Our Jargon Buster lists all the specialist, technical terms used in the world of shredding and office security. More information can also be found on our Security page.
In addition, throughout the site wherever you see words and terms highlighted and italicised you just need to point your cursor at them to see the definition.
Automatic Stop/Start or Automatic On/Off - Some shredders have an automatic stop/start. The automatic stop/start is a sensor or switch, built into the shredder, that automatically starts when paper is fed into it and stops when shredding is complete.
Automatic Reverse - Some shredders have an automatic reverse. The automatic reverse feature senses when a shredder has been fed too much paper or become overloaded and stops shredding before reversing the paper out slightly. This feature reduces wear on the motor and other components leading to the possibility of a longer working life for the machine and makes the clearing of a paper jam easier for the user.
Bag full indicator - Some shredders have a bag full indicator that lets you know the shredder is full and needs its bag to be changed.
Bin - The bin is where the shredded paper goes.
Continuous Duty - This is a shredder with a motor that does not need to be allowed to cool down periodically during continuous use.
Cross-Cut or Particle Cut - Cross cut shredders use a crisscross format to cut paper into small pieces. Cross-cut shredders are generally not able to shred documents as quickly or take as many sheets in one pass as strip-cut shredders (of the same class) due to the extra cutting involved. However, cross-cut shredders are able to provide more security to shredded documents than a strip-cut shredder.
Duty Cycle - A duty cycle is the amount of time a shredder can be used before it must be turned off and cooled down.
Feed width - The feed width of a paper shredder is an indication of the maximum width of paper that can be shredded.
Hopper - Some shredders have a hopper. A hopper is a type of bin where paper can be dumped for shredding.
LED indicators - Illuminated visual indicators that help to show a shredder's status.
Multimedia - Describes a shredder which is capable of shredding and destroying CD's, DVD's and floppy disks for total data protection. The multimedia shredded waste is segregated from the paper waste for ease of sorting.
Overload protection - Some shredders have overload protection. If too many sheets of paper are loaded into a shredder, the overload protection will turn the shredder off before the motor is burned out.
Reverse function - Some shredders have a reverse function. A reverse function is the ability of a paper shredder to back the paper out rather move the paper forward into the shredder. This enables the user to clear a paper jam.
Security Level - This is an internationally recognised standard for the indication of the security offered by a particular shredder. The standard grades shredders from 1 to 6 according to the shred dimensions, 1 being the least secure and 6 being top secret levels of security.
Shred capacity - The shred capacity is the number of sheets of paper a shredder can shred at one time.
Shred size - The shred size is the width of strips or dimensions of the particles produced by a shredder. The narrower the strip or the smaller the particle dimensions, the more secure the shredder is.
Shred Speed - The speed that a paper shredder can shred. This is usually rated in metres of paper per minute or second.
Strip-Cut - Strip-cut is a type of shredding. Shredders that shred strip-cut shred the paper into long strips of paper. These strips can vary in size from 1/2-inch (12mm) wide to 1/16-inch (1.5 mm) wide. Strip-cut shredders require less cutting than cross-cut shredders. Because less cutting is required, strip-cut shredders are able to shred more documents at a time than cross-cut shredders (of the same class). This is sometimes called Straight Cut.
Thermal Protection - This is a feature which protects the motor from overheating and thus prolongs service life of the machine. In the event that the motor approaches overheating the thermal protection cuts power and only returns it after a cooling period.
Vertical feed - Some shredders have paper fed through the top of the machine. This is a vertical feed.