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Inkjet paper in laser printers?

Inkjet paper in laser printers?

Old Sep 18, 19, 8:09 pm
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Inkjet paper in laser printers?

A few years ago my wife bought me a nice inkjet printer. I was very impressed with its' photo reproduction. Unfortunately, I didn't use it enough to prevent ink clogging and other things that made it much less usable than I would like.

So, as some of you here know, I started gathering color laser printers. I have used laser photo paper with them and the results have been quite acceptable.

Today, my daughter gave me 4 unopened packets (400 sheets) of what appears to be 4 x 6 photo paper. I presume it is inkjet paper, but I also find out they sell 4 x 6 laser photo paper. The packets are unmarked - I presume they came from some bundled deal. So ...

Is there any way to tell whether a given paper is designed for inkjets or lasers? If not, what are the dangers of using one type of paper in the other type of printer?
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Old Sep 18, 19, 10:20 pm
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The danger of using inkjet paper in a laser printer is the heating process that fuses the powder to the paper could melt/damage the paper, spread it around the insides of your laser printer, and ruin it. Laser photo paper is designed for the high heat of a fuser.

Using laser paper on an inkjet will probably just cause the ink to bleed and smear into an unattractive image, as the chemicals needed to prevent the ink from spreading and smudging aren't present. It will likely look like passing plain copier paper through the inkjet printer.

They likely have a different feel/texture/gloss that an experienced paper person could tell by looking/feeling, but I couldn't tell you what that is. Maybe go to Staples/OfficeMax/etc and see if there's an obvious difference (if they carry both). Or just toss it to be safe. Your situation sounds the the one where damage could occur, and I suspect inkjet paper is much more prevalent than laser photo paper, so in lieu of further data, it could be quite risky/damaging.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
A few years ago my wife bought me a nice inkjet printer. I was very impressed with its' photo reproduction. Unfortunately, I didn't use it enough to prevent ink clogging and other things that made it much less usable than I would like.

So, as some of you here know, I started gathering color laser printers. I have used laser photo paper with them and the results have been quite acceptable.

Today, my daughter gave me 4 unopened packets (400 sheets) of what appears to be 4 x 6 photo paper. I presume it is inkjet paper, but I also find out they sell 4 x 6 laser photo paper. The packets are unmarked - I presume they came from some bundled deal. So ...

Is there any way to tell whether a given paper is designed for inkjets or lasers? If not, what are the dangers of using one type of paper in the other type of printer?
I have never had a problem with using Inkjet paper in a Laser, but then again, I don't tend to use Photo paper. And I am talking HP Laser Printers. Most Laser Printers I have used have been very forgiving. I've even used Twilltone (Twilltone - Fancyclopedia 3) in HP Laser Printers without any problems.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by stc View Post
I have never had a problem with using Inkjet paper in a Laser, but then again, I don't tend to use Photo paper.
What is "inkjet paper" if it's not photo paper?
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Old Sep 21, 19, 12:26 am
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A quick Google search indicates that inkjet photo paper could possibly damage a laser printer. Laser printers use heat to fuse color into the paper. Inkjets spray ink onto the top of the paper. Two different systems, different coatings on the paper, etc.

While I think the worst that would happen with laser photo paper in an inkjet printer is that the ink wouldn't stick properly, the worst that could happen with inkjet photo paper in a laser printer is melted coating on components of the laser print head.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 4:00 am
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As others have said, inkjet photo paper may have a coating on it. I wouldn't use it in a laser printer.

Inkjet "regular" (i.e. letter) paper is just paper made in such a way that ink is less likely to bleed across the fibers and works perfectly fine in a laser printer. It tends to cost more, though.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
As others have said, inkjet photo paper may have a coating on it. I wouldn't use it in a laser printer.

Inkjet "regular" (i.e. letter) paper is just paper made in such a way that ink is less likely to bleed across the fibers and works perfectly fine in a laser printer. It tends to cost more, though.
Except ...

One of my mono lasers (HP 5SI) worked flawlessly until one day I mistakenly used inkjet paper (had some laying around). It still printed fine, but it would repeatedly jam every few pages. PITA.

Replaced it with regular printer/copier paper and all was well again. I don't know why that happened, but, as they say, I have been warned!
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Old Sep 21, 19, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
Except ...

One of my mono lasers (HP 5SI) worked flawlessly until one day I mistakenly used inkjet paper (had some laying around). It still printed fine, but it would repeatedly jam every few pages. PITA.

Replaced it with regular printer/copier paper and all was well again. I don't know why that happened, but, as they say, I have been warned!
The inkjet "regular" paper was probably a smidgen thicker than your regular printer/copier paper. Say, 24 pound vs. 20 pound.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 9:53 pm
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I hope I'm qualified to answer this: I used to work at HP as a inkjet paper engineer!

There are two kinds of inkjet photo paper: swellable and porous. Most modern photo paper is porous these days. You can tell easily by licking your finger and touching the paper (or just licking the paper if you prefer). The porous paper is like a dry sponge, your finger will stick to it. The swellable will feel slimy.

If its swellable, I wouldn't run it thru a laser printer. The coating is kinda plasticy and could get dicey in there.

Since its probably porous, you can run it though without issue. The porous paper is designed to absorb and "instant dry" the ink (which is 90% water), but laser wants to lay the ink on top and then fuse it. So no harm can come, but how the toner lays on the paper will be a fun experiment. I suspect the paper will not allow "dot gain" and the image could look a bit grainy. If you can pick the paper setting, I would use plain-paper which might adjust for the paper absorption. Laser likes a smooth sheet.

Does anyone still print photos anymore? There's a reason I'm not doing that sort of work anymore....the Great Recession and smartphones pretty much killed the at-home photo printing market.
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Old Sep 27, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by ryandelmundo View Post
I hope I'm qualified to answer this: I used to work at HP as a inkjet paper engineer!

There are two kinds of inkjet photo paper: swellable and porous. Most modern photo paper is porous these days. You can tell easily by licking your finger and touching the paper (or just licking the paper if you prefer). The porous paper is like a dry sponge, your finger will stick to it. The swellable will feel slimy.

If its swellable, I wouldn't run it thru a laser printer. The coating is kinda plasticy and could get dicey in there.

Since its probably porous, you can run it though without issue. The porous paper is designed to absorb and "instant dry" the ink (which is 90% water), but laser wants to lay the ink on top and then fuse it. So no harm can come, but how the toner lays on the paper will be a fun experiment. I suspect the paper will not allow "dot gain" and the image could look a bit grainy. If you can pick the paper setting, I would use plain-paper which might adjust for the paper absorption. Laser likes a smooth sheet.

Does anyone still print photos anymore? There's a reason I'm not doing that sort of work anymore....the Great Recession and smartphones pretty much killed the at-home photo printing market.
Thank you for your explanation.

It is so much easier and cheaper to print at Costco than home.
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