Mastering Printing on Cardstock with a Laser Printer: A Comprehensive Guide


Cardstock holds a special place in office printing. Its sturdiness, durability, and professional appearance make it a preferred choice for various projects, be it invitations, greeting cards, business cards, or certificates. While printing on regular paper might seem straightforward, cardstock demands a bit more finesse, especially when using a laser printer. Fear not, for this guide and video aims to equip you with the knowledge to flawlessly print on cardstock using a laser printer.

Understanding Your Equipment

Before delving into the printing process, it’s crucial to understand your tools. Laser printers use toner and heat to fuse the ink onto the paper. By default the settings are set for regular 80GSM paper and work perfectly for this, however the thicker card requires an adjustment in settings to allow enough heat to stick the toner onto the card effectively.

Without adjusting these settings you will find you have print quality issues on the media itself with smudges and toner not sticking or being able to be rubbed off. On top of this you will find the next 5-10 pages will have smudges on them from the excess toner on the rollers inside the printer that did not stick on the original cardstock job.

Choosing the Right Cardstock

Selecting the appropriate cardstock is fundamental. Ensure the cardstock you’re using is compatible with your laser printer. Look for a cardstock weight that falls within the recommended specifications of your printer. Heavier cardstock might require a printer that can handle thicker paper.  Anything over 220GSM your regular laser printer will have troubles printing on.

Printer Settings Adjustment

  1. Paper Type Selection: Access your printer’s settings and select the appropriate paper type as “Cardstock” or “Heavy Paper.” This setting adjusts the printer’s heat and speed to accommodate thicker paper.
  2. Paper Tray Adjustment: Use the manual feed or bypass tray, adjust the paper guides in the tray to fit the cardstock snugly. Avoid overfilling the tray to prevent paper jams.

Printing Process

  1. Print in Batches: Avoid printing large batches at once, especially with thicker cardstock. Print in smaller batches to prevent paper jams or overheating the printer.
  2. Monitor Printing: Keep an eye on the printer as it handles the cardstock. If you notice any issues like smudging or faint prints, pause the printing process immediately.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If the printer repeatedly jams, check for any obstructions or misalignment in the paper tray.
  • Adjust the printer settings if the prints appear faded or unclear.
  • Use the printer’s manual for troubleshooting specific to your printer model.


Printing on cardstock with a laser printer requires attention to detail and proper preparation. By understanding your printer, selecting the right cardstock, adjusting settings accurately, and handling the printing process carefully, you can achieve professional-quality prints on cardstock. Experiment with different paper settings and cardstock types to find the combination that yields the best results with your printer.