SHREDDER Guide

The 6 Types of Shredder Security Levels: Advantage Business Equipment

 

When choosing how to shred your documents you will want to consider shred size. The size of the paper shreds affects information security and possibly the cost of your service. Paper shredders use a standard classification system of P2 through P7 to determine the security of the paper being shred through the blades. Understanding the size of shred is the most important factor in deciding which machine is right for you needs.  The smallest cut size falls under level P7 while the largest size is level P2.

Strip cut shredders, or P2 shredders, are the most productive but they are also the least secure.  Levels Ps and P4 are the most common for businesses or home use.  They are HIPAA compliant and do a great job protecting private information.  P6 and P7 shredders are required for government agencies disposing of top-secret documents but a P7 shredder is needed for the most demanding top secret document destruction.

Which security level do you need for paper shredding?

When you are looking for a new shredder for home or at the office you often see the security level of a paper shredder. What does the security level mean and why is it important to pay attention to it when you are buying a new shredder machine? On this page, we explain the shredder security levels.

1. Security Level P2

  • Designed for general shredding purposes
  • Strip Width: equal to or less than 1/4” (6 millimetres)
  • Strip Length: Infinite

2. Security Level P3

  • Designed for confidential, commercial, corporate, and personal data. Most used security level.
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (4 millimetres)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (80 millimetres)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 320 square millimetres

3. Security Level P4

  • Designed for shredding very sensitive and very confidential, commercial corporate, and/ personal data. Highest level security needed for commercial destruction.
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (4 millimetres)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (40 millimetres)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 160 square millimetres
  • Speak to our team at DIGI-Shred to Assist you when deciding 

4. Security Level P5

  • Designated secret / espionage proof. Standard European high security shredder level.
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (2.0 millimetre)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (15 millimetres)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 30 square millimetres

5. Security Level P6

  • Designated the top-secret shredder level. Specially designed to meet the requirements of the Department of DĂ©fense (DOD/NSA) and the exacting standards of the U.S. Military, national security organizations, government agencies and government contractors. These standards are also used in South Africa. Contact a DIGI-SHRED specialist to see what level will suit your organisation best in terms of speed and security
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (.8 millimetre)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (12 millimetres)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 10 square millimetres

6. Security Level P7

  • Designated the highest of top-secret security shredder level. Specially designed to meet requirements of the Department of DĂ©fense (DOD/NSA) and the exacting standards of the CIA, US Embassy’s, Top Secret U.S. Military Departments, national security organizations, government agencies and government contractors. These standards are also used in South Africa. Contact a DIGI-SHRED specialist to see what level will suit your organisation best in terms of speed and security
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (1 millimetre)
  • Particle Width: equal to or less than (5 millimetres)
  • Total shred area not to exceed a total of 5 square millimetres
  • Check our collection of P7 Shredders here

Which paper shredder security levels is the best shredder for you to buy? For destroying sensitive documents with personal information, medical information, financial information, or other confidential information, we recommend making use of a cross-cut shredder or a micro-cut shredder.