Dahle 20430 Small Office Level 5 Cross Cut Paper Shredder Review

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Offering the small business Level 5 shredding security, the Dahle 20430 is intended for central placement and multiple users within a small office setting. We recently studied the features of the 20430 and comprised a report of what we consider to be its strengths and weaknesses.


  1. The main strength of the 20430 is in the enhanced security level that it can provide a small business. While Level 5 shredding might be considered overkill for the majority of businesses (FACTA regulations mandate a security level of 3 or better), there are a lot of small businesses that contract with federal, state, or local government or research organizations who will need to meet the standards those organizations set forth for the destruction of confidential information. Level 5 is considered "espionage safe" and is rated below only the level 6 machines that are used by the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

  2. The 20430's throat width is 9 1/2 inches, which is wide enough to easily handle letter and legal size paper. In other words, the vast majority of shredding jobs.

  3. In the tight quarters in which small offices are often set, it can be difficult to keep the distractions to a minimum. Dahle has gone to great lengths to keep the 20430 as quiet as possible during operation. First, the cutting shafts are encased and then they are placed on rubber shock mount units, virtually eliminating vibration of the cabinet. The all wood construction of the cabinet also absorbs a great deal of sound, and the result is that the 20430 is one of the quieter small office shredders on the market.

  4. The single toggle switch makes operating the 20430 extremely simple. Using that one switch you can set the machine for auto on and off (controlled by an electronic sensor), reverse, or continuous run. The machine will also stop automatically when the shred bin is full, or when the cabinet door is opened.

  5. Between the swing-door opening, the removable bin and the optional liner bags, emptying the 20430 is a very quick and easy process.


  1. In the shredder world, there is almost always some kind of trade off between capacity and security. The level 5 security offered by the 20430 is remarkable, but as a result, the machine can only shred up to 6 sheets of paper at a time. If you need Level 5 security, you will just have to take your lumps here, but if you are just looking to become FACTA-compliant, you might want to look into a Level 3 machine that offers you higher productivity, such as the Dahle 20314.

  2. As it is not rated for continuous use, the 20430 is intended to be used on an as-needed basis, and is not the kind of machine that you want to use for, say, a massive monthly shredding session. If you do accidentally overheat the 20430, its thermal protection will kick in, shutting the machine off for a requisite cooling period.

  3. As the cutting blades of the 20430 are only guaranteed for one year (as opposed to the lifetime warranty offered on the rest of Dahle's Small Office line), we recommend that you oil the cutting shafts of the 20430 on a regular basis (as with any shredder) to extend the life of the blades. In fact, with a high security shredder you should really consider oiling the shredder on a daily basis.

If you are interested in more information about the Dahle 20430 Small-Office Shredder, you might want to visit MyBinding.com. They offer a great price on this machine and they even offer Free Shipping. Plus, they carry the full line of Dahle Paper Shredders, shredder bags and shredder oil. Check it out today!

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