INKJET vs LASER PAPER
Q. I want to purchase paper for my Laser printer. I have noticed your "multi-function" paper can be used in both inkjet and laser printers. How is this possible ?
Q. Which paper is best for my Laser printer - general purpose paper or laser paper? Does it matter which one I use?
A. It's generally true that for optimal print quality and safety, only inkjet paper should be used in inkjet printers, and laser paper for laser printers. Two exceptions are possible - uncoated copy paper , and specially coated multi-function paper.
Paper types - What are the differences ?
Uncoated paper is often sold in outlets selling office paper, and is labelled as general use paper for inkjet, laser or photocopier.
The print quality with both inkjet and laser printing on uncoated paper is OK for general text printing, but neither is best for a good quality photo.
Multi-function paper or dual purpose paper, is a unique paper which can be used in both types of printer. The paper has a special heat resistant coating allowing it to resist the heat of a laser printer's fuser unit. In addition the coating must also allow ink to dry quickly and toner to adhere to the paper.
Regular photo paper is dedicated for either inkjet or laser printing, but not for both. This includes papers such as matte laser paper 120gsm, and matte inkjet paper 140gsm, as well as other types such as satin and glossy photo paper. As well as printing 'photo-quality' images, smooth matte coated paper will print crisp text and graphics, making it a versatile option.
For inkjet printing, photo paper is specially coated for the ink to dry quickly and produce a clean, sharp image.
Laser photo paper has a coating designed to enable toner to bind to the paper for a sharp image. It must also be resistant to heat produced by the fuser unit in the laser printer.
It is generally considered that inkjet printing can produce a higher quality photo (tonal range, colour accuracy etc) than laser printing. This is due in part, to some inkjet printers utilising two or more 'shades' of the same colour ink. For example – Cyan and Light Cyan, and Photo Black, Matt Black and Light Black.
If you are considering heavy-weight multi-function paper for your laser printer, such as 230gsm multi-function paper, first check if the printer can accept heavy-weight paper. Some laser printers can only accept lighter weight papers up to about 200gsm.
In an office environment where mostly text and graphics are printed, with the occasional photo, laser printing is often preferred as it is generally faster than inkjet printing.
Uncoated paper is the most economical option for text and low quality photo printing, from your laser printer. A dedicated laser paper will produce top quality text and the best images from your laser printer. If you also have an inkjet printer, some savings may be made by using a multi-function paper.
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