A High Security Shredder Won’t Take Paperclips or Staples
High Security Shredders provide the most secure shredding possible. They take your most sensitive documents and turn them into miniscule particles that are literally impossible to reassemble. In order to be given a level 6 rating, a shredder is evaluated by the NSA and determined to meet their requirements for the disposal of top secret documents. Impressive as all this sounds, the superior shredding ability of a level 6 shredder does come with drawbacks. Fewer sheets per pass can be fed through the feed opening, the cost of the shredder is more than its lower-level counterparts, and, often most irksome, paperclips and staples should not be shredded. Going through all of your documents and removing these little nuisances may seem like an unnecessary use of your time, but it will benefit your shredder and ultimately you in the long run.
What makes a high security shredder able to produce such small pieces of paper (such as the 0.8 x 5mm shred of the Destroyit 2603 SMC) is the cutting head. Unlike the cutting heads of level 3 models, a high security cutting head has blades and teeth positioned so close together that even something as seemingly small as a paperclip can get caught in the teeth and cause the head to misalign. When this happens, what is often irreparable damage occurs. Also, teeth can and will break off when metal is shredded. With some missing teeth, you no longer receive the high security shred you require and what was once the utmost machine for destroying top secret documents is now allowing bits of information to go through unscathed. Paper clips are the most serious offenders in causing high security shredder damage, but we recommend staying away from staples, too. If you want to prolong the life of your level 6 shredder, oil often and shred only paper!