Paper weights?

I don't know anything about what different paper weights mean. Does a heavier weight mean a thicker page (as in the paper weighs more than a skinny sheet)? What's a good, affordable paper that can go through my home inkjet, my work laser printer, and is thick enough that I can write on both sides without bleed-through? I'd like recommendations for something I can get at Office Depot -- nothing too specialty. My wallet already hates me for that Rollabind purchase.

Thanks!

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weights in lbs

Paper weights are a measure of the thickness. There are calibers out there that you can measure paper with... my boss has a set or two around the print shop.

The higher the number, the thicker the paper.

20 lb or 20# is standard for printing papers.

You would probably like a 24 or 28 lb paper... and it should work with your home printer. Your printer's manual may even suggest a heavier paper weight as a "maximum". I believe that office depot has a 'store' brand that should come in different weights.

Here is a website I found that did a pretty good job describing the different types of paper and how they relate to each other in weight (I think it is the second chart down) LINK

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Thank you, Sara!

Thank you, Sara! I've been wondering about this, too, but didn't know what the answer was.

caligatia, I personally like Office Depot's Inkjet paper (24lb, 113 brightness, $5.99/500 sheets or less if you buy more reams). My HP inkjet prints on anything, but on regular copy paper, the ink "feathers" every so slightly around the edges. (To be fair, this probably only bothers my anal sensibilties!) This is a very white paper, so it seems easier on my eyes after hours of staring at printed pages, and it takes rollerball/gel ink very nicely, too, IMO. (I don't use fountain pens, though.)

Laura

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Writers take dictation.

Hmmm.

Sounds very reasonably priced. Thanks for the feedback!

Weight

Hi.

I hate to contradict, but paper weight is about how much a given amount of paper weighs. It has no direct bearing on the caliper, or thickness of the sheet.

The equation is this, for American measures, anyway: Take 500 sheets of the paper, and the paper has to be a certain size (this is the dimension shown in the 'basis weight table' on the linked page). The weight of this stack is the "twenty pounds" that everyone talks about for copy paper. The number is just the mass of the paper stack. It has nothing to do with the thickness of said stack (caliper).

It's easier to observe this in handmade papers than machine made papers. You can make a 'fluffy' paper by just allowing the paper pulp to dry on the screen, or you can make a 'flat' paper by pressing or rolling the pulp to squeeze the water out. The paper mass is the same, but the caliper is different.

Machine-made papers use rollers to squeeze the water out of the paper pulp, which is why the caliper appears to be proportional to the weight. All of the paper types mentioned on the linked page are machine-made papers.

Anyway..not that you really wanted to know all that stuff. Just thought I'd clarify. The linked page is a good one for the numbers.

European measures are much more sensible. It's still just weight, but it's the grams per meter squared. Take a sheet of the paper, one meter square, and weigh it. This is the GSM number. With this you don't have a crazy table of paper sizes.

shris

Cool.

Thanks for the info. I'm a total geek, so I appreciate these things... :)

wooot

Thanks~! I have been curious about all this since I started working with papers every day. Unfortunately, my exposure at work is limited to machine-made so I made assumptions. My color printer does use the GSM numbers for specifications... It's nice to find out more about it all! ♥

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my artwork

I would politely disagree

It has no direct bearing on the caliper, or thickness of the sheet.

If you consider two papers of the same content and manufacturing technique that differ by "weight", the heavier paper will be thicker. You can see it in standard papers in Office Depot/Staples. The reams of "heavier" paper are thicker.

It might be more accurate to say that the "weight" is related to the thickness, but also depends on other things -- like content and how the paper is made.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

More caveats.

Hi ygor.

"It might be more accurate to say that the "weight" is related to the thickness, but also depends on other things -- like content and how the paper is made."

This is true. This is what I meant by "no direct bearing", though I guess I didn't say it very well. It is indirectly related (using the mathematical concept of "direct").

I would suggest that the three variables have about equal weighting in the equation.

shris

Sure.

Sounds good. Just trying to clarify, not pick nits.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Thanks for the link!

Interesting reading... I think I'd be more inclined to go with the 28lb, simply because I like thicker pages. I'll have to pick up a pack. Thanks!

28-lb makes for a heavy planner

I don't know if you're going to use it for a planner, but I used it for my planner--2 pages per week with extra pager for notes, etc, and it made the planner too heavy to carry in my purse without back dislocation and other medical problems and probably ruining my purse, too. Next time I'll try 24-lb paper--hoping it's thick enough to avoid show-through on the other side of the page, but lighter in weight.

I hadn't thought of that...

I hadn't thought of that... However, I did look up prices, and 24lb. is a third of the price of 28lb. So that's a factor too. I think I'll try the 24lb. first... Thanks for the input!