Paper Shredder Buying Guide – 5 Things to Consider

So, you’ve decided to buy a paper shredder – but don’t know where to start? There’s so much choice and you don’t know the difference between a strip cut and a cross cut shredder? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself that can help you decide on the right model for your needs:

1) What material will I be shredding?

Most people buy a shredder to shred sensitive paper documents – but some shredders can also shred credit cards, CDs and DVDs. Also you might find it easier to purchase a shredder which can handle paperclips and staples – as that means less work for you. So decide what kind of material you will be shredding and check to see which shredders can process it.

2) How much shredding will I be doing?

Depending on your requirements you may opt for a small desk side shredder – or an industrial beast! Shredders will sometimes come with recommended daily usage levels which can help you establish how suitable it will be for your needs – also check to see how many sheets of paper a particular shredder will handle at a time (sometimes referred to as sheet capacity).

3) Do I want a cross cut or strip cut shredder?

Shredders come in both strip cut and cross cut models. Strip cut shredders shred material into long strips whilst cross cut models (also known as confetti cut shredders) shred material into shorter narrower pieces. The smaller particle size offered by cross cut models means that they offer a higher security level. Another consideration is that strip cut shredder bins typically need more frequent emptying due to the larger size of shredded material that strip cut shredders produce.

4) What security level do I need?

Shredders come with different security levels to indicate how small the particles are that they shred material into. These levels range from 1 to 6 and are also often referred to as DIN levels. DIN level 6 is considered to be the highest security level but most users will not require their material to be shredded this finely.

5) Do I want any additional features?

Shredders these days come with a variety of extras, e.g. auto-start, safety locks, mechanisms that turn the shredder off when touched, jam proof systems, auto-oil features and more. So if any of these are important to you, be sure to check the shredder spec to see if they are included.

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