Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

21 March 2021 Shares

Home Paper Shredders Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

By Recycling.com/ 21 March 2021 Shares

Micro-Cut Shredders for High Security Shredding

Everything to know about a micro-cut shredder

best micro-cut paper shredder
Our Top Pick
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Do you want to shred confidential documents into unreadable particles? Then you are looking for a micro-cut shredder with security level P-4, P-5, P-6, or P-7. Micro-cut paper shredders offer way more security and data protection than a regular P-3 cross-cut shredder and far more than a P-2 strip-cut shredder.

We have selected 10 great micro-cut paper shredders for home and office use. These reliable shredding machines are perfect for shredding your highly confidential paperwork with ease.

Top 10 Micro-Cut Shredders


Top 10 Best Micro-Cut Paper Shredders

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. We recommend a shredder with a high sheet capacity, large bin capacity, and an extended run-time so multiple users can operate it during the day for commercial use.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on a product and make a purchase, we may earn a commission – learn more.


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

All in one micro-cut shredder

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

Our #1 Best Seller

The Aurora AU1210MA is a high-security shredder for shredding your confidential documents. This shredder has everything you want from a shredder. It shreds your documents in tiny particles, and it also shreds CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. Besides that, this micro-cut shredder has a powerful motor that ensures a 60-minute continuous run time. The Aurora operates ultra-quiet, and it quickly clears any paper jams with the anti-jam functionality. The Aurora AU12110MA is a perfect all-rounder!

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

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#2 | Fellowes LX22M Powershred | 20-sheet (P-4)

Premium and stylish micro-cut office shredder

Fellowes-LX22M-Powershred-Black

The Fellowes Powershred LX22M is a modern designed and premium (home) office paper shredder that shreds up to 20 sheets into 5/32″ x 1/2″ particles. The 100% jam proof shredding machine has a LED indicator bar that shows the shredder’s performance in real-time. It notifies you when the bin is full, when you feed too many sheets or when the maximum runtime has been reached. The micro-cut shredder shreds confidential documents with staples and paper clips, but it can also handle junk mail and credit cards. You can also get this shredder in the color white.

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#3 | Wolverine SD9520 | 15-Sheet (P-5)

Shredder with manganese blade that doesn’t need oiling

Wolverine-Super-Micro-Cut-High-Security-SD9520

The Wolverine SD9520 is very secure paper shredder that is ultra quiet in use and can shredder through staples, paperclips, CDs and credit cards in addition to normal paper. It has a manganese-steel blade which strong, not magnetic and doesn’t require regular oiling. This shredder is small enough to fit under your desk if you are not using it, and it also features a large bin capacity so you won’t need to empty it every 10 minutes. Finally, this shredder is also quite fast compared to it competitors, so you can shredder 15 minutes worth of usual paper shredding in 10 minutes with this Wolverine.

  • Security level: P-5
  • Run time: 15 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 15 pages
  • Bin capacity: 8 gallons

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#4 | Aurora AU1060MA | 10-sheet (P-5)

Stylish and secure P-5 shredder with long runtime

Aurora-AU1060MA-professional-micro-cut-paper-shredder

The Aurora AU1060MA is a beautiful and stylish paper shredder with security level P-5. When high security is vital to you, this shredder is a great option—the Aurora shreds up to 10 documents per pass into small pieces (5/64 by 15/32 inches). With a continuous run-time of 60 minutes, this shredder is perfect for office use or when high volume shredding is needed. The shredder is pleasantly quiet, and the anti-jam auto-reverse functionality makes sure to fix any occurring paper-jams while shredding.

  • Security level: P-5
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 10 pages
  • Bin capacity: 6 gallons

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#5 | Fellowes Powershred LX20M | 12-Sheet (P-4)

Sleek, small desk-side shredder

Fellowes-LX20M-White

The Fellowes Powershred LX20M is a small desk-side shredder with a sleek design that is still super efficient and definitely gets the job done. With the patented IntelliBar responsive technology this shredder is shredder is 100% jam proof, features SafeSense technology prevents shredding when hands, and has an efficiency meter that shows the potential for increased sheet capacity and prevents interruptions by indicating when bin capacity and run time are nearing the limit. Finally, this handsome little shredder has a continuous runtime of 10 minutes and is able to shred staples, paper clips and credit cards.

