How to Use Adding Machines to Add

Adding machines keep a paper trail of all buttons hit.

Adding machines are similar to calculators in use. However, adding machines provide more functions when calculating numbers. Adding machines are used by many individuals and businesses; the financial industry is a particularly heavy user of them. Most of these machines include printing tape to record all the numbers calculated. This provides a paper record for double-checking work. Adding machines also have special memory capabilities, so users do not always need to press the function keys when calculating numbers.

Step 1

Load printing tape into the adding machine. Most machines let the user decide whether to use the tape.

Step 2

Enter numbers into the machine.

Step 3

Press the "+" key to add more numbers to the original figure.

Step 4

Press the "Total" or "*" to compute the final figure.

Step 5

Review the tape to look for any errors in the final total.

Step 6

Press the "Clear" key to erase the figure and add a different set of numbers.


Ten-key skills--similar to keyboard typing skills--can help users of adding machines quickly and accurately calculate large groups of figures.

Things You'll Need

  • Adding machine

  • Printing tapes


Most adding machines must be plugged into a wall outlet. This makes them less mobile than hand-held calculators.