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Knowing M weights of Copy Paper by aeastern.com

Knowing M weights can be very helpful when comparing different grades of paper. The paper with the greater M weight is heavier and most likely thicker. For example, compare 8.5 x 11 90 lb. 21.62M Index to 8.5 x 11 80# 28.77M Cover. The M weight of the 80# is greater so it is most likely the thicker of the sheets.

One of the most confusing aspects of paper weights is called the Basis, Substance (Sub.) or the pound (#) specification. In dealing with paper, these terms mean basically the same thing. Paper manufacturers name the weights a little different sometimes. Most likely you have heard of the term “20 lb copy paper”. The 20lb copy paper is the most widely used paper for copiers, fax machines and where printing needs a minimal quality paper for printing. It is also low in cost and performs well when printing on one side only. On the label previously shown you will notice Basis Weight. Many sheets will be what are called comparative weight papers and so the previous label could also have read “20/50 lb”. Why would that be? It is because a 20 lb Bond sheet is the same weight and thickness as a 50 lb. Text / Offset sheet. The basis weights specified are based on the parent size sheet they were converted from.

• For example, the 20# bond is based on a parent sheet that is 17 x 22 and the offset is based on a parent size sheet of 25 x 38.

• 500 sheets of the 17 x 22 bond weighs 20 lbs while 500 sheets of the 25 x 38 offset weighs 50 lbs.

• The difference in weight is due to the size difference between the sheets. The basic size for Cover paper is 20 x 26.

The most common comparable weights are 20/50 = 10M, 24/60 = 12M, 28/70 = 13.78M, 32/80 = 16M. The M weights may vary slightly between manufacturers).

Another reason to understand M weights is because often times paper basis weights are the same. An 80# text sheet is much lighter and thinner than an 80# cover sheet. By comparing M weights and also by feeling the paper you will notice a substantial difference.

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