Paper Shredder Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right One?

The best office shredders are more vital than ever for securely disposing of private and sensitive papers, especially as incidences of Identity Theft fraud continue to climb at an alarming rate.

While shredders may not be the most glamorous piece of technology, they are nonetheless quite useful, and there is currently a wide variety of shredder types and models available. While many people imagine shredders as large and unwieldy (not to mention noisy) machines that take up a lot of space, the best shredders may easily fit into any modern office.

This article will introduce to you the best office shredder brands, as well as all the related information about them.

Types of office shredders

1. Strip-cut paper shredders

A ribbon-cut, spaghetti-cut, or straight-cut shredder is another name for a strip-cut shredder. The shredder is equipped with a single blade that cuts paper papers vertically. According to the official DIN 66399 standard, strip-cut shredders are classed as DIN P-1 or P-2. This grade denotes that these shredders provide the least level of data security.

Instead of small shreds, a strip-cut shredder tears your documents into lengthy vertical stripes. 

A typical document gets shredded into 39 strips on average. These strips may still have legible text and images, artwork, autographs, or pictures. These shredder particles are referred to as 'landscaping.' As a result, shredding machines are ideal for destroying non-confidential documents such as junk mail. Strip-cut shredders can be used for both personal and business purposes.

Strip-cut shredders are the most efficient and low-maintenance shredders. The disadvantage is that these shredders should not be used to shred private papers.

2. Cross-cut paper shredders

A confetti-cut shredder is a cross-cut shredder. These shredders tear your papers diagonally from both directions, resulting in tiny paper particles. These shredders are considerably more secure than strip-cut shredders due to cross-cut technology. In most cases, a typical paper is shredded into roughly 400 particles.

Cross-cut shredders offer sufficient protection for destroying typical sensitive papers at home or at the office. As a result, cross-cut shredders are the most widely used type of shredder in the world.

According to the official DIN 66399 standard for paper destruction and other media, this type of shredder provides ‘medium security' and falls under security levels P-3 and/or P-4.

A cross-cut shredder requires more upkeep than a strip-cut shredder. It is advised that you lubricate your cross-cut paper shredder on a regular basis to maintain it working properly.

3. Micro-cut paper shredders

Micro-cut paper shredders provide considerably greater security than cross-cut and strip-cut shredders. Although a cross-cut shredder, a micro-cut shredder is a more sophisticated shredder that provides great security for destroying extremely private data. According to DIN 66399, a micro-cut shredder is categorized as a P-5, P-6, or P-7 shredder. DIN P-7 provides the maximum level of information protection and is suggested for shredding very secret papers, such as government records.

Because the paper particles from micro-cut shredders are so tiny, you can't even read a single letter on them. When an A4 document is shredded with a P-5 paper shredder, it is reduced to almost 2,000 small pieces.

A micro-cut shredder requires the greatest care, thus it should be oiled on a regular basis. Also, keep in mind that micro-cut shredders shred papers at a slower rate than cross-cut or strip-cut shredders. This is because the sheet capacity is lower and the shredding speed is slower.

4. Auto-feed paper shredders

You can shred large amounts of papers completely automatically using an auto-feed paper shredder. This implies you don't have to spend or waste time shredding paper. You walk away after loading the shredder machine with paperwork. The shredder performs all of the work for you.

Automatic paper shredders are often used in the workplace. An example of a place in the office where an automatic shredder might be useful is the financial department. The shredder begins shredding papers at a constant rate, allowing you and your coworkers to continue working.

Auto-feed shredders are designed to shred large amounts of paper. Auto shredders typically shred approximately 100 sheets every session, however more costly auto-feed shredders may destroy 500+ sheets per session. Most automated shredders also allow you to shred documents manually. You may feed documents to the shredder using a designated slot.

When filled with sensitive papers, leaving an automated shredder unattended may pose a security risk. As a result, it is advised that you use a shredder with a locked bin for further protection. For further protection, these safe shredders may be secured with a pin code.

5. Paper shredders for CDs, DVDs, and credit cards

Some paper shredders have an option to shred CDs, DVDs, or credit cards in addition to paper documents. These 'CD paper shredders' usually include a specific slot for feeding CDs that you wish to shred and smash into little pieces. Some of these shredders also have a container for the shredded plastic particles. This keeps shredded CDs apart from shredded paper, which is healthier for the environment.

CD shredders, in general, may also shred credit cards and other plastic cards. However, it is not a hard and fast rule that any paper shredder that shreds credit cards may also shred CDs.

Keep in mind that this shredder can only shred one CD or DVD each pass. This implies that you can't shred a stack of CDs all at once, but just one at a time.