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#6 | AmazonBasics | 12-Sheet (P-4)

Budget friendly all around shredder

AmazonBasics-12-sheet-micro-cut-shredder

The AmazonBasics 12-sheets shredder is a very functional shredder that will get the job done for anyone on a budget. This is on of the more robust AmazonBasics shredders that can easily handle shredding paperclips and staples as well as paper. The shredder is very simple and user-friendly in use while also offer a great 10 minute continuous run-time. The pull-out bin with the little window makes it easy to empty and easy to see when then bin is full and needs to be emptied.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 10 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 12 pages
  • Bin capacity: 5.7 gallons

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

A High Security Auto-feed Shredder

AmazonBasics-150-Sheet-AutoFeed-Shredder

The AmazonBasics 10-Sheet is a mobile high-security shredder with an auto-feed function that 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, ten 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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#8 | Aurora AU1000MA | 10-Sheet (P-4)

All around shredder with CD and Credit card slot

Aurora-AU1000MA-10-Sheet

The Aurora AU1000MA is a very capable shredder that compared to the other shredders in it collection is also able shred CDs and DVD. The shredder has JamSafe and ShredSafe technology to expand the lifespan of the shredder and keep your fingers safe too. The wheel makes it easy to push the shred out of the way and under desk. Finally, large pull-out bin with a window makes it easy to empty and see when the bin is full.

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

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#9 | Boxis AutoShred AF120 | 120-Sheet (P-4)

Auto-feed micro-cut shredder

Boxis-120-Sheet-Autoshred-AF120

The Boxis AutoShred AF120 is a small automatic shredder that can handle 120 sheets at a time. This shredder is ideal for a small office to share or for one people who shreds a lot of documents to have as a desk side shredder. The manual feed of this shredder can shred 10 sheets at a time runtime fo 10 minutes while the automatic setting has a runtime of 20 minutes. Lastly, the large bin size and quiet operation makes this shredder somewhat low maintenance as you don’t get distracted by the noise, nor need to empty the bin every 10 minutes.

  • Security level: P-4
  • Run time: 20 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 120 pages (10 pages manual)
  • Bin capacity: 6 gallons

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#10 | Bonsaii 5S30 | 5-Sheet (P-6)

Super high security shredder with 240 minute run time

Bonsaii-EverShred-Pro-micro-cut-shredder

The Bonsaii 5S30 is a paper shredder with an extremely high security level. We recommend this shredder only for individuals that want to destroy top secret documents so well that they literally become dust particles. The high-security level is the reason why this shredder only has a sheet capacity of 5 sheets at a time, however this is made up for by its impressive 4 hour continuous runtime and a large 8 gallon bin capacity. Especially with a P-6 security level this large pull-out bin will not need to be emptied for a very long time.

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

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Customer Review of Our Top 3:

“So far I am incredibly impressed with the 1210. You can barely hear this shredder run.”
Aurora AU1210MA

“I love this shredder and look forward to shredding my junk mail.”
Fellowes LX22M Powershred

“We have gone through many shredders over the years but this one is the absolute best so far. It is so quiet and extremely fast for the micro results.”
Wolverine SD9520


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


Top 10 Micro-Cut Shredders

Fellowes-Powershred-LX-micro-cut-shredder-office

More about micro-cut shredders

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What is a micro 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 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 them. 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.

So, which one is better for you? Read this post about the difference between a cross-cut shredder or micro-cut shredder.

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

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

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 are 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 many ‘micro-cut shredders’ are security level P-4, 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 a P-5 or higher security level. Check more P5 paper shredders here.


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 expected 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 vital to you, we recommend looking for a more secure micro-cut paper shredder with a P-5 or higher security level.

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? Commonly 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 compared to a similar model that offers security level P-5 or higher.


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 compare 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 essential 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 tiniest cross-cut shred can be 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 essential to thoroughly research the specifications of a paper shredder to determine 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.

Is a P-4 paper shredder secure enough?

For destroying documents, we recommend using a security level P-3 shredder or higher. The minimum recommendation for shredding sensitive documents deeming them unreadable 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 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 each shredder’s specifications, you can find the size of a particle and the DIN 66399 security level. With this information, you can estimate if the shredder offers a security level for you.


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.


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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