Considering the analogy between the pressing of a paper sheet and the refining of a pulp suspension, the refining impulse is introduced. For beaters, disc or conical refiners, whatever the running mode (continuous or batch), the refining impulse is found to be a controlling variable for the pulp properties, and consequently for the paper properties. In a Valley beater, different normal forces were applied. The SR evolution versus the refining impulse exhibits a unique curve whatever the experimental conditions. For disc and conical refiners, the refining impulse depends on the net power, the rotation speed, the bar width, or the average bar angle. A unique parameter is used to fit each set of trials to obtain a single curve of the SR evolution. This parameter corresponds to the global friction coefficient f. he fiber length and the swelling (WRV) depend also on the refining impulse. However, as in pressing theories, the applied pressure has also to be introduced as a complementary parameter. Consequently, the paper properties are shown to depend also on both the refining impulse and the applied pressure.