Less than 10% of organizations say their information security operation meets their organizational needs. If you don’t want to be in this 10%, you ought to consider carefully what type of shredder to acquire for your business or organization.
Failure to properly destroy sensitive information can lead to malicious attacks and data breaches. This guide will help you understand the key differences between commercial and industrial shredders, and help you assess which is best for your operation.
What is a Commercial Shredder?
Use a commercial shredder to destroy sensitive documents at your office or small company. For instance, you may need to dispose of financial statements, paperwork containing clients’ personal information, tax forms, and similar private documents.
Commercial shredders made for offices usually process up to around 20 pages at a time, though this depends on the machine you opt for. If your company doesn’t handle high-security data, then a strip-cut shredder should suffice. However, if you feel a higher level of security is required, purchase a cross-cut shredder that provides a higher level of document destruction.
Benefits of Commercial Shredders
Though commercial shredders have a similar size and capacity compared to home shredders, they offer much more advanced shredding. Commercial shredders created for offices have cross-cut blades that work vertically and horizontally to turn documents into minuscule pieces.
Overall, you’ll find a commercial shredder a higher-quality piece of technology than a standard shredder. The controls are user-friendly, and the blades are made of hardened steel. The machine benefits from enhanced durability and a longer lifespan. Commercial shredders produce less noise and have high-capacity bins.
What is an Industrial Shredder?
Industrial shredders can handle high volumes of documents, processing around 100 sheets at a time. They also have the ability to shred other materials such as cardboard and plastic. Industrial paper shredders are suited for operations on a much larger scale in a huge organization or manufacturing facility.
When buying an industrial shredder, you’ll notice the advised security level for the machine. For instance, a level 3/P-4 shredder is meant for sensitive documents such as bank statements, unclassified government documents, and documents you must destroy to stay GDPR-compliant. Level 4/P-5 shredders, however, are designed to offer much higher levels of security to dispose of highly confidential materials. For instance, they can demolish documents containing medical information, proprietary information, or social security numbers.
Benefits of Industrial Shredders
An industrial shredder has the capacity to destroy large volumes of sensitive information at a high speed. Plus, they’re simple to use, and are often equipped with a conveyor belt for feeding documents. Thus, using an industrial paper shredder means you can set up an efficient workflow when it comes to destroying confidential information.
What’s more, industrial shredder machines are versatile. Along with shredding various paper and card materials, they destroy optical media such as discs. You’ll also save time, as you won’t need to remove binders and similar items from files you wish to destroy.
What are the Differences between Industrial and Commercial Shredders?
Commercial and industrial paper shredders differ in size, features, and function. You must understand the key differences so that you can choose the best shredder for your operation.
- Size - A commercial shredder is a smaller machine and is the size of a small filing cabinet. An industrial shredder however is much larger, spanning several feet, and is around the size of a photocopying machine.
- Capacity - Shredder machines differ in the number of sheets they can shred at a time. The sheet capacity changes from machine to machine. Yet a commercial shredder’s capacity is usually in the tens, while an industrial shredder’s is in the hundreds.
- Cool-Down Time - When using a commercial shredder, you may need to take breaks from time to time to make sure the system doesn’t overheat. In contrast, industrial shredders are built to handle high volumes of paperwork, and they don’t require this kind of cool-down time.
- Features - Commercial shredders have a slot for feeding paper, and are sufficient for offices as they process fewer documents. An industrial shredder on the other hand uses a conveyor belt to feed materials, making it easy to use when processing large volumes.
- Function - Industrial shredders are designed to handle materials in bulk, while commercial shredders are made for smaller-scale operations. Industrial machines also have greater versatility in terms of what kinds of materials they can process. In fact, they can shred discs and cards as well as paper.
Which Shredder is Best for My Business?
As you have seen, shredder machines have different capacities and features, making them more suited to multiple work settings.
A commercial shredder is best for smaller office environments where you still need to dispose of documents securely, but not at high volumes. It’s a great choice, for example, for an accountancy or law firm, or any small business that handles sensitive client information.
An industrial shredder is necessary for organizations that must dispose of sensitive data at scale and regularly. This type of shredder is created for schools, hospitals, government agencies, and similar large-scale operations that carry lots of confidential data.
At Whitaker Brothers, we have shredders for a variety of budgets. Our commercial shredders start at just over $100. Remember to look carefully at the sheet capacity and speed of the shredder, and check if it meets your requirements. Our industrial shredders start at approximately $9,000. Naturally, the higher price point is because these machines are made to handle high volumes of work efficiently.
Shredders remain a critical element of any information security operation. If your organization handles sensitive information, then you’re going to need a shredder. The type of shredder you need may be where things get tricky, especially if you’re unsure about the differences between commercial and industrial paper shredders.
Yet, here you’ve seen that the two types of shredders differ in capacity and function and that commercial shredders are more suited for office settings and smaller operations. In contrast, industrial shredders are effective for larger organizations that must dispose of sensitive information at scale, such as in the medical industry or government.
If you still have questions about which type of shredder is best for your organization, feel free to get in touch with our experts for assistance.