Guide on Choosing the Best Paper Shredder for Your Home Office

September 18, 2020

paper shredder
Anna Bee

Security is important for companies especially if you work in an industry that requires delicate handling of data. Normally, offices have industrial paper shredders that can just digest and destroy files. But now that you have to work from home, you start to  realize that you need a proper way to dispose of files and documents with sensitive company information.

Of course, having a secure bin service is also an option. But the bin itself is not the most appealing addition in your home office. Besides, the additional payment for the service is not practical. You can try to destroy the papers with your bare hands but that is     time-consuming and it might not be enough to ruin some files to the point of no return.

The best solution is to buy a proper and sturdy paper shredder. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you go shopping for your latest home office addition:

1) What paper shredder cut destroys paper trails the best? There are different types of paper shredders. They will destroy your documents in one of the three ways: strip cut, cross-cut, or diamond-cut. These different methods vary on how securely the documents are destroyed. The most common is the cross-cut but you have to know the security requirement of your organization.

For example, according to Choice.com, a consumer advocacy group in Australia, the strip-cut offers security levels of one to three as it cuts the files into long strips usually six to seven mm wide. To note, it cannot shred credit cards. The cross-cut and diamond-cut covers three to five security levels. This kind of method cuts files into small pieces usually 2.7–6. 9mm wide and 11–52 mm long. These two cuts can shred credit cards.

2) What will be the other materials to be shredded? Paper is top of mind but you might need to know if your shredder can handle credit cards, CDs, paper clips, or even staple wires attached to the paper. This is the best way to dispose of old cards that may have sensitive data.

3) How frequently are you going to shred? If this is just for your home, you might not need to get an industrial-sized paper shredder. But if you are going to do this more regularly, then you might need to look at a mall-office range or even a medium-office sized machine.

4) Automatic or manual operations? A manual function will allow you to start shredding automatically when you feed a paper or two on its slot. But if you have to shred more than two papers at a time, opt for a shredder with an automatic function so you can just load and leave your pile.

5) What about the noise level? No one wants a loud machine that can contribute to the noise pollution in your house. But don’t worry -- there are modern paper shredders that can do their work quietly.

6) How can I deal with paper jams? What would you do if a paper gets stuck on the machine? You don’t have to sweat it -- some shredders have a reverse function feature that will aid in freeing up paper jams.

7) How easy is it to empty the bin? Since you do not have a maintenance team in your home, the responsibility of removing the shredding head falls on you. This can be quite heavy and bulky. Also, strip-cut models need to be emptied more often as they produce bulkier waste.

8) What can fit in my office? If you have limited space in your office, you might need to consider the size of the paper shredder. Do a thorough measuring of your space before settling on any unit.

Don’t leave traces

There are different paper shredders out there in the market. But investing in a high-security paper shredder will go a long way to make sure that your back is covered. A good paper shredder will help prevent identity theft, get rid of clutter, and mitigate chances of fire hazards. 

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