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The Ultimate Guide To Paper Shredders


According to history, the paper shredder was invented by Abbot Augustus Low in 1909 but the device he invented was never actually manufactured. The first commercially produced machines appeared in 1935 when Adolf Ehinger converted a common kitchen utensil (a pasta maker) into a machine that could shred paper. This innovation was born out of necessity in that Ehinger was printing anti-Nazi literature and as the Nazis were prone to go through his garbage he needed a way to destroy any incriminating evidence.  Paper shredders have come a long way since those early hand cranked days. The guide that follows will help you understand the features that go into modern electric paper shredders and help you decide which one might be the best fit for you.

Why use a paper shredder?

With the ever-growing threat of identity theft, it is more important than ever to protect yourself from any threat to your personal security. If you own or work for a business that deals with sensitive information that can be stolen and used to commit crimes against you or your clients it is even more important to make sure you maintain a secure environment in the workplace. Shredding documents that contain sensitive information is not just a luxury but a necessity in today’s high tech information age as many state and federal laws require you to securely dispose of private consumer information. Crosscut paper shredding meets the standards for complying with these laws.

Which paper shredder should I buy?

As with most office products, there are many choices and models available to choose from when looking at a paper shredder purchase. Which paper shredder you should buy will be based on many factors including volume of material to be shredded, how often you plan to shred, where you physically locate your shredder,  which security level are you required to maintain and which safety features are most important to you.

Personal Shredders

Home or Personal shredders are designed to fit the needs of the individual or family that needs to shred the occasional credit card bill, medical information and/or other light shredding that you need to do. For the most part, home shredders produce strip cut waste and offer the basic level of security. 

Office or Home Office Shredders

Office level shredders are more robust in that they can handle more sheets at the same time and can shred more material faster. Office level shredders also offer a higher level of security by offering cross cut shredding that will produce waste that is cut both horizontally and vertically.  

Commercial or Heavy Duty Shredders

Commercial shredders are designed for those who require not only the highest level of security but also have a large volume of material that they need to destroy on a daily basis. These shredders are designed for continuous use and are powerful enough to destroy paper, CD’s, floppy discs and other materials. Commercial shredders produce the smallest size waste with their micro-cut process producing pieces so small that it’s impossible to put them back together again. However, if you require the maximum level of security, then a super micro cut system cuts a standard letter size sheet of paper into 6,200 pieces.

Within each of these categories are other features and factors to consider before choosing the right paper shredder for you.

TAA Compliance

If you work in a government environment then the shredder you choose needs to be TAA Compliant.

The Trade Agreement Act set requirement that the U.S. Government may acquire only U.S.-made or -designated end products. All of the shredders marked with this designation meets these requirements.

Security Level

There are now 7 levels of security assigned to shredders with 7 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. 

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