Roughly how much does a case of metal type weigh?

I realize that there would be great variance in this, but I’d like to get a rough sense of the weight (or the range of weight) of a case full of metal type; can anybody help? Are we talking 2 lbs? 5 lbs? 10 lbs? More?

Many thanks…

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I have a 100lb font of 16 point type divided between two full-size California cases. The cases are mostly level full — a few boxes can not take any more type — and each case weighs about 50lbs. So if your cases are literally full I’d say about 50lbs each. But a single job font of type laid in a case may only be 5lbs, plus the weight of the case, of course. So you mileage may vary!


Thanks; that’s very helpful. I had in mind an “average” job case of type in a working pressroom; that is, a case with an average amount of type — so not literally “full.” Trying to get a sense (and give a sense) of the total weight of type represented by a wall of type cases…

There is absolutely no “average”. I have cases that are very light and I have cases weighing in around 70 lbs. or more.

The one thing that is pretty constant is that an empty type case weighs approx. 8 lbs. all by itself. It’s been years since I weighed an empty one, but I am pretty sure that I am right on this.


I’ve had some full cases of 72pt type that weighed in closer to 80 pounds. Monotype will be quite a bit lighter than foundry type, but I’m here to tell you it all seems heavy when you have to move it.