Basic Typewriter Tools

typewriter tools

Like any hobby or profession, there are basic tools required to do typewriter repair.  As my grandfather always said, "Use the right tool for the right job."  His advice couldn't be truer today especially with typewriter repair.  Here are a few items you'll need to get started.  

A Good Set of Hollow Ground Screwdrivers.  Don't cheap out on this one and don't use the screwdrivers you probably have for repairs around your home or to work on your cars.  Here are a few sets that many people use.

  • Gracie Gunsmithing Screwdrivers.  I really like this set and use them almost every day.  It has a nice mix of sizes that you'll need and the screwdrivers are made in the USA which is a plus in my book.
  • Wheeler Deluxe Gunsmithing Set.  I don't have personal experience with these tools, but I know many use them and like them.

Spring Hooks.  Every typewriter mechanic needs a set of spring hooks.  There always seems to be a spring that needs to be replaced or reattached and this is the tool for the job.  New ones can be purchased today through places like Colman Manufacturing and can often be had on eBay.

Pliers.  Duckbill pliers and needlenose pliers are pretty helpful when parts need to be formed.  Those are readily available in hardware stores and on the Internet.

A Work Light.  Whether you use a bench mounted work light or a hand held flashlight, being able to see deep inside the machine is often necessary.  Get a good light--you'll be glad you did!

A swivel or lazy susan.  I waited a long time to purchase one of these but is it ever handy to have!  It makes moving a typewriter around a breeze!

A Good Lubricant.  There are dozens of good lubricants to use to both clean and lubricate a mechanical typewriter.  Here are a few common choices:

  • PB Blaster.  A bit smelly but this naptha based lubricant does a good job removing gunk and grime and providing light lubrication.
  • Kroil.  One of my favorites.  I think it has a more pleasant smell than many and is one of the best penetrating oils available for purchase.
  • LPS1.  I just ordered a can of this but am intrigued by the fact that it's greaseless.  I believe Protex's Super Slick Stuff would be similar since it is also greaseless (and has a great citrus odor).

There are many more but any of the above would work well.

I don't claim the above items to be an exhaustive list of things you'll need for typewriter repair but it is a good list of items to acquire.  You'll discover quickly that shop towels are handy to have as well as are a small collection of micro wrenches, typewriter t-bender tools, sandpaper, emery cloth, as well as many other miscellaneous items.








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