BIS | Office Systems Blog


The latest insights and thoughts from BIS Office Systems.

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We’ve all been there. You’re ready to walk out the door for your next presentation, you print the last bits to take with you, and wham! - a paper jam decides to insert itself into your pressing schedule. While there’s a variety of reasons why paper jams can happen, they always seem to occur at the worst possible time. As much as we may hate to hear it, a jam is not always the machine’s fault. 


In fact, most paper jams are preventable with proper use and prevention training.


This article is meant to equip you with some tools and insights to combat these trying moments head on and ultimately prevent repeat occurrences. Here’s a handy overview of the top 10 tips to keep your printers and copiers running smoothly:


1. Always thumb through your originals before placing them into the top or side feeder.

Be sure to look for frayed edges or bent corners that need to be separated, and of course, double check that all staples have been removed. It’s also very important to make sure that your originals are ‎loaded in a nice straight stack. 

2. Check the alignment of slider and tray.

If you’re using a smaller, personal-sized printer for printing checks, or when using the manual feed tray, make sure you have the paper loaded and pushed all the way back to the guards and that the slider is properly positioned for the correct size paper you’re using. 

3. Start with good quality paper.

  • If you have a machine that is jamming, take a look at the quality of the paper. Lower quality papers tend to create jams more frequently and create something technicians refer to as “paper dust” throughout the paper path, which causes even more jamming and quality issues. 


•High quality paper has some grain to it which enables the printer or copier rollers to grab the paper properly.

 Typically, the heavier the paper weight, the more grain it has. 

•High quality paper has a high opacity (can’t be seen through). 

The standard minimum weight of paper is 20 lbs. and 24 lbs. if it’s being used in a laser printer.


  • 4. Always load the paper facing “up” in the paper drawers.

    Use the natural curl of the paper to your advantage and be sure to fan fresh paper before loading into the paper drawer. 

    5. Don’t overload sheet capacity.

    Remember, less is best! Reduce the number of papers from the tray and avoid overloading the paper container. The paper feeders need room to maneuver and when it’s a tight stack of paper, very often more than one piece of paper will be grabbed.

    6. Regular maintenance.

    Even if you’re not a tech person, look under the hood to make sure there are no remnants from previous jams. Monitoring for any dust, ink or toner buildup is a good practice to follow to ensure smooth printing. 

    7. Don’t mix-n-match.

    This is probably one of the most common errors which causes printer problems and can easily be avoided. When different types of papers are mixed together in the tray, the rollers inside can get tripped up by going back and forth from different weights and textures. To reduce paper jams, this should be avoided.

    8. Power your print device from its own dedicated circuit.

    If your printer, copier, or MFP is sharing a circuit with another large appliance, there is potential for power surges, which can cause both short and long term problems as the system tries to maintain a constant level of energy.

    9. Store paper in a cool, dry place.

    Check the condition of the paper often to make sure both the stored reams and the paper in the machine are kept away from humidity. If you live/work in a humid climate that’s not as climate controlled as you’d prefer, it’s advisable to leave the paper in the tray for only one day or as few hours as possible at a time. When not in use, the paper can be stored in a sealed plastic bag for protection. 

    10. Clean the rollers.

    Cleaning the rollers is a very helpful way you can assist with keeping the printer working its best. Using a soft cloth or a cotton swab that is lightly moistened with alcohol, you can gently remove residual paper dust by manually turning the rollers to clean all sides. 

    Understandably, it may seem that your printers may have a mind of their own and wait to haunt you at the most inopportune time. Using good quality paper, having the system maintained on a regular basis and properly training users will go a long way.
  • At BIS Office Systems, our goal is to not only bring professional service and quality products to your workplace, but help ease your day to day operations. Additionally, our managed services and repair technicians are always available to provide hands-on solutions for your workplace needs. Call us today at 251-476-3113 for a free, no hassle, no obligation evaluation and in-depth assessment of your workplace printing needs.

Specify Alternate Text

Toner is a major component to your printer. Without toner, you would not be able to print because the toner is the color that gets put on the page. Ink cartridges are very similar to toners, except that ink cartridges are used in inkjet printers while toner cartridges are used in laser printers. Laser printers are the type of printer that most businesses use. This is because laser printers are more efficient and can print a larger volume of black and white pages much faster than most inkjet printers.


Inkjet printers are mainly used for home, personal printing or printing that requires a lot of color. While laser printers are excellent for users that print a high volume of pages regularly which is why many businesses prefer laser over inkjet. The cost per page and regular maintenance is usually lower than an inkjet printer too. Laser printers have the capability to print pages at a much faster rate – think about 20 pages per minute versus about five pages per minutes with an inkjet printer.


So, if you are a business that has invested in a laser printer, toner is an essential part of the operation. Toner is comprised of a fine powder that can be magnetically charged. This magnetic charge is picked up by the electrically-charged drum and the toner particles are lifted and rolled onto the page in the shape or form you want to be printed. A laser in the printer glues these toner particles to the page using heat.


Toner powder comes in black, white, clear, cyan, magenta and yellow. The powder has tiny, fine particles of plastic mixed in that adheres the color to the page when it goes through the fuser (which heats the mixture). This mixture creates a crisp and lasting image on the paper.


Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM, refers to toner that is made by the same brand as your printer. As BIS Office Systems, we carry OEM toner for virtually every make and model printer on the market. The best part about buying toner through us is that you will find it here for much less than your typical office supply store. We also make our own line of BIS | Office Systems private label toners. An industry leader OEM manufactures our toner to ensure quality and a best-in-class product.


Toner typically should be changed every 2,000 pages or so. This is another differentiator from inkjet printers.  Laser printer toner cartridges can last a very long time compared to inkjet printer cartridges, which usually last about 500 pages before needing to be replaced.


Taking care of your printer, doing regular maintenance and cleaning, and cleaning your toner cartridges will keep your printer running efficiently and increase its lifespan.


 Some tips to clean your toner:

·         Wipe the toner cartridge with an activated toner cloth. The toner cloth works to attract and catch toner particles that               other cloths would not pick up.

·         Use a toner vacuum to suck out any spilled toner on the inside of your printer.

·         Use a clean paintbrush to clean hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in your printer.

·         Wash the paper feed roller using rubbing alcohol.