Torsion Bar Keys


Licensed amateur radio operators can send Morse code over the radio (called "cw") using a variety of keys. There are straight keys, sideswipers, single lever paddles, paddles, bugs, etc. One design that has interested me very much is the torsion bar straight key.

I think I like it a lot because I remember torsion from my physics and math classes. Simply put, torsion is say a bar twisting around its axis due to applied torque with some resistance that makes it go back to where it started. Also the operation of the keys tend to be very silent, which is a plus.

Amateur radio operator W1SFR, over at and, makes a torsion bar straight key and a torsion bar single lever paddle which I think are works of science and of art, so I had to get them.

Check out my pictures of them:

One thing I've learned from practicing Morse code, is that it is advantageous to be able to send cw on a variety of keys. That is, I recommend to not be stuck to using one type of key. Learning the sideswiper motion of the torsion bar single lever paddle is certaintly challenging my mind and coordination.

I think the torsion bar keys would make a great addition to your ham shack as well. Go check them out!

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