Knowing the correct paper roll size is the first step in selecting and using paper roll in your printer. If you know the model of your receipt printer, you can Google the receipt printer model, and you can usually get exactly what products (paper rolls, printer ribbons, cleaning supplies, etc.) are compatible. If you don’t have immediate access to that information – here is a helpful guide to show you what to measure and how to measure them.
There are four key measurements to any paper roll (see definitions below):
1. Paper Roll Width
The width of the paper roll is the first number in the specification. It is the most important measurement because the paper won’t fit into the printer if this is wrong. The width is measured across the face of the roll from side to side. If you are taking the measurement directly from a printed receipt, be careful not to measure just the width of the printed text: you must measure across the entire paper, from edge to edge. Measure in millimeters as accurately as possible, as minor differences in size can be vital!
In the United States, thermal paper roll widths are expressed in inches. Popular paper roll widths include 2 1/4, 3 1/8 inches. In other countries, the most popular paper roll widths are 57mm and 80mm. Generally, almost all credit card terminals take a 57mm width roll, and the receipt printers take an 80mm width roll.
2. Paper Roll Diameter
To measure the diameter, you must measure across the end of the roll, going directly through the center spindle hole (the core). The best way to do this is to stand the roll on its end on a flat surface so that it cannot roll.
The diameter of rolls can vary from anything as small as 30mm to over 250mm – the bigger the diameter, the more paper that is wound on the roll. When measuring the diameter of your roll, keep in mind that it is important never to purchase a roll with a diameter bigger than the recommended size by the receipt printer, as it may not fit in the machine.
3. Paper Roll Length
The roll length is simply a measure of how much paper is wound onto the roll. This is not a critical measurement when you order the paper rolls, but of course, a long paper roll will last longer and you won’t need to replace it as frequently. For example, for 80mm x 80mm thermal paper roll, its length can vary from 50m to 90m. If you want to know how to obtain the length of a paper roll, read this useful article.
In the United States, the length of a thermal roll is expressed in feet. Thermal paper rolls are commonly sold in lengths of 50, 80, 185, 220, 230, and 273 feet.
4. Core Size
The core size refers to the diameter of the tube onto which the paper is rolled.
Core I.D. (Inside Diameter) – The size of the center hole in the core. It is important because certain machines use a type of pin holder or spindle to support the roll, and the core I.D. must match the size of these pins or spindles to function properly. The general core I.D. is 12.7mm (7/16″).
Core O.D. (Outside Diameter) – The size of the entire core, hole, and all. It is less important than the core I.D. but plays a role in the diameter/footage of the roll.
Please note that with today’s new printers and EFTPOS terminals, you can just put the paper rolls into the printers without the spindles going through the roll. So the core size is becoming less important.
However, you still need to pay attention to the core sizes in most cases because some paper suppliers are using bigger core sizes to reduce the paper length, which will make it not cost-effective. Coreless paper rolls are also available nowadays.
So, in conclusion, we usually describe the complete paper roll size by:
Standard Paper Roll Sizes:
There are a few exceptions, but most terminals will take some standard paper sizes, as listed below.
- Mobile/small credit card terminals (Verifone, etc.): 57mm x 50mm, 57mm x 40mm, 57mm x 38mm
- Thermal receipt printers (Epson, Star, etc.): 80mm x 80mm, 80mm x 70mm, 80mm x 60mm
If you’re not sure about selecting a paper roll product, having these measurements will help you decide what is best suited to match your needs. If you find that you need a non-standard paper roll size, or have any other questions, get in touch with us via email: [email protected], and we’ll be happy to sort it out for you.