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  • Aug

Cross-Cut vs. Micro-Cut Shredders

One of the most prevalent methods to classify paper shredders is by the type of cuts they produce. Depending on the nature of your project, a paper shredder can produce either cross-cuts or micro-cuts. The type of paper shredder you should choose will depend on your needs.

We will try our best to clarify the distinctions between cross-cut and micro-cut paper shredders in this post.


The manner in which cross-cut and micro-cut shredders shred paper distinguishes them from one another. A cross-cut shredder creates particles that are smaller than a micro-cut shredder, while a micro-cut shredder produces fragments that resemble confetti.

Cross-cut shredders are readily accessible and very affordable, unlike micro-cut models. This renders them more secure than strip-cut shredders, which are often not advised for destroying sensitive papers.

Depending on the data type, a cross-cut or micro-cut shredder provides a higher level of security. They generate particles that are approximately one-tenth the size of crosscuts. Micro-cut shredders can shred a letter-sized sheet into more than 2,000 pieces, but cross-cut shredders can only shred the page into 400 or less bits.

However, they are not completely indestructible, posing a considerable threat to people who handle sensitive information. Micro-cut shredders provide a high level of protection for personal papers, while cross-cut shredders provide a moderate level of security for business usage.


When selecting paper shredders, the maximum runtime of a shredder is of utmost importance. What does a document shredder’s runtime indicate? Runtime is sometimes referred to as duty-cycle. It indicates how long the shredder can function before the motor has to cool down.

The majority of home shredders can only shred for a few minutes. But office shredders can shred constantly for 30 minutes, and heavy-duty shredders can shred continually without cooling the engine.

For the majority of shredders, the cooling down period is significantly longer than the operating duration. A simple paper shredder with a three-minute operation duration must cool down for thirty minutes before its next shredding cycle.

A higher DIN security level has an adverse effect on the maximum runtime. For example, a micro-cut shredder must cool down more often than a cross-cut shredder due to the tiny particles it creates. However, technological advancements are gradually narrowing the downtime gap.


Unavoidably, a paper shredder is a noisy piece of workplace machinery. On average, you can anticipate the noise output of most quiet choices to fall between 60 and 70 dB. Both micro and cross-cut paper shredders produce similar sounds, with just a minor distinction. Micro-cut shredders are often quieter than cross-cut shredders.

Shredding More than Just Paper

The most sought-after additional function is the capacity to shred other materials, such as credit cards, DVDs, and CDs.

Due to their intricate cutting mechanism, micro-cut paper shredders cannot handle such materials, and they are primarily designed to shred only paper. In contrast, cross-cut shredders may also shred credit cards, DVDs, and CDs in addition to paper.

In any event, it is prudent to examine the user handbook for the manufacturer’s statement on the materials the machine can cut. If the manufacturer does not explicitly state that the machine can handle other materials, you should prevent harming its components by using only paper.

When utilizing a paper shredder to cut a variety of materials, there is a very crucial consideration you must make. If the shredded papers are to be recycled, they should not be treated alongside other materials, particularly plastic.


That is the primary distinction between micro-cut and cross-cut paper shredders. Sounds great, but what if you don’t have a paper shredder, or one that works efficiently? Give Shred Confidential a call today.

At Shred Confidential we come to you! Simply fill up one of our locked bins and have us collect it and process it immediately in our truck’s shredding machine. We provide you a Certificate of Destruction following the process so you can confirm everything has been shredded thoroughly and without issue. It’s also nice for us to come by, as you don’t need to stand by a paper shredder throughout the day when you can be more productive elsewhere. Contact us today to get started!

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