Buying Guides
Shredder Buying Guide

Shredder Buying Guide

A helpful guide to help you find the perfect shredder to suit your needs. Whether it's for home or office use, there's a shredder in the Ryman collection to do the job.

Everyone needs a paper shredder, whether it’s in the office or at home. Not only is it super satisfying to shred old documents you don’t need, it’s important that you shred confidential information.

Any personal documents you need to keep should be in a secure location, and any that you no longer need should be shredded. It’s important to destroy old documents that contain sensitive information to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Identity theft is a serious issue, and if you don’t dispose of your sensitive information properly, it could cause you a problem later down the line.

We’re going to help you pick the right shredder for you, so you can rest assured that all of your sensitive documents are disposed of properly.

What Size Shredder Do I Need?

A hand scooping shredded paper out of a shredder waste binA hand scooping shredded paper out of a shredder waste bin

Shredders come in a variety of sizes and will have different uses because of this. You can get personal shredders for your home office, designed to be used by 1-2 people. A small office shredder can be used by up to 20 people. If you know more than 20 people will be using your shredder, then consider a large office shredder.

The bin size is primarily what determines whether a shredder is for home or office use. Paper shredders generally have a built-in bin to collect the shredded paper. The larger the bin size, the greater its capacity. You don’t want to get a shredder with a small bin if multiple people are using it, it’ll fill up way too quickly and you’ll have to empty it constantly. 

It’s worth taking the time to think about which size shredder you need. It needs to work for you, and you don’t want to have to empty it multiple times a day.

The Difference Between Shredder Cut Styles

You may not realise it, but there are actually multiple different cut styles you can choose from when picking your paper shredder. Most people will think of shredders that produce long strips of paper when they think of shredders. These particular shredders are strip cut shredders, and are great for home use. 

Other types of shredders offer cross cut or micro cut. These two types of shredders offer more security than the strip cut paper shredder. They will cut your documents into small pieces, making it incredibly difficult for someone to take information from them once destroyed. These shredders are more common in traditional offices.

If you’re occasionally shredding documents at home then you’ll be fine with a strip cut shredder. However, you could opt for a cross cut or micro cut shredder if you wanted an extra layer of security.

What Are Shredder Security Levels?

As we previously mentioned, there are different types of shredder cut styles. This isn’t for aesthetic reasons, it’s actually to do with the shredder security levels.

LEVEL 1 2000mm2
General documents
LEVEL 2 800mm2
(35 strips*)
Internal documents
LEVEL 3 320mm2
(200 particles*)
Sensitive, personal or confidential data
LEVEL 4 160mm2
(400 particles*)
Highly sensitive, personal or confidential data
LEVEL 5 30mm2
(2000 particles*)
Data that is secret in nature
LEVEL 6 10mm2
(6000 particles*)
Data that is secret in nature
LEVEL 7 5mm2
(12,500 particles*)
Data that is top secret in nature
* approximate number of particles per A4 sheet

Strip cut shredders offer between level 1-2 security. They’ll destroy your documents to ensure they can’t be read easily. A basic level of security is offered. Generally these types of shredders are for personal or home office use. It’s ideal for disposing of general or internal business documents.

Cross cut shredders do exactly what they say. They cut into strips and cut across them, making it a more secure option than the strip cut shredder. A cross cut shredder offers level 3-5 security, depending on the size of the cross cut. These paper shredders are ideal for a range of documents from confidential data all the way to data that is secret in nature.

If you need a paper shredder to destroy top secret documents, then you need a micro cut shredder. Micro cut shredders shred documents into tiny particles, making it near impossible to piece the full document together again. These shredders offer level 6-7 security. You don’t need to have top secret documents in your possession to buy one of these shredders, you can use one of these at home if you want to be extra secure. However, shredders are more common in environments where extremely sensitive information is handled.

Shredder Sheet Capacity and Feed Type

The sheet capacity of a shredder refers to how many sheets of paper you can feed into it at any one time. Different models of shredder will have varying maximum sheet amounts, so you should always check the instructions to avoid paper jams.

