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10 Different Types of Shredders

Shedder destroying documents

Shredders help humans manage waste for recycling and other purposes. There are many types of shredders, from simple paper shredders to bigger, high-tech hammermills and disintegrators. Small businesses and homes usually use the simpler, smaller types of shredders, while larger corporations, industries, and government entities may invest in more sophisticated shredders. One reason why such industrial-grade shredders are used by these entities is to protect confidential information and make sure that no one can piece it together later on. For this purpose alone, shredders are a vital part of our society.

To learn more about the different types of shredders in the market right now, you should read on.

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Paper ShreddersShedder in use

Paper shredders are mechanical devices that are designed to cut the paper into either fine particles or strips. Paper shredders are extremely important for businesses, government organizations, and even private individuals to destroy confidential or sensitive information, or just to dispose of documents that aren’t required anymore, but have to be properly destroyed before they can be thrown out. These shredders are divided into several subtypes that have been discussed below.

Strip-Cut Shredders

Paper Shredder 6-Sheet Strip-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder for Office Home Use

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Strip-cut shredders use rotating blades to cut sheets of paper into long strips. This is the least secure but the simplest method of destroying documents. With enough time and patience, the strips can be reassembled, which is why a lot of entities with sensitive documents do not use this type of shredder. They are great for home use for individuals who don’t have a high level of security but need to protect their information from identity theft.

Depending on the shredder you choose, you will get different strip widths – from 1/16 inches to ¾ inches. According to security experts, the narrower the strips of the paper, the more effective the shredding will be. Many strip-cut shredders can also cut credit cards and CDs so that people can dispose of them properly.

The length of the strip is dependent on the thing that you are shredding. For example, you will get approximately 30-50 parallel strips in the same length as an A4 sheet if you throw a bunch of A4 sized papers in there. If you throw in a continuous computer printout, you will get shreds that are as long as the sheet you have been shredding.

The biggest advantage of strip-cut shredders is that they are more affordable than cross-cut shredders (discussed next). This is because these types of cutters cost less to produce and can usually shred more paper per pass than cross cut shredders.

Cross-Cut Shredders

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office Shredder

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Cross-cut paper shredders are also known as confetti shredders. They make paper shredding easy and can be the best type of shredder for home offices or small offices. They have specially designed blades that slice through the paper in different shapes. Many are designed to shred paper into a diamond shape or small squares.

The cutting cylinders built into these shredders cut the paper width and length-wise. These cut pieces of paper can range anywhere from just 1/32 inches to 3/8 inches wide. These shredders are designed to cut the paper into varying lengths within the range specified above. You can choose to keep the size small to ensure that the documents are protected. The end result of the shredder is that the small particles will end up looking like confetti. For example, you will get around 300 to 900 small pieces of paper from just one single A4 sized sheet of paper.

Cross-cut shredders are easily available and can even be bought from AmazonBasics. They are also relatively inexpensive, which makes them great for personal use or small businesses. They are more popular than strip-cut shredders at all levels (except entry level) because they have two main advantages.

Firstly, the shredded pieces of paper have a higher level of security. The information on any confidential documents is harder to read and put together than is the case with strip-cut papers. Secondly, the size of the waste shreds is more compact. This ensures that the shredder has to be emptied less frequently than strip-cut shredders. Out of all types of paper shredders, these are the most common since they are efficient and affordable.

Micro-Cut Shredders

Ativa 10 Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder, OMM103P

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Micro-cut paper shredders are the most secure paper shredders since they reduce paper to tiny particles. They are also the most costly because of this very reason and are mainly used by organizations that have a high level of security risk and often deal with sensitive information. These shredders are usually used by government agencies and research facilities to dispose of top-secret or sensitive documents in the right way.

Just one single sheet of paper can be reduced to 12,000 pieces through this shredder. The cutting cylinders of the shredder cut the paper width-wise and length-wise together. Micro-cut shredders have two main advantages that attract customers.

