Looking For a Shredder? Read This First
1. Security Level. In this age of identity theft and consumer fraud, congress has actually stepped in and required businesses to destroy certain types of documents in a certain way. Known as the FACTA laws, these regulations created security levels for shredders, from 1 to 6, and require you to use at least a Level 3 machine for certain types of documents. Level 3 is a cross cut pattern that resembles confetti, and makes it nearly impossible to reassemble a document. Higher levels are available, but if you want to at the very least protect yourself from the possibility of fines and litigation, you should get a Level 3 cross cut shredder.
2. Sheet Capacity. You will find that sheet capacity varies greatly depending on what sort of workload the machine is intended for. If you are looking for a level 3 shredder to place beside your desk and use on an as-needed basis (as opposed to constant use) 6-8 sheets per pass is a pretty reasonable starting point. For higher-use office shredders, you will find that somewhere around 16 sheets or above (cross cut) is where you want to be. With all the other options available, there's always a little give and take with this, but those are good basic standards.
3. Motor Size and Duty Cycle. Most shredders have a stated amount of time that they can be used before the motor needs to see a rest period to prevent itself from overheating. There are, however, a growing number of manufacturers that are producing machines that can be run continuously throughout the day. If you are looking for a shredder for a large department or mail center, a continuous-duty machine is something that will save you a lot of time and headaches.
4. Extended Capabilities. Most shredders worth their salt can handle staples and paper clips with ease, and a great many of them can destroy credit cards as well. In this day and age, however, you are certainly aware that confidential information comes in many forms. By way of answer, many manufacturers are coming out with machines that can shred all kinds of digital media, including CD's, DVD's (and in some cases, floppy discs, if anyone still uses those). In a nod to the green scene, a lot of these shredders even include separate openings and waste bins for these items, so the plastic won't get mixed up with the paper for recycling.
5. Cutting Heads. There are a couple different types of these. You'll find either solid steel shafts (more higher-end machines) or stacked cutting knives. The solid steel shafts may prevent paper jams by bending less during the cutting process, and are generally of a higher quality. In either case, it is fairly standard for manufacturers to offer lifetime warranties on cutting heads (level 3 or lower, anyway), so keep that in mind.
If you are interested in more information about Paper Shredders you might want to visit MyBinding.com. They also carry a large selection of Shredder Accessories, such as shredder oil, bags, and boxes. Check it out today!
14 Apr 2010 by LoreenC 357