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Difference between 24 lb and 60 lb paper

Published time: 2015-01-16 14:38

Short answer: 24 lb and 60 lb paper are basically the same type of paper! Beyond slight subtleties, there is no difference between 24 lb paper and 60 lb paper. They’re the same thickness, same texture, and same weight; they’re used for the same thing and interchangeable when you order printing.

They’re two different names and numbers for the same sheet of paper. Both 24 lb and 60 lb paper are very popular as office copy paper. I would say that they’re the second most popular office copy paper behind 20 lb bond (which is cheaper).

Why the different numbers and names if they’re the same paper?

Here’s the long answer: 24 lb and 60 lb paper are called different things because the paper producers use two different manufacturing techniques to make them. Technically, their full names are: 24 lb bond and 60 lb uncoated text.

For all intents and purposes, you (the end user) will use them exactly the same; the prints look the same. However, they’re still technically different and have very subtle differences that you wouldn’t notice (unless I pointed it out). Bond paper is manufactured exclusively to be uncoated sheets.

There is a special production mechanism for “bond paper”. On the other hand, text weight paper is manufactured to be uncoated or coated. You will never find a glossy or a matte “bond” sheet. However, the uncoated text shares a lot of the same manufacturing processes as the matte and glossy “text” sheets.

What’s the significance of the numbers in 24 lb and 60 lb paper?

Just to reiterate: yes, a thousand sheets of 24 lb bond and a thousand sheets 60 lb uncoated text would weigh the same amount. But you need to translate the numbers (24 lb to 60 lb) whenever you order the one type of paper or the other.

This is because of the idea of basis weights. The reason why they have different numbers is that bond paper and text paper are measured using different stacks of paper.

To get “24 lb bond”, they measure 500 sheets of 17×22” bond. To get “60 lb uncoated text”, they measure 500 sheets of the larger 25×38” uncoated text. Since the stack used to measure text weight paper is larger, of course its number is higher!