5 Tips for avoiding Paper Jams

Paper Jams are a real pain and can be time consuming to sort. Here at the zoo we have pulled together 5 simple tips for avoiding paper jams happening in the first place.

Store your paper in a warm dry place

All paper will absorb moisture from the air, and excessive moisture will cause it to curl. However even small amounts of moisture, that are not enough to cause curl, may give you an issue. Firstly, toner hates moisture, so you may see print quality issues. Secondly your printer will heat the paper up as the toner is laid down so it may start to curl in the printer, and cause the printer to jam. Finally, it can cause the feed rollers to slip. Keep your box in a dry warm room, only open the boxes when you need to start using, and only take out what you need. For more storage advise click on the link below


Be careful how you load the paper in your feed Tray.

This may sound obvious but it is a common cause. The paper ideally should be touching each of the tray guides and loaded as one block. With integrated paper where there is a patch on the back the bock will lie unevenly in the tray. As a general rule you should feed “patch last”, as this gives the best profile to the feed rollers.

Keep your Paper flat

Where possible take the integrated paper out of the box and put it straight in the tray. It’s tempting to put the next handful somewhere handy but often that place is not flat, or part of paper hangs over an edge.

Don’t scrimp on the paper quality

There’s a wide range of different papers out there that integrated labels manufacturers can use. Most buy huge reels of paper and cut it down to A4. The paper supplied from one paper mill will be slightly different from another, so you want to avoid suppliers that source the cheapest papers, and swap from one mill to another. Here at the Zoo we will not source paper from anywhere that is not a sustainable source. Our paper comes from Scandinavia and is supplied against long term agreements from a specific mill.

Our integrated paper is 90gsm but some suppliers use 80gsm. Our experience is that additional 10gsm makes a real difference, not only to the feel of the product but to the way it feeds in your printer. It makes the paper stiffer.

Another important aspect is the paper grain. Visually you will not be able to see this, but the way that paper is made means that there is difference between the length of grain in one orientation compared with another. The direction of the grain affects the strength of the paper. It is stronger in the long grain direction. Different manufacturers produced the A4 integrated sheets in Landscape or Portrait and so the long grain can be either along the A4 sheet or across it. What you want is it to be along it (IE in the same direction as the long side and not the short). The additional strength given by the grain can make a real difference. Here at the Zoo, we will only sell integrated labels made in portrait as this means the grain is the right direction to provide strength as it goes through your printer. There are several suppliers selling integrated labels made in landscape, and one way you can tell is that if you pick up a handful up from the short edge that it flops more, giving it a thinner feeling.

Fanning your paper?

There’s two schools of thought here. It is a common belief that fanning the paper will help separate the individual sheets and make it feed better. The opposing argument is that the fanning process can cause static which then acts to “stick” them together. Also fanning can change the profile of the block of paper so it’s is not so tight and therefore results in more variation in feeding. For me the jury is still out, but I tend not to fan.

Printers Purchase and Maintenance

There are hundreds if not thousands of different printers that you can use to print integrated labels. Inevitably there is a big difference in the quality on the mechanics of the in-feed and also the paper path through the printer. Now the product that we supply is designed to be able to be used on whatever device, but in my experience there is no getting away from the fact that a cheap printer is likely to give you more feed issues.

Also think about your printer maintenance and any debris that finds its way into your printer isn’t going to help feed. Next time you put paper in your printer have a good look in your tray and see whether there are bits in it that shouldn’t be there. If there are then it is likely some will have feed inside. Follow the Printers manufacturer’s instructions for any routine maintenance.