As identity theft becomes a real problem in our society, paper shredders begin to fill a growing need in the community. Businesses and individuals both desire to safely and effectively destroy sensitive documents.
While individuals can rely on small paper shredders to effectively destroy credit card statements and bank paperwork, larger corporations need something more heavy duty.
Corporate paper shredders are often associated with hiding fraud or other illegal activities. Just think of all the shredder jokes that surrounded the Enron scandal. However, there is a legitimate need for quality paper shredders in the corporate world.
Just think about the amount of sensitive paperwork that passes through a credit union, psychologist’s office or accounting firm. Commercial-grade paper shredders, as they are often called, are manufactured to destroy large amounts of paperwork in a minimum of time. They are built with large motors that can handle stacks of paper at a time, as opposed to personal shredders that can only take one or two sheets.
Selecting a commercial-grade paper shredder involves deciding on what features are most important to the company. Consider first how often the paper shredder will be used. Each shredder will have a maximum running length and once that limit has been met, the machine will need to be turned off and allowed to rest for a specified period of time.
For example, higher end shredders may be able to run for 10 to 15 minutes before needing a rest of 20 minutes. Smaller models may only be able to handle 3 minutes of continuous shredding before having to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Another feature that varies between shredders is the estimated shred volume. This indicates the volume of paper that the shredder can handle. Analyze the shredding needs of the office and determine what paper capacity is necessary.
Keep in mind that a shredder needs time to cool down between sessions and will break down if it is kept running continuously. To prevent this, consider purchasing a shredder that will be able to handle slightly more work than needed. This way the shredder won’t be running at maximum capacity all of the time and the life of the machine will be increased.
There are two main ways that a shredder destroys paper. Strip-cut shredders cut paperwork into thin strips of ¼ of an inch or smaller. This option suits the security needs of most offices. Cross-cut shredders are more suitable for the most confidential documents. This type of shredder cuts both lengthwise and widthwise to create what looks like confetti, and these shredders are often referred to as “confetti paper shredders.”
Commercial paper shredders need regular maintenance to run at their optimum rate. Lubricating oil must be applied to the shredder regularly to remove the build-up of paper dust inside the cutting apparatus. Most paper shredder manufacturers will recommend particular oil for their machine. The oil should be applied regularly depending on how often the machine is used. General repairs like paper jams can normally be handled by the office staff.