Paper shredders are used in homes and offices to destroy sensitive information and keep it out of information thieves' hands. These machines cut papers into small pieces that make it very difficult to read the information printed on the documents. The two main types of paper shredders are cross-cut and strip-cut. Cross-cut shredders use multiple blades to cut paper into tiny square pieces, while strip-cut shredders use a single set of blades to cut papers into vertical strips the length of the original paper. The strip-cut paper shredder has a number of advantages over the cross-cut variety.

Higher Reliability

Strip-cut shredders require fewer blades and fewer moving parts than cross-cut shredders. As such, they require less maintenance and, in general, experience fewer breakdowns. Strip-cut shredders usually come with safety features to prevent problems: reverse mode, paper jam buzzers, and automatic shut-offs can all help stop a problem before it becomes big enough to require repairs.

Lower Cost

Because strip-cut shredders contain fewer moving parts and are cheaper to produce, they tend to be much more affordable than cross-cut models. Strip-cut shredders are even available in hand-crank desktop varieties which do not require electricity to operate. These are typically the least expensive shredders available.

Recyclable Materials

Strip-cut shredders produce neat strips of paper that can be reused as packing material, animal bedding, fire kindling or compost. Cross-cut shredders do not offer this benefit because the paper that comes out of them is in tiny pieces which are unsuitable for reuse.

Higher Capacity

Strip-cut paper shredders usually have a capacity that is far higher than the typical cross-cut shredder. They can often handle up to 40 percent more paper at a time, meaning that big shredding jobs will take far less time with a strip-cut machine than with a cross-cut model.