Not all shredders are made the same - and those that you’re likely to use on-site at an office are going to be very different from the shredders that are part of a professional shredding service. Why does this matter? Well, because different shredders produce different types of secure shredding cuts and some are much more comprehensive than others when it comes to achieving the best possible security during your data destruction process.
Strip cut shredders
You’ll find this type of shredding cut in most home shredders. Whatever you’re destroying will be shredded into long lengths - that’s why this type of shredding cut is also called a Spaghetti cut. The shredded strips will be as long as whatever media you’re destroying - so, for example if it’s A4 sheets of paper they will be around 297mm. The width of each strip is usually up to you and you can choose widths in multiples of 2mm. While these shredders tend to be the cheapest, this is also the most basic type of shredding cut and the least secure, as it’s the easiest to piece back together.
Cross cut shredders
When you’re using cross cut shredders, each item being disposed of isn’t just being cut lengthways but widthways too. The end result will be - if you’re shredding paper - a pile of what looks like confetti. One single sheet of A4 paper can produce around 900 pieces of this ‘confetti’ when you’re using a cross cut shredder. There are two key benefits to using cross cut shredders. The first is that they are much more secure - it’s virtually impossible to piece back together any documents that have been destroyed like this. Plus, cross cut confidential shredding waste tends to be more compact and so takes up less space in recycling bins.
Micro cut shredders
Like a cross cut shredder, the micro cut shredder will shred items both widthways and lengthways. However, the particles produced tend to be even smaller. You’ll get the same confetti-like pieces at the end of the process but many more of them - up to 1,500 per single sheet of A4. This type of shredding has become very popular because it’s probably the minimum required to help avoid situations of identity theft or issues with sensitive or business critical data being stolen. It’s impossible to piece documents back together when they have been micro cut shredded - and the smaller particles take up even less space in recycling bins.
Crypto cut shredders
This type of shredding is the ultimate secure option - and also the most sophisticated type of machine. Crypto cut shredders are usually only found in the most highly secure environments, such as government or military installations. They can shred a single piece of paper into up to 3,000 tiny dust-like particles and also do the same to other items, such as CDs and DVDs.
When you’re investing in secure shredding for your business it’s important to make sure that you know what you’re getting - and that this fits with the level of security that you need.