Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

16 January 2020 Shares

Home Paper Shredders Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

By Recycling.com/ 16 January 2020 Shares

Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

Everything to know about micro cutting shredders

Bonsaii-Paper-Shredder-4S30-micro-cutter
Our Top Pick
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Do you want to shred your confidential document in tiny micro shreds? Then you are looking for a micro-cut shredder with security level P-5, P-6 or P-7. But P-4 is also considered as a micro-cut shredder.

Micro-cut paper shredders offer more security and data protection than a regular P-3 cross-cut shredder and far more than a strip-cut shredder. That is because a micro-cut shredder destroys your confidential documents into unreadable paper particles.

Top 10 Micro-Cut Shredders


Top 14 Best Micro-Cut Paper Shredders

Please note: All recommended paper shredders are security level P-4 or higher.

  1. Bonsaii 4S30 | 10-Sheet (P-5) Our #1 Best Seller
  2. Aurora AU1210MA | 12-Sheet (P-4) Compact & Powerful
  3. Bonsaii 4S23 | 8-Sheet (P-5) Heavy-Duty & Affordable
  4. AmazonBasics | 17-Sheet (P-4) Perfect Home Office Shredder
  5. AmazonBasics | 8-Sheet (P-4) Budget-Friendly & Easy Operation
  6. Fellowes Powershred 225Mi | 16-Sheet (P-5) Commercial Use & Heavy-Duty
  7. Aurora AU870MA | 8-Sheet (P-4) Budget-Friendly & Tiny Shreds
  8. Bonsaii Evershred C149-D | 12-Sheet (P-4) Compact & Medium-Duty
  9. Bonsaii Pro 4S16 | 6-Sheet (P-5) Powerful & Compact
  10. Fellowes Powershred 99Ms | 14-Sheet (P-5) Low Noise & High Security
  11. Fellowes Powershred 62MC | 10-Sheet (P-4) Small Shredder & Safety Lock
  12. Aurora AU820MA | 8-Sheet (P-4) Budget & Compact
  13. AmazonBasics | 6-Sheet (P-4) Budget & Basic
  14. Bonsaii DocShred C560-D | 6-Sheet (P-4) Budget & Basic

What the best and most reliable micro-cut shredders you can buy? We’ve selected 12 well-reviewed high security paper shredder machines. These shredders are suitable for home and (small) office use. For commercial use we recommend a shredder with a high sheet capacity, large bin capacity and a long run-time so it can be operated by multiple users during the day.


#1 | Bonsaii 4S30 | 10-Sheet (P-5)

Our #1 Best Seller

Bonsaii-Paper-Shredder-4S30-micro-cutter

The Bonsaii 4S30 is terrific shredder that tjust keeps on shredding. This low noise and compact shredder comes with heavy-duty features, namely a 10-sheet shredding capacity and the micro-cut shredder can shred documents continuously for four hours straight. Besides paper you can also shred CDs and DVDs.

  • Security level: Micro-cut P-5
  • Run time: 240 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 10 pages
  • Bin capacity: 7.9 gallons

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#2 | Aurora AU1210MA | 12-Sheet (P-4)

Compact & Powerful

Aurora-AU1210MA-12-Sheet-P-4-micro-cut

The Aurora AU1210MA is a high security shredder for shredding your confidential documents, CDs, DVDs and credit cards. The heavy-duty small office shredder has a 60-minute continuous run time and it operates ultra-quiet. Easily clear paper jams with the anti-jam functionality.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 12 pages
  • Bin capacity: 5 gallons

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#3 | Bonsaii 4S23 | 8-Sheet (P-5)

Heavy-Duty & Affordable

Bonsaii-4S23-8-Sheet-P-5-micro-cut

The Bonsaii 4S23 is a powerful paper shredder for destroying a lot of documents continuously. This ultra-low noise (58dB) shredder operates for 120 minutes and shred your documents into small P-5 particles. You can also shred credit cards, CDs, DVDs, paperclips and staples.

