Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is the Adler J5 Junk?

I am hesitant to cast aspersions on any typewriter, but as I become more intimately familiar with the Adler J5 I cannot shake the feeling that this thing is a little junky. I'll definitely use it for the CTP, but I don't have high hopes for it's durability. Oh well, beggars cannot be choosers.

UPDATE I feel as If I have been to hard on this little grey soldier. He's a nice guy who's helping us out. Also, I have a tendency to anthropomorphise objects. Sorry.


  1. I have both a J4 and a J5, the J4 being in the earlier, more boxy body, and the J5 being a later, lower-profile model.

    The J5 resides within a plastic, snap-on housing. It sounds flimsier because of that hollow resonance that most plastic-shelled typers of that era possess. However, the feel of it is slightly more solid than the earlier design. Even though it seems more cheaply made, I think that it's the better typer.

    Mind you, all of the J-series Adlers are just *good*, not *great*.

    From your earlier post, it sounds like your Adler may have been dropped. Who knows what sorts of weird inflictions that may have created?

    This is good experience for you, though. You're going to need to troubleshoot on the fly once the typewriters hit the classroom. The knowledge you've picked up having put this machine to rights--even if it's still imperfect--will be helpful down the road.

  2. I have a J5 that I rather like. Its ribbon reverse mechanism is kind of finicky and delicate; and I echo the comment that a plastic body creates a cheaper overall impression. But I think it's a good machine.

  3. I recently acquired an Adler J5 and think it types and looks great. (See As a sixth grade teacher and typewriter collector, I am intrigued by your blog. I agree students can be reluctant writers and easily distracted by the many things computers do. When I have brought typewriters into the classroom, students are excited about using them. It may be a good way to encourage them to write. As a computer collector and former computer teacher, however, I disagree that computers are "annoying machines that can do everything poorly and nothing well." Rather, I think a computers does many things extremely well including being a revolutionary writing tool if students were to use it as such.

  4. I don't actively collect typewriters, but If I come across one that seems neat or is pretty cheap I will pick it up. I recently came across the J5 at a goodwill for $5. I only have 2 other typewriters (One of which was a nice old one still with its case, but it got damaged when someone broke in and decided latches were too confusing so ripped it open and dropped it looking for cash). This one is my current favorite, It types butterysmooth and has alot of nice features. I can see where someone might say it feels cheap, its not quite as sturdy as some others but it has a load of features and seems like it will hold up well.

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