How to prevent a paper jam in 5 easy steps


  1. Regular service of your machine
  2. Make sure your paper is loading correctly
  3. Keep the printer away from any water – kitchens, sinks etc.
  4. Don’t use cheap paper
  5. Use a minimum of 80GSM paper

Paper Jamming? More on the reasons for it below….

1. Regular servicing of your printer or photocopier will reduce jams, also as paper dust build up on rollers and sensors will cause problems. Also as parts wear out over time, the paper can slip. We all know our car needs a service every now and then to keep it running smoothly. Your printer is the same, keep it clean and well looked after and it’ll keep you going through thick and thin

2. Loading paper in the correct way into your machine will reduce all sorts of problems.

Firstly “knock the paper up”  (remove from the wrapper and fan/ripple the paper to remove any stuck together pages and reduce friction). When inserting paper into the cassette, widen the guides first then bring the guides back in against the paper once inserted. Having the guides tight against the paper will stop the paper ‘running off’ and help align the paper while it progresses through the machine.

3. Paper will absorb moisture in the atmosphere, so try and position your printer away from kitchens and sources of water etc.  You may notice that the paper when left open becomes “wavy “ this is when it has absorbed moisture. To reduce this happening, if your cassette will only hold part of a ream of paper, make sure to reseal the outer package and place it back into the box, put the lid on the box and store it off the floor, preferably in a wooden cabinet.

4. Using a cheap paper is a false economy, always try and use a good quality, branded paper who use the same mill to produce the paper for them. Some stationers wrap cheap paper in their own branded packaging, this will be bought from whoever is selling paper the cheapest at that time.

In the vast majority of cases, when a copier/printer jams it is because of the standard of paper being used.

Thin and/or cheap paper does not save businesses money in the long term.  It loses time, is a waste of resources and becomes de-motivational in the office.

5. Copy Print Services recommend paper weight of a minimum of 80 gsm and that it is bought from a reputable retailer who regularly turn over stock as overly dry or moist paper can cause problems too.

Hopefully the above tips can help you prevent any more printer problems. If not give us a call or get in touch.

About the author 

John Hynes

Working in the printing industry for 35 years (office equipment servicing and maintenance), John - Managing Director of Copy Print Services - started as a hands-on technician repairing all kinds of equipment.

He always kept up to date with the “evolution” of the machinery and worked on the latest equipment that would give the customers the most efficient way of producing a document.

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