Like many German typewriters of this era, the Rheinmetall expertly combines form and function. It’s not only good to look at, but is fluid and precise. It seems more handcrafted than mass produced. It’s easy to imagine the Rheinmetall factory employing craftsmen at all levels of production. It feels about twice as heavy as an American of the same vintage. Flip it over and you’ll see why. All the components, the body, gears, rails and typebars, seem like forged steel rather than stamped metal. I know they aren’t, but the feel of the typewriter suggests a broadsword. And like any well-honed weapon, the balance and precision make it feel light and nimble. Or perhaps they used Valyrian steel in this typewriter, because it does feel otherworldly.
Whatever the source, the key stroke is easy and swift. Your story will not be weighed down by clunky keys. And with body armor like the shell of this typewriter, you’ll feel invincible and ready for any story campaign. About the only thing slowing your advance is the carriage shifted mechanism. I know, I always have to bring this up! Stop complaining and do more finger push-ups! Beyond the weight, carriage shifting just seems like a clunkier and less elegant solution to typing shifted characters. Just leave it to those Americans for the easy way out.
However, the Rheinmetall is the lightest of any carriage shifter I’ve tested. And given the swift key action, you almost forget about shifting. Except for that clunk and descending blow against the frame. But no worries about getting the upper and lower characters out of alignment, like what happens on an Olympia SM3. (I mentioned this beef in my review. Besides being clunky, the carriage on the SM3 slams against two moveable posts that can cause character misalignment. Between that and rubber bushings that squash over time, many SM3s have carriage alignment issues.) The Rheinmetall locates these adjusting screws away from the slam of the carriage. There appears to be nothing getting in the way of this typewriter maintaining correct alignment.
This is the type of typewriter that is not only pleasing to the eye, but feels built for writing. When you have this kind of machine, you’ll be drawn to its color and lines and your muscle memory will feel goodness in the tendons and bones. Like developing any habit, using a typewriter for writing takes change. It’s hard! To help nurture the habit, clearing your path of obstacles is the first step. Having a clunky typewriter draws energy away from the habit. You might feel a duty to keep it up. But lurking behind that voice that says chuck it, is that nagging, troublesome typewriter.
In the past, writers had no choice, use a typewriter or go back to being an accountant. But with so many writing choices these days, easy to use choices, no cost to switching choices, it’s easy to get off track with a typewriter. You have to love your typewriter. It has to be the type of machine that embraces your muse. Writing is hard enough. Don’t settle for a kind of working, looks OK, typewriter. Hold out for that one. Find the one. The Rheinmetall is one that will make your muse happy.