Cross Cut Shredders vs. Strip Cut Shredders


Which Makes the Best Cut?

                Whether at home or in the office, there is a matter that should concern you, the disposal of paperwork. Even you no longer need a certain piece of information, someone else might want it. It is 2012 and everyone is aware of the danger of identity theft, the US Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million cases of identity theft take place in the United States alone. There are myriad ways to defend your personal information but you can’t afford to end the fight at the garbage can. When deposing of paperwork that contains financial, personal or otherwise sensitive information; it is important to render them unusable to those who would desire that information for their own ends. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to use a paper shredder.

Paper shredders are not a new invention. The first patent for one was issued in 1909 and they have been mass-produced since the 1950s. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that they came into major use among non-governmental entities when the Supreme Court ruled that the 4th Amendment does not prohibit warrant-less search and seizure of garbage placed outside of a home or office. Shredders quickly became popular due to privacy concerns. Since then the law, environmental concerns, identity theft and industrial espionage have made them even more omnipresent in the workplace and home.

There are several different models of paper shredders. From small ones that can fit over a wastebasket to huge commercial designs that shred thousands of documents per hour; there are even top-secret models used by such government agencies as the NSA. The two types of shredders we’ll be discussing are the cross cut and strip cut designs and what are the pros and cons of each design.

The strip cut models use rotating knives to cut narrow strips as long as the original piece of paper. Cross cut models (also called confetti cuts) use two contra-rotating drums to cut the paper into rectangular, parallelogram or diamond-shaped sheds.

Here in comparison are the weaknesses and strengths of the two models:

Speed: in this category the strip cut model wins out. The cross cut is slower because it cuts the paper into more pieces.

Bag changes: the advantage is the cross cut design because the smaller pieces. Far more can fit into one refuse bag because the shredded are smaller than the strips.

Maintenance: Shredders require regular oiling to function properly. Strip cut machines require less oil then cross cut ones because they are cutting less. Dahle has recently released the CleanTEC paper shredders that all have automatic oiling features.

Security: This one should be your primary concern. Cross cut models offer far more security because they cut the paper into smaller shreds that are virtually impossible to piece back together. The cut paper produced by strip cut machines can (and in several cases have been) pieced back into their original form by determined people.

Price: Cross cut machines are generally more expensive then strip cut models. This question should be answered by considering how much paper shredding that you need to do.

Here is a list of companies that make commercial shredder models:

Boxis Autoshred











You Shred

It’s up to you to decide which factor is the most important aspect in your decision to buy a shredder. Here at K.L. Security, we want to make sure you have all the facts about your security products and believe us; shredders are security products. Protect your clients, personal information and vital paperwork; shred them when you toss them!


Written by: Joseph Fowler


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