Printing for long-term use
October 7, 2008 1:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for paper to use in a laser printer that will hold up well over time.

I have a number of documents that I would like to print and keep in a binder.

My concern is how the documents will degrade over time. I understand that either the paper or toner will breakdown over time and make the document useless/unreadable.

Any suggestions?


posted by sandpine to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You probably want archival paper and something akin to Epsom's dura brite inks.
posted by mandal at 1:39 PM on October 7, 2008

How long are you talking about? I have laser printouts going back to the 1980s kept in folders which are still in remarkable condition. The only stuff I've seen that's faded is inkjet printouts and early laser printouts (on some sort of thermal paper) which has faded some.
posted by crapmatic at 2:51 PM on October 7, 2008

Depending on what you mean by durable, Hammermill LaserPlus 32lb is *really* nice stuff. Pick up a sheet, and you'll see what I mean.
posted by baylink at 3:03 PM on October 7, 2008

If you are really concerned about longevity you can get acid-free paper from a source like Gaylord or another library/museum/archival catalog. It's about $18 a ream which isn't bad at all if you just have a single project in mind.

Laser toner is plastic; it's not going anywhere.
posted by bcwinters at 3:05 PM on October 7, 2008

Thanks for all the answers. I'll check into the Hammermill paper. As far as the printer goes, it will be duplex printed.

And ss far as time, nothing extreme. I've found some web documents that I'd like
to print and bind for reference (and BTW, they are of things no longer in print).

posted by sandpine at 7:41 AM on October 8, 2008

You want paper that says "archival" or "acid-free" or "thesis paper".
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:38 AM on October 8, 2008

Oh - or any heavier-weight paper, if you don't care about long-term yellowing.
copier/cheapy paper is 20 lb
nicer normal printer paper is 24 lb
heavier weights will be noticeably sturdier
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:40 AM on October 8, 2008

Be careful of the Hammermill if you're duplexing: LaserPlus is pasteup compatible, and therefore may be single-sided for laser printing. Check the LaserPrint as well.
posted by baylink at 7:07 PM on October 8, 2008

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