How To Change A Typewriter Ribbon

The majority of vintage typewriters use a universal sized typewriter ribbon making it simple, quick and easy to change the typewriter ribbon when you run out of ink.

We have more information about which typewriter ribbon to buy here.

Once you have the new typewriter ribbon you can replace this by following the easy 4 step guide below:

How to replace a typewriter ribbon with a new universal ribbon:

Step one:

Remove the top cover of the typewriter to expose the ribbon spools. Press the Shift Lock key and then push two central keys together so that the type bars stand up and the ribbon carrier is raised. Unhook the ribbon from the ribbon carrier.

Step two:

Slip the ribbon out of the ribbon guides on either side of the spools. Lift off both spools.

Step three:

Insert new spools. Make sure the black ink is above the red ink and that the ribbon is coming around the spools. See image below.

Step four:

Feed the ribbon through the small guides at the sides of the spools and through the ribbon carrier. Flick the key hammers back down and disengage the shift lock. Replace the top cover of the typewriter.

how to change a typewriter ribbon
Make sure to put the new ribbon in the correct way..

Replacing new typewriter ribbon on original spools

If your typewriter uses smaller spools you can follow the simple steps below to wind a universal ribbon onto the original spools:

Step 1 – Remove the old ribbon from the original spools

Carefully lift the original ribbon spools out of your machine and unwind the ribbon off them. Be careful to keep any clips that may hold the ribbon onto the spools or any screws that may hold the spools onto the typewriter. Some ribbons are held in place on the spool using a clip, while others are attached by a spike.

Once the spools are both empty you are ready to install the new ribbon.


Step 2 – Installing new ribbon

For this job, it is best to use some rubber gloves. Winding ribbon soaked in ink can be pretty messy!

Remove one end of the ribbon from the new spools and unhook it from the spool. You might find it easier to cut the ribbon off as close to the spool as possible.

Attach the end of the new ribbon onto the spike of one of the old empty spools or clip the ribbon onto one of the old empty spools as necessary. Notice the direction of the spike, because you will be winding the ribbon onto the old spool in the opposite direction. (Otherwise the ribbon will come loose).

Step 3 – Filling the Spools

Carefully wind the new ribbon onto the old spool while unraveling it from the new spool. This takes a little practice and you may find it easiest to use a pencil inserted into the spool hole to spin the spool easier. Make sure that the ribbon is flat and not twisted.

Allowing the spools to roll like wheels (so lightly hold the middle of the spools only) this will unravel the new ribbon from the full spool.

Keep doing this until all the new ribbon is wound onto your old spool. When you have finished the once full new spool should now be empty and showing its spike or clip. Cut the ribbon off the spike of the now empty new spool and attach it to the spike on remaining empty old spool.

Replace the original spools with the new ribbon back into the typewriter and start typing again with fresh ink!

Replacement universal ribbons

If you are not sure which ribbon to buy, check our post on The Best Ribbons for your vintage typewriter. Below is a link to universal sized ribbons that are easily purchased on Amazon for a low price.

how to change a typewriter ribbon
Universal Typewriter Ribbons on AMAZON

Add some color to your writing!

We get asked a lot about where to find different color ribbons. Below is a link to this supplier of multi-colour ribbons also on Amazon.

how to change a typewriter ribbon
These fab color ribbons are also available on Amazon
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How To Choose The Best Vintage Typewriter for You

There are so many fantastic vintage typewriters still around today. Finding the best vintage typewriter for your needs usually comes down to a mixture of personal taste combined with any special requirements you have for writing.

The infographic below gives a broad overview of the styles of typewriters per decade. This is a great place to start when choosing what kind of typewriter is best for you.

Finding The Best Vintage Typewriter by Decade

finding the best vintage typewriter for you

Once you have decided on the decade or decades that most suits your taste, you can then narrow down your search for the best vintage typewriter for your taste and needs.

We love to help people find the perfect typewriter to suit their needs. You can contact us with your needs and we will help you figure out the best style and model of typewriter to suit you!

Why do we love vintage typewriters?

Vintage typewriters remind us to slow down. They teach us to enjoy the art of writing without distraction again.

It is surprisingly rewarding to watching the keys type ink directly on a page.

No one is making typewriters anymore, so we need to treasure the typewriters that are still working. They are the last of a kind. So, your typewriter will actually appreciate in value over the years.

Vintage typewriters look great on any desk.

They are so super easy to use. No updates are required, no virus check needed and they are completely hacker-proof!

They give you an instant physical backup of your work. There is no way to mistakenly delete your work.

They do not need an internet connection and there is no need to charge them.

 I hope the typewriters in my store will inspire more people to treasure these beautiful machines from the pre-digital age.

Our latest typewriters:

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The Forgotten Art of Letter Writing

There is something so special about receiving a letter in the post. The joy of getting a personal letter with a stamp on it in an envelope is such a forgotten joy. And we hope to bring letter writing back in fashion.

We are all so busy these days, that we just fire off an email to someone to say ‘hey, thinking of you. Hope all is well…’ Nice to do, but how much nicer for that loved one to open their letterbox and find a personal letter! The joy of it! The spontaneity and the pleasure of knowing someone took time to write a letter, put it in an envelope, write the address on it, put a stamp on it and take it to the mailbox! Wow, that’s so cool!

