What Are the Different Types of Shredders?

Posted by Ray Barry

Different types of shredders cut paper into different sized pieces. Shredders that produce the smallest pieces provide the highest level of security but also cost more. When you choose a paper shredding service provider, consider how much security you need. Large companies need more sophisticated shredders to provide the most protection, while small businesses and people shredding their household papers are often able to use simpler machines.

The most advanced shredders can pulverize papers into dust, but those are most useful for agencies that need to destroy confidential documents. For ordinary small-business and personal use, most people will choose one of three types of shredders that use blades to cut paper into smaller pieces -- a strip cut shredder, a cross cut shredder, or a micro cut shredder.

Strip Cut, Cross Cut, and Micro Cut Shredders

A strip cut shredder cuts paper into thin strips, ranging from 1/16-inch to 3/8-inch wide. The smaller the strip, the better. The disadvantage of a strip cut shredder is that a motivated and patient criminal might be able to reconstruct your papers.

A cross cut shredder provides more protection. It cuts paper diagonally in two directions, producing small diamond-shaped pieces. Cross cut shredders are popular for home and small-business use because they provide a medium level of security while still being economically priced.

A micro cut shredder provides the highest degree of security. Like the cross cut shredder, the micro cut shredder cuts diagonally in two directions, but the pieces are square-shaped and significantly smaller.

A good way to compare the three types of paper shredding machines is to look at how many pieces they produce per page.  A strip cut shredder reduces a piece of paper to approximately 39 strips, a cross cut shredder creates 400 pieces, and a micro cut shredder creates 3,700 tiny particles.

What is the Best Paper Shredder?

The best paper shredder for you will depend on how much security you need. If you have a low need for security, a strip cut shredder might work. For a medium level of protection, choose a cross cut shredder. Opt for a micro cut shredder for the greatest peace of mind.

Once you've decided on the type of shredder, there are other features you should consider. How big is the shredder? Does it fit into your available space? What size is the bin that holds the shredded paper? A smaller bin means you will need to empty it more often. How long can you run the shredder before you need to let it rest? If you do a lot of shredding, you may get frustrated if you have to turn the machine off often to let it cool down. How many papers can you feed into the shredder at once? Does it have an automatic shutoff feature? How about an anti-jam or manual forward and reverse?

Contact Carolina Shred 

Another option is to have a professional shredding company do your shredding for you. That way, you don't have to buy and maintain your own shredder or deal with getting rid of your shredded documents. Carolina Shred specializes in onsite mobile shredding. We bring our high-powered paper shredders to you and take care of everything. You don't even have to remove the staples from your documents.  We are a Marine Veteran and locally owned business, serving Belmont, Charlotte, Concord, Fort Mill, Lake Wylie, Rock Hill, and surrounding areas.  We would be honored to serve you. Please contact us at 866-747-3387 or on our website for more information and a free quote.