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Paper Shredder Buying Guide

  • 10 questions to ask to ensure you buy the best shredder.

Protecting yourself and your business against identify fraud is one of the primary motivations for buying a shredder.

Whether you are a business or consumer, read our buying guide before buying a paper shredder to ensure that you ask the 10 questions that will ensure you’re buying the right shredder to combat identify theft.

  • 1. Who is going to use the shredder?

This is really important but is often overlooked, especially by businesses.  The profile of the people using the shredder has a huge bearing on the type of documents that they will be shredding.

Home users will want to shred bank statements and any document detailing personal information that they wish to shred and recycle whereas others such as accountants, lawyers or medical practitioners may have confidential documents that simply need to be destroyed.  These users will require a shredder with a higher security rating.

It’s important to select the correct security rating rather than simply shopping by cut type.  We always advise customers against shopping by cut type.  Whilst cross cut and confetti cut shredders do generally shred a document into more pieces than a strip cut shredder it is the number of pieces that a shredder cuts a single document into that is far more important to consider.  Our security level overview explains all you need to know to sleet the best shredder.

If the shredder will be used in a multi-user environment additional security features such as lockable bin chambers may also be important security considerations.

We try to help customers seeking to protect themselves by segmenting our range into groups suited for personal & executivessmall officeslarge officesdepartmentalwide entry for A3 sheetsauto feed shredders and jam free shredders.  Our shredder selector tool will help you select the right type of shredder for you.

  • 2. How frequently will the shredder be used?

If a shedder is going to be used frequently it is likely that it will also be shredding more paper.  Customers aware of their shredding volume often shop for larger bin capacities as they want to avoid need to frequently empty their shredder bin.

Take care to shop by shredder bin capacity in terms of sheets, not just litres.  Shopping by sheets stored in the bin is much more useful and accounts for cut types which cut documents into smaller pieces and shredders that compact the shredded paper to increase storage.

Shredders that offer auto feed shredding allow stacks of paper to be shred in one go, rather than being fed manually.  Rexel Auto Feed models offer a 98% time saving over manual feed models and over a period of time generate real productivity savings.

  • 3. How big does the shredder bin need to be?

The bin size is the single largest driver of the size of the shredder.  Rexel shredders deploy some clever design tricks to keep the bulk of the unit to a minimum.  We find that compact units are generally preferred by home users where the shredder footprint is more of a concern.

It is always best to shop by sheets stored in the bin rather than bin size alone.  Shredders shared by multiple users will generally generate more shredding and so a bin size of 600 sheets or at least 80L is generally recommended for shredders serving more than 10 users.

Also, be mindful of paper density.  Some manufacturers communicate shredder performance using 70gsm paper.  This is the lightweight value density often sold by supermarkets.

Offices tend to use upwards of 80gsm for everyday printing and so at Rexel we prefer to share real world data points based on 80gsm paper.

  • 4. How many pieces should a good shredder cut a piece of paper into?

This depends upon the document being shredded.  Any shredder that does not shred an A4 sheet at least 35 pieces is not worthy of being considered a shredder, it’s just not fit for purpose in this day and age.

Our shredder rating guide provides a guide per type of document. 

At Rexel we recommend the following security levels:

  • 5. How long do you need the shredder run for?

The motor of a paper shredder generates heat.  Good shredders feature a safety mechanism to shut a shredder down to allow it to cool before the temperature rises too high.  We refer to the length of time that a shredder will run for before shutting down automatically as it’s “run time”.

The longer the run time the more you can shred in one go.  Customers that tend to shred in batches often become frustrated with poor run times and later upgrade to a model with superior run time.

Customers tend to be less concerned with the cool down time but this is still an important factor to consider when assessing overall productivity.

  • 6. How fast do you need the shredder to shred?

It’s important to assess the speed of a shredder as a function of the cutter speedand its sheet capacity.  Are you actually more interested in how many sheets you can shred in the least amount of time, rather than pure motor speed?

Look for shredders offering more than 10 manual sheet capacity at 80gsm if you are a frequent shredder.

Manual feed shredders become immediately more time consuming than auto feed shredders once more than a few sheets need to be shredded.  Auto feed shredders allow more sheets to be shredded at once as they accept a stack of paper and allow the user to walk away.  We refer to this as “hands-free” shredding.

Just like any device with a motor, paper shredders require care and maintenance.  Shredding a shredder oiling sheet once in a while is an easy way of prolonging the life of your shredder cutter blades and it’s motor.  Shredders designed to serve large numbers of users, typically in offices, can feature automatic self-oiling.  These models look after themselves by taking a drop or two of oil from an oil refill bottles.

  • 8. Are recyclable waste sacks available?

Recyclable waste sacks can be submitted directly for recycling rather than non-recyclable sacks which must be emptied before the shredded paper can be recycled.

  • 9. Who will you buy from?

Make sure you are buying from a customer that offers a secure e-commerce site or a dealer that you know and trust.  It never hurts to pick up the phone, take care to shop safely.

  • 10. Have you checked our own website for our latest offers?

Finally, we often have promotions running that are available from us or trusted partners.  Make sure you don’t miss out.

In summary, the top 10 questions to ask before buying a new paper shredder are:

1. Who is going to use the shredder?
2. How frequently will the shredder be used?
3. How big does the shredder bin need to be?
4. How many pieces should a good shredder cut a piece of paper into?
5. How long do you need the shredder run for?
6. How fast do you need the shredder to shred?
7. How often are you willing to lubricate your shredder?
8. Are recyclable waste sacks available?
9. Who will you buy from?
10. Have you checked our own website for our latest offers?

 

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