Shredder Terms
Shredder Terms

We’ve compiled a list of terms frequently used by shredder manufacturers to unable you to make proper choice of shredder according to your requirement.

It will also help you understand the differences between these shredder terms and how shredders are rated, we have included a list of only those used most frequently. Please feel free to contact us for clarifications, detailed explanations and assistance for choosing a shredder to your requirement.

Strip Cut

Documents are cut into thin unreadable strips. Generally, the strips will be the length of the document.

Cross Cut

Documents are cut in two directions producing small particles. The size of these particles offer greater security and are self compacting, which reduces overall bulk.

High Security

Engineered to meet the demanding requirements for Top Secret data destruction. High Security shredders are perfect for military, and local government agencies as well as defense contractors,Consulates and Designing companies

Feed Width

The size of the opening where paper is inserted into the shredder.


The number of 8 1/2″ x 11″ (A4 size) sheets of paper that can be shredded at one time. Generally shown as two numbers, the first using 70 gsm paper (thin) and the second using 80 gsm paper (general xerox sheets). These numbers are only a guideline. Paper quality, type of paper and atmospheric conditions can effect the capacity rating.

Shred Size

Also referred to as particle size, it describes the overall dimensions the paper is reduced to. Shown as one number for Strip Cut models and two numbers for Cross Cut models.


Shown in “feet per minute”, the number is determined by shredding continuous forms and calculating the length of paper shredded over a given time.


Measured in horsepower, it is the available shredding power that is calculated from the wattage specifications of the motor.

Auto On/Off

Shredding action starts automatically when paper is inserted into the feed opening and stops after the paper has been completely shredded. It is controlled by the paper contacting a mechanical sensor or by breaking a light barrier.

Bag Full-Auto Off

When the waste bag or bin reaches a pre-set level, a sensor turns the shredding action off. This is accompanied by an audible and visible warning. This feature is available on select models.

Auto Reverse

To help prevent paper jams, the shredder will automatically reverse, momentarily, if an overfeed occurs. This is accompanied by an audible and visible warning. This feature is available on select models as part of the complete electronics package.

Waste Capacity

Measured in liters, it is the volume of paper that the waste bag or bin can hold.

Run Time

It denotes the time the shredder runs continuously and then requires cooling , this is also equivalent to the bin capacity and the amount of shredded papers it can hold.

COMPARISONS (how to choose a right shredder for your use)

  • Strip Cut vs. Cross Cut
    A strip cut shredder will cut your documents into long thin vertical strips of paper. A cross cut shredder will also cut across the paper horizontally to make the pieces smaller and thinner. With a little effort and some patience, a person can assemble a strip cut document back into its original form and read your confidential document. A cross cut shredder will make this task even more difficult. The smaller the pieces that the shredder cuts your document into, the higher the level of security and the more you will pay for it. Other cut styles include diamond cut, confetti cut and micro cut (the smallest size cut).
  • Sheets per Pass
    Sheets per pass (or pages per pass or sheet capacity) in the number of sheets of paper that the shredder is able to shred at one time. Most “personal shredders” (used at home to destroy bills, etc.) are rated at two to five sheets at a time. For a shredder to be used in a business, it must be rated for a minimum of 12 to15 sheets of paper at a time. Most shredders have a slot gage built right into the front of the shredder to help you estimate how many sheets you can feed into the shredder at a time. Additionally, you should be able to shred documents without having to remove staples. Some more expensive ones will even shred paper clips.
  • Duty cycle
    Duty cycle is an indication of how strong and well built the machine is. The higher the duty cycle rating, the better built it is and the longer it will last. For business use, a duty cycle of 100 to 150 sheets per day (or 2,100 to 3,150 sheets per month) is required. Another indication of durability is specified by the “Continuous Run Time” rating. A business class shredder should have a continuous run rating of at least 20/40 minutes (i.e. run continuously for 20 minutes, let cool down for 40 minutes).

Extra features

There are a variety of other features that you can pay for on your shredder. Here are several worth considering and looking for when you purchase your shredder.

  • Extra Large Bin
    The smaller the waste bin the more time you are going to spend emptying it. A business class shredder should have a waste bin the can hold at least seven gallons (25 liters) of waste.
  • Bin Full Sensor
    A full bin of shredded documents can back up into the cutting assembly and cause a jam. This feature will turn off the shredder and light an alert lamp to let you know the bin is full. Clearing a shredder jam is messy and time consuming.
  • Temp sensor
    Sometimes shredding is so much fun (or for me, a stress reliever) that I lose track of the time. Before you know it, the motor is over heating and burning up. Better quality shredders will have a temperature sensor that will stop the shredder motor before it gets damaged. This feature will help you relieve that stress instead of causing more stress with a broken shredder.
  • CD/DVD/Credit Card Shredder
    Remember, not all confidential information is confined to paper. In addition to paper, some shredders can also destroy CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. Data CDs and DVDs that were used to archive or copy sensitive data must be destroyed too. Credit cards, frequent flyer cards, discount cards, etc. all contain personal information and must be destroyed.

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