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Best Typewriter For Writers (2020) Electric, Manual & Vintage

When the greatest writers’ of the 20th century wanted to ink their bestsellers, they turned to their typewriters. The likes of Hemmingway and Agatha Christie made typewriters like the Corona No.3—which is one of the best typewriters of yesteryear— their inseparable compatriots during their writing binges.

Fast forward to 2020, and most writers’ have replaced the typewriter with laptops, desktops, and iPads among others. The typewriters have been shifted to the ‘collectibles’ category, at the writer’s own loss, might I add.

But the minority pool—true lovers of the clickety-clack of the resplendent typewriter—is rapidly adding in numbers. Continue reading to find out why writers are scrambling to get their hands on the best typewriters available on the market.

But before we get to that, there’s a question we need to answer, what’s the best typewriter for writers available on the market? Without weaseling around, I’d have to say that the Brother GX-6750 Daisy Wheel Electric Typewriter is the best typewriter for writers currently on the market.

The issues of portability, price, and noise levels also influenced the choice among the different types of typewriters. Here are some of the ‘available’ best typewriters for writers. Some are spic-and-span items, while others are vintages.

writing quickly on a typewriter

List of the Best Typewriters For Writers


1.Royal 79101t Classic Manual Typewriter

Best looking retro-styled silhouette

Royal 79101t Classic Manual Typewriter

Weight: 16.72 lbs. | Manual | Portable | Carriage: 12 inches | Dimensions: 18.2 x 16.9 x 7.7 inches

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The Royal typewriter brand boasts 110 years of producing beauties such as the Royal 79101t Classic Manual Typewriter.

The Royal Classic portable manual typewriter is a durable machine with a metal housing and a cool retro look.

A new Royal 79101t Classic Manual Typewriter in mint condition comes with a pre-installed black/red ribbon, a paper support bar, and a full-sized keyboard (44 keys, 88 symbols).

This typewriter looks beautiful and the typing is equally excellent. The look, feel, and weight is just the best that a writer can ever ask for. 

The Royal 79101t Classic Manual Typewriter is available in three colors: Mint Green, Purple, and Red.

Pros

  • Beautiful classic silhouette
  • Durable
  • Portable

Cons

  • Not as heavy-duty as real classic typewriters
  • Has no auto ribbon reverse mechanism 

2. Royal Epoch Manual Typewriter

Best Build Quality

Royal Epoch Manual Typewriter

Weight: 16.63 lbs. | Manual | Portable | Carriage: 12.5 inches | Dimensions: 18.4 x 7.3 x 18.3 inches

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With the Royal Epoch, you’ll be getting a reliable portable manual typewriter for good for use on the go.

When you purchase the Royal Epoch, the first thing you might realize is that it’s made of plastic—has that new-plastic odor. Do not be fooled though, this machine is built to last, it’s made of very heavy plastic and feels as sturdy as metal.

You can get the Royal Epoch at a price of around one or two hundred dollars, which is a very good price range for such a topnotch typewriter.

Pros

  • Compact and sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Awry spacing
  • New ones produce a strong odor 

3. Typecast Retro Typewriter

Typecast Retro Typewriter

Weight: 13.6 lbs. | Manual | Portable | Dimensions: 19.48 x 7.8 x 15.6 inches

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Here’s a modern typewriter with a legit vintage feel. It leaves you having a nostalgic vibe, a strong evil desire to throw away your laptop and spend the rest of your writing days with this typewriter.

So, yes, from a distance, this pretty thing looks like a legit writers’ typewriter, but this 170-dollar beauty has its own flaws.

As a matter of fact, if you scour reviews on your beloved web, you discover that some writers think that this is a beautiful engineering mess.

The Typecast Retro Typewriter beauty is more than 70% plastic—from the mechanics to the typewriter’s underside, and even the carriage.

If you are a seasoned writer who wants to hammer your way into the bestselling section, this isn’t your typewriter. But I think the nostalgia and the lightweight outweigh the flaws when all you need is a typewriter for occasional usage

So, this beauty makes the list as the most beautiful mess. 

