A cross cut shredder is also known as a confetti paper shredder. The shredding process involves cutting paper length-wise and sideways all in the same pass.
This results in smaller particles, depending on the model of equipment. Cross cut shredding size ranges between 1/4" X 2" (6 mm X 50 mm) to 1/13" x 7/32" (1 mm X 4.7 mm). With cross cut shredders the size of waste can vary between manufacturers based on model and security classification.
The benefits of a cross cut paper shredders are they are more secure as you move up in security classification shred size, there is a high degree of particle randomization during the shredding process, and the waste compresses easily so the collection compartment does not need to be emptied as often. The higher security and particle randomization also ensures documents cannot be reassembled to better protect sensitive information and eliminate identity theft.
The drawbacks are that most high grade commercial shredders require regular oiling with-or with-out an automatic oiler. But oiling does maintain the cutting heads (cleans and lubricates at the same time) for a much longer life of the office equipment. Many models now come with automatic oilers already installed depending on the manufacturer.