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 the receipt printer, you can Google about the receipt printer model, 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

Roll Width

The width of the paper roll is the first number in the specification. It is the most important measurement because if this is wrong, the paper won’t fit into the printer. 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. Generally, almost all credit card terminals take a 57mm width roll, and the receipt printers take an 80mm width roll.

2. Paper Roll Diameter

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

Thermal 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. Take an 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

Rolls Core

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 spindle 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 of less importance than the core I.D. but plays a role in the diameter/footage of the roll.

Some paper suppliers still use this measurement, but unless your terminal still has a spindle that goes right through the roll, you won’t need to worry about the core diameter. Coreless till rolls with no tube are also available nowadays.

So in conclusion, we usually describe the complete paper roll size by:

paper roll size = width x diameter x core


paper roll size = width x length x core

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. Panda Paper Roll is always there for you!