What are the DIN Standards?

Posted by Ray Barry

DIN standards have seven levels, which indicate the size of the paper particle once it goes through the shredder. The levels start at P-1 and go through P-7. If you need high security for your shredded documents, you need a shredder that uses a higher number. P-7 is the most secure as it’s the smallest paper particle. While the DIN standard is rather complicated, part of it is paper shredder security levels, which simply tell you the size of the paper once shredded. Thus, a shredder that cuts at level P-5 is more secure than a shredder that cuts at level P-2.

DIN P-1 and DIN P-2 are strip cuts and not very secure. DIN P-3 and DIN P-4 are cross cuts. DIN P-5 through DIN P-7 are micro cuts, which means the pieces of paper are tiny and virtually impossible to put back together. Generally, when you need a medium level of security, you’ll use cross-cut shredders. Micro cuts are for high security, such as top-secret documents. A DIN P-3 shredder cuts an A4 sized document into over 195 particles while a DIN P-7 micro shredder cuts the A4 sized paper into over 12,474 particles.

DIN 66399

The DIN 66399 standard involves the destruction process of documents, including personal data details. Data carrier objects that may be shredded with the DIN 66399 process include paper, magnetic, electronic and optical storage media. The data carrier destruction process may be via decomposition, crushing or incineration, as long as the information contained on or in the media is non-recoverable. The standard also describes the security level classification as outline above (DIN P-1 through DIN P-7). It also defines the protection requirement, which may be normal, high or very high. If the protection requirement is very high, you would use a shredder with a P-6 or P-7 security level. The DIN 66399 standard also specifies who the responsible person is and the security for the collection point.

Paper Shredder Security Levels

DIN security levels refer to the size of the paper once it’s shredded. The lower numbers are strip-cut shredders — the type one would buy at an office supplies store for home use. Those are fine for documents with non-sensitive information, but documents with social security numbers and other confidential information should be shredded with cross-cut shredders. The strip shredders cut the paper into ribbons. The strips may vary from 2 mm wide to 12 mm wide.

Cross-cut shredders cut the paper into particles from 1 mm by 5 mm pieces up to 10 mm by 80 mm pieces. This is more secure as the documents are much harder to piece together. For high-level security, such as top secret or other highly confidential information micro-cut shredders may be used.

Contact Carolina Shred

Whether you are an individual who needs confidential records such as old tax returns or your personal medical records shredded or you are a business with confidential client and employee information that requires shredding, contact Carolina Shred to set up a shredding solution. We will come to you as often as you need us to, whether it’s once or twice a year for the homeowner that is purging their files or for businesses who need locked storage containers that require emptying on a weekly or less frequent basis.