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DIN standard – security levels for document shredders [2024]

Nowadays, protecting personal data and confidential information is crucial not only for businesses, but also for individual users. Improper disposal of documents can lead to many problems, including identity theft. In this regard, document shredders prove to be extremely useful. But have you ever wondered how exactly these devices work and what levels of security they offer? What is the DIN standard and why is it so important in the context of document shredding? In this post, we will delve into the fascinating world of shredders and introduce the issue of the DIN standard to help you understand how to choose the best shredder for your needs and ensure maximum security for your documents. We invite you to read on!


DIN standard - what is it?

The DIN standard was developed by the Standards Committee for Information Technology and Applications organization and determines what level of confidentiality documents processed by a shredder retain. The current DIN 66399 standard was introduced in 2012 and specifies as many as seven levels of document security. These levels are described by the symbol P and the next digit. The higher it is, the more accurately paper documents are processed and are more difficult to reproduce.

Security levels of shredded documents

The DIN standard classifies shredders according to the degree of their ability to destroy documents, which is crucial for maintaining the confidentiality and security of information.

Shredders are classified in different security levels, from P-1 to P-7. The table below shows the characteristics of each security level according to the DIN standard:


As you can see, the standards for the size of processed fragments of a document are very stringent. Already the P-4 standard, which is the current standard, allows you to process a sheet of A4 paper into a minimum of 400 small pieces, effectively protecting the information contained on it. Choosing a P-5 grade shredder, a sheet of A4 will already be processed into more than 2,000 small fragments.

What to consider when choosing a document shredder

So which shredder will be the best? The answer to this question is not clear, because the choice depends on the purpose of the device, the nature and content of the data being destroyed and the material from which the data is made (paper, plastic, cardboard), as well as the user’s personal preferences.

Document shredders include various models with different functions, different sizes and the ability to destroy data in the form of traditional paper documents or in the form of CDs/DVDs or plastic cards.

Therefore, when looking for a document shredder that will meet your expectations, you should first take into account where the device will be used, how sensitive and confidential data it will deal with and what media the data to be disposed of is located on.

Shredders with security classes up to P-3 are suitable for processing documents at home. Models with DIN levels P-4 and P-5 are the most optimal solution, which will be sufficient in all types of commercial and service enterprises, libraries and other public institutions. Classes P-6 and P-7 are dedicated to government institutions and organizations where falling secret documents into the wrong hands could have particularly serious consequences.

Our HDWR online store offers shredders that provide P-4 and P-7 protection levels and are characterized by high efficiency and smooth operation. The full offer can be found here.

Did you know that...


Document shredders are a key tool in data protection and privacy in many sectors – from small offices to large enterprises and institutions. These practical devices have come a long way since their invention in 1909, evolving with increasing safety requirements.

The DIN standard, although originating in Germany, has become an international standard for classifying the safety levels of shredders, helping organizations and individual users choose the right equipment for their needs. With this standard, users can be assured that documents will be difficult to reconstruct once destroyed, protecting confidential information. In today’s digital world, where privacy is at a premium, shredders and their security standards play a more important role than ever before.

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