Thin paper, that will still go through printers/photocopiers?

Most people who ask about paper seem to want thick paper that is good for fountain pens and don't bleed through. I'm looking for the thinest possible paper that will still work with printers and/or photocopiers.

I just use a cheap wallet size ball point pen that I happen to like, and I want my various planner supplements and notebooks to be as light weight as possible. Also, I use pocket-mods a lot and would like to use thinner paper for that as well. The local office stores and stationers that I've been to don't carry onionskin. Before I spring for it from an online vendor, has anybody out there tried it before?

Which requires thicker paper inkjets or laser printers?

--smaller, lighter, faster


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Shooting from the hip here

But I would guess that standard paper is about as thin as you want to get in these printers. Consumer printers are designed with consumer goods in mind, which means, in this case, standard weights, starting with the thinnest standard copier and printer paper (20lb in the US).

That said, if you have a printer with a relatively straight paper path (lots of Canons and Epsons, but HP inkjets tend to be kind of convoluted, and most lasers do the flip routine, too), you might get away with single-feeding paper, but I would suspect that you will feed multiple sheets if you try super-thin paper. If you can find some thin paper cheap, it may be worth a try, but I wouldn't hold out much hope.


Read the manual


The manual for your printer will explain what the lightest paper is that it can use. Don't go lighter or you might end up with a torch or a jam-crunchy that might ruin your laser. For an inkjet, I think your problems would be limited to really bad bleed through, jamming, poor paper grabbing, and the like.

Origami paper would be nice for the pocket mod, since it's made for crisp folding without tearing--but I have never seen any made for printers.


RTFM - oh how embarrassing

of course, read the manual. no really, I should have thought of that. I've got one of the Canon ultra light printers that should have the manual online even if I can't find my hard copy. It has the advantage of the straight feed.

And it looks like for the Canon iP90, the lightest I should go is 16 to 18lb paper. Onion skin is 9lb I think. Now to see if I can find 16 or 18lb paper.
Thanks for the ideas all!

- smaller, lighter, faster

You want thin or cheap (inexpensive) ?

Opacity (the state or quality of being opaque) seems to be a function of thickness with paper.
Too thin == Transparent

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

definitely thin

definitely looking for the thinnest possible. I want to pare down both the thickness and the weight of my notebooks and planners.

Since I don't use fountain pens, the opacity of the paper isn't that big a deal for me. Also, I tend to use gray for planner pages and other things I print out, so maybe that will help with any bleed through when run through a printer.

A lateral thought

Do you need templates on every page of your planner?

Could you use a combination of standard-paper templates (for the templates you have to have) and light-weight lined pages?

There are light-weight notepads sold for airmail letters. So lined light-weight paper is available

Perhaps you could use a date stamp to date the light-weight pages if you needed them dated

Don't go lower than 80gsm

Don't go lower than 80gsm (not sure what the US equivalent is) but definitely check the manual. I worked in the print/copy industry for a long time and most machines don't like anything lower. If you do want to go lower contact a local paper merchant, one that supplies businesses, and see if they stock lighter weight ranges that they can confirm are copier/printer compatible.