Best Paper Shredders
Whether for personal or professional purpose, you may have to dispose any confidential material you own. We run through what shredder might be best for you and paper shredders FAQs.
Do I need a shredder?
Whether working from home or in office, you are going to be dealing with confidential documents that contain sensitive information. If you are putting any unneeded documents in your own bin, then it’s important that they are shredded, so they cannot be read.
What type of Paper Shredder do I need?
One way that paper shredders are classified is by the way they cut paper. ‘Strip-cut’ shredders will cut anything you put in there into long strips, while they are fast, they might not be the most secure. The strips are normally big enough that documents could be reassembled, if someone was determined enough. A more secure type of paper shredder is cross-cut shredders; they cut the paper into short thin strips. An even more secure paper shredder is a micro-cut shredder, these cut paper in to diamonds or bits of confetti, which would be impossible to reassemble.
Types of shredder
Strip cut shredders-
These cut documents into strips, providing basic document security.
Cross cut shredders-
These are good shredders for working from home and office use, slicing documents both ways to make them more difficult to re-assemble.
Micro cut shredders-
These are similar to a cross cut shredders, but with a more thorough shred. They do as their name suggest – cut up pieces into tiny diamonds that look like confetti.
Crypto cut shredders-
If you have incredibly sensitive documents that need to be completely destroyed then these machines are good for you, they will take paper down to almost dust.
Shredder security can be measured by the smallness of the shredded bits, it’s classified by the internationally accepted DIN 66399 standard. The level of security is rated from P-1- not secure, to P7- suitable for confidential documents. A standard shredder for most offices would be a P-4, however if your company deals with highly confidential or sensitive documents, they may need a P-5 or above. These days shredders handle more than just paper, many modern models can handle CDs, paper clips and staples.
What paper shredder is best for you depends on your individual needs. Things to consider are the speed of the shredder, its capacity, its run time and what security it offers. If you are an administrator dealing with a moderate amount of paper, then the speed of the shredder might be most important to you. However, if you are shredding a lot of documents, capacity and run time might be the most important factors. As stated before, if you are dealing with highly confidential information, you will want a micro cut shredder, so you are as secure as possible. However, with more people working from home, you might be interested in a compact paper shredder that doesn’t take up too much room. These come with safety features such as an automatic shut off if a hand touches the feeder slot.
For personal and working from home use you will need a paper shredder with medium security, small shred size, a medium sized basket and the ability to destroy a credit card would also be useful. For this we would recommend the Fellowes Powershred® H-8C/H-8Cd confetti cross cut shredder, which can handle all of this. The Powershred has a P-4 level security, so will securely shred all documents, great for moderate use.
For more heavy use, we would recommend the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Paper shredder; this is a good all-rounder for working from home and an office. The Fellowes shredder has a 23-litre capacity and is a cross-cut shredder, meaning it offers high security. What makes this a great shredder is that it is 100% jam proof, so you won’t have to wrestle any stuck paper out of its teeth. As the Fellowes shredder is designed to be used in the home, it has ‘SafeSense’ technology meaning that if yours, or your child’s hand, gets too close to the mechanism, it will disable automatically. The maximum sheets you can put in at once is 14, which is pretty much double the amount of any other shredders in the same price range.
The Staples SPL-DXC6G confetti cross cut shredder is good for personal and working from home use. It can handle up to 6 sheets at a time and has P-4 level security. It is also nice and compact, so it won’t take up much room in your office space (or wherever you work from at home). It has the added security measure of alerting you when it is overheating, so it’s a good choice for home working.
If you are looking for a paper shredder that can handle more waste then the Staples 15-sheet cross cut shredder might be the one for you. It can shred up to 15 sheets in one go and the huge waste bin won’t need emptying until you’ve shredded 750 sheets. The bigger bin means it might not fit in to your home working set up as well as its little brother, but it does offer P-3 security, so you have peace of mind that everything is taken care of securely.
For light use the Rexel Prostyle+12 is a good choice. It has P-4 level security, so you don’t have to worry about your documents being stolen and it can shred 12 A4 sheets of paper per go. The bin will need emptying after you’ve shredded 200 sheets; it also has a separate entry point for CDs and credit cards, with a separate bin, so it’s easy for you to separate your recyclables.
If you deal with more confidential documents then you might choose the Rexel Auto+ 100M, you load up any documents you want to shred and press go, it will destroy up to 200 sheets in one load. With a security level of P-5, you don’t have to worry about anyone piecing your shredding back together as it’s a micro-cut shredder. Another good feature is the jam boost feature, which would sort out any paper jams before they even start.
If you’re looking to save space then look at the Rexel 2101942UK, this is a compact shredder that is great for a home office, however just because its small doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. It can cope with credit cards and some thicker envelopes, but it won’t shred CDs. You can rest assured that you are disposing of your documents correctly, as the Rexel is GDPR compliant. The down side of this shredder is that it can only run for 2 minutes continuously, it will then need to enter a cool down period, this might not be a problem for you if you only need to shred a small amount of paper. With a 7.5 litre capacity, it would be a good choice for those that don’t need to shred a huge amount of paper daily, and just need it for the odd few bits. For the price, you can’t really go wrong.
Whilst it’s important to get the shredder that’s best for you, when working from home you also need to take safety features into consideration. You might want to consider the safety features below;
Auto-start/stop- this means that as soon as paper touches the shredder it will begin cutting, but auto-stop means that as soon as there is a jam, the cutting stops which prevents any more paper becoming jammed.
Reverse- this sends the razors in the shredder backwards and can help un-jam any paper that’s been caught up.
Bin safety flap- this stops anything else being shredded when the bin is full.
Bin top interlock- this stops anything being shredded if the bin is not attached, stops you from getting shredded paper all over your carpet.
Overheat cut off- this means that if your shredder overheats (which is quite common) then it will cut off the power.
Pin Lock- this is good for any documents that are sensitive or highly confidential, it means you have to enter a pin code to access the waste.
SafeSense- this is a great feature if you are working from home, as it stops the razors shredding if anything but paper touches the entry point.
It’s important to consider all of your needs when you are picking a shredder; what level of security you need, how fast you want it to shred and how much shredding you will be doing. Once you’ve considered all the factors it should be easy to pick a shredder that’s right for you.
Take a look at our blogs here for more security guides!
Paper Shredders FAQs:
It depends on what a paper shredder is used for. If it is a household paper shredder, it takes an average time of 5-10 minutes before the cool down process whereas if used by professional businesses/offices, it can run up to 30 minutes. If it is a commercial service, then a paper shredder can run continuously without the process of cooling down.
The best way to maintain a shredder is to keep it lubricated, meaning is to constantly oil it to keep it running, which can be done either directly tip the machine or through the sides of paper sheets. Another option is wax paper, which is a substitute for oil and can be bought from almost everywhere.
The first thing to consider before deciding on a paper shredder is the paper size you will frequently use.
The main reason why people invest in paper shredders is to prevent identity theft. In terms of privacy and safety in any important personal information, a paper shredder is worth it.