How to Fix a Manual Typewriter

How to Fix a Manual Typewriter. Although manual typewriters are becoming more rare in the modern world, many antique typewriters and electronic typewriters, which use the same basic mechanisms to put letters to the page, still exist. Manual typewriters have a lot of moving parts which can easily become damaged or broken. With the proper training, you can learn to fix minor problems encountered with the moving parts in manual typewriters.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum polish
  • Fine steel wool

Familiarize yourself with the basic parts of a typewriter. You'll need to know the layout and function of the mechanical parts of the typewriter in order to troubleshoot and make repairs to it.

Remove any rust from the typewriter. Rust on the metal parts will prevent them from working properly and may be causing any malfunctions you're experiencing. To remove the rust, simply apply an aluminum polish, available at auto supply stores, and gently scrub with a very fine steel wool.

Extract the letter bars from each other if they've become tangled up. To prevent the bars from getting caught in the future, make sure that you're typing in a careful and rhythmic manner. It's important to remember that typewriters have less tolerance for rapid typing than computers do.

Verify that the ribbon is properly installed and in good condition if the type is coming out too light.


  • Experiment on an inexpensive manual typewriter prior to making any repairs to an expensive or rare typewriter to be sure that you know what you're doing without taking the risk of damaging an expensive machine beyond repair.


  • Antique manual typewriters are not only worth a lot of money, but they are also easily damaged. If the typewriter appears to need a lot of work and you aren't an expert in repairing antique machines, it might be a good idea to find a repair shop to do the work instead of doing it yourself.

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