Kelsey vs Adana

Hi All,

After many months of looking, I’ve finally found two presses that I might be able to get to Singapore (!!) but am now trying to decide which to go for. As a VERY new newbie, I was hoping for some help deciding between an Adana 8x5 or a 8x5 Kelsey Excelsior, both with rollers and in similarly good conditions.


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Em- functionally, there is very little difference between the two. Both of them will serve you well for many years. My personal preference would be for the Kelsey, but that is only due to familiarity. Kelseys are just more common here in the US.

Whichever press you get, please insist that the seller package it correctly. I get a LOT of e-mails from folks who had presses broken in shipment. There has been some discussion of proper packaging here in the forum. I’d recommend reading the discussions, and forwarding them on to the shipper prior to reaching an agreement.

I would go for the Adana. It is a press manufactured in UK but has been exported to all Commonwealth Countries and you may find help and spares more easily available.
Make sue you have rollers and runners and that it is properly packaged for transport.
If you need instruction booklets, I can let you have copies; just send me an email.

Mike, If its not too bold of me, I’d be interested in Adana instruction books as well. I’ve recently acquired an Adana 8 x 5 press but haven’t got the the printing stage yet.
Sue W (in Australia)

Thanks winking cat, I do love the antique appeal of Kelseys, which is a good thing since the Adana sold to someone else about 2 minutes after I posted this. Don’t you HATE ebay?

Mike, thanks for your generous offer! I was definitely leaning towards the Adana because shipping from the UK was significantly lower than from the US, and if I ever do get one I’ll be sure to email you for the instructions.

As for the Kelsey…I’m picking it up in NY and dismantling it and wrapping it in clothing to pack in a suitcase. Is this an ok way to transport it?

That would be one seriously heavy suitcase, but it should work. If flying with this, it will probably exceed the airline’s weight limit and you’ll pay extra. Also TSA may wonder about these strange objects in your bag and inspect it. Might be easier as a carry on. Still very heavy, but at least you could explain to the TSA folks what this is.

Thanks Arie!

That’s actually what the boyfriend suggested - though I have a feeling he doesn’t quite know what he’s getting himself into.


I just recieve my adana 8X5 letterpress yest. you can get them from caslon in UK where I brought from.

email the boss (Roy) a very friendly old man
[email protected]

Btw, anyone know where can I learn to do letterpress?

Alvin, part of the learning process is getting the right expressions. You want to learn to print, using a printing press and the technique you use is letterpress. You’re not printing on a letterpress. Start by getting yourself one or two books and make yourself familiar with the basic techniques. The 8x5 is an easy machine to start with. ‘Printing for pleasure’, by John Ryder is a good book to start with. Check out Amazon, or get it directly from St Bride’s in London. Good luck

Hi thomas,
Thank you for your advise, I will do that.
Btw, anyone in singapore teach letterpress printing?
i really hope i can learn from someone…”)

Hi alvin, would it be possible to let me know how much your Adana 8x5 cost? Thanks!

I’m looking for a 5x8 tabletop letterpress. Suggestions???

I’m looking for a table top press in good working condition. I’m just getting into letterpress and would like a good press that I can start on. Preferably a Kelsey or C&P, 6X9 or 8x10. I’m currently located in South Louisiana. Thanks!


I have just found this website , do you know where I can sale some fonts, materials for adana letterpress?
thank for your help

Hi all,

Sorry to jump into the discussion with another question, but can anyone help me to decide between adana 5x8 with chandler&price Pilot 61/2x10 (aside from the printing area of course)? Based info from, C&P benefits to its long side arm which provides a lot of leverage for a good impression, where Adana seems to have credit for its popularity and “easy to operate”.

Wonder if anyone is using one of them can give some point outs of their pros and cons, the results, and where to find dealer that able to ship the item to indonesia?

Thank you.

As far as quality and ease of operation (getting a good print) C&P Pilot is definitely in the lead. On the other hand, it is also six times heavier and could be more expensive. If you plan on moving around and would hope to bring your press to print fairs, or just don’t have the space for a big machine, an Adana might be a better choice.

Hi all. I’m Mongolian. I’m looking for tapletop letterpress machine. For me, I can buy any machines, equipments and parts from US. So which letterpress machine should I buy? Kelsey or Adana? Suggestions?

You can’t go wrong by reading the material found through this link… to help you decide what will work best for you and why.,

When you are ready to consider a press, perhaps we can help you. Check us out at

Tom & Terri