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Comparing Degaussers: Choosing the Right Magnetic Media Erasure Solution

By Rob Heri November 02, 2023

In an era where data security is paramount, the proper disposal of magnetic media has become a critical concern for individuals and organizations alike. Degaussers, specialized devices designed to erase data from magnetic storage media, offer a reliable and secure solution. However, the market is flooded with a variety of degaussers, each with its unique features and capabilities. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task. In this article, we will dive into the world of degaussers, comparing different models and technologies to help you make an informed decision when it comes to erasing sensitive data from magnetic media.
Armadillo Industrial
Before delving into the comparisons, let's first understand what degaussers are and why they are essential. For many, the word “degaussing” may be foreign. It’s the process of disrupting the magnetic field on items that retain data to protect information. NSA approved degaussers change the magnetic domain on different storage devices, rendering the data unreadable and unrecoverable. The process involves exposing the magnetic media to a powerful magnetic field that randomly rearranges the magnetic particles, effectively rendering the data unreadable and unrecoverable. This magnetic data erasure is a crucial step in ensuring that sensitive information cannot be retrieved from discarded or repurposed magnetic media. To understand degaussing basics please see the previous article - Data Security, Erase the Magnetic Slate - Degaussing 101.

Basic Degausser Types:

When it comes to degaussers there are two primary types in the market - Handheld and Converyor degaussers. Both types are available at Armadillo Industrial, and both types of degaussers serve a purpose in the data destruction and data security industry.

First the Handheld Degausser

  • Easily Portable - handheld degaussers are compact and portable, making them suitable for organizations with limited space.
  • Overall Versatility - they can handle a wide variety of media types including hard-drives and media tapes.
  • Cost Effective - handheld degausser are typically less expensive
Notes: Handheld degaussers are wonderful for smaller organizations that do not recuire large amount of daily data destruction. When considering a handheld degausser it is important to consider if it appears is listed on the NSA (National Security Agency) or the DoD (Department of Defance) approved lists. Check out the NSA and DoD approved handheld degausser from Proton Data Security - Proton 101 Handheld Degausser.

Conveyor Degaussers - The Workhorse of Degaussers

  • Overall Efficiency - conveyor degaussers are the work horse of data destruction. They are designed for high-volume data erasure, making them ideal for larger organizations with significant magnetic media disposal needs.
  • Automated Data Destruction - because they are typically higher capacity degaussing equipment these systems often feature automated conveyor belts, reducing the need for manual handling.
  • NSA and DoD Approvals - conveyor degaussers are more likely to be on the approved National Security Agency or Depart of Defense lists.
Notes: Conveyor degaussers are designed and manufactured for organizations that want the best in data destruction and who need to destroy large amounts of data devices. Although conveyor degausser are larger in size then the smaller handled degaussers with the Degauss Mobility Packages available from Armadillo Industrial even the the workforce of conveyors can become a mobile data destruction center. Check out the NSA Approved Garner Products Mobility Package - Garner TS-1XT with IronClad

Considerations In Your Degausser Selection

  • Media Compatibility: Ensure the degausser can effectively erase the types of magnetic media your organization uses.
  • Erasure Strength: Different degaussers offer varying levels of erasure strength, which can impact the security of data disposal.
  • Throughput and Speed: Evaluate the degausser's processing speed, especially if you have large volumes of media to erase.
  • Certifications: Look for industry certifications such as NSA, DoD, or NIST compliance, which can indicate the device's reliability.
  • Ease of Use: Consider the user-friendliness and maintenance requirements of the degausser.
Conveyor Degausser Comparison
Name Proton T-1.5 Garner HD-2XT Proton T-5 Garner TS-1XT
Manufacture Number T-1.5 HD-2XT T-5 TS-1XT
Certifications - - NSA Approved NSA Approved
Drawer Size Accepts all magnetic media within 1" x 4.3" x 6" (2.5 x 11 x 15 cm) 1.25 x 4.3 x 5.9 (in.) 31.8 x 108 x 148.6 (mm) Accommodates all magnetic media within 1" x 6" x 4.3" (2.5 x 15 x 11 cm) 1.25 x 4.3 x 5.9 (in.) 31.8 x 108 x 148.6 (mm)
Field Strength 1.5 Tesla (15,000 Gauss) Minimum 1.7 Tesla (17,000 Gauss) Peak 1 tesla (10,000 gauss) nominal 20,000 Gauss (+2 Telsa) 2 tesla (20,000 gauss) nominal
Duty Cycle Continuous Continuous Continuous Continuous
(Hard drives per hour)
1,200/hour (3.5" hard drives) 4,800/hour (4 laptop drives/cycle) Up to 1920 (1.8 in.) Up to 960 (2.5 in.) Up to 240 (3.5 in.) Up to 1300 (1.8 in.) Up to 875 (2.5 in.) Up to 150 (3.5 in.) Up to 1300 (1.8 in.) Up to 875 (2.5 in.) Up to 150 (3.5 in.)
Cycke Time 3 Seconds 8 seconds (nominal) 15 seconds 15 seconds (nominal)
Power Requirements Dual Voltage – Automatically converts between 120V and 240V 90-250VAC ±5%, 50/60 Hz Dual Voltage – Automatically converts between 110V and 220V; 60/50 Hz; single phase 90-250VAC ±5%, 50/60 Hz
Size (HxWxD) 12" H x 12" W x 20" L (30.5 x 30.5 x 50 cm) 6 x 17.8 x 13.3 (in.) 151.1 x 450.9 x 337.8 (mm) 10 × 19 × 26 in 16.9 x 9.8 x 24.8 in. (429.5 x 247.7 x 628.7 mm)
Weight 48 lbs (21.8 kg) 34 lbs. (15.44 kg) 128 lbs / 58 kg 105 lbs. (47.7 kg)
In conclusion, selecting the right degausser for your magnetic media erasure needs requires careful consideration of your organization's requirements, budget, and compliance standards. By comparing the different degausser types and technologies, you can make an informed choice to ensure the secure disposal of sensitive data and protect your information assets from unauthorized access.  Contact the amazing Armadillo Industrial customer service staff to discuss the different options and get a custom quote on any of the degaussers or a Degauss and Destroy Package Deal..
Contact Armadillo Industrial Supply for all your data destruction needs.  Amazing customer service representative waiting to help with all your industrial supply needs.  We offer competitive prices, free shipping on many items, custom quotes on ALL items, and volume discounts. Armadillo Industrial Supply is your Data Destruction Headquarters for all your Data Destruction Equipment Needs

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