Bold Mold

After gifting my Casiowriter to Joe Van Cleave, I decided to keep my eye out for another one. They don’t pop up as frequently as the Canon Typestars, but they’re not exactly hard to find. The keyboard is very nice, with a satisfying click, and the keys feel significant, if that makes sense.

One reason I didn’t hesitate to send the other one to Joe is because I wasn’t happy with the density, or darkness, of the type. This one seems better. But I’m still tempted to leave it in bold mode all the time. See, that’s even better. And one doesn’t have access to bold on a typewriter, so I don’t think it is a feature I would miss.

Let’s be honest: though the font is nice, the print quality is a vivid reminder of the dot matrix days. I’ve even heard thermal typewriters referred to as dot matrix. But dot matrix printers used a number of pins to strike a ribbon, using a series of dots to form the characters. Thermal typewriters use an entirely different method that makes use of a metal print head that applies heat to the paper. Beyond that, I don’t know how it works. And frankly, I like to believe it’s a bit of magic.

I do hope Joe can improve the density on his. Perhaps the print head just needs a bit of cleaning. I was pleased to see he took it to a type-in. So he must be pleased with it to a degree. I do eagerly await his video focusing on the Casiowriter. I’m curious to hear his thoughts on it. I’m sure he will agree that the typing experience is fabulous.

Just now, I did some “fake” typing on a Canon Typestar 10-II, and the sound is more clicky, with the typebar making a good clack. The spacebar here (above, I meant to say spacebar, not typebar) has a loud clack, too, but the other keys make a more subdued sound, lower-pitched, giving you a sense of higher-quality materials and construction. But we’re really just talking minute differences here. The keys on this Casiowriter are 10-15% taller, but I don’t know if that has any effect on the typing experience. But it sure is a nice looking keyboard.

Finally, the print head seems a bit more clunky on this typer than the Typestars. This is mostly apparent on the carriage return, as it rather aggressively pulls the print head back from the paper, making a loud thwack. I would hesitate to take this one to a quiet environment.

Regardless, I am happy to have this example of a thermal typewriter back in my collection. I know there is a Panasonic out there, which seems to be much more rare. So unless I can stumble upon one of those at a good price, I think I can safely return to collecting the Typestar line. Speaking of which, a Typestar 6 is on the way! I briefly had one, but it was DOA. So fingers crossed…

Author: Gregory

3 thoughts on “Bold Mold

  1. I’m enjoying this thermal typewriter topic. I have a Typestar 5. I got it on a whim and so far am very pleased with it. I’ll be interested to see your progress with the Casio and what you think of the Typestar 6 when it arrives.

    By the way, where do you find your machines?

  2. My understanding is there are dot matrix typewriters that print directly onto thermal paper, or onto non-thermal paper via an inked ribbon, or sometimes both.

  3. Ah, thanks for reminding me about the Casiowriter video. Last week I got caught up in the Type-Out and subsequent interview of Ethan Moses, then today I spent hours cleaning and reassembling a Torpedo for an upcoming video.

    The Casio does a funny dance of the print head when it does a carriage return. It’s actually interesting to study the differences between these various machines.

    I’d like to find one of those Panasonics too.

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