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FAQ on shredding

Frequently Asked Questions about Shredders and Shredding

  1. Why should I use a shredder?
  2. What is the difference between strip-cut, cross-cut and Crypto-cut shredding?
  3. What is the capacity of a shredder?
  4. Can I shred anything besides paper?
  5. What is a CD Shredder?
  6. What is a high-security shredder?
  7. Do I legally have to shred?
  8. What are the sizes of paper shredders?
  9. What about After Sales Servive and Repair?
  10. Where can I buy the best shredders for the best price?

Why should I use a shredder?

No one should dispose of paper documents with sensitive information by just tossing them in the trash. Names, phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card receipts, customer information, financial and health documents and trade secrets are just some examples of paper you should shred. Identity theft is real.

Some businesses and government agencies are also required to dispose of documents properly which may include using a paper shredder. For example, there are strict guidelines for protecting the privacy of patient's health information and there are heavy fines/penalties for not being compliant.

Shredding paper is also better for the environment. You reduce the volume of waste and some people even use shredded paper for packing material (just be sure it is not sensitive material that could be pieced together without too much effort).

What is the difference between strip-cut, cross-cut and crypto-cut shredding?

There are several different decisions to make when choosing the correct shredding machine including the type of shred need, which in turn determines the level of security of the machine. Most shredders can be categorised into three types : Strip Cut, Cross Cut and Crypto Cut.

  • Strip Cut Shredding: The Strip Cutter is generally seen as the most basic type of shredding system, but can be more than adequate for the less sophisticated user. A perfect example would be a home user who requires a reasonably low level of security, but is determined to protect information from possible identity theft. Strip cut, or Spaghetti cut as it is sometimes referred to, is the means of shredding paper or other types of media like credit cards or CD�s into long parallel lengths. The length of the strips will tend to be as long as the type of media that you intend to cut. For example if you put a sheet of A4 paper into your shredder you will be left with approximately 30-50 parallel strips the length of the A4 sheet. It would be technically possible if you were shredding a continuous computer printout for the length of the shreds to be as long as the continuous sheet. You can have a choice of how wide the strips are in multiples of about 2mm. The advantage of strip cut over cross cut shredders are that they will tend to be cheaper, as the cutters cost less to produce, and they will shred more sheets of paper per pass.
  • Cross Cut Shredding: The cutting cylinders not only cut the paper widthways, but also lengthways too. The results are small particles that look like confetti. Depending on the security level of shredding chosen you will be left with between 300 to 1500 tiny pieces once shredded from a single A4 sheet of paper. Cross cut shredders have now become much more popular and at all levels (except entry level) out sell equivalent strip cut shredders. The use of cross cut or confetti cut shredders is always recommended as they give the user 2 main advantages:
  1. The shredded waste is more secure as it is much harder to read the information that was held on the pieces of paper.
  2. The waste shreds will compact into the waste bin much more than strip cut shreds so that the shredder has to be emptied less frequently.
  • Crypto Cut Shredding: Crypto cut shredders are usually used by Government or Military installations where the data is extremely sensitive. These shredders are Din Level 5 or 6 machines that will shred a single piece of paper into between 1500 and 3000 tiny dust like particles. Some of these machines will also turn CDs and DVDs into dust meaning that none of the data can be recovered.
One of the most difficult decisions to make when choosing a shredder is the decision between a strip cut shredder and a cross cut shredder. The specifications of these types of shredders often seem so different and it can be hard to sort out the differences. Here is a quick list of things to consider when choosing between these two different types of shredders.

  1. Bag Changes: Cross Cut or Crypto Cut shredders cut documents into much smaller pieces making it possible to go as much as two to three times as long between shredder bag changes. Less bag changes mean more productivity (plus, nobody likes to change the bag).
  2. Speed and Productivity: Given the same sized motor a strip cut shredder will almost always be faster and able to shred more pieces of paper at a time than its Cross Cut counterpart. Since the paper is simply cut into strips instead of into small pieces, strip cut shredders are able to cut much faster than cross cut models.
  3. Security: Cross cut or Crypto Cut shredders are far more secure than strip cut shredders. With new special computer programs it has become easier than ever to piece back together shredded documents. However, dealing with the confetti from a cross cut shredder can be a lot more difficult than the strips from a straight cut shredder. However, if you are extremely concerned about the safety of your shredded documents you might consider a high security . Please contact us on + 353 1460 2200 for FREE Advice.
  4. Price: Generally speaking, you will pay about 12% more for a cross cut shredder than you will pay for the same shredder in a strip cut model. However, the cross cut model will have lower productivity and speed than the strip cut shredder. Often to get the same speed and shredding volume you will need to step up to the next model and you may end up spending as much as 25% more than the strip cut shredder you were looking at.
  5. Maintenance: Since Cross Cut / Crypto Cut Shredders do a lot more cutting than strip cut shredders they need to be oiled more often than strip cut shredders. It is suggested that cross cut shredders be oiled after ever 1 hour of shredding and that strip cut shredders be oiled after every 2 hour of shredding time. The good news about this is that shredder oil is very inexpensive and regular oiling of both models will help ensure that your shredder will perform better and last longer.

