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25-1-2023 16:00:41  #1

Standard Buying Advice?

I've been thinking about saving up so that I can have a good, solid standard in my collection. I've really got myself set on the Royal FP right now, but I was hoping to hear some of your opinions.
I'm looking for something from the 40's-60's, as I prefer the boxy but not too boxy appearance that you see on typewriters like the Royal Quiet DeLuxe and the Royal FP. If you're wondering about the aesthetic I'm thinking of, the Royal FP, Underwood SS, Royal HH, and the Messa M1 are all pretty good examples of what I'm looking for.
I'm hoping for something sturdy and standard as it were, so that I don't have spend days combing the Internet to get ribbons or repair guides. I especially want something sturdy and reliable, as I'm hoping that this will be a long-term typewriter, something I can use day in and day out without it falling apart on me.
I'm not looking for specific listings, I just want suggestions for any models that you folks think fit that bill. My price range goes up to $500, but I'm willing to wait and save more if it means getting a better typewriter.
(If this is the wrong section for this post, I'm very sorry, it just seemed to fit the bill best)

A Royal fangirl, through and through.

26-1-2023 08:37:51  #2

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

Have you looked to the Olympia SG1 ?

Here is mine but with a replacement space bar from a SG3 model.


26-1-2023 12:30:27  #3

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

To me, the neatest feature of those SG1's is the paper injector.  It feels like pulling the handle on a one-armed bandit.  You can't use it without smiling.


26-1-2023 12:42:59  #4

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

First off, WJC, there's no reason you would need to spend that much money for a standard typewriter in good, working condition. I typically spend on average $40 (CAD) for a standard. Most will need a bit of cleaning and may not look factory new, but they are workhorses that you can use to type a novel.

You have a good short list. I own examples of each with the exception of the Messa, which I've never seen in my area and don't think it's very common in North America. Realistically, what you end up picking will likely be determined by what is actually available in your area (unless you want to risk having a standard shipped and hope that the seller really knows what they're doing).

Of the models you listed I'll admit that I'm partial to the FP, but that's a purely subjective opinion. I like using all three, but there's something about the design of the FP that speaks to me.


Finally, as Pete suggested, an Olympia SG-1 is not a model you should ignore. It's likely my favorite standard and the example currently on my desk has been used to type 100k+ words so far without any issues.

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

26-1-2023 14:53:55  #5

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

I think that when I do choose to buy, I'll go for the Royal FP. Having looked at some reviews, I can agree that the Olympia is a very good typewriter, however I just prefer the aesthetics of the Royal FP better. I'd added the high price ceiling because typewriter prices vary wildly across the Internet, and I didn't want to accidentally exclude anything.

A Royal fangirl, through and through.
     Thread Starter

26-1-2023 16:19:24  #6

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

Here is my 1960 Royal FP that I got late last year on Shop Goodwill for $ 62 all-inclusive.

It just needed a deep cleaning, polish out of oxidized paint, service, and new ribbon which I did as a DIY project.  It weighs 29.3 lbs. so can still be moved around relatively with ease.

I did add the ivory-cream colour to the ribbon cover to break up the grey-tones of the machine.  And I reapplied paint to the "Royal" logo along its back panel.

I have two (2) Royal Futura 800 portables...and this FP types like a very big brother.  Quite enjoyable to use for long-spells.


26-1-2023 17:31:28  #7

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

WJC wrote:

... I'd added the high price ceiling because typewriter prices vary wildly across the Internet, and I didn't want to accidentally exclude anything.

Sometimes the only difference between a $50 and $500 typewriter is the markup someone who wants to flip a typewriter for profit has added to it. There are many of these characters in my area; they buy a machine for $50 from the original owner, clean it up a little, and then ask anywhere from $200-$500 for it. Some of the more dubious of them will claim the machine has been rebuilt or reconditioned even though they have no idea what's involved in the process.

y point is that you shouldn't assume that you're getting a better machine if you spend more for it. Buy a $50 one and you'll never get burned! 

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

30-1-2023 19:22:00  #8

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

I have several of the older Royals ranging from a Model 10, KHM, KMM, HH, etc.  Back in the 1960s I trained on the FP.  I got to use others in class but I always preferred the Royal for one reason or another.  Currently I was able to save a KMM and next to the SG-1, it is my favorite.  The KMM is heavy, more than the HH, and though I haven't analyzed it as to why yet, the key action seems to have a more solid feel with less of a "twangy" feedback through my fingers than the HH and why the HH is in storage.  The Olympia has great action with cushioned key tops that I can see would be less fatiguing going through 8 hour shifts in a typing pool.  All these posts about a FP brought back memories, maybe I have to find one.  A couple of things about the FP I remember are the ribbon spools are more generic  and the platens come out with a flip of a lever.  This made switching platens easy as Ames in the day had various types of platens offered.


30-1-2023 21:18:28  #9

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

Shipping standards can be done, but is nerve-wracking.  Last year, I had an Underwood 3, a Smith Premier 3, and a Smith Premier 5 shipped to me.  Thankfully, all arrived safely and intact.  I would rather not have a standard shipped again if I could help it.

Smith Premier typewriters are cool!

31-1-2023 21:56:36  #10

Re: Standard Buying Advice?

Another Standard to keep an eye out for is the Facit T2 Standard.

Mine is from 1971 and has a wider 15" carriage.

It's typing action feels light & nimble and doing work for hours does not tire me as my Olympia SG1 seems to.


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