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Industrial shredder blades

Recycling is responsible for saving millions of dollars and has the potential to save millions more. The entirety of the recyclable materials in the U.S. waste cycle could generate $7 billion, if recycled.

When you're running your industrial shredding machines, you're making a real difference in the environment. Though when it comes to recycling every little bit of energy counts. The less environmental impact the better.

Which is why industrial shredding machines need to run as efficiently as possible. Choosing the correct type of shredder blades for your machine has a large impact on how efficiently your machine runs.

That's why today, we're bringing you our guide to the different types of industrial shredder blades.

Shredders and How They Impact Recycling

Recycling material depends on breaking that material down into small segments that are more easily recycled. Shredders take large materials that range from tires to paper and cut those materials into manageable sizes.

Industrial shredders commonly break down plastic, scrap, tires, wood, and other types of waste. While when most people talk about a home office they're referring to paper shredders, industrial paper shredders are fairly commonplace as well.

The resulting shredded material is often repurposed into another material or used during various manufacturing processes. You'll find recycled materials turned into everything from plastic bags to mulch, all thanks to shredders.

It's important to note that not all "shredders" actually shred anything. The term industrials shredder refers to grinders, chippers, hammer mills, granulators, and plain old paper shredders. Some shredders crush, some shred, some compact, and some do something in-between.

Shredding machines are available in various configurations of high-torque, low-torque, high-speed, and low-speed machines that are all designed to maximize efficiency and minimize accidents.

Paper Shredders

Let's start with the obvious, paper shredders. People use paper shredders to help dispose of paper waste, as well as destroy sensitive documents. In the recycling world, we break paper shredders down into three different categories, each with its own type of blades.

Industrial Paper Shredders:

  • High volume shredding
  • Processing large volumes of paper and often sensitive documents
  • Heavy duty blades designed to withstand extreme amounts of shredding

Strip Cut Shredders:

  • Used in lower-volume applications
  • Lightweight blades
  • Typically cut paper into strips that range from 1/2 inch to 1/16th on an inch

Cross Cut Shredders:

  • Doubled bladed shredders for cutting paper into small strips (1/2 inch or smaller)
  • Can cut square or rectangular sections
  • Can cut sections as large as 1/32 inch
  • Similar blades as strip cut shredders 

The type of shredder you choose will depend on what and how much you're shredding. There's no reason to invest in an industrial shredder and the replacement blades if you're only shredding small amounts of paper.

Plastic Shredders are used almost exclusively in the recycling business. Unlike paper shredders, plastic shredders come in a variety of different types.


  • Pulverize materials
  • Small blades designed to create extremely small pieces of material


  • Chip material into small flakes
  • Small blades designed to create flakes of material - think wood chippers


  • Similar to grinders and chippers
  • Reduce material to small pieces

Hammer Mills

  • Used for shattering materials
  • Blades are more akin to "hammers" as the name suggests

Plastic shredders are versatile enough to shred rubber and asphalt, in addition to just plastic. Some plastic shredders can also shred wood.

Tire Shredders

Tire shredders are unique in that they're designed specifically for turning old tires into landfill covers, asphalt, fuels, and other products. While some plastic shredders can process rubber, only tire shredders can handle tires.

Specialty Shredders:

  • Custom designed
  • Tear tires into small pieces
  • Utilize high torque
  • Strong blades

Shear Shredders:

  • Low speed
  • Two-shaft mechanism that helps tear through tires
  • Blades are knife shaped


  • High speed 
  • Like grinders, the blades are knife shaped


  • High and low-speed applications
  • Blades are often plates or drums that work to tear tires using abrasion


  • Come in all different shapes, sizes, and mechanisms
  • Knife-shaped blades used to cut tires into fine pieces

All tire shredders utilize extremely strong, durable blades. The blades are often heavy to help withstand the high-torque that tire shredders need to break down tires.

Choosing the Best Blade for Your Needs

Choosing the best blade for your needs depends on the type of shredder you're utilizing. In fact, your blade selection is entirely limited by your shredder. Paper shredder blades won't work in a tire shredder and vice versa.

Ensure that you're using the correct shredder for the job and the blades choices will fall into place. Though to remember to buy replacement blades for when you're servicing your shredder.

Dull blades not only halt production but reduce your shredder's energy efficiency. Having a backup set of blades ensures your company can stay running as smoothly as possible.

Shopping for an Industrial Shredder and Shredder Blades

While the type of industrial shredder you're using limits the type of shredder blades you can use, that doesn't mean that all shredder blades are created equal. Shopping around for high-quality blades ensures your shredder will run more efficiently and for longer.

If you're in the market for a new shredder, new shredder blades, or just want get to know more about the industrial shredder industry, get in contact with us. Our experts understand that recycling is important and would love to help your business run as efficiently as possible.

Let our staff help ensure you're only purchasing the highest-quality blades to use on only the highest-quality shredders.


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