lb vs gsm vs pt Paper Weight Comparison


Paper Weight Difference and Conversion Chart

lb vs pt vs gsm

Paper has been measured in many
ways and has been tried to be compared imaginatively, specially by small print
shops and brokers in the printing Industry. No one really pays any attention
to the specifics its either thick or thin, until you are in your office trying
to please your boss or get your marketing material to the correct specs for
your business. In the united states the most popular terms are PT & LBS. The
paper difference is pretty simple thus paper can be compared by anyone, Points
(pt) are the actual inches measurement when measuring a ream and Pounds (lbs)
is the measurement when weighing the ream.

The European measurement of
describing paper weight measures a single paper with a two dimensional height
and width of one square meter. This measurement is noted as g/m2 (gm/m2,
gsm, g/m2). The measurement may be measuring a hypothetical square
meter, but is a good “apples to apples” reference because it compares the
weights of different size papers.

The English method of paper
weight may be more familiar to people, but it has its drawbacks when comparing
weights of different size paper. The English method of measurement gives the
weight of the paper as if weighing 500 sheets (or a ream). Differences in the
dimensions of paper are not taken into account. Therefore, the English weight
of a letter size paper that is thick and dense may be the same as a poster
size paper that is light and tissue thin because 500 sheets of each weight the
same. It’s the “which weights more, a ton of lead or a ton of feathers”
quandary.

At NYC printing 123 we use pts
and lbs as it is commonly known in America and also because most manufacturers
have been popularizing it in recent times.

As I was gathering information

for this article I found this great conversion tool for custom measurements of

paper for print

 


Conversation Tool

The table below has a great and pretty accurate paper type comparison.

Bond
Ledger
Text/Book
(offset)(lb)
Cover
(lb)
Tag Index Points
(pt)
millimeters European Metric Grade
(grams/sq meter)(gsm)


Equivalent

Paper

Weight

Differences


16


40


22


37


33


3.2


0.081


60.2 gsm


18


45


24


41


37


3.6


0.092


67.72 gsm


20


50


28


46


42


3.8


0.097


75.2 gsm


24


60


33


56


50


4.8


0.12


90.3 gsm


28


70


39


64


58


5.8


0.147


105.35 gsm


29


73


40


62


60

6


0.152


109.11 gsm


31


80


45


73


66


6.1


0.155


116.63 gsm


35


90


48


80


74


6.2


0.157


131.68 gsm


36


90


50


82


75


6.8


0.173


135.45 gsm


39


100


54


90


81


7.2


0.183


146.73 gsm


40


100


56


93


83


7.3


0.185


150.5 gsm


43


110


60


100


90


7.4


0.188


161.78 gsm


44


110


61


102


92


7.6


0.193


165.55 gsm


47


120


65


108


97

8


0.198


176.83 gsm


53


135


74


122


110

9


0.216


199.41 gsm


54


137


75


125


113

9


0.229


203.17 gsm


58


146


80


134


120


9.5


0.234


218.22 gsm


65


165


90


150


135


10


0.241


244.56 gsm


67


170


93


156


140


10.5


0.25


252.08 gsm


72


183


100


166


150


12


0.289


270.9 gsm


76


192


105


175


158


13


0.33


285.95 gsm


82


208


114


189


170


14


0.356


308.52 gsm


87


220


120


200


180


16


0.38


312 gsm


105


267


146


244


220


18


0.445


385.06 gsm

  • The bold text is what we use most often at NYCprinting123.com
  • The darker colored boxes above represent the “most common paper weights” for that category.
  • Normal paper manufacturing tolerance within a paper production run is + or – 5% to 7% caliper
  • This Table was compiled by Micro Format, Inc.
  • Copyright 1997-2005 Micro Format, Inc.This table may be duplicated with permission from Micro Format, Inc.
  • About these ads

    9 Comments to “lb vs gsm vs pt Paper Weight Comparison”

    1. Dear Sir,
      What is the meaning of Basis weight 100 pt could you convert it in gsm?????

      • The table was designed for common paper/cardstock sizes within the printing industry and they are only estimates because everything in here is not one standard, for example weight and thickness have nothing in common there is not way to be able to tell the weight of card stock by only knowing its thickness or vice versa you would need to know what the paper or car stock is and then you will be able to do the conversion. 100pt is not a common paper or at least i don’t think they even make 100pt cardstock or paper. 16 pt cardstock is relatively thick, but i have seend 18pt and 20pt in a couple of trade shows i have gone to and that is just too thick. You may have confused it with 100lb paper maybe or 100ml paper.

    2. Could you please let me know how to convert GSM to Stock weight in the USA.

    3. Good article. I definitely love this website. Keep it up!

    4. I didnt realize the weight of paper would have anything to do with the quality of the print. thanks for the explanation.

    5. Can anyone tell me if 242 g/m2 is same as 242 GSM. (is g/m2 the same thing as GSM)

    6. Thanks! I needed that! I am trying to choose a poster paper for an art print of a vintage map that will be sold rolled at National Park Stores. I was thinking 100# cover uncoated but all the papers I try put little creases in when you roll it. Any suggestions?

      Colleen

    7. Very useful information. Thank you for the effort.

    8. Depends on what you mean by ‘quality of print’….. European / English system is metric, has been for 40 years but the beauty of it is that it’s ‘specific’ – genuinely like for like.
      I’m currently struggling with a customer because she’s copied verbatim the spec’ from one of her American colleagues, but has no idea which paper she’s needs to be referring to. All that she can tell me is that it’s a ‘silk art’ paper….

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