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What Does the Weight of Paper Mean

You’ve heard of 100lb gloss book, 80lb gloss cover, 20lb bond and more, but what does this weight refer to?

Paper is measured in pounds per 500 sheets.  The paper manufacturer will select a standard sheet size for their paper when getting the initial weight on 500 sheets (this standard size varies brand to brand and can be 17” x 22”, 35” x 23”, etc.).  The weight of these 500 sheets determines the paper’s weight.

For example the common office copy paper Bond* has a standard size of 17” x 22″ and this is the size that is weighed for 500 sheets. If 500 sheets of this size weigh 20 lbs, then the paper is classified as a 20lb bond.

Some of other weights for bond paper are: 16lb, 24lb, 28lb & 32lb.  These would be thicker and thinner variations of the initial 20lb bond.

So when you are carrying 4 reams of your standard size (8-1/2 x 11) office paper you are in fact carrying 20 lbs of paper, as 8-1/2 x 11 is ¼ of a 17 x 22 sheet.

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