document Weight & printing - how is the calculated and why does it matter?

back to every posts

post by options July 29, 2016

Guest article by Eric Norris, that leads training and also certification because that our press repair and copier business team in ~ Technology.

You are watching: How much does a piece of paper weigh

Ever try running an extra thick piece of file through her printer only to have it cause a pain-in-the-you-know-what jam?

If you’re favor the rest of us, girlfriend have. (Queue paper jam picture #1)


Even if you’re to run the paper of paper through the bypass tray (which deserve to accommodate specialty papers more readily), deserve to one paper of file really make that lot of a difference?


Now one sheet of file isn’t walk to break the tray clean off the machine, however the system may not feed it. Or worse, start to feeding it climate jam. (Queue document jam picture #2)


So exactly how do you recognize what record thicknesses the device can support and how to collection the maker to the ideal settings so the prints successfully?

To get a better understanding, let’s look in ~ how paper weight is calculated.

When manufacturers produce paper, they sweet it 500 sheets in ~ a time, and also that number in pounds is documented as the load of the paper.

So does that typical that a ream (500 sheets) that 8.5” x 11” 20 lb. Level Bond paper weighs 20 pounds? the does say “20 lb.” right right here the brand after all.



A ream of this level Bond paper actually weighs 5 pounds. Confusing, right?

So why perform we speak to it “20 lb.” file if the weighs 5 pounds?

When the manufacturer weighs the record it’s not 500 8.5” x 11” dimension sheets, that 500 17” x 22” size sheets which room 4x the dimension of 8.5”x11”.

Some quick math and that works out come a load of 5 pounds for a ream the 8.5” x 11” dimension paper.

Bingo, trouble solved!

But wait…that would just make it also easy.

The example above is because that Bond paper, which is the common everyday record you’re offered to to press on. Moreover, this is thin record so that not likely going to it is in the culprit the your record jam. (Queue paper jam meme #3 - critical one i promise!)


When us run right into feeding and also jamming problems it’s usually v heavier weights, typically called Index, Cover or Bristol stock.

Now take into consideration this: 20 lb. Bond = 41 lb. Index.


Paper weight changes based upon the TYPE paper it is.

This is because Index walk not usage 17” x 22” sheets as soon as weighing the paper. table of contents is manufactured in 22.5” x 30.5” sheets. (To confuse matters more, Cover stock offers 20” x 26” sheet size and also Bristol provides 22.5” x 28.5” sheet dimension for weight measurement.)


So what go this every mean, other than confuse the hell out that everyone?

The bad news is that us can’t just look at how plenty of pounds the paper weighs in order to number out if the too hefty for the machine.

The good news is that there’s a measurement the takes document type/pounds the end of the equation.

On most ream labels, you will uncover a specification called GSM. This stands for grams every square meter, and is a measure up of the paper"s density.

The greater the number, the more thickness the paper.

Not just is this virtually always listed, yet it’s the measurement most printers and also copiers will ask for as soon as you set a new file type up for a tray.

So how heavy it too hefty then?

If the GSM load isn’t an choice in the printer’s document settings, it’s probably too heavy.

Xerox also lists the GSM specifications in their machine documentation for this reason if you reference that, you will understand if your record is in ~ the working range of your machine.

search for file specs by your Xerox model

Final thoughts…

Whenever you are loading a new record type, take it a look at the brand on ream to uncover the GSM climate compare that to what your device is capable of handling.


Just be certain to program that weight into the maker before you start printing so that can change how it handles the paper and will provide you the high quality and reliability you deserve.

See more: The Fundamental Difference Between Short Story And Novel And A Short Story?

Happy printing!

Not already a customer?

come learn much more about our press leasing routine with included maintenance and also support, so girlfriend can speak to us for aid next time friend jam her printer, have actually quality concerns or any type of other maker support needs.