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The 15 most important questions when choosing a shredder

Thinking about buying a shredder for your home or office? In this article, we answer 15 of the most common questions asked by our customers who are looking for the best shredders for their needs. 


1. How many sheets per day can a shredder shred?

How many sheets a day a particular shredder can destroy depends on its design and purpose. The smallest personal desktop models, which are mainly designed for home and small business use, shred a few dozen documents per day. Business models have a capacity of several hundred to several thousand pages per day. Professional high-capacity devices can shred up to tens of thousands of sheets in a single day. These types of shredders are used in large companies dealing with professional document destruction and in archives.


2. How many sheets at a time can a shredder shred?

The more powerful the shredder, equipped with a more powerful drive, the more sheets of paper it is able to shred at one time.


The smallest shredders for home and office use shred between 4 and 12 sheets of 80 g/m2 at a time, while professional models shred up to 800 sheets at a time. It is important to pay attention not only to the parameter specifying the maximum number of sheets that can be destroyed at one time, but also to which grammage this value has been specified for. A shredder that is capable of destroying 30 sheets of 80 g/m2 in one go may shred a proportionally higher number of sheets of, for example, 70 g/m . 2


3. Can the shredder be used to shred other media?

The manufacturer specifies exactly which types of media a particular shredder shreds in the shredder instructions. There is no rule that cheap models can only shred paper, while more expensive models can additionally shred CDs and plastic cards. Whether a particular model can shred media other than just paper depends on the design of the device and its intended use.


In addition to paper, individual shredder models can also shred:

  • CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs,
  • plastic cards, e.g. credit cards,
  • electronic media, e.g. memory sticks,
  • magnetic media, e.g. badges and magnetic tapes,
  • films and microfilms.

Shredders capable of shredding CDs are often equipped with a separate slot into which these media are inserted for disposal. A practical addition are separate containers for destroyed CDs or holders which separate the different types of media to be destroyed. This prevents waste from being mixed up and makes it easier for us to segregate waste.

Business shredder OPUS CS 2208 CD - shredding CDs
Some shredder models have a special slot for shredding CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs


A separate category is hard drive shredders, which are used to physically damage SSD and HDD drives, as well as tablets and smartphones. Specialist shredders are designed to destroy this type of media.


4. Can data destroyed by a shredder be reconstructed?

The purpose of shredders is to cut documents into small pieces from which data cannot be read. Individual shredders are equipped with different systems for cutting documents into cuttings with specific areas. Therefore, not all shredders guarantee the same level of security.


According to DIN 66399, there are seven security levels, which describe the maximum surface area that the cuttings can have. For example, the weakest shredders providing security level P-1 shred paper documents into strips of up to 12 mm in length and a cut-off area of up to 2000 m2. Shredders providing the highest security level of P-7, intended for top secret data, produce cuttings as small as 1 mm wide and up to 5 mm in area2, and thus make it impossible to reproduce documents.

High-performance shredder IDEAL 2604 CC - cuttings
The size of the cuttings is crucial for the effectiveness of document destruction

5. What level of security does my shredder need to provide?

In general, shredders providing security levels from P-2 to P-4 are sufficient for most companies. Recovering data destroyed by such shredders, even if theoretically possible, would require an enormous amount of work and technology.


Before purchasing, we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the so-called data protection requirement classes of DIN 66399, which are also described in the referenced text and which divide data into three groups according to their sensitivity. Should you have any problems selecting the right solution, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists.


6. Are shredders safe?

At the core of every shredder are very sharp blades, often made of special hardened steel. However, they are secured in such a way as to eliminate the risk of injury to the user. Individual models may be equipped with electronically controlled safety flaps that prevent fingers, ties and other objects from being accidentally drawn in, as well as advanced sensors that stop the machine from operating. The slots themselves, into which the paper is inserted, are designed to prevent the insertion of hands. As a result, with basic care, modern shredders are completely safe for the operator.


7. Are the shredders resistant to staples and paperclips?

If you are using a small shredder intended for domestic use, we recommend that you always unhook staples and paper clips. This will reduce the risk of the blades jamming and dulling quickly.


More advanced models of shredders can be used to destroy stapled documentation. However, it is important to note whether the manufacturer allows this for a particular model of shredder. Some machines can cope with shredding documents fastened with staples, but may have problems destroying documents fastened with paper clips. If you do not follow the manufacturer's recommendations in this regard, you risk damaging the machine and voiding the warranty.

Shredder OPUS OS 2210 CD - shredding documents with staples
Not every shredder offers the ability to shred documents bound with staples or paper clips

So if you want to be able to shred clipped documents, choose advanced shredder models. They are equipped with cutting knives made of special hardened steel. These knives are resistant to breakage, even when subjected to very high loads.


