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Paper Shredders Buying Guide

With the rise in identity theft and stiffer government regulations on privacy, paper shredders are becoming a necessity in most any educational or business environment. Before you purchase a paper shredder, you'll want to think about the following things:

Level of Security
The level of security refers to how finely your documents are shredded. Depending on your business, your needs will vary.

Security Level 1 – Recommended for the general shredding of internal documents, when security is not of the utmost importance. Strip Cut: ½"; Cross Cut: 3/8" x 1 ½" – 5/32".

Security Level 2 – Perfect for shredding sensitive internal documents. Strip Cut: 1/8" and ¼".

Security Level 3 – The level recommended for most schools and businesses. Designed for the shredding of confidential documents. Cross Cut: 1/16" x 1" or 1/8" x 1 1/8" – 2".

Security Level 4 – Recommended for the shredding of secret documents. Cross Cut: 1/16" x 5/8".

Security Level 5 – Best for the shredding of extremely confidential documents. Cross Cut: 1/32" x 7/16".

Security Level 6 – The finest cut available, Security Level 6 is approved by the United State Department of Defense for top secret shredding. Cross Cut: 1/32" x 3/16".

Cut Style
Strip Cut – Cuts the paper in one direction only, so your shreds will be as long as the length or width of the paper (depending on how you feed it into the paper shredder). Not as secure as a cross cut.

Cross Cut – A cross cut is recommended for the type of security you'll need in a business or school setting. It cuts your documents in two directions, leaving small pieces instead of long strips.

Shredding Capacity
The shredding capacity refers to how many sheets of paper can be loaded into the shredder at one time. If you anticipate shredding large amounts of paper several times a day, you might want to consider a larger model with a high shredding capacity – some shred over 60 sheets of paper at one time. For occasional use or small jobs, an inexpensive compact model might be all you need.

Feed Opening
The feed opening is where you place paper or media into the shredder. The width of the opening varies, so you'll want to check for the one that's best for your situation. For example, if you plan on shredding entire file folders, you won't want a machine with an 8" feed opening.

Warranties vary by manufacturer, so be sure to choose a brand that can withstand your workload. Adding a built-in oiler to the rollers usually increases the warranty of a paper shredder, sometimes extending it to a lifetime guarantee.

It's easy to order your paper shredder online. Just click here to view all of our paper shredders. You'll find a great selection in a wide price range. Or, call our friendly sales team at 1-800-260-2776 for a price quote and to place a phone order.


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