Brand new Adanas from Japan

Hi all,

It appears that Robundo, a Japanese company has put a new version of the Adana Eight-Five, the ‘21J’, into full-scale production. I think they retail at about 2000 UK Pounds, but I understand supply is pretty limited at the moment.

Here is a link to their web page (translated by Google).



image: Adana21J_1.jpg


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Note that the below comment is not my own. It was culled from the Letpress listserv, where the topic of these new Japanese Adanas was talked about in depth recently. I thought it was only fair to share these findings with the group…

The original poster was Robert Richardson

I heard from Caslon (owners of Adana in the UK) this week about the new Japanese Adana press (Model 21-J) and they are very unhappy with the whole sorry affair. As I suspected, the 21-J is a “pirate” copy of the original Adana “Eight-Five”, produced without permission. It’s a hard case to prosecute because the operating principle of the press is now in the public domain as the patents have expired. Many 21-J components are identical copies of the original Adana press. Despite this, I’m led to understand that Robundo have attempted to register a patent (rejected) and are also in the process of registering the name “Adana” in Japan, which they may actually be able to do.

Acting on a tip-off from their Japanese agents, Richard Caslon turned up at the Adana 21-J stand at the IGAS exhibition in Tokyo recently and introduced himself to the Robundo management. To quote him, “You have never seen more embarrassed or worried looking people in your life”.

I have also been told (via Caslon) that the 21-J does not perform as well as its original 54-year-old predecessor, the “Eight-Five”. The old Adana machine had a small amount of “give” in the mainframe casting, which is not present in the solid alloy plates used to construct the new press.

There will be a full report on the 21-J press in the December “Small Printer” (from the BPS in the UK), with a follow up from Caslon in the January issue. Unfortunately, Richard Caslon’s response arrived after the press date for December’s magazine, or his comments would have been included in that issue.

I am still surprised how many people, especially those advertising Adana presses on Ebay, believe the company has ceased to exist. Adana continues to trade with a modest degree of success. Adana products and type are, unfortunately for us, expensive, but this is because of the small quantities being made. The cost advantages of mass production have been lost as the letterpress market contracts. Adana’s profit margins are slim, but they deserve our support. I have no connection with Adana, but I shall be buying my next set of rollers from Caslon because without customers Adana will cease to exist.

Bob R

Hi dicharry,

Very interesting reading - thanks …

Looking at the photo I posted, I must admit I do prefer the aesthetics of the Original Adana. When it comes to purchasing, approx 500 UK Pounds for a reconditioned Adana 8x5 from Caslon against 2000+ UK Pounds for a 21-J is a no-brainer to me !


My dealer actually has an “Adana from Japan”, I just preferred the Adana that I have because of the price difference. I got mine for about $175.00, the Japan version was being sold for $450.00

Can you get a new one in the United States?

Robundo only sell to the Japanese market.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY