Typewriters vs. Computers: Rediscovering Analog Writing

Typewriters vs. Computers: Rediscovering Analog Writing

Posted by Brandon Leip on Aug 11, 2023


What Makes Using A Typewriter Better Than A Computer?

In today's digital age, the question might arise: why would someone choose a typewriter over a computer? At first glance, it might seem that typewriters, especially brands like IBM, Nakajima, and Royal, are artifacts of the past. However, many writers, both young and old, are rediscovering the numerous benefits of using typewriters. Let's dive into why a typewriter might just be the perfect writing tool for you.

Physical Connection to Words

The Physical Connection to Words: A Dance of Fingers and Feelings

In the world of digital typing, the sensation of pressing keys often feels uniform, regardless of what's being said. Every email, every tweet, every essay starts to feel the same under our fingers. Not so with typewriters, and here's why:

1. A Symphony of Sensations

Every typewriter has its unique feel. The IBM Wheelwriter 15, for instance, provides a distinct resistance and rebound with each keystroke. This tactile feedback allows writers to feel their words, quite literally, as they are created. It's a rhythmic dance between fingers and keys, a symphony of sensations that modern keyboards often lack.

2. The Sound of Creation

Beyond just the feel, there's the unmistakable sound of metal striking paper, resonating with each letter and word. It's a constant, auditory reminder of creation in progress. With each clack, you hear your thoughts materializing into words. The typewriter doesn’t just allow you to write; it performs the act of writing with you.

3. The Weight of Words

There's an undeniable weight to each keystroke on a typewriter. This weight serves as a tangible reminder of the importance of each word and phrase. In contrast to the fleeting nature of digital text, which can be deleted with a single tap, typewritten words require intention. Once a word is typed, it leaves a permanent mark, urging the writer to choose their words with care.

4. Models Tailored to the Experience

Certain typewriters, like the Royal Classic, have been designed keeping the tactile experience in mind. Its keys are crafted for comfort, but also for that signature feedback. Each model, in its own way, seeks to bridge the gap between the writer's mind and the page, turning the act of writing into an almost meditative process.

5. A Visual Journey

Then there's the sight of letters being imprinted onto paper, one by one. Watching a page fill up with words is vastly different from watching letters appear on a screen. The former feels like crafting, like physical labor — it's the sensation of building something with one's own hands.

Distraction-Free Writing

Distraction-Free Writing: Embracing the Pure Essence of Creation

In the age of information, while technological advances have made our lives easier, they have also ushered in a deluge of interruptions. Computers, despite their usefulness, can often be the epicenters of these distractions. Here's why opting for a typewriter offers a haven for focused, intentional writing:

1. The Solitude of Single-Tasking

Multi-tasking has become a buzzword of the digital age, but research suggests that it might hamper our efficiency. Typewriters inherently promote single-tasking. When you sit with a typewriter, there's only one task at hand: writing. This undivided attention can drastically improve the quality and depth of your work.

2. The Absence of the Digital World

No emails. No social media notifications. No tempting browser tabs. A typewriter eliminates the instantaneous pull of the online world, allowing writers to dive deep into their thoughts without the fear of an impending ping or pop-up.

3. Tangible Progress

With computers, your progress is often represented by a growing word count or the movement of a scrollbar. With a typewriter, you physically see your stack of completed pages rising. This tangible evidence of progress can serve as a powerful motivator, driving you to write more and more.

4. Mindful Writing

In the absence of digital distractions, you become more present in the moment. Each keystroke, each line, and each page becomes a mindful act. The rhythm of the typewriter can become meditative, grounding writers in the present and creating a unique flow state.

5. Commitment to Thought

The digital realm offers an easy way out: the backspace key. While it’s a boon for quick edits, it might also promote indecision and second-guessing. On a typewriter, the commitment to each word is stronger. This can push writers to think more deliberately before they type, refining their thoughts in the process.

