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1) Continuous Run Time:
The most important attributes when you are shopping for a paper shredder is not just the sheet capacity, but the continuous run time, which is the duration of non-stop shredding prior to overheating. When a shredder overheats you will likely wait 30-60 minutes before it can restart again. This run time rating is not always shown on some paper shredder descriptions. The longer the run time, the better and more expensive the motor is and therefore more durable. Better shredders will have a run time of 8 mins or more. Some shredders are called heavy duty and can have a run time of 15 mins or more.
2) Quiet Operation:
Secondly, look for a quiet motor that runs <58db or less. This means the motor is using an induction motor and not a universal motor that is used by shredders that are louder. Most smaller, light duty shredders will use a universal motor because it's less expensive and lighter than induction motors. The larger capacity shredders may use either motor types. You can also tell by the weight of the shredders since induction will weigh almost twice as much as a universal motor.
3) Shred Speed:
A faster speed is important not because it can shred paper faster, but it means that the components are made of more durable parts. A speed of 7.5 ft/min or more is a decent rating.
4) Shred or Cut Type:
There are many types of cutters out there and they can be confusing to most. There are really just 3 types of cutters in the market, but some have alternative names. The 3 types of cuts are strip cut, cross cut and micro cut. Strip or straight cut means the blade makes a thin straight cut from top to bottom of a sheet of paper. Cross cut means the blade can make cross section cuts along a strip of paper. This is also called confetti cut because the cross sections resemble confetti. Diamond cut is another name for this, but it's trademarked and the shredded paper resemble diamond shapes.
5) Shred Size and Security Level:
Although there are only 3 shred types, there isn't really an industry standard that is regulating what the shred sizes are for each type. Shred size is the final shredded paper size that falls into the waste bin. Every manufacturer seems to have their own standards and sizes. The smaller the cut size the higher the security level.
Auto Start and Stop, Reverse mode are must-have features. Some shredders have auto stop when a jam is detected. This helps prevent the motor from grinding further and strip the gears. The better shredders will have warning indicators to let you know the bin is opened and overheat detection.
Things to look for when shopping around for a paper shredder:
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I hope this helped!
Paper Shredder Reviewer
Personal documents are a part of life that are not going to be going anywhere soon. Most documents contain personal information such as addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers or even bank account numbers. If this type of information got into the wrong hands, then you could be at risk for a stolen identity. Having to fix this will not only take time and effort, but it can damage your credit and bring you lots of headaches. Taking all precautions to protect yourself is the best way to guarantee that your identity will not be stolen.
Since it is inevitable that you will have some documents that have your personal information on it, then finding a way to destroy the confidential documents is the number one most important thing. The best way to do so is by purchasing a paper shredder. However, not all paper shredders are the same. Some provide more security protection than others. The key to getting the best security is in the cutters.
There are three different types of cutters that can come on paper shredders. Strip cut shredders will shred the documents into strips that are the length of the paper and approximately ½ inch wide. This is perfect for bills and documents that do not contain too much personal information. Cross Cut paper shredder will give you a little more protection. This type of cutter will shred the paper into strips that are approximately ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Finally, for the most security you want to get a micro cut paper shredder. This cutter will shred the paper into micro-sized pieces, making it nearly impossibly to read any information that was posted on the documents.
Another thing that can lead to a stolen identity is credit cards. If you have old, expired credit cards lying around, anybody could get your personal information from them. The best way to prevent this from happening is to get rid of the credit cards when you no longer use them. Cutting them up with scissor will only give you a little protection. The best way to guarantee they will not wind up in the wrong hands is to send them through a paper shredder. Not all paper shredders are compatible with credit cards, so be sure that they are before putting the card in it. Like with documents, the size of the cutter will determine the amount of privacy.
Many paper shredders can also cut through CDs and DVDs. Since a lot of people store personal information on this type of technology, having a way to destroy them is great for keep your privacy. Since stolen identities are becoming more common, it is important to protect your privacy. If you destroy all of your private information with a paper shredder, you will definitely not be at risk for a stolen identity.