Copy Paper vs. Printer Paper: what’s the difference?

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When you are shopping for office paper, you may have noticed that some paper is labeled copier paper, or multipurpose paper, and some is labeled printer paper (also caller color copy and laser paper). Ever wondered what the difference is? I did, and did a little investigating.

Turns out there is a difference. Standard copy paper is a thinner than printer paper — 20 lbs. a ream vs. 24+ lbs. a ream. The only time you’d notice the difference is when printing a large image. Since printing images deposits so much ink on the page, you end up with a wrinkly, blurry mess when you use thin copy paper. So, use cheaper copy paper for every day printing of text documents, and save your more expensive printer paper for graphics-heavy documents.

Source: LifeTips


12 comments on “Copy Paper vs. Printer Paper: what’s the difference?

  • Richard Gimer says:

    I have been having real problems with multiple pages of paper coming thru HP3380 using Hammermill 20 pound copy paper. Perhaps 30 perent of pages are blanks. Is this likely a paper problem or a printer problem.

  • Thank you, this article is very helpful. I was wondering what the difference was. And I noticed that copy paper is usually cheaper. But it's really all I need so that's what I'm going to buy. Thank you again.

  • Also of note is that generally a cheep copy paper is less expensive because it is not as "Clean" as well.
    This simply means that if may have more static and paper dust, two things that some papers expressively advertise they don't have, usually in the form of Jam Free guarantee, for instance. Lot's of high speed printers jam due to static in the paper, many low end laser and inkjet's can suffer from this, too with cheep paper. Also of note, paper dust in an inkjet printer can help waste ink. A speck of paper dust on a print head can pull more ink out than you would think. True Multi-purpose and Inkjet papers are almost always way better quality prints and better for your printer. They might even help you use less ink.

  • Brother error ts-02 says:

    Is it show, I did not notice this, I was using the same printer for both printings as well as Xerox. I did not find any difference.

  • Canon Printer Not Responding says:

    Depending on the kind of printing you need to do, a portable label maker may suffice in place of a standard mobile printer. It may also act as a good complement.


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