Posts Tagged ‘Paper Shredder Security Levels’

Best Paper Shredder Security Level For The Office

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Intelli-Shred IS120 Level 3 Cross Cut Paper ShredderSo you need to get a paper shredder for your office, but you’re not sure which security level is the best for your situation. You’re not alone. Many people aren’t sure which security level to go with. There are a total of 6 different security levels to choose from. Unless you are making hamster bedding or are a top security government agency, one particular security level should work well for most situations.

To begin with, there are 6 different security levels. Security level 1 is the weakest with security level 6 being the most secure. Strip cut paper shredders typically fall under the level 1 or 2 security level. Dust up to tiny 1mm x 5mm particles typically fall under the level 6 category.

The most common security level is the level 3 security level. These are the DIN 32757 specifications for what is considered to be a security level 3:

Security Level 3
Designed for shredding confidential documents and personal data.


  • (Approximately 1/16″ Strip Cut)
  • (Approximately 1/8″ x 1 1/8 to 1/8″ x  2″ Cross Cut)


  • (1.9mm Strip Cut)
  • (3.9mm x 30 up to 3.9 x 50mm Cross Cut)

Cross cut particles and tiny 1/16″ strips are very difficult to read and are almost impossible to re-assemble. This level can be used for shredding just about anything and is 100% FACTA compliant.

Level 3 shredders are common, affordable and can be used without worry at home or in the office. These types of shredders provide the best blend of security and affordability. Many can even shred credit cards and CDs.

You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here. You can read more about paper shredder security levels by reading our paper shredder guide here.  Do you still have questions about paper shredder security levels? Feel free to call one of our paper shredder experts at 1-800-658-8788.

Which Paper Shredder Security Level Is Best?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Paper Shredder Security LevelsYou’ve probably seen the numbers labeled next to paper shredders at the store or online. One shredder has a security level 3 and another has a security level 5. So what does this mean to you? Which paper shredder level is best for you? I will break down the differences in security levels and which one you should use.

First of all, the higher the security level, the smaller the shred particles are. Security level 5 used to be the highest level of security up until a few years ago. A security level 6 is now the highest security level possible, with particles being so small they are secure enough for top secret documents and highly sensitive material.

Do you need a security level 6? Probably not. Most people who use a security level 6 are government or military in nature. I don’t personally know of any individuals who need to use a security level 6 or even a 5 for that matter.

Paper Shredder Security LevelsOne thing people don’t take into consideration when choosing a security level is the paper shredding capacity. The higher the security level, the fewer sheets you will be able to shred. This is because smaller cuts require more blades and more effort on the part of the shredder. Security level 6 shredders can’t cut large volumes of paper at a time for this reason. Strip cut shredders almost always shred more paper than cross cut shredders.

A security level 1 or level 2 is usually what you find in a strip cut paper shredder. While a security level 1 or 2 is certainly better than doing nothing, these security levels can be compromised with enough patience. Most criminals will still pass over strip cut documents for easier pickings.

High Security Paper Shredders / NSA CSS ApprovedMost cross cut paper shredders sold online fall within the range of a security level 3 or 4. This range of security is still very small and difficult to decipher.

So what do I recommend? If you are a home user or a business, a security level 3 or 4 is probably more than enough security for you. Unless you have problems with enemy governments or military sifting through your shredded documents, you’re probably fine. Most criminals do not have the capability to piece together a security level 4 or 5.

For more information on shredder security levels (DIN 32757) and DOD, NSA and CSS approved shredders, read our paper shredder guide found here.  You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

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