Folding Glossy Paper – The Do’s and Don’ts

Paper Folding MachinesSo this is the question posed to me on an almost weekly basis. Can a paper folding machine handle glossy paper? They can, but you have to have the right machine. Here are a few tips to help you find a machine that will properly handle your glossy and coated paper.

There is a lot of love out there for glossy paper. This paper does have a professional look to it and is very popular for brochures. Most people who fold glossy paper don’t need anything fancy. They usually need something simple, like a letter fold or an accordion fold.

There are two types of paper folding machines. These types are friction-feed and air-feed. Here is a quick breakdown on what they are:

Friction Feed – Friction-feed paper folding machines use rubber rollers to pull paper into the machine for folding.

Friction-feed paper folding machines make up about 90% of the machines used today. This is because they are typically more compact and less expensive. The only problem is that the friction wheels slide around on glossy paper like ice-skates on a lake.

Air Feed (aka Air Suction or Pneumatic) – Air-feed paper folding machines use air to suck paper into the machine.

Air-feed paper folding machines suck glossy paper into the machine just as easily as standard non-glossy paper. They have absolutely no problem handling coated and glossy paper. The only downside is that they have a built-in compressor, making them a little bigger, and I have found that they tend to make more noise.

So can you use coated or glossy paper in a friction-feed folding machine? The official answer is no. The unofficial answer is sometimes. If the paper is coated, but not too slick, it can often be used in a friction-feed folding machine. The only problem is that there are no guarantees.

If you are on a budget, and can’t afford an air-feed paper folding machine, feel free to send in your paper and we can run it on one of our machines. While I can’t guarantee it will always work, I can at least let you know if it is compatible. Call us at 1-800-658-8788 to set up sending in samples.

You can find our entire selection of friction-feed paper folding machines here and our air-feed paper folders here.

Keith Barlow

Keith is a third generation office equipment expert. ABC Office was started by his grandfather back in 1980 and he is proud to be caring on the values that made ABC Office what it is today… unsurpassed selection, detailed information, low prices, and courteous support.

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2 Responses to “Folding Glossy Paper – The Do’s and Don’ts”

  1. winnie Says:

    Will 80# Dull/matte text paper work on friction fed folders? Thx.

  2. Dave Says:

    It really depends on how slick the surface is. A dull / matte finish should work, but I would recommend sending in a few samples prior to ordering a machine. We have most of the machines we sell on our showroom floor and can test just about anything. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to set up sending in some samples.

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