What is a Shredder
If you’re working in a bank or any other governmental organization, you know at first hand how important the use of a shredder is. Most businesses and individuals who worry over protection of their personal data and privacy come down to using this universal yet effective device to dispose of the papers they don’t want to reveal to anybody else. Shredders have gained incredible popularity worldwide and become indispensable devices in all those organizations where privacy is far too important. In our review you’ll find some of the most popular and widespread models to make a choice from.
Those customers who’ve got used to keeping their personal data on external hard drives may also get interested in our other review on encrypted drives - reliable digital storage devices that ensure full data protection.
What Features to Compare
Probably, the most important thing to consider first is a Security level of the chosen model. Understanding how the shredders are classified into security levels will help you make the right pick. There are 7 security levels:
- Level 1 (Р-1) is used to shred general documents into up to 12-mm strips;
- Level 2 (Р-1) is used to cut paper into up to 6 mm wide strips;
- Level 3 (Р-3) is designed to destroy confidential data with 2–4 mm of cutting width and 80 mm of shred size;
- Level 4 (Р-4) is one of the most popular and used to shred sensitive documents with up to 2×15 mm of cutting width;
- Level 5 (Р-5) is designed to cut top secret documents into 0.8×12 mm cuts;
- Level 6 (Р-6) is used to shred paper into confetti up to 0.8×6 mm of shred size.
- Level 7 (P-7) is designed to destroy top-secret government documents into 0.7-2.6 mm cuts and 40000 fragments.
The cut type a shredder produces is also very important. Typically, there are 3 cut types: strip-cut, cross-cut, and micro-cut. Strip-cut shredders cut paper into long strips. They are characterized by a low-security level and are primarily designed for heavy workloads. Cross-cut shredders cut paper in two different directions: along and across. They are best suited for banks and other institutions that don't require the highest level of security for destroying confidential data. Micro-cut shredders cut paper into bits of confetti. They are high-security paper shredders mainly designed for public and state institutions.
Other significant features, which need to be considered, are the Capacity and the Type of a shredder. The shredder capacity is primarily influenced by its operating speed. And the operating speed, in its turn, considerably depends on how many people will actually use the shredder and how many sheets of paper can be shredded per pass. Thus, shredders can be divided into several types according to the number of users and the amount of work they can do:
- Personal shredders: for 1-2 person use or shredding up to 100 sheets per day and bin capacity up to 20 liters;
- Small and mid-size office shredders: for 3-4 person use or shredding from 100 to 300 sheets per day, and bin capacity up to 20-70 liters;
- Large office shredders: for continuous heavy use or shredding from 1000 sheets per day and bin capacity up to 70-85 liters.
It is worth remembering that the high capacity influences the device's runtime and heat level. The average runtime at maximum capacity is up to 15-20 minutes, afterwards, the device needs some time to cool down, generally, it's not more than one hour.
When buying a paper shredder, you should also think of the available Extras and Safety. It should be noted that a shredder features cutting slots for destroying not only paper documents but also credit cards, CDs/DVDs and even paper clips. Also, you should pay particular attention to the models with auto Start/Stop function, which makes document shredding more convenient without the need to press any buttons. If the shredder is in a standby mode, the device automatically starts its operation once the paper is placed in the entry slot and then shuts off when the operation is over. You should keep in mind that loading a large amount of paper into the slot may cause a paper jam inside the cutting blades. Therefore, the manufacturers have equipped some paper shredders with an auto reverse function, which allows the blades to shred in a forward direction if required. Besides, the shredder safety is a matter of great importance as the improper use of the device can be very dangerous. For this reason, be very careful when using the device in the workplace and avoid getting foreign objects into the feed slot by accident. Furthermore, there are shredders equipped with a Safety Lock function, which activates when the bin is opened. This means that if the bin suddenly opens during the shredding process, the device ceases its operation automatically. One more essential feature is a motor protection against thermal overload designed to automatically turn the shredder off in case of overheating. This peculiarity greatly extends the lifespan of the device.
And finally, the last but not least thing you need to consider is Usability. In terms of usability, a noise level is probably one of the most important features that determine the user's comfort. Depending on the model, shredders are characterized by different noise levels. Accordingly, it's more convenient to use a shredder with a lower noise level. As a matter of fact, the noise level should not exceed 60-70 dB. Besides, the size of a shredding bin should not be under 4 inches. If the usability is one of the main criteria when buying a shredder, it's worth paying attention to the dimensions of the device as shredders can considerably range in size. Normally, the smaller the shredder is, the easier it is to move it around the office. Among the other things, caster wheels provide your device with mobility. Some advanced models offer a variety of additional features, including a full basket indicator, which shows when the bin is full. On the contrary, when it comes to the cheaper models of paper shredders, you can see if the bin is full through a clear window on the front of the waste basket, which is also quite convenient.
