Paper shredder security (or DIN) levels start at P-1 (basic shredding) and increase to P-7 (shredding of top secret documents).
The higher the level, the smaller the shredded particle size - so the harder it is for your information to be pieced back together.
The 'P' prefix relates to paper as this is the most commonly shredded material.
To simplify this, we’ve created 4 categories from low to very high:
Low - P-1 and P-2 shredders for basic and everyday shredding (use these for the shredding of less sensitive, non-confidential documents)
Medium - P-3 shredders for confidential shredding (use these for things like bank statements)
High - P-4 and P-5 shredders for highly confidential and secret shredding (again, these can be used to shred things like bank statements. Also, businesses who have high security requirements may use these higher security shredders.)
Very High - P-6 and P-7 shredders for highly secret and top secret shredding (these are only really used by businesses with extremely high security requirements, e.g. government departments)
Strip-cut shredders shred material into long, narrow strips. They provide lower security (P-1 and P-2 only) and can be used for basic
and everyday shredding, rather than the shredding of confidential documents
Cross-cut shredders (also called confetti-cut) shred material into short, narrow pieces (with a P-3 to P-6 security level rating). They are considered more secure
than strip-cut shredders as they shred material into smaller pieces, which are much harder to put back together.
Micro-cut shredders are a type of cross-cut shredder but they shred into even smaller particles than standard cross-cuts, therefore providing the very
highest level of security. Micro-cut shredders would normally be found in business environments with high security requirements, although you can get some more affordable models for home use.
Shredder bin capacity can range from around 5 litres to over 200 litres.
The number of shredded sheets a bin will hold is dependent on type of cut (e.g. strip-cut, cross-cut or micro-cut) and also the exact size of shredded particles.
However, as a very rough guide a 5 litre strip-cut shredder would hold around 35 shredded sheets before you need to empty it - and a 200 litre cross-cut would hold up to around 2000 sheets.
It’s also worth remembering that the bigger the bin capacity is, the larger the shredder will be too.
Compare manual and hand-held shredders from a variety of different retailers and brands.