Paper Stock Types


Paper stock types are the names used in the paper manufacturing and printing industry for different grades of paper. The stock types generally relate to the different purposes the paper is put to in its end use. Most people will only come across a few stock types in the course of their jobs, but will have come across many of the others in day to day life.

Each stock type has an uncut size which is used in conjunction with its basis weight to define a particular paper's qualities. Knowing the uncut size is essential in understanding why 30lb Newsprint is actually a lighter grade of paper than 20lb Bond. Click the following link for conversions from basis weight to grammage for most paper stock types.

Paper Stock Type Uncut Sizes

The following table gives the uncut sizes for each different stock type useful in calculating paper weight including weights of reams and weights of individual sheets. Sizes are given in both inches and millimetres.

Stock TypeWidth x Height (mm)Width x Height (in)
Bond558.8 x 431.8 mm22.0 x 17.0 in
Book965.2 x 635.0 mm38.0 x 25.0 in
Cover660.4 x 508.0 mm26.0 x 20.0 in
Index774.7 x 647.7 mm30.5 x 25.5 in
Newsprint914.4 x 609.6 mm36.0 x 24.0 in
Offset965.2 x 635.0 mm38.0 x 25.0 in
Text965.2 x 635.0 mm38.0 x 25.0 in
Tissue914.4 x 609.6 mm36.0 x 24.0 in

The following paragraphs give an outline of the uses of the paper stock types that are most commonly used.


This paper type was originally produced as writing paper and was highly absorbant due to a high cotton content, however its cotton content has reduced in recent years following the advent of modern copying and printing technology. This is the sort of paper that will be most commonly found in offices and is used primarily in business correspondance.


Book paper is named after its primary use in book printing, it is designed to be a strong lightweight paper which is suitable for double sided printing.


Cover is really what many people would call card (it is also known as Cardstock) and again takes its name from one of its primary uses in the covers of paperback books. It is often used for files, file dividers, business cards and post cards.


Index card is a stiff medium to heavyweight card that absords ink well. The weight of cut sheets are similar to those of Cover stock.


Lightweight paper using a lot of recycled material used almost exclusively in Newspapers.


This is used in offset litho printing as the paper is resistant to tearing.


Text paper is generally coloured and has more surface texture than Bond stock.


Ultra lightweight paper, often coloured and used in art and craft work.