Strip Cut Shredders

Strip-cut shredders (also known as ribbon-cut) are known as "strip-cut shredders" because of the thin strips they create as they shred paper. These strips can vary in size from 12mm wide to 2mm wide. Strip-cut shredders require less cutting than cross-cut shredders. Because less cutting is required, strip-cut shredders are able to shred more documents at a time than cross-cut shredders (of the same class).

Cross Cut Shredders

Cross-cut shredders (also known as confetti-cut) create small particles of paper. These particles of paper vary in size from 10mm x 80mm to 1mm x 5mm. Cross-cut shredders are not able to shred documents as quickly as strip-cut shredders (of the same class) due to the extra cutting involved. Although they can't shred documents as quickly, cross-cut shredders are able to provide more security to shredded documents than a strip-cut shredder. The shredder by-product has less volume, thus requiring less emptying and trips to the dustbin.

International Standard for Security Levels

The EU has recently updated the old international standard DIN 32757 for shredder security levels with the new and far more complicated DIN 66399. The old security standard featured 6 levels – there are a possible 42 different permutations under the new standard! In our opinion, this is bureaucracy gone mad and far more difficult for the consumer to understand. In the table below, we have simplified the new standard down for paper shredders only, cross-referencing with the old standard. For more information about the new standard's impact on other media types, please call us on 0844 800 9928 or see further down this page.


Old DIN 32757 Security Level Shred Size New DIN 66399 Security Level Shred Size Uses
Level 1 9.5 mm strip cut Level 1 12mm For shredding general internal documents.
Level 2 6 mm and 3.9 mm strip cut Level 2 6mm For internal documents such as notes, invoices, printouts, photo-copies and much more
Level 3 2mm strip cut, 3.9 x 80mm, 3.9 x 40mm, 3.9 x 30mm, 3 x 35mm, 2 x 28mm cross cut Level 3 320mm2 For confidential documents, such as company internal documents, personal data, etc.
    Level 4 160mm2 For highly sensitive documents and personal data subject to high protection requirements.
Level 4 2 x 15mm cross cut Level 5 30mm2 For secret documents, such as documents relevant to the safeguarding of personal livelihood or a company's existence.
Level 5 0.8 x 12mm cross cut Level 6 10mm2 Espionage-safe, for extremely high demands of security such as military or government departments.
Level 6 1 x 5 mm cross cut Level 7 5mm2 Ultra secure shredding for the most sensitive documents



We gratefully acknowledge the support of HSM in the presentation of the information below. 
The full range of high-quality, German-made HSM shredders can be seen by clicking here


The storage media containing our confidential data and information are varied. Along with paper, the classic data
medium, digital data media now also plays a major role. The DIN 66399 standard takes this diversity into account,
and defines what security means for all our modern media.

The DIN 66399 supersedes DIN 32757 and describes the requirements for machines and processes for shredding data 
media. The standard was developed by the Standards Committee for Information Technology and Applications (NIA). 


1. The 3 protection classes of the DIN 66399

The protection requirement of your data is classified into three different classes. The type of data is checked to determine
the protection requirement in the company. This identifies which need for protection is required, and therefore the 
protection class.


Protection 1: Normal security requirement for internal data. Unauthorised publication or dissemination would have a limited negative impact on the company. Protection of personal data must be ensured. There would otherwise be a risk to the position and financial situation of the affected persons.
Protection 2: High security requirement for confidential data. Unauthorised dissemination would have a considerable affect on the company and could infringe legal obligations or laws. The protection of personal data must fulfil strict requirements. There would otherwise be a considerable risk to the social standing and financial situation of the affected persons.
Protection 3: Very high protection requirements for particularly confidential and secret data. Unauthorised dissemination would have serious terminal consequences for the company and infringe trade confidentiality obligations, contracts or laws. It is essential that the confidentiality of personal data is maintained. Otherwise there is a risk to the health and safety or personal freedom of the affected persons.


2. The 6 data media of the DIN 66399


The standard divides all the different data media into 6 categories. Each category contains an explanation of the data formats.


Data Carriers


3. The 7 security levels of the DIN 66399


The DIN 66399 standard divides each data media category into 7 security levels. The higher the security level, the smaller the particles.


  Security levels:
Protection class 1 1, 2 & 3
Protection class 2 3, 4 & 5
Protection class 3 5, 6 & 7


Security level 1:      General documents to be rendered illegible or invalidated.
Security level 2:      Internal documents to be rendered illegible or invalidated.
Security level 3:      Data media with sensitive and confidential data as well as personal data subject to high
protection requirements.
Security level 4:      Data media with highly sensitive and confidential data as well as personal data subject to 
high protection requirements.
Security level 5:      Data media with confidential information of fundamental importance for a person, company 
or institution.
Security level 6:      Data media with confidential documents in the case of extraordinary security precautions.
Security level 7:      For strictly confidential data with the highest security precautions.


4. All data carrier categories and security levels


The security level which the document shredder produces depends on its cutting units.

The following picture shows the 6 data carrier categories and 7 security levels.


Security Levels Overview