When it comes to printer output, unsatisfactory quality is often thought to be caused by low toner, not enough of a particular color ink, paper jams, or improper alignment. However, one often overlooked, and common reason for sub par output quality is using the wrong paper for the job.


Let’s take a look at how using the right weight paper stock can improve your output.

What is Paper “Weight?”

Many people are unaware that there are a variety of choices when it comes to paper stock and that each has its own use. Paper stock is categorized by “weight.” The weight of a paper is based on a standard size and quantity – for example, 500 sheets. However, some weights are determined by 1000 sheets instead of 500.

Standard Paper Weight Examples

The type of output you want to produce will determine which stock is right for you. Here are a few examples:

• Bond Paper – The standard paper used in everyday printing and copying. Also called writing paper it comes in 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, and 36 pounds.

• Text Paper – Used in commercial printing, text paper is often used for letterhead and stationery. Commonly offered in weights of 50, 60, 70, 80, and 100 pounds.

• Cover Stock – Also called card stock, it comes in a variety of colors and finishes. Used for postcards, business cards and invitations, weights can range anywhere from 50 to 120 pounds.

• Index Stock – Used for index cards, it’s stiff, inexpensive and available in weights of 90, 110, and 140 pounds.

• Tag Paper – Very durable and most often used for business signage. Comes in weights ranging from 100 to 200 pounds.

Printer Compatibility

When it comes to paper, one size doesn’t fit all. Certain printers work best with certain types and weights of paper stock. If you choose an inappropriate stock, it can jam your machine, or produce poor quality output.

If you’re not sure which paper is right for your printer, give us a call. We’ll be pleased to answer any questions you many have.