Pros

  • Aesthetically brilliant 
  • Clean typing
  • inexpensive

Cons

  • Made of a lot of plastic

4. Scriptor 2 Typewriter

Most Versatile

Scriptor 2 Typewriter

Weight: 12.75 lbs. | Electronic | Portable| Dimensions: 18.1 x 20.2 x 6.5 inches

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This is one of my favorites—a lightweight typewriter, silent, and simple but effective.

For us writers, speed is essential, and the Scriptor 2 has a user-friendly keyboard that helps you write faster and save time.

The Scriptor 2 comes with lots of features like a 2-line LCD display, 80,000-word spell check, automatic underlining, bold typing, superscript & subscript, among others.

And the icing on the cake? it is quiet, which means your environment is left unperturbed by your typing, even at night.

Pros

  • Supports different languages
  • Error correction is easy
  • Silent
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Hard to set margin
  • Does not type well on slick paper

5. SX-4000 Electronic Typewriter

Best Value for Money

SX-4000 Electronic Typewriter

Weight: 12 lbs. | Electronic | Portable| Dimensions: 20 x 18.6 x 8 inches

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Another lightweight electronic typewriter from BROTHER.

With an electronic typewriter, you can stop worrying about the ink on the ribbon going dry. With the SX-4000 electronic typewriter however, there are a lot more perks.

It has a Perfectype professional touch keyboard with very responsive keys, it is silent and has a firm base that aids steady typing. The SX-4000 Electronic Typewriter also has a 70,000-word dictionary and an ‘error-locating FIND feature’. It also has a ‘line-by-line printing’ feature, among others.

All these features make typing on the SX-4000 Electronic Typewriter seem effortless, and that makes it every writer’s gotta-have typewriter. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Well-spaced spaced keys
  • The view mode helps you to see what you’re typing
  • Excellent error correction feature

Cons

  • No margin memory: resets the margin settings when you turn it off

6. Nakajima WPT-150 Electronic Typewriter

Budget pick (Electronic Typewriter)

Nakajima WPT-150 Electronic Typewriter

Weight: 12 lbs. | Electronic | Portable | Carriage: 13 inches| Dimensions: 21 x 9 x 19 inches

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Nakajima WPT-150 Electronic Typewriter is a comfortable, durable typewriter which is good for professional writers and amateurs alike.

The Nakajima WPT-150 has a word and character erase feature that comes in handy when undoing your misspellings and correction of typos.

This typewriter won’t give you the nostalgia of the vintage machines, but it’s smooth word and character erase feature, and line splitting and full correction capabilities will give you much needed fast typing speed and efficiency.

The Nakajima WPT-150 Electronic Typewriter is made of extreme plastic, making it a tough bastard, capable of withstanding abrasions, hard bangs, etc.

Truly a long lasting writing buddy.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Smooth and silent
  • Portable
  • Easy word and character erasure 

Cons

  • Noisy for an electronic typewriter 

7. Brother GX-6750 Daisy Wheel Electric Typewriter

Best Lightweight Electric

Brother GX-6750 Daisy Wheel Electric Typewriter

Weight: 10 lbs. | Electric | Portable | Carriage: 12 inches| Dimensions: 16.4 x 15.1 x 5.3 inches

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One common advantage of typewriters is their portability, and the GX-6750—weighing just 10 pounds—does not disappoint on that front. It is not just light, but it’s also silent, and its typing speed is quite incredible. Moreover, this typewriter feels sturdy.

The GX-6750 has a Perfectype professional touch keyboard, a 65-character correction memory, and an assortment of timesaving features. To cap it all, if you’re lucky, you can find a pre-owned GX-6750 at a price way below three hundred dollars.

Pros

  • Excellent typing speed
  • Easy to set margin
  • Professional feel and performance
  • Durable
  • Portable 

8. Royal Classic manual typewriter

Best retro silhouette

Royal Classic Manual Typewriter

Weight: 15.85 lbs. | Manual | Portable | Carriage: 11 inches| Dimensions: 17.6 x 15.9 x 7.1 inches

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This just looks nostalgic! What a beauty. If you’re a creative writer, this classic retro style typewriter is what I’d recommend for those uninspiring blocks —just sit in front of this baby, imagining you’re Hemmingway or Mark Twain, ha-ha.

The sturdy metal housing makes this machine a durable typewriter. It also has a full-sized keyboard with 44 keys and 88 symbols, space bar repeater key, and tab setting and margin stops.

