How Thick Is Printer Paper

Printer is a commonly found equipment in each and every corporate or other companies, institutions, banks, hospitals, etc. Printer paper is most important part of a printer to meet the requirements of the users. Therefore, learning the details about how thick is printer paper is very important for all of us unless you just want to quickly buy new paper for your printer. But the choice is difficult. How should the printer paper be: matte or glossy, coated or uncoated, thick or thin? This article will take you through a detailed investment of printer paper and printer and it will help you find the right paper for photos, double-sided prints, invitations and business cards.

Thin or thick: the weight of printer paper plays an important role

measuring the weight of printer paper

Conventional copy paper weighs 80 g/m2 (= grams per square meter). If you want to use your laser or inkjet printer to print out documents for your own use, such as recipes or articles, paper of this thickness is usually sufficient. This is especially true for black and white texts.

For a color printout or a business letter, it is recommended to use somewhat thicker paper between 100 and 120 g/m2. The same applies to double-sided printing, as otherwise the color will show through from the back to the front, especially with inkjet printers.

The weight of photo paper starts at about 150 g/m2. To print invitations or business cards, cardboard paper is well suited, which may weigh 200 g/m2.

The thicker the paper, the higher the opacity. The thickness of the paper also influences its opacity. Furthermore, additives in the paper or its coating can increase the opacity. With an opacity value of 100, the paper is completely opaque.

A high opacity is particularly important for double-sided printing so that the print does not show through from back to front. Therefore, the value for duplex printing should be at least 80.

You can estimate the opacity of a paper by placing two blank pages on top of a printed page. If the print does not show through at all, the light transmission is low and the paper is suitable for duplex printing.

Product Paper Thickness

Private documents Universal/recycled paper                                         80 – 100 g/m2

Business papers, applications Laser printer/injection paper              100 – 120 g/m2

Documents Laser printer/injection paper                                                160 – 180 g/m2

Business cards, invitations Laser printer/injection paper                   200 g/m2

Photos Photo paper                                                                                    150 – 200 g/m2

Foils, labels Special paper                                                                            x g/m2

How the paper affects the quality of the printout?

printout the paper

Printer settings for paper

Be sure to match the printer driver you set up on your computer when you installed the printer to the weight of the paper. Usually, the default setting is for plain paper (80 grams). If you want to print on paper with a thickness of 200 grams, adjust the weight in the printer menu beforehand:

  • To do this, go to File > Print in your document.
  • Under Printer Properties, you can specify which paper you want to print on under Media Type.

Important: Not all printers are able to print on paper with high gram mages. The maximum weight of the paper that is suitable for your device can be found in the operating instructions.

For every printout to be successful, the printer and paper must harmonize perfectly. Therefore, pay attention to the following points:

  • The heavier the paper, the fewer pages you should place in the paper tray. Otherwise, problems can arise with the paper feed.
  • Standardized paper causes fewer problems. If the paper blank does not correspond to the DIN A4 dimension, the paper can slip in the feeder, because paper jams or the printer pulls two sheets at once.
  • The heavier and stronger the paper, the better the printing. Thicker and firmer sheets of paper are less stressed by the printing process than a thin page. There is less risk of the printer paper curling, stretching or even curling during printing.
  • A smooth texture of the page edges is advantageous. Clean cut edges produce less paper dust and make it easier for your printer to feed paper.
  • Higher-quality paper reduces contamination of the printer. When lower quality paper is produced, less attention is paid to closed surfaces and clean cut edges. As a result, more pulp fibers are released from the paper during the printing process, which settle as dust in the printer and make it dirty. So make your printouts even better.

Different grades of printer paper compared

Different grades of printer paper

There are different types of paper. Which paper is suitable for which type of printed product and inkjet or laser printer can be found here as follows:

Universal paper: this paper is also called uncoated or plain paper and is uncoated. Nevertheless, it may be smoothed (“calendared”) and have additives to ensure better printability. It is suitable for both laser and inkjet printers.

Recycled paper: The paper is made from recycled waste paper. The quality can vary and is also reflected in the price. Good recycled paper achieves a high degree of whiteness and is easily suitable for laser and inkjet printers. Paper that is made from one hundred percent recycled material is labeled with the “Blue Angel” eco-label in Germany.

Inkjet paper: This paper is only suitable for inkjet printers and must not be used for laser. The special coating of the paper is adapted to the printing process of the inkjet printer and protects against ink soaking. In the laser printer, on the other hand, its use can damage the electronics.

Coated laser printing paper: Due to its smooth surface, this paper is particularly suitable for printouts with the laser printer that are intended to impress, such as letters of application. It is not suitable for inkjet printers.

Photo paper: There is extra photo paper for inkjet and laser printers. This is particularly stable, strong and specially coated in both variants so that the color of the print remains constant.

Premium photo paper: The so-called “glossy” paper is the first choice if you want to print photos in the very highest quality. The heavy glossy paper gives the impression that you are holding a photo print from the lab in your hand. Premium photo paper is available for inkjet and laser printers.

Specialty paper: Specialty papers include printable transparent overhead transparencies, self-adhesive films and labels. Preferably print on these individually or in small quantities. Here, too, make sure that the special paper in question is suitable for inkjet or laser printers.

And which paper is suitable for which purpose? There is no such thing as the one how thick is printer paper that is suitable for every print job. Only the interaction of printer, ink or toner and paper leads to the optimum result. When choosing paper, in addition to the quality features listed above, you should also consider whether the printer is suitable for the type of paper in question.

How do I find the best printer paper?

Before buying paper, answer the following questions to get the best printing results for your purpose and occasion:

Do you have an inkjet or laser printer?

What kind of paper is the printer suitable for?

What kind of printed material (photos, business cards, invitations, etc.) do you want to use the printer paper for?

How to make your printouts even better?

Your printer has problems with the paper feed? The fault does not always lie with the device. The paper can also be the reason. In order to print without problems, follow these tips:

  • There are usually 500 sheets in a package of printer paper. When delivered, the sheets are strongly compressed and stick to each other. Fan the stack of paper once before printing.
  • Even though it is hard to see with the naked eye, the front and back sides of industrially produced, uncoated printer paper have different textures. The so-called felt side is the nicer, somewhat smoother side and should therefore be printed on before the screen side.
  • Do not store printer paper openly in the room, but keep it lying horizontally in its packaging. Paper that is placed vertically will quickly bend, which can cause problems for the printer.

Wrap Up

The benefits of the right printer paper can’t be described in words properly. While higher quality printer paper is more expensive than lower quality paper, this does not mean that overall printing costs increase. On the contrary, with better paper, you avoid poor print quality. Runny ink, a translucent reverse side? No way! You can save yourself unnecessary test prints by choosing the right printer paper.

You avoid trouble and the print result can be seen. Your printouts will be precise and perfect. Purpose of your printer will be fulfilled and you will be able to get all the possible benefits as well from your printer. Once you have the right idea about the thickness of the right paper for your printer, then you will surely save yourself a lot of time and money. This article will help you about how thick is printer paper get that idea properly.

2 thoughts on “How Thick Is Printer Paper”

  1. Interesting info. However my experience has been, when selecting paper …..16lb… …….18lb ……20lb……and up. These are what is on the reams and the box……so how do I equate that to your information. Thanks…LaDonna

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