What Is the DIN security level & why Is It important

When looking at paper shredder specs, you'll notice that a DIN classification typically accompanies the security level P-1 or DIN P-3, for example. But what exactly does it imply? And why is it important? DIN is an abbreviation for Deutsches Institut für Normung eV or the German Institute for Standardization. It is a standard that aids in the qualification of data destruction security levels in the European Union.

The official DIN 66399 standard for paper destruction includes seven security levels for paper shredders, each of which specifies the minimum size criteria for paper particles after shredding a document. The seven security classifications are DIN P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, P-5, P-6, and P-7. The higher the security level is, the smaller the shredded particles. 

Why is it important?

Specific papers and data are more sensitive than others, and as a result, they must be shredded into tiny bits, making it difficult for anybody to reassemble them. Companies and organizations are required by law to preserve and delete data, and people are becoming increasingly conscious of the necessity to shred essential papers to prevent the danger of identity theft.

The following information relates to the requirements for data deletion for businesses. However, if you're a private individual looking to shred documents, you may use these as a reference to determine what degree of shredder security you'll require.

DIN 66399 lays out the various requirements, including the maximum area and width of shred particles and recommendations for the optimal level for certain types of sensitive data.

A P-1 shredder works as a strip-cutter, producing paper strips that are 12” wide and have a high throughput because of their enormous size. The paper shreds from a P-1 shredder may be easily rebuilt, making them more appropriate for less sensitive data. 

P-2 shredders produce particles that are ≤ ¼” wide, but there aren't many additional distinctions other than the size. P-2 security level provides a slight security advantage over P-1 but, a P-2 shredder can still pose a concern because of the shred sizes and the quantity of potentially sensitive information that might still be visible on a single strip. MBM Destroyit 4002SC office shredder is your perfect choice when you’re looking for a P-2 security level.

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P-3 paper strips are just 2 mm wide. Because strip-cut shredders are faster, level P-3 is typically preferred for its balance of shredding in large volumes while remaining secure enough to fulfill legal standards. MBM Destroyit 5009 with a feed opening of 20 inches is a p-3 level high capacity cross-cut shredder capable of easily shredding 300-400 sheets. 

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P-4 comprises cross-cut shredders, which shred papers twice as small as P-3 to produce much smaller shreds, only ≤ 160 mm² particles with a width of ≤ 6mm; because P-4 generates microscopic particles, reconstruction is difficult, if not impossible. MBM Destroyit 2604CC (P-4) Cross Cut paper shredder is one of the finest business shredders available in the market when looking for a P-4 security level.

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P-5 gives additional protection with cross-cut shreds that are just ≤ 30 mm² particles with a width of ≤ 2 mm but aren't tiny enough to fulfill NSA standards for destroying sensitive material. A P-5 shredder is perfect for someone who values more security above the speed of a P-4 shredder since shredders slow down as the paper shreds grow smaller. The MBM Destroyit 2445CC is a high-security shredder with a P-5 level that can shred 6-8 sheets, making it an excellent choice when security is a top priority.

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P-6 cross-cut shreds are just ≤ 10 mm² particles with a width of  ≤ 1 mm, yet they are still insufficient to fulfill NSA requirements, much as a P-5 shredder. It is suitable for security-conscious companies, but it is also sluggish and will struggle with massive quantities.

P-7 produces  ≤ 5 mm² particles with a width ≤ of 1 mm, with only 4 characters visible on a single shred P-7 is the most secure shredder available in the market. P-7 is considered to be the only shredder that fulfills NSA standards for destroying classified and confidential data. P-7 shredders provide the highest level of protection, but they are also the slowest. The MBM Destroyit 2604SMC P-7 High-Security Shredder is built around a new and fantastic security system that delivers an experience unlike any other in terms of security which is the optimal choice for the user when looking for high security. 
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Three protection Categories

Class 1

It is for legal protection necessary for internal data when disclosure would have a detrimental impact on the company or pose a danger of identity theft. DIN security levels of P-1, P-2, and P-3 fall in this class

Class 2 

It is for the enhanced protection of confidential data if disclosure would have a significant negative impact, might break a company's legal responsibilities, or pose a risk to an individual's social or financial status. DIN security levels of P-3, P-4, and P-5 come under this class.

Class 3

It is for very high protection of confidential and top-secret data that, if exposed, may have catastrophic repercussions for a company or government entity, as well as pose a threat to people’s health, safety, or personal liberty. DIN security levels P-4, P-5, P-6, and P-7 are in this class.

The shredding is not just confined to papers; different types of media can be shredded. The destruction of media is divided into six categories, each with seven degrees of protection.


  •  P is classified for Paper shredding category
  •  F for film-based products like microfiche, micro-films 
  •  O for optical media example CDs, DVDs
  •  T for magnetic data like floppy disks, cassette tapes
  •  H for hard-drives 
  •  E for electronic media like mobile phones, SSDs 









Strip width 12mm OR 2000 mm²

Very Low



Strip width 6mm OR 800 mm²²

Very Low



Strip width 2mm OR 320 mm²













Very High




Extremely High


The greater the number, the higher the level of security necessary.

Does Your Shredder Meet All Security Needs? We've described each security level, so you can choose the one that best matches your needs.