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3 Ways to Always Avoid Paper Jams

There's nothing more frustrating than dealing with a sheet of paper that's become entangled inside of a printer. Getting it out becomes a huge hassle as it rips and tears as you try to pull it free from the machine. A lot of people know that good printers shouldn't be eating up paper. Paper jams are not a way of life.

Problems tend to increase as printers age, but if you have a quality printer, it should take many years before it starts catching paper. However, if you've got a decent printer and it's still keen on jamming up, there are a few steps you can take to avoid jams in the future, or if your printer works well, avoid jams completely.

The first way to steer clear of paper jams is to pay attention to the type of paper you are using. Certain printers tend to work better with specific types of paper. The best way to find out what your printer plays well with is to check the user manual. Various papers will have different overall weights to them; thicker versus thinner paper. Likewise you should avoid mixing two different paper types together. They might stick together or become otherwise entangled, leading to a paper jam.

Whenever you put paper into the tray, make sure you have put it in correctly. Paper that is angled wrong, bent, or wrinkled can cause paper jams. These sheets can catch on the moving parts of your printer or be fed in the wrong way, which causes the printer to freeze up. Occasionally the printer may try to adjust the paper itself by ejecting the paper and then taking it in again - it realizes paper exists, but it is unable to feed it through correctly. Oftentimes this automatic adjustment can only make the problem worse. The paper only gets more angled or wrinkled and can become lodged into the mechanism more strongly than before. Use alignments provided by input trays and make sure paper is clean and lays flat.

Clean your machine. It may sound strange, but dust and dirt (and ink from the inkjet cartridges themselves!) can sneak into the printer and affect the efficiency of the printer rollers. Open up your printer at least once a month and use a lint-free cloth to wipe the insides, especially the print rollers. However, time can also be a factor, not just dust. If you notice that your printer rollers look shiny or worn down, then it's time to get some new ones. Contact your manufacturer about replacement parts. If your printer is too old, try other websites that sell older print supplies. If you still can't get any, then you may have no choice but to replace your printer.

When printers experience one too many paper jams, many people assume the printer is simply broken when this isn't the case. With a little TLC, your printer should function well and last for many years - without jamming up on every sheet of paper you feed it.

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