What is the best Paper Shredder (Buying guide)

What is the best Paper Shredder (Buying guide)

When buying a product I always recommend doing research, particularly if it’s an expensive device or a useful tool that will last for years. That’s why you should know how to distinguish what is the best paper shredder.

Paper shredders are very important in any office and even in a home office.

These devices allow you to destroy paper which is essential when you’re dealing with documents with confidential data. It can be anything from your name, address, or even a bank extract.

In any case, it’s not info someone else should be getting access to. That’s why you should destroy it conveniently before taking it to the trash.

Table of Contents

  1. Factors to consider when buying an awesome shredder
    1. Type of shred
    2. Security Level
    3. Sheet Capacity
    4. Runtime and Cool down time
    5. Bin Capacity
    6. Type of Bin
  2. Wrap-up

Factors to consider when buying an awesome shredder

Before making the choice of purchasing a shredder, you must consider the following factors:

Type of shred

Shredders are generally categorized into 3 types: Strip-cut, cross-cut, and micro-cut.

  • Strip-cut shredders. They are perfect for shredding non-confidential documents and paper clips. But remember they shred these documents vertically into fairly readable strips. Typically an A4 paper will be shredded into 36-38 particles.
  • Cross-cut shredders. These machines are ideal for shredding sensitive documents and paper clips. The documents are shredded vertically and diagonally into small particles that are not easily readable. They usually shred an A4 paper into 380-400 particles.
  • Micro-cut shredders. Ideal for shredding highly sensitive documents and credit cards. They shred documents into tiny unreadable particles. They are capable of shredding an A4 page into 3,800-4,000 particles.

Security Level

Every shredder specification comes with a security lever classified by a DIN number. DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung which translates to mean German Institute for Standardization.

It is an international standard for the shredding of data. Knowing the DIN number of the shredder you want to purchase is important, as it would inform on the security level.

  • Normal security for non-confidential data is classified as DIN P-1, P-2, and P-3
  • High security for sensitive data is recognized as DIN P-4
  • For confidential data and high security for highly sensitive opt for P-5, P-6, and P-7

Sheet Capacity

The sheet capacity informs you of how many sheets of paper you can feed into the machine to shred.

For home office use, you may not require a shredder with a high sheet per load capacity. With light usage, 10 sheets per load are probably more than enough.

Depending on the desired usage, for more intensive paper shredding you might consider a machine that handles between 20 to 30 sheets at a time.

Runtime and Cool down time

Knowing the runtime and cool-down time for a shredder you want to purchase is important. It’s also important to check how they relate.

Try to avoid a product that has a low runtime combined with a long cooldown time. That can result in long waits.

The best machines will generally have high run times and low cooldown times.

Again, knowing your usage is key so you can choose the most adequate machine for your needs.

Bin Capacity

The bin capacity is sometimes overlooked but remember that a large bin means you’ll empty the trash less frequently.

And sometimes it’s annoying to interrupt your work to that chore.

Type of Bin

Shredder bins are of three types:

  • Lift off the head. You’ll need to pull the head of the shredder from the body and take out the trash. After this, you replace the head firmly.
  • Pull out. All you need to do is pull out the bin when it is full and empty its contents.
  • Removable bucket. The bucket is pulled out of the shredder when it is full and replaced.

Disposing of your home office space from the old and needless documents and credit cards the right way is important. With the aforementioned paper shredders, it is a necessity to have one sitting beside your workplace.


I hope this article cleared your doubts about what you should look for to identify a great paper destroyer.

Check out our review articles on Paper Shredders for Home use and Paper Shredders for Office for more intensive use.