I’m experiencing paper jams. What could be causing it and is there anything I can do to avoid it?

I’m experiencing paper jams. What could be causing it and is there anything I can do to avoid it?

(Submitted by Jeff Ziel)

Primary causes of paper jamming:

  1. Paper Quality:

    One of the reasons for paper jamming in a copy machine could be caused by the paper itself. Low-quality paper can cause jams due to static buildup, excessive paper curl, or low-quality materials used to make the paper. We recommend using a high-quality paper brand such as Hammermill or Boise to cut back on paper jams.

  2. Paper setting and improper loading*:

    In this case, the paper in your multifunction device will jam if any of the following apply:

    • not loaded or secured properly
    • overfilled capacity
    • paper type setting does not match the actual paper type (i.e.., cardstock, labels, envelope, glossy

      Most copiers have an auto size-detect feature for paper SIZE ONLY. This tells the copier what size of paper is in the tray. If this feature is not available and the size or orientation of the paper is incorrect, then jamming may also occur. No copier can detect the TYPE of paper being used. This must be changed manually by the user under the paper settings.


  3. Worn or dirty rollers:

    In both cases a factory-certified technician will need to inspect and determine if cleaning or replacement of the roller is needed. As part of RITE Technology’s preventative maintenance checklist and to minimize paper jamming, our technicians inspect, clean, or replace rollers on every service visit regardless of the original problem.

  4. Obstructions in paper path*:

    During the process of removing a paper jam, it is important to remove the entire sheet of paper. Any ripped pieces that remain in the machine will certainly obstruct the flow of paper and cause it to jam. Other common obstructions found are paper clips and staples. These are typically found in the top document feeder and should always be removed from the copier so that they do not fall inside the machine.

    *NOTE: Obstructions and paper should ONLY be removed by hand. The use of tools to assist (such as a letter opener) could cause severe damage to delicate parts inside the machine.

  5. Defective or dirty components:

    This would include sensors, motors, clutches, bearings, belts, circuit board, or gears. A factory-certified technician will need to inspect and assess which component has failed. Then the technician would either clean or replace the failed component. After the part has been replaced, a thorough test run would be executed to ensure that the jamming issue has been resolved.

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