Pros

  • Solid and durable
  • Responsive keys
  • Beautiful retro look

Cons

  • Bad spacing 
  • Uneven type

9. Brother ML-100 Daisy Wheel Electronic Typewriter

Easy to Use

Brother ML-100

Weight: 10 lbs. | Electronic | Portable| Dimensions: 16.4 x 15.1 x 5.3 inches

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The ML-100 typewriter has just the right features to make it on the best typewriters’ list.

This easy-to-use typewriter has a unique automatic paper insertion which ensures that each page is inserted to a uniform 1-inch top margin. 

It also has an automatic Word-Out correction feature, which erases mistakes with a single keystroke.

The typewriter utilizes Brother’s Perfectype professional touch keyboard, which marginally increases accuracy and typing speed.

The ML-100 typewriter has a memory function that can retain loads of files and helps to ease typing work.

This typewriter makes it on the list as the ‘easy-to-use’ typewriter because it has just the necessary features, and it is an effective machine that does not complicate typing.

Pros

  • Easy Switching of languages 
  • Offers fast and accurate typing
  • Good print quality
  • Lightweight

10. Smith Corona Classic 12 Typewriter

Best Vintage Electric Typewriter

Smith Corona Classic 12 Typewriter

Weight: 21.8 lbs. | Vintage Electric | Carriage: 12 inches| Dimensions: 18.25 x 18 x 9.25 inches

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The Smith-Corona Classic 12 is an indestructible and portable vintage typewriter from the 60s. It was made by Smith Corona Marchant and back then, it was viewed as the ‘world’s most advanced standard portable typewriters’.

The Smith-Corona Classic 12 is an electric typewriter that has outlived many of its owners, including Smith Corona Marchant’s typewriter manufacturing business.

Despite the company’s woes, the Smith-Corona Classic 12 has enjoyed a wagonload of rave reviews from its current and previous owners.

Pros

  • Nice retro look
  • Versatile vintage machine
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not lightweight
  • Clunky if unskillfully restored

Vintage, Manual, Electric, or Electronic Typewriter: What’s the Best Writerly Option?

Choosing between the different types of typewriters is easy for some writers, especially those who have been writing for 25+ years.

Apart from the type of the typewriter itself (Manual, Electric, Semi-electric, and electronic typewriters), these are some of the aspects of a typewriter you need to consider before buying one as typewriters are different in the way they work and look.

Vintage & Manual Typewriters

Manual typewriters, just like the Hermes 3000 Typewriter, which are the prettier and longer lasting of all the types, use a system of levers and type hammers which proportionately respond to the force applied against them.

The hammers then hit the ribbon disproportionately since the writer’s intensity cannot be perfectly constant, hence the mercurial, uneven print quality.

Electronic Typewriters

On the other hand, electric and electronic types do not use levers and type hammers, rather, they use rotating wheels called golf balls or daisy wheels. The keys are electrical switches that make the golf ball for the daisy wheel to rotate and knuckle the right character (letter or symbol) against the ribbon and paper. 

Evidently, with electric typewriters, every character hits the papers with equal force. Therefore, the print quality of electric typewriters is sharper, cleaner, and more flush.

Given all available alternatives, most veteran writers would easily choose modern or vintage manual typewriters, simply because of the nostalgic allure of these types.

Other writers are looking for modern electronic typewriters, capable of undoing typing errors and having preset and customized margin settings memory, so modern electronic typewriters are the best options for them.

Things to Consider When Buying a Typewriter

Portability

This is by far the most crucial aspect for writers to consider, especially if writing-on-the-go is what you like. You need a lightweight typewriter, the type you can easily pack when changing locations or on a short trip.

Price

usually, a price is indicative of a product’s quality. Getting a high-quality typewriter means digging deep into your pockets, but there are some very good deals, especially for used typewriters on online stores.

If you want a basic typewriter, then even a hundred dollars can get you something good enough.

Clarity of Typed Words

With a typewriter, you don’t have to worry about the screen’s brightness straining your eyes. But, some typewriters’ output is difficult to read, maybe because their ribbon is of low quality, or the design is substandard.
As a writer, you need to understand these things so that you get a typewriter that is value for your money.  

