Have you ever been rushing to get prepared for a meeting, and as you make a quick stop in the copy room to pick up your documents you find the quality is less than desirable.

Poor quality output is often chalked up to low toner, paper jams or improper alignment, but the fact is, it’s often that you’re using the incorrect paper for the job.

Do You Know About Paper Weight?

Many people are unaware that there are different “weights” in paper stock, and each has its own special use. Paper weight is measured based on a standard sized page and a quantity of 500 sheets.

Figuring paper stock is actually simple. You simply compare the different stocks by the weight of the pages. It becomes complicated when you take into account different sized paper or different volumes. For example, some weights are determined by 1000 sheets instead of 500.

Standard Paper Weight Examples

Here are some common paper stock weights and their uses. The type of output your office produces will determine which stock you should use.

  • Bond Paper – This is the standard paper used in office copiers and printers. Also called writing paper the standard weights include 16,20,24,28,32 and 36 pounds.
  • Text Paper – Mostly used in commercial printing, text paper is used for letterhead and stationery. Commonly offered in weights of 50, 60, 70, 80, and 100 pounds.
  • Cover Paper – Also called card stock. Cover paper is a heavy, stiff stock that comes in a number of finishes and colors. Used for postcards, business cards, and invitation, weights can range from as low as 50 pounds, all the way up to 120 pounds.
  • Index Paper – Used for index cards, it’s stiff, inexpensive and comes in weights of 90, 110, and 140 pounds.
  • Tag Paper – Very durable it’s used mostly for signage and is available in weights ranging from 100 to 200 pounds.

Printer Compatibility

Certain printers can handle certain paper weights – unfortunately, one size doesn’t fit all. If you use a stock that’s too heavy for your device it can jam or produce poor quality results.

If you’re not sure which paper stock is right for you, give us a call, we’re always glad to help out!