Thoughts on Shredders

  griffon 56 13:00 12 Mar 2007
Locked

I keep seeing advice in computer mags to the effect that if you buy a shredder make sure it's a cross-cut. I did so but find that because the pages are cut parallel to their top and bottom edges and the resulting confetti is about 35mm long by 4mm wide it's possible to see complete phrases on the pieces, such as lines of addresses and vital numbers.

I had thought that this would not be possible, and, in any case, what was wrong with the older type of strip cut shredder which only permits a couple of letters to be legible on the width of each strip. I know the strips are long but I can't remember any reported case of anybody reconstructing a page from them. Why have we changed to an inferior system and why weren't we warned by the mags that it was?

  wee eddie 13:10 12 Mar 2007

my shredder produces Diamond shapes at about 4mm on each edge.

Maybe yours is faulty with only one part of the cutting blade working

  vinnyT 13:42 12 Mar 2007

My CC is fine, you can't make out what was shredded.

In the army we had a phrase "rip it (before shredders), burn it, flush it" in that order, not that we were paranoid of course.

  WhiteTruckMan 13:58 12 Mar 2007

Strangely enough our local council will accept whole sheets of paper for recycling, but the contents of a shredder have to go in with the general waste.

Strange.

WTM

  Bingalau 14:08 12 Mar 2007

WTM. Yes that worries me too. If someone has a pet rabbit or the like though, the shreddings come in handy for bedding.

  vinnyT 14:39 12 Mar 2007

Mine goes into the composter.

WTM, yes our council is the same, they won't allow envelopes to be put into the recycling, either.

  Belatucadrus 14:55 12 Mar 2007

There are a huge variety of security options available for shredders ranging from cheap strip cut at about 4mm wide to real high security cross cut jobs that produce stuff so fine you could almost call it powder. The usual cheap shop cross-cuts as you say tend to be in the region of 4 x 35mm. Not the highest security level, but adequate for most home use.
I'm somewhat puzzled by your comment "it's possible to see complete phrases on the pieces, such as lines of addresses and vital numbers." This would only occur if you put the document in sideways as a 4mm strip width on a normal orientation cut isn't going to show much info, certainly not complete phrases. If I'm right them in that case there's no advantage in a strip cut as it'll do exactly the same but with the additional problem that you get the whole line, not just a 35mm long chunk.
The other main advantage with cross-cut in the run of the mill smaller home shredders is that they're far more convenient to use, as cross cut waste tends to sit in a pile in the bin. Strip cut waste is nowhere near as compact forming a sort of coiled nested mess, six sheets of A4 and they need emptying.
The downside of cross-cuts is that the load on the cutters is much higher and they really need doing with a shredder lubricant like WD40 quite frequently.

  WhiteTruckMan 15:00 12 Mar 2007

as the gum tends to gum up the works, and lots these days have plastic windows on them to read the address from the document inside. I cant recycle these either because of the plastic window.

Short version:Lots of mail that I cant recycle.

WTM

  griffon 56 15:12 12 Mar 2007

Hi Belatucadrus, I should make it clear that when you put an A4 sheet into my shredder it is clearly intended to go in in 'Portrait' orientation since the slot at the top of the shredder is only 23cm wide.

This results in horizontal shreds 35mm wide and 4mm deep in the same orientation as the original text on the page. Each shred is capable of capturing legible pieces of text. I am sure the shredder is working as it should do, but if this is what 'cross-cut' shredders do they seem less secure than 'strip-cut' shredders. Geddit?

At risk of inviting derision at my awful choice of supplier I have to confess that the shredder is a PC Line SM07 from PC World and that the principal reason for buying it was that it was CHEAP. Thanks for the WD40 tip. Regards.

  griffon 56 15:17 12 Mar 2007

Hi Bingalau,

You can sleep on what you like, tho' I like my bedding stuffed with goose down myself! Regards.

  wee eddie 15:22 12 Mar 2007

That is not what Cross-Cut Shredders are meant to do. Ring them and quietly ask if this is correct.

They should replace it on the spot.

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