Although it is not often addressed, paper quality is a very important aspect of the printing process and the quality of your prints. Here are a few important factors in paper quality:
Paper is made from cellulose fibers and most of these fibers come from trees while others are from cotton or recycled rags. Quality also depends on whether fibers are sourced from hardwood or softwood trees as well. Because of all the different factors that go into the making of paper, the blend of fibers and the quality of materials used will directly affect the quality of paper produced.
- Stiffness: Using paper that is too stiff or even too flimsy, may have issues when going through rollers or the print engine which can lead to paper jams.
- Incorrect or Inconsistent Paper Weight: The internal features of the printer are electronically calibrated to a specific paper weight. Therefore, when other weights of paper are used it can cause friction that is applied to the paper as it passes through the printer during the print process resulting in faster wear to the inside of the printer and even image quality.
- Uneven Surface Quality: Poor density or thickness in your paper can potentially lead to poor image transfer to certain areas of the paper which can lead to skewed or deleted images.
- Paper Properties: When paper formulas do not contain the right blend of fibers and chemicals, they can respond differently to electrostatic charges that are applied to the paper during the printing process. If your paper does not have the necessary electrical properties can have issues bonding with the toner. This can lead to issues such as light prints and other quality defects.
- Moisture Levels: Manufacturers with poor quality control can result in paper containing the improper moisture levels which can lead to paper jams, issues with configuring paper trays and even skewed images.
- Improperly Cut Paper or Media: Usually, modern printing devices require specific paper sizes and poorly cut paper or media can cause paper jams or issues with tray configuration settings even if they are off by a few millimeters.
- Incorrect Paper Formula: Paper that is poorly made or using paper that is incorrect for a specific model of printer, can cause an increase in wear of the internal workings of the printer such as the transfer belt or the transfer rollers.
- Paper Dust: Paper that is poorly made can contain paper dust that can accumulate in the paper path and lead to clogged pathways over time. This can lead to tray misfeeds, paper jams and skewed images.
In the long run, the bargain brands may not be the best economical choice for your printer as it can lead to internal damages to the printer and even affect image quality. Be sure that you are not only using quality paper but also the correct paper for your device to ensure that your machine is running properly.
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