6. Continuous duty paper shredders

The run-time of a paper shredder is one of the most overlooked factors. The run-time of a shredder shows how long it can function before the engine has to cool down. Average home shredders can only shred for a few minutes, but conventional workplace shredders can shred for 15-30 minutes. However, for high-volume or centralized paper shredding, a shredder with a long run-time is necessary. Heavy-duty shredders, continuous shredders, centralized shredders, and departmental shredders are all names for this type of shredder.

Continuous shredders may shred large amounts of paper at once without the requirement for a ‘cool-down break'. As a result, these shredders are ideal for usage in bigger workplaces and centralized shredding.

Aside from the longer operating duration, these heavy-duty shredding machines include big wastebaskets. These high-volume compartments can contain a lot of shredded paper, allowing you to shred papers all day without having to empty the bin all the time.

Look for a heavy-duty shredder that has an automated oiling system. This technology aids in the seamless operation of your centralized shredder.

7. Paper shredders with wastebasket

After shredding a paper, most shredders include a wastebasket to collect the shredded particles or strips. These paper shredders come in a variety of styles.

  • Lift-off head — A simple shredder in which the shredder rests on top of the bin. To gain access to the bin, you must first remove the head. When you raise the head of a lift-off head shredder, paper fragments left behind in the blades might fall to the floor. Second, because these shredders are top-heavy, there is a greater chance of the shredder tipping over.
  • Pull-out wastebasket — A shredder with a pull-out wastebasket is a more handy option. These shredders include a separate trash container that you can remove out of the shredder to empty. We propose placing shredder bags inside the bin to make emptying more convenient.
  • Separate container — Larger paper shredders, such as auto-feed or heavy-duty shredders, may have a separate container that sits inside the shredder and directly beneath the cutting blades. This large container can be a plastic wastebasket, although some shredders include a cardboard box. You must first open a door to gain access to the container, therefore this is not a pull-out method.

8. Paper shredders without wastebasket

A shredder without a wastebasket is less expensive, smaller, and easier to keep in a cabinet or desk drawer. These ‘head only' shredders only have the top section of the shredder, which includes the engine, and do not include a container or basket for the shredded paper particles. As a result, before shredding, set the shredder on top of a container, such as a garbage can. Most of these shredders include an extended arm to ensure that the top section fits most wastebaskets.

Please be in mind that this sort of shredder is only suitable for accidental shredding and cannot handle greater quantities. Most of these shredders are only classified as strip-cut and are therefore not recommended for destroying private papers. Finally, shredders without baskets are the least safe to operate.

9. Manual paper shredders

A manual shredder, sometimes known as a ‘hand shredder,' ‘hand crank shredder,' or ‘hand-powered shredder,' is the most basic form of shredder. This portable and tiny shredder is small enough to put in a drawer, on a shelf, or on your desk. Because these shredders operate manually, no energy is required to power the shredder, allowing you to shred anywhere. 

To shred a paper using a hand shredder, you crank a knob or lever.

Strip-cut or cross-cut manual paper shredders are available. We propose a cross-cut hand shredder with a wastebasket for collecting the shredded pieces. There are also manual shredders available that will shred your credit cards or other plastic cards.

10. Industrial paper shredders

An industrial paper shredder is a high-volume shredding equipment that is both professional and powerful. In comparison to continuous duty shredders, it is a more sophisticated shredder. Industrial shredders, as the name implies, are utilized in large industrial situations when bulk shredding of papers is required.

Because of their security standards or processes, several corporations or government organizations choose to shred their papers. As a result, they have invested in an industrial shredder on which they can rely 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The shredder can shred a large number of documents in a single run. A typical shredder can only shred around 10 sheets in a single run. A whole file of documents can be shredded and destroyed by an industrial shredder.

Industrial shredders are classified into two categories.

  • The first type is tiny and compact, with a small table and a conveyor belt to feed the shredder's documents. A small baler machine can be attached to the shredder as an option. These shredder baler combos' are full disposal facilities for shredding and compressing shredded paper into bales.

Some of these little shredders are also utilized in shred trucks.' Companies can contract with a paper shredding service to shred papers on-site. A unique security vehicle equipped with a built-in shredder drives to the appropriate place, where the papers are promptly destroyed into a shredder mounted within the truck.

  • A multilayer shredder system is the second type of industrial shredder. These huge, fully automated shredding devices are used by professional data destruction firms for off-site paper shredding. In multiple shredding phases, the shredder machines can shred extremely large amounts of papers at very high throughput rates.

Buying Guide

1. Paper size

The paper size is the first consideration in the shredder machine selection procedure. You'll need to know what size paper you'll be shredding the most. To dispose of confidential material, most offices utilize a shredder that accepts letter-sized pages.

However, there will be instances when you will require more. Certain tax forms and pay stubs are printed on extra-wide square pages. It might not be a problem to fold one or two of these in half before shredding them. But, as the heaps of them reach the twenties, the uncomfortable size will become a concern.

