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5 Factors to Consider Before Buying an Industrial Shredder

By Randy Green July 25, 2022

The industrial shredder is like a shredder on steroids—robust and powerful enough to consume anything continuously and swiftly, from floppy disks to confidential documents.

It’s no wonder companies are now investing in their own industrial shredder, rather than renting one or outsourcing their shredding. Besides shielding their business intelligence, this has helped cut down their waste volume, and eliminated rental fees and outsourcing costs.

Table of Contents

A strong, heavy-duty industrial shredder is ideal for cutting the massive volume of materials in (but not limited to): 

  • Scrap metal processors
  • Municipal facilities 
  • Warehouses
  • Large office departments

Similar to other pieces of office equipment like printers and joggers, a few specifications and features will make certain types of industrial shredders stand out. 

Knowing these features beforehand will help inform your choices when it’s time to make a purchase.

1 - Know the Type of Material You Need to Shred

shredded paper strips

The first decision you need to make is on what you’ll shred. 

Many shredders can process CDs and DVDs; you most likely have one already. But the best industrial shredder is one that strips materials a regular shredder can’t handle, such as:

  • Whole files 
  • Credit cards
  • Cardboards
  • Aluminum files
  • Paper clips 

Just like a car is only processed with a hammer mill, the industrial shredder will only cut what it’s designed for. If you’re getting rid of a wet or stringy item, inserting it in a shredder not made for that kind of material can break or clog the machine. 

It’s advisable to do thorough research to find the best industrial shredder that handles what your company processes now, and what you might want to process in the future.

At Armadillo Industrial Supplies, our industrial shredders are compatible with many types of waste. They can shred stacks of bulky files up to 650 sheets, ribbons, tapes, magnetic disks, computer forms, and many more. So, you won’t have to buy a shredder for every waste you want to discard.

2 - The Machine’s Shredding Capacity Must Work for You

Formax FD 8906B industrial shredder

The shredding capacity refers to the number of sheets per pass the machine can shred. It’s influenced by the shredder’s physical size, weight, and amount of material it can process. 

Be careful not to overload your shredder for optimum performance and safety, since an overburdened shredder can glitch.

The maximum amount of shredding an industrial shredder can handle ranges from 50–1000 papers per pass. This gives it the highest shredding capacity, compared to other shredders as shown in the table below.

Type Of Shredder Shredding Capacity (Sheets Per Pass)
Industrial Shredder 50–1000
Personal and Deskside Shredders Up to 10
Office Shredders 20–30
Heavy Duty and Departmental Shredders 40–100

During your purchase, make sure to confirm the industrial shredder’s capacity rating and then leave room for extra space. Using the shredder when at its maximum capacity regularly will reduce its service life.

To shred multiple load sizes, consider the Formax FD 8906B industrial shredder, which can comfortably handle massive loads of up to 650 sheets per pass

But if you discard less load, a medium-sized shredder like the Formax FD 8806SC is ideal since it can shred up to 100 sheets per hour.

3 - Pay Attention to the Shredder Security Level

Security is crucial when choosing an industrial shredder. You want to do all you can to protect your company’s privacy—especially its financial information and your clients’ personal data.

Shred sizes vary, with more sensitive documents requiring tinier shredding. 

There are 7 shredder security levels: Levels P-1 through P-7 determine the shred sizes a machine will produce.

The P-1 shredder security level produces strips of 12 mm (½”) wide or less. It’s the fastest shredder and best geared for less sensitive information. 

The P-7 shredder security level, on the other hand, releases the tiniest shreds, so that only a maximum of 4 characters are visible on a single shred. This machine is mostly used by the military and government officials to shred top-secret documents. However, it’s the slowest shredder available, handling an average of 10 sheets per pass. 

The P-3 shredder security level is often favored because it tatters high volumes of papers at a relatively high speed, but it’s still secure enough to discard sensitive information like financial records and Social Security Numbers.

Armadillo Industrial Supplies offers both the P-1 and P-3 security level industrial shredders. Whether you want to discard top-secret information or junk documents with less sensitive information, you’ll indeed find a machine for you.

4 - Know the Cutting Type That Works for You

shredded papers using a strip-cut shredder

Shredders produce different kinds of shredded paper. It’s the difference in the final shred that categorizes them.

There are 2 major cutting types; strip-cut and cross-cut. Let’s see what distinguishes them in the table below.

Strip-Cut Industrial Shredder Cross-Cut Industrial Shredder
  • The most common shredder
  • Best for non-confidential documents
  • Shreds paper vertically in long narrow stripes that resemble spaghetti
  • You can re-assemble a document if you mistakenly shredded it
  • Has a higher shredding speed
  • Shreds documents lengthwise and widthwise in cross cuts
  • Turns the papers into very tiny pieces that can’t be re-assembled
  • Best for confidential information like medical records and bank returns
  • Has a slower shredding speed

Armadillo Industrial Supplies offers both the Cross-Cut and Strip-Cut industrial shredders to cater to all your shredding needs, be it your employees’ confidential financial records or junk documents like notes of your weekly meetings.

"This Formax shredder is absolutely powerful when it comes to destroying old CDs and waste paper." Formax FD 8806CC Cross-Cut Industrial Conveyor Shredder

5 - Determine the Shredder’s Safety Features

Formax FD 8806SC strip-cut industrial shredder

Industrial shredders can cause injuries if not handled appropriately. So before buying one, know the safety measures manufacturers have put in place to prevent such occurrences.

Here are a few safety points to note when shopping:

  • Check for a safety interlock: An interlock prevents unauthorized use of the machine.
  • Ensure the shredder has a safety sensor: A safety sensor detects the presence of non-shreddable foreign objects like hands and fingers, prompting it to shut off immediately.
  • Look out for the safety stop bar: The stop bar instantly shuts down the shredder when pressed, preventing injuries and accidents during emergencies.

An industrial shredder tends to glitch when overstuffed or overheat when used continuously. We recommend a shredder with additional features like a load indicator, which sends instant feedback to the operator when the shredder is jammed or needs a break. 

Ensure the shredder has self-maintenance properties. This prevents exposure to the shredder’s interior of sharp grinding metal teeth that have caused many finger injuries, including amputations and lacerations. 

The Formax FD 8806CC cross-cut industrial shredder, for instance, has an automatic internal oiling system that regularly lubricates the cutting blade. You don’t need to oil the cutting blades by yourself, minimizing the chances of an injury.

a strong, heavy-duty industrial shredder is ideal for cutting massive volume of materials

Ready for Your Industrial Shredder Purchase?

Once you have the necessary information on different industrial shredders and their features and specifications, matching the equipment with your requirements gets easier. 

In general, answering these questions will help you select the right industrial shredder: 

  • Does the machine’s shredding capacity meet your requirements? 
  • Can it shred all the materials you need? 
  • Is the shredder made by a reliable manufacturer with long-term experience and a good customer reputation?
  • Will you achieve your desired shred size?
  • Does the retailer offer support and guidance to help you select, install, and maintain the machine?

At Armadillo Industrial Supplies, our customers always come first. We’ll ensure you get the best industrial shredders from world-class vendors at affordable prices, including free shipping to any state across the US and zero sales tax if you live outside of Texas. 

With decades of experience in customer service management, consultancy, and retail management, we’ve gotten to know all our products inside and out. We’ll be able to advise you on the right industrial shredder that fits your needs.

Check out the entire collection of our shredders here.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of experts is always here to help clear all your doubts.

"The support from the sales guys is the best in the industry."
Jacob Stowell

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