How To Replace a Typewriter Ribbon

Nowadays, there are two types of typewriters. These are the electronic typewriters and the manual typewriters. Though the advent of conventional computers and laser printers has mostly put the typewriters out of the popular office setting, the typewriters still have the advantage to print directly on the paper and occupy lesser space on the office desk.

Both types of typewriters have many differences. The mechanical or manual typewriters, as usual, do not need electric current to work with and it is the most affordable. The latest manual typewriters are light and portable. Some are even small enough to be stored in your drawer. On the other hand, the latest electronic models are very fast and efficient. These typewriters have a small display monitor where you can check your composition before printing them onto the paper. These models have the printing mechanism of the latest dot matrix printers. It has a wide selection of font style and sizes to choose from, depending on the kind of document you are working on. On other brands, it also checks your spelling and grammar as you type. Some electronic typewriters have a built-in thesaurus and calculator.

Regardless of these differences, both typewriters have one common aspect: the ribbon replacement. Electric typewriters often have cartridge ribbons, whereas manuals have old-fashioned spool ribbons.

The following are the simple steps to change the typewriter ribbon:

  1. For electronic typewriters, turn off and unplug the typewriter for safety. Do not change ribbons if your hands are wet.
  2. Remove the top. Most electronic typewriters have a top cover whereas the manual typewriters are plain open.
  3. Look for the old ribbon in the typewriter. The manual typewriters usually have the spools which houses the ribbons while the electronic ones have the ribbon cartridges. Partially loosen the ribbon by pulling slightly for easy removal of the spools or cartridges.
  4. Remove the spools from their posts by lifting out directly. Usually on the electronic ones, the cartridges are firmly locked in place. Refrain from pulling the cartridge with force. A safety lock or release lever must be disabled before moving the cartridge.
  5. Put aside the ribbon cartridge or spool.
  6. Whether you have cartridges or spools, you have the choice of buying a new set or just replacing the ribbons within. This is done by unwinding the old ribbons from the cartridge or spools and replacing it with a new ribbon.
  7. Insert the new cartridge into the cartridge bay. Snap the levers or the locks while doing so. For the spools, just place the two spools onto the holders.
  8. Align the ribbon on the type head assembly. The type head assembly is where the type bar strikes the ribbon to make an impression on the paper behind it. On the electronic models, this part is the printer head. Make sure that the printing side of the ribbon is facing the paper.
  9. Stretch the ribbon by winding up the ribbon gear on the cartridge. It is important that a taut ribbon is placed properly to prevent slipping.
  10. Replace the cover on the top.

Though there are many kinds of typewriters, changing the typewriter ribbon is basically the same. However, on the electronic models, you might have to consider reading the manual first regarding changing ribbons. When purchasing new ribbons, be certain to mention the model, type or brand of the printer you need the ribbon for. Since this task leaves dirty marks on your hands, make sure you wash afterwards.


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