Fellowes paper shredder is one of the most multifunctional devices on our shortlist. It boasts top-level security, high speed and, meanwhile, it has one of the lowest noise levels among its competitors. The shredding device has a Security Level Р-4, so it shreds paper into tiny pieces (5 / 32 " x 1-1 / 2") that make the documents nearly impossible to read after being processed. This is one of the highest levels of security, providing effective shredding of top secret documents including bank accounts and statements. This cross-cut paper shredder has the ability to completely destroy your documents. Thus, it's surely the best choice for your security needs.
Capacity and Type
This paper shredder is an excellent choice for small and mid-size offices for 3-5 users. Therefore, the shredder is indispensable for destroying all your sensitive data and paper documents and, thereby, protecting your company's information. This high-capacity shredder is designed for high-speed shredding of up to 18 sheets of paper per pass. Moreover, the maximum runtime for this shredder is up to 30 minutes, which greatly exceeds the maximum runtime of other models. The cool down time is 40 minutes, and then the shredder is ready for use.
Extras and Safety
Fellowes paper shredder is quite easy to use and, at the same time, it's reliable, durable and safe. The shredding device comes with a safety cover, which covers the cutting slots to prevent small objects from getting inside. An extra bonus is a motor protection against thermal overload, which prevents overloading and burning out. Moreover, the paper shredder comes with an LED light on the front panel, which indicates when a shredder is ready for use. In addition, the device has a Safety Lock function when a wastebasket is opened for more security of the device. The shredding device boasts extra features including separate cutting slots for shredding CDs and DVDs, staples, credit cards and small paper clips. Besides, a device features the SafeSense technology that has a built-in sensor, which automatically turns off the shredder if you touch a paper slot. What is more, the Energy Saving System reduces unnecessary power consumption not only when the device is in a standby mode, but also when it is operating.
This best paper shredder is characterized by large dimensions of 25.19 x 11.44 x 17.31 inches, nevertheless, the device looks really stylish and fits in any interior. This shredder boasts the lowest noise level of 56 dB that causes no discomfort or interference when you are using it. SilentShred technology minimizes shredding noise, making the device almost noise-free. Furthermore, the shredder is fitted with additional caster wheels for easy transportation that can be locked if needed. Besides, the shredding device has LED sensors that alert you when a waste bin is getting full. Besides, the shredder features a large capacity basket of 9 gallons with a clear window, which allows keeping track when the basket is full.
Royal miro-cut paper shredder is perfect to completely destroy all printed and digital media including credit cards. The device has P-4 security level that is likely a good security indicator. This high-quality shredder is the best choice for destroying personal and confidential information to fully satisfy your security concerns. Furthermore, this micro-cut paper shredder is designed to shred up to 14 sheets of paper into 0.15 x 0.39 '' micro cut particles.
Capacity and Type
Royal micro-cut paper shredder has a pretty good shredding capacity due to a strong motor, powerful enough to shred up to 14 sheets of paper at a single pass. The shredding device provides 10-minute continuous runtime that allows you to shred up to 600 sheets of paper per day. Afterward, wait 30 minutes to allow the device to cool down before it can be used again. This shredder is best suited for small and medium-sized offices for up to 3 users.
Extras and Safety
This micro-cut paper shredder has a variety of useful extras. The shredder is equipped with the Auto Start / Stop function, which activates automatically once you insert a sheet of paper into the paper slot and turns the device off after the operation is over. Furthermore, the shredder features the auto reverse function, which allows you to safely remove paper sheets and enables the cutter blades to rotate in the opposite direction in case of a paper jam. What is more, the shredder has a thermal overload protection, which signals to cool down the device. Also, the shredder has separate cutting slots for processing not only paper documents but also credit cards, CDs, and DVDs that may contain valuable information.
AmazonBasics paper shredder combines several cut types. For example, the strip-cut mode uses rotating blades to cut paper into 1/4-inch narrow long strips. The micro-cut mode guarantees the P-4 security level, cutting paper into confetti-like pieces of 5/32 " x 15/32 " of shred width. Thus, this shredder is a great solution for destroying highly sensitive, personal or confidential documentation.
