Many households do not have paper shredders to take care of valuable credit card information that come from weekly mail and work. For this post, I will provide some quick tips and information on buying a paper shredder so you’re safe from identity theft.
Unless you want to rip stacks of paper by hand, I suggest that you start saving up for a paper shredder. There are alternatives for people low on budget and there are options to those who are willing to spend $200 and more.
Level of Security
Knowing your needs such as the level of security is an essential step to buying a shredder. It could mean the difference between buying a $120,000 and a $50 machine. Some government programs such as the NSA use “The Datastroyer Model 1000 Disintegrator” to plow through thousands of confidential documents and data. It’s really unnecessary but the price ranges of those machines go into the thousands and if you’re looking to purchase one of them, I advise you to check this website.
But if you’re living in an average cookie cutter house, there are cheaper and effective alternatives.
There are three types of paper shredders.
Strip-cut paper shredders cut paper into thin strips and are the cheapest type of shredders available on the market. They usually transform paper into 40-50 thin strips per sheet. With time and effort, a criminal could stitch it back up so this type of shredder offers the lowest security.
Next on the list is the confetti cutter. With this cutter, you’ll see your valuables transformed into confetti like pieces. They’re cut into smaller pieces than strips and are just like those pieces you see in parties and celebrations. These shredders cost a bit more than the strip cutter but it’s because they offer better security. You’ll be left with 300-400 small square pieces if you go with this option.
Finally, the micro-cut shredder. This type of shredder offers the highest security. You’ll be left with 1600-3000 pieces so it eventually becomes useless in the hands of fraudsters. These types of shredders should be an option to individuals or companies that have a high risk of someone trying to steal classified documents from them. With that being said, this will be the most expensive item on the list due to the heavier motor within the shredder.
The other factors that come when choosing a shredder for purchase is the paper capacity and additional features.
Some shredders can handle 30 pages at once while others can only handle 2 to 5 sheets of paper. The ones that can handle more paper will be less prone to jamming. On the flipside, they can be more dangerous because of bigger openings but many shredders will have a safety feature so children are kept safe. So the more it can handle, the more expensive it will cost. This is a good time to analyze time/amount of documents you have.
CDs and Credit Cards
Nowadays, paper shredders will have additional options and features such as the ability to “shred” cards and CDs. Most paper shredders won’t shred the whole CD, instead, they will heavily scratch the surface of the CD making it unreadable on dvd players. For cards, the shredder might be able to cut the card but it all depends on the shredder. The more you pay, the better the features.
Extra Notes and Tips
Depending on the shredder, some machines will need maintenance such as oiling and degreasing.
Safety features are also becoming more prevalent so make sure to check the additional features if you have children or pets.
Some units will not be able to handle staples so be aware of taking them out or buy a unit that can handle metal.
Last but not least, long hair, accessories and clothing should be kept away. These machines have powerful motors and the sharp blades can catch on to almost anything.
This was a simple guideline on choosing a paper shredder. If you want to highlight anything important or add something new, please comment.
After reading this, are you thinking of getting one? Let me know!