High-security paper shredders are office staples these days. Not only can they be used to shred everyday documents, they're essential if you need to dispose of highly sensitive papers. Fellowes makes a number of these devices including the Powershred HS-400. Here is a look at this machine's capabilities - and its shortcomings. Check them out to determine if this is the device you need.
High-security paper shredders are office staples these days. Not only can they be used to shred everyday documents, they're essential if you need to dispose of highly sensitive papers. Fellowes makes a number of these devices including the Powershred HS-400. Here's a look at this machine's capabilities - and its shortcomings. Check them out to determine if this is the device you need.
The HS-400's best feature is definitely its security rating. This shredder offers Level 6 security, which is the highest level possible. (It produces paper particles that measure 1/32" x 3/16") In fact, this machine meets the criteria outlined in NSA/CSS Specification 02-01 so it can be used to shred confidential documents. It's so secure it can even be used to destroy government papers.
The feed opening is 9.5" wide so you won't have any trouble using this machine to get rid of letter- and legal-sized documents. If your paper is wider than 9.5", you'll need to fold or cut it so it will fit in the feed opening.
The HS-400 doesn't have a particularly great shredding capacity. It can only destroy 4 sheets at a time, so it will take a while to destroy long documents even though the motor is a continuous-duty one. (The top shredding speed is 13 feet per minute.) While this is a departmental shredder, it's really best suited for use by 5 people or less. The waste bin can hold up to 13 gallons of debris.
When you place paper in the feed opening, the machine will start shredding it automatically. The motor will stop working once the sheets have been destroyed. (It will also stop when the waste bin is full or if the cabinet door is open.) If any paper gets stuck in the shredder, the reverse mode can be used to clear the jam.
This machine doesn't come with an automatic oiler nor is there much in the way of safety features such as SafeSense technology. The only safety feature is an interlock switch, so users need to be extra careful when they shred. Also, this device puts out 65 decibels of noise so it might be a bit noisy.
The HS-400 looks great. It's easy to open the waste bin cabinet thanks to a handle that's right on the front of the device. The entire unit measures 25" x 15.5" x 11.75". There are casters on the bottom of it so you can move it pretty easily despite its 80-pound weight.
The cutting cylinders are backed by a 5-year warranty. Everything else has 2 years' worth of protection.
The Fellowes Powershred HS-400 is definitely a respectable high-security paper shredder thanks to its NSA/CSS approval and Level 6 rating. It would be great for shared use among a few people, particularly in government offices, healthcare facilities, and other environments in which security is important. It would be nice if this device had more features (such as an automatic oiler), but if you need security as opposed to bells and whistles, you can't go wrong with the HS-400. Take a look at it today to see if it's the shredder you need.
Jeff McRitchie is the Director of Marketing for MyBinding.com. He regularly writes articles, reviews, and blog posts on topics related to book binding, laminating, paper shredding, and office equipment. More than 2,500 of his articles have been published in thousands of locations on the Internet. If you're looking for information about paper shredders his articles are a great place to start.