchase and use the key daily.