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Strip Cut or Cross Cut Shredder?

Which will it be . . . a strip cut or cross cut paper shredder? This decision is largely about the security level you are looking for.

There are different security levels with paper shredders, categorized by the types of shredded paper produced: Strip cut or Cross cut.

With an understanding of the volume and frequency of your shredding needs, along with the nature of the material to be shredded, you will be able to confidently decide between a strip cut or cross cut shredder.

Strip cut shredders produce long strips of "shreddings", and cross cut shredders perform a dual cut, producing tiny particles in uniform length and width. The size of the particles depends on the level of security. Shredders fall into one of six security levels:

Level 1 = 12 mm (.4724 inch) strips
Level 2 = 6 mm (.2362 inch) strips
Level 3 = 2 mm (.07874 inch) strips (confidential)
Level 4 = 2 x 15 mm particles (commercially sensitive)
Level 5 = 0.8 x 12 mm particles (Top Secret or Classified)
Level 6 = 0.8 x 4 mm particles (Top Secret or Classified)

The strip cut shredder, although at a lower security level (level 1-3), is quite popular because of its affordability and versatility, and there are many models to choose from. Strip cut shredders are an ideal solution for home and many small office users.

Cross cut paper shredders are more secure (level 4-6), producing small particles that are impossible to reassemble. A Level 6 High Security shredder produces tiny particles that meet strict Department Of Defense (DOD) requirements for the terminal destruction of top secret documents.

The commercial cross cut shredder is rapidly becoming the shredder of preference for business use. In addition to higher security benefits, one of its main attractions is the considerable reduction in the volume of shredded waste, creating an added savings for less waste removal and bag supplies. This is also beneficial for saving operator time with no need for compacting or additional handling of the material.

Although a greater amount of actual "shredding time" is required for cross cut shredding, the advantages result from far fewer bag changes. In fact, the environmental benefits alone are a major draw to the crosscut shredder method.

Strip Cut

  • Lower cost
  • Many models accept multi-media (CDs and credit cards)
  • More sheets per pass

Cross Cut

  • Higher security
  • Less waste material to dispose of
  • Environment friendly