What shredder should I buy?

Date Published: 03-05-2022   Published By: OfficeStationery

Shredders are a crucial piece of security equipment that every home and workplace should have to protect personal or company information and prevent data theft. Companies must comply with UK GDPR law and legislation in regards to disposing of customer data and will also want to protect their own company data from prying eyes. At home, one of the biggest causes of identity theft is throwing out bank details and personal information into the general waste bin without destroying it first. This is where shredders come in. They can cut down an A4 sheet of paper into hundreds, if not thousands (depending on the model) of tiny pieces making it near impossible to stick the page back together. 


There are a number of things to take into account when purchasing a shredder and we will explain them all to you here to help make your shopping experience easier. Below are some of the main things to look out for with regard to what size shredder you should choose-


Generally a shredder is described as one of the below-


  • Home Office and Personal Deskside - 1 user
  • Small Office - 1-3 users or 3-5 users
  • Office and Departmental- 5+ users or 10+ users


The first thing to consider when buying a shredder is, where will the shredder be used? Will it be at home or in an office? If it is being used in an office will it be at your desk for just yourself to use, or in a communal area for multiple users? This is where people make the biggest mistake. A lot of the small shredders (for argument sake lets say those under £100), are designed for 1 individual user. If these shredders are used for extended periods of time, by multiple users or with too much paper at one time, they can start to get blocked and end up burning themselves out. Limiting it to 1 user ensures that it is not overworked and therefore will last much longer.


The next thing to consider is the bin size. Obviously the smaller the shredder, the smaller the bin size. Again this does coincide with the number of users. If you have a higher number of users, a small bin will fill up much quicker and need emptying more often. Whereas with just 1 user it is less likely to become full and compacted. Bin sizes can range from 9 litres up to 175+ litres.


Lastly, you should take into account how many sheets of paper you would be shredding (on average) at one time. Once again this will go with the number of users. For example, 1 individual user is unlikely to need to shred 100 sheets at one time if the shredder is at their desk and they are able to shred as they go. Whereas a department shredder may need to shred large amounts of paper regularly if people save up their shredding until the end of the day. This part is broken into 2 key points to look out for. First is how long the shredder will run continuously for. Smaller shredders for example can run for 2-10 minutes continuously before needing to stop to avoid overheating. Therefore, a large number of sheets might need to be split into smaller piles. The second is how many sheets can be fed into the shredder at the same time. The average for a smaller shredder is 7-10 sheets of 70gsm paper. Whereas larger machines can take 15-35 sheets at one time. 


After selecting a machine that matches your size and user requirements, you should next look at its security level and cut type. There are 3 main types of cut on a shredder, strip cut, cross cut and micro cut. Some newer models offer a mini cut which falls between cross and micro cut. 


A basic home/ personal use shredder will likely be strip cut with a security level of P-1 or P-2. This is the lowest security lefect and can cut an A4 sheet of paper into (up to) 100 particles. 


The next option is cross cut which was the market favourite for a long while and madestrip cut mostly redundant in the workplace. This type of shredder has a good security level of P-3 or P-4 and can cut an A4 sheet of paper into (equal or more than) 300 particles. 


Micro cut has started to replace cross cut in the workplace as it can cut an A4 sheet of paper into (equal or more than) 2000 particles.The security level on this type of cut is P-4 or P-5. With cut pieces this small it is more or less impossible to rebuild the original sheet and therefore scuppering any chances of data theft. 


The newest cut type to the market is mini cut. This is a good middle option between cross cut and micro cut. The security level is P-4 and it offers a cut of (equal or more than) 1000 particles. 


The last thing to consider when selecting a shredder are the additional features. Some shredders offer an auto reverse feature which will automatically stop the shredder and reverse it if a paper jam occurs. Some also feature an automatic stop of the shredding if it senses hand touching the paper opening. Maybe you work in a small office and so a silent shred option would be important so that you do not disturb those around you. Another new feature to larger shredders is the auto shred option. This allows you to place large bundles of paper into a tray for the shredder to automatically work through and shred which eliminates the need for you to stand there and manually feed paper into it.  


We offer a huge range of shredders which cover all of the security levels and shredding types and sizes so that you are sure to find the right option for your needs-



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