Best P4 ‘Micro-Cut’ Shredders (that are really Cross-Cut)

19 June 2019 Shares

Home Paper Shredders Best P4 ‘Micro-Cut’ Shredders (that are really Cross-Cut)

By Recycling.com/ 19 June 2019 Shares

Best P4 ‘Micro-Cut’ Shredders (that are really Cross-Cut)

Micro-cut shredder or Cross-cut shredder?

AmazonBasics-12-Sheet-High-Security-Micro-Cut-shredder
Our Top Pick

How sensitive 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 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).

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 our recommended P-4 paper shredders

A micro-cut shredder makes small confetti from your confidential documents.

Security Level 4 or micro-cut?

The real question is, are you looking for a P-4 shredder? Or are you looking for a micro-cut shredder that offers the protection of security level P-5 or higher (see our micro-cut shredder recommendations)? Not sure what this exactly means and what is the best option for you? Let’s find out more about the difference between these two security levels.

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.

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

Top 5 ‘Micro-Cut’ Shredders (P-4)

We have selected five great P-4 paper shredding machines which you can find below. Please note that these so called ‘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 is very important to you, we recommend looking for a more secure micro-cut paper shredder with security level P-5 or higher.

  1. #1 Best SellerAmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security
  2. Compact medium-duty shredderBonsaii EverShred C149-D
  3. Affordable high security shredderAurora AU820MA
  4. Small and budget-friendlyAmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security
  5. Office paper shredder with safety lockFellowes Microshred 62MC



#1 | AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security

Very popular, affordable and all-round shredder

AmazonBasics-12-Sheet-High-Security-Micro-Cut-shredder

Our #1 Best Seller

The AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security is a high-security shredder for home or office use. The shredder shreds your document into particles with the size of 5/32 by 15/32 inches. You can destroy up to 12 documents per pass for 8 minutes continuously. The shredding machine also shreds your CDs, DVDs and credit cards. This makes the shredder a perfect all-round machine for shredding at home or in your office.

  • Security level: Micro / Cross-cut P-4
  • Run time: 8 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 12 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 6.7 gallons

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#2 | Bonsaii EverShred C149-D

Compact medium-duty shredder with long run-time

Bonsaii-EverShred-C149-D-shredding-machine

The Bonsaii EverShred C149-D is a compact medium-duty shredder, because this machine can shred for 60 minutes continuously. Thanks to the low 62 dB operation you can shred confidential information discretely and quietly. You can shred up to 12 sheets per pass and the shreds fall in a 6 gallons basket. The shredder stands on four casters, so you can easily move the shredder around. A paper particle has a size of 5/32 by 2/5 inches.

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

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#3 | Aurora AU820MA High Security 8-Sheet

Affordable high security shredder for occasional shredding

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. The paper shredder has automatic start / stop functionality and features overload and overheat protection.

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

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#4 | AmazonBasics 6-Sheet High-Security

Small and budget-friendly basic paper shredder

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 and after this period you need to let the motor cool down for half an hour. 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: Micro / Cross-cut P-4
  • Run time: 3 minutes
  • Sheet capacity: 6 sheets
  • Bin capacity: 4.1 gallons

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#5 | Fellowes Microshred 62MC

Office paper shredder with 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. We recommend the 62MC for one user because of the fairly small 5 gallons pull-out waste bin.

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

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Difference between security level 4 and 5

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 (source):

  • 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.

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 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 (cross-cut) or even a P-5 (micro-cut) 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.

What type of shredder are you looking for?

Click on one of the paper shredder categories below to find more recommended shredders. Not sure which shredding machine is best for you? Check our paper shredder buying guide with all the information you need to know before buying a paper shredder.


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