Some of the most important things to consider when obtaining a commercial paper shredder are privacy and throughput. You should typically look for a shredder that can reduce documents enough so they can not be reconstituted. Basic home and office units often create a series of vertical or horizontal cuts, but a commercial shredder should typically offer a cross cut or confetti option. The volume of documents you will be shredding is also important, as the best shredder for an office environment may not be suited to larger industrial applications. Shredders often have a maximum number of documents they can accept at once as well as other physical limitations imposed by the size of the unit and power of the motor.
Most basic shredders are referred to as straight cut, and consist of a series of blades that will slice through a document either vertically or horizontally. This can protect information from casual perusal, though it often is not enough for the privacy concerns of a business. Documents that are cut into uniform strips may be reassembled given enough time and effort, defeating the purpose of shredding them. Choosing the best commercial paper shredder will often begin with finding a unit that can defeat such activity.
Cross cut shredders typically include perpendicularly opposed blades that can make a series of both horizontal and vertical cuts. This can result in thin, short shreds of paper that are difficult to obtain any useful information from. Confetti shredders work in a similar way and can reduce documents to tiny scraps of paper. An even more secure method of shredding is referred to as micro cut, which results in pieces so small it would be nearly impossible to obtain information from them. Choosing the best type of cut pattern will depend on how important information security is to your business.
The volume of documents you will need to shred on a regular basis can also inform your decision when choosing the best commercial paper shredder. Small office units are typically top fed and collect the shredded paper in a basket. One or more of these may be sufficient for casual office use, especially if it would save a large amount of time to give people the ability to shred documents at their desks.
Larger commercial paper shredders are also available if you need to dispose of a great volume of documents on a regular basis. These units vary greatly in design and may use a ream feed, a hopper bucket, or a number of other methods to automatically dispose of documents. A large commercial paper shredder can often handle the needs of an entire business and may deposit the destroyed documents into disposable plastic bags or other convenient options.