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Before You Buy a Shredder...

       ...There are several considerations. Be sure to compare paper shredders by the right criteria!

It is human nature to shop by price. But, this could be a huge mistake. Paper shredders can be an inexpensive or expensive investment. One of the best ways to keep the price down is to buy the right shredder for the right job – the first time!

Choose the model that best meets your requirements (needs) for size, performance, and security. Then find the best price.

Your main considerations are:

The type of shred you need.Strip cut shredded paper
The options are strip cut (long spaghetti like strips of paper), cross cut (like little pieces of confetti), and high security (very small pieces down to fine particles). Your strip cut will be dependent on the sensitivity of the information (typically, the more sensitive the smaller the shred size) and the quantity of paper and type of media you are destroying. Many modern day machines will shred CD-roms, credit cards and diskettes in addition to paper.

Kobra 260 Office Size Shredder How much use the shredder will get. If you need it for home use or just a deskside shredder to do less than 75 sheets of paper a day without a need to do a lot in a short amount of time then go for a personal or office size machine. These are smaller and more affordable.

Olympia high-capacity 1500 shredderOn the other hand, if the shredder is shared between workers or for a department then step up to the bigger office and departmental machines. Olympia PacMaster - shreds cardboardIf you need to destroy very large quantities (up to several cases a day) and maybe even heavier paper and cardboard there are some high capacity and industrial models that will do the job.

Multimedia capability is another consideration. There are a number of paper shredders capable of handling your paper shredding needs as well as the ability to safely and securely shred credit cards, CD-ROMS and computer floppy disks. Find out more at our multimedia shredders page.

The performance
of the shredder is important, too. With proper maintenance and care good models will give years of satisfactory performance. The amount of paper to shred in one pass varies, dependent on the size of the throat (the opening where you put the paper through), the horsepower of the machine and the quality of the cutting heads.

Security factors. Some government agencies, medical facilities, real estate companies and legal services mandate high-security document destruction (hey, that sounds impressive, doesn’t it?).
HSM 125.2 High Security Paper Shredder Shredder manufacturers are aware of the Department of Defense specifications. You don’t have to be a DOD agency to use one, but to get the tiny shred cut will cost more than the strip and cross-cut models.


Space, look and power. Do you have room for your shredder? Keep in mind that heavy duty shredders are bigger than the deskside models. Shredders come with different size bins or bag holders. Some have castors (wheels) that make it easy to move around. An automatic start feature is a nice touch (the shredding starts automatically when you put the paper in). You can also get auto stop, forward or reverse selections (very helpful is the machine jams or the bag is full) and rocker switches that combine those features. Industrial shredders are large and loud (no, you don’t want it next to your desk!). Also, some models are quite aesthetic and can blend in nicely with your office décor.
                                 Dahle Chameleon shredders


Donít forget customer service and maintenance considerations. Shredders really are not difficult to operate and the maintenance doesnít usually require a specialist. However, if you donít do the basics, like clear the heads of excess shredded paper, oiling when needed and giving the motor a rest once in a while (yes, even on “continuous rated” motors) youíre eventually asking for trouble. All good shredders come with warranties (typically a year on the basic parts and three to five years on the cutting heads) and sometimes you can get service contracts. Also, who you buy from needs to be reputable. The convenience of online shopping is wonderful, but make sure you get to know your seller. Commonsense considerations like a phone number to talk to a representative, secure servers to process your credit card and posted terms of service are mandatory. Don ít get burned by a “fly-by-night” operator.

Walk into any office supply store and you will probably get a choice of some economical models, such as those sporting the Fellowes and Royal brand names. You can spend $30-80 and get a decent entry-level machine. However, since you are online looking for a good deal, keep in mind that only a handful of manufacturers make all the shredders. Some of these machines get private labeled. You can easily go online to find quality shredders from top name makers at bargain prices. You will find the best prices, selection and service at Factory Express, Inc.


There may be some other considerations. Papershreddersinfo.com was designed to help you do the research before you buy. Explore our site thoroughly and you might also want to visit our FAQ page. If you have a question or concern you donít see specifically addressed we will be happy to hear from you. Go to our contact page and send us an email.

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