Every office or home equipment is an investment. A commercial grade paper shredder, for example, should translate to efficiency and convenience. The idea of getting a paper shredder is about disposing your confidential files safely and in the best quality possible. It’s always a priority that your money gets what it’s worth or even more if you’re wise enough in choosing your purchase.
Here, I discussed some points you should think of first before buying your paper shredder. Take time to contemplate on this so you can get a machine that caters your needs.
Strip-cut vs. Cross-cut vs. Micro-cut
When it comes to shredder types, there are three that are classified based on the security level it could provide. You can choose from strip-cut, cross-cut, or micro-cut. These types will fall on Security Level 1 to 7 where 7 is the safest of all. If you want to shred your sheets to the smallest bits, you should get the micro-cut type (Level 4). If you just have a few, less confidential documents to shred, you can choose the cross-cut one (Level 3). Strip-cut (Level 1 or 2) is for least confidential documents.
There are special types that are called super micro-cut (Level 5) and High Security (Level 6 or 7). These are used for FBI-level types of confidentiality.
Materials you’ll shred
The best commercial grade paper shredder should come with a paper opening and separate slots for CDs and credit cards. It’s also a wise buy to get a shredder that can chew staples and paper clips along with the paper. You should also consider if the machine you’re planning to buy can shred adhesives without jamming the paper and if it can smoothly cut glossy papers.
Knowing this part is important so you won’t face the hassle of a dysfunctional machine especially if you’re too busy to troubleshoot it.
Office or home use?
Shredders aren’t exclusive equipment in the office, sometimes, it’s also required at home. If you’re getting one for your office, you may want to get a bigger model to cater all the shredding task of your employees. If you’re just using it at home for several junk mails and confidential files, a smaller one will do.
If you have a small business, you can get one that can fit under your desk. This is preferable since you may not have the luxury of space to accommodate a large machine. Aside from the size, the materials on the location where you’ll use it will play a big role.
Getting the right features
Once you know the materials you’re going to shred and the location where you’ll use it, it’s now time to figure out the features. First, you should get a shredder with separate slots for different materials to be shredded. This will maintain the cutting efficiency of your machine.
Another thing to consider is to get one with a safety lock. This will come handy when you have kids or pets around. A machine that works automatically when fed with paper will also be a convenient one to use. Getting the right features depends on the shredding needs you want to accomplish.
Consider your budget
Not everyone can afford a shredder worth 200 bucks. If you’re on a budget, there are still a lot of models you can choose from. Anyway, cheaper models would likely have smaller wastebasket or none at all. It may look like a scam, but there are larger machines that can be bought in the fraction of the price of other brands.
If you have $80, I can bet that you’ll have a decent commercial grade paper shredder. Just follow the cool down instructions so it will last longer than its worth.
Size and durability
The size of the shredder depends on the frequency of use. If you have a big office that needs to dispose piles of confidential documents, you should invest in bigger ones; say a model that has a 9-gallon wastebasket. On the other hand, smaller types will be beneficial if your office is small or if you want to place it under or beside your desk.
When it comes to durability, look for one that offers a lifetime warranty on the paper cylinder. This is a statement of the quality of the product. Also, you shouldn’t forget to read reviews of your potential purchase.
Speed and capacity
Shredders may come in 6-sheet, 8-sheet, 14-sheet, or more variations. The capacity of the paper opening would likely be related to its speed. A shredder that can chew six feet of paper in a minute is already to die for more so if it can rip 100 sheets a minute.
Anyway, there are shredders that can eat more than 100 sheets a minute but can only function in a maximum of two minutes and cool down for half an hour. The key here is getting a model that has thermal control and can last a handsome 20 minutes to one hour of use without billowing smoke.
This part is just a bonus feature on your way to choosing a commercial grade paper shredder. The convenience of disposing the shreds will add to the user experience. You should look for a model that will shut down once the bin is full of shredded paper. A machine that has a light indicator for the wastebasket would be a good choice too.
Lastly, the wastebasket should be easy to dismantle from the machine. If you don’t want the hassle of removing the bin, you can put a plastic bag inside it.
Getting a commercial grade paper shredder is beneficial for your office or home tasks is a good investment. It will ensure that you will dispose your files with security from identity theft. A machine may cost you a few dollars more, but it’s better than cutting your documents manually. Are you planning to buy a shredder? Let us know!