Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

4 January 2021 Shares

Home Paper Shredders Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

By Recycling.com/ 4 January 2021 Shares

Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

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Everything to know about a micro-cut shredder

best micro-cut paper shredder
Our Top Pick
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Do you want secure shredding for your confidential documents? Then you are looking for a micro-cut shredder with security level P-5, P-6, or P-7. But in the US a P-4 shredder 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 P-2 strip-cut shredder.

Top 10 Micro-Cut Shredders

Top 10 Best Micro-Cut Paper Shredders

These are our Top Picks:

  1. Aurora AU1210MA | 12-Sheet (P-4) Compact & Powerful
  2. Aurora AU870MA | 8-Sheet (P-4) Budget-Friendly & Tiny Shreds
  3. Aurora AU820MA | 8-Sheet (P-4) Budget & Compact
  4. AmazonBasics | 10-Sheet (P-4) High Security Auto-Feed
  5. Aurora AU1000MA | 10-Sheet (P-4) Robust & for Multiple Users

Please note: All recommended paper shredders are security level P-4 or higher. We’ve selected well-reviewed and popular 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 | Aurora AU1210MA | 12-Sheet (P-4)

Compact & Powerful


Our #1 Best Seller

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

Budget-Friendly & Tiny Shreds


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 its 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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#3 | Aurora AU820MA | 8-Sheet (P-4)

Budget & Compact


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 for high security.

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

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#4 | AmazonBasics | 10-Sheet (P-4)

A High Security Auto-feed Shredder


The AmazonBasics 10-Sheet is a mobile high security shredder with an auto-feed function which can handle 150 sheets per run. This shredder will optimize workplace productivity, as its powerful performance lets you use the machine continuously for 60 minutes before it needs to cool down. However, you can also choose to feed your confidential documents manually 10 sheets at a time.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 10 pages
  • Bin capacity: 8.5 gallons

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#5 | Aurora AU1000MA | 10-sheet (P-4)

Robust Shredder on Wheels for Multiple Users


The Aurora AU1000MA 10-sheet is a robust and powerful shredder on wheels, ideal for sharing with a few colleagues around the office. This shredder is not only built to last, but it is also very secure with its P-4 scurity level. The small micro-cut paper shreds, along with the large bin size will allow you to shred for a long time without having the empty the paper bin.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 12 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 10 pages
  • Bin capacity: 5 gallons

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#6 | Bonsaii 5S30 |5-sheet (P-6)

Quite Shredder with a Long Runtime


The Bonsaii 5S30 5-sheet is a reliable shredder with a simple design. This shredder has a very high-security level and a long runtime of up to 240 minutes. Although the sheet capacity is relatively low at 5-sheets at a time, the shredder does shred quite quickly at 6.5 ft per minute, and it does so quietly, only producing 58dB.

  • Security level: P-6
  • Run time: 240 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 5 pages
  • Bin capacity: 8 gallons

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#7 | Aurora AU650MA | 6-Sheet (P-4)

Budget Friendly and Prefect For Home Use


The Aurora AU650MA is a high security shredder that is also affordable. It has a P-4 security level and can shred up to 6 pages per pass. The shredder can be used for up to 2 minutes before it needs a cooling down break. You can also shred your old credit cards with the shredder, making it perfect for home use as well. It also prevents paper jams thanks to the auto-start and overload jam auto-stop technology.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 2 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 6 pages
  • Bin capacity: 3.7 gallons

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

Secure Shredder on Wheels


The AmazonBasics 8-Sheet is a great high security shredder for the home office or next to your desk at work. It is easy to move around to share it with others around the office. It has a 5-minute runtime before it needs to cool down for half an hour. This shredder can process 8 to 10 sheets at a time and has a large enough bin to hold one full shredding session.

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

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#9 | Fellowes LX20M | 12-sheet (P-4)

A Stylish, White Yet Secure Paper Shredder


The Fellowes LX20M 12-sheet is a white stylish shredder that will look get in your office, and is also available in black. More importantly, it is a secure and reliable shredder that will destroy your confidential documents every time. You can shred more than 120 sheets per runtime of 10 minutes, and the cooldown time of this shredder is also quite short at 15 minutes.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 10 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 12 pages
  • Bin capacity: 6 gallons

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

Heavy-Duty & Affordable


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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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


What is a micro shredder?

micro-cut-shredder-particlesA microcut 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.

What does micro cut paper shredding look like?

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Pros and cons


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


  • 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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Microcut paper 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 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. Check more P5 paper shredders here.

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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.


  • 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.

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.


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

By Recycling.com/ 4 January 2021 Shares

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