Archive for June, 2008

Cross Cut Paper Shredders Misunderstood

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Shredded PaperI get a lot of questions from people asking me what the difference is between cross cut, diamond cut, particle cut and confetti cut paper shredders. The short and quick answer is that there is not really any difference between the various synonyms. The original and probably more correct terminology for paper cut in a criss-cross pattern is cross cut.

Cross cut is a generalized word that can be used to cover all the various shredding terms. Diamond cut paper shredders typically cut paper into very tiny diamond-shaped particles, but this is still referred to as a cross cut paper shredder. The same goes with confetti cut. Confetti cut shredders, which produce very skinny 1 to 2-inch long strips is also a type of cross cut shredder.

Cross cut is even spelled differently, depending on who you talk to. I have seen it spelled both cross cut and crosscut. Ultimately there really is no wrong answer, but you’ll probably confuse fewer people if you stick to using “cross cut” when referring to this type of shredder.

Shredded PaperCross cut shredders cut paper into various sizes and lengths. The different cut patterns are referred to as “security levels,” sometimes referred to as DIN 32757 (the official definitions). The higher the security level, the more secure your shredded information will be.

The highest security level currently available is security level 6, which is almost dust. This security level is used by the military and government for top secret shredding. While most people will not need shredder security level that high, I wouldn’t recommend going with anything under a security level 3 if you can help it.

You can see detailed specifications on all paper shredder security levels by going here:

What’s a mil and how does it apply to lamination?

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

LaminatorsWhen looking for lamination film, you have probably noticed the term mil come up. Lamination film is often available in 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10-mil thickness. Logically it would seem the higher the number the thicker the film. That would be correct. But what does the term mil stand for?

Mil comes from the Latin mille, which means a thousand. One mil, in lamination measurement terms, is a thousandth of an inch. Your standard credit card is 30-mils thick, which equals out to be 0.03-inches thick.

If you like to use pouch laminators, you may think that a 10-mil pouch is 0.010 inches thick. That would be incorrect. It is a bit of a trick question. Lamination pouches, when labeled 3, 5, 7 or 10 mils thick, are actually referring to one side of the lamination pouch (total of two sides). Combining both sides of the lamination pouch, the thickness is doubled. A 10 mil lamination pouch is actually a total of 20 mils thick once laminated, not counting the paper, photograph or card being laminated.

Roll Lamination FilmRoll lamination film, on the other hand, is a little less confusing. When you buy a roll of 5-mil film, you get a 5-mil roll. Remember, however, that roll laminators use two rolls of film to laminate a poster, map or whatever you need. Using a 5-mil roll on the top and a 5-mil roll on the bottom would be a total of 10 mils of film. Simple math.

Getting back to pouch laminators, you may have ordered a box of 7-mil lamination pouches and noticed on the box that it says 2/5. Yes, 2+5 does equal 7, but what does it mean? That number is letting you know that the pouch consists of 2 mils laminate glue and 5 mils of hard plastic, giving you the total of 7. This isn’t always labeled on the box, but often is.

You can read more about laminators and lamination by reading our lamination guide here:

Good luck laminating!

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