Yes, it can seem a little weird to get started, but once you start writing and receiving letters back you will love it! I promise!

So What Letters Can We Write?

1. Write a letter to a friend, just because.

2. Send a real letter to someone you follow online. Like a post you read? Be different and send a letter telling how you liked the post.

The Forgotten Art of Letter Writing

3. Send your mum a letter, or you Grandmother, or your Aunt. I promise you will be the favored child if you do this! Bonus points if you also include a clipped recipe or article you think they might enjoy.

4. Write a note to your kid’s teacher, saying thanks for the great job they do.

5. Write to someone serving abroad. Operation Gratitude accepts letters thanking Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, or First Responders for their service. Share the love.

6. Send an updated photo of the kids to a grandparent you don’t see often

7. Write a fun letter to your partner or child and hide it somewhere they will find it.

The Forgotten Art of Letter Writing

8. Send a letter to your friend who is celebrating a birthday.

9. Pick a friend who lives a long way from you. Send them a letter that includes an envelope and stamp for them to reply to you. This could be the beginning of a fun way to keep in touch.

10. Send a thank you for a gift you received or for a dinner you attended.

11. Write to thank your doctor, dentist or hairdresser for the work they do.

12. Write a fan letter to your favorite band, actor or singer. Go all old-school with this!

13. Get involved in a movement by putting your writing skills to use for Amnesty International

14. Join the Letter Writing Alliance and be part of the movement towards writing letters again.

The Forgotten Art of Letter Writing

Our newest typewriters:

All our typewriters are fully working typewriters that are perfect for writing letters and notes to your friends and loved ones.

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Typewriter Quotes Typed on Real Vintage Typewriters

One of the great benefits of owning a typewriter shop is being able to type fun typewriter quotes on all these fantastic working vintage typewriters!

I hope you will enjoy the selection of quotes and typewriters from our collection.


I had an old typewriter and a big idea - J K Rowling
Typed on a 1950s Mod Typewriter

I had an old typewriter and a big idea – J K Rowling
Typed on a 1950s Mod Typewriter


Typed on an Everest K2 typewriter

Sometimes my writing sounds like I walked out of the room and left the typewriter running.
Typed on an Everest K2 typewriter


Typed on a vintage Ideal typewriter

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life – Mark Twain
Typed on a vintage Ideal typewriter


Typed on a Hermes Media 3 Typewriter

Stories live in typewriters. Try a different typewriter and you might get a different story.
Typed on a Hermes Media 3 Typewriter


They Call Me Mellow Yellow Typed on a Yellow Triumph Tippa Typewriter
They Call Me Mellow Yellow
Typed on a Yellow Triumph Tippa Typewriter



Olivetti Semi-Standard typewriter

Do some living and get yourself a typewriter – Charles Bukowski
Typed on an Olivetti Semi-Standard typewriter



erika


Hermes Media 3 Typewriter

A writer knows how to dance on the keys of a typewriter like this.
Typed on a Hermes Media 3 Typewriter



Imperial Good Companion Typewriter

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit – William Shakespeare
Type on an Imperial Good Companion Typewriter

Our latest typewriters:

All our typewriters are working vintage typewriters that are perfect for writing famous typewriter quotes with!

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Best Typewriter Ribbons for Your Vintage Typewriter

Are you looking for the best typewriter ribbons for your vintage typewriter but don’t know where to begin? The links below are to universal ribbons which fit most machines. We use these ribbons on most of the machines we sell. The links below will take you to the Amazon site where you can buy these ribbons cheaply and easily with quick delivery.

If you have any questions about which ribbon your typewriter uses, you can get in contact with us. We are always happy to help out!

Our Pick of the Best Ribbons On Amazon

Twin Pack of ribbons – TWO Universal Typewriter Ribbons 1 Black & 1 Black/Red Combo twin spool 1/2″ cloth.

Red and Black Ink Compatible with Smith Corona, Royal, Remmington, Underwood, Brother, Olivetti, Olympia, Adler and More – 1 Pack


If you have an older Remington Typewriter with the fixed spools, you will find this ribbon works well – New Remington Quiet Riter Typewriter Ribbon (Black and Red) on Metal Spools

You can really have some fun with some colourful inks too!

Universal sized Ribbons in SEVEN colors!



We also use the lubricating oil to ensure the keys continue to work smoothly despite a machine’s age.

Liquid Bearings Lubricating Oil. Please only use a very very small amount!

We also suggest compressed air in a can for cleaning dust from any hard to reach places in your typewriter. But, remember the easiest way to avoid dust, is to keep your typewriter covered when not in use.

We often get asked which paper is best for typing. While most standard printer paper will work, it is always nice to have a block of purpose typewriter paper on hand. Here are our picks:

Scholar Typing Paper

Mead Typing Paper

We also love the range of letter writing sets you can find. These make letters to friends even more special. These Cherry Blossom Papers are our favorites.

If you want to make a copy of your work while you type, you can use carbon paper to duplicate as you type.

Carbon Paper

Our Latest Typewriters:

All our typewriters are working vintage typewriters that are ready to use as soon as you open the box. They have new ribbon preinstalled and come with instructions for use.

All typewriters come with FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE




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