MyBinding Knowledge Base
What are the differences between the security levels of a shredder?
When buying a paper shredder for either home or office use, there’s a lot of think about. Some of the things you must consider include the machine’s shredding capacity, if it can handle paper fasteners, how loud it is, and the price, naturally. You need to also think about what kind of security the machine has to offer. Paper shredder security is indicated by a rating of Level 1 to 6, with 6 offering the most security. Shredder security is important because it ensures your private documents will be safe from identity thieves. It can also help you keep your nose clean when it comes to complying with federal privacy laws. What follows is an outline of all 6 levels so you can determine which one you need for your document shredding.
1.) Level 1. This is the most basic security and it’s typically only found on strip-cut machines. Shredders with this rating produces shreds that can measure anywhere from 3/8″ to 1/2″ wide. These devices are good for shredding everyday documents, such as junk mail, and are the ideal choice for individuals wanting to shred at home.
2.) Level 2. At this level, cross-cut shredders come into play because they offer more security than strip-cut models. A Level 2 strip-cut shredder’s pieces will be between 1/8″ and 1/4″ across, whereas a cross-cut machine will produce shreds as small as 9/32″ x 1-1/2″. If your documents contain a bit more personal information, a Level 2 device should be used.
3.) Level 3. This is the perfect amount of security for confidential business and personal documents such as old tax returns, canceled checks, personnel information, and more. Three is the highest rating for a strip-cut shredder; it’s all cross-cut devices from here on out. Particles produced by these cross-cut units are tiny, with the smallest measuring 5/32″ x 1″.
4.) Level 4. This is the second highest amount of security and it can be used by businesses that need to comply with federal privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These devices are great for when the items you need to shred contain information that’s critical to your company’s existence. The smallest shreds this type of machine produces measure 1/16″ x 5/8″.
5.) Levels 5 and 6. These are the machines to use when dealing with very private, highly classified information. They’re great for governmental offices that need to really keep their information under wraps. Most of these devices meet the standards outlined in NSA/CSS Specification 02-01, which basically means they’ve been approved for use by the government and military. When you use a machine with one of these ratings, you’ll be amazed at how small the shreds are, with the smallest measuring a scant 1/32″ x 3/16″. If you can’t let any information be seen by an outside party, a Level 5 or 6 machine is what you need.
< Over the years, a number of customers have asked me whether they can use twin loop wire with their plastic comb binding machine. These customers often don’t want to have to buy a brand new machine but like the look and feel of twin loop wire binding. However, the answer to their question isn’t as simple as it seems. You see, they actually do make twin loop wire that is designed to work with the plastic comb binding hole pattern. With that said, if you want to use these wires you are going to need a way to close the wires. What is Spiral-O Wire?Let me explain a little bit more…There is a product that we carry called Spiral-O Wire. This wire has 19 loops and is designed to work with the hole pattern from a plastic comb binding machine. Spiral-O Wire is sometimes called Wire Combs or Ibico Wire and was originally designed for use with some of the older Ibico binding machines. A number of the older Ibico plastic comb binding machines also included a twin loop wire closer on the front of them to allow users to use both plastic combs and wire. This 19 loop wire was designed for this purpose.What Equipment is Needed? As the Ibico brand has been phased out by GBC and all of the older Ibico plastic binding machines have been replaced with new models, they no longer have the twin loop wire closer on the front of them. This presents a problem in trying to use these spiral-o wires since you can’t use the wires without a way to close them.One of the only options left is to purchase a Twin Loop wire closer. However, since twin loop wire closers are not incredibly cheap this option usually only appeals to users who have larger electric plastic comb binding machines. Otherwise, it is often advisable to simply buy a low end 3:1 pitch twin loop wire binding machine (the supplies are cheaper). This being said, if you have one of the older Ibico binding machines that has a wire closer included you are in luck. The Spiral-O binding supplies that we carry will work perfectly with your machine and you will be able to use both plastic combs and wire depending on your needs. These Spiral-O binding supplies are available in Black, Silver, White, Blue and Red and in sizes up to 1″ in diameter.If you aren’t sure what type of wire binding supplies that you need to work with your machine simply give us a call. Our trained sales representatives will be glad to help you find the correct supplies for use with your machine.(Read More)