Shredder Buying Guide
March 25, 2020
|

Why Do You Need A Shredder?

Did you know that there are almost 500 incidents of ID fraud in the UK every day? Shredding documents is the best way to ensure that criminals cannot steal sensitive information or use information discarded with your general waste to commit fraud or identity fraud.

Privacy experts recommend that you should shred any document containing sensitive or personal information such as utility bills, insurance documents, credit card and bank statements, and personal letters.

Shredding potentially sensitive documentation is also an integral part of a business’s data process management, helping to support GDPR compliance regulations and avoid hefty fines.

It is important that you get the right shredder to suit your needs. There are several important things that you should consider before purchasing a shredder.

Use Type

The use type of a shredder will depend on how many users it is intended to have:

Cut Type

The cut type of the shredder refers to the type of cut produced. The type of cut a shredder produces can be categorised into one of the following:

Security Level

SECURITY LEVEL MAXIMUM PARTICLE SIZE RECOMMENDED FOR SHREDDING
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

Bin Size

The majority of shredders have a built in bin or storage drum to collect the shredded paper. The bin size refers to the size of this container - the larger the bin size the greater its capacity.

If you are purchasing a shredder for an office environment where it will be used regularly to shred high volumes of paperwork then it will be more convenient for you to have a larger bin size, whereas if you are only using your shredder for low volumes of shredding and have a limited amount of space available then a smaller bin size will be better suited to your needs.

The security level of your shredder will have a big effect on how quickly the bin fills up. A level 2 shredder which shreds paper into long strips will fill the bin a lot quicker than a level 5 shredder which shreds documents into tiny particles therefore taking up much less volume within the bin.

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.

Feed Type

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.

Shredder Maintenance

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 oil which is manufactured by the same brand as your shredder. Shredder oil 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.

Jargon Buster

Cut Type|This refers to the type of cut produced by the shredder.

Security Level|The security of a shredder (measured in DIN levels) is the international standard for secure shredding of data media developed by the Deutsches Institut fur Normung (DIN). For paper there are 7 security levels ranging from DIN P-1 to DIN P-7, the smaller the paper particles become after shredding, the higher the DIN level of the shredder.

Sheet Capacity|The number of sheets of paper you can feed into a shredder at any one time.

Manual Feed|Paper is manually fed into the shredder by hand.

Auto Feed|Allows large piles of paper to be shredded automatically from a built in input tray

Noise Level|This refers to how much noise the shredder makes, this can vary from around 60-70 decibels depending on the make and model of the shredder.

Duty Cycle|The maximum length of time the shredder will operate for before it needs to cool down.

Safety Lock Technology|This allows you to lock the shredder even when it is plugged in, preventing any instances where the shredder could potentially start running without being prompted by the feeding of paper.

Safety Sensor Technology|This uses electronic touch sensors around the paper entry tray that can detect when hands or fingers touch the area, forcing the shredder to shut off immediately preventing any potential injuries.

Jam Blocker|This prevents paper jams by automatically stopping and reversing when too much paper is inserted.

Silent Shred Performance|Contains a low noise motor for minimum disturbance.