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Tips for Feeding Inkjet Papers

Help for consistently feeding double-sided, heavy, or thick papers in your printer.


Please note that inkjet printers (even the same models) are not all the same. One may feed better than another. Don't expect every printer you buy to perform the same.

Double-sided Paper Note - Both sides of double-sided paper can be photo printed as they are both coated. The coating makes each side very smooth and for an inkjet printer, this may present mis-feeds in some printer models. It is important that you keep your printer maintained by cleaning the feed rollers after each box of matte paper you use! Start with tip #1.

Tip #1 - Clean Your Printer

Properly maintain your printer. If you use the printer often, use cotton art papers, and especially 2-sided inkjet papers, you should clean the feed mechanism often.

To keep your printer clean you can do the following:

Tip # 2

Do not push the paper tray guide up against the paper. Leave no more than 1/4" gap between the guide and the paper.

Incorrect
Correct!

Tip #3 - Specialty Paper Feed Path

Some printers have a feed path dedicated to thick or specialty papers. They are typically on the front or far back of the printer.

Some printers with this feature are the Epson P800, 3880, P600, R3000. Canon PRO-1000, PRO-10, and PRO-100.

If you are not sure about your printer, locate the manual and look up paper feed options. You can also contact Epson or Canon and ask a tech rep.

Tip # 4

Push. It may sound odd, but physically pushing down on the paper as the feed cycle begins if often the quickest and most effective way to make your printer feed paper.

As shown at right, gently place both hands on the corners of the paper. Apply gentle but steady down pressure as the printer feed cycle begins. The printer will begin pulling on the paper and this is the point where your help is most beneficial. Press down until the printer has a definite positive grasp on the sheet.

Tip # 5

When using card stock, put no more than about 5 sheets in the feed tray at a time. You should experiment with the number between 1 and 5 to see what your printer likes best.

Tip # 6

Fan your paper before feeding placing in the printer. Simply fanning the paper will better separate the sheets, release any excess coating or paper dust, and introduces a little air in between each sheet.

Tip #7

Should you experience head strikes - black marks or scuffing on the print - give your paper a slight downward curl on the leading and trailing edge. Do this just before printing. Using care, you can introduce quite a bit of downward curl without damaging the paper.

Tip #8

Use your Printer's Thick Paper Feature

Most printers have a software based control to move the print head up or down to adjust for paper thickness.

The ability to raise the print head comes in handy if you've seen these problems:

  • Pronounced lines in an image
  • Scuff marks
  • Ink splotches - particularly on the edges of paper

Learn more - Printer adjustments for thick papers

Tip #9

Place a stiff card stock or chip board as the bottom sheet in the feed tray. This helps keep your paper upright and closer to the feed rollers.

Note: Make sure to set your print count so that the printer does not feed the board.

Looking for some true heavyweight card stock? Try the 88lb. Polar Matte or 96lb. Pecos River Gloss Card Stock or 86lb. Pecos River Gloss Double-sided Card Stock

Video Tips

These videos focus on note card sizes, but the advice is applicable to all sizes of inkjet paper.

Inkjet Printer Feed Roller Maintenance

Proper Handling and Feeding of Inkjet Note Cards