Pros and cons of a paper shredder

27 August 2020 Shares

Home Paper Shredders Pros and cons of a paper shredder

By Recycling.com/ 27 August 2020 Shares

Pros and cons of a paper shredder

Having a paper shredder around is very convenient and has a lot of benefits. Because when there is a need to throw away a confidential document you just shred it before recycling it. Paper shredders are great to have around at home, but also for offices and other commercial areas it is a needed tool for data protection but also for paper recycling.

Before you buy your new shredder we want to talk about a few pros of cons about these machines. Besides the positive aspects of a paper shredder, there are also some downsides of having a shredder. Below we list out a few pros and cons of paper shredders.

Read more here about paper shredders.

Pros of paper shredders

  1. Information protection – Shredding documents is important for businesses and for consumers. A shredder helps your business to protect sensitive and confidential information, such as client records, receipts, personal information, staff files, credit cards, identification cards or financial data such as bank card information. With a paper shredder, you lower the risk of data theft and identity theft.
  2. Waste management – Reduce the volume of paper waste by shredding paper documents into small particles. Paper waste can be quite voluminous, this results in more regular waste hauling of paper at home or at work. A paper shredder reduces the volume of paper documents significantly, especially when you use micro-cut shredder. The confetti pieces require less space inside a waste container, this means the container gets full less frequent.
  3. Readily available – Some businesses rely on a paper shredding service company that picks up their sensitive documents for shredding. But what if you want to shred a very important file right now? With a shredder around you can immediately start shredding, this gives you instant peace of mind.
  4. More than just paper – Depending on the type of shredder you can also shred CDs, DVDs and credit cards to destroy digital data. Make sure the paper shredder is able to destroy these other types of materials. But it is really recommended to get a paper shredder that can also shred other confidential items as well.
  5. Compliant with privacy laws – Everywhere in the world there are active privacy laws to protect the data of individuals and shredding paper helps you to keep in compliance with the law. Therefore it is required to destroy documents with personal information before recycling it. A cross-cut or micro-cut shredder is a tool you can use to safely destroy and dispose of confidential documents.
  6. Environment – A paper shredder helps you at home or at work to separate paper from your regular trash. All your paper waste ends up in the wastebasket of the shredder, which results in a clean stream of shredded paper. This is better for the environment and for recycling. A shredder also helps you to declutter and organize your desk or workspace.
  7. Fun to shred – Maybe it is just us, but we think it is quite fun to shred documents. Especially when you have a powerful shredder that can munch through large packs of documents. It can be quite impressive to see how the shredder turns your confidential documents in a heap of super small paper particles. Okay, back to work!

Cons of paper shredders

  1. Less productive – Operating a paper shredder takes up time (and thus money). Especially when you need to shred regularly on a daily basis. To reduce time ‘wasted’ at the paper shredder machine it is recommended to invest in a paper shredder that suits your needs best. This means when you need to shred documents often, you need a shredder that can shred through documents quickly. In our paper shredder guide you can read more about what makes a shredder fast.
  2. It costs money – You can buy a shredder for under $50, but is this a shredder you can really rely on? For most people or businesses it is recommended to invest in a shredder that is durable, fast and can shred documents into tiny shreds. And these shredders can be quite expensive, especially for professional use. Besides the purchasing of a shredder, a shredder also needs regular maintenance. Think about lubricating the cutting blades, buying disposable shredder bags and repair a possible defect. Read more here about shredder maintenance.
  3. Confusion in what to buy – It can be confusing for people what type of shredder they should buy? Most people want an affordable shredder device and tend to buy cheaper strip-cut shredders. The downside of a strip-cut shredder is that this type of shredder is not able to shred confidential documents into unreadable shreds. Invest in a paper shredder that makes small cross-cut or micro-cut shreds rather than long strips. Because paper strips are fairly easy to read, especially when you shred documents that are printed in landscape mode.
  4. Safety risk – A paper shredder is a machine and not a toy because it contains a set of rotating, sharp cutting blades. Therefore it is important to operate the shredder with caution at all times. It is recommended to buy a shredder that comes with safety features to ensure safe operation for you and your colleagues.
  5. Run-time might be short – Paper shredders can only shred documents at a certain pace. It depends on the type of shredder how fast it can shred documents, the speed is determined by the number of sheets you can shred at once, speed of the motor and the run time before the shredder needs to cool down.
  6. Paper jams – Paper shredders are notorious for paper jams, but the more expensive models have special features to prevent this from happening. To prevent a paper jam, never insert more documents at one go then is recommended by the manufacturer. If a paper jam occurs most shredders have a reverse button to get rid of the jam. Other, more expensive, shredders come with jam-proof technology. These shredders have strong motors that are strong enough to give a bit of extra power when you’ve jammed up your shredder. Read more about how to solve a paper jam.
  7. Not for large volumes – Most shredders are meant to shred a few documents at a time. For larger volumes, you can use an auto-feed shredder which can shred around 100-500 sheets of papers in one session. If you want to shred large amounts of documents, for instance, because of your annual archive cleanout, then a paper shredder might not be the right solution. We recommend hiring a professional and certified data destruction company to do the paper destruction for you. Or you can rent an industrial shredder to shred large amounts of confidential documents.

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