Firstly, the shredder waste is secure, and the information on the paper cannot be read at all. Secondly, the waste shreds are so small that they take up less space in the shredder. This ensures that they don’t have to be emptied too frequently.


GYP Shredders Disintegrator Card Machine Office Electronic Equipment Document Muffler Particle Waste Paper Plastic (Color : Black, Size : 332239cm)

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Disintegrators are really heavy-duty machines that have multiple blades to shred paper in high volumes. The end result is that the waste is small enough to be able to pass through a sizing screen or mesh and is completely obliterated.

These shredding machines have two blades that are mounted into a fixed position so that they catch all the paper in the same way. Two to five other blades are designed to rotate in the center of the machine and cut paper at different angles and sizes. Some models of the disintegrators can even shred through optical media, CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, and tape.

Most disintegrators have large capacities. Some can store up to 18 liters of garbage, which roughly means 1500 sheets of A4 paper. This is convenient for the user since the compact waste already takes up low space, which means that the shredder doesn’t have to be emptied too often. Do make sure to buy a model with cooling systems if you plan on using the shredder for a long run time since low-quality shredders may heat up.


Hammermills are heavy-duty shredders, somewhat similar to disintegrators. They aren’t simple office shredders for small level office use but are used for mass scale shredding. Hammermills have rotating hammers that pulverize the paper or any other material through a screen. These hammers are designed to pound the paper through a sizing screen to ensure that high levels of destruction can be achieved.

The hammers may also come with blunt edges, knife blades, or a combination of the two. If you have any particular needs, you can also change the size of the screen to fit them. A hammermill is designed to reduce paper into dust if the right screen is in place.

Industrial Shredders A huge Shedder

Industrial shredders are designed to efficiently shred every material from thin plastics and tissues to beverage containers and corrugated boxes in an efficient manner. These state-of-the-art devices take up a lot of space and even have special voltage lines. They are usually assigned their own designated area for shredding operations to make sure that safety can be maintained.

They are built to destroy large volumes of material in a quick and efficient way. They are also responsible for ensuring that the waste is compact and can be disposed of easily. They are designed with cutting edge technology to ensure that operations can be managed with negligible to no human intervention. This is to ensure that no accidents occur around the machine which can result in injuries or even death.

The most common benefit of industrial shredders is that they result in the eco-friendly disposal of waste and can dispose of sensitive business information safely. There are many different types of industrial shredders all the way from tire recycling shredders to paper shredders.

Pierce and Tear Shredders

Pierce and tear shredders are primarily designed for industrial applications. They begin the shredding process by punching holes into the material thrown for shredding by way of a set of rotating blades. After punching the holes, they tear apart the material in the shredder until all the material has been destroyed.

There are many mobile shredding companies that use these types of shredders. They use trucks that have been incorporated with the pierce and tear technology as well as a large holding bin that can store the shredded material. This type of shredder is often used by manufacturing and industrial operations to dispose of materials like cardboard or specialty papers like newsprints.

Plastic Shredders

Plastic shredders are designed to manage plastic waste effectively and efficiently. They have many subtypes, such as chippers, grinders, shear shredders, hammermills, and granulators. You may even find all-purpose shredders that can be used for all types of plastic. Industries mostly invest in shredders that are suited to their own needs. These shredders can be used to reduce the size of different materials as well so that disposal can be easier and more compact.

Grinders are mostly used to pulverize the materials. Granulators are used for plastic that is designated for recycling to make it easier for them to go through the process. Hammermills are used to shatter the material so that it is protected from risks. All-purpose shredders are designed according to customer needs for any recycling programs that need oversized materials to be reduced in size.

