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27-9-2018 18:29:08  #1

Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

Hi all, I want to start writing and am looking to buy either a Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM9. Which would you recommend? Also torn between getting one with the regular font (pica not elite) or script. I like the way the Hermes looks but I've also read that there are a lot of loyal Olympia users. Would be interested to hear what you have to say regarding these two models. Thanks!


28-9-2018 02:48:02  #2

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

I don't know where you are located, but in the UK at least, the SM9 would be far cheaper to buy than the Hermes 3000, yet will do everything that the Hermes will.  If you want a machine to use, and use a lot, you can't go wrong with the SM9 in my opinion.  If you are unlikely to do a lot of column work, the Olympia SM8 is a good buy.  Much the same as an SM9 but with a more basic tabulator and no keyboard touch control - and less popular because eveyone wants the desirable SM9.  The Hermes is a fine machine and I'm sure that you would enjoy using it just as much, but it is over-priced and over-rated.  Finally, almost every Hermes 3000 has an age-hardened platen, which will cost a lot to have re-rubbered.  The SM8/9 doesn't seem to suffer from this.


28-9-2018 08:28:54  #3

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

I have both, and would recommend the SM9.  It is rightly preferred by many professional writers for its unobtrusive great service.  It just types,
and types
and types.
The H3000 is a nice machine too, apart from the dreadful paper support, and it has the best design of case I have in my collection, but for serious writing, the SM9 every time.  Good luck.


28-9-2018 09:42:38  #4

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

It's worth pointing out that there are three generations of the Hermes 3000, and since they do differ from each other, so I'm wondering which one the OP wants to compare with the SM9. Most are enamoured by the original 3000, and while I'll agree that it's a wonderful design - aesthetically - I find it to be overengineered mechanically. I've repaired both the original 3000 and the SM9, and there's no question that I'd much rather have to deal with repairing a SM9 than the Hermes.

Stay Safe! 

28-9-2018 10:09:20  #5

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

Someone else mentioned the hardened platen on the Hermes. Another "feature" of the Hermes is the fact that the platen knobs can be very brittle and break. And since they are molded onto the platen shaft, replacing them is very difficult. No such problems with the SM9, or problems of any kind, for that matter. (And the SM8 is a good alternative, but actually may be harder to find.) There are many times when I'm using one of these Olympias that I wonder why I'd need any other typewriter.

The Hermes seems to come with a real price premium, while an SM9 is much less expensive, in my experience.

You also asked about typeface -- there are some who love script, but I think you'll fund it a real chore to actually read. Do not go that route if you are planning to do writing (as opposed to sending the occasional note).


28-9-2018 11:26:35  #6

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

Hi all, thanks for the replies. I'm considering the second generation Hermes 3000. The first one is nice but comes at too high of a price premium. I think I'll get the SM9 but if I find a lower priced 3000, I'll get one later. Another question, are the SM9s metal or is the white part plastic? I was looking mostly for a metal machine. Thanks in advance. 

     Thread Starter

28-9-2018 11:27:21  #7

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

Also what is the difference between the SM8 and the 9?

     Thread Starter

28-9-2018 14:07:12  #8

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

Post #2 above describes the SM8 well. Both the SM9 and SM8 are metal -- the ribbon cover is painted alloy, aluminum I think.


28-9-2018 19:19:02  #9

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

Hi Fleetwing

The brittle platen knobs seem to only be an issue with the 2nd generation of the 3000 and not the first. I can't speak for the 3rd generation as I've never seen one in person. The platen knobs are actually molded onto aluminum bushings that attach to the ends of the platen shaft. I'll have to get back to Tinker-Cad and see about finishing my design for the 2nd generation platen knobs. I have an undamaged set and a set of the aluminum bushings for reference, but I'm thinking of thickening the center dome before sending to 3-D printing. All the best,



10-5-2019 16:45:52  #10

Re: Hermes 3000 vs Olympia SM9

I own multiples of both. Hands down the Hermès 3000 is the better machine, easy to service, best typing experience.

I should add that I’m referring to Gen 1 3000’s.

The Hermès Script is better looking than the Olympia Script.



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