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Is Strip Cutting Papers Good Enough? 5 Key Questions to Ask Yourself

Strip Cutting

A strip cutting paper shredder is the bare minimum requirement for protecting your personal information from identity theft.

Strip cutting will reduce your confidential papers into one quarter inch wide strips. But is this good enough? Is it quality shredding? To answer that question, you have to ask yourself some questions. Here are 5 questions that you should ask yourself before deciding if strip cutting is right for you.

  1. What do You Need to Destroy?

Do you need to destroy sensitive documents? Or is it mostly less sensitive things like old letters or notes?

To help you determine the sensitivity of your documents, ask yourself a simple question: could the contents of the documents cause you severe loss if they fell into the wrong hands?

  1. Cross Cut Shredder vs Strip?

If you’re mostly destroying sensitive documents then the cross cut shredder is preferable. Cross cutting will nearly reduce your papers to dust.

Strip cutting on the other hand will cut the papers into one quarter inch wide strips. With enough effort these can be reassembled. This is why, for higher security, cross cutting is superior to strip cutting.

Many people decide to go with a cross cut shredder for one simple reason: it’s hard to know how your future requirements might change with time, so you might as well just get the best.

  1. Do You Have Space for a Heavy Duty Shredder?

With a heavy duty strip cutting shredder you can minimize security risks. This is because a heavy duty shredder can shred as many as 15 pages at once. This isn’t just a convenient feature; it also means that it’s less likely a thief can reassemble any individual document.

  1. How Many Unique Features Do You Want?

With all of the unique features available in paper shredders today, it can be hard to find the exact paper shredder that you want.

You might decide to end up settling on a strip cut shredder if it has enough attractive features. For instance, there are shredders with an automatic reverse mechanism for preventing paper jams. There are also paper shredders that are meant to sit on your desk. A whole article could easily be written on this topic alone.

  1. Where Will You Buy Your Paper Shredder?

How soon do you want to shred your papers? If you have the time and patience, buying your shredder online is the best option. With online shopping you’ll have the opportunity to compare different brands, features, styles and prices.

With the local retail store you can find a wide selection of strip cutting and cross cutting paper shredders, sure. But, you still might not find exactly what you’re looking for.

This is why buying a strip cutting shredder online is a good idea. With a strip cutter, you’ll want to know that what you’re buying will be secure (and affordable) enough.

Cross Cut Shredder

The Major Flaw of Strip Cut Paper Shredders

Unfortunately, this same kind of story is still happening to people all throughout America.

In the 1970s the US embassy in Iran was overrun. Before it was overrun, the embassy was in a hostage situation, and the embassy employees, who were unable to burn certain documents, had to make do with a low quality strip cut paper shredder. Later on, Iranian basket weavers were able to reassemble the documents. You can find a picture of these papers at the bottom of this page.

If only they had used a cross cut paper shredder…

So how does a cross cut shredder work? Quite simply, it will reduce your personal documents into small particles, little more than confetti. Hence its nicknames: the confetti cut shredder, or the particle cut shredder.

Its best feature is guaranteeing that your business documents will be shredded safely. As the story above shows, a strip cut paper shredder doesn’t always ensure that your personal information is kept safe.

What is a Cross Cut Shredder?

Cross cut shredders were expensive and considered as exotic back then, but not anymore. Now, it’s much easier to get one to take care of all your security needs.

If strip cut shredded papers can be reassembled, as the story above proves, then you can see why garbage snoopers are a cause for concern. Because of them, you have to shred papers, and you have to shred them well.

While you might be thinking that cutting up papers or credit cards using scissors is good enough, it really isn’t. It’s true that most thieves won’t bother to put the pieces back together, but, then again, some will.

In fact, there are real cases of credit card applications being pieced back together and then mailed in, and actually getting accepted! These cases show that ripping them up doesn’t work.

Now that you know why you need a cross cut shredder, we’re going to answer the question that everyone’s now asking: “how does a cross cut shredder work”?

How Does a Cross Cut Shredder Work?

First of all, cross cut shredders aren’t just for papers. A micro cut shredder can also cut up credit cards and cds/dvds into finely cut parts that are smaller than ants.

Cross cut shredders are classified based on the size of the particle. The particle size is what defines the security level of the shredder.

Keep this in mind too: the smaller the shredded paper particles are, the less sheets that can be shred at a single time. This is because of the stress that’s put on the motors. This is one major limitation on store bought cross cut paper shredders.

For the highest level of security and convenience, there’s nothing better than a mobile paper shredding service that offers NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) sanctioned high-security shear shred.  See our article on onsite document shredding to learn more.


Cross Cut Shredder vs Strip

Over 8 million Americans have been reported as victims of identity theft last year. With these kinds of numbers, people are starting to realize the importance of keeping their personal information safe.

One of the first questions that come to mind is – what to do with all of those sensitive documents? The easiest way to get rid of them is by shredding them.

However, different people have different needs and therefore, different shredding solutions. There are many different paper shredders suited for different kinds of businesses, big businesses, small businesses, and home users. The choice of cross cut shredder vs strip also depends on personal taste.

Cross Cut Shredder

Defining Characteristics

  • A cross cut shredder will cut papers into little pieces.
  • Maintenance: will require more oiling because the gears work harder cutting more.
  • Security: the most secure.
  • Convenience: in terms of cross cut shredder vs strip, more papers can be shredded with the cross cut shredder before needing to empty the bin. The shredded papers fit more compactly inside the bin.

Who It’s For

This paper shredder cuts both lengthwise and widthwise. It offers the highest level of security with level 3 security and above. This is defined by the NSA as a shred that is no larger than 3/16″x3″. As such, cross cut shredders are the norm in offices, businesses, and government agencies.

If you work with highly confidential documents, the cross cut shredder might be your best choice. On the other hand, strip cut shredded documents can potentially be reconstructed.

Strip Cut Shredder

Defining Characteristics

  • A strip cut shredder will shred documents into strips, which is also known as the spaghetti cut. You might be able to choose how wide the strips are, in multiples of about 2mm.
  • Maintenance: requires oiling, but not as often as a cross cut shredder.
  • Security: not as secure as cross cut shredders. For the best security with a strip cut shredder, documents should be shredded width-wise, not length-wise.
  • Convenience: waste bin needs to be emptied more often because the long strips take up more space.

Who It’s For

In terms of cross cut shredder vs strip, the strip is much faster with a higher throughput. It’s best suited for the home user who requires a lower level of security, but still wants to protect his information from identity theft.

Cross Cut Shredder Vs Strip: Final Verdict

Depending on the quality of the particular shredder, both cross cut and strip cut shredders can shred credit cards or cds.

Both shredders can do the job, but the best one depends on you. Every business and individual will have different needs.

However, in terms of security, on-site shredding services beats both of them. Keep your documents secure and save extra time by working with a professional shredding company. Give us a call and get a quote today.