woman at shredder

With identity theft on the rise, it’s no wonder that more and more people are shredding their personal documents. While we could give you dozens of reasons why a shredding service is a cheaper and safer option; we understand some people have the time to spend shredding we don’t. If you are looking for a paper shredder you might feel a little overwhelmed at your choices. With so many paper shredders on the market, it’s easy to get confused. The following information will give you the down and dirty on paper shredders – what you need to know so you can find the shredder that will work best for you:

Shredding Cut Styles. There are basically two cut styles available in home shredding machines:

  • Strip cut paper shredders cut the paper into thin strips (look for strips that are no larger than ¼ of an inch). Strip cut shredders are best for less sensitive documents, require less maintenance, and are reasonably priced – usually the least expensive on the market.
  • Cross cut paper shredders cuts the paper in both directions, so the result is far smaller pieces. This gives the user additional security, as well as more compact waste to dispose of. Cross cut paper shredders range in price, depending on the size of the cut and the amount of volume they can process. Don’t be fooled by trade names like “diamond cut” or “confetti cut.” These are simply cross cut shredders.

Expected Shredding Volume. Consider how often you’ll be shredding, as well as how much at a time. Also, think ahead. If you expect the volume to increase over time, be sure to choose a paper shredder that will still be able to do what you need. The output of a paper shredder is displayed as “pounds per hour,” and this is your best indication of the power and speed of the machine.

Shredder Feed Width. If you’re only going to be shredding standard paper size documents, this won’t be as much of a concern. However, if you have larger documents, it will be critical to choose a shredder that has a large enough feed opening for the documents you’ll be shredding. If your documents are wider than twelve inches, most mid-size shredders will not work, as they tend to only go as large as twelve inches, so you’ll have to consider high volume shredders instead. These tend to offer a sixteen inch feed opening.

While not all-inclusive, the above information should help you better understand your needs for paper shredding. This will assist you in choosing the best paper shredder for you.