On the product sheets of all the shredders available in our shop, you will find information on whether a particular shredder is resistant to staples and paper clips.


8. We shred large quantities of documents, sometimes entire ring binders. Are there shredders to suit our needs?

If your office shreds very large volumes of documents, it is worth investing in an efficient business shredder.


The IDEAL 5009-2 CC is an excellent example. This is a high-performance shredder with hardened cutting knives that can shred entire ring binders and up to 600 sheets of 80 g/m paper2 at a time. This model is designed for the most demanding users. The "2-speed" function allows it to operate in two speed modes, automatically adjusting to the shredding speed or the amount of paper being destroyed. The centralised oiler it uses ensures continuous operation and high productivity. Practical extras include a wheeled cuttings trolley and conveyor belt for fast document feeding and disposal. 

High-performance shredder IDEAL 5009-2 CC - shredding binders
The IDEAL 5009-2 CC shredder allows you to shred entire binders

9. Do shredders make noise?

In general, shredders generate a sound level of 50-70 dB, depending on performance and type of design. Of course, you will also find models on the market that fall below this range. The quietest shredders will be the small domestic ones, while the loudest will be the professional ones, designed to shred very large quantities of documents. It is assumed that shredders operating at 50-60 dB do not produce sounds that would disturb concentration in the office. The largest of these, however, are best placed in a separate room.


10. Is the shredder equipped with an automatic paper feeder?

Yes, the shredder can be fitted with an automatic paper feeder to streamline the process of shredding large quantities of documents. This speeds up the work considerably, as the sheets do not have to be fed in manually one by one. This can vary in capacity depending on the specific machine. Business shredders with automatic feeders have special feeder compartments which can accommodate an average of 50 to 150 sheets at a time. The largest shredders have feeders with capacities of up to 500 or even 1,000 sheets.


11. What is the cuttings bin capacity of the shredders?

The capacity of the cuttings bin in shredders can range from around 10 litres in home models to as much as 300 litres in professional devices. When choosing a particular model, bear in mind that a smaller bin will require more frequent emptying. Conversely, a large bin capacity translates into a larger shredder size.


12. What colours are the shredders available in?

Shredders are most often available in colours typical of modern offices. The predominant colours are therefore grey, black, white and silver. Individual models may be enriched with colourful details, e.g. coloured buttons, gold inserts. The universal colours make it easy to choose a shredder model to match the décor of the office or home.

Black and gold OPUS VS 1202 CD shredder / 4 x 35 mm
Black and gold OPUS VS 1202 CD shredder / 4 x 35 mm
13. How long is the shredder guarantee?

The guarantee on shredders is given for both the machine itself and the attached set of cutting blades, usually for a period of 2 or 5 years. Before purchasing, it is worth examining the conditions under which it is granted.


The guarantee period is an important factor to consider when choosing a shredder. If you have found the same model of shredder from two different retailers, compare not only the price of the product, but also the warranty period and after-sales service conditions. The advantage of buying a device from a manufacturer or an authorised distributor is that most often in the purchase price they offer professional advisory services, assistance in the selection of equipment and even the so-called extended warranty. If you buy the same device cheaper on a sales platform, when you add the option of an extended warranty, it turns out that the final purchase price is higher than at the manufacturer or authorised partner.


The length of the guarantee period is particularly important when purchasing more expensive equipment that you plan to operate for at least a few years. Often, the slightly higher purchase price of a shredder from a manufacturer or authorised dealer can include a longer warranty period and convenient service conditions. This option can prove to be much more advantageous for a company than purchasing a cheaper device on a purchasing platform.


14. Do the shredders have castors?

Shredders may or may not be equipped with castors. Castors are not compulsory. If you plan to move your shredder frequently, especially if it is a large shredder, it is advisable to choose a model with castors. You will find both smaller and larger shredder models with castors.

Shredder Shredcat 8280CC 4x10 mm - castors
Some models of Shredcat shredders are equipped with castors
15. How is the shredder maintained?

Caring for the condition of a shredder primarily involves checking the oiling of the cutting blades. The vast majority of shredder models require regular oiling. Some machines, such as IDEAL shredders, are equipped with proprietary automatic oil injection systems that lubricate the shafts during shredding. This translates into a significant extension of the life of the blades and the entire mechanism.


Shredders in the OPUS range - offer

Looking for the right shredder for your home or office needs? Take a look at our range of shredders from the OPUS, IDEAL, Shredcat and EBA brands. If you have any questions or problems choosing a machine, please do not hesitate to contact our experts.