How to Add Paper to an Adding Machine

By George Lawrence J.D.

Updated September 26, 2017

Your adding machine still adds without paper, but it won't print out the details.
i keyboard image by jimcox40 from

Many businesses use adding machines (also known as “ten keys” or “printing calculators,” according to to calculate totals. Adding machines provide the user with a printout detailing the calculations. This is useful for counting a cash register after a shift, for example. If the adding machine is out of paper, a fresh paper roll must be inserted. Note that the adding machine can still calculate figures, but will not be able to print the calculations until a new paper roll is inserted.

Remove the empty paper roll by pulling out the paper holder arm and sliding the empty roll off of the rod. Do not discard the empty plastic roll.

Find a new paper roll that fits the adding machine by comparing the size of the empty roll to the those located in your office supply cabinet or at the store.

Slide the new roll onto the paper holder arm, with the paper rolled in the direction as dictated by the owner's manual or the same way as it was before you removed it. Set the arm back into its original position to hold the roll in place.

Remove the edge of the tape from underneath the fresh paper roll and pull it out an inch or two.

Insert the end of the new roll into the paper feed slot. Note that adding machines vary by make and manufacturer, so the paper feed slot may be located on the bottom or top of the back of the adding machine.

Press the paper feed button located near the roll. The adding machine will “grab” the new paper and pull it through. Note that some machines have a manual lever or wheel, so you may need to turn this wheel with your thumb to feed the paper into the machine.