A strip cut shredder cuts the paper in long strips that can vary in size from 3/32″ to 1/2″, while a cross cut shredders cuts the paper in two directions, giving you a smaller piece (5/16″ x 3″ to 1/32″ x 3/16″).

There’s several different types of shredders to choose from- and choosing the right shredder depends on several factors, including how secure you want it to be, how fast you want to complete the job, and how many bags it takes to hold the shredded material- and how often you need to change those bags.

Here are some of the differences between cross cut shredders and strip cut shredders:

Cross Cut Shredders/ Confetti Shredders:

  • Since they have to cut the paper in two different ways and in smaller pieces, it takes a tad bit longer to shred your documents.
  • The resulting shredded pieces of a cross cut shredding project is significantly smaller.  You won’t have to change out the bag as much, and you can end up holding 4 times more documents that are cross cut vs strip cut shredding.
  • Smaller pieces are harder to re-assemble.  If you’re concerned about security, a cross cut shredding will help protect your personal information or critical documents better.
  • The final consideration is cost- cross cut shredders tend to be more expensive than strip cut shredders.

Strip Cut Shredders:

  • Strip cut shredders do shred documents faster- so if getting your shredding completed quickly is your top priority, a strip cut shredder is the way to go.
  • Since the documents are cut into strips and not small pieces, you will end up changing the bag on a strip cut shredder a lot more often than cross cut or confetti shredders.
  • There are more moving parts in a cross cut shredder, so they tend to have more maintenance requirements than a strip cut shredder.
  • One of the biggest concerns with strip cut shredders is security.  Documents that are cut into strips not only have a greater chance of leaving text on a page intact- they’re also easier to re-assemble.  With the software and technological advances in scanning and reconstruction, strip cut documents can be re-assembled a lot easier than one might think.

Selecting a shredder might take some homework, but if you do choose to shred your documents yourself, we recommend a cross cut or confetti shredder.  It’s secure, efficient, and worth the upgrade.