If you’ve watched many of my videos or read my field reports, you’ll know that I use CW Morse paddles during most of my activations.
Up to this point, CW Morse has specialized in 3D-printed paddles and keys: the quality is superb, especially for the price point.
I’m so fond of CW Morse, that earlier this year, I invited them to be a sponsor of QRPer.com and they very enthusiastically accepted (you’ll see their ad in the right nav bar of QRPer.com).
CW Morse has now moved into the world of CNC machined aluminum products.
Last week, they send me an evaluation model of their new CNC Machined Aluminum Pocket Double Paddle Key:
The form factor and size is very similar to their Pocket Paddles I’ve used for the better part of two years.
The feel of the CNC machines paddles, however, is much more solid than that of the 3D-printed key, no doubt because aluminum simply has less play.
Not only can you adjust the action of the paddles (in terms of travel to the center contact), but you can also adjust the spring tension.
The key they sent me also has a magnetic base (you can see the rare earth magnets in the four corners of the base plate below).
As with all CW Morse products, this key is designed and manufactured in the USA.
In the spirit of full disclosure, CW Morse sent this key at no cost to me. They asked for my honest evaluation.
So what do I think? Is this key for you?
This is one of the most solid feeling paddles I’ve ever used. Since this key is built with 6061 billet aluminum blocks and the the main body is made in one solid piece, it feels substantial. To be clear, though, it’s not what I would consider heavy, but it obviously weighs more than their 3D printed pocket paddles.
I believe these paddles could take heavy abuse from ops (like me, I’ll be honest) who are pretty heavy fisted. You may have noticed in my videos that I tend to slap around my paddles and keys. I can tell this paddle will take serious abuse!
If you’re the sort of op who likes a lighter touch, though, you might stick with CW Morse’s 3D printed paddles. The action feels lighter and, again, being 3D-printed, the material is a bit lighter.
I can tell you that these CNC machined aluminum paddles are going to get a lot of use and abuse from me. In fact, I’ve been using them exclusively for about one week in the shack and I’ve been very pleased. I feel like my sending accuracy has been excellent. I can’t wait to take them to the field soon, but first I need to finish a few DIY projects at the QTH–POTA and SOTA activations will be my reward!
Click here to check it out the new aluminum paddles at CW Morse.
Please note that CW Morse is now a sponsor and most links to their site now have a referral code that gives back a small percentage to QRPer.com. If you’d prefer to order a product without our referral code, click here.
6 thoughts on “The new CW Morse CNC Machined Aluminum Pocket Double Paddle Key”
Nice! I love my 3D printed double paddle key. Of course, that means I have to figure out how to afford yet another key…..
I have used CW Morse straight keys for over five years. I have made over three hundred contacts with them. As a previously commercial CW operator, Radioman in the USCG, and 61 year ham radio operator I would highly recommend their keys and paddles.
I received an email from CW couple weeks ago announcing the aluminum key. I ordered 20secs later. I’ve had it a week and a half or so. My accuracy has improved. It’s excellent.
Love CW Morse paddles and love them as a family owned company. I just bought a set to add to my already too large collection.
If I keep reading this site I will need a second job for QRP stuff! Great info.
I also see an electric bike in my future for me and my dogs when my 21 year old car finally dies and I need to get to the park. I bike commuted 15 km total each day to work for 35 years.
While I am not as proficient in CW as I was several decades ago, parks and portable use is my only method of operation. I have viewed many of your videos mainly to see your equipment and deployment methods used, but seldom do you mention your key. I have noticed your use of a pocket CW Morse but holding in one hand and operating it with the other is not desirable for me. I cut my teeth on a J38 and then a Vibroplex bug which I no longer use those keys. Now I use iambic keys of considerable weight, more than I care to carry in the field. I keep looking for a much smaller, more rugged and lighter key for a pack. A magnetic base and being made of metal has become more attractive. I look forward to your review before I consider a purchase.