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Tips to help with Laser Printer Problems

Make sure you read this before spending a bunch of money on an unnecessary service call.

We have all had that moment where you just want to pull your hair out in frustration because you cannot get your printer to work. You should hear some of the horror stories our service techs come back with and they are all highly trained professionals. I can only imagine how it feels for our average customer when they are dealing with the frustration of faulty printers and common laser printer problems. There are as many models of laser printers as there are flavors of ice cream. It would be almost impossible for the average office worker to understand how they all work but there are some common laser printer symptoms that can be fixed quite easily. Even if you are not the person handling the quick fix, it would be good to understand what is going on so if you do need to have a tech come out and look at the problem, you will be able to explain it to them more easily. This article covers some of the more common Laser Printer problems and shows you how to tackle them yourself.


One of the more common complaints we get from our customers is about poor print quality. Here are a few quick fixes for some of the more common print quality problems. Print Quality Problem: Your Prints are coming out fuzzy. Solution: Fuzzy printing is typically caused by moisture in the paper. Make sure you keep your paper in a dry environment. Try printing on freshly unwrapped paper to see if that resolves the issue. Print Quality Problem: The print quality is inconsistent across the page. Different degrees of black. Also referred to as horizontal variable print density. Solution: This is often caused by low toner levels. It can also be caused by an unbalanced printer or the laser printer could be near a strong light source. You can try shaking the toner cartridge to redistribute the toner inside, level the printer and/or remove the strong light source. Print Quality Problem: Vertical stripes on your print jobs (also called banding or vertical variable print density). Solution: This is often cause by a dirty developer roller. Try cleaning the connections and check to see if this eliminates the banding. Print Quality Problem: Grey printing, grey background or black areas of print jobs appear grey. Solution: This could be caused by a number of problems. Your drum could be going back or your density settings need adjusted. The graying is caused when too much toner is applied. If adjusting your toner density settings does not do the job it might just be time for a new toner cartridge. Print Quality Problem: Spots, smudges, and other areas of poorly fused toner. Solution: Many of these problems are due to a faulty fuser or excess toner on he drum and/or fuser. Toner can smudge when not properly fused to the paper. This could be as simple as cleaning your laser printer but might require a replacement drum or toner cartridge.

Mechanical Symptoms

If the problem is not related to print quality then your laser printer might be having some mechanical difficulties. Here are some of the more common problems.


Misfeeds are the most common of all mechanical issues. They are caused when the laser printer fails to feed paper from the tray or can be caused by feeding multiple sheets at a time. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a printer to misfeed.

  • Make sure the paper is a media that the printer is designed to support. Paper comes in a number of different weights, textures, gloss levels and more. Also be careful when printing stickers or labels as the adhesives can gum up your rollers and lead to bigger problems down the road.
  • If the paper is sticking pull the paper out of the tray and fan the sheets. This will unstick the individual sheets and reduce sticking and curling.
  • If the laser printer continues to misfeed you might have faulty springs in your paper tray or the rollers could be malfunctioning. You can try keeping the paper tray fully loaded to keep the springs compressed or you might end up having to get a new paper tray.

Paper Jams

Paper jams occur for a number of reasons. Some are simple fixes and some might cause you to question your sanity as you struggle to figure out what is causing the paper to jam. Here are a few of the most common culprits.

  • Again, make sure you are using the right paper media here. This is the most common reason for papper jams.
  • Make sure your paper is dry
  • Make sure your paper is not wrinkled, crimped, cut or otherwise improperly formatted
  • Make sure there are no small paper fragments in the printers paper path.
  • Most importantly make sure your machine is cleaned regularly.
If your problem is more involved than any of these simple fixes you might just have to place a service call. You could avoid the unexpected cost of printer problems with a managed print solutions from a company like Rite Technology.