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How To Select a High Security Paper Shredder

By Shopify API March 26, 2019

NSA Approved Shredders

When it comes to purchasing a NSA approved level 6/P-7 shredder, a lot of the classic rules go out the window. If you try to purchase a high security paper shredder the same way that you would for home use, you're going to be in for a rude awakening! And on such an expensive investment, you can't afford to make the wrong decision.

Having walked thousands of customers through the process, here are a few things to know about buying a level 6/P-7 paper shredder: A high security shredder is all or nothing. Top Secret Documents to be ShreddedClassified, secret, top secret, COMSEC, TS, level 6/P-7, NSA approved, DOD approved, SBU, high security, they're all the exact same thing. For example, there is no shredder that is approved for classified documents, but not top secret. The NSA sets the bar for shredding classified material - and it doesn't differentiate between the different levels of classification. It's a high security paper shredder, or it isn't. That said, there is one shredder that goes to an unnecessary level of security. The Datastroyer 0077SL not only meets NSA requirements, but also yeilds a random particle cut. A select few organizations feel that this added security is important to them - but if you are part of one of those organizations, you know exactly who you are. Ignore the sheets per pass rating! High Security ShreddersThe primary reason to ignore sheets per pass is that shredders are tested and sold internationally. The paper we use in the United States is much thicker than the paper used in Germany where most shredders are manufactured. So while a certain shredder may legitimately do 20 sheets of German paper, when you put the thicker American paper through it, you'll probably get about half that. You want to pay attention to what's called the NSA Rating. More on that later. There's another reason why sheets per pass is relatively unimportant. The lowest volume high security shredder on the market handles three sheets of paper per pass (The Destroyit 2360 and Datastroyer 1010). Meanwhile the highest volume high security shredder on the market handles 12 sheets (Datastroyer 702SF). So no matter what you do, you won't be getting a whole lot of paper through this machine. That's just how high security shredders are. Focus on the shredder's NSA Rating! Any paper shredder that is NSA approved has to be NSA tested first. They run the equipment for an hour straight, putting as much paper as possible through it, and thus you get the NSA Rating. It's divided into two categories: sheets per pass and reams per hour. For example the Destroyit 2604 SMC is NSA rated at 6 sheets per pass, and 15 reams in an hour. The NSA tests using standard 20lb paper which means it's exactly what you can expect to get out of the shredder. Paper to be Shredded Since sheets per pass is going to be low no matter what, focus on other productivity related features! Waste bin capacity is one of my favorite attributes. All high security shredders are relatively low volume (see above), but they still vary wildly in their bin capacities. A large bin capacity will allow you to do more shredding with fewer trips to the dumpster. Also look for an automatic oiler. High security paper shredders need to be oiled every 15 minutes of use, failure to do so will lower the already limited sheets per pass rating and eventually cause a service call. The automatic oiler is an excellent time saver and a virtual necessity on any high security level 6/P-7 shredder. Buy from a company that knows what they are doing! It's so easy for someone to become a dealer for paper shredders, smack them all up online, and drop ship. Some of the mistakes they've made include: recommending level 3 shredders for high security situations, selling shredders with compromised cutting heads, and having no idea what the NSA Evaluated Products List is. When you have top secret documents that need to be destroyed, or when your government contract hinges on passing your security audits, you cannot afford to be a 'practice customer' for dealers who don't know much about this equipment. Whitaker Brothers has been around for 65 years and boasts of the most tenured sales team in our industry. I'm sure there are other people out there, but I can confidently say you can't go wrong with us. The reliable and capable Destroyit 4014 SMC is a perfect example of a high security shredder:
 

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