6. Reclaiming Time

Without the lure of the internet, sessions with a typewriter can often prove to be far more productive. The time typically lost in aimless browsing or replying to instant messages is now channeled directly into crafting your masterpiece.

The essence of distraction-free writing with a typewriter isn’t just about eliminating interruptions; it’s about reclaiming the sanctity of the creative process. In a world that's constantly vying for our attention, typewriters offer a rare respite, a space where thoughts can flourish unfettered.

Reliability in Simplicity

Reliability in Simplicity: The Timeless Durability of Typewriters

In our fast-paced world of rapid technological advancement, sometimes the most dependable tools are the ones that embrace the elegance of simplicity. Typewriters, in contrast to their modern computer counterparts, have stood the test of time due to their straightforward mechanics and robust build. Here's why:

1. Uncomplicated Mechanics

Typewriters operate based on direct mechanical response. Press a key, and the corresponding typebar strikes the ink ribbon, imprinting the character on the paper. No software malfunctions, no sudden crashes — just a reliable, one-to-one action.

2. Freedom from Digital Threats

Viruses, malware, phishing — the lexicon of digital threats is ever-growing. Typewriters remain immune to these modern worries. There's no need for antivirus software and no stress about potential hacks or data breaches. Your work remains confidential and secure.

3. Longevity Built-In

Many of our typewriters, like the esteemed Nakajima WPT-160 or the IBM Wheelwriter 3000, are built with materials meant to last. Their construction often prioritizes durability, ensuring they withstand the test of time. Many users are often surprised to find that many decades-old typewriters can still function flawlessly.

4. The 21-Step Reconditioning Advantage

At, our commitment to reliability is showcased in our meticulous 21-step reconditioning process. Each typewriter undergoes a thorough examination, from alignment checks to individual key testing. This ensures that every machine, whether vintage or more modern, operates at its peak, offering writers a dependable writing companion.

5. Fewer Electrical Dependencies

While certain electric typewriters require power, their functionality is far less intricate than a computer. They aren't susceptible to complex electrical failures or intricate motherboard issues. Moreover, manual typewriters are entirely independent of electricity, making them usable even in areas without power access.

6. Easy Maintenance

Typewriter maintenance, especially for those who've learned the basics, is far simpler than diagnosing and fixing computer issues. A jammed key or a worn-out ribbon is usually a straightforward fix. No need for software patches, driver updates, or compatibility checks.

At the heart of every typewriter is a promise of steadfastness. In a world where devices can become obsolete within years or even months, the typewriter stands defiant, a beacon of reliability. Its simplicity isn't a limitation but rather its greatest strength, ensuring it remains a cherished tool for writers across generations.

A Touch of Nostalgia

A Touch of Nostalgia: Reconnecting with the Golden Age of Writing

In an era dominated by touchscreens, algorithms, and instant gratification, typewriters offer a portal back to a time of slower, more contemplative living. They remind us of an age where each word was weighed and measured, and the rhythm of typebars striking paper was the soundtrack of creation. Here's a deeper look into the nostalgic essence typewriters evoke:

1. A Bridge to Bygone Times

Using a typewriter is more than just a writing experience; it's a journey back in time. Each keystroke harks back to an age when renowned authors, journalists, and poets crafted their masterpieces on similar machines, the echoes of their thoughts and dreams intertwined with the clatter of metal on paper.

2. The Unique Imprint

Unlike the uniformity of digital fonts, each typewriter lends its own character to the document. The pressure with which a key is pressed, the minute variations in ink distribution, or the occasional overlap of letters—these quirks give each page a distinctive, personal touch, a far cry from the sterile perfection of digital print.

3. Physicality and Presence

In our digital age, so much exists in the ephemeral realm of bytes and pixels. Typewriters, in contrast, provide an immediate, tangible result. The physical act of rolling in a sheet of paper, feeling the keys under one's fingers, and pulling out a completed page connects us to the material world in a deeply satisfying way.

