Selecting the correct paper or specialty media reduces printing problems. For the best print quality, try a sample of the paper or specialty media before buying large quantities.
The following paper characteristics affect print quality and reliability. Consider these characteristics when evaluating new paper stock.
|Note: For detailed information on card stock and labels, see the Card Stock & Label Guide available on the Lexmark Web site at www.lexmark.com/publications.|
The printer can automatically feed paper weights from 60–176 g/m2 (16–47 lb bond) grain long. Paper lighter than 60 g/m2 (16 lb) might not be stiff enough to feed properly, causing jams. For best performance, use 75 g/m2 (20 lb bond) grain long paper. For paper smaller than 182 x 257 mm (7.2 x 10.1 in.), we recommend 90 g/m2 (24 lb) or heavier paper.
Curl is the tendency for paper to curl at its edges. Excessive curl can cause paper feeding problems. Curl can occur after the paper passes through the printer, where it is exposed to high temperatures. Storing paper unwrapped in hot, humid, cold, or dry conditions, even in the trays, can contribute to paper curling prior to printing and can cause feeding problems.
Paper smoothness directly affects print quality. If paper is too rough, then toner cannot fuse to it properly. If paper is too smooth, then it can cause paper feeding or print quality issues. Always use paper between 100 and 300 Sheffield points; smoothness between 150 and 250 Sheffield points produces the best print quality.
The amount of moisture in paper affects both print quality and the ability of the printer to feed the paper correctly. Leave paper in its original wrapper until it is time to use it. This limits the exposure of paper to moisture changes that can degrade its performance.
Condition paper before printing by storing it in its original wrapper in the same environment as the printer for 24 to 48 hours before printing. Extend the time several days if the storage or transportation environment is very different from the printer environment. Thick paper may also require a longer conditioning period.
Grain refers to the alignment of the paper fibers in a sheet of paper. Grain is either grain long, running the length of the paper, or grain short, running the width of the paper.
For 60–176 g/m2 (16–47 lb bond) paper, grain long paper is recommended. For paper heavier than 176 g/m2, grain short is recommended.
Most high-quality xerographic paper is made from 100% chemically treated pulped wood. This content provides the paper with a high degree of stability resulting in fewer paper feeding problems and better print quality. Paper containing fibers such as cotton can negatively affect paper handling.
For detailed information on paper with recycled fiber content, see Using recycled paper and other office papers.
The following paper types are not recommended for use with the printer:
Chemically treated papers used to make copies without carbon paper, also known as carbonless papers, carbonless copy paper (CCP), or no carbon required (NCR) paper
Preprinted papers with chemicals that may contaminate the printer
Preprinted papers that can be affected by the temperature in the printer fuser
Preprinted papers that require a registration (the precise print location on the page) greater than ±2.3 mm (±0.9 in.), such as optical character recognition (OCR) forms
In some cases, registration can be adjusted with a software application to successfully print on these forms.
Coated papers (erasable bond), synthetic papers, thermal papers
Rough-edged, rough or heavily textured surface papers, or curled papers
Recycled papers that fail EN12281:2002 (European)
Paper weighing less than 60 g/m2 (16 lb)
Multiple-part forms or documents
Using appropriate paper prevents jams and helps ensure trouble-free printing.
To help avoid jams and poor print quality:
Always use new, undamaged paper.
Before loading paper, know the recommended print side of the paper. This information is usually indicated on the paper package.
Do not use paper that has been cut or trimmed by hand.
Do not mix paper sizes, types, or weights in the same source; mixing results in jams.
Do not use coated papers unless they are specifically designed for electrophotographic printing.
Use these guidelines when selecting preprinted forms and letterhead:
Use grain long for 60 to 90 g/m2 weight paper.
Use only forms and letterhead printed using an offset lithographic or engraved printing process.
Avoid papers with rough or heavily textured surfaces.
Use papers printed with heat-resistant inks designed for use in xerographic copiers. The ink must be able to withstand temperatures up to 230°C (446°F) without melting or releasing hazardous emissions. Use inks that are not affected by the resin in toner. Inks that are oxidation-set or oil-based generally meet these requirements; latex inks might not. When in doubt, contact the paper supplier.
Preprinted papers such as letterhead must be able to withstand temperatures up to 230°C (446°F) without melting or releasing hazardous emissions.
As an environmentally conscious company, Lexmark supports the use of recycled office paper produced specifically for use in laser (electrophotographic) printers. In 1998, Lexmark presented to the US government a study demonstrating that recycled paper produced by major mills in the US fed as well as non-recycled paper. However, no blanket statement can be made that all recycled paper will feed well.
Lexmark consistently tests its printers with recycled paper (20–100% post-consumer waste) and a variety of test paper from around the world, using chamber tests for different temperature and humidity conditions. Lexmark has found no reason to discourage the use of today's recycled office papers, but generally the following property guidelines apply to recycled paper.
Low moisture content (4–5%)
Suitable smoothness (100–200 Sheffield units, or 140–350 Bendtsen units, European)
|Note: Some much smoother papers (such as premium 24 lb laser papers, 50–90 Sheffield units) and much rougher papers (such as premium cotton papers, 200–300 Sheffield units) have been engineered to work very well in laser printers, despite surface texture. Before using these types of paper, consult your paper supplier.|
Suitable sheet-to-sheet coefficient of friction (0.4–0.6)
Sufficient bending resistance in the direction of feed
Recycled paper, paper of lower weight (<60 g/m2 [16 lb bond]) and/or lower caliper (<3.8 mils [0.1 mm]), and paper that is cut grain-short for portrait (or short-edge) fed printers may have lower bending resistance than is required for reliable paper feeding. Before using these types of paper for laser (electrophotographic) printing, consult your paper supplier. Remember that these are general guidelines only and that paper meeting these guidelines may still cause paper feeding problems in any laser printer (for example, if the paper curls excessively under normal printing conditions).
Use these paper storage guidelines to help avoid jams and uneven print quality:
For best results, store paper where the temperature is 21°C (70°F) and the relative humidity is 40%. Most label manufacturers recommend printing in a temperature range of 18 to 24°C (65 to 75°F) with relative humidity between 40 and 60%.
Store paper in cartons when possible, on a pallet or shelf, rather than on the floor.
Store individual packages on a flat surface.
Do not store anything on top of individual paper packages.