Inkjet Printing Paper versus Laser Printing Paper – How to Choose?


While most people who own a printing device prefer to buy the cheapest type of paper available, its texture, width and composition can make a difference when it comes to printing quality. With little information, any user can distinguish between various types of paper and how they work on different printing equipment.

To understand why a certain type of paper is better to use with an inkjet printer or a laser one, a consumer should firstly know how those printers work. The laser printing device uses a processor that divides the printed material in lines. This representation is sent to the laser that heats up a roller of ink and then burns the printed part on paper. On the other hand, the inkjet printer scatters thin particles of ink on the paper in order to reproduce the image. This type of equipment also uses a processor, but the printing process is simpler.

Moreover, the absorption is another factor that influences the type of printing. The paper specially made for inkjet printing usually has a low-rated absorption level, while laser printer use paper with high level of absorption, as the device works on static electricity. When using a regular type of paper, the substance may spread like a watercolor and give blurry edges to an image. The paper used on inkjet devices have a special consistency that allows quick drying of the ink.

Paper that has an elevated luminosity parameter is normally very thin when touched, concentrating the light towards the sight of the one who hold it. A paper that has such a texture can have an impact on the printing process, influencing the way in which the particles of ink are spread on the paper and absorbed by it. Using paper for laser printers on an inkjet one might render a blurred image, as it cannot comprise all the ink used in the printing process.
Likewise, temperature is also an issue when it comes to printing on different equipment.

For instance, Laser printers burn ink on paper, therefore the paper has to be resistant when facing high temperature. Laser labels normally have a special coating applied on the wax backing in order to prevent the wax from melting. Therefore, laser printing paper is similar to photographic paper and it’s more expensive.

As far as thickness is concerned, paper should have the proper dimensions in order not to allow ink to pass through. Laser devices are usually thinner, as a thicker one might get stuck into the roller. Inkjet printers keep paper almost in a horizontal position; therefore, paper can have higher thickness.

Rendering color is also different from one paper to another, as inkjet printing paper has certain chemical properties that enhance print quality. The liquid from the colorant is separated from the ink, absorbing the liquid and leaving the colorant on paper. Likewise, these chemicals eliminate less dust and lower friction, extending the life of laser printers. However, using the wrong type of printing material, you may actually damage your laser device (and they don’t come cheap on the market).