Paper Shredder Buying Guide
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Uses for an office shredder extend far beyond the destroying of documents. A suitable shredder can help to protect sensitive information and keep any workplace clean and tidy. Like any other piece of office equipment, some specifications and features make various kinds of shredders stand out. Learning about the different types of shredders will help narrow down choices when it finally comes time to make a purchase. This shredder buying guide will teach you everything you need to know to find the right device for your needs.
While the primary purpose of a paper shredder is to shred paper, these devices are capable of much more. Shredders can process sensitive materials of all kinds. Everything from old credit cards to medical records can be safely and adequately disposed of so you can protect your most sensitive information. Beyond safety, using a shredder also helps organize any office space by consolidating waste and items that need to be disposed of to a single area. Using a shredder regularly will help to create better office cleaning habits and promote productivity.
While there are many different models and variations of paper shredders on the market today, the best way to compare them is to divide them into three categories based on use. The first points you should consider when purchasing a new device is how often you will use it and what type of items it will regularly shred. Of course, there are other features worth considering before making a purchase. However, this first big decision will help you the most in narrowing down your options.
Individuals or families who wish to add a level of security to their household can significantly benefit from the purchase of home use shredders. These devices are intended to be used for around 10-15 minutes at a time to shred essential documents, such as bills, junk mail or home business documents. These devices can come with various paper-cutting patterns offering different levels of security and price points.
Small offices can have substantially more items to shred than any home use scenario. That is why business-grade shredders exist. These devices are intended to be used by multiple people a day for extended periods, ranging from around 15-45 minutes. Business paper shredders often also have other bonus features, such as wheels to easily move the device around an office or auto-feed trays to shred a larger volume of materials at once.
The most substantial factor of choosing a paper shredder besides the volume and frequency of how you will use the device is the type of cut the machine utilizes. There are three types of shredder cuts regularly seen today. Each offers a different level of security and time to complete. Depending on what items you plan to shred, you may wish to purchase a device with a specific type of cutting pattern.
The most common cutting pattern is known as strip cut. These are the standard longs strips of paper you see in most shredding devices. For example, a shredder with strip cuts would turn a document into about 39 separate pieces using a standard printer-sized piece of paper. This is the least secure, but most affordable cutting pattern. It is more than sufficient for most home shredder uses.
Also known as diamond or confetti-cut, cross-cut shredders help add another layer of security to your documents by slicing them into hundreds of tiny pieces. These shredders work from two corners to split the paper and turn a single printer sheet into over 400 pieces. In addition, cross-cut documents compress better than strip-cut paper, which can help reduce the frequency that waste bins need to be emptied.
Waste capacity, or bin capacity, is one of the more straightforward specifications for paper shredders. This term refers to the amount of shredded materials that can fit into the machine before the device needs to be emptied. The smaller the bin capacity of a shredder, the more frequently someone will have to empty it; this can cost valuable time and money as shredder workloads increase.
Like printers, shredders can jam when too much paper snags and becomes stuck in the motor. Luckily, many modern shredders come with some form of jam protection and correction technology that will deal with jams for you. This can be anything from sensors design to stop operation or reverse motor support that can push out and unjam materials from the device.
Different shredders require different maintenance levels. Knowing what to expect before you purchase a device will help you optimize downtime later. The more complicated a feature, the more likely it can require a new maintenance step; make sure to consider upkeep when comparing devices. Every shredder will need basic maintenance, such as regular emptying and cleaning of the waste bin and occasionally lubricating the device using oil paper or shredder lubricant.
Everything from junk mail to old DVDs can contain sensitive information. Disposing of materials properly can make the difference between a standard garbage day or disastrous identity theft. A great way to protect your home or business is by using a paper shredder to destroy any materials with relevant information on them.
A paper shredder is an electronic device to shred (mostly confidential or sensitive) paper documents into (unreadable) particles. The shredder shreds documents with a set of rotating cutting blades driven by an electric motor.
A shredder can turn your documents into long strips or tiny paper shreds that are as small as confetti. The output of the paper shredding machine is covered in the official security levels of DIN 66399.
Adolf Ehinger made the first manufactured shredder in 1935 in Germany. At the time, paper shredders were mostly used by government entities. In the late eighties also consumers and businesses started using paper shredders to avoid identity theft.
These high-security shredders produce much smaller particles than cross-cut (P-3) or strip-cut shredders. The purpose of paper shredding is to make confidential information unreadable, and for the highest degree of data security, we advise shredding paper as small as possible. You can only achieve this with a high-security micro-cut shredder.
You can buy small shredders, shredders for home, office shredders and large industrial shredders. So it is important to know beforehand what you are expecting of your paper shredder machine. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself to get a better understanding of your needs.
On average, a manual feed paper shredder that is suitable for small (home) offices can shred between 10-20 sheets of A4 paper per pass. Are you looking for a shredder with a high sheet capacity? Then consider an auto-feed shredder that can shred a large pile of documents in one session.
When you want to shred high volumes of confidential documents, it is time-consuming to shred the documents yourself with an office shredder. For shredding high volumes, it is recommended to use a heavy-duty paper shredder, which can shred large quantities at a relatively high pace.
Most household shredders or cheaper shredders are manufactured in this way. It is workable but not the most convenient. When you want to shred a larger pile of documents, it gets annoying to remove the top every time. It also can make a mess when you accidentally tip over your shredder when it is full of shredded paper.
The more advanced and larger shredders are equipped with a pull-out bin or removable bucket. The container collects all the paper particles, and once the bin is full, you open the door or pull-out the compartment to empty it.
It is important to know that the cooling down-time is much longer than the run-time for most shredders. A basic paper shredder with a 3 minute operating time needs to cool down for 30 minutes before the shredder is ready for the next shredding session.
More advanced shredders can shred CDs, paperclips, and plastic cards, such as credit cards or loyalty cards. These shredders can have a dedicated slot to shred these cards with. But other types of shredders just let you shred the cards in the same space you feed your confidential papers in.
It is crucial for recycling to find out if the shredder comes with a separate container to hold the plastic parts. Otherwise, the plastic particles are getting mixed up with the paper shreds, which contaminates the paper.
Shredders with a CD functionality can also shred CDs and DVDs into tiny particles. The shredder can have a dedicated CD slot to shred the optical media. Or the paper shredder lets you shred it in the main paper shredding feed.
Do you want to shred cardboard waste? Be careful because not every paper shredder machine can handle this rigid material. Only heavy-duty or industrial paper shredders are powerful enough to slice through sheets of corrugated cardboard. But keep in mind that a document shredder is made for shredding paper and not for shredding high volumes of cardboard.
When you have high quantities of cardboard waste, such as boxes and other packaging material, we recommend investing in a dedicated cardboard shredder. These types of shredders are manufactured for shredding or perforating corrugated cardboard and paperboard.
To save time and speed up the paper shredding process, then we recommend an automatic paper shredder. This shredder has an auto-feed functionality, which means it shreds a large pile of paper all on its own.
The shredder takes care of the rest. The amount of paper you can shred per session depends on the shredder. Some auto feed shredders can hold 100 sheets of A4 documents, but others can have 500+ sheets.
Always unplug the shredder when not using it and place it out of sight in a secure and safe place. For your safety and others, you might consider a paper shredder that comes with special safety features that prevent possible injuries.
How do you solve a paper jam? Stop the shredder and press the reverse button, the cutting blades will turn in the opposite direction so the paper gets rolled out of the shredder. Straighten the documents a bit and retry to shred it. 781b155fdc