A compilation of historic, modern and fun speed typing records
Off the top of your head (don’t cheat), what would you say is the average words typed per minute? 30 words? 70? 130? Well, the answer is 41. That equates to one word being typed every 1.3 seconds, which sounds quite quick, doesn’t it?
If you are a student, that means your pesky 1,000 word essay should be complete within 35 minutes. Males tend to type faster than females, averaging 43 wpm (words per minute) as opposed to 37 wpm for the opposite sex. As for the accuracy of what we are typing? The average is 92%, meaning per 100 words there will usually be around 8 misspelled words.
However, it can be done much faster. Listed below are some of world’s fastest typists on an array of platforms, from computers, to typewriters, smartphones and more.
1. World’s Fastest Typist on Traditional Typewriters
Highest words per minute
Before the advent of computers and mobile phones, most typing was done on manual and electronic typewriters with a keyboard not too dissimilar to what you see today on a QWERTY set-up. Clocking in at a monumental 216 wpm, Stella Pajunas in 1946 set the world records for typing on an IBM electronic typing machine. Her typing was so fast that the human eye struggles to keep count of her keystrokes when timed!
The highest average wpm over 1 hour
Typing competitions around the turn of the 20th century were big business and garnered huge attention, especially within the United States. This was in part due to the ever blossoming type writing and personal assistant fields of employment, requiring typists capable of the highest speeds.
In 1923, Albert Tangora on a manual typewriter averaged 147 wpm over a 1 hour period, meaning he produced well over 8,000 words. At most present day universities that is well over half of your final dissertation finished in 60 minutes!
Sounds tempting? If you now wish to push your words er minute to new limits, here is a list of popular typing programs offering drills, speed tests and online challenges.
2. Fastest Typists – PC/Keyboard
Typing the English language
As of 2005, that prestigious title belongs to a woman called Barbara Blackburn who managed to not only hit a peak of 216 wpm on a Dvorak keyboard, i.e. a keyboard designed to reduce finger motion, her average typing speed also varied between 150-170 wpm. She was that much of a hit within the US that she even got to show off her skills on the David Letterman show to well over 17 million viewers! Can you imagine if you had her typing out your assignments? They would be finished in minutes!
Typing in multiple languages
Russia has given the world many things and in the field of typing, it also happens to give us one of the fastest multi-linguists ever known. Michael Shestov, capable of speaking and typing 27 languages, learnt his craft as a clerk in the Russian Army where he would type for up to 8 hours per day. Over a 5 minute timed stint he managed to type 801 words, an average of 160 wpm.
Reading tip: If you wish to learn to type faster too, this is a comprehensive tutorial.
Typing the alphabet from A-Z
In 2012, Mohd. Kursheed Hussain set the world record for typing the alphabet with spaces between each letter, managing to clock a time of 3.43 seconds. Funnily enough, on his official Guinness Book of World Record’s page there are several people claiming to be faster than him. So why not time yourself, train up and give it a go? Your name could be the one in spotlights!
Fastest court recorder
Just to place all these other records into perspective, the world’s fastest court reporter using a stenotype machine is Mark Kinlingsbury. Before we go any further, how many words on this shorthand machine do you think he can type? 150? 250? 300? Well, the actual answer is an incredible 360 wpm at 97% accuracy.
Admittedly he is working on a machine designed for speed by utilizing shorthand writing, but this is still a hugely impressive number. Actually watching a steno-typist at work makes you appreciate just how fast they truly can be.
Fastest texter on a touch screen
Smartphones are designed for ease of use, but the first time you use one you start to appreciate just how tricky texting on them can be! For this record, we head over to Brazil where a certain Mr Marcel Fernandes Filho typed out a predetermined message of 100 characters in 17 seconds using the Fleksy keyboard application on his iPhone.
Fastest typist on a QWERTY keyboard
Some people find typing on a normal sized keyboard hard enough, let alone one designed to fit onto a mobile phone. Nonetheless, Ms Grace Pak (USA) managed to put into her phone a 264 character message in 56.5 seconds, punctuation included.