Make a list of the paper sizes you'll be shredding. You may be able to save money by purchasing a smaller shredder, but the extra labor involved in shredding big amounts of paper may not be worth it.

2. Load size

The issue of load size is related to the problem of paper size. If you're only shredding a few reams of paper, a simple, narrow shredder input will suffice. When you're trashing a letter twenty pages in a month, you don't need much.

But it's critical to be honest about how much you'll be trashing. If you have more than a few sheets of paper, you'll need a shredder machine that can handle a medium-sized load. Make sure to conduct your homework ahead of time and choose a shredder that is adequate to the task.

A decent rule of thumb is as follows:

  • Single-user personal shredders
  • Small shredders that may be used by up to five people
  • Next up are general office shredders, which can handle up to 10 individuals.
  • Consider a commercial shredder if you have more than 10 users.

3. Cut Type

When deciding between paper shredders, one of the most important aspects to consider is the cut type.

You'd be mistaken if you assumed these machines merely cut your pages into straight vertical lines. Strip cutters make long, straight slices. By cutting strips into smaller bits, cross cuts increase the secrecy of your shredding.

Micro cuts build on the cross cut concept by cutting paper into even smaller pieces. High-security shredding, which reduces paper to particles rather than pieces, pushes the envelope of this concept to its maximum.

4. Shredder speed

Paper shredders are useful tools. They're designed to save you time and effort, whether at home or at work. And a significant part of that ease is due to speed.

Most contemporary shredders have a set runtime, which means they can work continuously for a set amount of time. After that, they must cool down in order for the machinery to remain operational.

Depending on the brand and size of the shredder machine, these cycles can last anywhere from two minutes to more than an hour. Make sure to do your homework ahead of time so you don't get caught off guard.

5. Noise Levels

Paper shredders are by definition loud. There's no avoiding it: they are boxes full of moving components whose sole purpose is to slice and rip apart tiny bundles of paper. Whatever brand you choose, it will produce a certain amount of noise.

If you're prepared to spend a little more money, you'll have a better chance of locating a noise-controlled device. There are several high-end shredders that claim silent operation, and you could go dangerously near.

For a lower-end option, several shredders have YouTube videos demonstrating how noisy they are. Use them to help you decide before you buy, and you'll be able to get the most bang for your buck. Alternatively, you might walk into a store and try on a couple different models in person.

6. Security Levels

When selecting a paper shredder, safety aspects should be considered. If you have small children who may be at risk around an unattended shredder, a little extra protection can go a long way.

Safety guards are common in most shredders and assist to keep fingers away from hazardous zones. More costly shredders may utilize laser sensors to identify fingers, preventing the blades from doing any harm.

7. Power Saving

Running office equipment consumes a lot of energy, especially when there are a lot of them. Many individuals base their decision to purchase a paper shredder on how much power they intend to utilize.

Using a paper shredder consumes 80 percent of its energy while it is in operation. Consider a shredder that emphasizes energy conservation when in use and while not in use for improved energy usage.

8. Advanced Features

Of course, just because you're purchasing a paper shredder does not imply that you must just get a paper shredder. Many of these devices include a number of sophisticated features that will enhance and improve your shredding experience. Among them are the following:

  • Shredding of credit cards, plastics, paper clips, and heavy cards
  • To keep the feed tray clear, anti-jam technology is used.
  • Pull-out bins, which are quite frequent

Brands that worth the look

In this section, our job is to show you what brands are at the top of the market right now, along with what really makes them special in their field. Take a look at the top 5 office shredder manufacturers.

1. Fellowes  

Do you want to declutter your home office? When it comes to old papers and documents holding sensitive information, it's important to make sure they're properly disposed of - which is where shredders come in. They have a large selection to pick from, so you may tidy up quietly and securely, knowing that your personal information will remain secret. 

With a high-quality Fellowes shredder such as the Fellowes LX22M Powershred Micro Cut , you can quickly get rid of the papers you no longer need. If you have a small workplace, they have several ultra-compact designs that will fit nicely in the corner. These shredders can also shred CDs and credit cards, so there's no risk of your financial information falling into the wrong hands.

Whether you choose a micro cut or a cross cut shredder, your papers will be chopped down into the smallest of bits, ensuring that your private information is protected.

If you want to add a few more basics to your study, why not start with a file cabinet? 

These are especially handy if you have a profession that requires a lot of paperwork, since they let you keep your reports and documents in order. We have sturdy metal file cabinets as well as wood appearance filing cabinets if you want a warmer, more domestic design.

