Choosing Between a Cross-Cut and a Strip-Cut Shredder

Swingline EX10-06 Cross-cut Executive Shredder

Swingline EX10-06 Cross-cut Executive Shredder

Buying a paper shredder is a great idea if you want to protect private information to prevent lawsuits and identity theft. Choosing the right shredder, however, can be difficult because you need to choose between cross-cut and strip-cut machines. Here’s what you need to consider when making your decision:

  • Speed and productivity. If you want a fast shredder, you should definitely choose a strip-cut device. That’s because these machines simply turn paper into a bunch of strips. A cross-cut shredder is slower because it cuts the paper into little pieces.
  • Bag changes. Changing a shredder bag is a drag because it’s too easy to make a wrong move and end up with paper bits all over the floor. If you choose a cross- or confetti-cut machine, you won’t be changing the bag as often as you would be with a strip-cut shredder.
  • Maintenance. The only thing you really need to do to maintain your shredder is oil it on a regular basis. Keep in mind that cross-cut machines require a lot more oiling than their strip-cut counterparts since they cut more. Your machine’s instruction manual should have information on how often you’ll need to oil the device.
  • Security. Security is one of the most important considerations when choosing a shredder since you need a machine that will help you dispose of private documents. Cross- and confetti-cut shredders definitely offer the most security because they can tear your paper into countless pieces. Since the document is in pieces, it can’t be reconstructed, so your information is safe. If you work with highly confidential and/or proprietary information, you might want to get a shredder that’s been approved by the National Security Agency or Department of Defense.
  • Price. Finally, you should get a shredder you can afford. Strip-cut machines are usually cheaper than cross-cut ones. Typically, you’ll spend about 10% more for a cross-cut shredder which might be prohibitive if you’re on a budget. You’ll need to consider how much security you need and what your budget is like to decide which shredder is right for you.

These are the things you need to consider when deciding whether to get a cross- or strip-cut shredder. Be sure to check out’s excellent selection of shredders so you can find the one that’s right for your needs. 

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