Noise Levels

Writers are sometimes surrounded by people when they write, the environment’s comfort should be considered when selecting a typewriter. 

Although some writers claim that the noise from the typewriter invokes some sort of creativity, clattery typewriters will annoy the people around you.

Typewriters Are Making a Comeback, and You Need One as a Writer

Business is booming for typewriter repairers and restorers, and online stores and sellers.

It seems that the younger generation of writers (including Generation Z) has fallen in love with both vintage and modern typewriters, and demand is on the rise.

Millennials seem to have fallen in love with vintage items like retro typewriters and vinyl turntables.

But they have not fallen in love with typewriters because of their aesthetical import only. Typewriters are generally durable and efficient in their writing functionality.

It’s not only the millennials that have caused the demand for typewriters to skyrocket, older generations of writers are also fueling the trend. Somehow, some older writers just want to remind themselves of the “good ol’ days.”

As a writer, I don’t endorse the full time usage of a typewriter—some are heavy, clunky, and noisy. If not skillfully repaired or restored, it’s hard to get the typed work into a computer, and most if not all typewriters limit your typing speed.

But one of the biggest advantages of the typewriter in this frenzied social-media era is that you can write without any digital distractions—no notifications, no browser tabs, no video player, nothing!

I’d be doing both writers and the typewriters a great disservice if I didn’t mention the legit ‘writing experience’ that a writer enjoys when using vintage or modern retro-styled typewriter. 

Which sane writer would not fall in love with the clickety-clack of the typewriter?

What is The Best Typewriter Paper?

Most typewriters can go with any paper. But, you’ll need paper that is not too light or too heavy, almost anything that works with your inkjet or LaserJet.

People use typewriters on receipts, envelopes, and filling out various forms. So, they are different kinds of paper that go into the typewriter.

Although there are various uses of the typewriter, some paper will work better than others.  

In the olden days, paper manufacturers used to produce “typewriter paper”.  Some paper manufacturers also made papers that had a coating which made it easy to erase mistakes.

However most paper worked then and will work now. So you don’t need to look for some special and hence expensive paper to use in your typewriter.   

Taking Care of Your Typewriter

Your typewriter will now and then need some kind of cleaning or servicing. 

You will need to clean and lubricate the typewriter. You will have to clear rust, old oil, grease, dirt, and grime. 

The manual typewriters have pivot points or joints that can become stiff if left unlubricated and clogged with dust.

Oiling is indispensable. To keep the typewriter running smoothly and prevent metal parts from rusting, you need to lubricate it regularly but not excessively.  

Things like brushes, old cloths, and vacuum cleaners are useful when trying to get the dust out of the typewriter.

You can do away with visible dust in your typewriter by using a brush, an appropriate vacuum cleaner attachment, or blowing it away using a can of compressed air.

You have to do this to prevent the dust from sticking to the oil and choking your typewriter.

You can also clean the carriage rails by hammering the space bar until the carriage completely moves to the left. Clean the exposed rails using a brush.

Then by using the carriage return lever, shift the carriage completely to the right and clean the exposed rails.

Slimy smear oil on both ends of the carriage. The oil will spread to the entire carriage as it moves to and fro.

There are special synthetic oils specifically made to make your typewriter operate smoother and quieter. They help restore sticky or frozen keys among other lubricative functions. The use of actual oils to lubricate typewriters is discouraged because they leave a sticky residue which “gums up” the typewriter instead of lubricating it.

Quick Recap Of the Best Typewriter For Writers

The Finest of Them All

The Brother GX-6750 electric typewriter beats its sibling—the Brother SX-4000 Electronic Typewriter — by a tiny margin to get the accolade of ‘the best typewriter for writers.

What you need as a writer is a fast, well built, and a lightweight typewriter, and the Brother GX-6750 electric typewriter gives you the best of these qualities and more.

Moreover, the Brother GX-6750 electric typewriter’s compactness makes it suited to small spaces, and that means you can place it on your desk without cramping your style. It’s silent, has a high-quality ribbon, and has a professional touch keyboard.

What more could a writer ask for?

But then, your version of the best typewriter will depend on your needs and to some extent, your pockets. So, go out there (Online stores, local typewriter shops, and local typewriter repair shops) and find a machine that best suits your needs.

About Nancy Stearns