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When it comes to security for destruction of printed materials there are several factors to take into consideration. First is access to the material before it's destroyed and second is the desctruction process itself. There are 7 declared levels of shredding security as defined by DIN, which is an international standards authority based in Germany. Higher levels of security will require a much more complete destruction of the documents and there are specifcations for the final size of the shreddings.

Take into consideration who may have access to those printed materials before they are destroyed. Shredding companies who manage paper destruction for corporations appear as turnkey solutions but many major organizations a taking another look and bringing document destruction in-house. What are the backgrounds of the employees who are handling the materials? Are the printed documents transported before being destroyed? When they are shredded, what security level are the documents being shredded at?

Below is a comprehensive chart that breaks down security levels for common industries. Use the chart to determine which security level is right for your environment.

Security Level Guide

USA National Security Administration 02-01 Document Security Standards

NSA Logo

US Government agencies or those operating as approved vendors or suppliers to the US Government must adhere to US NSA Security Standards. If you are involved in top secret or classified information, you need to follow the guidelines set forth by the National Security Agency. The publicly available report that lists evaluated shredders is entitled The NSA/CSS High Security Crosscut Paper Shredder 02-01.

The NSA publishes a list of evaluated products and their findings. Rather than approving specific machines based on security level the NSA evaluated shredder performance and lists those that meet their criteria on their NSA evaluated products list within specifc documents. At the bottom of this page is a list of NSA evaluated models offered by Flint Shredders.

NSA evaluation guidelines for paper shredders are very strict. The NSA/CSS High Security Crosscut Paper Shredder 02-01 in 2014 listed most all of our SMC (Super Micro Cut Shredders). You can review the list below or search for the 02-01 report on NSA.gov to read the most current list of evaluated products. Although they are not directly related the DIN 66399 standard for level 7 is equivelant to the threshold for NSA report of evaluated shredders.

Source: NSA.gov 2014


International DIN 66399 Document Security Standards

DIN standards

DIN is the Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization). The 66399 standard dictates the destruction criteria for data stored on media. The standard covers numerous types of media including microfilms, optical media, ID cards, diskettes, hard drives, USB sticks, and of course printed paper materials.

The most current DIN standard is 66399. This more detailed specification expands the range to seven security levels. The prior standard only had six levels. DIN 66399 also defines three distinct classification levels of security and six material categories. Each of these media categories has it's own security levels which are dictated by a user's overall classification level.

Source: DIN.de 2014



A Visual Example of Shredding Security Levels

Level 7 Security - 5 mm2

Level 7

This is the highest level of security for printed documents. Material shredded to a security level 7 specification must meet the following guidelines. All particles must have a per side surface area of less than 5 mm2 and each strip must be less than 1 mm wide. (Example: 0.8 mm x 5 mm particle)


Level 6 Security - 10 mm2

Level 6

Level 6 requires cross cutting and is a very highly secure form of shredding. Particle surface area is specified to be below 10mm2 and the strip width must be less than 1 mm. (Example: 0.8 mm x 12 mm particle)


Level 5 Security - 30 mm2

Level 5

Level 5 security requires cross cutting and is a very fine particle but strips are allowed to be up to 2 mm wide. Particle surface area is specified to be below 30mm2 and the strip width must be less than 2 mm. (Example: 2 mm x 15 mm particle)


Level 4 Security - 160 mm2

Level 4

Level 4 security requires cross cutting and is acceptable for many applications including most financial organizations. Particle surface area is specified to be below 160 mm2 and the strip width must be less than 4 mm. (Example: 4 mm x 40 mm particle)


Level 3 Security - 320 mm2

Level 3

Level 3 security is the highest level of security that still allows straight strips of shredding. The specification is for particle surface area to be less than 320 mm2 (Example: 4 mm x 80 mm) or with a strip width of less than 2 mm. Strip length is not specified.


Level 2 Security - 800 mm2

Level 2

Level 2 security is the lowest security level offered by Flint Shredders. Although it's plausable to reconstruct documents from a level 2 security shredder the documents are considered to be securely disposed-of and by most measures are safe for disposal. Financial institutions or organizations handling sensitive information may wish to consider a higher level of security. Security level 2 specifies a particle surface are of less than 800 mm2 or a strip width of less than 6 mm.


High Security Paper Shredders - Super Micro Cut

FS4005SMC FS2604SMC FS2360SMC

FS4005 SMC

Security Level 7

44 ft/min @ 1.60 kW
12-16 Sheets at once
$5499
Buy High Security FS4005SMC Now

FS2604 SMC

Security Level 7

28 ft/min @ 0.64 kW
6-8 Sheets at once
$2699
Buy High Security FS2604SMC Now

FS2360 SMC

Security Level 7

14 ft/min @ 0.39 kW
5-7 Sheets at once
$1299
Buy High Security FS2360SMC Now

Top Selling Office Shredders - Cross Cut

FS4005SMC FS2604SMC FS2360SMC

FS4005 CC

Security Level 4

30 ft/min @ 1.60 kW
30-32 Sheets at once
$4711
Buy High Security FS4005SMC Now

FS3804 CC

Security Level 4

20 ft/min @ 0.64 kW
24-26 Sheets at once
$2231
Buy High Security FS2604SMC Now

FS2404 CC

Security Level 4

27 ft/min @ 0.39 kW
13-15 Sheets at once
$899
Buy High Security FS2360SMC Now

View the Price List

The NSA/CSS High Security Crosscut Paper Shredder 02-01 List 2014

Shredders listed below appear in the NSA's report of evaluated paper shredders. These machines are all allowed for use for US Government agents. Please note that all evaluated paper shredders are SMC (Super Micro Cut) which DIN has designated a level 7 security level. SMC Shredders create incredibly small particles from shredded documents. These documents are essentially impossible to recover.

Source: NSA.gov 2014