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Why Shred?

All potentially sensitive information of both a personal and business nature should be disposed of securely to avoid the risk of corporate fraud, identity fraud, industrial espionage and even international espionage – for example, if you are a contractor or supplier to the government, MOD, NATO, etc. Despite a great deal of publicity and adverse headlines, even now, many organisations and individuals still throw out confidential documents without thinking of the potential consequences should the files end up in the wrong hands. Since the Data Protection Act was passed in 1998, companies are obliged to destroy hard copies of information on individuals or organisations that could put that person or organisation at risk should the information become public knowledge.


Examples of business documents that should be shredded include:

• Human Resources - Salary details, personal data, restructuring plans, pension records, banking details.

• Sales and Marketing - Sales forecasts, customer data, competitor information, new product development.

• Production - New tooling, drawings, costing, work schedules.

• Reception - Visitor information, staff movements.

• Photocopier/Printer/Fax - surplus or incorrectly reproduced sensitive documents should be shredded to reduce the security risk.

Personal documents that should be shredded include:

• Financial - Bank statements, phone bills, and utility bills.

• Personal – Letters & envelopes, any correspondence that may contain personal/address information.

It is also a good idea to ensure that old CDs which may contain sensitive information and credit cards are shredded too.

Buying Guide

Use this handy guide to help you make the right choice of shredder for your specific needs. Asking yourself these questions will help to ensure that the machine you purchase best suits your requirements. Make sure you take into consideration all the aspects shown. Alternatively of course, you can call one of our advisers at standard rates on 0844 800 9928 for assistance.

How would you best describe your daily usage?

Light Duty: Up to 50 sheets per day, a Home Office or Small Office machine should be adequate for your needs.

Light - Medium Duty: Up to 150 sheets per day, a Small Office machine should be adequate for your needs.

Medium Duty: Up to 400 sheets per day, a Departmental shredder would be best suited to your needs.

Heavy Duty: 400 sheets or more per day, a Heavy Duty machine is strongly recommended for this level.

How sensitive or confidential is your waste?

There are two types of cut available from our range of shredders: strip cut or cross cut (also known as confetti cut). The more confidential your waste the smaller the pieces/particles it should be shred in to. If security is important to you, opt for a cross cut machine. If your material is of a highly sensitive or top-secret nature then go for one of our High Security machines. More guidance on this topic can be found on our page: Which Security Level?

Will you need to destroy CD's, DVD's or Floppy Disks?

If so, you should consider one of the machines in our Multimedia section.

How much waste capacity do you need?

If you are a medium or heavy-duty user you should especially bear in mind the bin capacity of your shredder. The bigger the capacity, the less often it will need emptying. Remember in particular that strip cut waste takes up typically three times more space than cross cut, so if you don't want to have to empty your machine frequently go for the biggest bin possible and opt for cross cut if you can.

What width of paper do you need to shred?

All the shredders in our site will cope with A4 paper as a minimum, but if you need to shred A3 paper on a frequent basis or perhaps you produce print outs on wide format computer paper that need shredding, then you should look for a machine with a minimum feed width of 300mm. A shred width of 300mm or more can also increase productivity when shredding A4 paper as this size can then be shredded in landscape (across its long edge), which reduces the time taken for a sheet to pass through the machine.

Why Oil Your Shredder?

All Paper Shredders need shredder oil to continue to function properly. It is very common for paper dust to build up inside of the cutting assembly. After time, this sediment can become packed together like cement. Oil serves to soften this packed dust, which allows the movement of the cutting head. The proper movement of this head will push the dust out of the paper shredder. The finer the cut the paper shredder makes, the more oil it will need. Small particle cut shredders and high security specification machines require a lot of oil. Paper shredders, as with all electromechanical equipment, will not operate efficiently unless they are properly maintained. Periodic oiling is necessary to allow the shredder to operate at maximum efficiency. Frequency of oiling will vary greatly with the volume of use and the shred size. A shredder with a 5.8mm shred width used only 1 to 2 hours per week will only require a weekly oiling. A crosscut shredder, however, should be oiled every 1/2 hour of shredding time. The procedure for oiling a shredding machine is very simple and can be done by any operator. The oil is either packaged in a squeeze bottle or in pre-impregnated sheets. Always switch the machine off at the mains point before applying liquid oil. Oil from a squeeze bottle can be applied directly onto the cutting head in a fine stream. This is done through the paper entry throat. Take 1-2 seconds to oil from one side of the opening to the other. Run the machine in reverse for about 10-15 seconds to allow the oil to transfer to all parts of the cutting head. The final step is to shred a few sheets of paper to remove any excess oil. Alternatively, impregnated shredder oil sheets can be shredded like an ordinary sheet of paper to apply the oil. Some shredders come equipped with an oil reservoir and apply the oil to the cutters automatically as it is needed. This reservoir should be topped up as and when necessary from a squeeze bottle. Shredder oil is the only lubricant which should be used on your shredder. Shredder oil is of special formulation which leaves no residue on the cutters. Other oils will attract paper dust and in turn clog the cutting head.