The Complete Guide to Choosing an Industrial Shredder

The Complete Guide to Choosing an Industrial Shredder

Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper each year, and that paper has to get shredded somewhere.

But that's a lot of paper, and the only shredders that can handle that kind of load is an industrial shredder.

These shredders are so strong, they can shred a lot more than just paper. But how do you go about getting one of these shredders for your business?

Take a look at this complete guide to buying an industrial shredder.

What Will You Be Shredding?

Before buying an industrial shredder, you must first figure out what you'll be using the shredder for.

Industrial shredders are the strongest type of shredder out there. Because of that, they're usually used in places like plants, large facilities, and corporation basements. They can shred just about anything, include plastic and metal.

A lot of industrial shredders are set up with conveyor belts. They can shred things on their own, but they can also be fed material independently.

So before you pick your shredder, think about what you need to shred. Will you be shredding paper? Cardboard? Metal?

If you do only shred paper, can you see yourself needed to shred other material in the future? Depending on the kinds of things you shred, you may need a machine strong enough to cut through it.

What Will Be Going Through the Shredder?

This may sound like the same question. It's not, but it's just as important.

You have to think about all the things that will be going through your shredder. Even paper may contain things like staples or paper clips.

These things could damage your industrial shredder if you aren't careful. But if you pick a shredder that has enough power, these kinds of other materials may not matter.

As you're looking for your industrial shredder, take a minute to think about what other things may find their way into the shredder with the material you're cutting.

The stronger the shredder, the less likely it is to break.

Industrial Shredder: Different Types

Most shredders are more or less the same. Except for a difference in strength, they all shred things.

When it comes to how they cut things though, there are a few types of shredders. They all cut materials into different shapes. If you aren't shredding anything important, the size and shape of the shredded material may not matter to you.

But if your business needs to shred confidential information, you will want to pick the industrial shredder that gives you the most security.

This is a good way to break it down.

Strip Cut Shredders

This kind of shredder cuts material into a bunch of even pieces. These are the long, noodle shapes you're probably familiar with.

This is a good shredder to use if you're shredding random things that don't have important information on them. Though it would take a lot of time and a lot of work, a dedicated person could go through all the strips and piece them back together again.

If you have a lot of sensitive documents to shred, you'll want to pick a shredder with a different kind of cut.

Cross Cut Shredders

These shredders are better at destroying important information because they cut the paper (or any other material you may be shredding) twice.

This results in pieces that are all kinds of shapes, like squares and diamonds, but they are a lot harder to put back together.

Particle Cut Shredders

These shredders get paper even smaller than cross-cut shredders. The shapes are more precise, and the paper is nearly impossible to put back together again.

This is a good choice if you're shredding confidential documents you don't want anyone else to get their hands on.


Grinders do exactly what their name suggests. They grind anything put inside them to a dust-like material.

If you really want your materials destroyed without any way of coming back, this is the shredder for you.

How Much Will You be Using the Shredder?

Some shredders can run continuously without damaging themselves. Others require cool-down periods to make sure they don't break.

If you're planning to use your shredder for multiple hours at a time, you should pick a shredder with a continuous-duty motor. If you overlook this part, you could slow your work down significantly as you wait for the shredder cool off.

How Fast Do You Need to Shred Materials?

Stronger shredders can shred materials a lot faster than weaker shredders. Some shredders have engines specifically designed to shred your materials as fast as possible.

If your business depends on shredding materials quickly before you can make any other progress, you'll definitely want a shredder with a lot of horsepower.

Stick to a standard engine if you won't need to worry about speed.

How Big Are the Things You're Shredding?

Shredders have different sized openings. So if you need to shred large objects, you'll want to double check they can fit into the shredder.

You will not be able to cram materials that are too large for the shredder through it anyway.

How Much Space Do You Have?

An industrial shredder takes up a lot of space. Some of them can weigh up to 50,000 pounds.

If your business operates in a warehouse or large area already, you may not need to worry about this.

But if you're buying your first industrial shredder, you need to ensure you have somewhere to put it in your workplace. If you do have a place you know it will fit, you also have to make sure you can get it into the building.

Take Your Time When Choosing an Industrial Shredder

No matter how fast you need one, take the time to make sure you're getting an industrial shredder that will work for your business.

Safety should also be your top priority. Make sure the shredder you buy comes with added safety features in case of emergency.

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