What is the capacity of a shredder?

The paper or sheet capacity of a shredder refers to the number of sheets you can shred in one pass. Typically the strip-cut machines will shred more at once as they are only cutting in one direction, while the cross-cut shredders must cut in two directions. Capacity can vary greatly with shredders, from as little as 3 pages to 100+, depending on the size and capability of the shredder.

Can I shred anything besides paper?

Some paper shredders will also cut CD�s, credit cards and computer disks into small strips. These are specialized multimedia shredders, so look for this capability. A great many shredders can also handle staples and paper clips, however it can still increase wear on the cutting mechanisms. And it is not impossible for a paper clip to shoot out of the shredder while running, so it�s best to remove them if possible. However, if the shredder indicates it can take clips and staples then it will.

What is a CD Shredder?

A CD shredder is a machine that can cut the compact disc into strips. This is a nice feature when you need to destroy data on a disc which might contain sensitive information. Some shredders also may have a feature that scratches up the surface, rather than �chewing� up the disk, making the data unreadable. Multimedia shredders are capable of shredding CDs and may also shred other formats such as credit cards and computer disks.

What is a high-security shredder?

High-security shredders are manufactured specifically to meet standards that meet or exceed the level established by agencies such as the DOD, NSA and CSS. The cross cut or crypto-cut is typically very small and virtually impossible to piece together. The size has typically been 1/32� x 7/16�, but new standards have been implemented that shred even smaller. These shredders are sometimes referred to as �Level 6�. See High-Security shredders for more.

Do I legally have to shred?

Information legislation in Ireland is constantly becoming more rigorous, meaning that any organisation that fails to fully comply may face severe and costly penalties.

Legislation, such as the Data Protection Act, states that all private information contained in documents must be securely destroyed in a way that ensures it cannot be recreated. To fully ensure this, secure shredding is the most effective method.

Even if you are not legally required to dispose of documents it may be wise to prevent possible litigation from anyone whose private information you handle becomes accessible. The most convenient and effective way to do this is document shredding.

What are the sizes of paper shredders?

Paper shredders come in a variety of sizes. Most home and small businesses don�t have the volume of paper that justifies an office or departmental shredder. Nevertheless, you should determine the size of your shredder based on the number of users, frequency of use and volume of paper/documents to shred. The actual dimensions of shredders are also varied and you should be able to find the size listed with the product specifications. Typically, the bigger the capacity the larger the shredder (although this doesn�t always hold true). A personal or deskside machine is usually about 1-2 feet in width and about 2 feet high. Midsize office shredders are in the range of 2-4 feet high and about 2 feet wide. Departmental shredders can be as large as 5 feet high and just as wide, although many models are in the 3-4� high x 2� wide. Industrial shredders are even larger (10� x 5� and 4-5� deep) and will have space and power considerations. You also will deal with larger freight charges the bigger the machine, as well as possible setup and installation concerns.

What is the history of paper shredders?

We are the only company in Ireland with our own team of service engineers. We do not subcontract our service work to third parties allowing us to control, implement and fix all equipment on-site or at our dedicated workshop.

As Ireland�s No.1 service company for Shredding machines, we specialise in the servicing, repair and sales of all the leading makes of shredders. All our engineers have undertaken extensive training programmes with our partners Intimus and EBA.

We take great pride in our customer support services and are committed to offering you a comprehensive after sales service. Simply tell us, the type and model of equipment that you want covered and we�ll cost the most appropriate plan for you. What�s more, it doesn�t matter where you bought the machine from, we can cover you!

You pay a fixed annual price to cover all servicing and repair. We ask that you commit to a minimum period of 12 months cover but you may terminate you agreement at any time with 3 months notice. Your support plan has no limitations on the amount of time we spend servicing your equipment, arising from normal machine use.

Where can I buy the best shredders for the best price?

There are as many shredder dealers as there are shredder models and types (or so it seems). The best price should also take into consideration the quality of the machine, customer service, technical support, prompt delivery and the ability to meet your needs. As distributors for EBA and Intimus all these factors come into play...ensuring you a lifetime of hassle free shredding at prices you can afford!