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Cross Cut vs Strip Cut Shredding Explained

There are several different decisions to make when choosing the correct shredding machine including the type of shred need, which in turn determines the level of security of the machine. Most shredders can be categorised into four types: Strip Cut, Cross Cut , Micro Cut and Crypto Cut.

Strip Cut Shredding

The Strip Cutter is generally seen as the most basic type of shredding system, but can be more than adequate for the less sophisticated user. A perfect example would be a home user who requires a reasonably low level of security, but is determined to protect information from possible identity theft. Strip cut, or Spaghetti cut as it is sometimes referred to, is the means of shredding paper or other types of media like credit cards or CD's into long parallel lengths. The length of the strips will tend to be as long as the type of media that you intend to cut. For example if you put a sheet of A4 paper into your shredder you will be left with approximately 30-50 parallel strips the length of the A4 sheet. It would be technically possible if you were shredding a continuous computer printout for the length of the shreds to be as long as the continuous sheet. You can have a choice of how wide the strips are in multiples of about 2mm. The advantage of strip cut over cross cut shredders are that they will tend to be cheaper, as the cutters cost less to produce, and they will shred more sheets of paper per pass.

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Cross Cut Shredding

The cutting cylinders not only cut the paper widthways, but also lengthways too. The results are small particles that look like confetti. Depending on the exact size chosen you will be left with between 300 to 900 tiny pieces once shredded from a single A4 sheet of paper.

Cross cut shredders have now become much more popular and at all levels (except entry level) out sell equivalent strip cut shredders. The use of cross cut or confetti cut shredders is always recommended as they give the user 2 main advantages:

1. The shredded waste is more secure as it is much harder to read the information that was held on the pieces of paper.
2. The waste shreds will compact into the waste bin much more than strip cut shreds so that the shredder has to be emptied less frequently.

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Micro Cut Shredding

The cutting cylinders not only cut the paper widthways, but also lengthways too. The results are small particles that look like confetti. Depending on the exact size chosen you will be left with between 900 to 1500 tiny pieces once shredded from a single A4 sheet of paper.

Micro cut shredders have now become much more popular due to the rise in identity theft, with many models now at more affordable prices. The use of micro cut cut shredders is recommended for businesses or individuals where security is of paramount importance and offer the user 2 main advantages:

1. The shredded waste is more secure as it is much harder to read the information that was held on the pieces of paper.
2. The waste shreds will compact into the waste bin much more than strip cut shreds so that the shredder has to be emptied less frequently.

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Crypto Cut Shredding

Crypto cut shredders are usually used by Government or Military installations where the data is extremely sensitive. These shredders are Din Level 5 or 6 machines that will shred a single piece of paper into between 1500 and 3000 tiny dust like particles. Some of these machines will also turn CDs and DVDs into dust meaning that none of the data can be recovered.

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