Thermal paper today can vary in different sizes and different qualities in order to suit different customers’ needs. That’s why when it comes to choosing the right type of thermal paper, one must have adequate knowledge about the basic properties it possesses. In layman’s terms, those properties in relation to thermal paper are called parameters. This article will discuss the two main parameters of thermal paper as well as how those two are interconnected to each other.


GSM test

GSM (Gram per Square Meter), also known as grammage or basis weight, is used to describe mass per unit of area in the metric system. The grammage of a given sheet of paper is equivalent to the weight in grams of a one-square-meter-sized piece of that type of paper. In other words, you can compute the GSM of a paper by simply taking one square meter worth of it and then measure its weight. Here are the most common GSMs of thermal papers currently available in the market:

  • 48gsm
  • 55gsm
  • 60gsm
  • 65gsm
  • 70gsm

Due to varying weights, it might be clear that these standard GSMs often have their own corresponding thicknesses – but this is definitely a misconception. Some rolls can have the same GSM but don’t hold the same thickness. This will be further elaborated on the next parameter.


Paper gauge

Also known as caliper, the thickness of a normal thermal paper is measured by mics (microns). The measurement is taken with an instrument called a micrometer or thickness gauge (if you want to buy one for your business, simply contact us).

Normally, the paper caliper should not have more than a + or – 5% variance within a sheet. Generally speaking, the higher the caliper (i.e., the greater the thickness of the paper), the heavier the paper will be. But actually, a thermal paper’s caliper can change significantly through several factors, such as the raw materials used, the manufacturing process, and even the type of coating. That’s why, in some cases, a high GSM doesn’t mean an equally high thickness.

However, it is possible to estimate the thickness of a thermal paper by knowing its GSM. Here are some of the notable examples:

  • 48gsm is equivalent to 50mics
  • 55gsm is equivalent to 60mics
  • 60gsm is equivalent to 78mics
  • 65gsm is equivalent to 85mics
  • 70gsm is equivalent to 90mics


GSM and thickness are two main aspects of thermal paper that affect its grade and price. By having a rough idea of the thermal paper’s GSM and thickness, any business owner looking for a thermal roll business can easily choose the right set of varieties that will truly give more satisfaction to their clients. The best way of getting these figures is by asking your manufacturer in the first place.

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About the Author: Frank Ouyang

Frank Ouyang is the sales manager at Panda Paper Roll Company - a leading factory of thermal paper rolls, label rolls, and other print-related products in China. With extensive experience in the industry, Frank is an expert in thermal paper knowledge and enjoys sharing his insights and expertise with clients, helping them achieve their goals and maximize their success.

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