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friction feed
Last modified: Sunday, September 01, 1996 

tractor feed vs. friction feed
A method of feeding paper through a printer. Friction-feed printers use plastic or rubber rollers to squeeze a sheet of paper and pull it through the printer.

The other principal form of feeding paper into a dot-matrix or daisy-wheel printer is through a tractor feed, in which sprocketed wheels on either side of the printer fit into holes in the paper. As the wheels revolve, the paper is pulled through the printer.

Tractor-feed printers require special paper, whereas friction-feed printers can handle most types of cut-sheet paper, including envelopes. Many printers support both types of feeding mechanisms.

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