Paper Weights & Stock Cross Reference
If you're like most people, paper weight is whatever the side of the box your paper came in says. But that's only the measurement as expressed by bond. There are seven different methods of measuring paper producing wildly varying figures. Most manufacturers like to advertise their capacities in cover lbs which results in inflated numbers. For example, a product could be advertised as having a capacity of 80 lb. offset stock, but realistically it will only tolerate 31 lb bond paper!
This matrix will give you a good reference for decoding the manufacturer's specifications. But above all else, I would encourage you to contact a Whitaker Brothers sales representative and let them advise you on a good paper folder. In this day and age, it's easy to spend 30 minutes googling something and think you've made the right decision. I've stopped several people from making very expensive mistakes in the past. There is no replacement for the advice of someone who has used just about every paper folder on the market in just about every circumstance you could imagine.
Weight and Thickness Equivalents for Paper Stocks
(grams per sq. meter)
|20||50||28||46||42||3.8||.0038||.097||75.2 gsm||Typical copy or printer paper.|
|28||70||39||64||58||5.8||.0058||.147||105.35 gsm||Church bulletins, menus, comic books and brochures.|
|32||85||45||74||67||6.15||.00615||.156||120 gsm||Finer menus and brochures, magazines, wedding programs.|
|40||105||56||93||83||7.3||.0073||.185||150.5 gsm||Children's books and art books.|
|53||135||74||122||110||9||.0085||.216||199.41 gsm||Heavier children's books and coffee table books.|
Pounds (lbs) - In the world of paper weights, Pounds refers to the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) of paper.
Ream (of paper) - A Ream of paper consists of 500 sheets of paper in its basic unit uncut size.
Coated Stock Paper - Coated stock papers are coated with materials to increase smoothness, ink holdout and opacity (visibility through the paper). Coated stocks consist of glossy, matte or dull surfaces.
Bond Paper - Bond paper is the typical uncoated copier/printer paper or stationary that you'd see around the office.
Text (or Offset) and Cover - These terms typically refer to how the paper is used. Text (or Offset) is usually used for "internal" pages. Cover is typically used for cover pages, and is typically thicker than Text.
Tag Paper - Tag paper is often used for price tags, door hangers, direct mail postcards, timecards, and retail signage.
Index Paper - Index paper examples are index cards, postcards, tabs and manila folders.
Caliper Thickness - The thickness of a piece of paper, usually as thousands of an inch.
Points - Points are simply Caliper Thickness, but multiplied by 1,000.