Paper Shredder Cut Styles

There are an increasing number of businesses and individuals that are purchasing paper shredders to protect themselves from identity theft, corporate espionage and other crimes. These companies improve their security, but by how much? Paper shredders in the market have different cutting styles and these styles differ in security levels. When choosing the best paper shredder, it helps to understand what shredders can do, the different types available, and what options you have. We discuss the different cutting styles of a paper shredder. The usual cutting styles are strip cut and cross cut.
Strip cut paper shredders cut paper into, well, strips. It can shred material in widths of ¼-inch or less, which is ideal for confidential, privacy act, and other non-classified documents. These straight cuts range from a more secure 5/32″ (3.8 mm) wide strips to a very fast 1/2″ (11.8-mm) wide strips.

A strip cut shredder is perfect for documents that are less sensitive, and they require less maintenance than cross-cut models. This type of shredder is also usually less expensive.

Cross cut paper shredders can cut paper into smaller rectangular pieces. This type of cut not only allows for more security, but also improves waste handling efficiency. These particles are more compact than strip cut, and allows for waste volume reduction. It increases shred bag capacity up to 10 times. The cross cut ranges from a micro cut of 1/32″ x 1/2″ or 0.8 x 12 mm like confetti, to a fast but still secure 5/32″ x 2 9/16″ or 3.8 x 65 mm.

An additional advantage with this type of cut is that the particles can be pressed more tightly together, with the container needing to be emptied less often. Low volume shredding machines requires no maintenance but you may have to oil down mid to high volume shredders periodically.

Decide which kind of documents you usually handle and want to destroy before disposal. This will lead you to what type of cuts you want your shredder to perform. Basically, strip cuts are for less or non sensitive documents, while cross cuts are for highly confidential material. The smaller the cross cut, the higher the security level it provides. Paper shredders with highly durable blades will be the best choice, cutters that can cut paper clips, staples, credit cards and CDs. The best paper shredders usually come with its own waste receptacle so you don’t have to contend with clean up.

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