Working from Home? Get a Paper Shredder
Are you planning to work from home due to the current situation in the world? Then it is important to keep confidential business documents safe and properly secured at your remote workspace to prevent security risks. This is necessary because of privacy legislation and to prevent a possible data breach. When setting up a new home office it is advised to put a paper shredder on your list of essential gear that is needed to work from home safely.
Which paper shredder is best to use for a secure home workspace? On this page, we inform you, as a remote worker, about the minimum requirements for a reliable and secure paper shredding machine.
TLDR – Most important information:
- Opt at least for a DIN P-3 cross-cut shredder for secure shredding of common confidential documents.
- For destroying highly confidential documents, it is recommended to use at least a DIN P-5 micro-cut shredder.
- When choosing a shredder check the sheet capacity (at least 8 sheets), the run-time (at least 5-10 minutes), and the bin capacity (at least 2.5 gallons or 10 liters).
Recommended paper shredders
Click on one of the paper shredder categories below to find secure paper shredders to use for your home office. Read more about paper shredders in our shredder guide.
A shredder is part of the essential homework products
Setting up your home office requires various necessary homework products. Such as a desk, an ergonomic office chair, a laptop with a docking station, an additional monitor and a webcam to hold online meetings with your colleagues.
How to keep paper copies with confidential information at your home office safe and secured? Use a paper shredder.
Do you also need to use a printer or document scanner at your remote workspace? Or do you regularly use physical paper documents with confidential information to properly carry out your work from home? Then it is strongly advised to have a paper shredder at your home office to keep confidential information about your business, colleagues, clients, and customers safe and secured. With a shredder, you can always properly dispose and destroy documents securely when necessary.
Prior to shredding, it is important to observe the official retention periods that are applicable to certain documents, such as tax documents.
Secure shredding requires a secure type of shredder
Not every paper shredder is suitable for destroying confidential documents into unreadable shreds. The most important specification of a paper shredder to carefully look at is the security level. Secured and confidential paper shredding requires at least a cross-cut shredder that destroys documents in small particles rather than long strips which are created with un-secure strip-cut shredding machines.
How do you know how secure a paper shredder is? First of all, make sure the shredder is cross-cut or micro-cut and leave the strip-cut shredders out of your list. Then look out for the DIN 66399 security levels. These levels range from DIN P-1 to DIN P-7. The higher the number is, the small the shredded particle becomes. You should look for a shredder that has at least level DIN P-3 or higher.
- Strip-cut shredder – It is not recommended to use a strip-cut shredder for shredding confidential documents. These shredders with DIN P-1 and P-2 are only useful for shredding non-confidential information, for example, documents without personal data or confidential business information.
- Cross-cut shredder – This type of paper shredder with security levels DIN P-3 and P-4 is suitable for business use to securely destroy confidential paper. A cross-cut shredder shreds a document diagonally, that results in particles rather than strips. A cross-cut shredding machine is not advised for shredding highly confidential information, such as documents containing medical, financial, government or other highly reliable information.
- Micro-cut shredder – This type of paper shredder with security levels DIN P-5, P-6, and P-7 is suitable for the destruction of highly confidential documents. The micro-cut shredder is a high-security type of a cross-cut shredder. A micro-cut shredder shreds documents diagonally, just like a cross-cut shredder, but the shreds are considerably smaller in comparison with the shreds of a cross-cut shredder. Therefore, a micro-cut shredder is recommended for the destruction of highly confidential information.
Important shredder features
In addition to the security levels, there are more things to consider when buying a shredder. Below we briefly walk you through a few key pointers.
- Sheet capacity – This indicates the maximum amount of documents the shredder can shred per pass. For office use, it is recommended to opt for a shredder that can shred at least 8 sheets per pass.
- Bin capacity – This indicates the capacity of the wastebasket that sits in or under the shredder head. For office use, it is recommended to opt for 2.6 gallons (10 liters) or more. It depends on the volumes you want to shred per day. When you suspect to shred regularly then it is advised to look out for a large-sized shredder.
- Run-time – This indicates the number of minutes the shredder can run continuously before the motor needs to cool-down. For office use, it is recommended to opt for a shredder with a run-time of at least 5-10 minutes. When you suspect to shred regularly then it is advised to look out for a shredder with a higher continuous run-time.
Safety Tip: Always turn off the paper shredder completely when you are not using it, and store the shredder away when you don’t need it.
Other useful features
We have discussed the most important aspects of a secure and reliable paper shredder. But there are still a few features to consider that are not highly necessary, but might be useful for you.
- Staples and paper clips – Is the shredder powerful enough to shred through metal staples and paper clips too? Typically, business shredders can easily shred documents that contain staples or paper clips. Read through the specification of the shredder to check if your desired shredder can handle this. For the durability of your shredder, our advice is to remove metals from your documents as much as possible.
- Shredding plastic cards – Is it desirable that your shredder can destroy plastic cards, such as credit cards, in addition to business papers? Then opt for a shredder that contains a separate slot for shredding cards.
- Shredding CDs and DVDs – Not every shredder is capable of shredding CDs. If necessary, choose a paper shredder that has a separate slot for shredding your old CDs. Discs are usually shredded into narrow strips.
- With or without wheels – Do you want to easily move the shredder around in your home office? Then choose a shredder on wheels or casters, so you can roll the shredder under your desk when you do not need the device.
- Safety features – Take care of your safety and that of others when using a shredder, especially at home. Therefore, choose a paper shredder that automatically stops shredding when your fingers touch the feed opening. Fellowes, a well-known manufacturer of shredders, calls this feature Safe Sense.
- Anti paper jam – A clogged shredder is one of the biggest annoyances when shredding paper. To avoid a paper jam as much as possible, it is advised not to exceed the maximum sheet capacity and maximum run-time. Some paper shredders are able to clear or even prevent a paper jam automatically. Make sure the shredder features a reverse function that rotates the cutting blades of the shredder in the opposite direction so the jammed paper is turned out of the feed opening to clear the paper jam.
Maintenance Tip: Keep your shredder in perfect condition by oiling the shredder regularly. Read our shredder maintenance tips on oiling a shredder.
More useful information
By Recycling.com/ 19 March 2020