  • Security level: P-5
  • Run time: 120 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 8 pages
  • Bin capacity: 6 gallons

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#4 | AmazonBasics | 17-Sheet (P-4)

Perfect Home Office Shredder

AmazonBasics-17-Sheet-P-4-micro-cut-shredder

The AmazonBasics 17-Sheet is a great shredder to use in a home office. The high-security shredder with large 7 gallon bin is able to shred up to 17-sheets per pass, it destroys CDs and DVDs and also credit cards. You can shred 20 minutes continuously and the shredder sits on four casters.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 20 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 17 pages
  • Bin capacity: 7 gallons

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#5 | AmazonBasics | 8-Sheet (P-4)

Budget-Friendly & Easy Operation

AmazonBasics-8-Sheet-P-4-micro-cut-shredder

The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet High Security is a P-4 shredder with a 4-gallon pullout basket. With this compact shredding machine you can shred 8 sheets per pass and with the separate slot you can destroy credit cards, CDs and DVDs. The four casters make it easy to roll the shredder around.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 5 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 8 pages
  • Bin capacity: 4 gallons

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#6 | Fellowes Powershred 225Mi | 16-Sheet (P-5)

Commercial Use & Heavy-Duty

Fellowes-Powershred-225Mi-16-Sheet-P-5-micro-cut-paper-shredder

The Fellowes Powershred 225Mi is a large commercial grade heavy-duty micro-cut shredder for shredding high volumes of documents in the office environment. The continuous duty motor runs for 60 minutes. Besides documents you can also shred staples, paperclips, credit cards and CDs/DVDs.

  • Security level: P-5
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 16 pages
  • Bin capacity: 16 gallons

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#7 | Aurora AU870MA | 8-Sheet (P-4)

Budget-Friendly & Tiny Shreds

Aurora-AU870MA-8-Sheet-P-4-micro-cut-shredder

The Aurora AU870MA is a basic and budget-friendly micro-cut shredder. The shredder is perfect for home use for occasional shredding, it offers high security and protection because it particles are 6 times smaller than standard cross-cut shreds. Besides paper you can destroy credit cards.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 5 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 8 pages
  • Bin capacity: 3.9 gallons

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#8 | Bonsaii EverShred C149-D | 12-Sheet (P-4)

Compact & Medium-Duty

Bonsaii-C149-D-12-Sheet-P-4-micro-cut-shredder

The Bonsaii EverShred C149-D is a compact medium-duty shredder that shreds paper for 60 minutes continuously. Thanks to the low 62dB operation you can shred confidential information discretely and quietly at home or the office. The shredder stands on four casters, so you can easily move the shredder around. Each paper particle has a size of 5/32 by 2/5 inches.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 12 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 6 gallons

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#9 | Bonsaii Pro 4S16 | 6-Sheet (P-5)

Powerful & Compact

Bonsaii-EverShred-Pro-micro-cut-shredder

The Bonsaii EverShred Pro 4S16 is a compact sized micro-cut shredder that can shred high volumes of documents. Thanks to the continuous run-time you can shred sensitive documents up to 60 minutes. Shred 6 sheets at a time, but also CDs and credit cards are not a problem to destroy with this machine.

  • Security level: P-5
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 6 pages
  • Bin capacity: 4.2 gallons

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#10 | Fellowes Powershred 99Ms | 14-Sheet (P-5)

Low Noise & High Security

Fellowes-Powershred-99Ms-micro-cut-office-shredder

The Fellowes Powershred 99Ms is the micro-cut version of the 99Ci shredder. This is a very popular paper shredder for small office use. The quiet shredder can handle 14 sheets of paper at a time for 20 minutes. This all-rounder only lacks the option to shred CDs or DVDs.

  • Security level: P-5
  • Run time: 20 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 14 pages
  • Bin capacity: 9 gallons

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#11 | Fellowes Powershred 62MC | 10-Sheet (P-4)

Small Shredder & Safety Lock

Fellowes-Microshred-62MC-shredder

The Fellowes Microshred 62MC shreds 10 sheets of confidential documents per pass into 7/64 by 25/64 inch particles. You can also destroy old credit cards with this machine. For extra safety and protection this paper shredder has a safety lock that disables the shredder when the machine is not in use. The shredder shreds your documents quietly which is preferable in shared office environments.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 7 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 10 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 5 gallons

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#12 | Aurora AU820MA | 8-Sheet (P-4)