In general, it is tricky to verify all those speed tests done around the world with the help of apps and software. There are various online competitions such as The Ultimate Typing championship. On this one, Sean Wrona reached a top speed of 256 wpm. He also managed to keep speed at 175 wpm for as along as 50 minutes breaking Blackburn’s record though not officially recognized by Guinness. Another speedy typists is Guilherme Sandrini who achieved a speed of 241 wpm.
Fastest typer on an old-school mobile phone
Once upon a time portable technology was somewhat more clunky than what it is today and had buttons you had to press in order to text. Currently the world record belongs to Yousef Ahmed Abdul Saboor who typed out a 160 character message in 29.43 seconds. That is some impressive finger power.
Hands free typing records
Hank Torres (USA) holds the record as the fastest typist in hands free typing achieving a speed of 83.09 seconds at the 2011 Assistive Technology Industry Association conference in Orlando, USA. He is affected by paralysis of all four limbs after a hang-gliding accident. For his record he used facial motion-capture technology.
3. Unusual Record Breaking Typists
Fastest texter when spinning on your head
The life of a breakdancer is a hectic one, so why waste time texting normally when you can do it on the job? In Germany Benedikt Mordstein managed to successfully type out a message in 63.664 seconds whilst rotating on his head in a signature dance move. How he doesn’t get dizzy is still a mystery to this day.
Greatest number of alphabetical letters typed in a minute using feet
Most people I know tend to use their feet solely for walking but one or two of us out there have utilized them for other means. Liu Wuei of China in 2010 managed to type out the alphabet 251 times in one minute using nothing but her toes. Don’t ask how cheesy the keyboard smelt afterwards.
The fastest typer using its nose
Often if you run out of hands it is highly beneficial to use your nose on your touch screen as it is surprisingly accurate. Set just this last year, Mr Vinod Kumar Chaudhary managed to type out 103 characters in just over 43 seconds using nothing more than his nose. His cross eye vision is, to this day impeccable. Another fast nose typist is Neeta, a woman from India, able to type the 130 characters in 90 seconds.
Fastest Typists (wpm) in the World – Summary
I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive list of some of the world’s fastest typists. Feeling motivated? One of the most beneficial aspects of being able to use a keyboard is that the faster you are, the more useful you will be to everyone around you.
From your own personal assignments, to the late night paperwork flurry at your office, this is a skill utilized everyday and is one that is only going to be more and more in demand in the future. So get practicing, e.g. trying one of the many online apps available, and maybe one day you will be able to find yourself on the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records!
Fastest Typist in the World 2018
- Barbara Blackburn – Endurance: 150 wpm, 50 minutes. Speed: 212 wpm.
- Michael Shestov – For typing in more than 27 languages. Speed: 160 wpm.
- Vinod Kumar Chaudhary – Nose typing: 103 characters in 0:45 min.
- Grace Pak – Smartphone: 264 character message in 56.5 seconds. 2012.
- Hank Torres – World record for fastest hands free typing
- Sean Wrona – Speed: 256 wpm, Ultimate Typing Championship (unofficial).
Fastest Language to Type In
People in Europe or America would guess it is one of the Latin based languages, however, it is some of the Asian ones that allow enormous typing speeds due to a high density of information in their characters as well as effective auto-correct systems.
Chinese seems to come out at the top when using a Pinyin keyboard. Whereas in other languages you might need to type each letter separately to write a word, Pinyin allows to complete whole sentences by entering only the first vowel of a word. Alternatively, some people would also think of Korean as a fast language here providing similar concepts and systems.
Last but not least….
Do you care about tests? What about records, about numbers? Even with so any websites out there on which people can compete against each other to achieve new records, many more don’t care at all. They do their work on the keyboard any might be unofficially the fastest typer in the world. Below is a nice video showing that we all can achieve incredible things and break old records and standards.
Note: All confirmed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
External Resources: Wikipedia
Photo credits: All pictures CC0 Creative Commons. Cover: Fabio Ballasina, Unsplash + allysonmiller1969, Pixabay | Andrew Worley, Unsplash | MILKOVÍ, Unsplash