How do I use a Shredder?

A shredder, shredding machine or document shredder is a mechanical device for cutting paper and other media which contain information into fragments so small that the information can no longer be retrieved. 

How to use a shredder  


The ultimate aim is the secure destruction of sensitive personal or business data. Government bodies, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals use shredders to destroy private or otherwise sensitive information.

What are the benefits of a shredder?

Investing in a good quality shredder can bring your business lots of benefits.


Increase Security: The main benefit of a good shredder is the increase information security that it can provide your business. Modern businesses must work to ensure that their sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands. From both regulatory and competitive perspectives it is so important that businesses put their confidential data beyond the reach of unauthorised personnel. A good shredder can help you do just that...


Reduce Waste Volume: By shredding your documents and other media you also majorly reduce the size of the waste that your business outputs. This can make waste management so much more efficient and it can majorly reduce the your costs if you are charged by volume.


Minimise Costs: Investing in your own shredder can also bring great costs savings if you are currently paying specialist third-party suppliers to handle your shredding. Good quality shredders are becoming more and more affordable for any size business. The long-term difference between having your own shredder and paying for shredding services can be massive. Having your own shredder on-site also increase security, eliminating the need to send your sensitive data out to be destroyed.


Increase Efficiency: Having your own shredding machine can also greatly improve efficiency in your business. With your own shredder you won’t need to wait long periods between visits from mobile shredding services or despatches to third-party suppliers. You will no longer need to manage, store and organise documents and other media that are set to be destroyed. With your own shredder you can destroy documents and other forms of sensitive data immediately.

These are some of the general benefits that a shredder can bring your business but there may be more depending on the type and scale of shredder you select...


What types of shredder are available?


There is a multitude of shredders and shredding machines on the market. These range from small, cheap machines for personal use to large, industrial scale units for commercial operations. There are shredders that only handle paper or you can source multi-function shredders that can safely dispose of various forms of media, everything from CD to USB drives.


Across the spectrum from small, cheap single media machines to large, complex multi-function shredders, there are three main types of shredder categorised by output:


Strip-cut Shredders: The traditional type of document shredder, these devices were the first on the market and they are still widely used in many businesses where the nature of the data being shredded is not extremely sensitive. They shred documents into long, thin strips. They are generally more simple to maintain and inexpensive to acquire than other types of shredder but the shredded material output is theoretically easier to re-assemble. If you’ve seen Argot, you’ll know that with enough time, patience and a team of school children, this shredded material can be painstakingly put back together.


Cross-cut Shredders: If the nature of the data you need destroyed is that bit more sensitive, you should probably look at a cross-cut shredder. In some instances they are only marginally more expensive than strip-cut equivalents but the level of security they provide is exponentially greater. They work by slicing documents in two directions meaning that would-be information thieves would need to spend infinitely longer in trying to reassemble the data. Cross-cut is now the industry norm and many inexpensive shredders incorporate both strip-cut and cross-cut functions.


Micro-cut Shredders:These machines are best-in-class when it comes to security. They obliterate documents into tiny particles making it practically impossible for any data to be retrieved. They are a more recent innovation than strip-cut and cross-cut machines, they are more complex and as such they can be considerably more expensive. For most organisations a cross-cut shredder is more than sufficient but if your data is extremely valuable or sensitive, a micro-cut shredding machine might be your best option.


These are just the broad categories of shredder available. Within each type you will be faced with a whole host of features and specifications that you will need to consider. Things like throat size, bin capacity, shred speed, energy efficiency and many other factors are likely to impact on your decision...


How to choose the best shredder for you?


Before selecting your shredder you need to ask yourself some important questions about your business, your data and what you need from a shredder.

How much and how often do you need to shred?

The frequency of use and the overall volumes that you need to shred will play a major part in your decision. If you need to shred lots of documents on a daily basis you will need a more robust shredder than the occasional user. Monitor your monthly requirements and look for a shredder that offers sufficient speed, bin capacity and throughput to meet your needs.

How many people will need to use your new shredder?

The number of people who will need to use the shredder within your organisation will not only impact on the size and scale of the machine in terms of capacity and throughput but it will also affect where you need to put the machine. You will need to position the machine in a place that all users can access. This might limit your options in terms of how big the machine can be. You might find that two smaller shredders would be better than one big unit.

What size items do you need to shred?

Look at your documents or other items that you need to destroy. If you need to destroy large documents, bulky reports, oversized prints, CDs or flash drives, you’ll need a bigger and better shredder than the home office models you’ll find in supermarkets or other high-street outlets.

How sensitive is your data?

The most important consideration of all is security. How sensitive is your data? Are there regulations in place which determine the type of shredder you must use. What security level does your data disposal demand?


By answering these questions you can be much more confident in your decision. Define your requirements. Identify a number of possible products. Compare them carefully. Read customer reviews. Ask around about the quality of service each potential supplier provides. Then you’ll be able to pick the best shredder for your business.


Get in touch

If you have questions about shredders, we’d be happy to help. Just call us on 1850 33 44 55 or check out our range of top quality Intimus shredders and select the best one for you...