4. A Testament to Craftsmanship

Typewriters are marvels of engineering from an era where build quality and longevity were paramount. Their intricate mechanisms, often visible and always audible, remind us of a time when products were built to last, and craftsmanship was celebrated.

5. Intimacy in Creation

Modern devices often distance us from our creations with autocorrects, predictive text, and a plethora of editing tools. Typewriters bring back the intimacy of creation. Mistakes, corrections, and edits aren't just permissible; they're part of the story, adding layers of authenticity and humanity to the narrative.

6. Memories and Stories

For many, typewriters also hold personal nostalgic value. They evoke memories of grandparents typing letters, an old office setup, or tales of yesteryears shared by older generations. They are not just machines; they're repositories of stories, both written on them and about them.

In essence, typewriters aren't just tools; they're time machines. They transport us to a period where the act of writing was as much about the journey as it was about the destination. In their nostalgia lies an invitation, beckoning us to slow down and savor the art of creation.

Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally Friendly: Embracing Sustainable Writing with Typewriters

As our world grapples with environmental challenges, every action we take matters. From the food we eat to the gadgets we use, sustainability plays a crucial role. Typewriters, especially manual models, align perfectly with the ethos of being eco-conscious. Here's why:

1. Reduced Energy Consumption

Unlike computers, tablets, or smartphones, manual typewriters require no electricity to operate. Even electric models, being simpler devices, consume significantly less power than a computer. This reduced dependency on electricity directly translates to a lower carbon footprint, making typewriting a more energy-efficient mode of writing.

2. Longevity and Waste Reduction

Modern electronic devices often come with built-in obsolescence. As technology rapidly evolves, gadgets become outdated within a few years, leading to a cycle of waste. Typewriters, on the other hand, are built to last. Their durable construction means they can serve for decades, reducing the need for frequent replacements and diminishing electronic waste.

3. Absence of Electronic Pollution

Computers and other electronic devices emit electromagnetic radiation. While the health implications of this are still a matter of research, what's clear is that manual typewriters emit no such radiation, ensuring a cleaner immediate environment.

4. Sustainable Materials

The bulk of a typewriter is made from metal, plastic, and rubber, materials that are robust and long-lasting. Compared to the myriad components in modern electronic devices (some of which can be hazardous), typewriters are simpler and often easier to recycle.

5. Reduced Digital Clutter

In the digital age, data centers power our cloud storage, emails, and online documents. These centers consume vast amounts of energy. By writing on paper, typewriter users can reduce the demand for these data centers, thereby indirectly contributing to energy savings.

6. Biodegradable Outputs

Documents typed on paper are biodegradable, especially when compared to electronic waste. When no longer needed, paper can be recycled or will naturally degrade, while electronic storage devices can persist as environmental hazards for extended periods.

Opting for a typewriter isn't just a nod to the past; it's also a step towards a greener future. For those keen on merging the romance of analog with the necessity of sustainability, typewriters provide the perfect balance.

A Conversation Starter

A Conversation Starter: The Art and Allure of Typewriters

In a world brimming with cutting-edge gadgets, a typewriter can seem like an anachronism. Yet, place a model like the Nakajima WPT-150 on a desk, and it instantly becomes a focal point. But why does this analog machine captivate so effortlessly? Let's explore:

1. The Intersection of Form and Function

Typewriters, especially iconic models like the Royal Classic, represent a pinnacle of design where utility meets aesthetics. Every curve, key, and typebar is meticulously crafted, not just for function but also to please the eye. The intrinsic beauty of these machines stands in contrast to the generic look of modern devices, drawing attention and admiration.

2. A Narrative in Every Machine

Behind every typewriter lies a story. Whether it's tales of authors who penned bestsellers on similar models, journalists who reported breaking news, or personal anecdotes of letters written and memories created, typewriters are veritable treasure troves of tales waiting to be shared and discovered.

3. Symbols of Dedication

The presence of a typewriter on a desk signifies more than just a preference for analog tools. It hints at a commitment to deliberate thought, patience, and a deep appreciation for the art of writing. Such dedication is bound to invite questions and discussions from onlookers and visitors.

