Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Today’s topic is paper shredders. Which type is ideal for you? We will present several factors to help you choose!

This object can be used in the office or in your home and therefore has great variations in capacity and efficiency. Large demands will require more powerful shredders, while more compact models can be used when the need is small.

If you need to dispose of documents on a daily basis without leaving any trace of them or if you just want to reduce the size of your home waste, it’s time to purchase a paper shredder. Below you will find everything you need to know to choose the perfect model.


  • Shredding paper is important for safety reasons at home or in the corporate environment. It also helps reduce the volume of waste.
  • There are models for home use and others more suitable for offices. Size and weight will vary according to need, as well as price.
  • In addition to paper, many models also shred various other objects and office materials. Credit cards, badges, CDs and DVDs are some recurrent examples.

The Best Paper Shredder: Our Picks

Buying Guide

The paper shredder is a very useful piece of equipment in offices, we would even say it is indispensable for a company. Shredding paper for disposal reduces the volume of waste and is a safer way of disposing of important papers with personal or bank details.

Read on to learn more about paper shredders so you can choose the one that best suits your needs!

Homem de terno e gravata usando triturador de papel.

The paper shredder is a safe way to dispose of documents that contain important data. (Source: loganban / 123RF)

What is a paper shredder and what are its advantages?

A paper shredder, also called a paper shredder, turns whole sheets of paper into small strips. It thus makes their contents unrecognisable and facilitates disposal.

In the corporate environment, it usually serves to eliminate confidential documents, prevent the possibility of identity theft and generally increase the security of a business’ information.

For home use, it reduces the size of the sheets so that the waste occupies a smaller volume.

Also, in either option, documents or papers that contain personal information, such as addresses, document numbers or bank details, need to be destroyed before going to the trash. A basic security issue!

Most models also offer the option to shred CDs, DVDs, cards, diskettes and badges. Some others can handle heavier materials such as cardboard.

But the product also has some disadvantages. Noise can be highlighted as something negative. Check the table below:

  • Safety in the disposal of documents
  • Compacting of papers that go to waste
  • Ease of use
  • Versatility of materials accepted
  • High level of noise produced
  • Little design variety
  • Difficulty with heavier materials
  • Much disparity between models

Home or office paper shredder?

The first question to take into account when buying a shredder is whether the use will be corporate or home use. Models destined for the first case usually have a greater capacity of sheets per time, as well as achieving a more satisfactory speed and offering more security options.

There are also issues of space limitation and the need to transport. Models tend to vary greatly in size and weight. If you intend to leave the shredder in a room in the office without moving around, a heavy model will not be a problem.

Depending on the confidentiality of what you need to shred, the ideal is that the size of the leaves after passing through the machine is smaller. Also check if you will need to shred objects other than paper. Does your chosen model offer this option?

There are a few other issues to consider. We cite as examples the need for rest time, the electric power consumption, the presence or not of a basket and, in the second case, the ease of opening it.

Home paper shredder Office paper shredder
Capacity On average 7 papers at a time On average 15 papers at a time
Basket Some do not come with a basket All come with a basket
Weight About 2 kg About 10 kg
Other features More convenience, less efficiency More efficiency, less convenience

Purchase Criteria: Key Features for Evaluating a Paper Shredder

There are a number of issues to take into account when evaluating a paper shredder. Apart from whether it is used for home or corporate use, as we have already mentioned, there are also other very important factors.

Below is a list of the key specifications you need to keep an eye on:

  • Sheet capacity
  • Shredding speed
  • Safety level
  • Produced noise
  • Dimensions and weight
  • Extra features offered

So that you can prepare yourself well before the purchase, we will explain each of the items a little:

Sheet capacity

Paper shredders have varying capacities of how many sheets you can shred at one time. Depending on the amount of material you need to dispose of, you will need a model with more or less efficiency in this regard.

In the best quality and most popular models, this number usually varies between seven and fifteen. It may not seem like much, but it’s actually more than double. If you have a large volume of paper to shred, that means a lot of time saved.

Imagem mostra grande quantidade de papel triturado.

The capacity of a shredder is an important aspect. (Source: Monsterkoi / Pixabay)

Shredding speed

Combined with leaf capacity, shredding speed is what will define the efficiency of a shredder. Most of the most common models on the market can shred between 2 and 3 metres per minute.

Again, this is an important issue if you need to deal with large amounts of material. A home use doesn’t require much speed, but when it’s part of everyday work, the more efficient the shredding, the better.

Safety level

This is an all-important area for anyone dealing with confidential documents and deleting files that cannot be put back together again.

A paper shredder usually has security levels that are pre-defined: there are four levels, designated by the numbers 2 to 5. 2 is the smallest, and is not very recommended for the confidentiality function, and 5 is the highest.

What defines this number is the size that the paper comes out of the shredder: the smaller it is, the safer, since the possibility of reconstruction becomes non-existent. Thicker strips are easier to glue together than those that resemble small particles.

Noise produced

As they are machines that work with large volumes and at high speeds, paper shredders can be very noisy. Therefore, depending on the environment in which they will be placed, it is necessary to pay attention to this factor at the time of purchase.

The products usually have in their descriptions the specification in decibels of the amount of noise produced. If this is an important aspect within your needs, do not forget to pay attention!

Dimensions and weight

There are portable shredders, which can be taken from one place to another without any problem – they usually weigh between 1 and 2 kg – and there are those which will hardly be moved, always needing to occupy a certain place in a room – they weigh between 10 and 15 kg.

Observing the dimensions is also important: will you use a model in your home, without a specific corner for it, and need to leave it in a drawer, or will you have a large space in a room in your office?

Our recommendation is that you think about the space you have at your disposal before making your choice.

Extra features offered

There are some other features that are offered by certain models and that can be interesting: automatic lubrication, automatic shut-off, safety sensor for children and animals and even differentiated cutting patterns.

In addition, as already mentioned, there are several other materials that can be supported by shredders. If you need to shred cardboard, for example, you will need a special model for this.

(Source of the highlighted image: stux / Pixabay)