If you are looking to buy a new paper shredder for the office, you are probably terrified not to make a blunder and buy a machine you will regret. Fortunately for you, I have analyzed the situation and come up with a list of errors people usually make when getting a new shredder.
This list will help you figure out what not to do. It will ultimately help you make the right decision.
1. Choosing the wrong-sized shredder
Size is important and encompasses several factors. Before you choose your shredder, consider the following factors:
- How much capacity does the shredder have? That is, what quantity of paper can you feed into it with every feed and every hour? If you have a large supply of documents which you need to shred on a daily basis, you will need a larger-capacity shredder.
- What type of feed opening does it have? It could be gravity-fed, where you drop it in, or conveyor-fed which uses rollers to move the sheet of paper through the shredder.
- How wide is the feed opening? This will depend on the size of paper you are shredding. If you shred large sheets of paper, it would be a blunder for you to buy a shredder that has a narrow feed opening because the paper will not fit through it.
2. Choosing the wrong type of shredder
There are many types of shredders available in the market. The main options are strip-cuts, cross-cuts, and micro-cuts. But how should you decide which one is best for you? I will give you a simple criterion.
First, consider security. One of the main reasons for using a paper shredder is to securely destroy information that you don’t want unwanted entities accessing. With the great strides that have taken place in technology during the last few years, fraud and identity theft have also evolved.
Using smart computer programs, fraudsters can piece together the pieces of paper produced by the shredder, and read the information you would rather keep secret.
If security is paramount for you, purchasing a strip-cut shredder would be a big mistake. You see, the strip-cut shredder cuts paper into long thin strips which a determined individually can piece together.
The best choice if you are looking for a high-level security shredder, you should get either a cross-cut or a micro-cut. Both of these shredders cut paper into tiny pieces of paper which are so small that these shredders are often called confetti shredders. The better of the two choices is the micro-cut shredder.
3. Not considering the materials you will shred
Not all shredders can handle hard materials. Other than paper documents, sometimes you will want to shred your CDs or DVDs to get rid of the information you have saved in them. If you purchase an ordinary paper shredder, you will ruin it trying to shred CDs with it.
For hard materials like cardboard, staples, or CDs, you should only buy a shredder that is specifically designed to handle such materials. Manufacturers often indicate the types of materials a particular shredder can handle.
Shredders which can handle hard materials are called heavy-duty shredders. But that doesn’t mean that all heavy-duty shredders can shred hard materials. It could mean that yours can shred cardboard or staples, but it cannot handle a disk. Ensure you check the manufacturer’s specifications to verify what materials your new shredder is designed to work on.
4. Not considering their average output
Companies that have a large quantity of regular shredding output prefer to outsource their shredding needs. If your company has a high quantity of paper to shred, you should choose the shredder that suits your output.
It also depends on how much labor you can allocate to the task of shredding. Before you start shopping for a new shredder, calculate how many pounds of paper you shred per day. Using these figures, calculate which shredder will maximize output, and buy the number of shredders that will satisfy your company’s need.
Don’t be like so many buyers who have deeply regretted in the past after making a bad decision. Keep these four common mistakes in mind, and you will avoid purchasing the wrong paper shredder.