Budget & Compact

Aurora-AU820MA-High-Security-8-Sheet-shredder

The Aurora AU820MA is a small paper shredder that destroys your paper documents, CDs and credit cards. You can shred up to 8 documents per pass and the shredder allows for 5 minutes of continuous shredding. Each particle has a size of 0.15 x 0.47 inches. This means that this shredding machine is perfect for occasional shredding when there is also a need of high security.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 5 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 8 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 4.8 gallons

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#13 | AmazonBasics | 6-Sheet (P-4)

Budget & Basic

AmazonBasics-6-Sheet-High-Security-Micro-Cut-paper-shredder

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security is a basic shredder that offers high security. With the shredder you can shred up to 6 documents per pass into pieces of 5/32 by 15/32 inches. The run-time of this shredder is 3 minutes, this makes the AmazonBasics shredder perfect for occasional shredding at home. The small shredder has a waste basket with a capacity of 4.1 gallons.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 3 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 6 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 4.1 gallons

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#14 | Bonsaii DocShred C560-D | 6-Sheet (P-4)

Budget & Basic

Bonsaii-DocShred-C560-D-shredder

The Bonsaii DocShred C560-D is compact and basic P-4 paper shredder that shreds your documents into particles measuring 5/32 by 15/32 inches. When a possible paper jam occurs, the manual reverse option clears it easily. The motor of the shredder is protected from overheating by the thermal protection system. The shredder shreds documents at a speed of 6.2 feet per minute and is perfect for incidental shredding at home.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 2 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 6 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 4 gallons

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reuse-reduce-recycle-iconA micro-cut shredder offers the highest levels of security for your confidential documents.


Top 10 Micro-Cut Shredders

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More about micro-cut shredders

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What is a micro-cut shredder?

micro-cut-shredder-particlesA micro-cut shredder is a more advanced cross-cut shredder and offers more security than a strip-cut shredder. Just like a cross-cut shredder, a document is cut diagonally from both corners. Therefore the end result is a bin full of short paper particles. So what is the difference between micro and cross-cut? Well, the particles from a micro-cut shredder are smaller than the shreds from a cross-cut shredder. The paper particles from most micro-cut shredders are so small that you can’t even read a single letter on it. So when you are looking for extra security it is recommended to buy a micro-cut shredder machine.

One A4 document ends up in more than 2,000 tiny particles when it is shredded with a P-5 paper shredder.

How does a micro-cut shredder work?

Cross-cut and micro-cut shredders contain two cutting blades with v-shaped edges. The cutters cut the documents diagonally from both corners with small particles as a result. In comparison, a strip-cut shredder only cuts the paper vertically with strips as a result.

Read more about paper shredders in our shredder guide, or find out more different types of paper shredders here.

Micro-cut-shredder-particles
What does micro cut paper shredding look like?

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Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very small paper particles.
  • High level of security.
  • Wide choice of micro-cut shredders
  • Keep your sensitive information safe.

Cons:

  • Shredding process is slower than a similar cross-cut shredder.
  • The machine needs to cool down quicker.
  • Micro-cut shredders are relatively more expensive.

What security level is micro-cut?

Micro-cut shredders contain a security level of DIN P-5, P-6 or P-7, according to the official DIN 66399 standard. DIN P-7 offers the highest level of information security and is recommended for shredding extremely confidential documents, for example documents from the government.

When you want to be sure that your shredded paper can’t be reconstructed and can’t be read by anyone then you need a micro-cut shredder.

Use a micro-cut shredder for:

  • High level of security
  • For shredding highly sensitive documents
  • Tiny square shaped paper shreds
  • Cuts diagonally from both corners
  • Approximately 3,700 particles per shredded document (size: A4)
  • Security level: DIN P-5, DIN P-6 and DIN P-7

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Micro-cut shredder or Cross-cut shredder?

How sensitive, confidential and secret is the information you want to shred? You are probably looking for a high-security micro-cut shredder that destroys your documents into tiny and unreadable particles so you and your business is protected against identity theft. Officially, according to DIN 66399, a micro-cut paper shredder falls under security level P-5 or higher (P-6 and P-7).

micro-cut-cross-cut-shredder-particles
Micro-cut particles are barely readable.

But when you browse for shredders online you will see that a lot of ‘micro-cut shredders’ are actually security level P-4, which really is a cross-cut type shredder. Fellowes, a well-known manufacturer of shredders, also states in a security level info-sheet that a micro-cut shredder has security level P-5 or higher.

