How to Choose a Shredder
Why use a shredder?
The fastest growing consumer fraud is identity fraud. Identity fraud happens when a thief creates a "credit clone" of you using your personal information. Identity fraud is easy for perpetrators to commit. One solution to help combat identity fraud is by shredding personal and business documents.
5 questions to answer?1. How securely do you need to destroy paper and/or optical media?
Shredders cut paper and optical media into smaller, unrecognizable pieces of paper. There are 2 basic types of shredding cut types, strip cut and cross cut; Different shredders shred paper into different sizes of paper. Strip-cut shredders are known as “strip-cut shredders” because of the thin strips they create as they shred paper. Cross-cut shredders create crisscross cut pieces of paper that are able to provide more security to shredded documents. There are 6 levels of security, levels 1 and 2 are strip cut and levels 3 – 6 are cross cut; Levels 4-6 are small enough to be used for Government Departments. Level 3 is the most popular cross cut level used in commercial markets.
2. How many sheets of paper need to be shredded per day?
Different shredders can shred different amounts of paper. Smaller shredders can only handle a few sheets of paper, where larger shredders can shred many sheets of paper at a time. Strip cut shredders can always shred more paper at a time than a cross cut shredder. A useful guide is to ask how many reams of paper you might shred in a day when a ream is 500 pages. The total volume is also an indicator of how large you would like the shredder’s waste capacity to be. Purchasing a shredder that cannot handle the volume of shredding you need can be very frustrating.
3. How many sheets of paper do you want to shred in one pass?
Different shredders can shred different amounts of paper. Smaller shredders can only handle a few sheets of paper, where larger shredders can shred many sheets of paper at a time. Strip cut shredders can always shred more paper at a time than a cross cut shredder. The power and efficiency of the shredder’s motor helps determine how may sheets of paper it can handle as well as how small the cut size is.
4. How many people will use the machine?
As users’ requirements differ from person to person a judgment may need to be made here. Some single users will need to destroy more paper than several users in another office. Most Small shredders are designed to be deskside for 1-3 people whereas Medium Office shredders will be OK to cope with a greater number of users. As a general rule, 10 or more shared users will require a Departmental or high volume shredder.
5. Do you want to shred CD’s and DVD’s and Credit Cards?
Never try to shred items that your machine is not designed for. As more and more information is being stored on optical media, you should ensure that your shredder is “future proof” by taking this category into consideration; Ideally the shredder should have separate waste capacity between paper and optical media to assist with recycling.