Personal Shredders with 1 to 2 users - suggested sheet capacity = 60

Small Office Shredders with up to 10 users - suggested sheet capacity = 300

Large Office Shredders with 20+ users - suggested sheet capacity = 600+

Sheet Capacity

The sheet capacity of a shredder refers to how many sheets of paper you can feed into it at any one time. Different models of shredder will have varying maximum sheet amounts, so you should always check the instructions to avoid paper jams.

Personal Shredders with 1 to 2 users - suggested sheet capacity = 60

Small Office Shredders with up to 10 users - suggested sheet capacity = 300

Large Office Shredders with 20+ users - suggested sheet capacity = 600+

There are also different feed types for you to choose from- manual and automatic.

Manual Feed

A manual feed shredder is fed manually by hand, therefore they tend to have a lower sheet capacity.

Manual feed shredders are ideal for use at home, or in a small office environment for shredding small piles of documents. If you need to shred large piles of documents, then a manual feed shredder may not be the best option for you as it will be inconvenient and in-efficient.

Auto Feed

An auto feed shredder has a tray where you can enter a large pile of documents which will then shred automatically on the push of the start button.

This is ideal for a large office environment as it is quick and efficient.

The Best Home Shredders

Home shredders don’t need to come with all the bells and whistles. Something simple that gets the job done is all you really need.

The Ryman VS515C 5 Sheet Cross Cut Shredder is practical and simple to use. It has a manual feed and an 11 litre bin capacity. It’s perfect for personal use, or it can be included in your home office. With its level 3 security, you can be sure that your documents will be destroyed in a secure way. It is also capable of shredding credit cards, so you don’t have to worry about how to get rid of them once they’ve expired.

Another great shredder for personal use is the Ryman 10 Sheet Shredder. This is a budget cross cut shredder and it’s great for day-to-day use. It has a 10 litre bin capacity and a 10 sheet capacity making it perfect for a home office. You can also use the shredder to destroy old credit cards and don't worry about removing staples either- this shredder can process documents that are stapled together.

How to Choose a Shredder for Office Use

An office shredder needs to have a higher capacity than one for home use. It needs to be able to hold more shredded paper in it’s bin, so it’s not being emptied multiple times a day. Office shredders should also have a higher security level than a home use shredder as more sensitive documents will be handled in this environment.

An A4 sheet of paper is being put through a shredderAn A4 sheet of paper is being put through a shredder

For small offices, consider getting the Ryman Micro Cut Shredder. This compact, level 4 security shredder will easily destroy sensitive documents. It also features a 26 litre waste bin, so multiple people will be able to use this shredder before it needs to be emptied. The Ryman Micro Cut Shredder can also shred credit cards and accepts staples. You don’t have to worry about spending hours pulling the staples out of documents before putting them through the shredder now!

Bigger offices require bigger shredders, which is why the Rexel Auto Feed Plus 300m 300 Sheet Micro Cut Shredder needs to be in your office. This next level shredder is capable of shredding up to 300 sheets of A4 paper at a time, and it’s a micro cut shredder! You can put your documents in while they’re still stapled or paperclipped together, the Rexel Auto Feed Plus is more than up to shredding those! Not only that, it can shred credit cards too. It has a 60 litre capacity pull out bin so it can hold a lot of shredded documents before needing to be emptied. Bonus feature: it has castor wheels so it can easily be whizzed around the office for people to use.

How to Maintain Your Shredder

In order to make sure your shredder continues to run smoothly, you will need to oil the cutting blades on a regular basis, this will ensure that the blades are kept at their sharpest for a longer period of time.

It is recommended that you purchase official shredder lubrication which is manufactured by the same brand as your shredder. Shredder lubrication is available in small bottles, or pre-oiled lubrication sheets.

Some shredders have the ability to oil themselves using auto-oil-technology. If this is the case with your shredder you will need to monitor the amount of oil available and top this up whenever necessary.

You will also need to empty your shredder bin when it gets full, to ensure that it is operating at full capacity. Have some shredder waste sacks to hand so you aren’t caught short when your shredder bin gets full.

There’s a lot to consider before buying a shredder, but the main points you need to think about are the bin capacity and security level. Your shredder needs to function perfectly for you, and anyone else who may be using it. Make sure you check out the great range of shredders we have available on our website!

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