Shredders: What Should I Look Out For?

shredders: what should i look out for?

Shredders are a crucial piece of office security equipment – and dare we say it, quite fun to use! At Essential Workspaces we’ve got lots of different shredders to suit every budget, with discounts of up to 71%.

Read on to get the lowdown about why today is a great day to buy a shredder, and key features to look out for…

Why buy a Shredder

As Riva Richmond of the New York Times puts it, “One of the easiest ways to steal someone’s identity has nothing to do with computers and passwords and everything to do with Dumpster diving.”

Identity fraud is a growing problem in the UK, with sensitive information recovered from waste making up part of a staggering 200,000 cases annually.

This issue is at the very heart of why you should buy a shredder – our world is not completely digital and security obligations don’t end when you throw something in the trash. Put simply, if you don’t securely destroy items such as bank statements, bills, tax documents, and expired credit cards, you be giving a criminal many of the tools they need to clone your identity.

How much security do you need?

Basic shredders work to a cross cut pattern. Sheets are sliced both horizontally and vertically, turning each page into many tiny rectangles.

More advanced shredders provide extra security by micro cutting. The DIN Security Standard P-7 states paper must be shredded to a maximum cross cut particle surface area of 5mm², and must have a maximum Strip width of 1mm.

The most powerful shredders on the market are capable of turning paper almost into dust, for ultimate security.

How often will you use one?

Are you working from home or in an office environment? Do you have space for a rubbish ban-sized unit, or does it need to fit on your desktop?

Shredders come in many shapes and sizes, depending on how much needs to be shredded and how quickly. Larger models are around the same size as a conventional bin and do not require regular emptying, whereas the smaller ones will fill up quickly.

Another factor to consider is that shredding blades become quite hot during use, so need time to cool down. This is why most shredders come with a capacity and time rating, providing an indication of efficiency. It’s worth remembering that micro shredders will have a lower capacity than regular cross cut shredders due to the extra energy required by the blades.

Top features of shredders to look out for

Some shredders make more noise than others. This is an important consideration if you and your coworkers are trying to concentrate.

As unit price increases, shredders begin to have more and more useful features. These help keep both the unit and its users safe, with auto shut off in case of straying fingers, anti paper jam technology, staple/paper clip removal, and even wireless smartphone apps.

Best for desktop use: Aurora AS424C Cross Cut Shredder

as424c aurora

The first thing to notice about the AS424C is its size, it is much smaller than most shredders and is designed for use on a desk. The small size allows for great space saving, portability, and easy storage. The shredder has a 4 sheet capacity and cross cuts documents into small 5 x 47mm particles, it can also shred a single credit card at a time, and if small paper clips or staples find their way into the shredder it will shred these too.

The 5 litre bin will contain around 40 sheets before it needs emptying and is transparent so you can view its contents. The shredder itself has a handle for easy removal, auto mode for shredding, a reverse option for clearing any jams, safety cut outs prevent accidental operation, and thermal cut outs protect the shredder from over heating.

Conforms to DIN level P-3

* Using 70gsm weight paper

Best for home office use: Rexel Home Alpha Confetti Cut Shredder

rexel confetti cut shredder

This practical home shredder provides general security via simple 4 x 30mm confetti cut. Equipped with a safety feature to prevent overheating, the Alpha Shredder takes 5 sheets at a time and has a 14 litre bin which is easy to empty as the head simply lifts off.

Conforms to DIN level P-4

* Using 70gsm weight paper

Best for small offices: Fellowes 79CI Cross Cut Shredder

fellowes 79cl shredder
shredders: what should i look out for?

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Bin full indicator, reverse, auto start/stop, SilentShred? Technology, auto start/stop

Safe Sense technology automatically stops the shredder when touched

Silent Shred Technology minimises disruption in shared work spaces

Conforms to DIN level P-4

* Using 70gsm weight paper

Best for large offices: Rexel Autoplus 750M Micro Cut Shredder

autoplus 750m shredder

This high security, large office auto feed shredder is ideal for over 20 users. The 750M shreds up to 850 sheets (70gsm) or 750 sheets (80gsm) automatically into approx 2,000 2x15mm micro cut pieces each and provides sufficient security to shred highly confidential documents.

With the Auto+ 750M shredder you do not need to stand and feed it, or even remove staples or paper clips first. It has an automatic feed and an 115 litre bin so you can load up to 850 A4 sheets and leave it to get on with the job.

Conforms to DIN level P-5

* Up to 750 sheets using 80gsm weight paper