Paper shredders are one of the most useful and necessary pieces of office equipment as it reduces paper clutter and offers security. Preserving privacy is key to running a good business, and paper shredders can help you do just that by safely disposing of credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, addresses, identities and more.

Here are eight things you should know about paper shredders before you start shopping for one.

  1. What Can It Shred?

Some paper shredders are intended for paper only, while the more heavy-duty ones can handle staples, paper clips, CDs, DVDs and credit cards.

  1. How Many Pages Can It Shred?

Some shredders can handle five or so sheets of standard weight printer paper at a time. If you have a lot to shred, get one that can handle more – it’ll cut down on the time you spend shredding.

  1. What Features?

Look for one with a jam indicator, a full basket indicator and a reverse feature if something gets stuck.

  1. What Shred Type?

There are three types of shredding: microcut, which shreds into tiny pieces, crosscut, which turns material into rectangular pieces, and a strip shredder, which simply takes the paper and cuts it into strips. In terms of security, microcut is the most secure and strip is the least.

  1. Look for Safety

Some shredders have an auto-off feature if fingers get too close to the blades. This is a good thing to have.

  1. What’s the Noise Level?

In an office, having a quiet shredder can be important, since phone calls and meetings might happen nearby. Consider purchasing a shredder that is meant to run quietly.

  1. How Fast Is It?

What’s the cycle on the shredder? Most shredders will have a cycle of how long it can shred and must cool down between uses. Finding one with a longer active period and shorter cool down period will make your shredding faster. There are also continuous-duty ones that never have to cool down – great for heavy usage.

  1. What’s The Warranty?

Most shredder warranties last at least a year. If you’re using it daily and for heavy use, you may want to consider one that has a longer warranty.