Shredder Security Levels – The 7 DIN Security Levels Explained

Shredder Security Levels – The 7 DIN Security Levels Explained


1.1 The need for secure shredding

In today’s digital world, protecting sensitive and confidential information is more critical than ever. The proper disposal of documents containing personal or sensitive data is essential to prevent identity theft, fraud, and maintain compliance with various regulations such as GDPR. One effective way to dispose of these documents is by using paper shredders.

1.2 Understanding shredder security levels

Selecting the appropriate shredder for your needs can be challenging without an understanding of shredder security levels. This article aims to explain the 7 DIN security levels and help you choose the right shredder for your requirements.

DIN Security Levels: An Overview

security level pyramid

2.1 What are the Security Levels for Shredders?

DIN security levels, also known as the DIN 32757-1 standard, classify shredders based on the level of security they offer. These levels range from P-1 (lowest security) to P-7 (highest security).

 2.2 DIN Levels and Their Implications for data protection

The higher the DIN level, the smaller the paper particles, which makes it increasingly difficult for anyone to reconstruct and retrieve information from the shredded documents. Choosing the right DIN level is essential for ensuring the protection of sensitive information.

Examining the DIN Security Levels

3.1 P-1 Security rating

P-1 shredders offer general low security, suitable for home use. They shred paper into long strips, cutting an A4 sheet into approximately 40 parts with a maximum shred size of 12mm.

3.2 P-2 Security rating

P-2 shredders provide low to medium security, ideal for internal home or small office use. They cut paper into narrower strips than P-1 shredders, with an A4 sheet being cut into roughly 100 strips and a maximum shred size of 6mm.

3.3 P-3 Security rating

P-3 shredders are designed for medium security and are suitable for shredding confidential documents. These shredders cut paper into either very narrow strips (less than 2mm) or cross-cut particles (like confetti). Cross-cut shredding is more space-efficient and requires less frequent bin emptying.

3.4 P-4 Security rating

P-4 shredders offer medium to high security and are recommended for secret documents. These shredders use micro-cut technology, shredding documents into cross-cut particles of at least 2x15mm.

3.5 P-5 Security rating

P-5 shredders provide high security and are typically used by government or military organizations to dispose of top-secret documents. They cut paper into cross-cut particles with a maximum size of 0.8x12mm.

3.6 P-6 Security rating

P-6 shredders offer the highest security, shredding paper into cross-cut particles with a maximum size of 0.8x4mm. This level is an unofficial extension of the DIN standard and is used by government or military organizations for the most sensitive information.

3.7 P-7 Security rating

P-7 shredders represent the ultimate level of security, shredding paper into particles so small that they are virtually impossible to reconstruct. They are primarily used by organizations dealing with highly sensitive or classified information.

Shredder Features Worth Knowing About


4.1 Cut type

There are two main types of cuts: strip-cut and cross-cut. Strip-cut shredders cut paper into long strips, while cross-cut shredders cut paper into smaller particles, offering higher security levels. As mentioned earlier, cross-cut shredding is more space-efficient and requires less frequent bin emptying.

4.2 Additional security features

Modern shredders may offer various additional security features, such as the ability to shred credit cards, CDs, and DVDs, or a safety lock to prevent unauthorised use. Some shredders also come with auto-reverse functions to prevent paper jams and an energy-saving mode for better energy efficiency.

Choosing the Right Shredder for Your Needs

5.1 Assessing your security requirements


Before selecting a shredder, evaluate the type of documents you need to dispose of regularly. The sensitivity of the information will determine the appropriate DIN security level for your shredder.

5.2 Where will you be using your shredder?

Consider the environment in which you will use the shredder. For home use, a P-1 or P-2 shredder may be sufficient. For small businesses, a P-3 or P-4 shredder may be necessary to protect confidential information. For organizations handling highly sensitive information, a P-5, P-6, or P-7 shredder is essential.

5.3 The importance of the right tools

Using the right shredder for your needs can save time and money while ensuring the secure disposal of sensitive documents. Outsourcing your shredding needs to a professional shredding company like Cross Cut Shredding can also be an efficient and secure solution.


6.1 Making an informed decision on shredder security levels

Understanding shredder security levels is crucial in selecting the right shredder for your needs. By evaluating your security requirements and considering the additional features that modern shredders offer, you can make an informed decision to protect your sensitive information effectively. Remember, if you’re unsure about which shredder to choose or prefer to leave shredding to the professionals, consider using a local shredding service to ensure your documents are securely disposed of.

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