The most popular office supplies product is without doubt A4 copier paper. It is almost impossible for any busy office to operate without it. It has so many uses including the obvious, photocopiers, fax machines, inkjet printers, laser printers and for general office use.
All A4 Copier Paper Is Not The Same
Buyer beware, there are many forms of copier paper available to buy, and yes you can buy cheap copier paper for practically nothing at your local discount shop, then we can go to the other end of the spectrum where the prices for a single ream are astronomical.
You may look at this and think that a particular office stationery supplier is simply bumping up the price to make a nice little profit. Not at all, well not in most cases anyway. Let’s look at why the price of photocopy paper can range so much in price.
The first thing we should look at is the weight of the paper. The standard weight of copy paper is 80gsm (grams per square metre). If the ream of paper doesn’t mention the weight, the chances of it being 80gsm are very slim, and even if it is just 5gsm less it will make a huge difference to the quality of the paper.
Office paper weighing less than the standard 80gsm can cause a huge problem in many machines, in particular, jamming. I think anyone who has ever worked within an office must have witnessed a photocopier, printer or fax machine taking too much paper and getting stuck, and then having to spend the next 30 minutes or so sorting the problem out. The chances are this was simply down to poor quality or lesser weight paper.
Cheap office paper will tend to be much lower in quality. To the untrained eye very difficult to tell, however by comparing higher quality paper side by side, the difference will be noticeable. You will tend to find the paper has a much rougher surface and in most cases will leave a dust build up when used regularly in printers, photocopiers and faxes. The result, an expensive cleanup and repair bill, and worst case scenario you may even have to buy a brand new machine.
Recycled Copier Paper – The Green Option
When choosing your paper you will find various options as to how environmentally friendly the paper is. You will find that pretty much most of the printer paper is eco-friendly to some level, usually in the region of 75-80%. Unfortunately, you will pay more for a high quality fully recycled copier paper, simply because it has to go through a much more rigorous manufacturing process to give a perfect end result.
When buying copier paper, the cheaper end of the market does tend to be unknown brands or the office supplies companies white label version. Let make one thing absolutely clear, there is nothing wrong with the own brands of copier paper, you just have to choose wisely and in most cases have a good relationship with the stationer who will give you an honest opinion.
In most cases, unbranded copier paper is manufactured by the leading brands. They simply offer bulk deals to office dealers who are then in a position to sell it much cheaper.
Popular brands of A4 paper include HP, Xerox, Navigator, Data Copy, Canon and Logic. You will also find the brands of 5 Star and Q Connect offered as a cheaper alternative copier paper by many office supply companies.
Insider Information On Looking After Your Office Paper
- Copier paper is manufactured with low moisture levels, if it is exposed to damp it will simply absorb the moisture from the air and will not perform as efficiently.
- Always store your paper in the protective wrapping until you are ready to use it. This will not only prevent damage to the paper but help minimise any running issues.
- Never store copier next to any heat source, i.e. radiators or direct sunlight. This will simply dry the paper out and again cause many issues including paper jams.
- If you store your paper away in a stationery cupboard or anywhere where it may be below room temperature (21°C). Always allow time for your paper to adjust before using it in your machine.