The Difference Between Commercial and Home Shredders

Posted by Ryan Richard

Maybe you rip documents into teeny tiny pieces before tossing them into the trash. Perhaps you cut old credit cards with scissors prior to discarding them. Maybe you go a step further and toss these pieces into separate garbage bags to make them less likely to be put back together in a sinister jigsaw puzzle entertaining an identity theft. If you already take these steps to protect personal information, then you might as well learn about document shredders, the difference between a commercial shredder and a standard home shredder, and what steps you should be taking to safeguard your sensitive information or your customers' information if your company has yet to establish a document discard policy. 

The Basics: A Standard Home Shredder

Standard home shredders generally use a single set of rotating teeth which cut documents into strips as they are fed, page by page, into its feeder. These contraptions are not designed to handle a large volume of paper or really to protect your sensitive information, as paper cut into several strips can be easily sorted. In fact, the blades of some of at home shredders will even be quickly worn if asked to shred hard plastics like those used in credit cards. 

If they are not designed to effectively safeguard information, then what does an at home shredder do? Although they only cut paper into strips, these shredders do serve a purpose. A home shredder can be used to help you recycle old documents, as some recycling centers require paper to be shredder prior to drop off. Or if you have pocket a pet at home, shredded paper makes a perfect and inexpensive cage liner. 

A Commercial Shredder Safeguards Sensitive Information

If you shred documents to destroy sensitive information and prevent it from entering the hands of a criminal, then a standard commercial grade shredder at least should be used. While these shredders can handle only about the same volume as a standard home shredder, they are designed with two sets of blades which cut documents vertically and horizontally, effectively turning sensitive documents into confetti. Although these small bits are much more difficult to reassemble, we do not recommend tossing them out at a party. 

A commercial grade shredder is designed to handle the document destruction needs of home offices and small companies which do not process much paperwork or take in much personal information from clients. They are a great option for shredding monthly bank statements, credit card bills, expired cards, and other documents containing sensitive information. 

Handle It All With Industrial Shredding

If your company, however, handles a large volume of paperwork which contains the highly sensitive information of employees or customers (such as names, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates, payment information, account information, or social security numbers), then an industrial shredding service will likely better serve your document discard needs and prove more cost effective in the long run. Industrial shredders destroy documents at a rate of about 5,000 pounds per hour and shred the papers into even smaller pieces than a standard commercial shredder. 

In addition our Carolina Shred industrial shredding services are also designed to handle larger items such as electronics, hard drives, and other equipment which might contain sensitive information in an electronic format. We provide paper to digital document conversion and even offer a courier service so that your company's shredding will be handled on schedule with minimal interruption to your work day. 

No matter your individual or business document destruction needs, there is a type of shredder to solve all of your shredding needs.