There’s plenty of choice for heavy duty shredders right now (especially for you compulsive shredders out there!)
But with a mammoth range from tiny plastic strip shredding box to a steel-clad behemoth, it can be hard to know which one to get.
That’s where we come in.
This guide will cover a few questions you should ask yourself before you buy as well as a couple of perfect candidates to short-list.
What to look for in a heavy duty paper shredder
The world of heavy duty shredders get confusing fast so before we get into it, let’s just go over what you might want to think about when you’re looking for a shredder.
What size shredder do you need?
The size will determine a few things, namely how often your shredder has to be emptied.
You want a shredder that’s big enough that you can shred for a couple days at a time (at least) without having to empty the bin.
Because when the bin gets full, people tend to ignore it, and just put their sensitive documents in the trash – hardly a secure solution.
Second, you want a shredder that suits your specific space. Shredders can range from the size of a small garbage bin all the up to the size of a small laser printer.
You’ll need to consider where you’re going to keep the heavy duty shredder before you buy.
What are you going to shred?
Are you planning on just shredding paper, or do you think you’ll need to shred other things as well?
With the continued effort to go digital, many companies are now looking for shredders that can shred ID cards, credit cards, and CDs.
You’ll need to consider exactly what you want to shred before you buy.
How much use is it going to get?
The most important question to ask yourself what sort of use is it going to get.
You’ll want a shredder that can do for long enough without needing a break to satisfy your needs.
Some people can probably get by with a standard non-continuous heavy duty shredder, meaning that the shredder will eventually need a break from shredding before it overheats.
However, if you need something a bit sturdier, or you’re buying a shredder for a big office, then a continuous shredder might be better for you.
These shredders can go all day long without a break, which is great if lots of people are using it.
Another thing to consider is how fast you need your shredder to be.
Again, if it’s a small office or even a home office, then you can get by with a slower option. However, if there’s a big team using the same machine, then speed is absolutely critical to its function.
Because again, if there’s a long line for the shredder, people will just throw their secure paper in the garbage.
What level of security do you need?
The last thing to consider is what level of security your office or workplace needs.
Okay, a little bit of technical background here.
There’s an international organization who rate this sort of thing. It’s called a DIN rating.
Each shredder will have DIN rating from one to six that corresponds to how small the pieces the paper is shredded into. The finer the shred, the higher the DIN number.
DIN 1-3 is a standard strip shredder – the sort of thing you pick up at Office Depot. This is not very secure as thieves can piece together the strips to see what the paper said.
Each standard printer paper is shredded into about 36 pieces with this type of shredder.
DIN 4-5 is where the cross-cut shredders come in. These cut a standard piece of paper into small paper confetti, making it almost impossible for thieves to glue it together again.
DIN 4 is the minimum standard for medical documents per HIPAA regulations, making it a nice balance between security and price.
Finally, DIN 6 is the level required to destroy government documents and other things that are highly secure.
This sort of product is often called an NSA listed shredders because it's compatible with the NSA's security requirements.
They basically turn paper to dust.
Are there any special features that are important to you?
Finally, ask yourself:
Are there are any particular important features you feel a shredder has to have?
For example, if you have a small office and the shredder is in the main area, how much noise it makes might be a key concern.
Other benefits to consider include:
- A pull-out bin – much easier to replace the shredder bag.
- Jam proofing - jams slow down business. If it’s important that you get a shredder that will never jam, get one that’s jam-proof.
- Safety features like automatically turning off if it senses fingers getting too close.
Heavy duty shredder recommendations
Now that you have a good idea of what sort of shredder you’re looking for, it’s time to dive into some product specifics. These are our top 3 favorite shredders out there right now.
Pro 32 Cross Cut Shredder
The Pro 32 Cross Cut Shredder is a superb security shredder for the home office or private use. It’s a clean and simple with an easy ‘iControl’ panel and handy bonus features like automatic start, stop, and reverse and Silentec. It's nice and quiet. Capable of shredding 12 pages at once, it should see you through most of you basic shredding needs.
Good to know:
- DIN security level 3
- Shreds CDs, DVDs, paper clips and credit cards
- Can shred 12 pages at once
Pro 852 Cross-cut Shredder
For a larger capacity option than the Pro 32 your best bet is the Pro 852. With a significant jump in capacity, speed, and durability, the Pro 852 is great for medium and large offices.
The reason we love the Pro 852 isn’t just it’s speed (but it can shred 80 pages at once - just sayin’).
It’s that, for a large shredder, it’s outrageously easy to use. It’s got a removable waste basket, warnings about doors being opened or the shredder being jammed, and works via a super simple keyboard. Perfect for those who don’t want to be running to fix the shredder every 20 minutes.
Good to know:
- DIN security level 3
- 54-gallon waste capacity (a LOT Of paper confetti)
- Can shred everything from staples to floppy disks Can shred up to 71 feet per minute
Pro 45 CC6 High-Security Shredder
The Pro 45 CC6 is perfect if you need level 6 security shredding (an NSA listed shredder). Shredding 5-6 sheets at a time and decked out with all the user-friendly features of the Pro 32 cross-cut, the Pro 45 CC6 is good for if you handle highly sensitive documents on a regular basis and want your shredder right by your desk.
Good to know:
- Surpasses NSA security requirements for heavy duty shredders
- Includes Dynamic Load Sensor, so it will tell you if what you’re feeding is too much (before a jam)
- Uses Silentec, so nice and quiet
Ready to get a shredder?
We looked at what you need to think about before you buy a shredder to make sure that you get one that suits your needs, considering things like:
- What size do you need?
- What are you shredding?
- How much use it’s going to get?
- What level of security you want?
- What unique features are a must have for you?
We also highlighted a few primo shredder options depending on if you just need something small, are after something for a bigger office, or need something with a little more security.
Now you’re ready to buy the perfect shredder for you! Because, after all, you can’t put a price of secure peace of mind.