Common Shredding Methods (From Most to Least Secure)

hand holding a bunch of shredded paper

There are many shredding options out here, however not all are created equal. Some shredders are fairly simple and ideal for everyday bits of paperwork, but not ideal for sensitive documents. Other shredding methods are ideal for destroying highly sensitive or classified documents, but are considered overkill for everyday paperwork. If you are comparing document destruction services, it is important to understand the common types of shredding methods in order to determine the best method for your needs.

Strip-Cut Shredding

The most common example of strip-cut shredding is found in your basic office shredder. For this reason, strip-cut shredding is the most common method of document destruction. With this method, paper is cut into long parallel strips. While it is the most common, and most economical method of destruction, it is also the least secure. The long strips can be carefully reconstructed in order to restore the confidential document. If you need to shred confidential documents, it is advised that you do not utilize this method of document destruction. It is however, a great choice for everyday paperwork!

Cross-Cut Shredding

A step above strip-cut shredding, cross-cut shredding utilizes vertical and horizontal blades that cut paper into tiny square or diamond pieces. Cross-cut shredders are able to cut one sheet of paper into hundreds of pieces-approximately 10x more pieces than strip-cut shredders produce. This makes a cross-cut shredder a better method of document destruction than a strip-cut shredder. Even though this method is certainly more secure than strip-cut shredding, given enough persistence, it is possible to reassemble a document.

Particle-Cut Shredding

Also known as micro-cut shredding, this method of document destruction uses fine-toothed blades to grind the paper down into thousands of tiny particles. Unlike strip-cut shredding and cross-cut shredding, this method of destruction makes it impossible to reconstruct a confidential document. For this reason, particle cut shredders are the option of choice for places such as government agencies where large volumes of top-secret documents need to be destroyed. However, the cost of this type of shredders out of reach for the average consumer.

Pierce & Tear Shredding

Pierce and tear shredding utilizes multiple rotating blades that pierce and rip paper apart. This type of shredder is ideal for destroying a large amount of documents at one time, quickly. Bulky materials such as cardboard boxes and thick binders are also no match for this type of shredder. Pierce and tear shredders are the most secure method of document destruction, however the shredder itself is not cheap. For this reason, you typically only see pierce and tear shredders in mobile shred trucks or industrial shredding facilities.

Confidata Offers Pierce & Tear Shredding for Albany, Utica, Syracuse, and Binghamton

Offering secure document destruction at affordable prices is our business! Confidata’s mobile shred trucks and shredding facility utilize pierce and tear shredders, ensuring that your confidential documents are destroyed with the utmost security. If you are a resident or business in the Albany, Utica, Syracuse, or Binghamton areas in need of secure document destruction give us a call at 1-800-627-4733 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consult.