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What Size Paper Shredder Width Do You Need?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Paper Shredder Widths & SizesWith hundreds of different models of paper shredders available, which size width should you use? The width of a paper shredder will ultimately determine what you will be able to shred. So which shredders widths are best for your home, business or organization? I will briefly go over the various widths and their best applications.

To begin with, paper shredders are typically organized into home, small office, departmental, industrial and high security categories. As a general rule, the higher the volume use, the wider the shredding width. Not everyone needs a 20″ wide shredder width.

Here are the most common widths used today:

5" Width Paper Shredders5″ Wide Paper Shredders – These paper shredders are typically designed for home use and are just wide enough to shred an envelope or a few sheets of paper folded in half. These shredders are typically compact and can often be used on a desk or table. Many of these shredders can also be used to shred floppy disks, credit cards and CDs.
Example: HSM shredstar MultiShred Paper Shredder

9" Width Paper Shredder9″ to 10″ Wide Paper Shredders – These shredder widths are probably the most common found in deskside shredders and small office paper shredders. A 9″ to 10″ width is just enough room to handle most letter-size and legal-size documents. They can also be used to shred smaller material such as receipts and envelopes.
Example: Intelli-Shred IS120 Micro Cut Paper Shredder

16" Width Paper Shredders16″ to 18″ Wide Paper Shredders – This width is commonly found in departmental and large office paper shredders. The 16″ width can accommodate letter size paper as well as larger 11″ x 17″, 12″ x 18″ and larger computer forms. The larger 16″ width also allows the operator to shred multiple letter size documents at once without worrying about the paper going in “crooked” and causing a jam. The extra width also helps with speed.
Example: Destroyit 4002 Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

20" Width Paper Shredders20″ and Wider Shredders – Widths this large are typically reserved for industrial and commercial shredders that are designed to shred just about anything. These wide widths are designed to handle books, paper, magazines, posters, crumpled paper and much more.
Example: Intimus S16.50 Paper Shredder

So there you have it! The most common and popular shredder widths available and their uses. Knowing the purposes of shredder widths should help you choose the right shredder. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

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