In general, yes. There is a reason that cross cut shredders are the norm in a variety of offices, businesses, and even government agencies. A typical cross-cut shredder provides level 3 security of shredded documents. Level 3 is defined as having shred that is no larger than 3/16” x 3,” which the NSA has determined to adequately destroy documents containing personally identifiable information (PII). This PII is present on bank and billing statements, credit card records, and even on any document containing a person’s full name. If this information got into the wrong hands, a person’s identity could be stolen, or worse.
The problem with strip cut shredders is that they do just that – cut paper into long, unbroken strips. There is always the danger that a
shredder user will make the mistake of landscaping: entering the document width-wise instead of length-wise. This will produce nice, neat ribbons of information for anyone to steal out of the trash. Cross-cutting your documents eliminates this possibility, as even if someone enters paper into the shredder horizontally, it will still be chopped up into unreadable bits.Another advantage that cross cut shredders have over their strip cut brethren is capacity. Although the cross cut and strip cut versions of the same shredder model may appear identical and even have the same gallon capacities, the truth is that the strip cut model will have you trekking back and forth to the dumpster with much more frequency. How can this be, if they have the same size shred bins? The cross cut model will house the smaller pieces of paper, which will fall right down to the bottom of the bin and collect without much air between them, like confetti in a jar. The strip cut model’s 11”+ long strips will twirl their way down into the bin, leaving a lot of air between them and filling the bin to capacity more quickly. This bin will become full long before the cross cut’s bin, even when the same amount of paper is fed through both shredders. Not only does a cross cut shredder provide added security, it provides added convenience! We must admit, strip cut shredders do have an advantage that could tilt the contest in their favor. If you are unconcerned with security or capacity but are concerned with throughput, then strip cut may be the cut for you. No other shredder will have as high of a throughput as a strip cut shredder. In the strip cut and cross cut versions of the same shredder model, the strip cut will generally be able to take a significantly higher number of sheets per pass. This speeds up the shredding process and makes the strip cut shredder perfect for offices with a high volume of paper to shred.