Paper shredders are used in a number of situations. Doctors, dentists, and psychologists use them to protect their clients’ private medical information. Private citizens use them to destroy papers that contain important financial information. Businesses use them to protect themselves from corporate espionage and information theft. Paper shredders cost between $15 and $130, depending on their features.
There are a large number of paper shredders on the market. The two main types are strip cut and cross cut. Strip cut paper shredders slice the paper into thin vertical ribbons. They are good in many situations, but they are not recommended for people requiring maximum security. Cross cut paper shredders cut documents into tiny bits of paper that are nearly impossible to reassemble. Cross cut paper shredders are generally better than strip shredders for high security situations, but they are also more expensive.
Another thing to consider when buying a paper shredder is how much it will be used. Different paper shredders are built to handle different amounts of paper at a time and to operate for different lengths of time before needing a break. It is important not to use the paper shredder above the manufacturer’s recommendations; if they are overused or used improperly, they can burn out quickly.
Paper shredders can only be used for a certain amount of time before they need to be rested. The length of time depends on the particular shredder. Most instruction manuals that come with the shredders have this type of information. For example, some top of the line models can work for 10 to 12 minutes before needing to be turned off for 20 minutes. Other models can work for as little as two minutes at a time before needing to be turned off for four minutes.
Another feature that differs between types of paper shredders is the number of sheets that it can take at once. The “throat size,” or size of the opening where the paper is fed, varies between models. Some can handle up to 9 sheets at once, but most can take about 5. It is recommended that people feed a little less than the maximum in order to keep the machine working properly. Also, the dimensions of the opening need to be considered. It is better not to have to fold a sheet of paper in order to get it to fit into the shredder. Most shredders can accommodate sheets of paper around 9 inches long. This is good for nearly all types of paper, and also works for credit cards, checks, receipts, and other financial documents.