Last Updated on August 6, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
I had a phantom paper jam in a Samsung CLP-300 laser printer. It was strange. I tried to print yesterday and got nothing but a paper jam message after the click that usually precedes the paper feeding through. So I looked inside all the covers, even flipping the printer over multiple times, looking for that stray bit of paper munging up the works. If your Samsung printer says paper jam but there is none, here’s what to do.
It’s a good thing I fixed it, because I needed to print some resumes. I got the job, too.
A Google search turned up some weird advice, including changing your USB cable, or moving it to a different port. Whatever. Someone suggested replacing the pickup roller. Now we’re starting to seem reasonable. Someone else suggested cleaning the pickup roller with rubbing alcohol before replacing it.
I’m sure I can’t go to OfficeMax where I bought the printer and get a pickup roller for it. And I’m guessing there’s no place open at 8 pm that would have such a thing, so I liked the idea of cleaning the roller. But I used rubber conditioner/cleaner, made by Caig Labs (the same wonderful people who brought the world De-Oxit) instead. I figured it was less likely to have bad side effects than rubbing alcohol, and I had some on hand. Of course, that’s not the kind of thing most people are likely to keep in their back pocket.
At any rate, it worked. If you don’t have any rubber conditioner, try some rubbing alcohol.
If cleaning them doesn’t work, then it’s time to replace the rollers. You can generally find Samsung pickup rollers on Ebay.
Why your Samsung printer says paper jam but there is none
This seems to be a common complaint with the CLP-300, and the people with the complaint generally say they don’t use the printer much. To be honest, we don’t use ours much either. Most printing duties go to the ancient Lexmark 4039 I bought in 1996. I don’t think we’ve used it at all since September.
We keep the printer low to the floor, since there’s a spot for the printer on the bottom of this cheap all-in-one computer desk I’ve had for years. It’s not ideal, but it’s there, so we use it. I found lots of dust and Labrador Retriever hair around and behind the printer. That probably meant a fair bit of it found its way inside the printer too. None of that sounds good for the life expectancy of a part that’s supposed to grip paper for a living.
Flipping the printer over and cleaning the black pickup roller on the underside of the printer seems to be the best cure for a seldom-used printer with this problem. To prevent another phantom paper jam in a Samsung CLP-300, raise the printer a bit so it’s less likely to double as a dust collection bin. Making a habit of printing a little something every month just to keep the cobwebs out also helps.
More Samsung CLP-300 tips
The cheapest place I’ve found to buy supplies for a Samsung CLP-300 is 4inkjets. Supplies for this printer are getting harder to find so it’s nice to have an inexpensive source for them. They have supplies for most other Samsung printers too.
You can add networking capability to the basic model Samsung CLP-300 with a DD-WRT router, as long as it has USB.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.