Top 5 overrated Typewriters

Last month, We shared with you our top 10 worst typewriters that we banned from our workshop due to many reasons we have explained in detail and mention.

This month, I have another list to share with you, top 5 Overrated typewriters ever made, again this is personal and professional opinion. 

Our classification is based on unreasonably market prices compared to below average performance. In other words, they look good but performance not as much.

Like always, our list doesn't include pre 1920 typewriters and always based on our experience with these typing machines in addition to customers’ and collectors’ feedback in general. 

Without any Delay, here is my Top 5 overrated typewriters:

5- LC Smith Corona 4 typewriter: 

Corona 4 Purple Typewriter

Yes, Joining the list from the top 10 worst typewriters is the Corona 4 typewriter that is unbelievably attractive and looks futuristic for a 1920-1930s typewriter.

Look at the pictures below and tell me, aren't they gorgeous? 

But, when it comes to typing, even after thorough restoration, they still do not perform as good as other typewriters, they are just not so reliable.

Personally, I would pay money for the looks only, otherwise, it’s a "No Go"

4- Groma Kolibri. 

 Another One from my top 10 worst typewriters. It is so overrated and undoubtedly overpriced for the performance, reliability and fragility.

I’ve had many requests for the Kolibri, but I won’t sell it to a client because I am certain it won’t consistently deliver as we promise. 


3- Royal P, the old versions. Not the later Royal Ps with a Covered ribbon spool. 

Royal P typewriter enthusiasts will always be loyal to this Model but I will not agree with them on this one. 

We have in our personal collection a Blue Alligator Royal P, its dazzling in our living room, but I won’t be tempted to type on it. From personal experience, those models consistently have issues with skipping. If you type too fast, you will for sure end up with few letters skipping spaces. 

Although I love the glass topped keys, not all have them and that makes things worse, cosmetically speaking. 

Royal P Blue Typewriter


2- Bar Let Typewriters:

A shiny & small typewriter with Keys popping on the front with extremely fragile parts and complicated mechanism. Yes, that is a Bar let in a Nutshell. 

Unfortunately, you might see them sell for £200+ in non-serviced condition and this what makes the typewriter industry unreasonable as the typewriter itself is not a success when it comes to typing on but we should admit that it looks great and some colours like the green, blue and red are awesome. 

Ber-Let Typewriter

So, if you are looking to buy it for a display then she is a WINNER! But as a typing machine best to “Stay away”.

Thus, the Bar-Let typewriter will be in the Second place in the overrated typewriters list without any regret. 


1- Hermes Baby or Hermes Rocket… the Later Versions. 

Hermes Typewriter

Don't get me wrong, Hermes Baby, the older versions with the slick frame are beyond perfect but these later models are simply economic versions of the great Hermes baby, and they are a shame to be named Hermes baby. 

Why the Hermes baby topped my list?

Because it has a lot of issues and it shares the same mechanism of a Silver Reed Carriage. They key mechanism is the same as the Olivetti Roma & Tropical. 

Another factor that makes it overrated is its fragile plastic frame that easily gets broken when removing the mechanism and rarely survives the process.  

So, Do you agree with our list or not? 


Keep typing. 

Walid Saad



Unhonourable mentions:

- Blue Bird typewriters 

- Royalite typewriters.




Walid Saad

I must say, my Adler (Nakajima) 250 can’t seem to type a straight line…

Walid Saad

To Jennifer who left the comment above: there’s a nice description of the Lettera 32 in Walid’s blog on top typewriters for writers. I’m a former typist/secretary, now a writer, and the Lettera 32 is brilliant to use, very tactile with a great action. The story is that when Olivetti loaned Lettera 32s out for journalists to try, the typewriters were so popular, they couldn’t get the journalists to give them back!

Walid Saad

Really like reading this list. I haven’t tried half of these so I’m not one to have much of an opinion. Wondering what you think about Olivetti Lettera 22’s & 32’s. I know every machine is different depending on what it’s gone through in it’s life but curious to hear more.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.