How to Choose the Best Paper Shredder

How to Choose the Best Paper Shredder

Selecting a paper shredder may seem like a straightforward task. But there are many machines on the market, with various different functions, which means the choice can get confusing.

While some might need a shredder for light home use, others could need one for mass shredding in their office.

The different varieties include micro-cut shredders, heavy duty shredders, cross-cut shredders, and more. On top of this, there's a selection of brands to pick from.

So how can you discern which is the best shredder for you? Read on for some tips, so that you can find the perfect paper shredder for your needs.

Know What you want

It's important to understand what you'll be using your shredder for, precisely. Is it to be for home use? If so, will you be shredding lighter loads, or is there a chance you'll be disposing of greater amounts of paper?

Is it for office use? If so, this doesn't automatically mean you'll need to invest in a large, industrial item. You might be a small business, that's mostly paperless. If so, there's no use wasting money on a heavy-duty shredder.

What you don't want is to make a purchase and realize afterward that you've made the wrong choice.

Don't Judge It on the Price

If you select a shredder based on how much it is, you may either over-spend or under-spend.

On the market, there are many brands of shredders. On top of this, each brand has a different model. Each model features different specifications.

So rather than look at this purely from a cost point of view, think about features such as the warranty. If it's got a long one, it's likely to be of top-quality and long-lasting.

Making the Cut

The best shredder for you is also based on the type of cut it provides. The general types of paper shredders are listed as follows:

Strip-cut Paper Shredders

These machines use rotating knives (or blades) and turn the paper into strips.

These are for simpler use. These shredders are ideal for waste reduction or recycling.

It's important to note that a strip-cut shredder is not the best shredder if you're concerned about privacy protection.

Pierce and Tear Shredders

The clue is in the name: these shredders rip paper by puncturing them. Then they rip them.

These types of paper shredders use rotating blades in order to shred.

Cross-cut Shredders

Again, using rotating knives, the cross-cut shredder uses many blades to shred.

This is the best shredder for a more random type of document disposal. The shred it less uniform.


This is the best shredder if you are seeking total destruction of a document.

They continually tear through the paper using a random method, and leave the document so cut up that it could pass through a mesh or a screen.

These types of paper shredders often offer some of the highest levels of security in document destruction.

Particle-cut Shredders

Particle-cut paper shredders create small circles or squares out of your documents. This means they are also very good for secure shredding.

This might be the best shredder for ensuring security when shredding, but on a non-industrial scale.

The Best Shredder Makes the Document Unreadable

The aim, when shredding documentation, is to make it impossible to read. The paper should be fine and chopped up so that none of the important so that nothing is visible.

Some shredders also destroy more than just paper. Some offices, or indeed home-based situations, requires you to shred plastic. Credit cards for example.

Those that have the capacity to shred heftier items are likely to be more durable.

The life-span of these machines are longer. They are used in large corporations, small home businesses and in domestic households.

Set by the DIN 32757-1 standards, the standard levels of paper shredders include:

Level 1 = 12 mm strips OR 11 x 40mm particles (General)

Level 2 = 6 mm strips OR 8 x 40mm particles (General)

Level 3 = 2 mm strips OR 4 x 30mm particles (Confidential)

Level 4 = 2 x 15 mm particles (Commercially Sensitive)

Level 5 = 0.8 x 12 mm particles (Top Secret or Classified)

Level 6 = 0.8 x 4 mm particles (Top Secret or Classified)

Security Levels

The levels of security are based on something called entropy, and are measured on the level of entropy the machine will produce.

The various levels of security that a shredder can qualify for is often based on the sustainability of the machine, and must be understood when purchasing your shredder.

There are also optional add-ons to some shredders too.

Extra security can be added by selecting a shredder with a papermasher bag.

This feature adds an extra, secondary level of privacy.

The papermasher bag is designed so that you can wash it, with the shredded documentation still inside. This can be done via a standard washing machine, and so is as ideal for home use as it is for office use.

A papermasher bag put through a rinse cycle will form a pulp of sorts. This will be a wet, totally illegible, soaking mass of paper, inside the washed bag, making any shredded contents extra-confidential.

Time to Choose Your Shredder

At we have links and suggestions to the vast array of paper shredders out there.

Our site suggests the best shredder for your needs - which you should hopefully now know from this helpful guide.

Let our site point you in the right direction. From DestroyIt shredders, office machine shredders, standard office shredders and cross-cut office shredders, our site will point you in the direction of your perfect match for your business or home use.