What is Cross-Cut Shredding—And Why It’s Better Than Strip-Cutters



What is the difference between the two main document destruction processes? Cross-cut and strip-cut shredding are both secure processes, but they each have their benefits… and drawbacks.

Find out which type of shredding will best meet your needs by watching this video or reading the transcription below.

Video Transcription

Cross-Cutting Defined

Cross-cut shredding is similar to traditional strip-cut, but it cuts paper into much smaller pieces.

In a cross-cutter serrated blades are placed in two sets facing opposite directions, and when moving simultaneously, paper is cut into confetti-like pieces.

No Chance for Reassembly

The primary security benefit from cross-cutting is how difficult—if not impossible—it is for the tiny shreds to be reassembled and their information stolen.

While on one hand there’s computer software made to reconstruct strip-cut paper, cross-cut shredding cuts paper into 400+ pieces and a micro-cutter creates 2,000+ paper shreds, leaving even sophisticated software useless.

Cross vs. Strip-Cut

strip cut shredding vs cross cut shredding

There are several differences between strip-cut and cross-cut but the most important is the size of paper shreds.

The security of shredders is measured in levels, and the smaller the shred the higher the level. While strip-cutters are considered only a level 2, cross-cutting can provide level 3 or more.

Cross vs Strip Differences

Cross-Cut Strip-Cut
Cuts paper into small, confetti-like pieces Cuts paper into long strips—also known as ribbon or stip-cut
Shreds slower and less at one time but is more secure Shreds more at one time, but shreds can be reassembled more easily
Requires regular oiling and maintenance Typically does not require regular oiling and maintenance

Comparing Cross-Cut Costs

Cross-cut shredders are typically more expensive than strip-cutters.

While one can argue the security is worth the extra cost, there are actually opportunities for more cost-efficient cross-cutting.

Before reaching for the checkbook, it’s important to consider options like mobile and drop off shredding when thinking about factors like direct costs and time.

Price Tag Comparison

A personal or office cross-cut shredder on one hand can range from several hundred dollars to the thousands—in addition to oiling and maintenance costs.

On the flip side, shredding services are not only cheaper, but can shred more paper at one time.

For example mobile shredding is common for high-volumes—as much as 300 lbs can be shredded for $100.

With drop off shredding material can be dropped off for shredding at local UPS and shipping stores for just $1 per pound.

Maximize Time-Efficiency

Save Time with Strip Cut ShreddingBecause cross-cut shredders cut the paper twice and can handle less at one time, cross-cutting can be tedious and time consuming.

One solution for saving time is shredding services. As one example, one of the main advantages of mobile shredding is the convenience of coming to you to shred your paper.

A mobile shredding truck is equipped with an industrial cross-cut shredder, and can shred as much as 300 lbs in minutes as opposed to hours.

Need More Shredding Security?

Join with Apple, Amazon, and a range of other companies we’ve helped to find the cheapest cross-cut shredding options.

Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form on the right for a free quote from professional shredders in you area.