Hard drive shredders for secure data destruction

22 June 2023 Shares

Home Data destruction Hard drive shredders for secure data destruction

By Recycling.com/ 22 June 2023 Shares

Hard drive shredders for secure data destruction

Securely Destroy Confidential Data on Hard Drives
Authors: Pim Brouwer & Brent Nijssen

hard-drives-shredded-into-particles-with-hard-drive-shredderShred and destroy old or used hard disks with a hard drive shredder before you recycle the storage devices. By physically destroying a hard disk, you make sure confidential data is destroyed completely. This gives you peace of mind and eliminates any data security risks.

A hard drive shredder is a machine that makes you shred and destroy hard disks into small pieces. Please be aware that not all HDD shredders are able to shred smaller SSDs (solid-state drives).

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Recommended Hard Drive Shredders

HSM StoreEx HDS 230


The HSM StoreEx HDS 230 is a top-of-the-line digital media shredder designed for secure and compliant data protection. This machine is built for shredding high volumes of hard disks, it can shred up to 200 hard drives and up to 2,000 CDs or DVDs per hour. This multi-functional high-performance shredding machine can be used to destroy credit cards, CD/DVD, floppy disks, hard drives up to 3.5″,  electronic media (such as SSDs and USB drives), and magnetic tapes up to 3.5″. With its robust and induction-hardened solid steel cutting rollers, this machine ensures high durability and security level H-4 or H-5. Operation is simple and safe, place a hard drive or other media type into the feed opening and the shredder makes sure all of your data is destroyed within seconds. Its powerful motor ensures continuous operation, and it is designed for shredding high volumes of hard disks. The HSM StoreEx HDS 230 is a multi-functional high-performance shredding machine that can be used in decentralized locations for destroying data media. Additionally, there is an optional discharge conveyor belt available for this shredder.

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HSM StoreEx HDS 150

HSM StoreEx HDS 150-Hard-Drive-Shredder

The HSM StoreEx HDS 150 is a powerful heavy-duty data shredder. This high-quality digital data media shredder is designed to securely and economically destroy a wide range of digital media devices. Including staples and paper clips, credit cards, CD/DVD, floppy disks, hard drives up to 3.5″, SSDs (E-2), and magnetic tapes up to 3.5″. It is compliant with data protection regulations and operates on a single-phase power connection. This powerful unit is equipped with hardened solid steel cutting rollers and it operates quietly (57 dB) and is energy-efficient. It destroys up to 750 hard drives per hour and can also shred 3.5″ hard drives with ease. Additionally, it is energy-efficient and operates quietly. Overall, the HSM StoreEx HDS 150 is a great investment for businesses and organizations that require a high level of data security.

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intimus HDD Gladiator


The intimus HDD Gladiator is an advanced hard drive shredder that ensures maximum security for your optical and magnetic media. This high-performance shredder is equipped with powerful blades that break the hard disks into tiny pieces, making it impossible to recover any data. The HDD shredder is fast and reliable, and it also meets the H-3 security level requirements set by DIN 66399, making it suitable for various applications. The automatic reverse function prevents overloading, and the split shredding chamber allows for the optimization of multi-media destruction. The specially hardened blades ensure durability, while maximum operator safety is maintained through the lockable master switch and safety switches on all doors and covers. The intimus HDD Gladiator has a dual input hopper that ensures maximum throughput. The left hopper is designed for feeding HDDs, while the right hopper is used for lightweight media such as optical media, SSD, VHS, and tape drives. The shredded material is collected in a 120-liter standard waste bin.

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intimus HDD Granulator


The intimus HDD Granulator is a cutting-edge media shredder designed for high-security applications. This shredding device combines the benefits of shredding and disintegration technology, delivering unparalleled results. With the intimus hard drive shredder, the disks are shredded and reduced into minuscule pieces, ensuring maximum security that meets security level H-5 according to DIN 66399. The hard drive shredding process is safe and economical, with the added advantage of simple and visual inspection of successful destruction. Some of the key features of the intimus HDD Granulator include six different screen diameters that allow for various security levels determined by the screen mesh diameter, ensuring that all types of media are adequately destroyed. All shredded material is collected in a standard waste bin for easy disposal.

