How to reduce printer jams

Doesn’t it make you want to scream when the printer jams yet again? Sorting it all out can be such a waste of precious time. So here’s some information which we hope will help remove those headaches.

The most important point to keep in mind is that jams are almost always caused not by malfunctioning machinery, but by the paper itself. So make sure you are using the right paper for the job.

It’s common for specialists in their field to want to overload you with too much information. We’re not about to burden you with the ‘A-Z Guide to Paper’, but it is useful to know why you should use the right paper for the right machine and why you should use ‘laser paper’ for laser printers/copiers and ‘inkjet paper’ for inkjet printers.

Weight or ‘grammage’ is the most fundamental property of paper and is measured in grams per square metre (GSM). Toner-based printers need heavier paper that inkjet printers. Ideally, you want to be looking at something around 200 GSM.

One of the other things worth knowing about paper is that it is almost always two-sided. That’s down to the way it is made, with pulp fibres laid onto wire. The wire-side is rougher than the top side, and that’s what gives paper its friction.

When paper is feeding into a printer you need the sheets to slide across each other the right way. Too much friction and the paper will resist sliding. Too little, and you will get double or multiple feeding in the printer. The experts tell us that friction levels in a ream really do need to be uniform, which may not be the case with some cheaper papers.

Another thing that causes jams is paper curl. Paper absorbs moisture from the air and because it is two-sided, it absorbs moisture at different rates, causing the paper to curl at the edges. Thus, the paper may not go into the printer straight and jams may well be the result. We have experts on hand to give you more technical advice about how to address this problem, but a good quick fix is to turn your paper stack upside down and try again.

If you’re using toner-based machines, remember that laser technology demands higher quality paper with low curl, high brightness and a generally heavier weight. Inklet paper needs to be slightly more porous so that the ink can spread, but not too porous or the ink will mottle. Inklet paper that has been surface treated will give you the good colour definition you need. Multi-purpose paper is a cheaper option, but is designed more for home than office use.

Hopefully this post has shed some light on why printers sometimes play up and how the right paper can help prevent jamming issues. But remember – always get to know the particular needs and demands of your machine. We have access to experts in this field, so if you’re unsure, call us at any time!

On March 6, 2012, posted in: Front Page, Our Blog by
One Response to “How to reduce printer jams”
Leave a Reply