Tire Shredders

Tire shredders are built to shred old truck tires so that they can be disposed of properly. After tires are shredded, the tire can be used as boiler fuels, landfill covers, rubberized asphalt, and other various usable products. Tire shredders are usually classified into 5 different categories, depending on the intended end use:

  • Shear Shredders are low-speed industrial shredders that have rotary knives with two-shaft mechanisms that can be used for cutting materials.
  • Specialty Shredders are usually custom-designed depending on the user’s preferences. These shredders cut the tires into small pieces which are placed under high torque.
  • Grinders are designed to work at low and high speeds. They can use wheels, drums, and plates to crush materials for disposal.
  • Chippers have built-in, high-speed rotary knives, wheels, and drums that cut the material into chips.
  • Granulators come in all sorts of different sizes and mechanisms. They have knives that can cut materials into small particles for complete destruction.

Wood ChippersTree chipper

A wood chipper or tree chipper is a heavy-duty machine which is used to reduce the wood into tiny pieces. Generally, trunks and tree limbs are put through a wood chipper to turn them into smaller woodchips. These machines can be mounted on wheels on top of frames so that they are portable. They can be moved by towing them behind a van or a truck.

Power is needed so that the internal combustion engine can be used to its full extent. The engine can be anywhere from 3 horsepower to over a 1,000 horsepower, depending on the intended use of the machine. There are also some chipper models that can be mounted on trucks and then powered through a separate engine. Such models, with their high shredding power, need a hydraulic crane to fully utilize them.

Tree chippers are a little different from wood chippers. They are made with hoppers with a collar that has a chipper mechanism installed in it. They have additional collection bins that are optional for the chips. The collar that comes with the hopper of a tree chipper serves as a safety mechanism. It has sensors that keep any human body parts away from the chipping blades to protect the individual using the machine. The chips can exit through a chute on top of the chipper that is then directed into a container or directly on the ground. Containers are usually mounted on trucks so that they can be easily transported.

The typical waste of this type of chipper is usually in the form of chips that are about 1-2 inches. These wood chips can be used in many different ways, such as being used in a digester during papermaking or spread as ground cover. Many wood chippers also rely on the energy that is stored inside the flywheel, or in rare cases, drums. The face of the flywheel has chipping blades that have been mounted there for use. The flywheel is then moved or accelerated by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor.

Larger wood chippers are usually built with grooved rollers. These are built into the main tunnel of the feeding funnels so that they can access the material easily. The branch or trunk is gripped tightly by the rollers, which transport it to the chipping blades. They maintain a steady rate so that the wood can be chipped easily. These rollers are also used as a safety feature to prevent accidents. They also have reversible functions in case a branch or trunk gets caught on something.

Scrap Metal ShredderScrap metal plant

A scrap metal shredder is a machine that is mainly used to reduce the size of scrap metal material to a size that can be easily recycled or disposed of. These shredders come in many different sizes and variations. They are commonly used to shred:

  • Tin cans
  • Home appliance recycling
  • Aluminum cans/Aluminum waste
  • Iron
  • Copper tubes
  • Coins
  • Computers
  • Bulk drums
  • Television sets
  • Tin
  • Washing machines
  • Electrical waste
  • Tin box containers

They have large machines that can turn even something large like a car into a large bucket of scrap steel. The car is divided into non-ferrous materials, waste, and plastic. Non-ferrous materials, plastic, glass, and fabric are all separated by the help of eddy current magnets. These materials may also be called Zorba in some instances. Zorba can help to cover the cost of operating these shredders.

When the metal shredder is turned on, the material is fed to the machine via a tear box that runs through the feeding system. This box has blades that tear up the material into small pieces. This material is then discharged and stored into the lower part of the tear box.

Metal scrap recycling is an important part of recycling in any country. Around 2.5 million tons of scrap aluminum, 56 million tons of scrap iron and steel, 1.3 million tons of scrap lead, 1.5 million tons of scrap copper, 800,000 tons of scrap stainless steel, and 300,000 tons of scrap zinc are recycled in the US on a yearly basis.

Shredders are essential to effective waste disposal since they can help to reduce the size of the waste. This makes them eco-friendly since compact waste is easier to dispose of. Many materials also need to go through a shredder so that they can be recycled properly. They are also important for the security level of many organizations and entities since they have a direct impact on the correct disposal of sensitive information.