4. Bridges to the Past

Typewriters act as tangible links to bygone eras. They evoke images of smoke-filled newsrooms, of writers lost in thought, and of a time when communication was a craft. For many, seeing a typewriter sparks memories, be it of a relative's old study or of a history lesson about the evolution of communication.

5. Statements of Individuality

In today's age of mass-produced and homogenized tech gadgets, a typewriter stands out as a testament to individuality. Owning and using one is a conscious choice, a departure from the mainstream. It's a declaration of one's unique perspective and approach to life and work.

6. Showcases of Craftsmanship

Every typewriter is a marvel of engineering. The intricate dance of typebars, the melody of keys, and the precision of the carriage movement are all results of meticulous craftsmanship. They serve as reminders of an age when durability and attention to detail were paramount.

So, the next time someone's eyes are drawn to the Nakajima WPT-150 on your desk, know that they aren't just looking at a machine. They're beholding a piece of art, a slice of history, and a reflection of a unique personality. The conversation that follows is merely the cherry on top.

Tangible Results

Tangible Results: The Concrete Manifestation of Thought and Effort

In our digital age, much of what we create remains intangible, trapped behind screens and stored in nebulous clouds. However, the typewriter, with its analog nature, brings an almost poetic tangibility to the act of writing. Here’s how:

1. The Physicality of Creation

Every keystroke on a typewriter results in a letter imprinted on paper, making the act of writing physically manifest. This contrasts with the fleeting nature of digital writing where words appear and disappear with just a click. With a typewriter, you literally watch your thoughts materialize before your eyes, lending a certain gravity to the writing process.

2. The Weight of Commitment

Typewriting demands commitment. Without the luxury of effortlessly deleting and re-writing, each word is chosen with greater care and intent. The resulting page, with its carefully chosen words and occasional strike-throughs, stands as a testament to the writer's dedication and thought process.

3. The Sensory Satisfaction

Beyond just seeing the fruits of one's labor, using a typewriter engages multiple senses. The rhythmic sound of keys striking paper, the tactile feedback under one's fingertips, and even the faint scent of ink and paper all combine to offer a multisensory experience. This sensory engagement further amplifies the satisfaction of seeing one's words take physical form.

4. A Lasting Record

Digital files, with their susceptibility to corruption, accidental deletion, or technological obsolescence, can be ephemeral. In contrast, a typewritten page is a durable artifact. It can be held, shared, archived, or displayed. It's a lasting record of one's thoughts, immune to technological glitches.

5. The Joy of Accumulation

There's undeniable pleasure in seeing a stack of typewritten pages pile up, each representing a chapter completed or a project's progress. It serves as a visual and tactile measure of one's achievements, fueling motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

In essence, typewriters transform the abstract act of writing into a concrete endeavor. Each page, with its imprinted letters and occasional imperfections, stands as a tangible testament to a writer's journey, effort, and dedication. It's a reminder that in an increasingly virtual world, there's still immense value in the palpable and real.

In today's rapidly digitizing era, where screen touches and keyboard strokes rule our communication landscape, the typewriter emerges not as an artifact of bygone times but as a poignant symbol of deliberate creativity and artistry. Each mechanical press on a typewriter, from machines like the IBM Wheelwriter to the Royal Classic, connects us to a lineage of writers who crafted tales, history, and thought without the aid of spell-check or the distraction of notifications. It's a tactile connection—a tangible link to our words, binding the writer not only to their immediate creation but also to a grand literary tradition. When we choose a typewriter over a computer, we're making a conscious decision to immerse ourselves in the act of writing, to embrace its imperfections, its rhythms, and its physicality. We're acknowledging that, while technology advances, there's an immutable value in the raw, unfiltered process of thought flowing onto paper. The typewriter, then, isn't just a tool; it's an experience—a mindful retreat from the digital storm, and a reminder that some of the most profound connections are the ones we can touch and feel.