What Should I Look For In A Home Paper Shredder?




The use of a home paper shredder has become a valuable aid in the fight against the crime of identity theft, which happens to be the fastest growing crime in the nation affecting millions of people each year.

There are manual and automatic shredders, as well as a variety of capacities and cutting styles. This article will take a closer look at the different types of shredders and features available.

The manual desktop home paper shredder is probably the most basic and inexpensive model. It may be the perfect machine for you if you are looking for a desktop solution and you only have a small number of documents that contain personal information that you want to protect. It is a simple design with a convenient hand crank that advances the paper through the cutter blades. Some models feature credit card and CD disposal also.

Automatic home paper shredders are equipped with features that add to safety and ease of operation. One popular feature is the start/ stop senser that detects the presence of paper and starts the shredder motor. Many shredders also provide a buzzer and an alert light when a paper jam occurs. When paper jams do occur, which may be frequent when shredding too many papers at once, a reverse feed switch is handy that reverses the motor and frees the jam.

As shredder technology advances, more innovative features are being added for ease of operation. Some of the more expensive shredders feature racks to position plastic bags to collect waste and allow for easy disposal. Also some units feature expandable basket sides that can be adjusted to the amount of waste collected at the time.

Shredding needs of a home user may vary and the volume and frequency of use should help determine the size of the shredder that will fit your needs, for the home paper shredder may vary between 400 to 1000 sheets a day. All models are rated by capacity and these are only estimates to help you decide what you will need to get the job done.

When shopping for a shredder you will notice the description is given in shred size, motor horse power (H.P), feed width, sheet capacity, and waste volume in gallons.

For high security shredding operations, follow this rule of thumb: The more confidential the information, the smaller the shred size should be. Shred size of 1/4" is sufficient for most high security operations, although 1/8" is sometimes required for an even smaller particle size.

The more advanced, high-tech automatic paper shredders were originally used in business offices but are now commonly found for use in homes. Enhanced features such as shredding folded paper, heavier stocked paper, envelopes, CD's, and heavy gauge paper clips are in high demand by a segment of home shredders.

A home paper shredder can give you a measure of protection against identity theft. There are a variety of shredders available to you. By determining your needs, shopping wisely you will find a machine that will fill your needs and possibly protect you against the people who are out to steal your personal identity.


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