Why the Office Printer Keeps Jamming

Is a jamming printer or copier a common complaint? What’s that downtime costing you? Find out why the printer keeps jamming and how to prevent jams proactively.

Office Printer Jam

Paper jams in a busy office aren’t just frustrating for employees, earning endless mentions in team meetings. They kill productivity. On average, each employee in an office wastes about 22 minutes a day on IT issues, which include things like malfunctioning printers, having to reboot computers, software that won’t load and more. Multiply that by 10, 50 or 250 employees. That really tears into the bottom line.

Fortunately, being proactive can go a long way into trimming this wasted time, allowing you to reclaim that lost labor attributed to workplace copier jams. Here are 5 reasons why the printer keeps jamming and what you can do about it.

1. Inferior Paper in Your Copier

Like so many things in life, you get what you pay for. Printer/Copier paper comes in various weights and thicknesses. Some paper is designed for older, slower copiers. While other paper is designed to handle the swift movement of a modern printer. You don’t have to break the bank on copy paper. But if you’re paying rock bottom prices for paper, it may be time to rethink what that’s really costing you.

2. Incorrect Paper Settings

These days, printers are multi-function. The modern office needs this versatility to get more done without multiple pieces of equipment. But with versatility and advanced function comes complexity in menus. It’s not hard for someone in the office to change a setting to photo paper, transparency, double-sided or stapled and forget to change it back. Or someone new in the office could have accidentally hit a setting.

If you’re wondering why the printer keeps jamming, it’s time to look at those settings and consider a quick training session on how to use the printer.

3. Poorly set paper guides

The employee who loads the paper manually moves the guides during insertion. If the guides are too tight or too loose, your staff may be fixing printer jams all day long. Guides should gently touch the edges of the paper and be checked if the printer keeps jamming.

4. They’re Inserting the Paper Upside Down

This may seem like a no-brainer to someone who constantly prints. But in an office, you usually have many people printing and some will be more familiar with the do’s and don’t’s.

Yes, copy paper does have and intended printing surface.

You’d be surprised how many printers keep jamming because of this simple mistake. The paper packaging will indicate the printing side with an arrow. But what if you’ve already removed the paper from the packaging?

Perform a simple test.

Grab a substantial amount of paper (the whole ream ideally), bend the paper in the middle in one direction, then the other. The direction that curves the most is your printing side.

5. Doing a Variety of Jobs on an Old Copier

That printer-copier that you purchased 10 years ago says that it can perform these many tasks. But the truth is, as printers get older, it becomes harder to switch between types of tasks. Gears, guides and surfaces wear out. Ink, dust or paper residue build up in places.

If the team only performs one type of print job, the printer may last longer. But, eventually, it too will begin to struggle with even basic jobs. Years of tugging jammed paper out and trying to run a printer while jammed wear out sensitive components.

Sometimes cleaning and adjusting by a professional can extend its lifecycle. And you can lengthen the life of a new copier by proactively addressing workplace copier jams, as we’ve discussed. But, over time, the workplace copier jams impact on productivity outweigh the cost of buying or leasing a new one. And that’s when it’s time to do a cost-benefit analysis and make an informed repair or replace decision.