Can You Use Notebook Paper in a Printer?

When you look at printer paper you think “printer” and when you look at lined paper you think “writing.” It’s as simple as that and there’s never really any expectations of something more profound than that. However, if you happen to be out of printer paper, you may be wondering if you could run some lined paper through there. 

That would be something that you can certainly do if it is what you want. A printer will accept lined paper just like regular printer paper. The problem is, the printer doesn’t know where the lines are and will simply print on the lined paper just like it would on printer paper. 

Printing on lined paper doesn’t require you to do anything special or out of the ordinary. You would load it like you normally load printer paper, check to ensure that the printer’s printing dimensions match the size of the paper you loaded, and hit print. 

Printing Notebook Paper

If you happen to be dealing with the opposite problem and you need some lined (college or wide ruled) and all you have is printer paper, there’s a solution to that as well. Unless your printer is a dinosaur from the early 90s, it should be more than capable of printing up some lined paper for you. 

  • Turn on your printer
  • Insert the number of sheets that you want to print up
  • Access the control panel menu
  • Locate “Personal Stationery”
  • Select “Ruled Paper”
  • Choose whether you want to print wide ruled or college ruled
  • Select the number of copies
  • Print out your lined paper

It’s not the same as notebook paper, of course, but it does generate a lot of creative options and ideas for where to go next. For instance, you’ve printed about two hundred, lined pages of college-ruled paper. Your next step should be to create a composition notebook out of it. 

What good is a bunch of lined paper laying around the house when you can combine it all into a book? It’s a bit more personalized than buying just any old composition notebook and you can even find and use your own binding, along with a front and back cover. 

Does it Matter What Paper You Use in a Printer?

Not really. However, not all paper is created equally and notebook paper isn’t exactly created for use in a printer. Likewise, printer paper is designed specifically for a printer and isn’t designed for much else. 

The problem with notebook paper in a printer is that you might get some bleed-through, depending on how thick the loose-leaf paper is. 

If you’re planning on using multiple pieces of notebook paper, you may end up with double feeds or your printer may grab five or six sheets and only print on the one. It really depends on the printer and the printer settings. 

Some printers are really touchy when it comes to the type of paper that you feed into them, while other printers can handle just about anything all the way down to tissue paper. 

What is the Best Paper to Use in a Printer?

Notebook paper definitely won’t make the top ten list of best papers for printers. Printer paper is always going to be the best paper for printers. Pretty surprising, right? 

Even amongst printer papers, there is a best of the best. The one printer paper that practically lives on the pinnacle of the “best paper” mountain is HP Printer Paper Premium 24.  It really doesn’t seem to matter if you feed Premium 24 into an HP printer or an Epson.

HP Printer Paper | 8.5 x 11 Paper | Premium 24 lb | 1 Ream - 500 Sheets | 100 Bright | Made in USA - FSC Certified | 112400R
  • MADE IN USA - HP Papers is sourced from renewable forest resources and has achieved production with 0% deforestation in...
  • OPTIMIZED FOR HP TECHNOLOGY - All HP Papers provide premium performance on HP equipment, as well as on all other printer...
  • IMPRESSIVE COLOR PRINTING - HP Premium24 is a medium weight (24 pounds), brighter (100 bright) and whiter (163...
  • CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE - HP Premium24 presentation paper is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and contributes...
  • COLORLOK TECHNOLOGY PRINTING PAPER - ColorLok technology provides more vivid colors, bolder blacks and faster drying....

Either way, it’s still the best paper that you can use in a printer, regardless of whoever manufactured the printer. 

Hammermill Premium Inkjet paper is also high on the list of “best printer paper” in the world. If you were to take a stack of Hammermill Premium Inkjet and placed it right next to an equal-sized stack of HP Printer Paper Premium 24, you’re not going to notice much of a difference.

Hammermill Printer Paper, Premium Inkjet & Laser Paper 24 Lb, 8.5 x 11 - 1 Ream (500 Sheets) - 97 Bright, Made in the USA, 166140R
  • PREMIUM PRINTER PAPER – Hammermill Premium Inkjet & Laser 24lb Printer Paper is a versatile sheet that’s perfect for...
  • COLORLOK TECHNOLOGY – This computer paper features ColorLok Technology for colors that are 30% brighter, blacks that...
  • PERFECT FOR PRINTING – This multi-purpose copier paper is designed to run smoothly through all office equipment for...
  • SUSTAINABLY MADE IN THE USA – Original Hammermill printer paper is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, which...

However, the HP Printer paper will outperform the Hammermill despite its identical appearance. When it comes to color paper, Wausau Atrobrights rules the roost and if you need some quality photo paper, you want to aim for Canon Luster.

Will Using Notebook Paper Hurt Your Printer Over Time?

It shouldn’t hurt your printer over time unless you are consistently getting double feeds or jamming the printer up. If you are using notebook paper in a printer, it’s not likely that you are using it for the long term.

However, there are a lot of people who do prefer to use notebook paper in their printers at a pretty extensive rate. It’s great for things like homemade cookbooks and for anyone who wants to throw their paper into a three-ring binder rather than purchasing a hole-puncher. 

If you are getting a lot of double feeds and the printer is grabbing up too much paper, or the notebook paper is consistently causing a jam in the printer, you should probably stop and go to something else. 

It’s not that double feeds and jams harm a printer so much as you have to break the printer down every so often to clear it. Over time, these parts wear down, especially on a printer where very nearly everything is made out of thin and flimsy plastic. 

It’s just a matter of time before something breaks as you keep taking it apart and putting it back together, time and time again. 

Final Thoughts

Feeding notebook paper into your printer isn’t going to be the apocalypse for your printer. In fact, if you have a decent printer, it will go on printing as if nothing ever changed. Notebook paper isn’t going to hurt it and as long as you are not causing double-feed problems, it’s perfectly fine to print on notebook paper. 

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