In many cases, you won’t have to manually figure out the size printer paper you need. This is because if you know the make and model of your printer, you can simply search online to find the appropriate size. However, if this information is not known, then you will have to determine the proper size the old fashioned way.

The measurements that you need to know to ensure you get the right size paper roll can be found here.

Width of the Roll

This is considered the most important measurement. If this isn’t right, the paper isn’t going to fit into the terminal. You can use a ruler to measure across the face of your roll from one side to the other to determine how wide it is. To get an accurate measurement, make sure to measure from left to right, edge to edge. Keep in mind, even a small discrepancy in the millimeters will result in the wrong size roll.

  • Pro tip: The majority of credit card terminals will take a roll that is 57mm wide, with thermal paper printers being 80 mm wide.

Diameter of the Paper Roll

To get an accurate diameter, you have to measure from one edge to the other of the till roll going through the center spindle roll – or core. You can do this by putting the roll on a flat surface, with the flat part on the table so it won’t roll away. The diameter of a till roll can vary from 20mm to more than 250mm.

Length of the Roll

This refers to the amount of paper that is wound on the roll. Generally, the longer the paper is, the more you will be purchasing for your receipt printer. This is not a measurement you have to know to order paper rolls, but the longer the roll is, the longer it is going to last.

Size of the Core

There are two core measurements that you must take:

  • Outside diameter of the core: This includes the entire core, including the hole. It is not as important as the other measurement, but plays a role in the footage/diameter of the roll.

  • Inside diameter of the core: This refers to the size of the center hole in the core. You need to know this because there are some machines that use a spindle or pin holder for supporting the roll. You need to make sure the inside diameter matches the size of the spindle or pen if you want the roll to work properly.

Taking the time to learn how to size the paper roll you need is the best way to avoid ordering something that is not going to work in your machine. The measurement process is pretty easy, and something that most people should be able to handle without issue.