document Weight & to press - how is that calculated and also why does that matter?

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posted by services July 29, 2016

Guest post by Eric Norris, that leads training and certification because that our press repair and also copier organization team at Technology.

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

If you’re choose the remainder of us, girlfriend have. (Queue paper jam meme #1)


Even if you’re running the paper of document through the bypass tray (which have the right to accommodate specialty papers more readily), have the right to one paper of paper really make that much of a difference?


Now one sheet of file isn’t walking to rest the tray clean off the machine, however the system might not feed it. Or worse, start to feeding it then jam. (Queue record jam picture #2)


So just how do you understand what document thicknesses the machine can support and also how to set the an equipment to the right settings so that prints successfully?

To obtain a better understanding, let’s look at how file 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 weight of the paper.

So go that mean that a ream (500 sheets) of 8.5” x 11” 20 lb. Level Bond paper weighs 20 pounds? it does to speak “20 lb.” right below the brand after all.



A ream that this plain Bond document actually weighs 5 pounds. Confusing, right?

So why execute we call it “20 lb.” document if that weighs 5 pounds?

When the manufacturer weighs the record it’s no 500 8.5” x 11” size sheets, it’s 500 17” x 22” dimension sheets which room 4x the dimension of 8.5”x11”.

Some rapid math and that functions out to a weight of 5 pounds because that a ream of 8.5” x 11” size paper.

Bingo, difficulty solved!

But wait…that would simply make it too easy.

The example over is because that Bond paper, which is the typical everyday file you’re supplied to printing on. Moreover, this is thin document so the not likely going to be the culprit the your file jam. (Queue paper jam picture #3 - last one i promise!)


When us run into feeding and jamming issues it’s usually with heavier weights, typically called Index, Cover or Bristol stock.

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


Paper load changes based on the TYPE paper it is.

This is because Index go not usage 17” x 22” sheets once weighing the paper. table of contents is produced in 22.5” x 30.5” sheets. (To confuse problem more, Cover stock uses 20” x 26” sheet size and Bristol uses 22.5” x 28.5” sheet dimension for load measurement.)


So what go this every mean, other than confound the heck out the everyone?

The bad news is that us can’t just look in ~ how many pounds the paper weighs in stimulate to number out if it’s too hefty for the machine.

The an excellent news is that there’s a measurement that takes file type/pounds out of the equation.

On most ream labels, you will discover a specification dubbed GSM. This represents grams every square meter, and is a measure up of the paper"s density.

The higher the number, the more thick the paper.

Not only is this almost always listed, but it’s the measurement most printers and copiers will ask for as soon as you collection a new paper type up because that a tray.

So how hefty it too hefty then?

If the GSM load isn’t an choice in the printer’s paper settings, it’s more than likely too heavy.

Xerox additionally lists the GSM specifications in their machine documentation therefore if you referral that, girlfriend will understand if your file is in ~ the working variety of her machine.

search for document specs by your Xerox model

Final thoughts…

Whenever you space loading a new paper type, take it a look in ~ the brand on ream to discover the GSM climate compare that to what your machine is capable of handling.


Just be certain to regimen that weight into the an equipment before you start printing so that can change how it handles the file and will give you the high quality and also reliability you deserve.

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Happy printing!

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