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Shredders have become commonplace in business offices, even home offices. However, it is important to note that not all shredders are created equal. Before you commit to purchasing one you should know what features are most desirable. After all, if your shredder doesn’t have the following features you probably are not disposing of documents properly and could be exposing customers to identity theft. There are already too many cases of this in the country.

Type Of Shredder

Once you take a look at these security shredders you’ll understand why not all shredders are equal. A basic shredder cuts the paper into ribbons. They may be as wide as half a centimetre. That’s all it does and you could fairly easily take a handful of shredded paper and piece documents back together.

A security shredder has a much finer cut. In some cases, it is just 2-3mm. Alongside this, it cuts horizontally as well as vertically. This means you would struggle to put the piece of paper back together even if you just had pieces from one sheet.

In short, security shredders eliminate the document properly.

Bin Capacity

Another important factor when choosing a shredder is how much shredding can the bin handle? If you like to shred a lot then you’re going to need a large bin. After all, you don’t want to be emptying it every few minutes.

If the paper is then being disposed of through a licensed collector you may want to match the bin size to the size of the sacks he charges you for.

What Can It Shred

Shredders don’t just shred paper. They can shred cardboard, plastic, and a variety of other things. However, you need to verify that the shredder is capable of shredding other items before you try. If it isn’t designed to, you are likely to damage the blades.

Consider what you shred normally before you decide what you need the shredder to do.

The Noise

Another important thing to consider is how noisy is the shredder? Modern ones can be very quiet. However, the more powerful they are the noisier they are likely to be. That means you’ll need a quiet spot to position the shredder where it won’t interfere with anyone working. Of course, it still needs to be close enough to be used easily.

This can be a balancing act but it is important to consider it before you commit.

Operation Time

Shredders tend to get warm when in use because the blades are moving back and forth at high speed. This means they can only be used for a set period before they need to be left to cool. You’ll need to assess what that period is and how it relates to your usual shredding jobs. Then you can choose a machine that can handle your demands.


Most shredders can handle more than one sheet at a time. The question is how many can they handle and will they take staples? If you regularly have to shred larger documents, such as presentations, you need to make sure the shredder has enough capacity to deal with it.