A common occurrence when buying a shredder is purchasing one that doesn’t fully meet your needs. From experience, buyers tend to underestimate the number of pages they shred and how often the shredder is actually used.
Below are a few different things you should consider before purchasing a shredder. If you have any further questions and/or need help picking which shredder is right for you, feel free to contact us here.
Where the shredder will be used and how much it will be used will have an impact on your requirements. A home office will have different needs than an office with 5 or 6 people or a government office that has highly confidential and sensitive information.
Bin capacity should be considered when buying a shredder. Bin sizes vary in capacity, and completely depend on the environment in which they’re being used. If you buy a small shredder for a busy office, you will be constantly emptying the bin. By getting a bigger bin capacity, you will save time emptying the rubbish.
You will need to consider if there are any other items other than paper that will need to be shredded. Paper isn’t the only shreddable item that contains sensitive information, so you must consider other items such as cardboard, CD/DVD’s, USB’s, floppy disks etc…
It is also important to consider the thickness of the paper which you are shredding. The data sheet of a shredder will show the quantity of paper that can go through at any one time based on 70gsm and 80gsm. This might be a consideration for you if you shred more of one type than the other.
Security is, and should be, a huge factor when purchasing a shredder, especially if the shredded material is of a confidential nature. The security level of a shredder is documented as a ‘P’ rating. The confidentiality of the information on the document will dictate the ‘P’ rating of the shredder you require.
P2: Basic level security. The shredder will strip cut the document. It is generally not the best way of shredding, and it will be easier to re-assemble.
P3/4: Instead of strip cut documents, the shredder will cross cut the sheets which creates a confetti like waste. It is much harder to re-assemble than strip cut items. As the sheets are shredded into much smaller pieces, you won’t have to empty the waste bin as often as strip cut machines.
P5/6/7: P5, P6 and P7 rated machines provided a high level of security and confidentiality. These will micro cut the document which leaves it in a dust like state. Because of this, it is virtually impossible to assemble.
P5 would be suitable for shredding sensitive information of HR and Finance departments, whereas P7 would be more suited to the most confidential documents i.e. intellectual property documents or government items. P6 would fall in between.
To learn more about shredder security levels, check out this article.
Like most things, your budget will have an influence on your options. Shredders are available at many different price points. The material to be shredded, brand, capacity of the bin and the security level are a few of many factors that influence the price of a shredder.
Would you like a warranty when buying a shredder? Warranty lengths vary from brand to brand, so make sure to consider this.
Servicing & Maintenance
There will come a time when you will need to service your shredder. You should consider who will service the machine for you when you run into issues and how long you may have to wait to get it serviced.
Similar to any device with a motor, it will need to be oiled regularly to prolong it’s life. Shredding an oiling sheet is an easy way of prolonging the life of smaller shredders. However, bigger shredders are sometimes self-oiling. This means that instead of shredding an oiling sheet, these shredders pull oil from their own reserves.