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Kobra HDD


The Kobra HDD is a cutting-edge hard drive shredder designed to effortlessly tear through a variety of media, including hard drives, magnetic tapes, CDs, DVDs, blu-ray optical media, credit cards, USB sticks, and solid-state drives. This digital media shredder boasts an efficient continuous-duty motor that can shred up to 250 hard drives per hour. Additionally, an auto-reverse system ensures that the machine won’t jam or become blocked during the shredding process, resulting in hassle-free operations. This shredder has an 11-gallon bin container that can store shredded waste materials, and it provides a security level of H-3. Its security level (DIN 66399) is T-1 | E-2 | H-3. The Kobra HDD has a continuous run time and operates at a noise level of 55 dB(A), making it a reliable and quiet option for shredding sensitive information.

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Kobra SSD


The Kobra SSD Digital Media Shredder is a high-security shredder designed to destroy a variety of digital media including paper, solid-state drives, SIM cards, flash drives, circuit boards, flash memory IC chips, cell phones, tablets, USB pen drives, CPU chips, CDs, DVDs, and floppy disks. It is capable of producing sand-like texture particles from these materials. This shredder meets the highest safety standards and has a security level of P-7 for paper and O-7 for optical media, which is approved by the NSA. It features an internal vacuum system with a HEPA air filtration system to ensure a clean and safe operating environment. The continuous-duty motor is robust and can produce up to 90 lbs of output per hour. The shredder has a continuous run time and consumes 7 HP of power. Please be aware that the shredder can’t shred hard drive disks.

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intimus SSD Granulator


The intimus SSD Granulator is a high-security shredder designed to meet the increasing demands for data destruction around the world. This SSD shredder is perfect for shredding of electronic media such as SSDs, USBs, memory cards, smartphones, and tablets without batteries, as well as optical media such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. It can also handle magnetic media such as floppy disks, smaller magnetic tapes, and credit cards. This machine is not meant for shredding hard drives. The interchangeable screens in the intimus SSD Granulator enable different security levels to be achieved depending on the requirements of the user. The machine is controlled via easy-to-understand pushbuttons and is designed for the highest security requirements. The feeding speed and throughput rate of the machine depends on the weight of the data carriers since there are many different SSD and USB designs on the market. The intimus SSD Granulator is a quality and durable product made in Germany, making it a reliable investment for businesses and organizations with high-security data destruction needs.

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What is a hard drive shredder?

Used hard drives contain lots of confidential data and possibly put sensitive information at risk. This data can be found on all kinds of electronic devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, servers, tablets, printing devices, and smartphones. How can you securely discard old, defective, or damaged hard disk drives without the chance of data theft?

Securely destroy data and keep your digital information safe from identity theft.

A secure, fast, and cost-efficient data destruction method is physically destroying a hard drive (HDD) with a hard drive shredder.

Old hard drives ready to be shredded.

Hard drive shredders are machines that are able to destroy optical hard drives into small particles. It is almost impossible to retrieve or recover data from the shredded pieces which are highly damaged. Hard disk shredders are capable of shredding high volumes of hard drives per hour, which makes these shredding machines very time and cost-efficient.

Hard drives (HDD) vs Solid-state drives (SSD)


What is a hard disk?

A hard disk drive is an internal or external data storage device that saves and stores digital information on round platters coated with magnetic material. These platters contain all the data, such as photos, Word files, and Excel spreadsheets. Hard drives are well-known storage devices that are commonly get used in computers, laptops, and servers. But also copier machines contain hard drives to store photocopies.

It is important to know that a hard hard drive is not the same as a solid-state drive.

A solid state drive, also known as an SSD, is not the exact same as a hard drive or HDD. A hard drive is a magnetic drive with a physical spinning disk that contains all of your data. In comparison, an SSD is more or less a chip without any moving parts.


A solid-state drive is much smaller in size than a regular hard drive, and thus requires a shredder that is able to shred the small chips from the SSD as well. Some hard disk shredders contain solid steel cutting rollers that are just too large for an SSD. This means that an SSD might simply slip through the cutting rollers, without being destroyed.

Large and small hard drives

Not all hard drives are the same. They differ in capacity but also in size. Standard hard drives you find in a desktop computer are 3.5-inches thick. But a hard drive that is inside of a laptop is only 2.5 inches thick. But there are also external hard drives and larger server drives.