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Difference between a P-4 and P-5 shredder?

Officially, a micro-cut shredder starts at security level P-5 or higher. But it is common that also P-4 shredders are considered micro-cut. The shredders above are all micro-cut shredders with security level P-4 or higher. But what is the difference between a P-4 cut and a P-5 cut?

TLDR:The particles of a P-5 micro-cut shredder are smaller in comparison to a P-4 cross-cut shredder. But both security levels are used to shred confidential documents.

‘P-4 micro-cut’ shredders are officially and respectively cross-cut shredders. But the shredders offer good enough security for destroying most of your confidential documents at home or in the office. When information security and data protection are very important to you, we recommend looking for a more secure micro-cut paper shredder with security level P-5 or higher.

Shredders with security level DIN P-5 or higher are generally more expensive because these machines offer more data security due to the smaller shred size. The question is, do you need the small shred size of a P-5 shredder? Normally these high-security shredders are recommended for shredding highly confidential documents. But for the general office documents, that do contain confidential information, a P-4 shredder offers enough security.

The main advantage of a P-4 shredder in comparison with a P-5 shredder is that generally the P-4 shredders can process and shred documents more quickly. And the run-time of the shredder is longer when compared to a similar model that offers security level P-5 or higher.

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Shred size of a P-4 and P-5 shredder

The difference between security level P-4 and P-5 is the official minimum size and shape of one paper particle after shredding a document. How small is a P-4 particle in comparison to a P-5 particle? According to DIN 66399:

  • Security level P-4 particle size is equal or smaller than 0.248 in² (160 mm²)
  • Security level P-5 particle size is equal or smaller than 0.0465 in² (30 mm²)

There can be a 80% difference in particle size between a P-4 and P-5 paper shredder.

Below you can see a comparison of cross-sectional shreds from a P-3, a P-4, and a P-5 shredder. You can tell that a P-5 paper particle is much smaller than a P-4 particle. But, it is important to note that a P-4 particle can be smaller than 0.248 in², the range of a P-4 shred sits between 0.248 in² and 0.0465 in². The smallest cross-cut shred can be actually called a micro/cross-cut shred. This means that the size of a P-4 cut can differ between paper shredder brands. That is because it is up to the manufacturer how small the shredder can shred your documents. Therefore it is important to thoroughly research the specifications of a paper shredder to find out the size of a paper particle.

Compare-Security-Level-P-3-P-4-P-5-cross-cut-micro-cut

  • Security level P-3: Destroys an A4 document into +-/ 200 pieces.
  • Security level P-4: Destroys an A4 document into +/- 400 pieces.
  • Security level P-5: Destroys an A4 document into +/- 2,000 pieces.

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Is a P-4 paper shredder secure enough?

For destroying documents it is recommended to use a security level P-3 shredder or higher. Basically the minimum recommendation for shredding sensitive documents securely is to use a cross-cut shredder. But the term ‘secure’ is relative, it all depends on your own opinion and expectation of how much security you prefer. Some people are satisfied with the size of paper particles from their P-3 shredder. However, others do prefer a smaller particle, that offers more security and protection, and therefore they opt for a P-4 or even a P-5 shredder.

difference-strip-cut-cross-cut-micro-cut-paper-shredder
Paper shredder cut types.

The higher the number of the security level, the more secure and smaller the cut.

In the specifications of each shredder you can find the size of a particle and the DIN 66399 security level. With this information you can estimate if the shredder offers the level of security you are looking for.

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Maintenance of a micro-cut shredder

applying-shredder-oil-papershredderTo keep your micro-cut paper shredder run smoothly it is recommended to oil the shredder regularly.

In order to do this read the user manual for further instructions. You can make use of official shredder oil or you can use lubricant sheets to lubricate the blades of the paper shredder.

Read more about how to oil your shredder.

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Shredder guide

What to look for when buying a secure paper shredder? Read our Paper Shredder Guide.

Paper shredders for home or office

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Step Up: Recycle, Reuse & Reduce

The three arrows of the recycling symbol represent the three main stages of the recycling process: recycling, reusing and reducing. Together the arrows form a closed loop. Step up and implement eco-friendly replacements in your daily life.

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Join the movement! Step Up the waste hierarchy together to a goal of Zero Waste.

By Recycling.com/ 16 January 2020 Shares

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