Top 5 portable typewriters for writers

There are many reasons to own a portable typewriter. Perhaps you want to take your work on the go and not worry about saving your work. Maybe you are an artist who needs to create handwritten notes or letters?

Or it could be to simply enjoy the feel and sound of typing on a typewriter. Whatever your reasons, there are many benefits to owning a portable typewriter - you will never have to worry about finding an outlet or connecting to WiFi ever again.

If you're a writer who needs to write on the go, then a portable typewriter should be your best friend.

In this article we will share our top 5 recommendations for portable typewriters. 

Hermes Baby/Rocket


Hermes Baby is hands down the best quality typewriter you can find out there. It's small and lightweight, so it's easy to carry around with you wherever you go. But don't let its size fool you - this little guy is built to last and it's equipped with quick keys that will keep up with even the fastest writers.

If you are a fan of vintage leather cases then you are in luck, this model also comes in a De Luxe cognac leather case, with a functional and beautiful design that never goes out of fashion. The leather case is hard to find and the standard metal lid case with a plastic handle is still a good choice. Just make sure that the old plastic handle has no cracks on it. This typewriter is merely 1.8kg (4 lbs)!

Hermes Rocket is an identical typewriter with the same features as a Hermes Baby, but with a name that just sounds far cooler!

Brother De Luxe

Brother De Luxe is also an excellent choice if you're looking for a high-quality machine. This model comes with all of the bells and whistles (and then some) that make it perfect for everyday use and travel. It is sleek, modern and has a color selector lever located on the right hand side for maximum comfort. For reference, this typewriter is only 4.1 kg (9lbs).

Olivetti Lettera 22/32

Olivetti Lettera 22 is one of the most famous models. It was designed in the 1950s by Marcello Nizzoli in Italy but still has many fans all over the world. This model is highly recommended by writers. It was also awarded as the best design product of the last 100 years by the Illinoi Institute of Technology. 

It usually comes with a case that allows you to use it as a desk-top machine or take it with you wherever you go. It has all the features that make it a great portable typewriter: quick keys, good letter spacing, and a comfortable big return carriage lever so you don't have to look for your return lever after every line (this feature makes it much easier to use).

Olympia Splendid 33/66/99

You will never go wrong if you choose any of the Olympia Splendid  models - 33, 66 or 99. This German engineering marvel has sturdy mechanics and quick keys that make it ideal for writers who like to write fast without compromising quality or style.

The three models are identical, with only small feature differences. Model 33 is the simplest - it has single color ribbon only and lacks a paper support arm and touch control. Model 66 has a paper support, a bi-color ribbon and touch control. A touch control is a great feature to have if you write in long sessions as it will ease the pressure of your fingers. Finally, model 99 is the same as model 66, but a bit more luxury.

Vendex 500/750/800/1500

 If you're looking for something more budget-friendly, Vendex models (we recommend 500/750/800/1500TR) might be just what you need! Vendex is a Dutch brand of typewriters, taking the design of Brother typewriters. This typewriter is lightweight (only 3.5kg or 7.5 lbs) enough to carry around all day without straining your back or shoulders, but has enough power behind it to keep pace with any project - or marathon writing session! 

Consider these things

Some things I consider when choosing a typewriter:

1. What typeface (font) do I want? There are a variety of different typefaces available, so be sure to choose one that is easy for you to read. Pica and Elite are two of the most common and used typefaces.

2. Do I need a big carriage return lever? This feature helps save time by returning your fingers to the keyboard after every line spacing. Lettera models have a big return lever, but Hermes Baby on the other hand have a tiny little return lever which takes more time to get used to.

3. Does it come with any extras? Does the portable typewriter come with a carrying case and extra space (pockets) for storing paper under its cover?

4. How big are my hands? I have smaller hands so I go for Hermes Baby, but if you have bigger fingers consider getting the Lettera model which has more space between the keys and will prevent you making more mistakes.

5. What is my typing style? Do I like typing fast and competitively? Then I would suggest getting the Olympia Splendid models as they have very quick key reactions.

6. What line spacing do I need? Line spacing is the distance between the rows, some typewriters like Hermes Baby offer 1 and 1.5 line spacing only. Lettera models offer 1, 2, or 3 line spacing options.

Finally, think about how much weight you can carry and how further you need to carry it. You want something that won't strain your arms or shoulders. A Hermes Baby is only 1.8 kg (4 lbs), while other typewriter models are at least double that size around 3.7kg (8 lbs).  

Try before you buy, if possible.

If possible, try out different portable typewriters before deciding which one is right for you. Test-drive your prospective purchase at a friend's house, a local museum that offers typewriters to the public or a local typewriter store Sometimes even bookshops have typewriters on display which you can test.

Once you have considered these factors, it’s time to start shopping! Whatever model, color or make you choose, make sure to enjoy your new portable typewriter. 

And if you are in doubt - always contact us so we can find the best typewriter for your needs.