What should I know about specialty shredders?

posted this on Jul 22, 2015

Paper shredders have never been more popular. Nowadays, they can be found in just about every home and business across North America. Their popularity is based on a number of factors especially the fact that identity theft is more common than ever before. Also, the federal government has passed a couple of privacy laws – such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) – that require certain individuals and businesses to properly shred their documents before disposing of them. But while paper shredders are popular, there are a few other types of shredders you should know about, especially since they can help you protect private information and even save money. These are often referred to as specialty shredders and they include multimedia, cardboard, and industrial devices. Here’s a look at all you need to know about different types of specialty shredders so you can determine if one is right for your particular needs.

Multimedia shredders. These are probably the most common type of specialty shredders and you can usually find them in offices, schools, and so on. Multimedia shredders are machines that are designed to shred electronic media such as CD’s and DVD’s. There are even some that can handle floppy disks (despite them not being as common as they once were), ZIP disks, DV tape, and credit and debit cards. A lot of these machines can also handle paper documents so you’ll be able to shred just about everything with just one machine. (It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.) However, if you want a device that can handle paper, make sure you specifically look for one so you get all the features you need.

Multimedia shredders are made by some of today’s most popular office machine manufacturers. These include such big names as Intimus, HSM, and Dahle. A lot of them are designed for heavy-duty use and they can be used in shared work environments. Best of all, these devices tend to have very security ratings with some even having a Level 6 rating. (Level 6 is the highest shredder security rating available.) These shredders will give you a lot of peace of mind and you’ll be able to rest easy since all of your information – whether it’s on paper or electronic media – will be safe and not in the hands of criminals. If the machine you get has NSA/CSS certifications you can even use it to destroy highly confidential documents, including those pertaining to government and military matters.

Cardboard shredders. One issue that just about every workplace experiences at some point is what to do with an abundance of unneeded cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes take up a lot of room (even when they’re broken down) and throwing them in the garbage is downright wasteful. It can be expensive too since cardboard boxes aren’t cheap. Even sending the boxes out for recycling can be pricey depending on which shredding service you use. (Using a shredding service always increase the likelihood of identity theft, etc. since you can can never be too sure if the company’s employees are trustworthy. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also true.)

That’s where cardboard shredders come in. These are heavy-duty shredders that are strong enough to tear up those unwanted cardboard boxes and the like. They can even shred materials such as newsprint and cardstock. You can then either recycle the shreds or use them as packing material for your shipments. The latter option is the best because it will help you save money that you would otherwise be spending on mailing supplies (postage, packing materials, Styrofoam peanuts, etc.). In fact, you’ll be killing the proverbial two birds with one stone since you’re reusing your old materials (albeit in a different form) and not spending money on new supplies. It’s a completely win/win situation.

Also, cardboard shredders are manufactured by great companies including Intimus and HSM. Some of them will accept paper including computer printouts. (Just make sure the paper doesn’t contain any private information on it before reusing it as packing material.) Most cardboard shredders are pretty large devices but there are some tabletop machines to choose from if you don’t have a lot of space in your work area.

Industrial shredders. Paper shredders are available in a lot of sizes, but there are special ones that are manufactured for frequent, continuous use in industrial environments. Appropriately enough, these machines are called industrial shredders and they can handle hundreds of sheets of paper per day. These shredders often have enormous waste bins so you can shred non-stop for a long period of time without needing to get rid of any shreds. Industrial shredders come with a number of different security ratings so you can choose a device that offers the appropriate amount of security you need. Some of the more heavy-duty machines come with balers so your shreds will be stored in compact plastic bags for easier disposal or recycling. Industrial shredders are manufactured by companies such as HSM, MBM, Standard, and Formax. Typically, these shredders have great warranties so you won’t need to worry about anything going wrong with them. There are even some that have lifetime warranties on their cutting mechanisms.

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