Small hard drive from a laptop

When you select a hard drive shredder it is important to check if the shredder is capable of shredding your type of hard drive. Contact us for more help in selecting the right hard drive shredder for your business.

What is a solid-state drive or SSD?

The recent version of a hard drive is the solid-state drive, better known as ‘SSD.’ The difference between a hard disk and an SSD is that SSDs don’t contain moving parts like a traditional hard drive, and data isn’t stored on magnetic platters but rather on chips. A solid-state drive is a much smaller storage media device in comparison with a traditional hard drive. The tiny flash-based memory chips can store a lot of data.

Portable storage devices

Besides HDDs en SSDs there are more storage devices. Examples are USB-drives, (micro) SD-cards, CDs, DVDs, SIM-cards, and backup tapes. These flash-based and optical media are relatively small but don’t let the small form factor deceive since they can store high volumes of sensitive and confidential data. So when you want to recycle these storage media, it is advised to destroy the data first. Some paper shredders offer the feature to shred CDs and DVDs so you can shred these media at home or the office.


What do the destruction security classes mean?


A media shredder can destroy other data carriers in addition to hard drives. This is indicated on the basis of the DIN 66399 data security classes for destroying data carriers. Most applicable are:

  • O – Destruction of optical data carriers, such as CDs and DVDs
  • T – Destruction of magnetic data carriers, such as credit cards and floppy disks
  • E – Destruction of electronic data media, such as USB sticks and SSDs
  • H – Destruction of hard disks with magnetic data carriers

Behind the letter is a number. The higher the number, the finer the material is destroyed.

Why should you shred your hard drives?

When you want to discard or sell old hardware, such as an old desktop computer or defective laptop, it is essential to destroy the data which is on the storage device. You can erase the data with special wiping software or remove the hard drive from the electronic device and shred it physically with a mobile hard drive destruction machine.

Deleting data isn’t enough to completely erase sensitive data from the disk.

You can shred, shear, or crush hard disks and solid-state drives yourself with specialized shredding machines, or you can hire a data destruction services company that can do the shredding for you.

Hard drive destruction companies

Are you looking for a solution to shred your old hard drives, but you don’t want to invest in a hard drive shredding machine? Then you can also opt for hiring a hard drive destruction company. These companies can shred hard drives and other storage devices for your business. For optimal security, we recommend hiring a certified data destruction company. Shred-it is a NAID-certified company you can hire to securely shred your old hard drives.

Hard drives ready to be shredded

How does a hard drive shredder work?

A hard drive shredder is equipped with hardened steel cutting rollers that shreds the hard drive into pieces. See this video from Whitaker Brothers to see a hard drive shredder in action.


How secure is it?

Once destroyed, it is very difficult to recover data from a shredded hard drive. Because of the physical destruction, the hard drive is destroyed in tiny fractions. This makes it much more secure than deleting files digitally or by running a ‘factory reset option’ on your computer or laptop.

But in theory, even the smallest piece of hard disk platter might still contain data. On a microscopic level, you can really see the data. But it is very unlikeable that anybody is able to recover any data from a piece of shredded hard disks because the disk is damaged too much.

We recommend recycling the shredded hard drive by disposing it to a scrap metal recycling service provider.

How much does a hard drive shredder cost?


The price of a hard drive shredder starts at around $10,000. Depending on your shredding needs, these machines can cost over $50,000. We recommend contacting us for more information about the right hard drive shredder for your company.

What is data recovery?

The opposite of data destruction is data recovery. With data recovery, you can recover data from corrupted or crashed hard drives.

Data destruction destroys data while data recovery recovers data.

The fact is, a hard disk failure always occurs suddenly, and when it happens, it is important not to restart or reboot your pc or laptop. This makes it even more difficult to recover your data. The safest option to recover data from a crashed hard drive or SSD is to hand your defective drive over to a professional data recovery company. These specialists have the right knowledge and equipment to recover and retrieve your lost data. After data recovery, we recommend destroying the defective hard drive or SSD.

Data recovery company
Consumers and businesses

Kroll Ontrack offers data recovery services for consumers and businesses. Besides data recovery, the company also offers data erasure services of all IT assets. Such as servers, computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Hard drive shredder manufacturers

We recommend the following manufacturers, dealers, and experts for the best digital media shredder machines: