The Return Key on My Brother Typewriter Does Not Work

By Prev Info - October 17, 2022

 Using a typewriter is a unique experience that invokes days of yore without subjecting your recipient to your handwriting. Brother is just one of the manufacturers of manual and electric typewriters -- even still selling electric typewriters. When dealing with a malfunction in your typewriter keyboard, you may be able to simply clean the keyboard to restore the Return function or you may be having a full mechanical failure.

Brother SX-4000 Electronic Typewriter

Identifying the Problem

The best case scenario is that your typewriter is dirty and that your Return key is jammed or sticking -- this is especially likely if you've recently spilled a sweetened drink on it. If it sticks when you press it or is stuck down and won't pop back up, you ought to be able to clean it off, though you may need to remove the key.

If the key is moving without problems, make sure that you have the paper bail lever switched so that there's pressure on the paper -- this is required so that when you hit the Return key the paper feeds. Check that the platen is moving by turning the platen knob and feeding the paper. If the platen is moving unimpeded and feeding paper without trouble, the error is likely a problem with your hardware, such as a blown fuse.

Cleaning Your Keys

Before removing any keys from your typewriter, clean around and in the grooves surrounding the Return key. Unplug your keyboard before cleaning. Take a small cotton swab, dip it in rubbing alcohol and clean between and around the Return key. If the sticking and jamming is due to any external residue, this will clean it up without needing to disassemble anything. Once cleaned with rubbing alcohol, wipe it dry, plug in your keyboard and test your Return key. If it's still sticking, it's up to you if you want to remove the Return key and clean beneath it.

Removing the Return Key

The keyboards on mechanical typewriter are similar to computer keyboards of the same style that allow you to pull the keys right off without causing any damage to your typewriter. You can use anything flat and firm, from a coin to a flathead screwdriver, to pry the Return key off the typewriter. Slide the flat object beneath the underside of the key and gently press upward. Proceed cautiously! While most keyboards let keys come off without breaking, if the key offers too much resistance or feels like it might snap away from the typewriter rather than pop free, stop.

If you do remove the Return key, clean the typewriter beneath it, the complete underside of it and any stick surface that the key presses in to.

Contacting Brother Support

Even if the Brother typewriter you're using is a discontinued model, you can still contact their support center for problems with the internal hardware. On the Brother Online Support page, select "Customer Support." Select "Typewriters" from the Product drop-down menu and then select your model from the next drop-down menu. Click "Next" to view the address and phone number of the appropriate support location for your typewriter as well as to see your options for contacting Brother via email.



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