Capacity and Type
This paper shredder has quite a good shredding capacity - up to 12 sheets at a single pass. The shredding device provides 8-minute continuous runtime at the maximum load. Then, the device needs 45 minutes to cool down before you can use it again. This micro-cut shredder offers the best compromise between price, quality, and capacity. This model is one of the most popular among its equivalents available on the market, which is best suited for up to 2 users.
Extras and Safety
AmazonBasics paper shredder helps get rid of ATM receipts, credit cards, damaged applications, payroll records, agreements and other outdated and unnecessary documents. Besides, the device is also capable of cutting CDs, DVDs, and BluRay Discs into 4 pieces at a time. For better security, this heavy duty paper shredder has a motor protection against thermal overload and overheating. As a result, the unit turns off automatically if foreign objects are detected in the paper slot. Also, this model is equipped with Auto Start / Stop and Auto reverse functions that help you remove jammed paper from the cutting slot.
This compact paper shredder has an excellent design and looks nice on a desk or on the floor. The shredder comes with a 6.7-gallon bin with a special clear window on the side of the bin, which helps you make sure if the recycle bin is full or empty. Despite its dimensions (24.3 x 13.4 x 17 inches), the shredder operates at a fairly high noise level of 65 dB at the maximum load. Moreover, the shredding device features an 8.7-inch wide paper entry slot. Additionally, the shredder has LED sensors that indicate overheating and thermal overload.
This desktop-style cross-cut paper shredder is designed for economic and safe disposal of various documents. The shredding device has durable steel cutting blades, which tear documents and credit cards into 1/5 "x 1 17/20" tiny bits, and make it an indispensable device for ridding of personal documents containing sensitive and confidential information. According to current security standards, this model belongs to the Security Level P-3.
Capacity and Type
Aurora personal paper shredder is designed to handle small workloads. This lightweight, compact, and reliable paper shredder is ideal for occasional personal use at home or in the office. The shredding device is capable of cutting up to 4 folded sheets of paper or 1 credit card at a single pass. The runtime of the device at the maximum load is only 2 minutes, and then it needs up to 30 minutes to reach a proper operating temperature.
Extras and Safety
Regardless of quite a low shredding capacity, Aurora desktop-style cross-cut paper shredder is equipped with a solid steel cutting blade, which allows coping with small workloads. Thus, you can destroy not only highly classified papers but credit cards as well. This shredding device comes with 3 modes - Auto On / Off function, Auto reverse function as well as a Standby mode (with an LED indicator). Additionally, a thermal protection prevents overheating of the device whereas the Auto start function automatically turns the unit on without pressing any buttons.
Your Best Personal Assistant
AmazonBasics paper shredder can effectively destroy ATM receipts, bank accounts, mortgage statements, payrolls, insurance packages, and other outdated or sensitive unwanted data. The machine tears paper into small strips of 7/32 " х 1 27/32 " pieces, which conforms to the security level P-3. Despite its relatively low cost, the shredder offers a fairly good performance. Accordingly, this shredding device is well suited for personal use. Hence, it's perfect for your home or small office. Moreover, this shredder is capable of handling up to 6 sheets and 1 credit card at a time. An undeniable advantage is that you don't have to remove staples prior to shredding your documents. What is more, this model is highly portable. It weighs 8.2 pounds with the following dimensions: 12.1 " x 7.7 " x 15 ". Thus, the unit can be easily moved around your office. Taking into account all the above mentioned, the AmazonBasics paper shredder is probably the best in its class for personal use.
A Bit of History
The idea of creating the first paper shredder came to Abbot Augustus from New York. He patented his invention for a "waste-paper receptacle". Unfortunately, his invention wasn't improved and manufactured. However, Adolf Ehinger invented the first paper shredder, which was manufactured in 1935 in Germany. Notably, it was based on the same principle as a manual pasta maker. According to the historical data, Ehinger used a shredder with the purpose of getting rid of his anti-Nazi documents. Later, the shredders were used by various organizations. When Adolf Ehinger saw the growing popularity of his invention, he established the company, engaged in manufacturing first paper shredders. In fact, his company continues to exist to this day. It’s interesting to note that when the U.S. embassy in Tehran was taken over in 1979, a paper shredder was used to destroy top-secret documentation. It’s particularly remarkable that after the model’s name had been announced, its sales grew by up to 20%.
More Products to Consider
X-Acto School Pro Heavy-Duty Electric Sharpener (1670) is an excellent electric pencil sharpener that fits all kinds of pencils.
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