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Cross cut and confetti cut paper shredder differences!

Posted on by Advantage Business Equipment
Image Cross cut and confetti cut paper shredder differences!

There is no practical difference between a confetti-cut shredder and a cross cut shredder. Both use two drums rotating perpendicular to each other to chop documents into small pieces, known as chad. Some cross-cut shredders produce rectangles of paper rather than confetti-like squares or diamonds; otherwise the two kinds of shredders are virtually identical.

Using a paper shredder helps protect you, your family, and your business from identity theft by destroying sensitive documents. The familiar strip-cut shredder only cuts documents in one direction, resulting in long, narrow strips of paper that a dedicated criminal could reassembly glean your personal data. Use a paper shredder marketed as a cross-cut or a confetti-cut to shred sensitive documents into tiny paper scraps, obscuring the information more completely.

Various levels of shred size are available so look at the article - Shredder Cut Security Levels - to see what cut size fits your needs. Level four and higher shredders are fine for most of us but carefully consider what cut is best for you.

For top secret document destruction, the US Government requires paper to be shred into 15,081 particles per sheet or into pieces no larger than 1/32” x 3/16” in size. This is considered a level 6 shredder.

This requirement is considered safe after the DARPAR Challenge in 2011. The DAPAR challenge was an event sponsored by the Pentagon where teams were offered an award of $50,000 if they could successfully solve puzzles written on paper that was shred into 6,000 chads per sheet. http://archive.darpa.mil/shredderchallenge/

The Challenge. http://archive.darpa.mil/shredderchallenge/puzzlefiles/Puzzle%20Solutions.pdf

After only one team out of 9,000 who entered was able to decode all the puzzles and claim the government prize, the DOD determined a level 6 shredder to be secure.

As well as securing your data, cross-cut and confetti-cut shredders also have other advantages. You'll also need to empty your shredder less often as the chad (paper scraps) take up less room than the bulky paper strips created by strip-cut shredders. These tiny scraps take up less room in your household or business waste than heaps of strips.

You can find cross-cut and confetti-cut shredders with various useful features, such as the ability to shred paper with staples and paper clips attached without causing blade damage. Some are capable of shredding thicker materials such as cardboard which can be useful for packing material.

Some have a “Multi-Media” slot dedicated to CD’s and DVD’s while others accept this material in the same slot as the paper. A credit-card shredder ensures that no-one can make use of your unwanted credit or debit card. The most important feature of a cross-cut or confetti-cut shredder is the shred size; the smaller the chad, the less likely it is that someone will be able to re-assemble your documents.

Note that not all domestic paper recycling services will take shredded paper, especially chad from a cross-cut shredder. You may have to arrange for it to be recycled by a commercial company. You can also use paper chad around the home; in paper briquettes, for children's crafts or as animal bedding, for instance. 

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