2. Bonsaii

Bonsaii, which was founded in March of 2005, is one of the top producers in the paper shredding business. One of the most popular reasons individuals buy paper shredders nowadays is to protect their identity, and a Bonsaii shredder can help you do just that. You may destroy paper products containing personal information that makes you susceptible with a Bonsaii paper shredder such as the Bonsaii 14-Sheet Cross-Cut, such as bills, account statements, and other extremely sensitive papers.

Bonsaii shredders' motors and cutters are typically made of stainless steel, but the majority of their bodies are made of high-impact plastic with heat resistance built in. If you insert the stainless steel cutters in the slot, you will suffer significant damage to your fingers and hands.

Bonsaii shredders' motors and cutters are typically made of stainless steel, but the majority of their bodies are made of high-impact plastic with heat resistance built in. If you insert the stainless steel cutters in the slot, you will suffer significant damage to your fingers and hands.

3. AmazonBasics Shredder 

For lesser shredding chores, the AmazonBasics shredder will do many duties that more costly machines can, but without the high initial cost. This device will cross-cut paper, credit cards, and CDs into small strips for less than £50 — but only for five minutes before needing to cool off for 30 minutes. 

An example is the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut: when you feed something into it, it begins shredding automatically, and it has a manual reverse function for clearing paper jams. Shredding starts automatically when the machine finds anything to be shredded in Auto (on) mode, and it stops automatically when shredding is finished. The reverse function allows you to retrieve un-shredded or partially shredded papers while also preventing paper jams. If the shredder runs beyond its maximum run duration or begins to overheat, it will immediately shut down to safeguard the motor.

4. Aurora

If there is one thing they have an abundance of, it is paper. It's especially evident when more of our data is moving online and many individuals choose to get rid of stacks, file cabinets, and folders full of paper. However, when you browse through your documents, you may find that many of them contain personal or sensitive information, which is why an Aurora paper shredder like the Aurora AS810SD 8-Sheet Strip-Cut   is required.

These paper shredders are outfitted with a number of capabilities to ensure that your papers are destroyed quickly and safely. To guard against identity theft, they shred papers to make your information almost unreadable and unrecognizable. Whether you shred huge amounts of paper in the office or only shred personal papers once in a while at home, Aurora provides models in a variety of sizes and shred capacities to meet your demands. These gadgets are also small enough to fit in virtually any area. Some are small enough to fit on a desk, while others feature wheels for mobility.

5. GoECOlife  

These GoEcolife models feature a strong engine, one of the shredder's finest characteristics is its whisper-quiet operation, which makes it an excellent choice for more reserved home offices or companies.

Their waste container is large enough to hold whatever you shred, from paper to regular staples and credit cards. They also have an overhead and overload indication, which protects the motor and prevents damage.


1. How do I choose a paper shredder?

How to Choose the Right Office Shredder Machine

  • Paper Size
  • Load Size
  • Cut Type
  • Shredder Speed
  • Noise Levels
  • Security Levels
  • Advanced Features
  • Power Saving

2. What level of shredder do I need?

For typical shredding needs, we recommend a paper shredder with a protection class 2 and a security level of DIN P-3, DIN P-4, or DIN P-5. Most criteria for secure shredding of confidential documents are met by these shredders. When compared to cross-cut shreds, micro-cut particles are hardly legible.

3. How does a cross cut shredder work?

When paper (or any object) comes into contact with the cutting head, a sensor activates, and the sharp teeth or knives spin and pull the paper into their jaws, leaving the paper in fragments in the bin. Similar to a tiny paper shredder, but on a bigger size. And the size does grow.

4. Is micro-cut shredder better than crosscut?

The major distinction is that a micro-cut shredder provides better security since the shredded paper particles are smaller than those produced by ordinary cross-cut shredders. The main distinction is that a micro-cut shredder generates smaller and more particles per destroyed page.

5. What is the best security level?

Government Approved - Level P-7 Provides top secret and classified materials with a high level of security protection. Levels P-3 and P-4 provide enhanced protection for extremely sensitive data. What level of protection do you require? A level P-2 strip cut shredder will give basic security.


Finally, we are reaching the end of our article about information on office shredders. If you find this article useful, feel free to bookmark our websites and check it every once in a while. Thank you to our loyal readers and see you in the next articles coming soon!

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Nyasia Satterfield
Nyasia Satterfield
Nyasia Satterfield is a self-proclaimed shopaholic and product junkie. She began her love affair with shopping at a young age, accompanying her mother on trips to the mall. As she got older, Nyasia developed a keen eye for detail and a knack for finding the best deals. This led her to start writing reviews of the products she bought, which she then shared with her friends. Eventually, Nyasia's hobby turned into a full-fledged blog, where she continues to share her thoughts on the latest fashion trends and must-have gadgets. In addition to shopping and writing, Nyasia also enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is currently studying marketing at the local community college and hopes to one day turn her passion for shopping into a career.