I’ve seen and used some slick Morse code keys over the years, and collected several of them. When I read that Steve Roberts, W1SFR, had designed a new straight key based on a torsion bar, however, I scratched my bearded chin. My last exposure to the concept of torsion bars came in junior high school, when I dabbled oh so slightly in auto mechanics.
Well, I’m here to tell you that unusual though they may seem for this application, torsion bars work quite well for keys. The result, at least in Steve’s case, is one of the smoothest keys I’ve ever used. It takes a few on-air contacts, or a few minutes with a code-practice oscillator, to get used to it. The hurdle, I suspect, is mainly psychological: Structurally, the key looks like it’s missing important elements found in typical straight keys, so it must not behave like one.
In fact, it’s missing nothing.