Quick Tips on How to Clear a Paper Jam

Fixing a paper jam on a Sharp copier or printerPaper jams are probably the original battle between man and machine. They usually occur at the most inopportune times, too – like right before a big event or meeting.

As a copier and printer technician for more than 25 years, I’ve seen quite a few paper jams. If you need to get one cleared as fast as possible, try these quick tips. Although I work mainly on Sharp copiers and printers, many of these ideas will work with any brand.

5 Ways to Fix a Paper Jam on a Sharp Printer

  1. Make sure the paper is loaded correctly into the drawers. I know this sounds elementary, but improperly loaded paper has been the cause of many a paper jam.
  2. Try fresh paper. If the paper in the copier hasn’t been used for a while, particularly in the summer, the paper is more likely to get jammed.
  3. Fan the paper before you load it. Paper that’s been separated will run through the machine better. Also, when you open a new ream, run your thumb through it to get rid of any glue from the wrapper.
  4. Check the paper quality. I invite you to read my recent blog post on why paper quality matters, but here are the basics. Poor quality paper is not uniformly cut and contains high amounts of moisture and dust. When you use cheap paper, what you end up with is curled paper, dusty machines and lots of jams. You get what you pay for.
  5. Try a different paper drawer. If you can’t get something to print from the main drawer, use a different one. Don’t forget to change the location in the print dialog box on your computer.

Common Mistakes People Make When Clearing Paper Jams

When paper is jammed way down in the copier, you will need to follow the directions on the display to get it out. Again, I know this is elementary, as all Sharp printers (and most other brands) will walk you through removing a paper jam. However, there are a few things you should not do:

  • Do not open doors and start ripping things out. Paper should always run in a certain direction. If you pull it back, you end up pulling things backwards that are not meant to go backwards. So, always follow the directional arrows on the user-friendly knobs. On a Sharp, they are colored bright green or blue.
  • Do not use sharp objects to remove paper. It can cause further damage. Even jewelry can inadvertently damage a printer.

If you still cannot find the problem, it’s time to call a service tech. Pick-up rollers, feed rollers, clutches and drive mechanisms do wear out, so that may be the case. Businesses and organizations in Canton, Akron, Toledo and other parts of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania can contact us. Our service technicians are happy to help!

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