How to Choose the Right Office Shredder Machine
Choosing a paper shredder machine or other office appliance shouldn't be a life-and-death decision. Most new buyers, however, tend not to have much experience with it, and this can lead to complications.
It seems simple enough: find a machine to match your budget, make the purchase, and get ready to shred. But it's not as straightforward as all that. There are factors to consider and certain machines that will work better for your office, depending on your unique needs.
You need to know what your options are. Which features are appropriate for what you'll be shredding, and how to know what will work best for you, ahead of time?
Here are eight great tips for finding the perfect paper shredder for use in your office:
1) Paper Size
The shredder machine decision process starts with paper size.
You'll need an idea of what sized paper you'll be shredding most often. Most offices use a shredder that takes letter-sized sheets, to dispose of private information.
Sometimes, however, you'll need more. Certain tax documents and pay slips come printed out on extra wide square sheets. Folding one or two of these in half before you shred them might not be a problem. But, when the piles of these get to be in the twenties, the awkward size will be an issue.
Do an assessment of the paper sizes you'll be shredding. You may be able to save money on a smaller shredder, but the extra work of processing overly large paper may not be worth it.
2) Load Size
Going hand in hand with the question of paper size is the issue of load size.
If you're shredding small reams of paper, a simple, narrow shredder input will do just fine. You don't need much if you're destroying letter twenty sheets in a month.
But it's important, to be honest about how much you'll be shredding. Anything more than just a few sheets of paper and you'll want a shredder machine that can handle a mid-sized load. Make sure to do your research well in advance, and get a shredder that's up to the task.
A good rule of thumb goes:
- Personal shredders for single users
- Small shredders for up to five users
- General office shredders, next up, work for up to ten people
- For more than ten users, consider a commercial shredder
3) Cut Type
When it comes to choosing between paper shredders, one of the distinguishing factors to consider is cut type.
If you thought these machines simply sliced your documents into straight vertical lines, you'd be very wrong. Strip-cut machines create long, straight cuts. Cross-cuts add confidentiality to your shredding by chopping strips into smaller chunks.
Micro cuts take the cross-cut concept and improve on it, cutting paper into much smaller pieces. Pushing the envelope of this idea to the limit, we find high-security shredding, which reduces the paper to particles instead of chunks.
4) Shredder Speed
Paper shredders are convenience items. They're meant to save you time and effort, at home or in the office. And a large part of that convenience boils down to speed.
Most modern shredders feature a specific runtime, meaning they can operate constantly for up to a preordained time. After this, they need to cool down in order for the machinery to maintain its operational condition.
These cycles range from two minutes to more than an hour, depending on the make and size of the shredder machine. Make sure to research yours beforehand, so you aren't unpleasantly surprised.
5) Noise Levels
Paper shredders are inherently noisy. There's no getting around it - these are boxes full of moving parts whose only job is to slice and tear apart small bundles of paper. Whatever brand you get is going to make a certain amount of noise.
If you're willing to invest some more money, you stand a good chance of finding a noise-controlled unit. There are some high-end shredders that boast silent work, and you might get earnestly close to just that.
For something more low-end, there are YouTube videos for many shredders, showing off how loud they are. Use these to make your decision before buying, and you'll be able to find the best noise for your money. Alternatively, you could simply go into a store and try out a few models in person.
6) Security Levels
Safety features can be an important factor in choosing a paper shredder. If you have young children who might be at risk around an unattended shredder, a little security can make all the difference.
Safety guards are standard in shredders of most types and help to keep fingers out of any danger zones. More expensive shredders may use laser sensors to detect fingers, stopping the blades before they can do any damage.
7) Advanced Features
Of course, just because you're buying a paper shredder doesn't mean you have to buy only a paper shredder. Many of these units feature a variety of advanced features to add to and improve your shredding experience. Some of these include:
- credit card shredding, for plastics, paper clips, and heavy card
- anti-jam technology to keep the feed tray clear
- pull-out bins, which are actually fairly common
8) Power Saving
Office appliances take a lot of energy to run, especially in large numbers. For many people, deciding to buy a paper shredder comes down to how much power they're likely to use.
80% of the energy from using a paper shredder comes while it is in use. For better energy consumption, look into a shredder that prioritizes energy savings while it is in use and while it is out.
Choosing A Shredder Machine: Now You're Ready
Paper shredders aren't the kind of machine most people buy more than once or twice in a lifetime. With this in mind, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, or like you're not putting enough thought into your purchase.
Hopefully, this handy list of eight tips for choosing the right paper shredder for your office will give you all the insights you need.