Copier Jams – Always at the Wrong Moment

July 21, 2022

3 min read

copier jams

Ever wonder why your copier jams right before it really matters? You have a big contract that has to be signed, or the board meeting is getting ready to start, and all the sudden there is a copier jam which makes it harder for your company.

We have been selling and maintaining copiers for nearly 30 years, and yes, it does seem the copier jam problem always happens at just the wrong moment.

In this article we will cover some of the issues with copier jams and what you can do to make this less of a problem for your business.

Paper Weight

One of the most common reasons a copier will jam is because the paper weight is either wrong in the driver, or it exceeds the maximum for the copier.

If you are printing on thick paper, and your print driver has it listed as normal paper weight, the paper will travel through the printer or copier at a speed too fast for the unit to handle. Then it gets stuck in the copier.

The print driver tells the copier what speed to run paper to help prevent jams and get the best print quality from your printer. You will usually see “normal” or “heavyweight” or “cardstock” as options. When you select the wrong thickness in your print driver, you should expect more jams.

Design Specifications

If your copier isn’t able to handle the paper weight you are trying to use, this will also cause more jams in the copier. For example, if the specifications say up to 216 gsm, and you are trying to print on 300 gsm paper, it may work for a while, but then over time, it will jam more as you overwork the copier.

Paper Tray Selection

On some copiers, there is a paper tray difference between the trays in the copier. For example, the bypass tray will generally accept thicker paper than the paper trays (especially if it offers a straighter paper path.)

One of the items you really need to consider is what trays are able to print, and is there a difference in paper thickness allowed between the trays on your copy machine?

Cheap Paper

Cheap paper can be a cause of copier jams too. Often, cheap paper really means torn paper or slick paper, meaning that as you try and print, it is easier to have issues with the paper. If you have consistent paper jam issues, sometimes simply stepping up what paper you purchase will really affect your outcome as far as paper jams.


The next issue that can affect your copier is humidity. Believe it or not, some copiers do much worse and are much more sensitive to humidity than other copiers. This is why some companies that do a ton of printing or copying will actually put paper in a humidor.


Some environments can be extremely dirty or dusty. This can be especially true with manufacturing environments. If you have a really dirty environment and experience a lot of paper jams, then dirt can be a cause of paper jams.

Paper dust can also be an issue for your company if you get really cheap or recycled paper.

Wrong Paper Sizes

Another issue could be wrong paper size, like the print driver issue above.  If you pick letter-sized paper, but have legal-sized paper loaded, if it prints at all, it will more than likely jam because it thinks it is done printing, and there is still three inches of printing left.

If you are experiencing paper jams, we are able to help. One of the best things you can do is to look at your environment and make sure to get rid of the problems that could cause your issue in the first place.

We can help with copiers, printers or managed IT services for your company and love helping our clients solve issues like paper jams.

Written By: Editorial Team

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