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Shredder Security Levels explained

Posted on by Advantage Business Equipment
Image Shredder Security Levels explained

Paper shredders use a standard classification system of P2 through P7 to determine the security of the paper being shred through the blades. Understanding the size of shred is the most important factor in deciding which machine is right for you needs.  The smallest cut size falls under level P7 while the largest size is level P2.  

Strip cut shredders, or P2 shredders, are the most productive but they are also the least secure.  Levels Ps and P4 are the most common for businesses or home use.  They are HIPAA compliant and do a great job protecting private information.  P6 and P7 shredders are required for government agencies disposing of top secret documents but a P7 shredder is needed for the most demanding top secret document destruction.


Security Level P2 

Designed for general shredding purposes

  • Strip Width: equal to or less than 1/4 (6 millimeters)
  • Strip Length: Infinite


Security Level P3 

Designed for confidential, commercial, corporate, and personal data. Most commonly used security level.

  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (4 millimeters)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (80 millimeters)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 320 square millimeters

Security Level P4 

Designed for shredding very sensitive and very confidential, commercial corporate, and/ personal data. Highest level security needed for commercial destruction.

  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (4 millimeters)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (40 millimeters)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 160 square millimeters

Security Level P5 

Designated secret / espionage proof. Standard European high security shredder level.

  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (2.0  millimeter)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (15 millimeters)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 30 square millimeters

Security Level P6

Designated the top secret shredder level. Specially designed to meet the requirements of the Department of Defense (DOD/NSA) and the exacting standards of the U.S. Military, national security organizations, government agencies and government contractors.

  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (.8 millimeter)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (12 millimeters)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 10 square millimeters

Security Level P7 

Designated the highest of top secret security shredder level. Specially designed to meet requirements of the Department of Defense (DOD/NSA) and the exacting standards of the CIA, US Embassy's, Top Secret U.S. Military Departments, national security organizations, government agencies and government contractors. 

  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (1 millimeter)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (5 millimeters)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 5 square millimeters

Read More   |   Paper Shredder Information   

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